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    All Bottled Up 
  • Trixie starting to learn some more impressive spells from Starlight, including transfiguration and teleportation of objects.
  • The Mane Six almost beat the escape room record. They would have, if they hadn't stopped to sing their song.
  • The fact that Twilight inspires so much respect in Starlight that she's in a near panic at the thought of making her angry.
  • Starlight finally having the guts to confront Trixie and call her out for being insensitive, selfish, and a toxic friend.

    A Flurry of Emotions 
  • Flurry shows some amazing magical skills for a baby, alicornhood not-withstanding with her shield spell already shaping up to be on par with her father's.
  • After Flurry is scared into abruptly releasing everything and everyone in the hospital room from their levitation, Twilight is able to quickly catch them all with her own magic and put them down safely.
  • At the end of the episode, Spike takes over entertaining the sick foals, and not only does he do a bang-up job of it, one of the foals even compares him to the hero of the story that he reads to them.
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    Rock Solid Friendship 
  • Maud used Boulder to free herself, Starlight, and Pinkie from the cavern with a simple toss.
  • Maud and Starlight discover a gorgeous underground cavern in the Jewel Caves, which Maud moves into by the end of the episode.
  • Pinkie saving Maud from becoming a snack for Quarray eels.
    • Maud being unconcerned with being gobbled up to the point of not even noticing that it's happening is either this (if she's so tough and stoical that she doesn't notice) or a Tear Jerker (if she's so depressed that she doesn't notice). It's a little hard to tell with Maud.

    Fluttershy Leans In 
  • Fluttershy in general is much more assertive than usual in this episode, to the point where Pinkie suggests that they should call her "Flutterbold". It's impressive how far she's come since season 1.

    Forever Filly 
  • Chipcutter's sculpture of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Not bad work for a new character.
  • Rarity being perfectly in command during the Cold Opening in her shop. Sassy Saddles is close to panic over their workload, but Rarity calmly and efficient deals with each crisis before Sassy is even aware of them without so much as turning a hair, all while putting the finishing touches on her latest design. It's pretty impressive to see her so completely in her element.

    Parental Glideance 
  • During Rainbow's flashback, we see her slowly dethroning the other racers, including Soarin, Spitfire, Fleetfoot, and Lightning Dust. Now take into account that the lineup of racers, as far as we see, never changes, and that Dash was the youngest racer in that lineup. If Rainbow wasn't technically younger than even Spitfire when she won those races, she probably would've became a Wonderbolt before her and most likely be running the show.
    • The very first line up shows that Derpy won the race, and she had straight eyes. That is a very impressive feat given her record on the show and fan ideas of her. Though as the races continue, her place drops as her eyes begin to slowly derp.
  • Despite overdoing it, the cheers Rainbow's parents do are definitely awesome at times. They were so loud the Wonderbolts thought they hit turbulence for a second, and they somehow set up fireworks to go off during one of the air shows. Those are dedicated parents.
  • The fact that a Rainbow Dash shaped firework exists is awesome in itself. That was either specifically made by her parents, or Rainbow Dash is so popular that such fireworks are commercially available.
  • Scootaloo getting to Cloudsdale by slingshooting herself all the way there, and succeeding. (Once she pulls herself over the Solid Cloud she got stuck in. Small price to pay for that kind of a feat.)
  • When Rainbow Dash's parents form a cheerleading pyramid with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle at the bottom, Apple Bloom actually takes the weight with little fuss, compared to the visibly struggling Sweetie Belle. Looks like her Earth pony strength is kicking in nicely.
  • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment: Thunderlane, who was still a cadet last season, appears to have become a full-fledged Wonderbolt, complete with the suit.

