YMMV / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S3 E5 "Magic Duel"

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Trixie retroactively justified in revenge by what happened to her as a consequence of her actions in "Boast Busters", or is she upgraded from Designated Villain to actual villain due to Twilight being the source of blame but not really causing any of it to begin with? Trixie's cart was crushed because she boasted about taking on an Ursa Major causing Snips and Snails to bring one to Ponyville which destroyed her cart, but Trixie blames Twilight and grabs an evil power-increasing amulet because she saved the town but Trixie saw it as her showing her up and damaging her ego.
  • Author's Saving Throw: This episode addresses Trixie being a Designated Villain in her debut, showing how excessive the consequences she faced were, and, due to how much worse she was under the Alicorn Amulets influence and her regret afterwards, showed she wasn't really that bad.
  • Broken Base: Fandom opinion over the treatment of Snips and Snails in this episode is sharply divided. Was Trixie's handling of them over what happened the last time we saw her justified or did she go too far in mistreating her biggest fans?
  • Designated Villain: Deconstructed. Trixie not only calls out the town for what happened to her in her original appearance but also points out she lost everything thanks to what happened in Ponyville. Ironically, she ends up as the Big Bad for that episode, having obtained - against the shopkeeper's own advice - the magic mind-control amulet for revenge in the first place. Even the others admit she wasn't that bad beforehand and help bring her back to her senses for her own sake as much as for their's.
  • Fanfic Fuel
    • The redeemed and nice Trixie will surely become more prominent than she already is now that it has become canon.
    • There's an Amplifier Artifact that can make a relative weakling like Trixie so powerful she outstrips the pre-ascension Twilight, but slowly corrupts the user to evil. Where did it come from, how was it made, how did Trixie find out about it? And it's now sitting in Zecora's hut where one of the cast could retrieve it and use it in a dire situation, or a villain could steal it? The Alicorn Amulet is a tanker truck of fanfic fuel all by itself.
    • The existence of an age modification spell lends itself to so many stories, even if only ponies like Celestia are powerful enough to use them.
      • While there's no confirmed Rule 63 spell, the possibility one might exist is prime for fanfic (not that there aren't already numerous Rule 63 works out there).
    • Saddle Arabia and its inhabitants.
    • Trixie knows Pinkie Pie's dad now!
    • Zecora unambiguously has magical powers of her own.
  • Foe Yay: Not that fans didn't have a reason to ship Twilight with Trixie, but now the shippers have some genuine shipping fuel. "I can't stop thinking about Trixie!"
  • Genius Bonus: Another episode, another reference to Hermeticism. Twilight's pose at the end, with the infinity symbol overhead, resembles the Magician tarot card sometimes associated with Hermes Trismegistus. The "light within" from the Crystal Empire, known most commonly as "the Absolute" or "the Monad", is also called "the Infinite" in some traditions. Guess what happens when Twilight summons the infinity symbol? She has pure white light bursting from hernote . What do the myths state about Hermes Trismegistus? He leads things (especially the Fool) out of the darkness and into the light.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Everything about this trailer for the Gameloft mobile game. Apparently, she traded her iPad for Evil Magic, but can you get apps on it?
      • "I heard she told a few ponies she was going to remake Ponyville!"
    • On a Cross and Arrow was a fanfic about the mane six meeting their colt counterparts. In this episode, one of the "magic tricks" that Twilight does is turn Applejack into a stallion. It was really just Big Macintosh painted in Applejack's colours, which is what that story's version of male Applejack looked like (while the other five had regular stallion proportions).
    • Shortly before season 3 started, there was this fancomic where Twilight pulls off the exact same age changing trick.
    • Lauren Faust had intended for Zecora to be Twilight's mentor in Ponyville. Guess what happens in this episode?
    • Previews for the season stated, "One unicorn will learn her destiny!" over a clip from this episode, which has Twilight walking on water....
    • Fluttershy's blind bag toy was a Palette Swap version of Rainbow Dash. In this episode, she dressed up as Rainbow Dash.
    • Three seasons later, Starlight Glimmer invents a real duplication spell.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Trixie, who became a laughingstock with a ruined livelihood thanks to two over-zealous, hype-testing fans. While it doesn't justify her actions, it's hard to blame her for being bitter over that.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: People not fond of Trixie since Boast Busters have warmed up to her by the end of this episode, due to her more sympathetic, fleshed-out, portrayal.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Snips and Snails get their just desserts when they are abused by Trixie, whose cart they ended up wrecking through their own stupidity in her first appearance.
  • The Woobie: On the other hand, if you realize that Snips and Snails were Trixie's strongest supporters and admirers in "Boast Busters", it's a little sad to see them being cruelly tormented by their former idol purely For the Evulz over what they tried to do to help her.

Bow before the Great and Powerful mane article HERE