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YMMV: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

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    Storyline and Aesop reactions/interpretations 
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • "Winter Wrap Up" seems to have the message "If you have no talent, and are good at nothing, go into management" (or "managers are incompetent at everything except bossing people around"), even though Twilight wound up the All-Team Organizer because she actually is good at getting things organized (and everypony else stinks at it).
    • "Suited for Success" provides the explicit moral of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and the implicit moral of "if you hire a professional to do a job, let THEM do the job they're paid for."
    • "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was interpreted by many as the triumph of religious dogma over skepticism. According to Lauren Faust, this was totally unintentional, and she was a little freaked out when folks on DeviantArt started complaining about it.
    • The moral of "The Show Stoppers" was probably intended to be "Be Yourself, and embrace your natural talents," but to some fans it came off as "Don't waste your time trying new things. Just stick to what you're good at, even if you hate it." Or maybe that things you do in your spare time for fun are most likely to be the things you're really good at.
    • "A Dog and Pony Show":
      • It can be misinterpreted as "Whining will make everyone bend to your whims!" Or alternatively, "If someone accuses you of whining, pull the Rarity card!"
      • Also, "Just ignore it when your friend gets kidnapped; they can probably handle themselves." Actually averted since they DID manage to come to her aid eventually.
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles" is about "be patient and be yourself and you'll learn who you are", and "Sweet and Elite" is about "don't be ashamed of where you come from" but both have the sub-lesson of "city people are shallow, snobby, and sneer down their noses at anything outside their experience, so don't let their opinions sway you."
    • "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Lesson Zero" both have "if you blow off your friend's concerns/feelings/freakouts, it will cause more trouble", which apparently means Aesop Amnesia as Twilight learned it in the first and then freaked out in the second.
    • "Lesson Zero":
      • Celestia's amendment at the end sort of turns the moral into "if your friend has a psychotic breakdown, you're obligated to share her homework load. Even if you don't go to school." It may also be interpreted as "you will take OCD seriously, or terrible things will happen."
      • The episode also has the lesson the CMC should've learned: "If someone offers you something you really don't want, you can politely turn it down and not trying to dance around avoiding accepting it to avoid hurt feelings. Honesty is the best policy."
    • The moral of "Cutie Pox" is about having patience and that good things come to those who wait. While this is a valid aesop, it's not exactly the real aesop of the episode, which was earning what you want and not cheating by taking short cuts and being dishonest.
    • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" many fans seem read to this one as "it's okay to humiliate your friends to teach them a lesson of humility." It wouldn't be the first time a lesson about hubris fumbled slightly.
    • "Sweet and Elite" seems to say "Lying gets you out of every situation, gets you everything you want, and there are no negative consequences."
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles", "The Best Night Ever" and "Sweet or Elite" all have the secondary lesson of "If you're from a quaint and sweet little provincial town, all the rich big city people are going to be shallow snobs who sneer at you and your "country" ways." So far the only exceptions have been Hoity Toity from "Suited For Success" (who was fairly impressed with Rarity's original designs for the dresses she made) and Fancypants from "Sweet and Elite" (who seemed to think that Rarity's Ponyville friends were "charmingly rustic")
    • "Hearth's Warming Eve":
      • The pageant seems rather anti-authoritarian, depicting all the rulers of the pony tribes (be they aristocracy, the military, or elected officials) as selfish, stubborn, and/or incompetent.
      • Fridge Brilliance: No matter one's race, color, or creed, we all question the sanity of upper management (at least sometimes). Notice that the "assistant" ponies bonded over shaking their heads at their superiors' foolish actions.
    • "A Friend In Deed" seems to teach kids "If someone doesn't want to be your friend, bug them until you find out why." Or alternatively: "Social trial and error can lead to friendship."
    • "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" could be taken to teach the lesson that market competition is a good thing, because it was clear that, the way things were, the Apples were unable to serve the needs of the market. The Flim-Flams were definitely bad, but them introducing competition did force the Apples to innovate and make enough cider for all.
    • "Ponyville Confidential" has a harsh one: if you go far enough in humiliating others, you will be greatly hated where you live, even if you are a kid.
    • "Somepony to Watch Over Me": If your elder sibling doesn't trust your self-sufficiency to the point of hovering over you constantly, do something completely reckless and life-threatening. If you manage to survive while at least making some progress on your own, staying home alone will look like a cinch in comparison.
    • "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" has one as well: Goofing off is okay as long as you can use it as an excuse to find quick and easy ways to prepare for tests.
    • "Inspiration Manifestation":
      • Constant praise actually can stifle your artistic integrity and it's alright to take some criticism now and then. Just roll with the punches and adjust when you need too.
      • Your usual artistic style isn't always what the customer needs; try to think of the client's context. At the same time, you can's just assume the artist/contractor knows exactly what you want or need when placing a special order. Be specific!
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • The show in general is a goldmine of accidental innuendo, and it is hard to tell what is completely by accident and what might not be. YouTube users like kyrospawn and EpicGteGuy are known to take MLP:FIM clips out of context for a variety of purposes, but one of them is to highlight how sexual they seem out of context.
    • Same deal for screencaps; after any given episode airs, it's common to see tons of freeze frames that look really dirty out of context. Such as this or this. It really doesn't help that the blinking animation (which is used a lot), almost always looks like "bedroom eyes" when paused halfway through.
    • Hasbro's US My Little Pony page has some pages (including every one of their episode viewing guides) announcing that fans can "Watch 3 Ways!"
    • The "Just For Parents" section includes both "3 Ways" and "2 Ways" announcements.
    • This promo for "The Hub Summer" has Pinkie Pie singing part of "Are You Ready for the Summer"
    "Are you ready for the birds and the bees and the apple trees / And a whole lotta foolin' around?"
    • She knows everypony in town... and now we know what goes on at her parties.
    Applejack: Are you saying my mouth is making promises my legs can't keep?
    • Rarity getting to bed in "Look Before You Sleep" makes noises that, when taken out of context, make this scene look... interesting.
    • "Bridle Gossip"!
      • Rarity is lounging in a hot tub, with a look of sheer bliss on her face. Cue Pinkie rising out of the water in, um, questionable proximity to Rarity....
      • Alternatively: "I have located the water jet."
      • In the same episode, Twilight Sparkle's horn becomes floppy with blue dots on it. The way it flops around is reminiscent of, well... you get the picture. The way Spike stares at it on the verge of cracking up almost implies he's in on the joke.
    • Due to where Spike is sitting during Twilight's first verse in the "Winter Wrap Up" song, it's easy to see how he might be doing something else entirely. The way he bounces while Twilight is walking along does not help.
    • A squicky example occurs in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" when ponies are running away from hydra, and Spike is seen sitting on Twilight's head right in the place where her horn should be, which is nowhere to be seen, and there's an expression of pain on his face. (Not to mention he's positioned there suspiciously firmly considering they were running uphill at high-speed.)
    • "Sonic Rainboom":
      • The end, in which Rainbow Dash flies off with two (male) members of the Wonderbolts and declares "... I've got plans!", could be taken as this.
      • That same episode also opens with Fluttershy recapping "the elements of a good cheer": "loss of control", "screaming and hollering", and "passion". Taken out of context, it kinda sounds like she and Rainbow Dash are talking about... something else. Not to mention that it's given out of context, with no explanation until afterwards.
    • "Stare Master":
      • The Cutie Mark Crusaders:
      Apple Bloom: Well if I ever saw one of them cock-a-thingies face to face, I'd laugh at how silly it was!
      Scootaloo: Who would want a picture of a hammer on their flank anyway?
      • When the episode first aired, some fans got a little carried away with the fact that "Twilight went to Zecora's house and got stoned, then snails left a trail of goo across her face."
    • A visual version happens in the "Over a Barrel" episode. In one scene Rainbow Dash's wings are folded but after Pinkie Pie comes out dressed as a showgirl, they are wide spread. Previous episodes showed that this sort of reaction from her (one moment they're folded and then next they're spread) is a sign of excitement. Considering Rainbow Dash has considerable amounts of Les Yay and is often thought of as be fans to be a Lesbian Jock, it's been thought she was... excited when Pinkie came out.
    • "The Best Night Ever":
      • Spike remarking, "I gotta show Rarity the crown jewels."
      • In the same episode, to get the Wonderbolts' attention Rainbow Dash catapults a male pony into the air and "saves" him from the fall by catching him on her back... and if you cut the last scene out of context, it suddenly starts looking completely different. It doesn't help that Rainbow's expression looks really dirty.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight tries some armchair psychology on Rainbow Dash when she thinks Rainbow is angry at Applejack, and tells her "Oh, Rainbow Dash, you don't have to hide your feelings from me." TwiDash shippers took notice. It doesn't help that she delivered that particular line in this pose. Some AppleDash fans also interpreted the scene as Twilight being a Shipper on Deck.
    • Not to mention Pipsqueak's "Scary, but(t) fun!" at the end of "Nightmare Night".
    • In "Luna Eclipsed", during Twilight's awkward attempt to bond with Princess Luna, she touches her on the chest. This would be fine, if not for the face Luna pulls, and Twilight's embarrassed reaction.
    • In "The Cutie Pox", some amused fans noted "Apple Bloom gained the pony equivalent of puberty, and Applejack was kept awake during the night due to loud clopping coming from Apple Bloom's room".
    • In "May the Best Pet Win", Rainbow Dash tells Twilight that her inability to understand the difference between "coolness", "awesomeness", and "radicalness" is why she would never qualify to be her pet. Errmmm...
    • In the episode "May the Best Pet Win", Rainbow Dash suggests that she wants a pet; Fluttershy acts a little...too excited to this response, to the point that her exhales of joy sound like orgasms. Not to mention that she tells Rainbow Dash that the animals will love her, and that they (Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy) will "be best friends forever and ever." See it in all it's creepy glory here!
    • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", the sounds of Amethyst Star opening a jar of peanut butter off-screen, can sound... different. Let's leave it there.
    • A line from the Theme Tune Extended (included as a sing-along on the DVD The Friendship Express) mentions fun and laughter being "as easy as Pinkie Pie".
    • A Singin' in the Rain tribute (in "Hearts and Hooves Day") wound up being mistaken by some for a pole-dancing joke. What made this particularly foul was that the tribute was done by Sweetie Belle, of all characters.
    • The trading card for Lyra Heartstrings and Golden Harvest includes the line "... lolling in the park, sharing bonbons with Golden Harvest." Bonbon is the name of Lyra's fanon girlfriend, making this either a poorly thought-out Fandom Nod, or a case of ramming a freight train into the radar. Given that Hasbro hired members of the fandom to write the cards, it's likely a little of both.
    • A promotional photo has a stylus placed rather unfortunately in relation to a Celestia toy.
    • The placement of the Walkin' Talkin' Pinkie Pie toy's battery compartment.
    • Watch "Spike At Your Service" and look carefully at the placement of Spike's hands when he gives Applejack her massage, along with her reaction.
    • The very first scene of the episode "Princess Twilight Sparkle", if you miss just one letter:
    Rainbow Dash: You gotta really f(l)ap 'em hard.
    Twilight Sparkle: Whoa!
    Rainbow Dash: Uh, maybe not quite that hard.
    Twilight Sparkle: Whoa! Oof!
    Applejack: Lookin' good up there, Princess Twilight.
    • The season 4 premiere features so many scenes of ponies entrapped in vines, one has to wonder what DHX were thinking when making the episodes.
    • Also notable was the color of the potion Twilight drank.
    • "Flight to the Finish" gives us the chestnut "I did tricks with that flag the likes of which no pony saw before."
    • In "Inspiration Manifestation", Fluttershy's hesitation before calling one room in the new birdhouse a "bedroom". A bit of self-censorship, perhaps?
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • "Griffon the Brush Off" and "Green Isn't Your Color" set us up to believe the aesops "a prank is only fun if everybody is laughing" and "don't be jealous" are coming. Twilight instead ends the episodes with "a bad friend will eventually make themselves known" and "be honest about your feelings." Both are decent aesops which fit their episodes and could also be a subversion or double subversion of stock aesops.
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" could be said to not only preach "You shouldn't let glory go to your head and turn you into a braggart", but also "Fame is fleeting", based on how quick the ponies of Ponyville were to celebrate Mare Do Well and almost completely ignore Rainbow Dash. And given that Mare-Do-Well is actually four of the other members of the Mane Six, who manage to accomplish more than Rainbow Dash could alone, it teaches a lesson about the Power of Teamwork.
    • A different Aesop that can be taken from the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" than the one given at the end can be taken as "You don't NEED a 'very special somepony' to be happy, even on a day dedicated to having one."
  • Ass Pull: Twilight becoming an Alicorn could have worked, but the final thing she did, to become worthy, was creating new magic, when that was never brought up before as being such a big deal. This gets really grating when the writers online said this episode was written a year before it was made, so no opportunity was taken for Foreshadowing in the rest of the season.
    • That said, it was foreshadowed in the earlier seasons that Twilight would become a "something" one day, that would make her an important pony one day (though litterally being an alicorn or a princess was a new idea, the fact she'd be revealed to have a bigger destiny was indeed planned from the begining). The idea being that all her lessons have been leading to it, but it's up for debate if the spell she did should be the final test or not.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Inverted in what fans have dubbed "Derpygate," where the creators of the show changed the voice acting in a scene where beloved background pony Derpy Hooves is given spoken lines. A small group of parents protested this scene, finding it offensive (the name "Derpy" and the voice acting, which was a misunderstanding where the VA thought the character was male). The studio took the original episode off of iTunes and replaced it with one where Derpy's voice was changed and her name was not mentioned. This was the point where the fandom revolted, leading to quite a few webpages calling for the scene to be changed back. Eventually, the creators apologized to both sides. After being absent for most of Season 3, Derpy was finally re-inserted during the Season finale.
    • At the end of "Dragon Quest", Spike takes Peewee a baby phoenix from his parents and adopted him. Many fans complained about the kidnapping and the Broken Aesop because the same episode began with Spike complaining about not knowing where he comes from. In "Just for Sidekicks", it is revealed that Spike returned the phoenix to his parents. However this again has not been unanimously welcomed, due to how abrupt this felt, leading to some people thinking They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • After Meghan McCarthy gave a poorly thought out statement that indicated she thought becoming a princess was something every girl dreams of, and was bombarded with complaints about how reductive that was, "Princess Twilight Sparkle" features the tomboy Rainbow Dash saying it's not the case. Though due to Animation Lead Time, chances were that RD's line had always been there.