    Hard to Say Anything 
  • A three-for:
    • Big Macintosh writes a song for Sugar Belle and starts off singing it by himself. Mac retains his decently impressive singing from "Filli Vanilli".
    • Mac may not come close to Feather Bangs in terms of improvising, but Sugar Belle is consistently less annoyed by Mac than Feather Bangs. Even at the beginning of the song, she starts off merely confused, then even starts to like it and smile before Feather Bangs interrupted. It might have worked if Feather Bangs didn't try to one-up him.
    • And the fact that he pauses a couple times to think of rhymes implies that Big Mac is making the song up completely on the fly which, even for a seasoned singer like Big Mac, is rather impressive.
  • While it's a bit of Tear Jerker, it's pretty awesome and satisfying to see Sugar Belle assert herself and blow up at the boys. In the span of one song, Big Mac and Feather Bangs invited themselves into her home, kept pestering her with grand gestures, continually invaded her personal space despite the fact that she was getting more and more uncomfortable, and finally fell on her, smashing her display case to bits. Sugar Belle quite rightly yells at them to get out of her store and get lost.
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    Honest Apple 
  • Rarity's epic guitar solo. On an acoustic guitar no less. It leaves Pinkie Pie stunned.
  • Rarity eloquently brings home how much Applejack's comments hurt by introducing her to Strawberry Sunrise, who hates apples and is not at all shy of saying so. It's so well-conceived on her part that Rarity barely even has to say anything for Applejack to have a massive Jerkass Realization moment.

    A Royal Problem 
  • The show finally adapts what the fandom has dreamed of for years: an evil, fire-breathing Princess Celestia named Daybreaker!
    • And she has a magnificent entrance to boot. When Celestia enters Starlight's dream and sees Nightmare Moon appearing in front of her, she reacts with cold determination, since she had dealt with her sister's evil counterpart before. Then she hears an eerily familiar voice behind her back... and turns around to notice a shadowy silhouette. A moment later, Celestia is no longer collected, she is outright shocked by what she sees.
      Celestia: Don't worry, Starlight. I know how to handle Nightmare Moon.
      Daybreaker: [hidden in shade] Yeees. But can you handle... [her face emerges from shadow] ME!? [evil laugh]
  • The fight between Nightmare Moon and Daybreaker is also pretty epic, as is Celestia fighting and defeating them. Even if it was just a dream.
  • Seriously, props to Nicole Oliver for making Daybreaker sound both delightfully hammy and mentally unhinged at the same time.
  • Relating to the above, the sheer authority in which Oliver belts out the line "No, you're NOT!" enforces once and for all that Princess Celestia, in spite of being a peaceful, adored leader, is not a force to be taken lightly.
  • This is the first episode where Starlight is called by the map! And she's not even one of the original Mane Six who were infused with the tree's Elements of Harmony.
  • Starlight once again shows off how powerful she is by spontaneously switching the two alicorn sister's cutie marks with a spell that can't be reversed for 24 hours.
  • Although it's a little twisted that she's in Starlight's nightmares, Twilight being a (figurative) giant in her dreams is a BIG moment of Awesome. It signifies how Starlight's view on Twilight has developed over the past series. In season 5, she only viewed her as an enemy, up until she reformed in "The Cutie Re-Mark". By this point, however, she's come to respect and revere Twilight to be just as important (and intimidating) as Celestia herself.
  • The fact that it's sunrise and not still nighttime when Celestia returns from the dream realm and Luna greets her means that Luna, despite having no prior experience, made some partial progress in raising the sun.

    Not Asking for Trouble 
  • Pinkie manages to be remarkably mature in this episode, even managing to keep her temper by realizing allowing her frustration with her situation to consume her won't help anyone and then coming up with a way to help the Yaks while still allowing them to save some face. Not to mention that she was willing to go along when she thought it was what they wanted and only interfered when she realized that not only was it not what they wanted but was upsetting the kids.

    Discordant Harmony 
  • Discord is fading out of existence from being overly orderly and can't snap his fingers to create chaos to save himself. Fluttershy is able not only to create enough chaos to prevent Discord from fading away, but is able to follow his thought process exactly to do it.

