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YMMV: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW)

  • Accidental Innuendo: Similar to the show, the comics are getting in on it too. Take a look at this one scene from the comic without the rest of the page to put it in context.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: While things in the show could always be a bit quirky with the pony population's antics and the general lack of consequences, they come to a head in The Good, the Bad and the Ponies, as Equestria can be seen here as a Crapsaccharine World whose cute exterior belies a horribly dysfunctional legal system that excuses things like assault, vandalism, extortion, arson, kidnapping, impersonation, hostage-taking, and fraud, but vandalizing a historical site, even one declared so about under dubious circumstances, could get those just associated with you thrown in jail. Essentially valuing the letter of the law over innocent people's lives, and having no provisions to deal with dangerously violent criminals.
  • Angst? What Angst?: The Cutie Mark Crusaders don't seem to think being fillynapped by a monstrous Queen is a big deal. Also Fluttershy is gleefully fascinated by two creatures fighting over the right to eat her and her friends.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Chrysalis gets taken down surprisingly easy, all things considered.
  • Author's Saving Throw: For those who thought Babs Seed was too Easily Forgiven in her debut episode, her portrayal in issue #22 as feeling like she has to constantly prove she's no longer a bully should go a long way.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Princess Celestia in the reflections arc (issues #17-20). For some, her actions has driven away any amount of sympathy she might have had while others are fond of her relationship with Mirror!Sombra regardless. What prevents her from reaching full-on Scrappy status was her My God, What Have I Done? moments throughout the comic... That is until it's revealed that her travels to the other world is causing the destruction of both worlds. For most, this just brought her to the scrappy heap.
    • Some readers don't like that Luna behaves in a much more childish and less serious way than in the show. Others find it makes her more endearing and humorous to contrast the straight-laced Celestia better.
    • The first Annual issue showing more of pre-redemption Sunset Shimmer, in which she may actually come off even worse than in Equestria Girls, played right into the accusations that she was faking being reformed at the end of the film, exactly the opposite as was intended. This may have inspired the 2014 Holiday Special, which focuses on a post-redemption Sunset once again having to prove she's really good now...
    • Speaking of the Holiday Special, while it helped redeem Sunset, it also helped throw the Cutie Mark Crusaders under the bus for instigating the whole Anon-y-miss problem and getting Sunset in a huge pile of shit, simply because they were jealous that Sunset was spending time with their siblings. Doesn't really help those who have had hatred for the CMC prior to the issue, alternate universe or not.
      • Also, the Human CMC are far more Easily Forgiven than the Pony ones in the equivalent story "Ponyville Confidential," despite their actions being much worse (they deliberately set out to destroy Sunset's reputation and her friendship with the Humane Five), and they weren't being blackmailed like they were in the pony universe.
  • Broken Base:
    • The existence of the Nightmare Forces for some, who prefer the idea of Nightmare Moon being a corrupted Luna rather than a different entity possessing her.
      • It IS implied that the Nightmare Forces actually need consent to possess somepony, meaning Luna would have still been in the wrong, but it's presented as a very minor plot point and rather flimsy at that.
    • The quality of the comic; some people who are angry about Twilight becoming an alicorn cling to the comics as being free of that (until its eventual incorporation in #13, and even then she remains grounded for the entire comic), while others describe them as poorly written fanfiction. Numerous out of character moments, a different tone from the show, and the extremely heavy-handed references (both to the fandom and other media) don't help matters.
    • Reactions to Celestia and Mirror Sombra's relationship in the Reflections Arc are mixed. As always, there's the argument over whether or not romance belongs in the series or if the romance is done well, but, as mentioned under Base Breaker, there's mixed feelings over Celestia's actions in trying to be with Mirror Sombra. Is Mirror Sombra really worth the fate of their two worlds and lying to those around her? Can her actions really be chalked up to her just being young and foolish? Though, the following comic tries to address these issues by showing Celestia going through the portal by herself only a few times a year and being more concerned by her trips than Sombra is. It's also implied she's emotionally weak after the loss of Luna. At the same time it still doesn't feel like enough to excuse Celestia's behavior, especially in light that Twilight in Equestria Girls only felt minor sadness by leaving Flash Sentry behind to return to her home world. Comparing the two makes CxS's ship come off as FAR more shallow.
      • What's even weirder is fans LIKING Mirror!Sombra due to having a more "developed" personality than his "generic" cartoon counterpart, despite both having only appeared in two comic book issues.