    • A lot of the fanbase wasn't happy with how Season 3 portrayed Spike as being quite incompetent (in "Spike at Your Service" he causes massive damage whenever he tries to help, and in "Just for Sidekicks" he screws up pet-sitting so badly that he ends up on a train in another country). As a result, the season 4 episode "Power Ponies" is pretty much based on the premise that Spike is helpful and the rest of the cast don't view him as The Load.
    • A number of fans were angry that Spike wasn't invited back to the Crystal Empire in "Games Ponies Play", even though he was the one who saved it. "Equestria Games" reveals that Spike is considered a hero throughout the entire kingdom. It also gives him a lot of appreciation, something that, according to the fans, almost every Spike-centered episode — including Equestria Girls — after the Season 3 Premiere seriously lacked.
    • For those opposed to Twilight becoming an alicorn princess, a commonly cited argument was that it felt like the show was putting Twilight above her friends, which they felt not only seemed like favouritism from the writers, but went against the show's defining theme of friendship. The revelation in "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2" that Twilight's friends including Spike will apparently be ruling alongside her in her role as the Princess of Friendship may be an attempt to address this.
  • Broken Base:
    • "Feeling Pinkie Keen" started a ton of arguments over whether the episode was intentionally anti-skeptic/science, or had a good point that got muddled.
    • "One Bad Apple" divided the fandom over whether it did an adequate job of tackling the issue of bullying.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Many consider the entire Mane Six to be this in "Mysterious Mare Do Well". Rainbow Dash was being portrayed as a hero with too much ego. The other Mane Five's response was seen by many fans as just as bad as how Rainbow Dash acted. They saved ponies just to make Rainbow Dash look bad, got all of Ponyville pissed at her (though partially her fault), and put Rainbow Dash into a depression
    • It's truly hard to like Babs Seed after she gets away with her sadistic bullying.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The episode "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" came under a lot of fire because its aesop was interpreted by some as "If your friend lets their ego get the upper hand, you should go behind their back to show them up and humiliate them." The message snaps in half when you realize that the rest of the Mane Six were bragging about their contributions to Mare-Do-Well's list of heroic deeds just to rub Rainbow Dash's nose in it. While that scene is problematic, this is misrepresenting the episode a bit — none of the Mare-Do-Wells interfered with any of Rainbow Dash's rescues, only intervening after she'd screwed up, and we also see other signs of them trying to avoid her being humiliated (Twilight enabling her to pull herself out of the flood, or leading her into a secluded alley to make the reveal).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In the pilot episode, Twilight says "All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!" By the end of the season, every mane character has suffered a nervous breakdown at some point. And then in the season 2 episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight goes completely (if temporarily) over the edge.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Spike gives Rainbow Dash the nickname "Rainbow Crash", due to her temporary clumsiness. In "Sonic Rainboom", we learn that this was the very name Rainbow Dash's childhood bullies labeled her with for years. However, "Read It and Weep" shows it may not be a completely undeserved title.
    • The whole Scootaloo/flightless bird jokes from within the show and fandom become less funny, if they aren't to some already, now that a future episode for S4 has Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon making fun of Scoot for not being able to fly.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Knowledge of astronomy and a close look at the Ursa Major's tail in Boast Busters may tip you off early that it's actually an Ursa Minor.
    • The scene in "Winter Wrap Up" with the two hedgehogs embracing and accidentally sticking each other with their spines is a reference to the hedgehog's dilemma theory of psychology. Fans of the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, which often references the hedgehog's dilemma, have not let this go unnoticed.
    • Look at the chalkboard in the beginning of "Call of the Cutie". These kids are learning damn astrophysics! Or at least physicsnote  and vector calculusnote .
    • Gilda's maltreatment of the ponies actually borders on Fridge Brilliance when you realize that in mythology, griffons and horses were mortal enemies.
    • Rarity re-enacts the Greek myth of Icarus at the Young Flyer's Competition.
    • At the end of the second episode (part two of the pilot), "The Elements of Harmony": two foals lay a wreath of red and white roses around Princess Luna's neck. This might seem like a conventional way of honoring and welcoming a princess, but consider that, at the end of the War of the Roses, Henry VII took as his symbol a red and white rose, combining the Lancastrian red rose and the Yorkist white rose. So red and white roses together are a symbol of reconciliation following a civil war within a royal family for control of the kingdom, or principality in this case.
    • "The Best Night Ever":
      • Spike mentions Princess Celestia has a golden apple tree. In certain Greek and Norse mythos, golden apples grant immortality.
      • They are also, in Greek mythology, a symbol of DISCORD... one golden apple in particular led to the Trojan wars, and the sacking of Troy — and the death of a dozen or so legendary Greek heroes.
      • The Apple(s) of Discord return in the second season's first episode, where they are used to sow discord among the mane six, fittingly, right at the start of the challenge.
    • Twilight's mentioned Star Swirl the Bearded created an "amniomorphic spell". "Amnio-" as a medical term deals with the fetus, so "amniomorphic" potentially deals with the development of babies, which is essentially what Twilight did when she hatched Spike.
      • Actually, it's highly possible that the spell's name refers to "lamb-shape". Which would make Star Swirl the inventor of a spell that turns ponies into sheep.
      • Some claim that amniomorphic is actually a subtle joke. Amnio could be translated to bowl. That would make Star Swirl the Bearded a hairy potter.
    • Also in "Luna Eclipsed", Luna keeps using old-fashioned, "formal" versions of the second-person personal pronoun: thou, thee, thy, thine, etc., even though she supposedly wants (much like her sister, in a way) a closer, warmer relationship with her subjects. But actually, thou, thee, thy, and so forth are actually the informal, personal versions of the second-person personal pronoun, much like "tu" in French or Spanish, or "du" in German. You, your, and so forth are the formal forms. When Luna addresses the other ponies as "thou," she's basically saying that she considers them to be close friends.
      • This makes sense if you consider that she has been trapped in isolation for a thousand years. Thou, thee, thy and thine are Early Modernnote  English, which was still in use a thousand years ago.
      • Which is also why she would not know the meaning of the word fun (in this case amusement) which in the real world has only had that meaning since the 1700s.
    • Both Princesses wear collars. Celestia, who wears the larger collar, is older, more mature, and more experienced... and has bourne (and still bears) most of the burden of ruling Equestria. Luna, whose collar is much smaller, is the younger, less mature, and more impulsive sister... and is still adjusting to 1000 years' worth of progress. Factor in the purpose and benefits of the real-world horse collar harness, and decide for yourself if the symbolism was intentional or not.
    • If you have any interest in color theory, Celestia's mane might be of great interest to you. Sky Blue is the main color, and one of the stripes bears a shade of cyan called Celeste. The third color present is Orchid, a shade of magenta. Why Orchid? Because the orchid is one of the flowers representing the Chinese Four Gentlemen. It symbolizes spring, the season in which the sun warms the earth so life can continue.
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is seen looking over a chalkboard covered in equations, which are apparently real equations for the effects of time dilation.
    • Oh, how is this for genius: in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1", during the song "B.B.B.F.F", there is actually a double meaning (which Daniel Ingram has confirmed):
    The song is in the key of Db Major (just like winter wrap up!) . That means that the root chord is a Db major chord. Usually, a Ab major chord will lead into a Db major. This is the V-I chord progression and it is also known as the Authentic Cadence (stick with me here). Now, it seems to resolve to a sadder chord at the end of the phrase. Instead of ending on Db major around 1:16, it lands on Bb minor: the relative minor of Db major. Now, when a chord progression seems to be heading to the root chord but lands on the relative minor instead, that is called a...
    ...
    Deceptive Cadence
    Also worth noting, listen to how Twilight sings the last "forever" in the song. Her little cadenza (I am seriously not making these words up) quotes the opening notes of the theme song.
    • Daring Do's grey-scale tail and mane (at least as imagined by Rainbow Dash) incorporate the "colours" of a rare phenomenon known as a moonbow.
  • Glurge: While the show does seem to make a rather commendable effort to avoid this trope a lot of the time, it sometimes can't resist falling into it due to its cutesy nature and sometimes easily re-enterpretable Aesops. Faust has even admitted to some stories.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering the episode was produced long before Cupcakes was written, Pinkie Pie's psychotic break in "Party of One" is rather eerie, doubly so considering Rainbow Dash is the pony to visit her during her episode.
    • The entire story presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve" becomes really creepy for those who are familiar with the mythology surrounding Wendigos.
    • In the Canterlot Wedding two-parter, the need for increased security at the wedding seems a bit more eerie in light of the issues with insufficient security at the London 2012 Olympics. Keep in mind that the Canterlot Wedding was based off the Royal Wedding between William and Kate... Which also happened in London.
    • Rainbow Dash's attitude towards Fluttershy in "Dragonshy" seems out of place compared to future episodes such as "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "Hurricane Fluttershy".
    • In "It's about Time", Twilight is repeatedly concerned about a possible disaster in the future. As we find out much later on, a disaster was brewing ever since Cerberus temporarily left tartarus.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "Swarm of the Century": see Poor Communication Kills on the Western Animation page.
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", Rainbow Dash uses her ability to fly to cheat in various events. Until Applejack points it out, none of the ponies think it unfair, and neither do they bother rerunning the events she cheated in. Let's face it, when even Twilight Sparkle doesn't object to Dash LIFTING APPLEJACK INTO THE AIR DURING A TUG OF WAR, this trope is definitely in play.
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the Flim Flam brothers are either holding the Conflict Ball or the Villain Ball, but either way a lot of what they do triggers one of these. If either of them had possessed an ounce of business sense, or at least hadn't been so arrogant during the contest, the episode would have been much shorter.
    • The plot of "Games Ponies Play" relies on the cast not realizing that the pony they greeted at the train station wasn't the games Inspector. It's an understandable mistake at first, as they're in a rush, but as the episode goes on they grow increasingly more oblivious to the fact that the pony they're escorting around doesn't resemble the inspector at all, as well as the fact that despite spending the entire afternoon with her, no-one ever thinks to refer to her by name. If any of them had thought to ask her name (or if the pony in question had thought to introduce herself), the mistake would have been caught within five minutes. Also, the problem could have been completely avoided in the first place if the Mane Six had been given a description of the games inspector's cutie mark (they had instead been told to look for a pony with flower-print luggage).
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, Nightmare Moon was defeated and turned back into Luna. There are toys of her and she came back in one episode of Season 2 (she even gets mentioned in the Season 2 première). The reveal at the end of the second episode isn't much of a spoiler anymore.
    • The Season 3 finale, namely the ending where Twilight becomes a princess, has been widely and openly discussed long before the relevant episode's airdate.
  • Less Disturbing in Context: Fluttershy's song from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" includes the lines "Oh, what a magical place!/And I owe it all to the Pegasus race!" If heard out of context and without the accompanying visuals it may sound like Fluttershy is propagating Pegasus supremacy. It doesn't help that the mentions of wild animals, bees, and trees might be mistaken for a reference to "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"...
  • Nightmare Fuel coupled with Fridge Logic: Many of the situations in the series, although portrayed as saccharine, in reality would be nightmare fuel. Some examples that come to mind are the mind rape of the Mane Six by Discord (as well as implied with everypony in Equestria), or the Nightmare Moon arc's threat of eternal night.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Anypony you see on the screen may be a changeling. Any one at any given time. Much worse in-universe. There's a joke about the repeated background ponies.
    Season 1: Recycled drawings.
    Season 2: Changelings.
    Season 3: Mirror Pool clones.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After seeing Twilight become a Princess, watching the all the previous episodes gain a new perspective on how effectively Princess Celestia was able to prepare her for that role ever since she first showed up at Celestia's school.
  • Seasonal Rot: While My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is still popular, Season 3 was generally not as well-received as the prior two. Since it was only half the length of an average season (likely to hit the 65-episode syndication minimum), its problem episodes — which, naturally, vary depending on who you ask — tend to stick out more. Almost a full third of the episodes therein have been a point of contention for at least some fans.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The entire point of "Bridle Gossip" about not judging a book by its cover is very important considering how prevalent people are immediately judged or stereotyped for their outward appearances, even if they are good people inside.
    • Also the entire point of "One Bad Apple", considering that bullying is on a monumental rise in this day and age.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The opinion of many fans about "Owl's Well That Ends Well", largely because it aired a week after the more widely-loved episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The Canterlot Elite in "Sweet and Elite" are depicted as smug elitists for treating the ponies from Ponyville as boorish hicks. In addition to the Mane Cast's disruptive behavior at the Grand Galloping Gala (the highest profile national annual party), Rarity's friends crash and trash the Canterlot Garden Party (the second highest profile national annual party), making one wonder if the reputation for being boorish hicks is at least somewhat deserved. Indeed, for the Gala, Celestia deliberately invited the main characters in hopes of "livening up" the party, and afterwards claims it was the best one in a long time BECAUSE the party ended in a disaster because of their antics.
    • Similarly, in "Bridle Gossip" the viewer is supposed to find the cast's suspicions of Zecora to be unfounded and based on misconceptions. The problem is that while they go a bit overboard, their suspicion isn't entirely unfounded as 1) Zecora lives in a forest that's infamous for being full of dangerous creatures, 2) Zecora is a zebra, a species that none of the cast members have ever seen before and have no frame of reference for, 3) Later episodes confirm that there are all sorts of dangerous creatures and persons in the setting, 4) Zecora's behavior doesn't exactly help her case; she shows up wearing a cloak with Glowing Eyes of Doom and when she comes around she just sort of walks around aimlessly rather than making any attempt to communicate. In light of that, it isn't really that odd that the townfolk are a bit wary of her. It's especially true in AJ's case; it's not exactly surprising that she'd want to keep her little sister from following a stranger into a dangerous forest.
    • In "Bats!", Applejack is treated as being in the wrong for wanting to oust the vampire fruit bats entirely rather than coming to a compromise. However, anyone who's ever worked on a farm knows that pests can utterly ruin a crop, and as Sweet Apple Acres is generally treated as being a bit unstable financially, Applejack's concerns about the bats being a threat to her livelihood are completely valid. It's compounded by the fact that an infestation had happened in the past, and the farm had barely survived.
    • Spike's Heroic Self-Deprecation in "Equestria Games" is perfectly justified. His little anthem shtick was probably extremely offensive towards anyone from Cloudsdale (they were not entertained: they didn't laugh, and, judging by the audience's reactions, they seemed furious), while the heroic actions he can take credit for basically amount to being in the right place at the right time — any other pony would have probably done the same. Other ponies trying to chalk it up to him senselessly being self-conscious, outright ignoring how he humiliated himself in front of thousands of spectators (along with how long it took him to light the torch, followed by his embarrassing failure to light the picture he signed on fire) is somewhat bewildering.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Any time Pinkie Pie starts singing. Thankfully, her songs are presented in an ironic fashion; breaking into song impromptu is one of Pinkie Pie's personality quirks in-universe. The rest of the cast reacts appropriately ("Tell me she's not..." "She is."). Thus, instead of being the Narm that one might expect from this franchise, this subtle Fourth Wall lampshading allows the Periphery Demographic to feel at ease watching the show.
