YMMV / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S2 E8 "The Mysterious Mare Do Well"

  • Accidental Aesop: The episode's events easily support a decent aesop about acting responsibly in a crisis - Rainbow repeatedly put lives in danger by putting her showboating before doing anything to help, which Mare-Do-Well avoided. Unfortunately, the dialogue/the episode's inability to have Dash learn the lesson herself really don't support it, hence a lot of the complaints.
  • Accidental Innuendo: When Rainbow Dash pulls in Applejack for a photo opportunity, the positioning of the mouths and Applejack's reaction afterwards suggests something a bit more than being pulled into shot, which the fandom has noticed.
  • Broken Base: Even to this day, fans are bitterly divided over loving this episode or hating it, and all of it revolving around how the actions of Rainbow Dash and the Mane Six are interpreted.
    • Mare-Do-Well (who is secretly five of the Mane Six) was either showing Rainbow Dash what a real hero was supposed to be like in the hopes of making her change her ways and saving ponies that Rainbow Dash would have been unable to save on her own, with the disguise as a way of showing her humility, or made a piss poor attempt at teaching Dash anything, instead presenting her with an unbeatable rival and egging her on to dangerous and embarrassing actions, with the disguise as a cowardly and dishonest way of hiding from Dash.
    • Rainbow Dash was either doing good deeds all over Ponyville, acting as a real hero, and basking in much-deserved praise from the citizens, then driven to despair and abandoned by even her most loyal fans because she came across as looking pathetic compared to Mare-Do-Well, or was bragging way too much to the point that it was endangering other ponies, embarrassed herself and ruined her own reputation through nopony's fault except her own, and was too stupid to pick up on the lesson that Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until she had it spelled out at the end of the episode.
    • Dash's friends were either having some good-natured fun among themselves and dropping hints to Dash that she would be happier and more successful if she just improved her attitude and acted more like Mare-Do-Well (i.e. humbly and without showboating), or were cruelly mocking Dash and her misfortunes while hypocritically praising Mare-Do-Well (i.e. themselves), fully aware that attacking Dash's competitive personality this way would only cause her grief. Still a third group takes it as them dropping hints and wanting her to put two and two together.
    • When Dash confronted Mare Do Well, she ran off into a series of back alleys. Either Mare Do Well was luring Dash away from the crowd so that the Mane Six could talk to Dash in private and spare her any further humilation, or Mare Do Well was genuinely trying to get away from any confrontation so that she would not be humiliated herself.
  • Counterpart Comparison: More than a few fans have compared the Mysterious Mare-Do-Well to South Park's Mysterion. Both of them end up stealing the thunder of characters who enjoy the limelight of being the hero, have similar color choices for the costume, and ultimately turn out to be one of the main characters. Heck, they both have the word "Mystery" in their name.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, this episode never happened.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Pinkie Pie says that "the only thing that should be rubbed in anypony's face is chocolate cake". Guess what happens three episodes later during the birthday party.
  • Idiot Plot: The episodes entire plot hinges around the Mane Six never directly confronting Rainbow about her boasting until the very end and Dash herself being incapable of figuring out what it means to be a real hero until it has to be spelled out for her.
  • Internet Backdraft: Mentioning this episode can lead to year-long flame wars, even on this very wiki.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Rainbow Dash upon savoring her popularity becomes an egotistical ass and vents a lot of spite towards Mare Do-Well for taking it away. As her attempts to gain credibility get more and more pathetic however, you can't help but feel even a little bit sorry for her. After all, she's just trying to be a hero.
  • Les Yay: There's a possible Rainbow Dash and Applejack shipping here.
  • Never Live It Down: This was the first episode written by Merriwether Williams, who still hasn't escaped a reputation as the show's worst writer despite several of her later episodes being better received. See especially the episode "Bats!", which was universally loved...until it was revealed the writing credit was a mistake, and it was actually Williams.
  • The Scrappy: Depending on who you ask, this status is handed generously to either Rainbow Dash or the rest of the Mane Cast.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While it’s mostly because of jealously, Rainbow’s comment about Mare Do Well somehow being able to know things before they happen and implying that the latter is intentionally setting up these accidents to pretend to save others, isn’t completely unreasonable. Mare Do Well is an unknown masked vigilante who only recently showed up in Ponyville. She always has the skills or knows exactly what to do to fix the problem at hand, never says a word to anyone and is always quick to leave the scene.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In this episode, we finally get to see a pony baby... and it is ADORABLE!
  • Uncanny Valley: The aforementioned pony baby could also invoke this trope.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Rainbow Dash tends to be favorably viewed in this episode by a lot of the audience. She saved several ponies' lives at the beginning of the episode without any expectation of reward, and only let her pride go to her head as a result of the townsponies heaping overwhelming praise on her. Later, as her arrogance began to hamper her attempts at heroism, Rainbow still tried to save people and failed more because she lacked the skills to handle every emergency on her own rather than because she was too boastful. When she tried to regain her reputation through ill-planned but still genuine efforts at being helpful, she got beat up by Granny Smith, then mocked and insulted by the entire town, all for trivial reasons. She then went into a depression, which none of her friends (except possibly Scootaloo) bothered to notice and help her with. Instead the whole town focused on praising Mare-Do-Well, who by this point was the prime source of Rainbow's confidence issues. For many people, this gives the impression the episode is fine with pinning everything bad that happened on Rainbow Dash, even when it appears the townspeople and her friends at least share part of the blame for either ignoring or exacerbating Rainbow's attention-seeking problems.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy tend to be unfavorably viewed in this episode by a lot of the audience. While they at least saved several ponies' lives as Mare-Do-Well, they were never shown just talking to Rainbow Dash and explaining their concerns about her boasting being a problem, and instead jumped straight into a plan to deflate Rainbow's ego by mercilessly beating her at something she took great personal pride in. Their actions were very thoughtless and hurtful, actually making Rainbow's behavior much worse, and they didn't let up even when it was clear that their friend wasn't reacting well, even deliberately mocking her as being jealous, all of which made them seem like jerks. In the Sugarcube Corner scene, Applejack talked about how modest and humble Mare-Do-Well is, while she and the others bragged about their own accomplishments as the masked heroine, making them all look like massive Hypocrites. They directly confronted Rainbow about her bragging problems only after she discovered Mare-Do-Well's identity, leaving them with no option but to come clean. For many people, this gives the impression that the other Mane Six just wanted to bring down Dash because of envy at the attention she was getting, and that they failed to think through the effects their plan would have on Rainbow's attitude and only succeeded in making things worse.

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