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YMMV: MLP: Friendship Is Magic S3 E11 "Keep Calm and Flutter On"

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Was Fluttershy pulling a Xanatos Gambit by assuming her loyalty to Celestia trumped her promise to Discord and she would have used her Element on him if he didn't reform?
    • Did Fluttershy really want to become Discord's friend or was she manipulating him to get what she wanted? Consider the line, "I'm just trying to gain his friendship any way I can so that he'll trust and listen to me!"
    • On a lighter note, does Celestia really have a use for Discord's powers? Or was she just using that as an excuse to try and reform him? (the season 4 finale confirms it's the former.)
    • On the other hand, did Discord really reform and turn for the better or did he fake his redemption the entire time so he could cause more chaos and mayhem for the fun of it? Season 4 splits the difference: he really does value Fluttershy's friendship, enough to not turn back to evil when the threat of losing it is literally the only thing stopping him when the Mane Six are forced to give up the Elements, but that doesn't mean his Karmic Trickster persona has changed at all.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
  • Broken Base:
    • The idea of an episode reforming a big-name villain like Discord had already split the fandom since the synopsis was first released. Upon viewing the episode, many felt that the ending was rushed, but fans are split on whether that ruined the episode or not.
    • Another complaint is that Celestia decides to redeem Discord because she found some use for his magic. Seeing as Discord is one of the few things Celestia will readily admit to being scared of, this is jarring. It might have been understable if she said what that use was but still, releasing Discord is a Godzilla Threshold level resort.
    • Is this a good lesson? How often has playing nice reformed Real Life enemies? On the other hoof, would it have been a good lesson not to reform him? There's no easy answer.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Now that reformed Discord is officially canon, it should be useful to fanfic writers.
    • Celestia said she found a use for Discord's magic, hence why she went about trying to get him reformed. Fanfic writers should have a field day working out whatever that use may be.
      • And Discord/Celestia shippers have their own ideas on why she wanted him reformed...
  • Fridge Horror: Can also count as a Family-Unfriendly Aesop; "If you're kind and friendly enough to a Jerk Ass, then that person might someday be friends with you" goes the tragic mantra of abuse victims.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Every fanbase has their fanfics about reforming major villains, and it's now canon for Discord. Coincidentally, one of them had Fluttershy be the redeemer.
    • Discord's last statement before being frozen again in "The Return of Harmony" was a sarcastic "Friend me". That's Fluttershy's plan this episode and it works. Discord even admits that Friendship is Magic. He also sarcastically states in "The Return of Harmony" that "maybe the magic of friendship can help you."
    • Fan videos involving Discord singing "You're Only Second Rate" are now all the more humorous at the lyric "Granny's gonna grab ya."
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : A lot of bronies complain that the episode was rushed and needed to be fleshed out more, as seen in the Broken Base example.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Discord, of all people, when he realizes how much Fluttershy's friendship really meant to him.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Although Discord gets one or two good shots in at each of the ponies, he gets about a dozen on Angel mostly in the background. It's never noticed by the characters, Angel never gets a shot back, and fans everywhere cheered.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Not the whole reformation plotline, mind you, but some fans were hoping to learn about Discord's origins or see him interact with Celestia again and felt let down that the episode was entirely focused on Discord and Fluttershy.
    • With regard to the episode itself, some were expecting to see Discord try juggling his usual chaos while still being Fluttershy's friend, perhaps trying to convert her to his way of life, but the story comes to an abrupt end instead of going anywhere with that.
  • Vindicated by History: Some of the flak toward the episode softened when the "Princess Twilight Sparkle" two parter showed that just because Discord is officially reformed, doesn't mean he's been nerfed in any fashion.
    • As of the Series 4 finale, we now know why Celestia wanted Discord reformed. That probably helps too.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Fluttershy's cottage rotating in midair so that everything is constantly sliding around. The attention to detail is stunning.

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