    • You think Pinkie Pie's songs are that? When Fluttershy sings, it's the equivalent of syrup flooding the room!
    • In general, watching this show has been known to cause cavities.
    • The fact that the six main ponies have had nervous breakdowns tends to lessen the sweetness.
    • The whole show could be considered a huge subversion/aversion (compared to expectations), which is why it has the popularity and fanbase that it does.
    • Still, the theme song... Let's just say it remains embarrassing.
      • And yet still pretty catchy at the same time.
      • Some people think it's okay. That said, some people do feel a need to turn down the volume when someone's in the room for the theme song (although the sound for it being balanced louder than the rest of the show might have something to do with that).
      • When the "Teens React" show used the intro, the reaction from both the teens and the bronies responding to that was fairly predictable.
    • The ending to "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" was even further on the sweet side than usual for this show, but well-written enough for come off as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. It didn't stop Scootaloo and Spike from Lamp Shading how sappy it was, though.
      Spike: Gross! When did you get so cheesy?
    • Some have noted that "Baby Cakes" is this trope, at least, up until the Nightmare Fuel-inducing sequence when Pinkie loses the babies.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In "Dragon Quest" Spike wants to learn about dragons during "The Great Dragon Migration". Good, but then the plot goes into him being picked on teenaged dragons, earning their respect and then finding out they're just mean bastards. It could have been better spent building a mythology of the place of dragons in Equestria and add in that the bullying subplot could have just been easily done with stallions in Ponyville.
    • An episode about Rainbow Dash breaking her wing? That's an amazing idea! Think of the drama she would go through, wondering when she would fly again, being forced to live the life of an Earth pony until it heals... or it could be about her getting addicted to reading. Uh, sure, that might work too, I guess.
    • The premiere of Season 3 could have been awesome. It concerns the return of a long forgotten empire, the coming of an ancient evil ruler and Twilight and friends tasked to help save the empire alongside Shining Armor and Princess Cadance. Too bad that the entire two-parter kept its focus on almost everything but said ruler, who had fewer lines than certain background characters and very little screentime. Plus, the Aesop for the episode certainly didn't warrant a two-part special.
    • The Season 3 finale too. Just imagine all the great material that could be derived from the characters' lives being swapped around, and then sigh because we only get to see it for a few minutes before Twilight figures out how to fix the situation.
    • The Season 4 arc involving the Equestria Games missed a great opportunity, with no related episodes airing during the real-world Olympics.
    • The synopsis and subsequent airing of "Equestria Games" has led to complaints of the Equestria Games arc culminating in a Spike episode rather than putting the focus on the games themselves. Ironic, considering that the complaints to the first episode of the Games arc were that Spike wasn't getting enough focus in the form of him not being invited back to the Crystal Empire.
  • Values Dissonance: The Japanese dub completely changed "Griffon the Brush Off"'s aesop from "rather than try to influence who your friends spend time with, you yourself should try to be a good friend, and trust that the true face of a false friend will eventually be revealed through their behavior" to "if someone's being mean, don't retaliate." However, both these lessons are useful and can actually work hand in hand: jumping the gun and retaliating immediately will only get in the way of the truth revealing itself.

    Character reactions/interpretations 
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Discord was stuck as a stone statue twice, once for well over a millennium, and fully conscious both times. Once freed, he seems completely unfazed by the experience, even mentioning his boredom and loneliness off-handedly.
    • Luna/Nightmare Moon is in a similar situation, having been sealed in the moon for a thousand years. Yet her sanity seems unaffected. The comic book tie-in implies that she had company during her imprisonment, but it's unclear whether this is canon.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Rainbow Dash proudly proclaims she's the best flyer in Equestria and often treats herself like a Memetic Badass. Thing is, she's right, and the fans certainly concur with the second part.
    • Trixie is commonly depicted in fandom as Twilight's Worthy Opponent who is her equal in magical talent but lacks the training and/or dedication to be as good with it as her. A far cry from the show, where her hammy boasts are admitted by her to prop up her ego because her magic is really just stage effects and parlor tricks.
  • Base Breaker: Pick a pony, anypony. There will be people who love him/her and people who think he/she's the worst character on the show and ought to be removed. Yes, even THAT Pony.
    • Of the Mane 6, the one who seems to cause the most division is Pinkie Pie. While many love her for being a Fun Personified pony whose driving purpose in life is to make others happy, other fans feel that she has a history of making things harder for other characters, such as preventing Twilight from resolving the conflict in "Green Isn't Your Color" because of an arbitrary promise, hurting Luna's attempts to be accepted in "Luna Eclipsed" by pretending to be scared of her, hording cider in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", annoying Cranky in "A Friend In Deed", and aggravating Fluttershy's stage fright in "Filli Vanilli". Her habit of being Innocently Insensitive and often not being called out for it has gained her a Hate Dom, which isn't helped by her being connected with some of the more controversial aesops of the series (Such as "Swarm of the Century", "Feeling Pinkie Keen" and "A Friend In Deed"). In addition, while many find her "random" humor and hyperactivity hilarious, others find it irritating, especially since exactly how scatterbrained she is tends to vary between episodes.
    • Fluttershy is another one. Some fans go through Hype Backlash when it comes to her cuteness, and find her passiveness and cowardliness irritating rather than endearing. Her willingness to stand up for herself and/or her friends also varies, depending on the episode. She also tends to be very easily forgiven by her fanbase. Whenever she does something wrong (like hurting her friends’ feelings, whether on purpose or not), she’s quickly forgiven, yet when any of her friends hurt her, they quickly become targets of unrelenting hate.
    • Twilight Sparkle, especially post-alicoronation. Some fans love her and couldn't think of a more deserving main character, others see her as a Canon Sue who's just getting worse as the series goes on and the writers fawn over her more and more while paying less attention to her flaws.
    • Rainbow Dash is another controversial pony. The base is split between those who think she's a Jerkass due to her arrogance and constant boasting, and those who think she actually has the skills to keep up with her boasts. She's on many fans' "Favorite pony" list, but also on many "Worst pony" lists.
    • Of all the royal princesses, Princess Celestia is probably the most divisive character of the show. Many fans found her boring and uninteresting which invoked the three common meme trends (Trollestia, Molestia, and Tyrantlestia) in fanart, fanfiction, threads, etc., while others found her to be the most deep character of the series with the most potential of the most engaging character development and story. And then there are those who question her capability of being a ruler. Her actions in the Reflection Arc of the IDW comic series doesn't help matters.
    • There's also Princess Cadance. Fans either like her personality and overall character or dislike her for her bland characterization and lack of development on the show. And there are also some who are to this day still bothered that she was introduced into the show as an alicorn without explanation, and feel that her alicorn status diminishes the monumental presence of both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, as well as takes a lot of the impact out of Twilight's ascension into alicorndom. Other times she is disliked for entirely different reasons.
    • While the season 4 finale was well received in general, fans are divided on the designs of the Mane Six's Rainbow Power forms design-wise. Some feel they look awesome, others think they look garish and silly.
    • Among the villains, King Sombra is generally the most controversial one. While many fans think he did not get enough screen time to be an interesting character and hate the fact that he hardly says a word during his two episodes, others argue that while it is true he does not do much during the episode, the few things he DOES do have a big enough impact on their own.
  • Canon Sue: As said directly above, possibly Twilight depending on which side of that fence you fall.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Rainbow Dash is incredibly similar to Sonic the Hedgehog. Both of them are cartoon animals who can break the sound barrier, have spiky hair, have an "attitude", and have a tendency to boast about their speed. To drive the point home, both of them are idolized by orange-furred children (Scootaloo for Rainbow, Tails for Sonic). They are also both primarily blue.
    • Pinkie Pie and Kirby, mainly because they are both pink heroes with huge appetites and also inflate there bodies at certain points (Kirby to fly, and Pinkie Pie during some of her random cartoon physics most noticeable during her Pinkie Sense when she found out that Twilight believing in her abilities was the doozy she predicted). They also have had trouble with dealing with bird-based characters (King Dedede for Kirby and Gilda for Pinkie) so these characters do have a lot in common.
    • Pinkie gets a lot of comparison to Deadpool as well. Both characters are Fun Personified Motor Mouths with a tendency to act completely random. Both characters also have Medium Awareness, but, despite what the fandom says, Pinkie's is official league's behind Deapool's.
    • Rarity and Rouge the Bat. This one's easy to figure out. Both of them are Proud Beauties who are white with blue eyeshadow, can handle themselves well in a fight, and have younger males attracted to them (Spike for Rarity, and Knuckles for Rouge), while both being obsessed with jewels and have no problem using their feminine wiles to get what they want. Hey, in "Sonic Rainboom" Rarity even has wings, lipstick, and nearly falls to her doom much like Rouge does in Sonic Adventure 2, stressing this comparison even more.
    • Princess Celestia shares more than one similarity with The Doctor: they both lived an undefined long time, they both have a backstory enveloped in absolute mystery, they both had a particular event that changed their life and it's treated like their biggest failure (the banishment of her sister Luna/NMM for her, the Time War for him) and they both have cheerful personality hidden inside their aura of professionalism... oh, and they both have shades of a Guile Hero and are both very protective in regard of their subordinates/companions.
    • Same can be said of Celestia sharing some similarities to Optimus Prime.
    • A few members of the fandom have compared Pinkie Pie to The Master pointing how both experienced an event in their childhood (staring into the Untempered Schism for The Master and witnessing the Sonic Rainboom for Pinkie Pie) that had a major effect in their lives (The Master went mad from the drumming in his head and Pinkie became insanely cheerful after getting her cutie mark). Both characters have a bizarre sense of humor, both characters are considered woobies by the fandom, and both characters have created mass duplicates of themselves at one point (Pinkie wanted a way to spend time with all of her friends and The Master wanted an army to take over the universe). Likewise, both characters have Hidden Depths to them having tragic aspects to them that are hidden by their hammy personalities.
    • Both Celestia and Luna can be compared to Thor and Loki. Celestia/Luna are both essentially goddesses much like how Thor/Loki are both gods. Both pairs shared a close sibling relationship until jealously caused the younger sibling to turn evil (Loki wanted to take over Asgard and Luna became Nightmare Moon). Likewise, Celestia tries to reconcile with Luna much like how Thor tries to reconcile with Loki.
    • Twilight Sparkle has been compared to Death the Kid by a few members of the fandom. Both are obsessive-compulsive to the point where they take the slightest hint of failure as a big deal, both have stripes on one side of their head, and both tend to be the Only Sane Man in the group at times.
    • She has also been compared to Hermione Granger; both are lonely; both are rational skeptics despite being gifted magic users, and both are ass-kicking intellectuals who occasionally stray into Insufferable Genius territory.
    • Less common than the two above, and back to Sonic, she's been likened to Tails, for being a genius and the smartest of the group.
    • She's also been likened to Blaze, because of their similar attitudes. (Didn't care about friends, obsessed with pursuing their goals at first, discover The Powerof Friendship and change their minds.)
    • Add to that spin off media character Sally Acorn (precocious bookworm, Deadpan Snarker, prone to pompous neuroses or insecurity issues, meticulous and more lucid opposite to Sonic counterpart). This was only punctuated when Twilight ascended to princess status.
    • Rainbow Dash has been compared to Black Star. Both being loud boisterous members of their team who tend to have large egos. Likewise, both are best friends with a quiet meek female character (IE: Fluttershy and Tsubaki) as well as an odd friendship with a more serious-minded character (IE: Twilight Sparkle and Death The Kid) And, both characters are loyal to their friends and are willing to risk their lives to help them in times of danger.
    • Fluttershy's Shrinking Violet and Moe characteristic have led to comparisons between her and Hinata, especially by shippers that ship Hinata and Naruto along with Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.
    • These said traits, along with her tendency to Take a Level in Badass in order to help her friends (just to name a few similarities) also leads to Fluttershy being compared to Nodoka Miyazaki.
    • Adding to the Soul Eater comparisons, Fluttershy is often compared to Crona. Both are shy, pink-haired woobies who love animals and have hidden dark sides.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Pinkie Pie practically defines this trope.
    • Discord, considering he is the embodiment of chaos.
    • In "Family Appreciation Day" Granny Smith says and does a number of strange things which turn out to be very important for the harvesting of Zap Apples and the creation of Zap Apple Jam.
    • Cheese Sandwich, by virtue of being Pinkie Pie's Spear Counterpart.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Discord practically wrote the book on this trope.
    • Apparently, Queen Chrysalis wrote the sequel.
    • King Sombra turned it into a trilogy.
    • Nightmare Moon wrote the foundations and did the research required for the trilogy to be even created.
    • Lord Tirek WAS the foundation and research for said book LONG BEFORE Friendship Is Magic was even a thought.
  • Creepy Cute: Some consider the Changelings to be rather adorable.
  • Double Standard: A lot in the fandom.
    • Fans dislike Angel Bunny, Fluttershy's pet for being a Spoiled Brat and often demonize him in fanfictions and webcomics, yet whitewash Discord, who mindraped Fluttershy and turned her into a bitch, yet fans treat Discord like a saint compared to Angel Bunny (and Gilda).
    • Fans demonize characters like Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Gilda, Suri, Angel Bunny, and Gilda for their menial deeds, yet whitewash villains such as Sombra, Nightmare Moon, Chrysalis, and Discord, who are supposed to be worse than the jerks and bullies. Even after fans are called out on their hypocrisy, they ignore it.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Gilda has her share of fans. This may actually be semi-justified, as Gilda had done the least amount of antagonistic behavior out of all the antagonists in the show so far.
    • The Great and Powerful Trixie is even more likely to score Jerkass Woobie points with the audience. Given that she lost her home when the Ursa Minor destroyed her traveling cart, this actually has some merit. Now, though, this trope doesn't apply to Trixie anymore, given that she's made a Heel-Face Turn.
    • And some fans wish Nightmare Moon never transformed back to Princess Luna.
    • Discord, for obvious reasons.
    • There are some people who actually think that the Flim Flam brothers didn't cheat or "push people around," and that their bad moments were "few and far between".
    • Queen Chrysalis is starting to get this treatment, partially due to some people interpreting her as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who just wanted to feed her people.
    • Her minions, the changelings, also get this treatment. However, this is more justified, as they appear to bear little ill will and just want to feed.
