YMMV: The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity
- Broken Base: For What's Done in the Dark..., readers are split over who is less in the wrong: Shining and Luna for literally screwing Cadance over, or Cadance for her tantrum involving maiming her old mentor, trying to have Luna banished to the moon again, and seceding from Equestria.
- Complete Monster: Feather Duster, despite being mainly a flashback character, is the Big Bad of the "Dear Cutie Mark Crusaders" arc. After being fired from the Ponyville weather team for drunkenly flooding the rabbit holes during Winter Wrap-Up, he takes revenge by "testing" Rainbow Dash (his replacement as captain) with a catastrophic, unscheduled storm which results in the death of Applejack's parents, and he would have let her face the wrath of almost the entirety of Ponyville (since the captain is the only one with access to the storm-generating machines) if he hadn't passed out drunk at the scene of the crime. Later, he lashes out at her again (whether for misplaced revenge or sheer evulz is unclear, as Dash claims he always seemed to hate her even before he was fired) by attacking the orphanage where she grew up, fatally wounding her mother figure Firefly, kidnapping Scootaloo (who had just been found at said orphanage), and forcing Dash to choose between saving Scootaloo and stopping him from unleashing an even bigger storm. Dash, after pulling off both, ends up throwing him into a point-blank Sonic Rainboom just to keep him from hurting anypony else. Even that doesn't put an end to his villainy. In the followup "Cutie Mark Crusaders Dream Warriors," it is revealed his spirit was pushed into the dreamscape, allowing him to haunt the Cutie Mark Crusaders' nightmares years later and feed on their fear ala Freddy Krueger then attempt to take over Scootaloo's body to murder Rainbow Dash, before he is finally literally bucked into Tartarus.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The increasing focus on foreshadowing/setting up a coming cataclysmic conflict which portends doom for Equestria, and the distinct possibility of unhappy endings for most characters involved, has driven off a few readers (though many more are still hooked). Some also find the behavior of the royals who receive much of the focus to be extremely unpleasant, especially considering that their divisive behavior is implied to be at least partially responsible for said conflict.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Rainbow Dash being framed for sabotaging Cloudsdale's weather factory. Turns out she's not above doing that anyway.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: "Cutie Mark Crusaders Dream Warriors" showing Luna help the CMC fight back against their nightmares, since as of season 5 all three Crusaders have received aid from the night princess within their dreams.
- Ron the Death Eater:
- While she is still portrayed as a well-meaning ruler, Princess Celestia displays a disturbing pattern of arrogance and belittling of others' concerns when dealing with individual ponies, from brushing off her sister's pre-Nightmare Moon insecurities, to subsequently blaming Luna's pupil/lover for her fall into madness (when if anything he was the victim of Luna's jealous rage) and trying to have him arrested, to talking down to and slapping Cadance when the latter is upset after learning of Shining Armor and Luna's affair (admittedly Cadance had gone off the deep end in response but Celestia didn't know that yet) to getting Twilight drunk at Fluttershy and Big Mac's wedding reception. Most egregiously, in "Apple Family Secrets", she reacts to Applejack calling her out for seducing a random stallion and abandoning the resulting daughter- Applejack's biological grandmother- by calling her a "bumpkin" and blaming earth ponies for "saddl[ing] the rest of us with your feeble moral code" (i.e. monogamy), and even briefly considering turning AJ into stone after AJ threatens to blackmail her with the knowledge of the affair. This is portrayed as a temporary, stress-induced relapse into the darker mindset she had during Luna's banishment, but seeing this undertone of racism and arrogance is jarring all the same. Her next appearance has her back to the caring, well-meaning monarch we know, but considering she starts by castigating Luna for doing the same damn thing that she did and shows no regrets for....
- Applejack herself verges on this when blackmailing Celestia. In the Blood, perhaps?
- "Lost in the Night" outright states that Shining Armor is a domineering Control Freak. He gets much more sympathetic in later installments, but Word Of God still expresses disgust at his affair with Luna.