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, fraud and entrapment, 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 lives, and having no provisions to deal with dangerously violent criminals.
    • The Deer in the Root of the Problem arc. It's hard to tell if the forest is attacking Ponyville and Canterlot autonomously, or if the Deer deliberately steered the new growth towards who we know to be innocent people. Combine this with Fantastic Racism, some interpret them as ecoterrorists at best, and militaristic warmongers looking for an excuse to invade at worst.
  • 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.
  • Anvilicious: "Root of the Problem" features just as heavy-handed a Green Aesop as any similar '90s kids film you could name, complete with the Mane Six being inexplicably eager to knock down trees to solve their problems so they can get lectured by the deer and a villain right out of Captain Planet.
  • 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.
    • After the 2014 Holiday special was heavily criticized for a controversial cyber-bulling plot that left little to do with the holidays, the 2015 one opted to focus entirely on Lighter and Softer Christmas fluff.
  • Badass Decay: Played with. While Chrysalis is still a powerful enemy and a dangerous threat to Equestria, the comics portray her as much more comical than in the show, to the point she can be downright silly at times. This has the side-effect of making her seem less menacing, in contrast to the events of "A Canterlot Wedding."
  • Base Breaker:
    • Princess Celestia in the reflections arc (issues #17-20). For some, her actions have 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. Wether her willingness to sacrifice herself to fix this and losing Mirror Sombra (who took her place) as consequence redeemed her is hotly debated.
    • 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.
  • Broken Base:
    • The quality of the comic; some enjoy it for its World Building and having stories and content the show itself wouldn't dare try to get away with, while others describe them as poorly written fanfiction. Numerous differences in characterization, a different tone from the show, and the extremely heavy-handed references (both to the fandom and other media) don't help matters.
    • 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, feeling it cheapens her Start of Darkness. There's a Hand Wave that it's More Than Mind Control, so Luna's fall to darkness could still be in part because she was corrupted by her own dark emotions, and thus leave the tragedy intact. Whether it does so or not is a matter of debate.
    • The first Annual issue showing more of pre-redemption Sunset Shimmer also got this. While appreciated for giving her much-desired backstory, it showed her being just as unsympathetic as in Equestria Girls, disappointing those who hoped she would be given a Freudian Excuse or reason to believe her Heel–Face Turn was real or deserved. The 2014 Holiday Specials focus on Sunset having to further prove her reformation came off as an attempt to address that, but created its own debate regarding whether or not her treatment during it was justified.
    • The Reflections Arc. Some like Celestia's romance with Mirror Sombra, others feel it was a case of Strangled by the Red String due to being poorly written, or that romance shouldn't be in the series. Some loved the ending as a tragic end to the romance, others cried it was a Deus ex Machina and seems to be an inter-dimensional invoking of Status Quo Is God. There's also the Mane Six being 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, with the alternate incarnations of characters beyond Sombra, Luna and Celestia only being inconsequential cameos. There are also fans that thought the first issues were fine, but the final issue was an Anti-Climax and wraps up with no significant Character Development for Celestia and the mentioned Deus ex Machina ending.
    • 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, with claims of self-defense being debatable.
    • Writer Ted Anderson became this 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. On the other hand, the Manehattan Mysteries arc and the Micro and Friends Forever issues he has written were generally liked.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Lockout: The later comics aren't really kind to newcomers as it already assumes your familiar with the characters of the TV show, thus it doesn't bother explaining canon material outside of small nods.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • The Nightmare Arc (Issues 5-8) was this to the first arc for having more drama and action at the expense of humor and characterization, and the Retcon to Nightmare Moon's origins. If this makes it better or worse is largely a matter of personal taste.
    • The Siege of the Crystal Empire Arc is this to Fiendship is Magic: King Sombra. While it does continue Sombra's storyline with Radiant Hope and many readers enjoy it for that, it also partakes in... questionable interpretations of several members of the Villain Team-Up that turned off many other readers and even many who liked the story were left scratching their heads over. Whether it's good or bad seems to be up to how hard one finds the latter issues to swallow.
  • Designated Hero: King Aspen in Issues 27-28. He claims that the reason Ponyville is being torn up by vines from the forest is because a construction company of ponies and minotaurs are tearing down trees to build an amusement park, and they must replant the forest away from the development site to replace the many animal homes being lost; any pony homes destroyed in the process is simply Laser-Guided Karma. He's not in the right, but you can understand his position... until the final panels show the forest's vines have reached Canterlot, and tied up Celestia and Luna and hung them from a tower. At this point he passes Disproportionate Retribution and straight into self-righteous hypocrisy. The blatant Fantastic Racism of the deer as a whole does not help. There's a reason some people interpret him as an ecoterrorist. And it doesn't help that there are comparisons to elves.