    The Perfect Pear 
  • Meta example: In an even more impressive case of what "Luna Eclipsed" pulled off with Luna's canon personality, this episode had the unenviable task of going up against several years of fan theories about the Apple parents, from a fanbase notorious for hating anything that goes against their fanon. And it was instantly and near-unanimously hailed as not only the best episode of the season, but one of the crowning achievements of the entire show. "The Perfect Pear" currently stands at a 9.8 out of 10 rating on IMDB and is the single highest-rated episode of the series; beating out "A Canterlot Wedding – Part 2", "The Return of Harmony – Part 2", and both parts of "Twilight's Kingdom" (all of which have 9.4).
    • As of the end of season 8, "The Perfect Pear" has dropped to a 9.5 rating. It's still the highest-rated episode of the series.
  • Another meta example: William Shatner, best known for a somewhat overdramatic Captain Kirk (among other roles), pulls off a severely understated and well-acted vocal performance as Grand Pear, managing to pull off both the younger arrogant rival of Granny Smith and the more sedate older pony trying to make amends. Some people didn't know that was him until the credits, and most are in agreement it was done fantastically.
  • Bright Mac showing the audience where Apple Siblings get some of their best traits from: He's honest like his eldest daughter, super strong like his son and very kind but a little clumsy like his youngest. This is best shown when he is racing Burnt Oak and topples a fence and water silo, and then owns up to it. Awesome for Bright Mac, as well, he had the physical strength to topple a water silo, and walk away from it without a scratch. He also had the physical stamina to do all his own daily chores on the Apple Farm, and then enough to spare to work on rebuilding the wrecked water silo to make amends.
    • Not to mention he demonstrates the maturity and honesty to come clean and admit it was his fault the water silo was broken. Guess Applejack takes after her father after all.
  • Although it crosses into Tear Jerker territory, the part where Pear Butter tells Grand Pear the Apples are her family too demonstrates the courage and strong sense of family her children would come to inherit. Even at the prospect that her father would disown her if she chose the Apples, she stood by Bright Mac and made her choice.
  • In the ending, the apple and pear trees that Buttercup and Bright Mac planted together are still there. After all these years! Without any help being protected from pests, apple blight, or any other problems. Oh, and let's not forget it's survived Discord's previous take-over in Season 2, and Tirek's attack in the Season 4 finale! Perhaps, love truly does triumph all.
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    Fame and Misfortune 
  • Starlight goes off to give a couple ponies who were insulting Rarity a piece of her mind. And since they later show up unharmed she apparently did nothing but give them a stern talking-to, showing real progress in her struggle against slipping back to evil.
  • When that one pony wanted to be in the book instead of Fluttershy, Starlight picked him up and looked ready to hurt him. Showing that, while still being a good pony now, she's still willing to protect her friends by any means necessary. Her tone alone even implied You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!. That's true friendship.
  • Tying in the the above, Fluttershy gets an epic CMOA by defending herself against the mob's accusations of "having to learn the same lessons over and over again":
    Fluttershy: [takes a breath and exhales] Listen up! I am more assertive now! Oh yes, it took me a while to get there, but could you honestly say that you could learn something just one time and completely change who you are?!
    [mob pony is shocked silent]
    Fluttershy: I didn't think so.
  • Twilight FINALLY using the Royal Canterlot Voice against the Loony Fans.

    Triple Threat 
  • Both Thorax and Ember display quite a bit of strength. Thorax morphs into a bear twice as big as himself and looks ready to fight, which also goes a long way from his more nervous characterization in the past. Ember later picks up and throws (with only one hand) a rock as big as she is - and possibly heavier - before exploding it with a ball of fire. She also twice cracks the ground/rock beneath her simply from the force of her landings.
    • Easy to miss, but at one point Ember sneezes fire right into Thorax's face. It doesn't seem to faze him in the least.
  • An In-Universe example, when Ember demonstrates to Thorax how to be more assertive. While Thorax begins rambling about how hard he's tried to be a leader, Ember abruptly intervenes and firmly orders him to stop talking. Thorax is Stunned Silent for 5 seconds. He even admits he got chills.
    • On the flip side, Thorax is quite kind when pointing out to Ember that while it's great that she's so assertive and commanding, her method of "solving" problems and conflicts often just leads to her subjects being miserable, even letting her come to the realization herself so it hits harder.
  • Just the amount of loyalty Spike has inspired in both Thorax and Ember. When they think the other is threatening Spike, they both completely throw aside the fact that they're representing their countries in a much more powerful country and that they're facing a potentially much more powerful opponent to protect him.
  • Admit it: the very idea of Changelings versus Dragons is pretty awesome.

    Campfire Tales 
  • Mistmane: a graceful unicorn whose beauty and kindness is unsurpassed by any other... and an ultra-competent magician and duelist able to hold her own with no problem.
    • In the duel between her and Sable Spirit, compare their expressions. Sable is visibly struggling. Mistmane? She might as well be lifting her hoof.
  • Every dragon in the series has been portrayed as a threat that no pony would want to take on even in groups — even powerful magician Twilight Sparkle would rather back down, and even the mostly-harmless Spike becomes just as bad when his greed goes out of control. Flash Magnus and the Royal Legion concoct a plan to bait two huge dragons into a thunderstorm and in hopes of driving them off, and pull it off with no worse injuries than Flash Magnus getting Ash Face from the lightning bolts.
  • Blink and you miss it, but when everyone's getting attacked by the fly-ders, we see Sweetie Belle using a small shield spell. Not as big or complete as what we've seen, but still an impressive feat for such a young filly.
    • To put this in perspective, the only unicorns we've seen using shield spells up until now are Shining Armor, who specializes in them, and Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer, who are both intensely gifted with magic in general. Sweetie Belle's shield might not be on their level, but it's still clearly not something just anypony can do.
  • Rainbow Dash flying back into the fly-der swarm to get their campfire, taking a lot more bites in the process. Applejack even comments on how brave it was.
  • Rainbow Dash in general taking the most active role in protecting the others from the Fly-ders, including making sure they all get into the cave and then later blocking up the entrance to prevent the bugs' getting in.
  • Perhaps meta: compare Rainbow Dash's reaction to Scootaloo's panicking about the cave to her reactions to Fluttershy's panicking in Season One episodes like "Dragonshy". While Season One Dash would have easily become irritated or exasperated at Fluttershy's panic getting in the way of her awesomeness, Dash here works to calm and comfort Scootaloo as best as she can and doesn't get irritated with her in the slightest while still being the awesome pony she is both in her actions and the legend she tells. That is some strong and thorough character development.

    To Change a Changeling 
  • Thorax showing courage when he refuses his fellow changelings' wish of kicking Pharynx out of the hive.
  • Pharynx rallying the Changeling Hive to defend their home from the Molewurf.
  • Starlight's Rousing Speech to the Changelings, even if it didn't work initially:
    Starlight Glimmer: Oh, sure, you could all stay here, not help Pharynx and he won't bother you anymore. It's your choice. But remember when you didn't have a choice! When you were forced to obey Chrysalis! You might have been unstoppable, but you weren't free to choose! And now you are, because of Thorax! Well, it's his brother out there, and now it's your chance to prove you're just as strong embracing love as you were feeding on it! Now is your chance to show what changelings can really be! Not because you have to, but because you choose to!
  • When all else fails, Pharynx and Thorax pulling the old "Stop Hitting Yourself" on the Molewurf!
  • In the end, Pharynx not only decides to change, but he maintains a darker color scheme than the rest of the changeling's Technicolor look. In that way, he confirms what Starlight said last season about accepting some pony for their differences. Even better, Pharynx becomes something like the "Batman" of changelings, dark but not evil, tough but with the Hive's well-being at heart.
  • During Thorax's flashback, the young Pharynx transforms into a terrifying insect-like creature, several times his own size, to scare off the bullies threatening his brother. This is the most drastic change in size a changeling has achieved in the entire series. And Pharynx was only a grub at the time, making it even more impressive.
  • Thorax calling out Starlight's BS when she tries to lead the Molwurf to the Hive to try and get it so that Phranx could be a hero. He knows her heart was in the right place, but he's not gonna sugarcoat that she nearly messed everything up and nearly got everyone killed.
  • Thorax has an Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He turned the wasteland that the Changeling's domain used to be into a lush, healthy land, and he did it all in such a short amount of time! Not only that, but in the short time since meeting Ember, he has already convinced all of the rogue Changelings minus Chrysalis and Pharynx to conform to the new ways and transform. While Pharynx hadn't conformed yet, it's clear that he valued the hive and his brother, so he wasn't a bad guy anymore. By the time that the episode takes place, Chrysalis has already lost any possibility of getting any rogue changelings to side with her, unless there are some others that Thorax and the rest of the hive are unaware of.

    Daring Done? 
  • Dr. Caballeron turned an entire town against Daring Do/A.K. Yearling, captured Rainbow Dash, pinned his own crimes on Daring Do, nearly made her retire out of shame, and just about made a Villain: Exit, Stage Left if it weren't for him grabbing the Villain Ball at the last minute. Dr. Caballeron's quickly causing more damage than the standard Villain of the Week, not bad for an earth pony.
    • He may not be the first earth pony to cause so much damage (mind you Gladmane managed to keep ponies from being friends with each other). But what makes Dr. Caballeron impressive was that he made an entire village of ponies at a time angry at just one pony! Let's see Gladmane do that.
  • How Somnambula was able to beat the Sphinx: Not only solving its riddle, but beating its leap of faith. Shows how brave this young Pegasus was.
  • Once Dr. Caballeron's deception of robbing the Glow-paz is revealed, the ponies of Somnanbula make up for falling for his lies by standing up for Daring Do to him. When Caballeron says "YOU ARE A FOOL FOR BELIEVING IN HER!!", the ponies just keep marching angrily towards him, as though wordlessly retorting "We were already fools for believing you!..."
  • In the end, Daring Do takes responsibility for her actions. It takes such humility to admit good intentions do not justify leaving damage in your wake without making an effort to fix them.
    • This one has a subtle, related moment: Yearling pays for the damages and, given by the huge bag of bits for the innkeeper, did more than the minimum. This points to substantial disposal income and thus a very popular book series.
    • It's also satisfying to see Daring Do's Wanted poster replaced with one for Caballeron.

    It Isn't the Mane Thing About You 
  • Rarity getting her confidence back, and styling her hideous shredded mane into an amazing tricolour mohawk with a punk getup to match. Even cooler, her Mohawk fashion inspired other ponies to try it.

    A Health of Information 
  • Despite getting a Heroic RRoD for her trouble, Fluttershy manages to power through sleep deprivation and swamp fever fueled by nothing but sheer willpower and the desire to get a cure to Zecora.
  • Fluttershy not only manages to keep going strong hours after Twilight falls asleep during a book search, she successfully cross references two very obscure books while using a third to translate them from their original language! And she manages to provide all of the reference points they need to locate the Mysterious Mask's home, and discover the cure they need to help Zecora. Really, if Fluttershy hadn't gotten sick herself, Twilight's presence in the plot would have been totally superfluous.
  • A meta-example. Just like with the whoopee cushion fart joke in "28 Pranks Later", this episode breaks new slapstick grounds by showing something that practically never happens in western animation, let alone in My Little Pony: a female character not only getting stung by a bee, but getting stung on the butt! And it happened not just once, but twice! Slapstick Knows No Gender indeed!

    Marks and Recreation 
  • After learning Rumble doesn't want a cutie mark, the CMC are clearly disturbed, but decide they can't make him get a cutie mark if he doesn't want to. Instead, they decide to focus their attention on the campers who do want a cutie mark. Although it backfires on them later, it's awfully mature of the CMC to recognize this.
  • Thunderlane winning back the campers to the CMC camp, by getting them interested in different activities. Not only that, but in the process, he disproves his brother's philosophy that cutie marks make you specialized in only one talent.

    Once Upon a Zeppelin 
  • Star Tracker standing up to Iron Will and telling him to leave Twilight and her family alone. He goes to pieces almost immediately, but considering Iron Will is a huge, intimidating minotaur, you can't really blame him and the gesture was certainly fine.
  • In its own way, Cadance demonstrating her mothering skills by first gently preventing Flurry from using too much magic on the other babies and then politely but firmly removing her once the other mothers start to be too pushy. Doubles as Heartwarming.
  • While Iron Will further tries to turn Twilight's ice cream time with her family into just another outing with her fandom, Twilight stands up for herself, if politely and gently. Just like she should've from the start, she puts her hoof down and makes it clear that the cruise was supposed to be for her and her family to do what they wanted.
    • Fridge-Awesome: Why did she take Iron Will's head set instead of just using her Canterlot Voice? Because of the principle behind it: it represents she's taking the reigns from Iron Will and taking back control of her family's vacation.
  • Once the other cruise attendees realize Twilight was tricked into being the centerpiece for the cruise, they all immediately move to gang up on Iron Will. He escapes before anything can happen to him, but the fact that he fled shows that he knew he wasn't winning that one.
  • Spike successfully convincing Twilight to spend a day off with her family.
    • It would've been easy to include a scene Spike struggling with the princess duties, at least in a stinger, but they didn't, which means he did a good job.
  • Twilight Velvet levitating Shining Armor, Flurry Heart, and herself while reenacting the Northern Stars. Self-levitation has only been previously demonstrated by high-tier magic users (Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer) or as part of infantile power surges (Pumpkin Cake). One gets a hint at where Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor might have gotten their formidable magical aptitude from.
  • Iron Will escapes the furious customers by jumping off the zeppelin, having had the foresight to prepare his own parachute just in case.

    Secrets and Pies 
  • Pinkie Pie's investigation is impressive work. Our Pink Private Eye learns from other ponies that Rainbow Dash doesn't like pies by using deductive reasoning piece together clues (the connection between Tank's tummy ache and the School Hamster getting sick) and the timeline (she figured out this had been going on for years). She was right on all but one account (that Rainbow Dash had been doing this deliberately out of pure malice), but she does a remarkable job at unlocking the truth.
  • Pinkie is known for breaking the laws of physics on a regular basis. Rainbow Dash manages to outdo her by tying a pie to a balloon and releasing it out of Pinkie's vision faster than Pinkie can blink.
  • When Rainbow Dash is about to eat a giant repulsive "pie" she made herself to make up for all the pies she didn't eat, Pinkie Pie stops her. The moment of awesome kicks in when Pinkie Pie shows the maturity to admit that making Rainbow Dash eat a pie (especially that one) for her sake is "ridiculous and overly complicated".

    Uncommon Bond 
  • Starlight creating a spell that allows her to change the interior of the castle to resemble the old home she and Sunburst played in and de age them into kids. Magic Duel showed that altering someone's age is hard to do even for very powerful unicorns, as not even Twilight could do it (though she hasn't tried to since becoming an alicorn). Starlight is able to create a spell that not only changes ages, but also changes the interior of the room she is in. She did it with ease, too. It should be noted however that it is unclear if she can cast a regular age spell, meaning it's not known if she can change someone's age outside of this one spell or without a spell scroll. It's also unclear if she can age anyone forward. In addition, it could actually be a complex illusion, as Sunburst refers to it as "pretending" to be a foal, and it's never called an age spell. Still, it's a really realistic illusion if it is one.