    • The Reflections Arc as a whole also has mixed reactions. Some fan love the arc for giving Celestia depth, the world-building it provides, and the high stakes in the Mane Six fighting an evil Celestia and Luna and trying to find a way to foil them without harming the prime versions. Others feel that its an extreme case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, with the Mane Six Flanderized and shoved aside to focus on the Celestia and Sombra romance, Star Swirl's personality not fitting what the cartoon established about him (particularly Celestia's claim "he did not understand friendship"), and the alternate world actually not being explored much. The finale of the arc where Sombra uses the Elements of Harmony to take on the evil of the alternate Celestia and Luna, turning himself evil and them good is particularly polarizing, some finding it tragic and epic while others cry it denies Celestia Character Development and seems to be an inter-dimensional invoking of Status Quo Is God.
      • You have your share of fans that enjoy the first three parts and most of the chapter four of "Reflections," but feel the last few pages are trash because it hastily wraps up the much needed Celestia character-focus and does away with the star-crossed romance by making AU!Sombra evil, which undermines his character that before hand the comics did a decent job building him up as a just and kind king worthy of being Celestia's equal, all things considered. The fact that the "newly evil" Sombra clearly misses Celestia and regrets quite strongly, which raises the question of just how "evil" he could possibly be, just makes things even more confusing.
    • Issue #23 involves a plot where a Kelpie uses her musical voice to entrance the ponies of Ponyville to tear down their dam as to provide a water path for a school of water sprites to make it to a distant ocean, which would have wiped out the town. The plot is foiled by the pets, and the town is quick to forgive the Kelpie and help her and the sprites out. However, the ending, which was somewhat rushed, has caused some of the fans to consider the actions of the ponies to be far too forgiving, making the Kelpie a Karma Houdini, and suggest that the town would forgive others with narly a slap on the wrist.
      • There are also others who see the character as a Mary Sue both due to the Karma Houdini status and how overpowered her main ability is (IE, even able to brainwash the Bearers and an entire town just by singing) to the point of being a Game Breaker.
    • The Cattle Rustlers arc (#25-26) quickly establishes that Twilight will not use her powers directly against any non-magical citizen of Equestria, otherwise the situation would be resolved in just a few panels (this is even lampshaded in the second issue). This has created debate if that's a legitimate approach to considering her magical strength. Not helping this is the fact that in a previous issue from the "My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy" arc {Issue's 13-14} actually did have her use magic on hostile ponies.
      • While Twilight having that mentality would likely be fine, the fact that the rustlers are threatening, robbing and assaulting the lawful equestrian citizens makes her Mind Over Manners mentality particularly jarring. AJ thinks that Twilight will back her up when a fight breaks out, and is sucker punched when Twilight refuses. How a writer thought that Twilight sitting there and doing nothing when her friends and subjects need her help because of some arbitrary moral code was good storytelling is anyone's guess.
      • And it's increased in the concluding issue, as she doesn't even step in when Rarity is being physically tormented right in front of her. Though at that point in the story, everything was going according to AJ's Loophole Abuse plan get past Twilight's ethics, and stepping in to protect Rarity may have tripped that plan.
    • In a couple of instances, writers themselves are the cause of Broken Base.
      • Tedly Anderson due to a highly questionable cameo and some comments he did on some forums and tumblr following the 2014 Annual. The highly polarizing 2014 Holiday Special certainly didn't help.
      • Katie Cook is seen as recently as a reason why the quality of comic declining overall, and as mentioned before, this is mostly attributed to "Reflections" and "Cattle Rustlers".
  • Cant Unhear It: Naturally, anyone who watches the show has claimed they can easily hear Tara, Andrea, Ashleigh, Tabitha, Cathy and other voice actors from the show when reading their respective characters' lines.
    • In case you need help, here is Andrea Libman reading the "Nature is so fascinating..." scene from Issue #3.
    • This can get awkward in the second Annual issue, where the Power Ponies have rather different personalities to the Mane Six.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Luna's pet opposum, Tiberius. Many have called for him to be a character in the actual show.
  • Evil Is Cool: Bronies seem to really like the idea of Rarity going evil given all the fanart of Nightmare Moon II has gotten.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Nightmare Rarity, as nicely detailed here (major spoilers, of course).
    • This was even lampshaded in the comic when Nightmarity says at one point, "I'm so hot, I should be on fire!"
  • Fanfic Fuel: We're given just enough detail about the Mirror Universe to get the fanfic authors going.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Considering the mixed reactions to the Reflections arc as noted here on this very page, it was only natural that many pretend that it didn't exist. The fact that Celestia tells the mane six to never let anypony know that this all took place helps.