    • Prince Blueblood also receives sympathy from fans. They claim that he was "seen in the wrong by fans" for expecting chivalry from Rarity and that Rarity was just a gold-digger that Blue Blood was trying to shake off, forgetting the fact that he's a rude, narcissistic, stuck-up, selfish, and spoiled jerkass who insulted Applejack's food and used Rarity as a pony shield to protect himself from flying cake, and not apologizing for his actions after Rarity called him out on his behavior. His defenders might exist due to backlash against the people who outright wanted to murder him for his rude behavior.
    • Silver Spoon gets a bit of this for her single Pet the Dog moment in "Family Appreciation Day". Apparently, all a jerk needs to do is clap once for a Cool Old Lady and they're well on their way to pulling off a Heel-Face Turn. Silver Spoon's most vocal fans see Diamond Tiara as a bad influence and horrible friend for trying to steal Silver Spoon's milkshake even though Silver Spoon got the drink back AND Silver Spoon had no problem stealing a chocolate shake from Scootaloo during the "Babs Seed" montage.
    • Spike could be considered a very minor example. A lot of fans forget the jerk part of his Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality and fail to realize that episodes like "Just for Sidekicks" are about him receiving Laser-Guided Karma, not Kafka Komedies.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Rainbow Dash, considering that some of her actions and pranks fall under this description. Her behavior in "Luna Eclipsed" is a shining example of this.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Zecora got some of this when she was first introduced, but quickly became an Ensemble Darkhorse.
  • Evil Is Cool: Why else would Discord and Nightmare Moon have such huge fanbases?
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Nightmare Moon. To some people, anyway. And that's not even touching that voice of hers...
    • Queen Chrysalis to an extent, for some. Some of her fan-art has been quite... provocative. The fact that she's essentially a succubus certainly doesn't hurt.
    • Alicorn Amulet Trixie has apparently reached this status.
  • Face of the Band: For the band that played at the Grand Galloping Gala, Octavia is the most popular and always in the center of the band (or near it at least) during "The Best Night Ever" and the first to appear on-screen when they show up again during "Sweet and Elite".
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff / Americans Hate Tingle:
    • If Nico Nico comments on Japanese fansubs are anything to go by, Gilda is more sympathetic to Japanese audiences and Trixie less so. However, two polls held by one of the fansubbers placed Trixie over Gilda.
    • To the Japanese fandom, Big Mac, Cheerilee, and Fluttershy are the top three most popular ponies. Big Mac is usually known by the honorific "Aniki" ("Big Brother"), Cheerilee is greatly respected for her teaching skills (earning her the nickname "Cheerilee-Sensei"), and Fluttershy has been regarded as an "Honorary Japanese" because of her personality.
    • According to a Japanese poll, Applejack is more popular in Japan than in the West, even beating out "Honorary Japanese" Fluttershy. A lot of fans even consider her an Ikemen.
    • Another poll taken in Laketown shows that Japanese children were very fond of Pinkie Pie (of course, Pinkie is extremely popular as a character worldwide). A translation of the Bushiroad conference even shows that the Japanese marketers think that Pinkie seems more fitting as a main protagonist than Twilight Sparkle.
    • Rainbow Dash is also surprisingly one of the more popular characters in Japan, thanks in part to fans being impressed by Izumi Kitta's boyish voice.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The large majority of time in the Slice of Life stories however, said character brings it upon themselves out of arrogance or stubborn refusal to get out of an often easily escapable scenario and are handed An Aesop at the end of it all.
    • Luna, with the emphasis on "jerkass" in season 1's first two episodes, and the emphasis on "woobie" in "Luna Eclipsed", wherein she just wants to be admired yet everypony else is running away from her.
    • Trixie is also often seen in this light, mainly because she loses her home after her debut episode.
    • Twilight Sparkle herself usually has plenty of legitimate reasons to be upset about her problems. However, her Super OCD-ness and inferior complex gets the better of her, causing her to make her own problems worse more than better.
    • Rainbow Dash in some of her lower points. To some extent, all the mane cast have moments in the spotlight that involve them acting arrogant or reckless, and paying a heavy price for it a couple of times.
    • Discord, as of "Keep Calm and Flutter On" and especially in "Twilight's Kingdom". The poor guy betrayed his best friend and regretted his action.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Discord is one sly trolling bastard in his two-part episode. Made even better in "Keep Calm and Flutter On". As manipulative as he was in the Season 2 premiere, he was still backed by omnipotent magic, which means he had a distinct advantage over the Mane Six (as they started out without their Elements). In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", however, they do have their Elements, he cannot do anything about that, and they are ready to blast him back to stone at a moment's notice. Faced with this disadvantage, Discord has no choice but to really start using his wits to gain the upper hand. Does he succeed? Let's put it that way: just about the only thing that stands between him and total domination of Equestria is... himself. As of Season 4, a backup plan he made 1000 years ago has successfully forced the girls into giving up their Elements of Harmony. In other words, only his own friendship with Fluttershy stands between him and Equestria plunged in chaos. We should really be glad for that Heel-Face Turn....
    • King Sombra in his two-part episode proved to be one when he hid the Crystal Heart during his rule over the Crystal Empire.
    • Queen Chrysalis is also a cunning foe herself, successfully fooling everyone including Celestia. Not that impressive considering how bad she acted impersonating who was essentially the demigoddess of love. The truly amazing thing is that Twilight was the ONLY one who WASN'T fooled.
    • Lord Tirek is certainly one. He patiently manipulates Discord, a Magnificent Bastard in his own right, like a fiddle, and manages to successfully drain every pony in Equestria of their magic, including the Princesses and the Mane Six. He's also very good at playing Xanatos Speed Chess, catching up to current events and playing them in his favor. If it hadn't been for Discord's key, Tirek would have been unstoppable.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Bystander: Derpy Hooves began as an extra... rivals the Mane Six in popularity.
  • Memetic Loser: With all the talk of who is "Best Pony", naturally, fans also talk about who they consider is "Worst Pony". The "winner" of these arguments is usually Twist.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Along with "Trollestia", another Alternative Character Interpretation fans like to give to poor Celestia is "Molestia", where she sexually abuses her subjects. The variant with victim being Luna is called "Incestia".
    • The Diamond Dogs, mainly because of the way they swarm around Rarity when they first see her and then kidnap her along with the constant I Have You Now, My Pretty vibes they give off, especially during the Imagine Spot where they backed her into a corner, complete with spanking Rarity later on have earned them this title in spades.
    • With the advent of "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle of all ponies now bears this title. The fact that next episode she used candy to lure Pinkie Pie into a dark alley, then pins Pinkie down and makes her promise not to scream hasn't helped.
    • Discord has also gotten a bit of this, mainly due to his No Sense of Personal Space with Twilight Sparkle, especially the scene were he runs his paw across her cheek. Of course, unlike the previous examples, Discord is actually evil and nasty enough for this to have at least some degree of validity.
    • Queen Chrysalis is quickly gaining steam as a canon example of this. On top of essentially being a G-rated succubus, she, like Discord, has No Sense of Personal Space, placing her hoof on Twilight's chin (what's with villains and touching Twilight's face?) and getting really close to Shining Armor (as both fake Cadance and in her true form!).
    • The plunder vines from the premiere of season four were shown to be very grabby. The fandom promptly went to the obvious place with them.
    • Ten episodes later came the Tatzlwurm and its three (also very grabby) tentacle-tongues. There's an excellent chance that it reached this status the very second that it opened its mouth.
  • Memetic Psychopath:
  • Moe:
    • Especially when Fluttershy or Apple Bloom is concerned.
    • Fillyshy. Even with disproportionately long, skinny legs (she's obviously going through a growth spurt), she's still as cute as ever, if not more so, in this "ugly duckling" form. Plus, she sings/
    • Pinkie Pie is just as cute as Fluttershy. However, some of her most popular episodes are ones where she temporarily becomes The Woobie, such as "Party of One", "Pinkie Pride", or "Maud Pie".
    • Most of the fillies would qualify, especially the mane six in their youth.
    • To the people who like him, Pipsqueak is adorable.
    • Sweetie Belle is ridiculously Moe.
    • Believe it or not, Derpy Hooves as of "The Last Roundup", thanks to her utterly adorkable voice and unintentionally destructive mannerisms.
    • Princess Cadance to an amazing degree.
    • Coco Pommel is incredibly cute. The fact that she's so good at looking like a kicked puppy certainly helps.
    • All of the Mane Six could qualify to certain extents.
    • It's very common for people to say they think the Crystal Ponies looked cuter when they were depressed than after they were restored to their full glory.
  • Memetic Troll: There is a reason one of Celestia's nicknames is "Trollestia". Her character in the actual series is a benevolent ruler and a Reasonable Authority Figure, but it's very frequent amongst fans to portray her as a Caligula who banishes her subjects to the moon on a whim and goes on her way to constantly prank them.
  • Mis-blamed: Fans are quick to blame HASBRO for the show's problems. However, Hasbro is only responsible for deciding whether or not an episode is OK to air ("green lighting" as they call it). The real company to blame is DHX Media, who is responsible for everything in the show, since they're the company who animates the thing.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In "Dragon Quest", the adolescent dragons, who are initially portrayed merely as obnoxious Jerkasses, bring Spike along on a "raid" that involves stealing phoenix eggs away from their parents and smashing them, simply because they think it's fun. They don't change their minds when the newborn babies hatch, either.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", Imposter-Cadance/Queen Chrysalis crossed this by leaving Twilight trapped in the mines under Canterlot which were long forgotten so nopony would ever find her. Then taunting her with that fact, just to rub it in. And then it's revealed she did the exact same thing with the real Cadance, who is in rough shape by the time Twilight finds her. All this after letting an already-broken and regretful Twilight think all is forgiven.
    • "The Crystal Empire" does this to King Sombra immediately upon his introduction, in which it is revealed that he used Black Magic to turn the Crystal Empire into Mordor and enslave the crystal ponies who lived there. Worse still, he's given no excuse for his crimes — Nightmare Moon had a tragic backstory, and though it doesn't remotely excuse their actions, Discord and Chrysalis were at least motivated by some component of their natures. Sombra, though, was just a regular unicorn who decided to seize power for himself even if it meant ruining the lives of everyone around him. Appropriately, the episode presents him more as a monstrous force of evil than as an actual character.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", if Lord Tirek hadn't crossed this already, he certainly did when he imprisoned Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity and Spike, drained their magic, betrayed Discord, and'' drained him of his magic. Even earlier than that, he banishes Celestia, Luna, and Cadance to Tartarus, even though they have no magic and are powerless to do anything against him.
    • Discord is an interesting case. In "The Return of Harmony" he comes dangerously close to crossing the MEH by cheating at his own game and mentally torturing the main ponies. "Keep Calm and Flutter On" heavily implies that Discord did this in self-defense. By pretending to be Fluttershy's friend, he eventually becomes the mask and makes a Heel-Face Turn. In "Twilight's Kingdom", betraying all of Equestria to Tirek, including Fluttershy, would almost count as this, but due to his recurring remorse and reaction to Tirek betraying him not only make him sympathetic, but solidify his Heel-Face Turn.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Princess Celestia banished somepony into the Moon only once (reluctantly even) within the series' canon. The princess is now notorious within the fandom for banishing anyone or anything she dislikes into the Moon. We have this to thank for most of the "TO THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" stereotypes associated with Celestia.
    • And not to mention the whole "Molestia" thing ever since that one fanfic of the same name, 4Chan, fan tumblrs, and especially YouTube videos.
    • Given that the first episode of season 2 reveals she dealt in a similar fashion (albeit with a different form of punishment) with another ancient evil, there may be more truth to this than fans ever imagined. Though in her defense, Luna helped do that one and Discord probably earned it.
    • Let's not forget Jerk Celestia which many fans enjoyed turning the princess into an unpleasant pony thanks to those memes and all, mainly in parody comics.
    • The candid photo of Celestia gorging herself on cake is another thing nobody will get over. At this point, any brony humor relating to Celestia is almost guaranteed to involve cake, banishment, or both.
    • The photo of Mayor Mare dying her normally pink mane silver in "Ponyville Confidential".
    • Really, a character does anything in this show entire memes will spawn and Fanon forged around it, especially background ponies. One of the most famous examples is Derpy's muffin obession is based on a line heard in "Applebuck Season". However she's among a group of other ponies that are also there for free muffins, some of them drooling, and she's among three ponies whose mouths flap in the scenenote .
    • For another such example, Lyra Heartstrings' fanon personality revolves around her obsession with humans. This is based on her human-like posture in the background in one episode.
    • Pinkie Pie turned "Pinkamena"note  only once in the entire series yet this is one of the things that she is known for. It's gotten to the point where everyone is expecting Pinkie's mane to deflate whenever she gets depressed. And is portrayed as homicidal when it happens, instead of self-destructive. Though, the whole homicidal personality did not come from the show but from a certain fanfic.
    • Speaking of Pinkie, she tends to have a few more Aside Glances and Leaning on the Fourth Wall moments than the other characters. Many fan works and stories turn her into a fourth-wall ignoring Reality Warper.
    • Princess Luna being useless due to her absence from the Wedding's events has started to gather fan works already. On the other hand there's also plenty of fan-art of Luna kicking Chrysalis' ass.
    • Princess Cadance not inviting Spike back to the Crystal Empire to help out with the preparations for the games and/or welcoming the inspector even though he was the one who ultimately saved it. has not gone well with some of the fans.
    • "A Canterlot Wedding" held a bunch of Never Live It Down moments, ranging from the aforementioned "Luna is useless", to Celestia being weak, to the ponies ditching Twilight for the fake Princess Cadance.
    • Scootaloo is known for being called a "chicken" even though she was called as one only once and it was because she and Applebloom were bickering on how to call a chicken. Another thing that made this popular among the fans was due to the fact that Scootaloo doesn't seem to be able to truly fly even though she has wings. Just like a chicken.
    • Firecracker Burst was originally released with her description "Firecracker Burst loves watching fireworks and guessing how they'll look when they burst — it's always a surprise!" shortened to just "Firecracker Burst loves surprises!" Combined with her fire cutie mark, this led to fans interpreting her as a pyromaniac.
    • Gilda has yet to live down insulting, scaring, picking on, and roaring at Fluttershy and making her run off in tears for no reason.
    • Cherry Fizzy is primarily remembered for one thing. Kicking Derpy off stage making her sad in "Hearth's Warming Eve".
    • It's common for Big Macintosh to be portrayed in fan art and fiction with a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth. He's only seen doing this in "Applebuck Season" — it just happened to coincide with his wordiest appearance in the series.
    • Spitfire has received quite some flack from "Wonderbolts Academy". Mainly when Lightning Dust became demoted to Wingpony due to her recklessness and lack of any concern for any pony.
    • A meta example: The Japanese version left four of the songs in its original language: "Winter Wrap Up", "Art of the Dress", "Becoming Popular", and "The Heart Carol". Admittedly, three out of four of these were pretty major songs, but because of this, every time an episode with a major song (or even just any song) is about to air in Japan, members of the English-speaking fanbase tend to say, "Hey, maybe this time they'll actually dub the song!"
    • Fluttershy has had a few Freak Outs here and there, but largely remains the gentle, shy pony of the bunch. From the fandom alone, you'd think that she's a Mood-Swinger at best or Yandere at worst.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Nightmare Moon, ironically. Granted, with Word of God saying that her eternal night would have slowly starved everypony, your mileage may vary, heavily.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Many one-shot characters that have shown up for little gags have left a lasting impression.
    • We should start with, of course, the pony patron of this trope: Vinyl "DJ Pon-3" Scratch. Proof that all you need to be popular is to have a cool design, she originally only appeared for a few seconds in "Suited for Success" doing nothing but bobbing her head; yet she became one of the most popular characters in the show. She returned in the Season 2 finale for the Dance Party Ending, revealing her eye color (they're magenta, by the way).
    • While Derpy is not a One-Scene Wonder character, her speaking scene in "The Last Roundup" came as such a surprise a ton of fans forget the episode was about Applejack.
    • Crackle, the rather amusing-looking dragon in "Dragon Quest" that just so happens to look like the ponies' dragon disguise.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Discord is capable of shapeshifting. That's paranoia fuel enough for younger audiences (specifically, the target audience). He could be any stranger you meet!
    • When Pinkie Pie is chasing after you, go ahead and hide. No matter where you go, you can never escape. She will find you. Even when you're in a place that she couldn't possibly reach, yup, she's there. This is taken Up to Eleven if you break a Pinkie Promise, and she Turns Red.
    • The Changelings have the explicit ability and tactic of turning into your loved ones, and they can use mind control to keep you from noticing or fighting back.
  • Poor Man's Substitute:
    • Subverted. They originally intended to do this with someone who sounded like John de Lancie, but someone suggested they get the real de Lancie instead.
    • Played straight with Tirek's voice actor, who, in his "weak" voice, is clearly trying to sound like Tim Curry (which actually lead to a rumor that Tim Curry was indeed Tirek's voice actor). To be fair, he only sounds like this very briefly, as he later ditches the Tim Curry impersonating for a more "generic" monster lord voice.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • The Crusaders did get some flak upon their introduction; but to some fans, they are now adored on par with the mane cast.
    • Many people admit to hating Rarity early into the show, since she comes off as dim, shallow, arrogant and useless — in other words, typical Rich Bitch, the very stereotype she is designed to subvert. It's not until a bunch of episodes, starting with "Suited for Success", came out, giving her a lot of screen time, massive Character Development, and actually living up to her element more often that they started warming up to her.
    • Before the airing of "A Canterlot Wedding", there was a generally negative opinion of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor, due to being an alicorn without any explanation and being Twilight's brother despite never being brought up before, respectively. In addition, it was generally believed that they were forced into the show by higher-ups at Hasbro. While there is still much grumbling about these issues, after the airing of the episodes, they have managed to gain a lot of fans.
    • At the end of "Keep Calm and Flutter On", many fans disliked the newly turned-good Discord, as many fans liked him because he was so despicable and dangerous and that his reformation came completely out of character. As of the season 4 premiere, those who hated the reformed Discord warmed up to him after he was reestablished as The Imp, still mischievous and very potentially dangerous and tenuously held back by a newfound sense of honor and friendship.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Has its own subpage.
    • Many people take the whole "Celestia is pony Hitler" thing a little too seriously and a little too far. Combined with Draco in Leather Pants towards Nightmare Moon for extra mileage. A number of fics turn Princess Celestia, who in canon is a kind, laid-back, accessible Reasonable Authority Figure who loves her subjects and sometimes engages in lighthearted mischief into "Trollestia/Molestia/Tyrantlestia", who is a cruel and shameless prankster, a manipulative bitch, a tyrant, a rapist/annoying flirt, and so forth. This kind of meme tread started ever since the show's very first premiere and it's still ongoing though less common than last two plus years of the series.
    • Pinkie Pie also gets painted as a cold-blooded murderer thanks to a certain fanfic and fans interpreting her breakdown in the episode "Party of One" based on said fanfic. Sometimes people take Pinkie's Cloudcuckoolander, Genki Girl ways and interpret it into her being a bully, like in "A Friend In Deed" with her behaviour with Cranky, ignoring the fact that Pinkie Pie wanted to be his friend and, canonically, she is shown to have Ambiguous Disorder, No Sense of Personal Space and has a naïve, childlike outlook on things and desperately wants to please everyone.
    • Rainbow Dash and Rarity, as the Jerks With Hearts of Gold among the Mane 6, will occasionally get this treatment (the latter suffering the worst of all). Rainbow Dash is also portrayed as a psychotic killer in Rainbow Factory. She's also seen as more of a genuine Jerk Ass than a true hero by a portion of the fandom. Rarity herself sometimes get this treatment. In canon, she's a somewhat haughty but kind pony who is genuinely generous and mostly selfless. In fanon however, some fans enjoy taking her character and twisting it into her being a manipulative bitch or a psychopath, mainly in a few shipping fics that she appears in.
    • Shining Armor will sometimes get this treatment. Some fanfics turns Shining from a benevolent Canterlot royal guard to a Sociopathic Soldier villain (or at best a very brutal Anti-Hero with extreme methods of getting the job done). He will also sometimes get turned into a Jerkass at best (sometimes Jerk Ass With A Heart Of Gold personality) and at worst a dumbass who is incompetent at his guard duty.
    • Spitfire will sometimes get this treatment. Some fanfics will make her looking like the bad guy, mainly to paint Lightning Dust as the victim, despite for the fact that she was doing her job as a drill sergeant.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The show has an incredibly popular version of this in the New Lunar Republic - a LARGE group of fans who resent the reign of supposed "tyrant" Celestia and would rather Luna take the throne. Whether or not this counts as Rooting for the Empire depends on whether they're rooting for Luna or Nightmare Moon. Luna is not an example because she's ultimately good (if only a little impulsive), and the legitimate arguments against her right to the throne are purely political. Those who flat out rooted for Nightmare Moon... play this trope straight.
    • Discord enjoys enormous popularity, many of his fans wanting the fun-loving, Laughably Evil Trickster to succeed in his goal of eternal chaos. It didn't hurt that in his introductory episode, one of the main characters (namely Pinkie Pie) seemed perfectly fine with a guy who makes chocolate milk rain from the sky.
    • The Changelings have their fans, arguing that despite the cruelty of their queen most Changelings just want something to eat.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Angel Bunny, ostensibly Fluttershy's pet rabbit, is despised by much of the fandom for being an ungrateful abusive jerkass to his (normally-)sweet caretaker. This reached a peak in the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down". His behavior in that episode was seen as loathsome, even by his standards (read: kicking Fluttershy out of her own home because she couldn't get a cherry to top the absurdly complicated dish he demanded, a dish that she otherwise made perfectly).
      • The argument goes that past episodes (most notably "Dragonshy") had established that Fluttershy was willing to get angry and assertive when presented with injustice, so why did she not stand up to a greedy rabbit? The rest of the fandom is quick to point out that situations like "Dragonshy" or "The Stare Master" dealt only with injustice towards other ponies Fluttershy cared about, whereas she is too selfless to stand up for her own self (and that her accidentally taking her newfound assertiveness too far wasn't unprecedented and was a natural consequence of Fluttershy's crippling lack of self-awareness, exemplified by the moment where Fluttershy has to physically look at her reflection to realize what she's done). Moreover, though Angel didn't seem to really learn anything, Fluttershy did manage to put him back in his place at the episode's end.
      • The writers may be aware that they took Angel too far, because he's been toned down quite a lot since "Hurricane Fluttershy". He was still a jerk in Season 3's "Just For Sidekicks", but had enough empathy and self-control to not sell out Spike when he could have.
    • Diamond Tiara is also disliked by the fandom because she takes pleasure in bullying and berating the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The hatred of her increased when she took another level in jerkassery in the Season 2 episode "Ponyville Confidental", when she forces the Cutie Mark Crusaders to continue the gossip column by blackmailing them, also showing no concern for their feelings or those of the town. Although she is supposed to be disliked by the fandom, many fans actually want her dead. The staff weren't intending on having her hated to the point of the fans wishing death on her. She is also disliked for taking another level in jerkass in Season 3's "One Bad Apple", when Babs Seed joins her group and she and Silver Spoon go along with the mean-spirited pranks Babs pulls, because although D.T. only bullies by making snide comments, her bullying, along with Babs's, was meant to be a lot worse this time. Diamond Tiara reached an even bigger low in "Flight to the Finish" when, realizing that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are no longer affected negatively by her constant "blank flank" teasing, she and Silver Spoon instead targets Scootaloo's inability to fly in an attempt to ruin the act that they plan to perform at a competition to choose Ponyville's flag bearers at the Equestria Games.
    • Silver Spoon has nearly all of the same Character Flaws as Diamond Tiara but is much more likely to receive Draco in Leather Pants treatment. Some fans are quite frustrated by the double standard, to the point where they now find Silver Spoon less appealing.
    • Probably the first character to be widely hated was Gilda the Griffon. 3+ years after her first (and so far only) appearance, many people- mainly Fluttershy fans- STILL refuse to forgive her behavior. This despite that fact that Gilda caused much less trouble than other more popular antagonists (and arguably, even some of the Mane Cast, including Fluttershy). She was also rather poorly-written (at least in the context of this show); her dialogue was meant to sound cool, but many fans found it forced and awkward.
    • Among the show's Villains, King Sombra is disliked by many. This is due mostly to fans feeling he never actually did much of anything (save for sealing Shining Armor's horn early in the story). The writer, Meghan McCarthy, went on record that he was intended to be a constant menacing presence à la Sauron. She also admitted that it didn't come across very well, and so in a rare move for this show he has been Killed Off for Real.
    • Owlowiscious. Though this seems to be downplaying since his second main role, due to becoming a Silent Snarker and Vitriolic Best Bud for Spike.
    • Prince Blueblood is possibly the most widely hated character on the show, regularly appearing at the very bottom of popularity polls (only Diamond Tiara, below, comes close among ponies). He shares Gilda's plight (after we witness all of Rarity's high hopes about him, he turns out to be a horse's rear end), minus almost any possibility for sympathy. Admittedly this was the point, but his treatment of Rarity, coupled with his ultra-snooty voice, made him a hate-magnet.
    • When Princess Cadance was first revealed to be an upcoming toy, there was a lot of hate for her mostly because she was a pink alicorn. Fortunately her proper appearance in the show seems to have won a lot of fans over, in part to her wonderful singing voice and the finale being all around well liked, even if her status as a Winged Unicorn isn't really addressed. Despite most of the praises of the finale, many fans still dislike Cadance for being a "Mary Sue" and some even tried to prove for her being a Sue with little shown as possible.
    • Since the show has picked up a notoriously large male Periphery Demographic, Snips and Snails gained a lot of ire early on for being the main representation of males in Ponyville. The fact that they're unattractive, dopey, and obnoxious didn't sit well with a crowd of men more educated than the show's intended audience effectively, they're the gendered version of an Ethnic Scrappy. Later episodes helped tone this down as Snips and Snails appeared less often while other much nicer male characters like Spike, Big Macintosh, Carrot Cake and Shining Armor got more focus. By the second and third seasons, their appearances were limited enough that their Scrappy status dwindled considerably, and their roles in episodes like "Magic Duel" (wherein they get tortured over the course of the episode by fan-favorite character The Great And Powerful Trixie) were clearly to those episodes' benefit.
    • Many people did not like Tori Spelling hosting the premiere of "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2".
    • Twist gets it the worst since all it took was a nerdy lisp and already most fans have despised her regardless of the fact that Twist is a kind filly who appeared to be Apple Bloom's only friend prior to Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle showing up.
    • Fans loathe Flash Sentry, so much so that the hatred began before they even knew his name, all that was known is that he was intended to be a love interest for Twilight in Equestria Girls, and that was all it took. Turning out to be a Flat Character with no real personality did not gain him much love, and his two cameos in Season 4 were enough to make fans froth at the mouth just for appearing.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Pinkie Pie might be to some.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Princess Luna. With her being purified of her Nightmare Moon side, she was certainly set up to be a good recurring character for season 1, at least as a sidekick of sorts for Celestia, but she didn't appear at all. In season 2, they at least explained that "Luna Eclipsed" marked her first public appearance since being rescued, and then she was again clearly set up to be a recurring character again, but, alas, she still didn't appear at all for the rest of the season until the finale. Eventually, the writers caught on by season 3, and now Luna seems to be inseparable from Celestia, averting this.
    • Another one is King Sombra. While arguably the most competent and deadly of villains, Sombra was portrayed with so little character development and focus, many fans find it difficult to feel the impact he was meant to have on our heroes. His forms were frightening, his abilities were terrifyingly powerful and his legacy on the Crystal Ponies was more than unsettling, which only makes it even worse that he had very few lines and didn't even interact once with the mane cast. Top it all off with a rather anti-climatic death in the form of being blasted to oblivion, and one can't help but feel slightly bitter about it.
    • Princess Celestia herself. While her personality is well established and known, her (including Luna's) backstory were not explored further. What's more disappointing is that the chances of having a Celestia episode or a major role of a certain episode aside from exposition and possible plot device is very slim at the moment. Naturally on many fanfics would explore more into her character but not in the same way the show makes her to be.
    • This is actually inverted with Discord when the writers realized his potential as a character after his defeat in his debut episode, and was brought back with a Heel-Face Turn afterwards as a result. The fact that Discord is so popular and that John de Lancie gets to do more voice acting for them probably helped with this a lot.
    • In Twilights Kingdom Part 1, Scorpan is mentioned during Tirek's backstory as Tirek's brother, and is never seen or mentioned again, other than in the next episode when Tirek says that the medallion he gave to Discord belonged to Scorpan. Whether it means that Tirek killed Scorpan in revenge, or that he was merely unavailable as he lives in a foreign country and the only reliable long distance communication is via Spike and Celestia, leaves his fate ambiguous.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Ursa Major cuddling its Ursa Minor cub? Equal parts hideous and precious.
    • With her braces and ugly 80's style, younger Cheerilee was definitely less attractive than her current adult self.
    • Even the vultures are adorable and Fluttershy loves them.
    • Snips and Snails also count.
    • And even Discord for some people.
    • Some fans have hoped and prayed for a return appearance of the Diamond Dogs for this very reason.
