These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Conversion Bureau
Acceptable Targets: In the story (and some of its spinoffs), humanity itself. The story itself is a huge one for the fanbase, and the Spacebattles Forums especially used to love bashing it for a while.
Or how many stories have the ponies basically committing genocide on the human race. And they're treated as the good guys.
Broken Base: There are a lot of camps in this fandom and they generally tend to loathe each other.
Without going into too much detail, there are two main camps: Those who love it, and wish to partake in its Wish Fulfillment, and those who Love to Hate it, and end up writing their own version that's either a deconstruction, parody, or curb stomp fic (in favor of the humans, that is). From there each camp becomes more divided and complicated.
Confirmation Bias: Many writers willingly gloss over certain things in the series itself (like Twilight Sparkle actually saying the word "war" in the episode "It's About Time") in order to turn Equestria into a Mary Suetopia paradise.
Flame War: The original and its spinoffs tend to inspire these. Half of the comments decry the series as disturbingly misanthropic, while the other half fanatically defend it as an accurate representation of humanity's flawed nature.
This quote from Twilight in the original was intended to be a joke but it's a lot less funny with the numerous stories that have the barrier being intentionally expanded as a means to force ponification.
Twilight Sparkle: "Now, I'm almost positive all of you are here because you want to become a pony. This is a fact. You don't come here because you don't want to be a pony, unless someone forced you at gunpoint, but that's a different story."
This statement is also a lot less amusing once you read through stories that have the PER in them.
Twilight Sparkle: "Our plan is to ponify you, the sooner the better. Expect this to happen when you least expect it."
The author's note in the Google Docs version is not quite amusing anymore now that there are tons of Conversion Bureaudark fics and war stories. Also became very ironic in a retroactive fashion.
Blaze (Author's Notes): "I've seen a lot of backstories written about how Equestria is simply a post-apocalyptic Earth set in the distant future. I decided to expand on it in a much less...grimdark fashion."
Harsher in Hindsight: In First Contact, the US Northeast, New York City in particular, is threatened by an incoming humongous hurricane. First Contact was published before Hurricane Sandy.
Hate Dumb: On FimFiction, many TCB fics - even deconstructions - are downvoted simply for being TCB fics.
Internet Backdraft: Expect the comments section for any of these stories to get ugly, fast.
Likewise, the misanthropy laced first chapter is widely seen as being emblematic of the fic (and the entire 'verse) as a whole.
Overshadowed By Controversy: TCB has a fascinating universe ripe with potential for cultural clashes, nature vs nurture arguments, quests for redemption, and self-discovery by humans and ponies alike each seeing themselves through the others' eyes. You would never know it by reading pro-pony fics, which take the opportunity to endlessly rant about how much humanity sucks. Or pro-human fics, which spend so much time blasting the pro-pony fics that they forget to tell an actual story. A small handful escape these traps and wind up being very provocative reads - but not many.
Rooting for the Empire: Despite various misanthropic writers trying so desperately to paint the Human Liberation Front as terrorists (and sometimes succeeding), the fact that the deck is so stacked against them and the blatant Moral Myopia of the ponies makes the HLF easy to sympathize with.
Strawman Has a Point: The primary antagonist group is the Human Liberation Front, who believes the ponies are a threat to humanity and must be destroyed. They're treated as unambiguous, totally evil villains, but they're completely right about the first part.
Conversely in the more pro-human fics, the ponies can come off as surprisingly reasonable. Their basic argument is that humans are savage, violent war-mongers who shoot first and ask questions later... except that in the vast majority of the pro-human fics, that is exactly what the humans do.
Unfortunate Implications: By the truckload. Most notably, one race is forcing an entire separate race to convert, giving up all of their history, culture, and identity to conform to the new race's rules and order, or be slaughtered. This is seen as a good thing.
Works by Chatoyance
Acceptable Targets: Chatoyance herself and her works are often considered this. Her open misanthropy, inability to take any kind of constructive criticism, and rude, condescending tone with which she interacts with other writers and commentators only serve to reinforce this attitude.