    • With various details that become questionable when placed alongside Rainbow Rocks and the characterization of many of the characters (especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders), many want to forget the Holiday Special exists.
    • The "Cattle Rustlers" arc for the massive Moral Dissonance.
  • Fridge Brilliance: One of the trophies the Luna/Big Mac pair win is "Synchronized Water Polo". Polo - as applied to ponies - would be a rather apt sport (and shown true in issue #11), and horses are actually good swimmers so would take well in the water.
    • In the Sunset Shimmer short, she's seen rejecting the invitations of five unicorn mares: Moondancer, Lemon Hearts, Lyra, Minuette, and Twinkleshine. Now, considering that Celestia was trying to groom Sunset in the same way as Twilight Sparkle later, in hopes she would become a Princess, this would have also likely involved her having friends to become the Bearer of the Elements, and from this, there's a strong correlation in these five mares: Moondancer (Fluttershy), Lemon Hearts (Applejack), Lyra (Pinkie Pie), Minuette (Rainbow Dash), and Twinkleshine (Rarity), even with the brief characterization thrown in the comic.
    • Why was Trixie made an alicorn princess instead of Sunset Shimmer? Since main universe Sunset Shimmer demanded to become an alicorn princess, it would seem more likely that her mirror counterpart would instead be granted the position. That is until you realize that main universe Sunset Shimmer also fled into the Equestria Girls universe. Assuming that there is also a mirror Equestria Girls universe, mirror Sunset Shimmer probably ended up there before she could be alicornized (most likely due to mirror Celestia personally throwing her in there).
    • Issue #23 ends with a towering Opal (a result of a growth potion used to help save the town). The comic published just before this, Friends Forever #8, features AJ and Rarity visiting the largest ball of yawn in Equestria, presenting the perfect solution to a giant cat. No idea if the two teams of artists/writers colluded on this facet, but it was noticed by the fandom.
  • Fridge Horror: Luna's plan to get Spike and the Mane 6 sans Rarity to the moon is rife with this. Namely the whole "Move the moon closer" thing.note .
    • While were at it, there's also the tightrope. Let's just say they're lucky that the rope didn't break earlier.
    • In #19, Mirror!Celestia says, "If I only had more time with my other self. I could have beaten that spell to her world out of her." Prime!Celestia came back through the mirror badly beaten, but when any of the prime characters are injured, the mirror characters receive the same injuries. Is Mirror!Celestia a masochist?
      • The parallel injuries only began happening when the Mane Six were fighting Mirror!Celestia and Mirror!Luna, so it was after Mirror!Celestia beat the snot out of Prime!Celestia
    • In #9, there is a stall selling "Vigors & Plasmids", an obvious Shout-Out to BioShock... which means ADAM exists in Equestria and is perfectly legal and readily available. Let's hope Celestia regulates it more than Ryan did or ponies are more fond of vigors.
    • The Bookworm from #15-#16, after full persuasion by Twilight not to eat the books, lest he destroys reality, finally got to be the hero of his own book. Then cut to the part where Tirek destroys the whole library, and —given the sheer HSQ amount of destruction— we would cringe of the fate of the bookworm, and all of the characters with it.
    • In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Fluttershy makes Discord turn good. So with that said, what would happen if Good!Discord met Evil!Fluttershy?
      • Probably nothing: canon!Discord was redeemed because he had never had a friend before, due to his being a Jerk Ass who treated everyone like toys. Mirror!Discord is an affable, friendly, much-loved comedic superhero. What could mirror!Flutteryshy do to make him switch sides? Especially since she's nothing but a petty bullying Jerk Ass and "Captain Goodguy", even if his powers are less than his canon counterpart (similar to how mirror!Sombra is a Barrier Warrior in comparison to his Black Magic using canon counterpart), is still a superpowered individual?
  • Gateway Series: There have been reports of people - not just bronies - getting into comics period thanks to this series. The first issue was one of top 100 best selling comics in 2012. An all-ages comic doing this is good news for the industry!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • This image since the first act!
    • Celestia's statement to Twilight in season 3 finale that Star swirl "did not understand friendship like you do" comes as rather callous with the reflection arc.
    • In the IDW Holiday Special for Equestria Girls, Sunset Shimmer is the victim of cyberbullying. Yeah, about that...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This article, posted before the comic series was announced, showing fanart of the (humanized) Mane Six as pin-up superheroines, mentioning "Somewhere 'bad girl artist' J. Scott Campbell is smiling". Campbell did do a variant cover, with no Fanservice in sight!
    • In Diablo III, a unique unicorn monster found in Whimsyshire was named "Nightmarity". The name isn't used in the comic, but Rarity becomes the second Nightmare Moon.
    • The many "What If Rarity Were Evil?" fan-remixes, especially this one, are all very much Hilarious in Hindsight now.
    • The two Doctor Whooves in #7 is quite prophetic, since the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special had them together some time later.
    • Remember the hilariously bad rock performance the CMC performed to try and find their cutie marks? Shining Armor's rock ballad in #11 managed to help Vinyl Scratch gain her cutie mark just by watching it!
    • The fandom has had a knack for publishing fanart of Rarity battling giant crabs. The cliffhanger to #13 has the Mane Six being attacked by a giant crab, and Rarity in particular seems to be really panicky about it.
      • There was also an Ask Blog about Pirate Rainbow Dash. Guess which canon pony is the most eager to get her sea legs?
    • In chapter #7, Applejack and Rainbow dash wished that Daring Do was there to rescue them and the others from jail. In season 4, Daring Do is revealed to be real and Rainbow Dash rescues her.
    • In issue 17, Celestia and Starswirl travelled to an alternate universe where Dinosaurus still roam and they encountered Fluttershy Tyrannosaurus Rex counterpart, this fan comic was made a year before issue 17 was released
    • Remember Twilight nearly blasting Chrysalis to atoms in the finale of the first four issues? Cue the season four finale where we really she what she can do when she cuts loose.
    • Issue #23, the pets-only story, introduces a kelpie that has the ability to command sentient beings with the power of song, though she is apologetic for these actions once the spell is broken. This came out within the month of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks where the main villains also appear to be kelpies, able to coerce humans to enter into conflict with their siren-like song.
  • Ho Yay: In issue #25, Rarity is quite taken with Sheriff Tumbleweed's hat, which Applejack quickly points out is the same as hers. Particularly fun is that you can interpret it in two distinct ways: either Rarity is Oblivious to Love from Applejack, or they're together and Applejack suspects her eye is wandering.
  • Internet Backdraft: Tedly Anderson caused this in several forums, including IDW's own, with the revelation that he, in the 2014 "Power Ponies"-themed Annual issue canonized dragondicks, a rather polarizing figure in the fandom, known for her vocal criticisms of it, specially men in the fandom. It was aggravated when his defense was that dragondicks' work and political views are just satire.
    • Though there were initial claims that IDW had let Anderson go after finishing off two already-in-progress scripts, IDW editor Bobby Curnow has affirmed that Anderson is still on board, considered the situation a large mis-communication, though has instituted a "no OC" policy for future issues to prevent this from happening.
    • This has not stopped some fans from avoiding any issue penned by Anderson, or in some cases, to stop buying the comic outright.
    • Some have taken the 2014 Holiday EQG written by Anderson, which involves cyberbullying done by a online handle named Anon-a-Miss, as Anderson's Take That to the 4chan crowd's reaction to the 2014 Power Ponies Annual and criticism around that. Even though the Holiday issue was already in the works before the Power Ponies annual was out (based on Tony Fleecs' tweeting a work in progress from the issue). It didn't help that a majority of the plot was also based around a very polarizing episode.
  • Iron Woobie: In main series #21, it's revealed that while Trixie's reputation was already pretty bad after Boast Busters, after Magic Duel everyone thinks she's evil. Despite this, she is determined to continue performing and prove that she can be a good pony.
    • The Citizens of Wuvy-Dovey Land can be considered this. They never lose their happy and loving nature, continuing to be nice people even after the changelings destroy their town.
  • Marty Stu: Mirror!Sombra can come off like this. Celestia falls in love with him, Rarity notes how attractive he is and even Fluttershy, who (unlike Rarity) has never shown any romantic interest in anyone before, becomes weak-kneed and heart-eyed from just a single look. He outright refuses and doesn't show any indication of even considering Mirror!Celestia's offer to unite him with his true love, Celestia, because he is too noble. He's kind, affable, charming, and has yet to show any real flaw aside from his relationship with Celestia having a negative impact on his kingdom. The fact that Celestia falls so in love with him that she acts Out of Character to a ridiculous degree doesn't help with that opinion either.
    • Considering the state of the Kingdom despite having Mirror!Discord and Mirror!Queen Chrysalis, it looks like he is barely managing against the tyrant sisters.
  • Memetic Mutation: Several have become part of the fandom's image macro core image set:
    • Fluttershy's "Nature is so fascinating" line from Issue #3 has picked up a lot of mileage. The circular panel with her has been also used to create "Bad Advice Fluttershy" macros.
    • Pinkie's reaction to opening the door with the giant eyeball in #4 (replacing the eyeball with anything else)
    • Rainbow Dash's "Two Words!" at the end of #5
    • Several reaction shots from the arc of #11-12, including "Cadance laughing at your misery", "Cadance tearing up", "Cadance slyly contemplating", and "Shining trying to say 'Hello'".
    • Twilight pointing out why Cassie is Easily Forgiven to Rainbow Dash turned into a rather malicious meme where she tries to justify the actions of various villains akin to "X Did Nothing Wrong".
  • Overshadowed By Controversy: Bring up the 2014 annual, and all you'll hear about is the entire mess involving the issue's writer and his choice of fan OC to include in the background. This also has applied to any issue following this that Anderson is the writer on, with some readers simply refusing to acknowledge the issue due to Anderson's writing, despite the praise others might give it.
  • Pandering to the Base: The comics are obviously aimed at the older brony fandom than the kid audience the show is intended for. The stories are darker and more mature, as well as featuring elements the fandom loves over the Slice of Life plots of the show, references to death are not uncommon, and there are many nods to the fans in the background scenery.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Angel saves the whole town, which he'll never get any recognition for. We can probably consider his Scrappy moments paid back in full after this.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: In the "Reflections" arc. The premise of an alternate universe with evil versions of the cast and good versions of the villains quickly takes a backseat to Celestia's relationship with an alt version of Sombra.
  • Seasonal Rot: Katie Cook's later story arcs haven't been as well received as The Return of Queen Chrysalis or her Slice of Life stories. The quality in general seems to have dropped once Heather Nuhfer left to work on other projects.
  • The Scrappy: Twilight Sparkle, if you can believe it, in The Good, The Bad, and The Ponies. It seems that with the comics' more action-oriented stories, the only way they can think to avoid having Twilight's magic become a Story-Breaker Power or her status as Princess to solve any social problem is to make her Lawful Stupid and arbitrarily refuse to use it because of some rule the writer just made up.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The 2014 Equestria Girls Holiday Special is not exactly subtle about the dangers of cyber-bullying... but that's probably for the best.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Played for Laughs with Wuvy-Dovey Land.
  • Ugly Cute: Jim the Cave Troll. Sure he's a hulking brute who could easily crush a pony if he wanted to, but he's so innocent and carefree it's hard not to see him as anything other than the softie he really is. And he genuinely did love the Mane Six's company.
    • The uncorrupted moon bunny in Issue #7. Fluttershy certainly thinks so.
  • Uncanny Valley: Issue #1's SUB cover by Jill Thompson. The mouths just look wrong.
    • The costumes that Pinkie carries around.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Its promoted as an all-ages comic, though the series thus far has been a little darker than one would expect from a series where most of the covers feature cute, colorful ponies.
  • The Woobie: Luna on Andy Price's variant of #8.
    • Rarity is very sympathetic in the Nightmares arc, especially when it's revealed that she has self-esteem issues because she fears that her friends will abandon her because they find her useless. Fortunately, her friends convinced her otherwise at the end.
    • Spike during Nightmare Rarity's dream sequence at the end of #7.
    • Princess Celestia, as a result of the Sunset Shimmer short.
      • She's either this or Jerkass Woobie in the "Reflection" arc where she ignore Starswirl's warning to see her lover King Sombra which ultimately causes her to be separated from her mentor then her lover.
    • Sunset Shimmer in the Holiday Special where she gets framed for being Anon-a-Miss, a person posting secrets on Mystable, gets rejected by the Humane five and once again becomes the most hated student in Canterlot High. Post-Heel-Face Turn Sunset Shimmer can't catch a break!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The "Reflections" arc. A lot of fans were really excited at the prospect of getting to see a mirror universe with evil versions of the mane cast and good versions of the bad guys. Unfortunately, the bulk of the arc ended up revolving around Celestia's relationship with alt!Sombra. The alternate versions of the Mane Six get very little screentime, leading a lot of readers to feel that the alternate universe premise was wasted even amongst who genuinely liked parts of the arc.
    • This is even directly referenced in the final issue's postscript page, where the alternate Mane Six wonder if they should have been more involved in the story, though some regarded that more as a Take That, Audience! moment.