    • Twilight Sparkle in the Cattle Rustlers arc. She repeatedly refuses to help her friends and subjects due to a dumb moral code she never had before, even as they are being beaten up by Longhorn and his gang. She eventually does give in, but only after Longhorn destroys a historical landmark. Twilight thus comes off as caring more about historical landmarks then the well-being and safety of her friends and subjects, yet the story still treats her as the good guy.
  • Dork Age: Entered one during the "Reflections" arc (where in it is debated), it and the stories since have ranged from average to criticized to the point fans reject its existence. Note that this was toward the end of Season 4, which ended the shows own age it entered in Season 3, when the comics debuted, making its current shortcomings stand out more.
    • Alternatively, some point to the Cattle Rustlers arc as the start of Dork Age as the issues between that arc and Reflections ranged from good to average, whereas every issue from the Cattle Rustlers arc onward have met much criticism.
  • Eight Deadly Words: Between the purely unlikeable villain, the Deers hypocrisy squandering what sympathy they had, and the Ponies failing to call the latter out or do anything useful on their own, many wrote off "Root of the Problem" by part 1. While the finale had significant criticisms, it failed to cause the backlash the writers previous Story Arcs did, likely because readers had stopped caring one way or another.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • While the Retcon to Nightmare Moons nature has been mixed, her latest incarnation, Nightmare Rarity, is easily the most popular thing to come out of the comics, impressive given she only appears halfway through her story and is a huge spoiler. Helping is that she has a cool, attractive character design, is savvy enough to know it and pose a serious threat despite lacking her previous incarnations power, and some of the comics most epic and emotional moments came out of her confrontation.
    • Luna's pet opossum, Tiberius. Many have called for him to be a character in the actual show.
    • Mirror Sombra was generally well received for being Tall, Dark and Handsome, having better development then most of the characters originating from the comic, plausible romantic chemistry with Celestia and getting a emotional powerful heroic sacrifice.
    • Despite being an Advertised Extra, Mirror Chrysalis has gotten a lot of love for her adorable, and being comically/brilliantly opposite to her already darkhorse main universe self.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The 2014 Holiday Special seemed to end happy, but between the Happy Ending Override it pulled on Rainbow Rocks, Fridge Horror at how fragile Sunset Shimmers forgiveness was, and no evidence that this couldn't happen again, not many readers bought it.
  • 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.
    • The 2014 Holiday Special for the same reasons as A Canterlot Wedding, criticisms of the The Mane 5 abandoning their friend with little second thought and with hotly debated justification, and their lack of apology afterward.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some fans of the show view the comic as such for its discrepancies in tone, continuity, and characterization. Even those who accept it (or parts of it) tend to be dismissive of the following:
  • Franchise Original Sin: The first story arc cause some Broken Base over being Darker and Edgier, with the next arc getting it worse for being more so, but were both well received. Later stories were criticized for objectionable means (like having The Princess of Friendship unwilling to help when her friends were threatened, foes arbitrarily immune to her magic when she was) to enable such conflict. Note that the Lighter and Softer issues and spinoffs have had less criticism.
    • The Reflections Arc was criticized for a Deus ex Machina ending. This was also present in the Nightmare Arc, but had the buildup for the story live up to its potential and leave an emotionally satisfying ending. Refections had it come more out of the blue and abruptly ended the story before it could do what fans hoped for.
    • Luna's characterization under writer Katie Cook was a Base Breaker over being at odds with canon, but was entertaining and funny enough to be enjoyed. Her take on Celestia in "Reflections" received greater criticism for this, at least it was given an explanation, and she clearly regretted it and sought to fix the damage it caused. Such was not present with Twilight Sparkle in the "Cattle Rustlers" arc, at which point criticism of her writing began to outweigh praise.
    • Having different writers has led to continuity discrepancies (like the appearance of Daring Do clashing with her being shown to be Real After All) which were understandable and minor enough as to not interfere with enjoyment. The 2014 Holiday Special seemed written pre Rainbow Rocks, and had Sunset Shimmer mistreated in a way that would have been understandable given her past, but a detail (Sunset's journal) showing it was post (when she's proven her reformation) made her persecutors Unintentionally Unsympathetic and the story detested.
      • It also gets criticized for plot points that were handled better in "A Canterlot Wedding" (the Mane 5 abandoning their friend was payed off with an epic villain, action, and they realized their mistake), and "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils" (one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders being a Green-Eyed Monster, but was potrayed sympathetically enough that her forgiveness received no complaints).