    • What about the scraggly, doe-eyed mule in brief appearances in "Applebuck Season" and "Hurricane Fluttershy"?
    • Queen Chrysalis may count due to her enormous green eyes and Cute Little Fangs.
      • As well as her changeling army, to a certain degree.
    • Tank, Rainbow Dash's pet tortoise. "Aww, look. He even smiles slow."
  • Uncanny Valley: The pony's faces look extremely human-like when viewed from the front, and, when combined with the horselike ears, can look quite unsettling... And then designs for Equestria Girls came in...
    • The artwork in the Expanded Universe picture book Under the Sparkling Sea sometimes falls under this. Mary Jane Begin is a good artist, and to her credit the illustrations are wonderfully painted, but her detailed pseudo-realistic art style doesn't mesh well with the cartoonish character designs (most evident with faces).
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Discord, Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • There have been two ponies so far (Lickety Split from "Secret of My Excess" and the young earth pony who gets a bowling Cutie Mark at the beginning of "The Cutie Pox") who have male-looking head shapes, but also have eyelashes which are only visible when their eyes are closed or not fully open.
    • Scootaloo and Babs Seed. Both have short hair and rather masculine demeanour and voices. About the only giveaway as to their real gender are the very short eyelashes carried by both of them.
    • Viewers who didn't know about Derpy prior to The Last Roundup wouldn't be blamed for thinking her (original) voice was that of a male. Tabitha St. Germain who voiced her even said she didn't know she was a girl and that the voice was inspired by a neighbor's son.
    • Rainbow Dash can qualify for this. Besides being primarily blue (a typically masculine color), she often behaves in a boyish manner and is voiced with a classic example of the young-boy-portrayed-by-female-voice-actor voice. You could probably come up with a good Drinking Game. Just take a swig every time you have to correct yourself for thinking of Rainbow as a him.
    • Also, many fans usually mistake Angel Bunny for a female rabbit.
  • Wangst:
    • Played for laughs in "Suited For Success". After Rarity's fashion show ended in disaster (thanks to trying too hard to give her friends "perfect" dresses), suffering a brutal review by a fashion critic and getting laughed at by the other ponies, she locked herself in her shop and cried out in shame and depression. This one may actually be justified, since she just wanted to please her friends, since they didn't like the dresses she made, and she didn't know that the fashion show would end up in disaster.
    Rarity: Leave me alone! I vant to be alone! I want to wallow in... whatever it is that ponies are supposed to wallow in! Do ponies wallow in pity? Oh, listen to me! I don't even know what I'm supposed to wallow in! I'm so PATHETIC!!!
    • Rarity is the master of trope, but Twilight can wangst something fierce too.
    • Rainbow Dash's reaction to Fluttershy's failed attempt at reassuring her in "Sonic Rainboom":
      Rainbow Dash: AAAUUGH! What do I do?! Everypony's going to see me fail! The Wonderbolts will never let a loser like me join! Princess Celestia would probably banish me to the Everfree Forest! MY LIFE IS RUINED!
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Played with. Every time she used her adult walker, Granny Smith was the butt of a joke.
    • When Gilda terrifies her into thinking there's a rattlesnake, she gimps away as fast as she can. Which is no faster than she usually moves. You just don't do that sort of thing to someone as old as Granny, which explains some of the hatred towards Gilda.
    • Oddly enough, the one time a character was actually in a wheelchair (Twilight after she fell down some stairs), it was treated as Amusing Injuries.

    Fandom reactions 
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • According to various queries, Russians hate Rarity - she fares only on par with one-off and background ponies, way behind the mane cast. CMC and Spike are even worse. "Lesson Zero" is considered one of the worst episodes, same for all CMC episodes. Surprisingly, "Sisterhooves Social", despite being heavy on CMC and Rarity, is rated very high... two negatives equal positive?
    • Comments left on Japanese fansubs indicate that Trixie is not thought of very highly over there - her bossiness and show-offiness makes her seem (even more) disrespectful and unsympathetic. At least initially. See Germans Love David Hasselhoff above.
    • With the Japanese audience online it is Rarity who doesn't fare well, she is often called "Obasan" (Auntie) or a "Baba" (Old hag). And the voice actress's way of making Rarity sound mature has been described as 'sounding like something from a hentai' rather than regal. Though sometimes the aunt comments can be interpreted in jest, especially when Rarity displays her cute side.
      • In the poll mentioned above regarding Applejack's surprising popularity in Japan over America, Rarity is ranked second favorite character, beating the aforementioned Applejack and Fluttershy. Then again, as mentioned, the "Obasan" may just be a light-hearted joke.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Considering its huge Periphery Demographic, it's safe to say this is an aversion.
  • Award Snub:
    • According to this article, the fandom was not pleased to hear that this show received no Emmy nominations, while Transformers Prime received six (and to make matters worse, the series won two, both for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation).
      • This case is a bit of a misnomer as in general the Transformers and My Little Pony fandoms get along very well, even ganging up on the transgressors in the comments
    • For the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards the following year, both of FIM's entries for Best Original Song ("Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know)" and "Find A Pet Song") lost to "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise". To say the fandom wasn't happy was an understatement.
    • The two aforementioned entries are still FIM's only Emmy nominations, having received none the following two years.
  • Awesome Art: Many fans love the show's colorful and unique art style.
  • Broken Base: With the fandom as large as it is, this is inevitable. Some dividing factors include the Aesop of some episodes coming off the wrong way to some fans ("The Mysterious Mare Do Well" being a prime example), the portrayal of fan-favorite characters, and whether or not Fandom Nods are good for the show.
    • While humanization of any of the pony folks won't cause that much of a uproar, it will when they add their own indication on their race or ethnicity.
    • Alicorn Twilight. You can probably split it between those who love the idea, those who are not opposed but would have preferred to have a better build up, and those who hate it with a passion of a thousand fiery suns.
    • Rainbow Dash's Japanese voice. Some find it great, while others think its way too hoarse and shaky for her to the point where they prefer other foreign voices, like her Polish dub voice.
    • The first few episodes of Season 4 were predominantly adventure-based (as opposed to the Slice of Life plots that dominated the first three seasons), breaking the base between those who wanted the old-style stories again and those who liked the adventuring. The debate largely became moot when they shifted back to slice of life stories beginning with episode 8.
    • Even before Inspiration Manifestation aired, there was some conflict between those who ship Spike/Rarity and were hoping for more Ship Tease and those who don't. Word of God weighed in at a BABScon 2014 panel that them being together at this time isn't appropriate because of his Vague Age, though fans have called foul.
  • Canon Fodder: The fanfiction community for the show is one of the biggest and fastest growing fanfiction communities in all media fandoms. One of the many reasons is the many gaps in the details about the history of the FiM universe. Fanfic writers have a field day answering questions such as "What turned Luna into Nightmare Moon?", "What happened between the founding of Equestria and the rule of Discord?", "Where does the Hearts and Hooves Day backstory fit into this?", and so on.
  • Complaining about People Not Liking the Show: Some of the fans can be quite vocal about folks genuinely not liking the show or any of its aspects.
  • Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: This might be the first time a show owes a good deal of its popularity to this trope. For starters:
    • The whole fandom kicked off because of an article on Cartoon Brew — written before the show even started airing — saying that the very existence of the Hub represented (exact words) "The End of the Creator-Driven Era". How ironic when Friendship Is Magic turned out to be proof of how dramatically a creator-driven approach can improve a Merchandise-Driven franchise. The article's hubris attracted a lot of attention from 4chan's comics-and-cartoons board, whose visitors decided to watch the show for themselves just to spite the writer.
    • The dispute between Kathleen Richter and Lauren Faust that played out in Ms. Magazine's blog.
    • Additionally, it's been an uphill climb for people spreading the news about how good the show actually is. The first discussion thread at Something Awful was a veritable mine field of Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch. Oddly, the second thread, after having been going strong without too much trolling and attracting dozens and dozens of new fans to the show for almost 150 pages (!!!), and generating over a thousand dollars in account, avatar, and banner purchases, was unceremoniously deep sixed. The moderators explained that they disliked having to patrol a thread in which people talk about how much they enjoy a cartoon directed at elementary school-age girls.
      • This decision was actually good for both sides: The posters in that thread simply moved their discussion to an off-site forum. The ponygoons now have a whole forum to themselves while the non-fans don't need to be annoyed/creeped out by said ponygoons. It's also caused a bit of a Streisand Effect: Why on earth would a show that's as innocuous as My Little Pony cause such a commotion?
      • A word of warning for those who want to post on their forums: They loathe Ponibooru and will ban anyone who posts a link to it (because of its NSFW nature). They suggest using their own image site, Bronibooru. Which is free from NSFW images and images of terrible quality.
      • They also have their own website with well-written editorials if you want an alternative to EQD.
    • A similar incident occurred on 4chan on February 27, 2011note , when a moderator , without warning, decided to place an autoban filter on the website, making everyone who posted the word "pony" or "ponies" receive an automatic one day ban. People who were not posting anonymously received a 2 week ban. However, pony threads on /co/ were accumulating, on average, one post every fifteen seconds, twenty-four hours a day, constantly, for weeks, resulting in hundreds being banned. No real justification was given, other than "pony threads were shitting up 4chan." Many pointed out the hypocrisy in that just as many threads were constantly posted about Batman or Homestuck on /co/, and that the rules of /b/ stipulated that users can post anything they please. The moderator(s) refused to listen, so for about 12 hours, all of 4chan was incapacitated due to angry bronies protesting (as well as people who didn't like/watch the show but thought this whole thing was stupid). Eventually the moderators relented and removed the autobans (but didn't unban anyone that was banned). This historic event became known as "The Great Pony War", which bronies are sure to tell their children for years to come.
    • A radio show in Pittsburgh made fun of this wired.com article about the fans. Another radio show also lambasted the show and its fans, at one point claiming it was causing the decline of society. Not long after, a TV "news" team followed up a report of a man filing for government unemployment benefits because he was too busy with some fandom he was in to get a job... with a brief blurb about bronies that heavily implied that they do the same thing.
      • One such radio show ("True Capitalist Radio", hosted by a fella under the alias "Ghost") has since become a frequent target of Internet troll raids due to Ghost's tendency to do acrobatic pirouettes off the handle in reaction to just about anything that draws his ire.
    • NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and Redeye (A Fox News opinion program) also poked fun at the fans, but were considerably gentler about it. The latter asked "how ashamed" bronies should feel, and one of the guests did imply that bronies were drug users. Of course given the program's comedic tone, it was most likely a joke.
      • On the other hand, In Living Glover stated the above-mentioned baseless idea that bronies are taking disability because they like My Little Pony too much to actually work as fact.
  • Creator Worship: Lauren Faust, to the bronies. Apparently, she can fly.
    • Daniel Ingram, the show's composer, gets some of his own worship for composing the series' Awesome Music.
    • M.A. Larson is one of the more well-received writers on the staff, most famous for "Sonic Rainboom", "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Discord's debut two-parter, and the full-fledged introduction of Princess Luna.
    • This attitude has gone sadly extreme, actually: There is a large amount of fans who hold Faust to be absolutely infallible and praiseworthy, and a smaller, but still significant, reaction of fans who get irritated at others' praise of Faust, and paint her as an ungrateful quitter (after she left during season two), a Moral Guardian, or any number of insults concerning her style, attitudes, or actions.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Rule 50 is very much in effect with this show. And then images appear on gallery sites and search engines that show, among others, Celestia photoshopped into a picture of one of Hitler's parades. Or the mane cast appearing in the American Civil War. Or most infamously, Rainbow Dash becoming a Holocaust victim.
    • The Molestia jokes, memes and comments to an extent became very old rather fast for many fans, and is an understandable Berserk Button for Nicole Oliver. The trend of the meme is somewhat dying down as of late since the Ask Princess Molestia blog ended on late January 2014 but not by much and in fact has only slightly increased the popularity of the meme.
    • Scootabuse is this and as of late the trend seems to be dead at this point.
    • During a livestream of the episode "One Bad Apple", some hackers claiming to be from /v/ decided to troll the viewers by cutting into the video with a message that they've been hacked by /v/ and asking "U mad, horsefuckers?" it's especially ironic given that the episode in question has an anti-bullying message.
  • Discredited Meme:
    • A few people got sick of the Trollesta/Molestia/Tyranlestia/etc jokes and comments that are implemented on Celestia all the time in fanon. It's slowly dying down as of late but not by much and the damage to Celestia's reputation was already done due to the memes from the start.
    • The same can be said of Cupcakes Pinkie Pie which seems to be way worse than the Molestia treatments at some points.
    • Both Scootabuse and Sweetieabuse are pretty much dead at this point.
  • Epileptic Trees: For a show where the creators claim they don't "hammer logic very hard", the fans sure like to speculate on stuff. Just look at our own massive Wild Mass Guessing pages. Yes. Pages. Massive pages. And we're probably gonna need more.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The fanfiction community for the show is huge. In addition to the Canon Fodder described above, the show has the tendency to drop things that serve as good starting points for fanfiction.
    • Why are Celestia and Luna apparently the only winged unicorns in the series?
    • Did anything interesting happen in the thousand years between Nightmare Moon's imprisonment and the pilot?
    • Luna's 1-year Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Now we have Daring Do, an Adventurer Archaeologist who is the protagonist of a Book Series Within A Show; the contents of one of the books have been shown on-screen, we know the title of another, and we know that there are many other books in the series. Cue lots of fan-made "Daring Do and the [x]" installments.
      • And the Daring Do trope page, if it counts.
    • In "Hearts and Hooves Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders create a love potion, but they only use a very small amount and leave quite a bit in the pitcher. Cue Shipping Fics involving one pony (or more) accidentally drinking the potion and hilarity ensuing.
    • The introduction of Tartarus and time travel spells in "It's About Time" has given rise to many fanfics
    • The questionable actions of Shining Armor, The Mane Six, and Celestia that were taken during first part of the second season finale had garnered a bit of fuel, having writers insert bitterness into Twilight when she alienated everyone she ever loved, even when she was right about her suspicions surrounding the fake Cadance and write out stories calling out the ponies involved.
    • During the space between seasons 2 and 3, Hasbro released a series of Friendship is Magic posters... including an official map of Equestria which featured a number of new locales to tickle the imaginations of fanfic writers.
    • Trailers for Inspiration Manifestation showing a green-eyed Rarity with her horn glowing the same color had fans wondering if King Sombra or Queen Chrysalis would be involved (they aren't). Given that all of Rarity's designs involve heavy use of crystals and gemstones and Twilight explicitly refers to the book's powers as dark magic, the episode looks to be implying that the book came from Sombra but backs off before stating it, leaving it open to speculation.