In Chatoyance's works, anyone who is religious is this, usually being portrayed as either corrupt and using their religion for the purposes of greed, stupid and refusing to convert due to their belief that God will save them and then left to die in the barrier expansion, or misguided and immediately giving up their silly beliefs in order to worship Celestia. Almost every one of her stories will have long paragraphs bashing on any religion or a character who solely exists to bash religion.
You are mentally forced to speak in pony-lingo like "everypony".
You almost immediately change your name as well in order to be more like a pony, further discouraging cultural diversity. In A Taste of Grass, one minor character ends up changing her name twice- once to fit her original human occupation of being an entomologist, and then again when she discovers her special talent is actually supposed to be cooking.
You also can't do anything violent, even if it's in self-defense.
Related to the ponification potion is the barrier itself, which wipes away anything that was created by humans in a way that leaves no evidence of their prior existence; which includes the arts, sciences, physical memories, buildings, and human advancements; in other words, the last step of the perfect genocide.
On another front, is Celestia a savior to a dying humanity? Or is she an opportunist taking advantage of a bad situation for her own gains? Or is she a cruelinsane goddess invading and subjugating Earth for her own twisted purposes?
Anvilicious: The messages in her stories are delivered with roughly the grace and subtlety of a train wreck. The plot commonly is set aside for extended passages in order to expound upon the author's beliefs regarding gender, technology, science, the environment, religion, etc. through what are nominally supposed to be the characters' thoughts. Individual stories are never used to convey a single message either; the same worldview is summarized again in its entirety in every single story.
"New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus" is a particularly extreme case. Fans of show are repelled because it has nothing to do with ponies. Conversion Bureau fans are turned off because it is a Conversion Bureau story In Name Only. Males would be repulsed at the incrediblymisandric subject matter and the idea of forcibly feminizing men via bioterrorism. Feminists might be repelled because of how Chatoyance portrays all women as flawlessly angelic Purity Sues. So who or what is this story supposed to appeal to exactly?
Recombinant 63 seems to be one for the series. After eighteen stories portraying the Earth as a diseased Crapsack World where humans spend joyless and pointless lives subsisting on flavorless synthetic food in decaying slums overrun by violent street gangs and where terrorists carry out mass executions in the streets with impunity, the protagonist of the story is forced to flee her upper-class existence and finds the favelas to be thriving socialist utopias with access to freshly-grown produce, where all lifestyles are celebrated and the inhabitants live in perfect harmony with one another.
Chapter 8, in which the protagonist and the cross-species lesbians sheltering her go shopping in faux-leather fetish wear, the ponies drawing a small cart and being whipped while onlookers cheer in approval, all while the protagonist narrates how her enhanced pony senses allow her to smell their arousal is just a wee bit odd.
Bile Fascination: There are those who read her work just to see how misanthropic they are.
Crazy Awesome: New Universe Seven: Mankind Triumphant. Humans steal the statue of Discord, feed it through a rock crusher, coat a nuclear warhead in it, send it through the barrier, and detonate it, destroying all of Equestria and obliterating all of Celestia except for her still screaming head, which is locked away in a magic-proof box. That's pretty badass.
Creator Worship: Blatantly obvious in the comments on her blogs and stories.
Critical Research Failure: Contrary to New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus, men are not responsible for 98% of all violence and rape.
Designated Hero: Michealson and Morely of The PER: Michelson and Morely - The Speed Of Right are the heroes of the story but they do things like engage in ponification attacks.
The princesses count, too. They're always the heroes even when they're committing genocide.
And the bio-terrorists from New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus, who are hailed in-story for bringing about world peace and eliminating crime and violence by releasing a DNA altering virus that turns both men and women into a bunch of Stepford Smilers.
Designated Villain: Humanity as a whole doesn't seem to have done anything, you know, villainous.
In the fics she writes, humans are depicted as evil in the extreme unless they convert, in which case they're simply 'misguided' beings who are being 'uplifted' into a supposedly better state of living. Any character who refuses to convert, and calls the ponies out on the genocide they are conducting is written as unsympathetic and beyond any kind of redemption on their own and must be forced to convert against their will. See Humans Are Bastards on the main page in her category for the reason why she does this.
Also, violating someone's bodily integrity for the greater good is perfectly acceptable course of action.
Fanon: Chatoyance openly states that her version of Equestria, the Princesses, and the ponies is "more in line with Lauren Faust's original vision" than that of the show, and can get quite upset when the show deviates from her fanon.
If the comments about one of her few non-TCB stories, Around the Bend, are anything to go by, this attitude also extends to episodes and setting information written by Faust herself.
Fanon Discontinuity: Chatoyance rejects nearly the entirety of the show's second season (as well as the third and fourth seasons). She also rejects portions of the first season. In fact, she rejects everything about the show that she dislikes, which has resulted in her re-writing more or less the entirety of the setting, characters and events.
Many readers who dislike her take on the Conversion Bureau consider her own fanfics to be this to the concept of the Conversion Bureau as a whole.
Somewhat bizarrely, part of season 2 seems to line up with her idea of the ponies having very long lifespans, as Granny Smith is stated to be more or less the reason Ponyville exists, and according to Twilight in the first season, Ponyville has been around for hundreds of years. Whether this was indicative of Chatoyance being right or if it's a retcon is immaterial. She pretty much took this idea before it was even established and ran like hell with it.
Her works have also mentioned Nightmare Night and Discord despite her opinions of season 2.
Fan Wank: Her stories contain an absurd amount of it.
God-Mode Sue: Celestia has some traits of this in nearly all the stories but she goes into full God-Mode Sue territory in Ten Minutes: Aftermath. The entire plot of the original is derailed due to a literalDeus ex Machina. Not to mention, she was able to petrify a nuclear bomb capable of glassing the entire northern hemisphereat the moment of detonation.
Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when Lauren Faust revealed that, so far as she was concerned, Celestia and Luna are not goddesses. As shown here.
Hate Dumb: Despising the stories and the author's viewpoints is one thing. Mocking the author for being transgender is going beyond the pale.
Ink Stain Adaptation: Many of the elements associated with The Conversion Bureau and its spin-offs such as the misanthropy and the humans having to have their personalities changed are due to Chatoyance's works rather than the original story, which had some of the former but not as blatantly and only the vaguest hint of the latter... for better or worse.
Mary Suetopia: The ponies of Equestria live in perfect harmony with their surroundings and with each other, free of vice, prejudice, and anything that the author does not approve of.
Misblamed: Type 1: Chatoyance is often blamed for initiating the virulently misanthropic tone of many TCB works. However, as stated previously, the original story's first chapter was quite misanthropic.
Seasonal Rot: Chatoyance accuses the second season of undergoing this. And to an extent, the third season as well.
Unacceptable Targets: Criticizing her or her work with her fans around is an invitation to some serious backlash. In fact, in November 2012, she claimed to have temporarily given up writing Conversion Bureau stories due to people criticizing her work, though how much of that was from legitimate complaints against harassment and how much of it was a Wounded Gazelle Gambit was up to individual interpretation.
She returned in late December 2012, only to pull a similar stunt around March of 2013. Detractors of her work took her claim that she was "leaving the fandom forever" as yet another cry for attention and had little in the way of surprise when she returned around July of the same year, after placing up a number of long rants on her Fimfiction blog, accusing anyone that didn't like or criticized her stories (even those that gave constructive criticism) of being bullies trying to undermine her.
New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus has been blasted for its incrediblysexistportrayal of men as Always Chaotic Evil barbarians and women as one dimensional angelic purity sues. The eponymous DNA altering virus makes men become like women in every way except for their physical sexual characteristics (and even then those things are altered somewhat), while the women who were exposed to the virus are just made to become even more nurturing and gentle. Basically, both genders are turned against their will into a bunch of Stepford Smilers.
Her other stories have also attracted similar criticism for their misandric undertones.
Tales From Los Pegasus attracted criticism for depicting the ponification serum as being able to change the imbiber's sexual orientation to pansexual. Many saw this as being homophobic and heterophobic.