  • 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:
  • 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 this 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 Dinosaurs still roam and they encountered Fluttershy's 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 see 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.
    • The portrayal of the deer in "Root of the Problem" is remarkably similar to how they were in the highly popular fanfic It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door. And they were just as unpopular there, too.
      • Related to the deer is their role as rulers of the Everfree Forest. People have drawn comparisons to the 4th season premiere where the Forest attacked before, and that episode's own HiH has comparisons to a show airing at the time the episode premiered. With this, comparisons to The Overlords can be made.
    • Issue #33 opens with a crazed Fluttershy restrained à la Hannibal Lecter, stay out of her shed, anyone?
    • Twilight Sparkles name has been compared to a certain vampire series; Word of God on the matter being "It passed legal." The above issue has her turn into the vampire "Twilight Sparkling". So there's no doubt it's intentional...
      Apple: Who are you?
      Twilight: Twilight. Sparkling. Vampire. Hmmm. Those sound good together.
    • Siege of the Crystal Empire was criticized for the excessively evil characterizations of Flim and Flam. Come the Season 5 finale, it's revealed they caused a Bad Future worse than Sombra's or Chrysalis', causing one to second guess if it wasn't on to something.
  • 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.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Reflections was looked forward to as a Mirror Universe conflict that could have been its most epic story to date. This... had little to nothing to do with the story we got. The failure to live up to the covers hinted to caused damage to the comic series reputation it has yet to live down.
    • The 2013 Annual wasn't received well, but neither was Equestria Girls, which it was a prequel to, so it wasn't that disappointing. Coming after the EG series Growing the Beard of Rainbow Rocks, the 2014 Holiday Special was met with very much disappointment.
  • Idiot Plot: "Root of the Problem" would be over in one page, if it ever happened at all, if any of the characters acted intelligent for just a moment. King Aspen could have sent an envoy to meet with Celestia and Luna in person; Celestia and Luna themselves could visit in person; Twilight could have used her powers and authority as Princess. Instead the ponies are completely useless to do anything while the deer jump straight to eco-terrorism without any regard for the chaos they cause. Further, the resolution of the conflict (the deer just invade the construction site and kick Well-To-Do and his workers out) could have been done at the start of it all without the need to attack Ponyville.
  • Internet Backdraft: Ted 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.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks: Many feel the real reason the Kelpie got of so absurdly easily in issue #23 is because there wasn't enough pages left in the story to deal with her better. The following issue, while lacking stand out criticism, wasn't long enough to give Discords time-travel shenanigans what fans felt was justice.
  • 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".
  • Misblamed: Much of the problems people had with the Siege of the Crystal Empire arc were not entirely Jeremy Whitley's fault; the arc underwent heavy Executive Meddling from both Hasbro (who gave him an extremely small list of villains he could use for the Villain Team-Up, forcing him to complete rewrite things several times) and higher-ups at IDW (doing a Villain Team-Up to begin with, and forcing the arc to be only 4 issues, leading to rushed pacing and several parts with members of the Villain Team-Up getting cut from the final issue). That doesn't excuse some of the other problems people had with it, but Whitley was hardly the only one responsible.
  • MST3K Mantra: Amending Fences Shows Twilight Sparkle was friends with the same five ponies Sunset Shimmer rejected in her origin story, furthering the noted Fridge Brilliance in it's foreshadowing their deferent fates. That the five have an age discrepancy between the stories that can only be explained by retcon, why let that stop you from enjoying the thematic brilliance, especially since the show retcons it's own continuity (their ages shown in flashbacks in The Cuite Mark Chronicles to make it work. However, it's still very likely that the portal simply has bizarre space-time effects.
  • Narm: In issue 34, when Radiant Hope uses a really powerful healing spell to revitalize King Sombra, that appears very intense and painful. However, it's hard to take it seriously when Sombra starts yelling "The pain!"
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Twilight Sparkles Lawful Stupidity in the "Cattle Rustlers" arc, despite being a one-off thing that the comic otherwise manages to avoid.