      • Given that the jewels were only a result of Rarity's design style and not part of the spell she used, they were probably a red herring as far as Sombra was concerned,* but the gradual loss of reason and increase in power was similar to the effects of the Alicorn Amulet.
    • Equestria Games: Who are the delegates from other lands, and what are their kingdoms like? Plus, all the characters on the other teams, and what events the other ponies from Ponyville were participating in, and how the parts of the games that we didn't see (which were most of them) went, and Equestria's relationship with the griffon kingdom that sent a team (assuming it wasn't a griffon-majority territory located in Equestrian boundaries), and how the actual anthems of Ponyville and Cloudsdale go...
    • As of Twilights Kingdom Part 1, on top of fans tying the series back to G1 now more than ever, we have Scorpan, another G1 based character and Tirek's brother who befriended ponykind but left soon after Tirek was imprisoned. This is itself a reference to the original Scorpan, who also pulled a Heel-Face Turn against Tirek near the end of the G1 pilot. Oh yes, and Discord and Tirek know each other somehow.
      • And Scorpan and Starswirl were friends?
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • Don't ever say anything bad about Fluttershy or Princess Luna if you know what's good for you.
    • Going meta, altering Derpy Hooves is the fandom's Berserk Button.
    • Another meta example: It's probably not wise to call Princess Celestia a "tyrant" or a "molester" in front of her voice actress.
    • Yet another meta example: Lauren Faust is usually tolerant about rule 34 as long as the fans don't keep reminding her of it, but it does disturb her to know that fans have drawn porn of her Author Avatar "Fausticorn".
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Some fans of FiM tried and mostly failed to start this when they felt snubbed at the Daytime Emmys for Transformers Prime, however for the most part Transformers fans and My Little Pony fans get along extremely well, which makes sense if you consider most male pony fans probably grew up watching Transformers instead of the early generations of ponies. Also, both properties are owned by Hasbro, so there is a natural brother/sister dynamic. In fact, the Transformers fanbase and the "old" MLP fanbase, the one who existed even before FiM came along, have historically had good relations that retain to this day. Although there was some friction caused by the more outspoken fans of all three groups, many regard the series as like siblings. When Howard Stern made a harsh criticism against the Pony fandom, the level of raging Big Brother Instinct coming out of the Transfans was huge.
    • There appears to be a mild rivalry between bronies and fans of Adventure Time, with many who dislike Fi M holding up Adventure Time as a superior alternative.
    • There is also a bit of vitriol between FiM and Homestuck; for quite a while, whenever ponies appeared on Homestuck image boards, everyone would flip out, and vice versa for pony image boards. However, after the Homestuck image board hit a Hard Reset and lost all of its comments, the pony-Homestuck battles have lessened considerably (though they haven't disappeared completely).
    • In certain places, a noticeable hate towards Sonic the Hedgehog seems to be developing. Equestria Daily has had a ban on FiM/Sonic crossover content of ANY kind for a while now. This is due to negative reactions from staffers and beta readers, along with the volatile reactions whenever Sonic related content was initially posted. There are exceptions to this: a fan-made Sonic style Super Mode for Rainbow Dash has made it onto the Drawfriend posts and one fanfic that only featured Dr. Eggman/Robotnik and OC ponies got past the beta readers, only to get the same level of venom as expected in the comment box. Some theorize that the bronies hate Sonic out of the fear of becoming like the Sonic fanbase (and, at worst, they can come off as not being too far off). Meanwhile in the Sonic fandom, opinions of FiM are just about the same as you'd get elsewhere, although some of the saner Sonic fans will remark on how the brony fans makes the Sonic fans look easier to deal with in comparison. Despite this, there are plenty of crossover pictures and fanfic to be found (even shipping Sonic with Rainbow Dash). And, yes, at least one Awesome Music mashup.
    • Fandom Rivalry even exists within the franchise. Scuffles are known to pop up between some of the those who're fans of G3/G3.5 and Tales from time to time.
      • Another major example occurs between Ponychan posters and "/mlp/" posters. The former sees that latter as "bronies in name only" who do not follow any of the "love and tolerate" polices that the former believes the fandom is built on. On the other hand, the latter sees the former as "douchebags" who should just "give in to the internet."
    • Some fans of educational Slice of Life programming also do not get along well with some bronies since FiM season 2, with the former seeing the latter as crude trolls who ran a promising slice of life show into the ground by pressuring Hasbro to drop the slice of life format in favor of more villains and adventure, costing the show its E/I status. The latter sees the educational slice of life fans as babies who should go back to watching Barney & Friends note .
    • Ditto for bronies and the Battlefield 3 fandom, owing in large part to the fact that the first MLP thread on Battlelog was infested with Rule 34 links and fandom arguments.
    • This also happens with Ffrries too. Some bronies subscribe to furry stereotypes and some are uncomfortable with them, while some furries simply hate having to sift through dozens of pages of pony art.
    • Cartoon Network's action shows are developing an Unknown Rival dynamic here. Cartoon Network has a storied history of canceling shows because their target demographic is 5-11 year old boys, but their action shows seem to be much more popular among teenage girls and young women, and they don't want to sell them merchandise. FiM, by comparison, has a target audience of 5-11 year old girls, but the periphery demographic of adult men have been embraced, have merchandise created especially for them, and even have a documentary about them. Cartoon Network claims that girls won't buy boys' toys, but Hasbro has no problem selling girls' toys to boys. The implication that male fans are somehow more valuable than female fans has led to cries of sexism and double standard.
    • Since 2012, FIM's fan base hasn't been very forgiving towards that of The Penguins of Madagascar. In that year, both of FIM's Emmy Award nominations for Best Original Song lost to the rival's "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise".
  • Fan Hater:
    • There are some clueless folks out there assuming all bronies to be zoophiles/pedophiles.
    • 4chan, particularly /v/ hates ponies with a passion, even today with the fandom at its lows. But then again, compared to at the show's peak, the site was flooded so much with viral material that the servers chugged constantly, forcing a ban on ponies to /co/ until the inception of /mlp/. During this quagmire, ponychan was created as a safe haven...and regarded as a hugbox because of it.
  • Fanon:
    • Rainbow Dash is considered by many in the fandom to be the "lesbian" pony (probably due to her boyish appearance, rainbow motif, and attitude... which happens to be exactly the stereotype that Lauren Faust dislikes).
    • After Lyra Heartstrings was shown sitting human-style on a bench, she was portrayed as having a marked interest in humans, even wanting to be one in certain works.
    • Derpy Hooves is depicted as a letter carrier who is somewhat obsessed with muffins, has a unicorn daughter named Dinky (who shows no connection to Derpy in the actual show, but looks like her), and is anywhere between Inspirationally Disadvantaged and merely a space cadet.
    • Thanks to a popular fanfic, Progress, Luna has an abacus which she treats as her baby.
    • Discord is at least one of the following:
    • Pinkie Pie is a Fourth Wall Observer. Word of God has denied this several times, to no avail.
    • There are so many fanon surrounding the background ponies that we have created an entire page dedicated on documenting and studying it.
    • Princess Luna being confirmed to be corrupted by an outside force was the source of many fanon, with Discord and King Sombra being both being popular candidates for the culprit. However, the IDW comic thoroughly jossed a lot of theories about that.
    • Earth ponies having Super Strength, or at least being physically stronger than the other two races, is a common fanon to correct a perceived "imbalance" between earth ponies and the other two.
    • Fanontinuity Lockout: Fans talk so much about fanon without remembering that not everybody knows about fanon that some people can feel a form of Continuity Lockout.
      • It is better off if one doesn't get too into the fanon, lest canon comes along and renders it invalid. Flame Wars have erupted due to details in the actual show apparently not fitting their fanon exactly.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans completely ignore the toys.
    • Works both ways. Many fans of the G4 toys also completely ignore the show for various reasons. The announcement that Hasbro is going to sync the toys to the show already has some fans of the toys crying foul.
    • My Little Pony Equestria Girls probably set the fastest land speed record from confirmation to fanon discontinuity.
    • Princess Twilight Sparkle is discontinued by a fraction of the community.
  • Fountain of Memes:
  • Friendly Fandoms: Bordering on Odd Friendship in some cases. Examples include:
    • Transformers and My Little Pony share something of a brother/sister dynamic going as far back at the 80s with both franchises' first show incarnations. Being arguably the the two largest of their franchises, Hasbro has done nothing to stop this relation. Almost every generation of one series correlated with one from the other, and there was a very broad group of fans that crisscrossed between the two. This showed up best when Transformers Prime and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic became flagship series for The Hub network and had very frequent crossover gags in the animated commercials.
    • With fans of Valve Software games, since Team Fortress 2 helped spread the word of the show in its early days, and crossovers with Valve games are probably the most common pony crossovers.
    • With Doctor Who, thanks to the background pony "Doctor Whooves".
    • In the face of a brony Vocal Minority haters
against Sonic the Hedgehog, many other bronies would like to become friendly with the Sonic fandom, especially because of the comparison between Sonic and Rainbow Dash.
  • Gateway Series: This series is undoubtedly the reason why Care Bears Welcome To Care A Lot and Littlest Pet Shop (2012) immediately got a Periphery Demographic.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Bushiroad at least thinks that this would be the case in Japan, as they gave its Japanese dub considerable hype and aiming it towards both little girls and the Moe crowd.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: A lot of male fans, though most people would argue it hasn't broken out of it. Lauren Faust's words on the subject:
    "When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people — without even watching the show — to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I'm doing my job right, I think you'll be surprised."
  • Guilty Pleasure: One of the main descriptives given by several fans for liking it.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Everything in Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, from the Golden Oaks Library's destruction and the fight scene that follows is definitely not the sort of thing most would think would ever appear in the show.
    • As is Tirek causing the stained glass window depicting Princess Twilight to melt.
  • Hype Aversion / Hype Backlash:
    • ... Let's just say that "IT'S FOR LITTLE GIRLS" is not the only reason so many people write off this show.
    • Luna gets this a lot too, expect at least one person to claim she's overrated when talking about her.
    • The sheer amount of zeal many Derpy fans possess for the character can make some bronies feel the opposite about her.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: For a fanbase whose main mantra is "Love and Tolerance", they're surprisingly prone to infighting and being nasty with other fandoms if the Fandom Rivalry section is to be believed.
    • This reaches truly mind-boggling proportions if you're unfortunate enough to meet nastier bronies who are casually racist, sexist and/or homophobic. It's like the "Love and Tolerance" message is twisted to "You must love and tolerate us while we do what we want", presenting a Mind Screw of "It's intolerant not to tolerate intolerance!" to boot.
    • And for a fanbase who preaches about The Power of Friendship, there are a surprising amount of them who've burned their bridges with their old friends. Irony at its finest.
    • It should be noted this is mostly the Vocal Majority acting in this light. Mostly.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Bring up "Feeling Pinkie Keen" on the adult-fan websites. Fans argue over the intended message and if it was a good message to have in the first place.
    • Also the episode "Over a Barrel" seems to have this effect. These episodes were both written by Dave Polsky, which is probably no small coincidence.
    • Bronies were in quite an uproar over several toys of background ponies. More specifically, they were mad about the official names, which are the way they are not because Hasbro is snubbing the fandom (in fact, they do try to utilize names fans have developed), but mainly because of Writing Around Trademarks, or the inverse, trying to create a name that can be trademarked.
    • Do not bring up "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" on any of the fan websites, unless you want to send everyone into a heated discussion over things like whether or not the episode was any good.
      • For that matter, DO NOT mention Merriwether Williams on any fan site. Not only will every thread drift back to MMDW, but things will always degenerate into a Flame War over whether she should still work on the show, whether she's gotten better, and whether or not she's wrecked the show.
    • Mention Derpy's behavior in "The Last Roundup" if you have to - but make sure you're wearing asbestos underpants if you want to stick around for the Flame Wars between the "There's nothing offensive about her character, she's just acting silly" camp and the "She's an offensive stereotype of the mentally handicapped" camp. Amy Keating Rogers even received a bit of hate mail for Derpy's depiction claiming she was offensive and a jab at mentally-challenged people, even though other characters in the show are depicted as similarly dopey and, as Rogers pointed out, she has a mentally-challenged son herself.
    • And then fans started causing a ruckus due to worries that Hasbro was taking Derpy down, based on iTunes removing "The Last Roundup" (though The Hub's and later Hasbro's temporary online uploads still included it, and it's still on Shout! Factory's DVD The Friendship Express) and WeLoveFine removing and/or renaming their licensed merchandise (though in some cases only temporarily, as it turned out).
      • iTunes later re-added TLR with edits to Derpy's scene: she's no longer referred to by name, her voice sounds completely different, and her eyes have mostly been un-crossed. No, the fanbase did not take it well. At all. Even later, this edited version went on to be aired by The Hub.
    • Howard Stern's report on bronies has caused a lot of controversy between both fans and haters of the show, after he, to no surprise, portrayed the fanbase in a negative light. Fans completely unaware of how to handle a shock jock proceeded to send hate mail to him, which only gave him material for a followup.
    • Also, saying that season 2 has Grown the Beard or is better than season 1 to fans of Slice of Life shows who've got disillusioned with the TV series.
    • There was quite a big one in response to the confirmation that Twilight was to become an alicorn and a princess of Equestria alongside Celestia and Luna.
    • Here's one debate that often brings out the ugly side of the fandom: How to depict the Mane 6 as humans. If you decide to draw the ponies as humans, and depict any of them as an ethnicity other then Caucasian (white), be prepared to have a dozen or so bronies to jump down your throat and claim that they shouldn't be depicted as (insert your non-white ethnicity here), then have another dozen to come in and claim that the first dozen as being racist. God help you if you decided to depict poor Fluttershy wearing a hijab. It's no wonder that Hasbro decided to go with the "Doug Approach" and depict them as the same colors as their pony incarnations.
    • The fans themselves are sometimes looked upon with scorn, primarily for spamming image-boards with pony-related content, regardless of what that board is meant for.
  • Irony: See a section under Hypocritical Fandom.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many Japanese fans of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes began watching the Japanese dub because many of the voice actors from that anime were dubbing it, only for many of them to become full-on fans of the show itself.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Homosexual pairings are very popular in the fandom for both the mares and the stallions. The Mane Six in particular seem to be shipped with each other or with popular guest star and/or background mares more often than with stallions, and the comparatively few (important) stallions in the show tend to be shipped with each other with some regularity (especially Big Mac and Braeburn).
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: As stated above under Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch, the show's popularity skyrocketed thanks to an article lambasting it as uncreative drivel.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • After months of "PMVs" popping up on the Internet, The Hub decided to make one of their own — and incorporated references to not only "DJ Pon-3" but "bronies" as well!
    • Derpy's canonization (having started with shirts and promos, with it all but confirmed in "The Last Roundup") is one massive catering to the Brony community.
    • A number of seemingly minor interactions by the background ponies are a result of Ascended Fanon, such as Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon hanging out together, Berry Punch continuing to be an implied alcoholic, and Derpy having a muffin pin on her carry bag.
      • Oddly enough, the animator for "Call of the Cutie" confirms that they were originally trying for that interpretation of Berry Punch, but the belch that would originally have followed her drinking from the punch bowl didn't make it past Executive Meddling.
    • The mention that Alicorn Twilight and the possibility of a human-based adaptation being introduced has sent some bronies into an uproar, however. One of the main reasons of their complaints, of course, is this, due to the fact that there's a metric ton of fanart done of these very things well before they officially existed.
    • As described as above, some view the pandering as a negative trait. It's sometimes viewed as exploitation, a crutch to allow the writers to slack off in favour of cheap tricks to get laughs and cheers from the fanbase. It's impossible to please everyone, as several bronies absolutely cringed whenever they found Ascended Fanon.
  • Periphery Demographic: The very existence of this work page's Troper Critical Mass and its many Trope Overdosed subpagesnote  is evidence enough. You can go to any website and you're guaranteed to discover a member or two who is a fan of the show or even the existence of an entire brony subcommunity within that site. The fandom has grown so large that even news media is taking notice.
  • Scapegoat Creator: It used to be Dave Polsky, but since then Merriwether Williams has become the prime target for fandom scorn. Unfortunately her first aired episode was not the best hoof to start out on, and since then, arguments have mutated from her just not getting the show, to more than a few fans pinning everything they dislike about season 2 on Merriwether's shoulders. Merely mentioning her name on many fan sites can cause an immediate Flame War. Never mind that she's just the writer, and has to go through editors and other members of the production team before her episodes are aired, or that she's helped write great episodes on other shows before FiM *cough Band Geeks cough*. No, she's just a bad writer that doesn't "get the show."
    • This hits incredible levels of Fridge Logic when you consider that her next episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" was extremely well received by a majority of the fanbase, and her episode "Wonderbolts Academy" was considered one of the high points of season 3.
    • It got even more ridiculous with season 4's "Bats!" Initial fan reaction to the episode was positive, but once word began circulating that Meghan McCarthy's writing credit was in error and it was actually Williams who wrote the episode, suddenly some fans didn't like it so much (though plenty of people still liked the episode, and there were some people who didn't like the episode even before this was revealed).
    • Scott Sonneborn was added to the mix in record time after his first episode, "Somepony To Watch Over Me," in which Applejack was interpreted by some to be out-of-character.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To most of the previous My Little Pony incarnations, but especially G3 and G3.5.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The lead up to the "Royal Wedding" made many fans angry over just about everything. Of course, most fans agreed it was much better than expected.
    • "Magical Mystery Cure", on the other hand, was incredibly divisive before airing due to its use of Nothing Is the Same Anymore, and remains fairly divisive to this day, although not entirely because of Princess Twilight.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The flexible art style has resulted in a number of cute moments. See: Fluttershy.
  • Testosterone Brigade: The famous bronies.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Some Slice of Life fans who were drawn to the show by season 1 also feels this way about season 2.
    • The pony names from the toys (which in most cases only Jossed Fan Nicknames rather than changing previously-established official names). To say that the fans weren't happy is understating things.
    • Some Japanese fans are upset at the fact that the Japanese version will be using different opening and ending themes, preferring that they use the original theme songs. One fan even made a "Hitler Reacts" video in frustration.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Scenes that deserve special mention are Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, Princess Cadence and Shining Armor's love spell, the underground cave Queen Chrysalis traps Twilight in, the pegasus-powered water tornado in "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight's transformation sequence in "Magical Mystery Cure", Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" and the shot of the Cutie Mark Crusaders running against a sunset backdrop in "Flight to the Finish".
    • There are also many instances where the possibilities of Flash are used very cleverly. For instance, populating backgrounds with more or less randomly-generated ponies rather than using Faceless Masses.
      • Not to mention that these background ponies aren't just standing motionless in the background either. Looking closely in the background one can see them blinking, shifting and moving slightly, and talking to eachother.
    • And if what we have seen of season 4 so far is any indication, the animation quality is set to just keep improving. A particularly noticable change between seasons is that now, when there are close shots of characters, the backgrounds actually have depth of field!. We had seen depth of field tricks occasionally beforehand (Usually shifting depth of field from foreground to background), but now it seems to have become the norm for closeup shots.
    • With the Season 4 Finale, let's just say it's obvious where a fair chunk of Season 4's budget went. The effects in these two episodes are some of the greatest yet seen.
  • Vocal Minority: Most fans enjoy it and will recommend the show to anyone, but that's as far it goes. The ones that obsessively push it are viewed as embarrassing to everyone.
    • Game Informer took a very lighthearted and harmless jab at the show in their Timeline feature, which led to an [oversensitive bron] sending an angry letter ranting about how the ponies are badass and "not frilly". They poked some lighthearted fun at him while sincerely acknowledging the show's quality... [which led to more oversensitive bronies sending hate mail. By then, they could've easily ripped the bronies a new one and no one would've blamed them — yet incredibly, they took the high ground and vowed not hold a grudge against the fanbase. Instead of publishing any of their hate mail, they published a couple of letters from levelheaded bronies apologizing for the idiots in the fanbase. GI also specifically stated that frilly does not equal bad or lame — a sentiment Lauren Faust would agree with 100%.
    • Within the fandom, there are many people who voice their negative opinions of the show or certain episodes, and they are very loud and obnoxious about voicing their hatred. But judging by the amount of thumbs up comments praising the show or calling out the haters on EQD get, we have a Silent Majority of sane bronies.
      • Another vocal minority which evolved as of late are doing the opposite; being loud and obnoxious about anyone daring to talk against any aspect of the show, regardless of the arguments used. Their love of the series is such that any criticism is answered by sheer hatred and prejudice, which said Silent Majority only rarely acknowledges. Especially prevalent on EQD, in which repeat posters routinely insult and despise anyone going against the majority.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the comparatively lukewarm reception of season 3, season 4 was largely heralded as a welcome return to form, as despite its own share of less popular episodes, it featured an unprecedented level of forward planning and nods to the fans.

    Other 

  • Ear Worm: So far, pretty much every song has been declared an ear worm. Naturally overlaps with Awesome Music.
  • Good Bad Translation: One line in the Japanese version mistranslates Applejack's "Widdle Rarity" as "Peeing Rarity". Most Japanese audiences found this line to be hilarious.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Evil Laugh from when Discord's statue starts cracking is easily the scariest sound in the series, and creepier than you'd expect from a Y-rated cartoon.
  • Mondegreen: Racist barn, racist barn, one, two, three, four.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Any time Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie sings.
    • Actually, any time Fluttershy talks would qualify with most of the fans.
    • The *Squee* heard in various episodes is just one of the Stock Sound Effects utilized by the show, but rather than just being used for squeak toys, it's often used for ponies smiling.
    • Rarity's singing is also very highly regarded, same with her sister Sweetie Belle.
    • The sound unicorn magic makes, as well as the very similar Sonic Rainboom. SHOOM
    • Princess Luna's indoor voice can be added to the list.
    • "Dear Princess Celestia...", so wonderful, it has become a Catch Phrase for Tara Strong whenever she wants to make a Shout-Out to bronies.
    • Pinkie Pie's laugh. Since she's the Element of Laughter, it really isn't surprising that her happy little giggle is nice to hear.
    • Princess Cadance's singing voice.
      • For that matter, the sound of Princesses Cadance, Luna and Celestia singing in choir.
  • Narm: Hasbro has taken to using Wilhelm Screams in pretty much every single episode of Season 4.
    • However, there are a few occasions wherein it reaches Narm Charm levels. Most notably in Season 4, episode 6, wherein the characters are inside an homage to Superhero comics. As well as Season 4, episode 4, which was a homage to Indiana Jones.
  • Narm Charm: Let's say the entire series runs on having particularly Narm-ish moments having some sort of appeal.
  • Older Than They Think: The brony fandom is this. Believe it or not, back in the 80s, there were a lot of boys watching G1 due to the adventure-filled plots that were highly unusual in girl's shows at the time. (Obviously, they didn't call themselves "bronies", though.) But since 4chan didn't exist back then, the franchise never caught on as boy-friendly.
    • Another good example, that's slightly less old, would-be Sailor Moon fans from the nighties gave way to pretty much the same reaction as we're getting now the whole "these guys are a pile of happy cigarettes" from the haters and a "it's the turning point of masculinity" from the fans side.
  • Painful Rhyme: Crops up occasionally; the show's "songwriter" just composes the music and relies on the episodes' regular writers for lyrics. Pinkie's song in "Over a Barrel" invokes this intentionally.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything/Doing It for the Art: There's a surprising amount of detail put into the backgrounds, set design, background music, and sound effects. Heck, "Art of the Dress" goes as far as to give us a sound effect for Rarity's uvula wiggling around.
    • Similar with Rarity, they also provided a sound effect for Pinkie's uvula wiggling around during her "I'm at the Grand Galloping Gala" song.
    • Overlapping with Shown Their Work, "Return of Harmony, Part 2" has the ponies' pupil sizes increase and decrease accordingly as Discord screws with the sun and moon.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The quality of the writing in the early Season 1 episodes (especially the two-part pilot) may seem quite low to people who are used to watching the later episodes, which have a lot more Parental Bonus and Fandom Nods. This was before Hasbro knew about the show's Periphery Demographic, so it's justified.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In-Universe example. In "The Show Stoppers", the Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to perform an "epic rock ballad" for the local talent show. The performance is an unmitigated disaster, with off-key singing, poor choreography, many special effect failures, and costumes straight out of The Eighties. At first, the crowd watches in stunned silence, but howl in laughter when it's over. The group ends up winning an award...for "Best Comedy Act."
    • Out of all the sucky outfits the other ponies forced Rarity to make in "Suited For Success", fans generally agree that Rainbow Dash's really did look cool. They just don't agree on who that helmet reminds them of: Spartans? The Rocketeer? Flash Gordon? Magneto? Judge Dredd? Space Marines? Sangheili Elites?
      • Her helmet seemed to be re-used for her Commander Hurricane role in "Hearth's Warming Eve", however.
      • That is to say, cool for a superhero. For a formal dance... perhaps not so much. Then again, her reason for attending was to crash the Wonderbolts' performance with her flying moves, so it makes sense she initially thought the dress would work.
    • The live show at the 2011 Calgary Stampede. Unfortunately, unlike the other examples, this is not Stylistic Suck.
    • Twilight's very awkward dance from "Sweet and Elite."
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • "Magical Mystery Cure". You know that there's going to be more coming when it looks like the problem's solved and everything's going to be all fine and dandy...with a third of the episode left.
    • In Inspiration Manifestation, Rarity has made her creative contribution to the Foal and Filly Fair, nothing bad has happened, and she's about to return the book to Spike...and at this point, we're only eight minutes into the episode. She decides to hold onto the book for just a little while longer...
  • Squick:
    • One pony at the party in "Call of the Cutie" drinking straight from the punch bowl instead of using the ladle provided.
      • There's also Pinkie Pie's party in "Party of One" with Gummy the alligator swimming in the punch bowl.
    • The "baked bads" from "Applebuck Season"; muffins made with lemon juice and live earthworms, among other things. Mmmm, tasty.
    • Rarity stuffing her head in a garbage can in "Party of One". She wasn't the only one trying not to throw up.
    • The way the parasprites reproduce. Apparently, they barf out their babies.
      • Which they appear to have been doing inside of Fluttershy's and Twilight Sparkle's manes.
    • Rarity's pruned hoof in "Green Isn't Your Color".
  • Superlative Dubbing: Of all the languages MLP:FIM got dubbed in, many bronies consider the Polish dub to be the best, even with its flaws. Exhibit A and Exhibit B. The Japanese dub is also very well received (despite being Edited for Syndication), especially with the amount of Woolseyisms they were able to incorporate.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The show has a not-quite version of "Yakety Sax". There have been many others, both with and without lyrics, ranging from Aaron Copeland's Rodeo to Sondheim showtunes to... "The Hokey-Pokey."
    • The crowning jewel of this is "Art of the Dress", which is based on "Putting It Together".
    • "At the Gala" is even more obviously "Ever After" from Into the Woods.
    • The piece of ballet music used in "Sonic Rainboom" and "The Show Stoppers" is a riff on the Swan Lake waltz.
    • The show also does a few homages to Star Wars endings of all things. "Elements of Harmony" ends with a suspiciously similar version of "Augie's Great Municipal Band" and "Return of Harmony, Part 2" ends with a homage to A New Hope's ending, the music of which fits quite well with.
    • The scene where the sun is setting in "Lesson Zero" has a suspiciously similar Version of the "Dream is Collapsing" theme from Inception. And in the scene immediately following, The Princess' Speech is emphasized by music from... The King's Speech.
    • "Find a Pet" is a take on "Fabulous Places" from the 1967 Doctor Dolittle (fittingly, considering who sings it).
    • The music playing at Iron Will's seminar in "Putting Your Hoof Down" is actually Eye of the Tiger with one note changed. In the same episode, when Fluttershy realizes she's become a monster, the Lonely Man theme from The Incredible Hulk starts playing.
    • During the scene in the episode "It's About Time" where Twilight Sparkle meets a future version of herself, the background music is suspiciously similar to "I am the Doctor" from Series 5 and 6 of Doctor Who.
    • "One Bad Apple" features an A-Team Montage while the CMC are building the second float, down to the music.
    • A parody of the Bonanza theme is often used in scenes relating to the Apple family.
    • The Cloudsdale anthem from Equestria Games sounds an awful lot like The Canada Song from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Want to unlock all the characters in the smart phone game? Better really REALLY like it or be willing to spend a lot of money on it.
  • Unfortunate Implications: One magazine seemed to cherry-pick the show for this. Faust was quick to rebut this as Everyone Is Satan in Hell.
  • Watch It for the Meme: This is generally how many fans started watching the show, but quite a few of them actually care more about the show than seeing Lyra/Bon Bon in the background.
    • This is debatable, as any episode involving an appearance by Derpy can fill comment pages simply pleased with her appearance and nothing else in the episode. The most egregious example was The Last Roundup, which may as well only have been the opening five minutes of the episode.
  • Woolseyism: In the Japanese dub of "Bridle Gossip". The appletini apparently isn't that popular in Japan, so they changed Spike's name for Poison Joke!Applejack to "Applemini", which sounds like it could be an actual thing.

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