    Shadow Play Part 1 
  • The recording of the Pillars' last battle with the Pony of Shadows is really badass. The six of them unite at Ponehenge, and summon the Pony of Shadows, an imposing villain with a devious voice, who seemingly proceeds to instantly overpower them. The Pillars break free of his shadowy restraints, and proceed to cast a spell, all while Star Swirl delivers his Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
    Pony of Shadows: You will NEVER defeat me!
    Star Swirl: We did not come here to defeat you...
    [The Pillars cast their spell]
    Pony of Shadows: What are you DOING?!
    Star Swirl: ...We came to CONTAIN you.
  • When they arrive in the Dragon Lands, Garble still tries to bully Spike. Rainbow Dash steps in, effortlessly humiliates him, and tricks him into giving up the shield and flies away with it, making Rainbow the first individual pony we've seen to go up against a dragon and win.
    • Moreover, she won by outsmarting Garble, once again showing how far she's come from the impulsive hot-head she used to be. Old Rainbow Dash might have been tempted to prove that she could beat Garble in a race even after she'd completed the main objective of retrieving the shield, but here she just straight-up leaves once her goal had been achieved.
    • Before that, there's her catching the rock he threw at Spike and sending it right back at him, pinning him to the ground. After seeing ponies refuse to fight him several times, it's kinda cathartic to see him get his butt kicked by one.
  • Applejack's display of Super Strength; she doesn't just stop a boulder the size of a small house, she sends it flying away!!

    Shadow Play Part 2 
  • The reappearance of the Sirens in an epic battle with the Pillars of Equestria.
  • When the Pony of Shadows tries to blast a weakened Star Swirl, Twilight swiftly leaps in front of him and blocks his magical beam with one of her own, causing him to recoil from the blast. Then the Pony of Shadows tries again, with a stronger beam this time and appears to overpower Twilight... prompting Starlight to step in at the last second and combine her magic with Twilight, and the two overpower him together.
    • The Pony of Shadows states that Twilight is now almost as powerful as Star Swirl, confirming just how far she's come. This also highlights how powerful Star Swirl and Starlight are. Star Swirl is a unicorn who is explicitly more powerful than an alicorn, and Starlight rivals them despite not having alicorn magic and being much younger than Star Swirl and not having had nearly as long to study.
  • The rest of the Mane Six giving Star Swirl a speech when he dismisses Twilight's abilities, pointing out that not only is she a brilliant wizard in her own right, but that she's already corrected one of his spells.
    Applejack: Beggin' your pardon, Mr. the Bearded! But Twilight doesn't do anythin' halfway!
    Pinkie Pie: Especially not magic!
    Rainbow Dash: Seriously! She got her wings by finishing one of your spells!
    Rarity: I think you'll find her work is worth reading before you dismiss it out of hoof!
    Fluttershy: Mm-hmm!
  • A villainous example from the Pony of Shadows. Every other major villain that required the Elements of Harmony to be defeated went down with one blast of friendship-powered rainbow. The Pony of Shadows? Not only can the Elements of Harmony not defeat him, the best the Elements can do is throw the Pony of Shadows back into limbo at the cost of destroying the Elements. Fan speculation and circumstances aside, this suggests that the entity that created the Pony of Shadows is strong enough to No-Sell The Power of Friendship!
    • Despite this unprecedented advantage, the Pillars and their successors in the Mane Six still have the battle very well in hand, and the entity is stuffed into Limbo without fuss. Freeing its host is the hard part.
  • During the final showdown with the Pony of Shadows, as the combined powers of the Elements of Harmony and the Pillars of Equestria have forced it halfway through a dimensional gate, Twilight suddenly notices Stygian struggling to escape from inside it. What does she do? She unhesitatingly flies right into the shadow beast to try to find and reason with him!
  • The conflict ends with all the pillars, the Mane 6, and Sunburst and Starlight working together to pull Stygian free from the shadow. The shadow itself, no longer attached to a host, ends up being sucked into limbo and the portal seals shut with a MASSIVE RAINBOW EXPLOSION.

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