    • The human Cutie Mark Crusaders nearly destroying Sunset Shimmer's reputation in the 2014 Holiday Special. That they regretted their actions such they confessed without prompt, and the six months of detention they received being the harshest any remorseful character has received in the MLP franchise proving all too easy to overlook.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Many feel this about Iron Will in Issue 34. Not only is he suddenly a villain (something he'd never been before), he physically subdues ponies and proudly steals the Crystal Heart. This is on top of teaming with Queen Chrysalis, who is a wanted criminal who'd be serving a thousand years in a maximum security prison if she hadn't escaped, which would ruin any credibility he has as a motivational speaker. Gets worse in Issue 35 were he teams up with King Sombra and helps imprison Applejack. When he actually shows regret, he inexplicably vanished, losing the chance to redeem himself.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Given all the criticism the Deer received in "Root of the Problem", many readers wound up rooting for the villain, Well-To-Do, if for no other reason then to screw them over. They wonder why the ponies didn't, given the Deer proved no better and they would have gotten an Amusement Park out of the deal otherwise.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Cassie the Kelpie, starting from how overpowered her ability to brainwash all of Ponyville (including the Mane 6) was, and ending with her getting away scots-free once "defeated" and she explained her motives, without getting called out for not doing so sooner. That she debuted around the same time as the Dazzlings, whom had the same, but weaker, powers, and proved more likable in spite of (or because of) their being eviler made Cassie come off as shallow and undeserving of how well off the story put her.
    • 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. Her road to scrappydom began an issue or two earlier with her forgiveness to the Kelpie, which was at least in-character, more then can be said here. Worse, this had an easy, obvious fix of writing her out of the story like Spike was, one has to wonder if her presence was forced.
    • King Aspen and the deer in general. See Unintentionally Unsympathetic and Designated Hero for why they're massively hated.
    • Radiant Hope is a rare example where an Ensemble Darkhorse becomes this. In Sombra's Fiendship, she was regarded as a fan favorite and had some decent amount of fan art. Then the story picks up in the Crystal Empire invasion storyline, where starts recruiting villains of various shades of evil (including someone who isn't even a villain) to go invade the Crystal Empire and revive Sombra, all under the assumption that he's still the good, kind-hearted pony he once was. However, #36 upgraded her to Base Breaker, revealing she had expected to "deal with" Chrysalis, implying she wasn't really intending to sell her people out, gets a harsh wake-up call regarding the Umbrum's manipulation of her, and even used her status as Sombra's Morality Pet to successfully convince him to redeem himself and save the day. This can't be said for Flim, Flam, Iron Will and Lightning Dust, who vanish from the story before doing anything the changelings couldn't have, so there was no point to all the controversy their actions caused.
  • 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. However one has to keep in mind that in the middle of these, she recently had a child plus is still drawing her own series, Gronk (which likewise has recently started publication in comics) and thus likely was not able to focus on her storylines like she used to. The quality in general seems to have dropped once Heather Nuhfer left to work on other projects.
  • Snark Bait: The only reason many fans acknowledge the "Cattle Rustlers" and "The Root of the Problem" arcs are for the sake of ridiculing how poorly they turned out, they don't exist to them otherwise.
  • 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.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The "Siege of the Crystal Empire" Arc got this for some because of the preview showing Iron Will being part of the Villain Team-Up, something many consider completely out of character for someone who, until now, has never once had an actual negative confrontation with the mane six or any villainous status at all, as well as his reason (ponies not fearing Minotaurs anymore) having never been a factor with his character in any of his previous appearances. However, it's downplayed as he manages to be something of the Token Good Teammate, especially when rather gently subduing Applejack.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In the climax of "The Root of the Problem", Well-to-Do uses Bramble as leverage to force Aspen to become a humiliating mascot at the amusement park.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Played for Laughs with Wuvy-Dovey Land.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
  • 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.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Many readers wound up agreeing with Rainbow Dash's objection to how Easily Forgiven Cassie the Kelpie was, since her "helping her friends" involved brainwashing the town into nearly destroying itself without showing remorse for or explaining why she didn't just ask for their help.
    • Despite solid looking evidence of her wrongdoing, the Humane 5 turning on Sunset Shimmer makes them this for not questioning why she'd do it (it's post "Rainbow Rocks", so there's no more room for doubt she's reformed). That they forgave the human Cutie Mark Crusaders after they confessed to framing her out of jealousy as opposed to apologize to Sunset sunk what remained. Worse is that many found the CMC to also be this in spite of their guilt, since they continued to act against Sunset after breaking them up for no clear reason, lacked what made their pony selfs sympathetic in similar situations, and only faced consequences offscreen compared to what Sunset was shown to have gone through due to their actions.
    • What sympathy the deer had for having their forest home demolished, they squandered by invading Ponyville and Canterlot despite their having nothing to do with and being sympathetic to their plight, plus their thinking too little of ponykind to care much.
  • Vindicated by History: The Nightmare Arc (Issues 5-8) was controversial when it came out, but future issues were even more so, with criticisms this arc adequately contained, meaning it's now viewed as one of the comics best stories. Helping is that it's biggest criticism ([Fan-Disliked Explanation the nature of the Nightmare Forces and their relation to Nightmare Moon]]) was retconned into something more palatable in Fiendship Is Magic.
  • 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 ignores 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!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW