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Broken Base / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

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With the fandom as large as it is, infighting is inevitable. Some dividing factors include the Aesop of some episodes coming off the wrong way to some fans, the portrayal of fan-favorite characters, and whether or not Fandom Nods are good for the show.

Base-Breaking Characters have their own page.

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    In General... 
  • The most 'In General' thing regarding the show with it's Broken Base is the idea of the show going through Seasonal Rot. Basically anything that isn't Season 1 is going to be a hot topic for many fans and ex-fans of the series. And even then...
    • There are those who weren't big on several points on season 2, including its season finale episode A Canterlot Wedding. It got worse ever since the start of season 3, causing different members of the fan base to have varying ideas of when the show began to decline in quality. It could have been because season 3 was too short which made the bad episodes stand out more. Or it could be that season 4 had bland writing and lost touch of keeping the characters well developed. Perhaps it was season 5 when the show became lackluster, though it's understandable with season 4 being so good for many that season 5 would be compared to it.
    • However, the reactions to those seasons pale in comparison to the reactions to Seasons 6 and 7. Season 6 is widely regarded as the weakest season since season 3, while Season 7, while widely agreed to be a big improvement and more engaging than 6, still isn't particularly interesting to match the earlier seasons.
    • The line between Friendship Is Magic's prime years and the current era. Some draw the line at Season 3note , others at Season 4note , and another group at the end of Season 5note .
  • Pick a season. Any season. They're all pretty divisive.
    • Season 1: First Installment Wins or does it pale in contrast to later seasons?
    • Season 2: Was this when the show grew the beard or did Lauren Faust leaving halfway through hurt its chances for development?
    • Season 3: Worst season ever or was it just underrated?
    • Season 4 on two fronts:
      • Best season with many memorable episodes or was the show already past its prime with Twilight becoming an alicorn?
      • This season had a diminished role for the Elements of Harmony with the Mane Six requiring Plot Coupons to restore them. Fans who welcomed this season-long arc thought the Elements of Harmony were overused and turned the Mane Six's villain fights into a boring Curb-Stomp Battle. Then there were fans who were against doing away with such an iconic part of the first three seasons until the battle against Tirek, especially considering they were readily available for Twilight to use on Discord towards the end of Season 3.
    • Season 5 has gotten to be the most divisive by far.
    • Season 6: Was it a good season even if it wasn't the best of the show, a decent/okay but mostly forgettable season with a few too many flawed episodes, or an outright bad season and a case of Seasonal Rot?
      • The characters have been suffering from more Aesop Amnesia in this season. Some fans think it's a good way to learn from their mistakes while others say the storylines have become boring and repetitive because of it.
      • Unsurprisingly, Starlight Glimmer. Starlight has gotten a lot of focus placed on her in this season, including both the season premiere and the finale giving her wide prominence. Is Starlight an interesting addition to the cast, or a really bad Spotlight-Stealing Squad that is another nail in the coffin for the show?
    • Season 7: Most engaging season so far with interesting stories, just a mild improvement over 6, or just as repetitive as 6 and a sign that the series is far past its prime and is running on creative fumes at this point?
    • Season 8: Was the decision of having the Mane 6 open up a friendship school a great and unique way of expanding on the show’s mythos, an interesting idea that perhaps wasn’t met to its fullest potential, or a shallow excuse of keeping the show going longer than it needed to be?
  • As mentioned in the header, fandom nods, meme ascensions, and Ascended Fanon appearing in the show continue to be a hot button topic. Are they cute and clever references to the Periphery Demographic? Or just blatant, lazy pandering by the creators to get cheap laughs and cheers (or any reaction) from the fans, allowing the writers to slack off? Episodes like "Fame and Misfortune" has been especially accused of this.
  • After Starlight Glimmer's Heel–Face Turn at the end of the fifth season, a lot of debate amongst bronies rose over the tendency for the majority of the show's villains to be redeemed or otherwise easily forgiven for their actions. Some feel that it fits the overall message of the show on The Power of Friendship perfectly, and showing that some people are capable of changing for the better is an important life lesson for everybody. Others feel that the villains couldn't possibly earn forgiveness for some of the things they've done, and point out even if it could happen, forgiveness is NOT as simple as the show makes it out to be. A third group says they don't mind a few villains being reformed — bullies like Gilda, Diamond Tiara and Trixie, in particular — but they think that the world-ending threats getting the same treatment takes it too far.
    • On the flip side, the fact that some villains don't get redeemed has also proved divisive, mainly on who isn't redeemed. For example, the fact that those like the Flim Flam brothers are still con artists even after so many seasons. There are those who think it works well enough in order to show how reformations don't always work. The other side thinks it brings up bad implications (ie never trust a business).
  • Musical-based episodes. Fans who like them say they explore Hidden Depths of the characters and that they showcase the cast's fabulous singing. Then there are fans that think the excessive songs detract too much from the episode's storyline or even act as padding, leading to dragging or rushed plots.
  • Ever since the switch over from The Hub to Discovery Family, the website Equestria Daily has seemed to have hit the panic button on the number of viewers watching the series. This has lead to debates on if the show, being heavily Merchandise-Driven doesn't need to worry about something silly like ratings while toys are being sold, especially if the show is also being sold elsewhere, or if the ratings falling is a sign that Friendship Is Magic is on the way out.
  • The irreversible changes in status quo that have been cropping up for seasons at a time. Some see this as nice additions that keep the show from being too stale for a given amount of time, while others see them as either happening too frequently, or that they change too much without making sure every element of the show has also evolved with it to make it work. It's gotten to the point where some fans who were fine with Season 3 and 4 originally don't like them as much, due to Season 5, 6, 7 and 8 adding even more status quo changes to the point that it's barely the same show it was in Season 1 and 2.
  • The fact that the show still keeps the TV-Y rating even after dropping the e/i subtitle is also somewhat divisive. On the hand, it allows the show to not carry some of the potential baggage from more older skewing kids shows, especially more serialized shows, by intentionally holding itself back to let the more serious elements stand out. On the other hand, doing this too much under this rating means the show can't go far enough when dealing with more mature subjects, possibly resulting in unfortunate implications. Some episodes have been accused of this.
    • Related to the above, there's the matter of more overarching storytelling taking a long time, particularly with how stuff like Celestia getting her first focus episode, addressing AJ's parents deaths, and Starswirl making his first physical appearance all happening in season 7, or Scootaloo's family appearing in season 9. One side doesn't mind it since it means the staff can focus more on the quality of the episodes, while the other side wants the lore and world building sooner so as for the show to be much more groundbreaking.

    Season 1 

    Season 2 
  • "Lesson Zero" divided fans between those who were willing to chalk up Twilight's Sanity Slippage to Rule of Funny, and those who thought it was a massive case of flanderization, and even a little mean.
  • Either "Luna Eclipsed" was the best episode for Luna or the worst thing about her.
  • In "May the Best Pet Win!", whether or not Rainbow Dash putting the animals through so much danger was fine, even if they were willing. Oddly, a lot of people that feel Rainbow Dash was a jerk for doing so seem to forget or ignore that Fluttershy was just fine with the contest too, even exuberant about it.
  • Even to this day, fans are bitterly divided over loving "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" or hating it, and all of it revolving around how the actions of Rainbow Dash and the Mane Six are interpreted.
    • Mare-Do-Well (who is secretly five of the Mane Six) was either showing Rainbow Dash what a real hero was supposed to be like in the hopes of making her change her ways and saving ponies that Rainbow Dash would have been unable to save on her own, with the disguise as a way of showing her humility, or made a piss poor attempt at teaching Dash anything, instead presenting her with an unbeatable rival and egging her on to dangerous and embarrassing actions, with the disguise as a cowardly and dishonest way of hiding from Dash.
    • Rainbow Dash was either doing good deeds all over Ponyville, acting as a real hero, and basking in much-deserved praise from the citizens, then driven to despair and abandoned by even her most loyal fans because she came across as looking pathetic compared to Mare-Do-Well, or was bragging way too much to the point that it was endangering other ponies, embarrassed herself and ruined her own reputation through nopony's fault except her own, and was too stupid to pick up on the lesson that Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until she had it spelled out at the end of the episode.
    • Dash's friends were either having some good-natured fun among themselves and dropping hints to Dash that she would be happier and more successful if she just improved her attitude and acted more like Mare-Do-Well (i.e. humbly and without showboating), or were cruelly mocking Dash and her misfortunes while hypocritically praising Mare-Do-Well (i.e. themselves), fully aware that attacking Dash's competitive personality this way would only cause her grief.
    • When Dash confronted Mare Do Well, she ran off into a series of back alleys. Either Mare Do Well was luring Dash away from the crowd so that the Mane Six could talk to Dash in private and spare her any further humilation, or Mare Do Well was genuinely trying to get away from any confrontation so that she would not be humiliated herself.
  • Derpy's cameo in "The Last Roundup". Was it a nice tribute to the fans of the show, obnoxious pandering to those fans, possibly offensive to disabled people, or all of the above? Things got at least 10 times worse after the editsnote  that were made.
  • Either "Read It and Weep" is a fun romp with a great meta moral for the Periphery Demographic, or spends too much time on a dull Stock Parody.
  • Putting aside Pinkie's song, you either love "A Friend in Deed" because of its' hilarious Looney Tunes-esque gags, or you hate it because it turns Pinkie into an unlikeable Designated Hero MareFilly and having an ultra-contrived happy ending.
  • Angel's treatment of Fluttershy in "Putting Your Hoof Down". It can either come across as funny slapstick or cruelty.
  • To some, "It's About Time" is unpredictable and one of the show's funniest or it's so predictable that it feels like you're getting slapped in the face with how blatant and tedious it is.
  • Fans are divided on the scene in "Ponyville Confidential" where the CMC are shunned by the whole town once their identities get found out somehow, whether everypony's reaction believable or not, and more so, was justified or hurtful.
  • "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1":
    • Even before The Hub's premiere, a few fans called Executive Meddling on this two-parter, since it concerns a frilly, girlish wedding of two characters only introduced this episode that no one has ever heard of before for the sake of Hasbro's marketing, while other bronies called it a fitting way to end the second season.
    • The debate over Twilight's confrontation with the others likely would have caused the episodes to be Overshadowed by Controversy if not for the action-packed payoff of Part 2. Many feel the others were in the wrong for dismissing her in spite of everything she had done by that point in the series to show she wouldn't make such an accusation baselessly, knowing Cadance well enough so that her suspicions should have been taken seriously, and their not giving Twilight a chance to explain herself more rationally. Others Defend them arguing Twilight has been known to Freak Out! before, she wasn't acting in a way that lived down her accusations of jealousy, and she failed to give any evidence that couldn't be rationalized away (like Cadance forgetting their Secret Hand Shake), giving them enough to justify their dismissal. There's also those that think both sides were equally right/wrong and/or want the others to get over it, since, in the long run, it's a minor plot point compared to the others that happened in the two-parter and the rest of the series.
  • "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2":
    • DJ-Pon-3's eyes are revealed! ... as magenta, not red, and this was later confirmed by Word of God. Before the confirmation, some vehemently denied it, others assumed it was a trick of the lighting, others still supported it to the point of antagonizing neighsayers, and lastly, there were those who just shrugged and went "At least we know now."
    • Chrysalis defeating Celestia has divided some opinions on Celestia. Either Celestia is still incredibly powerful and Chrysalis feeding on Shining Armor's love really did make her strong enough to defeat Celestia or Celestia is not as strong as she is credited to be. Considering that Chrysalis herself was extremely shocked that she managed to do it and Celestia had been shown to be strong enough to neutralize a spell Twilight produced with little effort, it's likely the former. It should be noted that, even as powerful as she'd become, Chrysalis was visibly straining against Celestia's attack. It doesn't help that Celestia is so judicious in using her magic that fans had mostly been assuming she's a Physical Goddess without much evidence, so the baseline they assumed before this, well, who knows if it's right.
    • Was the false Cadance being dumb by casually acting evil, like snapping at Twilight about her ruining her plans, having a brainwashed Shining Armor with Celestia being none the wiser, and singing her Villain Song in front of thousands of ponies, including Celestia and the ponies she fooled, or does it just fall under the laws of cartoon logic, Musical World Hypotheses and people should just relax?
    • By extension, are the ponies who saw her casually acting evil idiots or we should just relax?
    • When Applejack apologized on the behalf of everyone to Twilight, others sees the apology itself as rushed and half-hearted, and that the others should've contributed by giving a longer, heartfelt apology, and not just Applejack. The others however see the others apologizing as irrelevant since Applejack was the one who told to leave Twilight, she should be the one apologizing as well.

    Season 3 
  • For "The Crystal Empire - Part 1", some people are split on whether or not Twilight should have regarded the Crystal Empire to the best of her ability. Some think she's thinking rationally, others think she's disregarding thousands of lives as a simple test.
  • Too Many Pinkie Pies spawned a lot of debate surrounding the What Measure Is a Non-Human? aspect of the episode, since the clones (particularly the first one) were capable of learning and had emotions, and that it was made clear zapping them back to the Mirror Pond was a one way trip. Some fans were quick to side with the resolution, claiming the copies were just mindless copies, that they were incredibly destructive and needed to be dealt with, and that they weren't "killed" so much as just sent back to the pond. Other fans felt it was an uncomfortably dark and horrifying resolution, seeing the copies as ponies that were born yesterday and murdered out of convenience, felt particularly bad for the one final copy that was clearly terrified, and that it was incredibly hypocritical of a show called "Friendship is Magic" to end like that considering actual monsters like Discord were instead given a chance and reformed. A cameo in a later episode only served to rekindle this when the Fridge Logic kicks in, as it was shown that said clones really were capable of learning and functioning as individuals.
  • There's a lot of argument over whether the issue of bullying and the aesop of "One Bad Apple" were done well, or in an unrealistic manner, especially in regards to how the CMC got Babs to stop bullying them.
  • Fandom opinion over the treatment of Snips and Snails in "Magic Duel" is sharply divided. Was Trixie's handling of them over what happened the last time we saw her justified or did she go too far in mistreating her biggest fans?
  • "Wonderbolts Academy":
    • Spitfire's demeanor. Some were turned off as it was a far cry from her friendly and laid back attitude from previous episodes while others felt it was justified as she was on duty and it was her job to weed out anyone who was incapable of being Wonderbolt material regardless of past interactions with her recruits. Having a different-sounding (initially misidentified as new) voice helped this prespective. On that note, some feel that Spitfire seems to have completely forgotten what Rainbow Dash is capable of, while the episode's defenders point out that Spitfire would logically be forbidden from showing Dash any favoritism.
    • Pinkie's behavior in this episode. Either it's funny, sad, or annoying.
    • This episode. It's either Merriwether's "best episode since Hearth's Warming Eve" or "So Okay, It's Average but least it's not Mare Do-Well since the whole episode is written better".
    • Nobody will reasonably claim that Lightning Dust wasn't at fault in that episode, but whether or not Rainbow Dash and Spitfire were also at fault for the events of the episode and guilty of wrongdoing still manages to be a hot topic of debate when it's brought up. Was Spitfire simply unaware of Lightning Dust's reckless behavior or was she an unfair hypocrite for encouraging it and then punishing said behavior when it caused repercussions? Was Rainbow Dash torn because doing the right thing meant giving up her lifelong dream, or was she only bothered because she wanted to be team captain and when her friends were endangered? You get wildly different answers depending on who you ask.
    • Similarly, was whether or not Spitfire in the right for punishing Lightning Dust for the tornado incident at the end. Answers vary wildly depending on whether said fan blames Lightning Dust for pulling the reckless stunt to begin with, or blames Twilight Sparkle and her friends for flying blind into a live training area. Was it actually a hazardous stunt that endangered everyone, or was it only dangerous because of the flightless ponies in the blimp who shouldn't have been there to begin with? Was Lightning Dust's punishment appropriate, or excessive in light of how other villains (and heroes) got off easier for as bad or worse.
  • "Just for Sidekicks":
    • Peewee's offscreen departure. Some fans were upset at Spike keeping Peewee rather than returning him to his parents and thought this was an Author's Saving Throw. Fans who liked the idea of Spike having a pet though view it as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • Spike's treatment in this episode. Some found it funny, others found it unintentionally sad, the latter due to him not being invited to help welcome the inspector.
    • Fans are even divided on Zecora's role in this episode. Granted, her intentions for donating one of Spike's gems to charity were good, but it's hard for fans to decide whether it was an all-around good deed to get Spike to think straight or a major Disproportionate Retribution (considering how some even interpret the way Zecora went about it and compare Spike's greed in this episode to his greed in "Secret Of My Excess", and that this time around Spike's motivation wasn't greed at all but the perfectly justifiable intent of earning some gems to bake a cake). It doesn't help that she leaves Spike to handle the pets alone afterwards, the problem he wanted her to help with in the first place. Even worse, her action becomes even more glaring when the episode's climax reveals that Spike cannot control his hunger for gems.
  • "Apple Family Reunion". The reception of another Applejack centric episode was split down the middle. While it pleased many that AJ finally got another A Day in the Limelight after spending most of Season Two Out of Focus or her centre spotlight stolen, some believe the episode suffered as a result by recycling the Serious Business plot akin to those of Twilight's episodes, but AJ's more reserved personality allowed for less extreme humor and a much more mundane outcome.
  • "Spike at Your Service":
    • The Mane Six's fear of the Timberwolves. They've faced stronger enemies like the Changelings and Discord without hesitation, and the Timberwolves only take one good hit to defeat, so their sudden terror is confusing to some. However, others have pointed out that the Timberwolves are pretty dang fast and nigh impossible to permanently kill. This isn't the first time the Mane Six have fled a fight either (the dragon teenagers come to mind).
    • Many of the episode's problems could be chalked up to its sudden, drastic change from its original concept. On the other hoof, if the What Could Have Been is to be believed, the original version could have been even worse, so it's probably for the best.
  • "Keep Calm and Flutter On":
    • The idea of an episode reforming a big-name villain like Discord had already split the fandom since the synopsis was first released. Upon viewing the episode, many felt that the ending was rushed, but fans are split on whether that ruined the episode or not.
    • Is this a good lesson? How often has playing nice reformed Real Life enemies? On the other hoof, would it have been a good lesson not to reform him? There's no easy answer.
    • Twilight being willing to use a "reform spell" on Discord. Was this perfectly justified given how potentially dangerous he is and seemingly limitless his powers are, or was Twilight dipping into villainy herself considering her last time tinkering with brainwashing and how mind-altering seems to be a power employed exclusively by villains in the show's setting?
  • Opinion is divided over how well "Magical Mystery Cure" pulled off Twilight becoming an Alicorn; whether it felt rushed and filled with too many songs instead of explaining events, or if this was a good way of condensing the plot down into a single episode without sacrificing the story-telling.

    Season 4 
  • In "Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2", was Applejack in the right for sending away Twilight from their quest or was she an idiot? Fans are split on either topic.
  • The very concept that Daring Do is real according to "Daring Don't". This idea alone pretty much split the fanbase with either loving this episode or hating it. While most were perfectly okay with this revelation, others did not like the idea at all, finding it jarring, and even pointless and illogical. Some fans were also unhappy with the amount of fan theories and head canon that this episode jossed, such as the idea that "Twilight's mother is the author of Daring Do" that the IDW comics and Gameloft mobile app hinted.
  • "Flight to the Finish":
    • The episode in general. On one side of the coin, we have fans who are happy Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo got some bonding throughout the episode, and like the moral of the story. On the other side, some believed what made earlier CMC was lost, claiming that the episode pacing was off and the plot involving Scootaloo's flying issues didn't live up to its full potential.
    • While most of Scootaloo's home life isn't explored, this episode finally proves she isn't homeless. Some are pleased by this development, others find it ruins their head-canon.
  • "Power Ponies":
    • Many people really enjoy the episode for all the shenanigans that ensue as a result of the Mane 6 being superheroes. But there are also many people who dislike it for various reasons, such as the gimmicky concept, the excessive Exposition, and the poor explanation for the comic book being magic.
    • Flutterhulk. It's one of the more praised aspects of this episode, yet one of the most criticized. Some loved the juxtaposition of timid, adorable Fluttershy and The Hulk. Yet there were others who lambasted the design as well as her trigger.
  • "Bats!":
    • Was Applejack in the right for wanting to stop the bats or was Fluttershy right for wanting to find an alternate route? Fans seem split on either option, especially since that plot point was quickly dropped in favor of a potentially better one. Fans are split on that as well, half wanting to see that plot be fully developed while the other would rather they do the Flutterbat plot.
    • As for the episode itself: was it a funny and weird little romp with a cool transformation, or was it a silly and ridiculous Idiot Plot that seemed ripped from a fanfic?
  • "Pinkie Apple Pie":
    • Apple Bloom sing-songing something similar to Tara Strong's "Twilightlicious" video popularized by the fandom has set some into "They're pandering to us!" mode, while others like it or are ambivalent to whether it's pandering or not.
    • Goldie's hoarding is played noticeably straight, as is her animal abuse (via neglect, not physical abuse). This gets a negative reaction from some who think it's Played for Laughs, while others find it genuinely amusing. There's also the camp who view it completely straight, since the whole Apple family is visibly shaken by the sight.
  • For "Rainbow Falls", many feel Rainbow Dash was in the right for wanting to go with a team that didn't downright sabotage their own chances at winning by picking not only non-athletes, but ponies that are handicapped at flying. As we were shown in previous episodes, friends are understanding, it's likely they'd have understood it was really important for Rainbow Dash to be in the Equestria Games. Instead, Twilight tells her the very opposite, that she'd offend all of her friends for doing so (Granted, it's shown that Bulk Biceps and Fluttershy would gladly respect Rainbow Dash's choice and Twilight did allow Rainbow Dash to make her own choice). It's only after that we're shown the Wonderbolts to be truly despicable.
    \\ On the other side, Rainbow made a commitment to the Ponyville team and shouldn't decide to switch to a better team just because she doesn't like her chances. Since we're shown that winning isn't of paramount importance to Rainbow (considering she agreed to Bulk Biceps and Fluttershy in the first place on top of passing on the chance to join), and since trying to win at the expense of others is a dick move, as established in Wonderbolts Academy, there's no good reason for Rainbow to join the Cloudsdale team.
  • "Three's a Crowd":
  • "Simple Ways", for focusing on romance. Some don't like it because they feel it violates Lauren Faust's stated intention of the show being No Hugging, No Kissingnote . Others don't mind since it illustrates the general "Be Yourself" moral well. Still others consider it a non-issue due to Rule of Funny.
  • "Filli Vanilli":
    • Pinkie's insensitivity towards Fluttershy. Pinkie's behavior has been a point of discussion whether in character, completely out of character, consistent with past Pinkie characterization (eg: "Griffon the Brush Off" shows a Pinkie much more sympathetic to Fluttershy's fragile nature), or even the fact that Fluttershy effectively does the same to Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom".
    • Find The Music In You is either an amazing work of quartet singing, or the same sort of lazy writing on par with Firework, Born This Way, and Wrecking Ball.
  • Applejack's overprotective behaviour in "Somepony to Watch Over Me". Some think it's hilarious and made the episode more amusing, others found it annoying and the episode's biggest problem.
  • There appears to be two camps in regards to "Leap of Faith''. There's one camp that likes this episode because of its strong moral, the genuine chemistry dynamics between the Apple Family, and an real moral dilemma on Applejack's part, while the other camp dislikes it because it wastes a golden opportunity for real character growth for Flim and Flam and that the start of the episode feels rather cliched until Applejack starts to have her dilemma.
  • Before "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" was released, the preview clip of Pinkie Pie's rap song split the fanbase into two camps: those who thought of it as harmless, silly fun and no better or worse than any other song on the show; and those who thought the very idea screams Totally Radical and a dearth of ideas on the writers' part, with Vinyl Scratch thrown in as a half-hearted attempt at pandering. The line was blurred somewhat when the episode came out and showed the rap is a very clear case of Stylistic Suck, especially given the animators went the extra mile to give the visuals during the song a Retraux look of something from a late-80s/early-90s VHS tape (with scan lines, semi-blurry quality, and presenting the scene in a 4:3 aspect ratio as opposed to widescreen).
  • 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.
  • The infamous Cloudsdale Anthem scene in "Equestria Games": A Funny Moment, a painfully cringe-inducing, or a Cringe Comedy.

    Season 5 
  • While reception to "The Cutie Map - Part 2" has been mostly positive, some viewers have taken offense to it, claiming that it completely rewrote the established rules and lore about cutie marks (with the fact that one of the episode's writers was M. A. Larson not helping this matter at all).
    • The two parter as a whole. Many people praise it for its mature themes and dark subject matter, while others think it's too ambitious and overly simplified for its own good.
  • The Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup aspect of the Mane 6 redecorating Twilight's castle in "Castle Sweet Castle". While some fans either liked it or didn't mind it due to the lesson that is being taught, others have criticized it for having the rest of the Mane 6 come off as idiots who have no idea of what Twilight is interested in (despite knowing her for four seasons) and instead decorate the castle based on their own preferences.
  • "Bloom & Gloom":
    • Was the episode a great in-depth look at the actual fears that ponies may have in terms of finally receiving their Cutie Marks, or does it fall victim to a painfully predictable plot (admit it, you knew Luna was going to show up and save Apple Bloom from her nightmare) that doesn't really do anything to make up for it?
    • This episode also caused a rift between fans due to Babs Seed getting her cutie mark. She had only appeared twice in the show before, both in the third season, with defenders saying the time was right for her while opponents claim they should have explored her crusading in Manehattan more. Fans are also divided on how she got one with little fanfare with some fans saying it was just the episode's way of her getting one. Fans who weren't happy bring up a Zipporwhill, a filly no one had ever seen before, getting her cuteceañera as a plot excuse in "Filli Vanilli".
  • "Tanks for the Memories":
    • Some love the episode for the emotional moments and comedy, others hate it for Rainbow Dash acting irresponsible and mean in her efforts to stop winter, while still others are a mixture of both.
    • Rainbow Dash's song. Fans who loved it thought it was a treat to finally hear a solo song from Rainbow Dash and such an awesome one to boot. On the other hand, fans thought the lyrics about Rainbow intentionally preventing winter were unsettling and that Ashleigh Ball's singing could have been put to better use.
    • The nature of the episode, as it's apparently a story about coming to grips with the death of a pet that evokes Never Say "Die" and instead focuses on a hibernation. Some feel that Rainbow Dash is being an unsympathetic whiner who can't handle her pet being gone for a couple months which Narms the story up too much to justify her sadness and desperation. Others feel that it's absolutely in character for Rainbow Dash to overreact that much, and that it's heartwarming (and even funny) that she's so attached to her pet that being away from him for only a few months is as heartbreaking to her as a death.
  • "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone":
    • Re-introducing Gilda and making her a more likable character is this for some fans. While a majority really does like her return and gave her a huge character change, there are still a small number of fans that still won't forgive her for yelling at Fluttershy and making her cry.
    • The ending seems to throw off a lot of people, due to Griffonstone still being in disarray and having no king. Never the less, some are okay with the ending considering how Gilda's going to probably help the Griffon Kingdom become more friendlier and less selfish.
  • "Slice of Life":
    • The fact that this episode canonizes several background characters, whose popularity has been the fandom's most iconic feature for four years. Some have their fanon personalities, while others toss such notions aside. Some fans have also complained that an episode about the backgrounders is Pandering to the Base, while others agree that that's exactly what it is but don't see it as a problem.
    • Also, while it was surprisingly easy on wider fanon about the characters, there's still some debate: Lyra and Bon Bon referring to each other as "best friends" over and over while being very touchy-feely and making half-lidded expressions at each other the whole time, then arguing Like an Old Married Couple, then going right back to touching and making eyes at each other as they reaffirm their "friendship" is either epic Ship Sinking or epic ship confirmation. And if it's Ship Sinking, then either all is Ruined FOREVER, or they're clearly so very close and near-romantic that romance is nigh, and Fan Works will continue just as before. Or, you prefer them as friends and want this to be Ship Sinking.
    • And then there's the matter of voices and whether or not you thought each Suddenly Voiced character got an appropriate one. As for a certain DJ, either her status as The Voiceless/The Speechless (derived from her EQG counterpart) — whichever you believe her to be — is either an interesting touch that adds to her character, or it isn't and it just feels like a cop-out.
    • While some fans are happy to have an episode staring the background characters, others are upset that that they picked the 100th episode to do it on instead of focusing on the Mane Six, the Cuite Mark Crusaders, and Spike.
    • The blink-and-you-miss-it Visual Pun of Vinyl Scratch's turntable booth jumping over a toy shark. Hilarious Self-Deprecation by the show's staff or an in-your-face stab at fans who prefer the earlier seasons?
  • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?":
    • There's some debate over which is better: this episode, or the Nightmare Arc of the IDW comics, since both tackled Luna's insecurities which end up nearly bringing destruction to Equestria. The comic was more focused on the Nightmare Forces and Nightmare Rarity than Luna, yet it brought a face to Nightmare Moon and had Luna confronting her fear more directly. This episode has Luna in a more passive role for the climax that makes it feel more scaled down, but the focus was kept on Luna's character, and the Tantabus being a personification of her guilt rather than the force that made her Nightmare Moon adds to Luna's status as The Atoner.
    • Is Luna's guilt throughout Narm? Or entirely understandable given the situation she's in?
    • Was Luna creating the Tantabus to punish herself justifiable given the harm she could have caused as Nightmare Moon? Or did Nightmare fail to do or show anything that would warrant such?note  Is the resolution powerful and appropriate? Or was it unreasonably quick in dealing with serious self-destructive issue.
  • The treatment of the large pony at the end of "Canterlot Boutique" is divided between those who thought it was hilarious and those who saw it as fat-shaming.
  • "Rarity Investigates":
    • The episode split people down the middle between those who thought that the solution to the mystery was so blatantly obvious that it ruins the episode and people who claim that the mystery wasn't the point to begin with and that Rarity and Rainbow Dash's interactions were the important part of the episode.
    • Rarity's "interrogation" techniques on the royal guards. Fans thought they were either the funniest part about the show or that they were too sexy for a show aimed at little girls.
  • "Brotherhooves Social": The whole concept of Big Macintosh taking part in the Sisterhooves Social by attempting to disguise himself as a mare is either hilarious, or a prime example of Cringe Comedy. Similarly, the fanbase is split over whether the whole plot has a positive message about accepting crossdressers and transpeople, is offensive and in bad taste, and those who feel that the episode really wasn't about any of that anyway since Big Macintosh only dressed in drag as part of a disguise.
  • "The Cutie Re-Mark" gets this in spades along with Tough Act to Follow. You either love it for it's unique and different take on My Little Pony 2-parters, the return cameos of previous villains with King Sombra in particular getting an Author's Saving Throw, the imagery and atmosphere of the different alternate realities, or you dislike it for the lack of buildup, lack of action and stakes, and the fact that the Mane Five and several other characters are Demoted to Extra or out of focus entirely. Then of course, there's Starlight Glimmer (mentioned further down the page). Her backstory, decline from a manipulative Smug Snake Knight Templar to petty one track minded revenge villain, and her very sudden and very quick Heel–Face Turn in the end, which may come off as heartwarming or very cliched and tiresome molasses.

    Season 6 
  • "No Second Prances":
    • This episode may have set a new record for how many different bases it shattered. Regarding character portrayals, the tone of the episode, and even the morality and intentions of certain characters.
    • Twilight Sparkle was subject to much controversy regarding her behavior and the consequences that came from it. Some fans say Twilight had good, realistic intentions regarding Starlight as a teacher regarding her pupil, while the more harsher critics out Twilight as a massive Hypocrite who put her petty rivalry with Trixie over her student actually making progress and friends, to the point where she is outright called the villain of the episode, and think she was let off the hook way too easily. This also sparked debates and questions regarding Twilight's morality and title. Critics call Twilight a poor excuse of a teacher who needs to relearn her Friendship Lessons, with the extreme critics even calling her downright evil, while the more sympathetic groups believe it's a simple use of Aesop Amnesia and a realistic portrayal of flaws for the Princess of Friendship by the writers, and say it's a welcome change.
    • Trixie's return, and the cameos from Derpy and DJ-Pon3, sparked complaints of pandering. Others just liked seeing the characters again.
    • Twilight not wanting Starlight to befriend Trixie. While some fans feel that her behavior is justified due to Trixie's past appearances and how antagonistic Trixie was upon meeting Twilight in the castle, others felt that it went against Twilight's role of being the "Princess of Friendship", ruining the episode for them. Others see it as at worst a minor bad judgment call from Twilight that was perfectly in character, while others jump to the deep end of thinking she needs to relearn her friendship lessons.
    • This episode sparked a new debate. After Season Five, there were complaints that former villains were forgiven too easily, now there's a new argument that how far must a former villain be rejected for their former actions. Some think this episode went a little too far to the other side of the spectrum, that the "heroic" character becomes a judgmental and hypocritical Knight Templar and a Designated Hero, especially considering Trixie already made peace with Twilight at the end of Magic Duel and how she was hardly ever much of a villain to begin with.
    • Starlight's portrayal continues to be a bit of a crowd divider. Some were symphathetical about Starlight strugling to fit in with her magical powers while lacking in social skills, and were also glad that she wasn't simply being mopey all the time like in the season premiere. Some felt that since this was done at the expense of bringing in characters to the story just to portray them either as uncharacterstically or as unfavorably as possible, the narrative was going out its way to make Starlight look good. Others on the other hand felt that the absurdly skilled neurotic wizard without social skills niche had already been done with Twilight a few seasons ago.
  • "Newbie Dash":
    • As per usual for the fandom, there are camps about the Wonderbolts' behavior during the episode:
      • One group thought that their treatment of Dash was unnecessarily petty (it doesn't help that the nickname they gave her is the same one that her childhood bullies came up with) and that their constant insults were childish and unprofessional. Another group notes that hazing the newbie is a pretty standard tradition in nearly any sort of team based activity (especially as every other member of the Wonderbolts had been through it too). Not to mention that the Wonderbolts weren't aware of all the emotional baggage that the nickname had for Rainbow Dash. A third camp is of the opinion that the hazing the newbie tradition works, but the fact no one bothered to explain (or even try to explain) the tradition to Rainbow until the very end (not even Soarin or Spitfire, who Rainbow is personal friends with) when she brings it up made them look more jerkish than they needed to be. Course Rainbow didn't bother to tell any of them how much it bothered her even when one tried to comfort her about her performance, or ask at all about the other's nicknames. A fourth camp feels the Wonderbolts' actions would have been fine on its own, but their repeated instances of questionable behavior in previous episodes causes a problem by not providing enough of a contrast with the nicknames to make it come off as friendly instead of them being jerks.
    • After five seasons of build up, Dash finally gets to be a Wonderbolt and achieve her dream... and it's devoted to her getting a bad nickname and trying to deal with it. On top of that, the completion of her dream happens in the lead-in to the show. Some feel it's a good episode, as it reflects the first experiences of a lot of people in this type of work; others feel it's a waste of the episode where Rainbow finally reaches her dreams and a lot more could have been done with it. This includes some who liked the episode and found it So Okay, It's Average.
    • Rainbow Dash's impressions of her five best friends became a real sticking point among the fans. Some say that it was a disrespectful and embarrassing moment that brought down the episode while others say it was a very adorable moment that shows how talented she is at mimicking the other five ponies of the mane six.
    • The fact that Starlight Glimmer is mysteriously missing from the episode without any mention or any explanation has rattled a couple cages. Some claim she is irrelevant to the plot, but then at the same time, the other group contend that there was nothing stopping her from showing up in the crowd or in the background, and think it's awfully jarring for a character considered by some people to be the Sixth Ranger to just disappear from existence.
  • Applejack's characterization in "Applejack's Day Off". While she's normally very competent and efficient (as shown in the spa), some fans complain that her Complexity Addiction about her works in the farm is totally Out of Character. Others find it funny.
  • Rarity's characterization in "Spice Up Your Life". Some fans complain that she seems to have forgotten the lesson from "Canterlot Boutique" and conforms the restaurant too easily to Zesty Gourmand's standard. Others, in her defense, say that Rarity is not a chef and she only knows what works in Canterlot (indeed Pinkie found only two customers with her different approach), so she acted in good faith to save the restaurant.
  • "28 Pranks Later":
    • Is this episode a vast improvement over "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" that addresses and fixes/avoids the problems of the former? Or is it just as bad as that episode, if not worse? It doesn't help that just like that episode and several other less popular ones, it's the writer's first script for the show (though at least the story concept is from Meghan McCarthy).
    • The problem ultimately lies with the handling of Rainbow Dash's character. While those who liked the episode liked that it didn't repeat the same problems that plagued MMDW, its detractors didn't like that it came at the cost of Dash holding the Jerkass Ball, especially since her jerkish behavior had been toned down since Season 2. As a result, many feel this episode would have worked much better as a Season 1/2 episode instead.
  • "The Times They Are A Changeling":
    • Spike's musical number. Some think it was Awesome Music and a major step-up from his failure of the Cloudsdale anthem in "Equestria Games", while others thought it was cringe-worthy, largely unnecessary and some even consider it to be an Anti-Climax.
    • Everypony's vehemence that a changeling can't be good, as well as their hostility and panic in regards to Thorax, can seem painfully excessive to some viewers, especially considering the well-known reformations of villains like Starlight Glimmer and Discord. On the other hand, Shining Armor and Cadance in particular have pretty good reasons to feel the way they do considering their last encounter with changelings, so other viewers argue their reactions are realistic. In direct contrast, the anti-climactic ending has many viewers wondering if the ponies fully accepting Thorax (to the point that Cadance brings Flurry Heart right under his nose) after nothing but a quick song was in any way reasonable. Others feel that having both Spike "The Brave and Glorious" and Twilight "The Princess of Friendship" being willing to give Thorax a chance carried enough influence to have it make sense, especially for Cadance and Shining Armor due to their own past experience and Twilight being family.
  • The idea of Starlight using mind control magic on the Mane 5 in "Every Little Thing She Does". Some people feel that they can understand her doing this due to her problems with making friends with others and are willing to let it go for the fun stuff that results and the fact that Starlight isn't being malicious about it, and like that the others were actually openly angry with her and she had to WORK to get them to forgive her. To others, this (and how she's Easily Forgiven for this after she apologizes for it) only adds more hate fuel to somepony who is already a Base-Breaking Character even before this episode aired. A THIRD camp likes it for showing a bit of Starlight's pre-Heel–Face Turn personality, which they felt was lacking, and showing she didn't do a complete 180 and has parts of her old self she still needs to overcome, or rather, allowing the new, good version of Starlight to have some character flaws to work on, just as a student is expected to have. There's a fourth camp that just found the whole thing funny and enjoyed the episode.
  • To Where and Back Again:
    • Naturally, this episode's premise, in which Starlight Glimmer leads a group of reformed villains to save the Mane Six and the Royal Family from Chrysalis, will likely lead to this. However, the fact that some of the most powerful ponies in Equestria are easily defeated by changeling drones instead of Chrysalis herself also doesn't sit well, but it is provided a possible explanation in the very next episode and the reasoning behind it even ties into the main plot.
    • Some people felt that basically everyone of importance in Equestria being dealt with by the changelings offscreen with such ease and without a proper explanation seems awfully convenient for the plot, since it's the main reason Starlight and her squad have to be the ones to save the day. Some have suggested they could have chipped off small chunks of Chrysalis' throne to use in subduing the kidnappees; like an Equestrian krypronite. Others have pointed out that this in turn presents the question of why don't they carry pieces of the throne with them all the time, if it is able to make your enemies resistance basically nonexistent, and with instant null powers, they wouldn't even need the whole infiltration thing. In essence, it feels like a cop-out that the reason for the whole adventure is that they just already had them captured offscreen, and it reduces the rest of the cast (the Mane Six especially) in many people's eyes. Some have said it would reduce them if they were shown being kidnapped by normal changelings, but it has been also pointed out that the entire plot reduces them regardless, so showing it or not wouldn't change the issue.

    Season 7 
  • For "Celestial Advice", many were skeptical about Starlight having earned a graduation so soon, after the things she did in the last season and having only one big adventure under her belt. On the other hand, since it actually didn't end up changing much about Starlight's story compared to her status from the previous season, a lot of people are accusing the whole "graduation" and everything leading up to it being there effectively just as an opportunity to praise Starlight, not helped by how the story isn't at all subtle about how awesome Twilight thinks Starlight is. And then some people got worried about Celestia's in-passing mention of letting a student "spread her wings" being an obvious foreshadowing of Starlight ascending to alicornhood somewhere along the line. Others feel that a lot of it is just unnecessary doomsaying, since, for the most part, everything stayed the same and Celestia's take on the issue made the whole story a lot more meaningful. At the end of it all, the episode was just that: mostly harmless.
  • The Mane Six's overall characterization in "All Bottled Up". With the rate they have constantly talked about their friendship, The Mane 6 came off as less cute and heartwarming, and more braggart and exceedingly arrogant, with the more extreme critics saying as if they're mocking the audience for not having the best and most true friendship around like them (or in worst cases, having no friends at all). Some were definitely annoyed by it, and thought it was totally out of line for a group that was otherwise seen as very humble (though Rainbow Dash has had her arrogant moments in the past), while others don't see an issue and were appreciative of the deconstruction of the show's protagonists, giving them real flaws to learn a lesson, and were quick to point out that this was deliberate, as the Mane Six also suffer a Break the Haughty moment when they fail to beat the room puzzle record, due to that same hubris. Even that is up for debate, as some people aren't fond of the fact that these characters they've followed for the past 6 seasons suddenly gained a newly shared character flaw that wasn't there prior (or in the case of some of the characters, should have died out early on).
  • "A Flurry of Emotions" has the scene where Twilight yells at Flurry Heart. Many proclaim that she was in the right to do so as Flurry did place the sick foals and hospital staff in jeopardy, and that Twilight shifting the blame onto herself completely excuses Flurry Heart's behaviour. However others are quick to remind them that it technically was Twilight's fault as she was tasked with looking after Flurry Heart and ended up barely paying her any attention all day.
  • For "Rock Solid Friendship", some fans are disappointed that Maud befriended Starlight rather than one of the other Mane Five like Rarity (using as example a Friends Forever issue) because of their interest in "minerals". From the other side, it's pointed that Rarity has already been shown not to be able to get along with her in "The Gift of the Maud Pie", and their Friends Forever issue was more about them understanding and working together.
  • While "Parental Glideance" was broadly well-received, there was a noticeable split in whether fans thought it was really good or really bad.
    • On the one hand, many fans thought the episode did an excellent job delivering its moral and that it was one of the Wonderbolts' most genuinely likable portrayals so far, and found Windy Whistles and Bow Hothoof lovable, interesting characters and genuinely felt for them when Rainbow snapped at them. Many were also of the opinion that this episode did an excellent job of expanding on Scootaloo’s characterization and using her relationship with Rainbow and her parents to highlight the need for supportive people in one’s life.
    • On the other hand, other fans thought that Rainbow’s parents’ behavior — such as their loudness and attention-grabbing visibly getting in the way of others enjoying the Wonderbolt show or getting autographs and at the end in the way of Cheerilee actually teaching her class, and also their shooting live fireworks at an air show — was disruptive and socially inappropriate, and thought that their encouragement was overbearing and suitable for encouraging a young child, not a professional athlete. As such, they thought that Rainbow had genuine reasons to feel humiliated and were upset the ending glossed over these things. In short the extremes her parents went to got in the way of the moral.note 
  • Even disregarding the whole Ship-to-Ship Combat element, there's some debate as to whether the whole conflict in "Hard to Say Anything" was actually pulled off well enough, and if nearly the entire episode being Cringe Comedy was justified.
  • "Honest Apple":
    • The episode in general. Some people enjoyed it for its moral about opinions and how sometimes Brutal Honesty is not the way to go (especially towards those involved in the arts). Others were turned off by the above-mentioned issues (Rarity asking Applejack to judge a fashion show; Applejack holding the Jerkass Ball in terms of her judging), Rarity's solution to have Applejack learn her lesson (having her confront someone who doesn't like apples), and the whole "Everyone Wins" ending.
    • The fandom is split about who has to take the blame. Rarity, who picked Applejack of all ponies as judge for a fashion show in the first place? Applejack, who grabbed the Jerkass Ball and crossed the line insulting fashion in general? Or both because of the general writing of the episode (especially with the episode being written by a first-time writer for the show)?
  • "A Royal Problem":
    • Starlight Glimmer again.
      • Her role in the episode. Some felt that she was largely unnecessary for the plot and that the exact same story could have been done better if it had devoted the full attention to the royal sisters. Others felt that Starlight was not only a necessary catalyst for the episode, but that the majority of the events hinged on the princesses flung into Fish out of Water scenarios with Starlight running around trying to keep everything together.
      • Another problem with Starlight's involvement is that her temper getting the better of her and her resorting to magic as an out from the problem has been a recurring theme in her episodes. Here not only did that happen, but she used magic to switch the Princess' cutie marks, the exact same type of magic she used when she was evil. Cue cries that Starlight has really not learned her lesson after all this time. Defenders, however, point out that Starlight tried to approach the problem rationally and peacefully and only resorted to magic when the Princesses were shouting in each other's faces, and she seriously regretted her decision and had a nightmare about the consequences of it going badly, showing she has indeed grown.
    • Twilight's role in the episode, funny or cringe-worthy?
    • The fact it took 7 seasons for Celestia to finally get an episode has also proved divisive. One side doesn't mind it, while the other side wishes it happened much sooner. Compare that to Luna, who got an episode as early as season 2.
  • How much people liked "Discordant Harmony" is largely dependent on how much they're amused by Discord's harmless antics. For those unamused, it's an episode about a fairly boring man getting ready for a tea party.
  • "The Perfect Pear":
    • While the episode was met with near-universal positive reception, and it all but outright says that Bright Mac and Pear Butter are dead (confirming years of fan theories and subtle hints), the details of their deaths were intentionally left out. Some fans saw this as a wasted opportunity to build character for multiple Apple family members, while some didn't mind the details being left out and focused on the romance between Bright Mac and Pear Butter. Still, others refuse to believe that Pear Butter and Bright Mac are dead, insisting they're alive since the episode doesn't outright say "they're dead." This led to some debate over whether all the clues about Pear Butter and Bright Mac's fate say that they're dead, or that they're just missing with their fate currently unknown.
    • Some didn't care for the episode for being a typical Star-Crossed Lovers ala Romeo and Juliet, feeling that such a tired and cliched plot is an unfulfilling payoff to finally seeing the Apple parents and learning how they fell in love. Others didn't mind the plotline and felt the episode's other merits outweighed any tiredness of the idea.
  • With "Fame and Misfortune", this was pretty much inevitable, considering it's a giant Take That! at the brony community. Some find the episode to be a fun jab at obsessive fans and a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, others see it as the writers being petulant over legitimate criticism the show has received — especially where the Mane 6's characterization is concerned. A third group doesn't mind the episode's subject matter, but rather judge the episode as an actual episode, and found the Mane Six's treatment to be a bit too mean-spirited and the entirety of Ponyville to be more than a little unsympathetic. Yet another group argues that the background ponies are at the mercy of the writers and animators, and that the whole experience will blow right over by the next episode.
    • The episode itself. Is "Fame And Misfortune" a hilarious meta lampoon at itself as well as the fandom with great jokes and lines and an awesome song, or is it a bad episode with a confusing (and at times contradictory) moral, that could've benefitted from a re-write or two?
  • "To Change a Changeling": Given the divisive nature of the transformed Changelings, this is inevitable; those who found the whole business hokey and narmy (or just don't like the new designs) aren't keen on being force-fed a second helping, while others are happy to have Thorax back and eager to see how this plays out. In addition, the fact that this is yet another Starlight-centric episode has annoyed fans who believe Spike should have this role since he was Thorax's first friend, while others counter that Starlight helped Thorax to transform and thus has a stake in the fate of the Changelings and belongs here.*
  • Iron Will's portrayal in "Once Upon a Zeppelin". Fans either loved him for his funny moments... or didn't take too kindly to his Took a Level in Jerkass portrayal (when he was originally a sympathetic Designated Villain). Whether or not he was a Designated Villain the second time around also managed to be a point of debate: some agreed with Iron Will in that he did clearly outline the terms of them accepting the cruise in his contract (Twilight's parents simply didn't read the contract) and that he wasn't wrong for expecting them to keep their end of the bargain, while others felt contract or not he was being a pushy scam artist capitalizing off of Twilight's fame and status.
  • Rumble's argument in "Marks and Recreation" that Apple Bloom hasn't experimented with potions in a while is either a legitimate counterargument or a Strawman Fallacy that would have easily been cleared up by Rumble talking to Twilight or Zecora to confirm that Apple Bloom has been successful at it in the past.
  • "Shadow Play", while being generally well-received, also had its detractors, with some saying that Starswirl the Bearded was portrayed too unsympathetically, the other Pillars didn't get enough development and the villain didn't really do anything to make him a real threat. There's also the fact that the Pillars being single-handedly responsible for the creation of the Elements of Harmony didn't sit well with everyone, who thought that it removed the mystery around the Elements. However, most people enjoyed it for expanding the lore and because we finally got to see Starswirl the Bearded in the actual show. While not everyone was on board with the Pony of Shadows as a villain, most people will agree that Stygian as a character himself was handled well.
    • Another point of argument is about whether the episode tries to do too much and becomes more style over substance, or did just enough to keep the story flowing smoothly. Defenders point out that the characters still make plenty of contributions to the overall story, no matter how minor. Detractors think that it put so much focus on lore and worldbuilding and themes that it doesn't put enough focus on actually developing the characters, which is often the main draw for many people to the series.

    Season 8 
  • The season 8 premiere "School Daze" has divided the fan base for the following reasons:
    • The start of the episode established that it takes place after the movie, but uses it only for a catalyst and not the main plot. It either works well enough so that people don't get confused note , or there are those who wanted it to directly continue from the movie due to some of the dangling plot threads. There's also those who wanted a continuation of the season 7 finale.
    • There's also the matter of opening the School Of Friendship. One side doesn't mind it while the other side thinks its gimmicky. There's also the handling of the subject matter, directly going against the education system and promoting multi species assimilation. One side thinks it's a bold, mature move, while the other side thinks the show is biting off more than it can chew, feeling it's too touchy of a subject to tackle in a TV-Y rated show.
  • "Non Compete Clause" once again brings back Applejack and Rainbow Dash's competitive nature, and they're shown to be much more petty due to wanting to get a Teacher Of The Month award. One side think it works well enough in order to show a competitive streak can't easily go away. The other side think that the characters become too petty, and the conflict would work better in seasons 1-2, but not season 8, where the characters have known each other for years. Those who think the latter also point to how their competitive nature in episodes like "Fall Weather Friends" and "Castle Mane-ia" was more downplayed and mainly affected them, while here, they almost get the students hurt (and one almost drowned).
  • The conflict of "The End in Friend", with Rainbow Dash and Rarity struggling to find out what they have in common as friends, is somewhat divisive. One side think it works well enough in order to show how long lasting friendships need to be continually maintained. The other side think that the characters become too petty, and the conflict would work better in seasons 1-2, but not season 8, where the characters have known each other for years.
  • "School Raze", the season finale, is also divisive for various reasons:
    • Cozy Glow's plan, where she sees friendship as power and wants that power by draining magic, is either an incredibly impressive Batman Gambit for some one her age, or she held onto the Idiot Ball since all of magic would be drained, including her own.
    • The fact that Cozy Glow, a child, is sent to Tartarus without a fair trial, is either a refreshing change of pace after the numerous reformations that are highly controversial, or it makes the main characters look hypocritical/stupid and brings up frightening implications.
    • Chancellor Neighsay has been a divisive character since day one due to his stubborn, bigoted behavior and extreme prejudice against creatures, but his heel face turn despite his actions either works well enough since he's not overly malicious, or he's a Karma Houdini that's shown to be far more overtly vindictive.
    • Like the season 7 finale, the much more ambitious scale is either well handled, or it's still style over substance.

    Equestria Girls 
  • "Is Equestria Girls canon to Friendship is Magic or not?" This is a hot topic of debate among fans who care about such things, moreso after a cameo by the Sirens from Rainbow Rocks in Season 7's Shadow Play - Part 2. According to the writers, the official stance is "yes, it IS canon, but it won't influence the main show at all in order to prevent Continuity Lockout and to keep the stories self-contained". This "yes but no" answer has split the fans who care about canon in two. One half insists that Equestria Girls is canon because Word of God says so, and because of the Sirens' cameo appearance in the main series proves it. The other half insists it's not canon due to a belief of "if it doesn't influence the main story, then it's non-canon".
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and its entire sub-franchise broke the base pretty hard. Fans were and are pretty divided over the idea of a High School A.U. and the simple fact of doing My Little Pony without the pony. At the announcement, some were cautiously optimistic, others proclaimed it to be the worst idea ever, and some have just ignored it regardless. This has not changed much with the release of the movie with opinions varying from "better than expected" to "generic and contrived".
  • The second movie, Rainbow Rocks, is generally seen as an improvement over the first one. But how good it is has sparked a few sustained disagreements. Some fans say that it's good, but not really enough to redeem the spinoff in their eyes; others believe it's a real redemption for the spinoff series as a whole and the best thing to happen in the entire sub-series.
  • Now there's the third movie, The Friendship Games. After Rainbow Rocks impressed plenty of people, Friendship Games had some lofty expectations to look at. Some regard it as an Even Better Sequel, a downgrade to its predecessor, or see it as the Surprisingly Improved Sequel to its predecessors due to doing something completely different instead of sticking to the status quo.
  • Legend of Everfree
    • During a transformation sequence, Human Twilight gets wings when she ponies up, while Sunset Shimmer does not. Some were fine with this, seeing it as Human Twilight merely emulating her counterpart in Equestria. Some fans were angry because being an alicorn is something one has to earn, and these fans felt that Sunset had earned that right, whereas Human Twilight hadn't earned it.
    • The movie's Genre Shift from a character-driven comedy/family-friendly film about Friendship to what is basically an over-the-top superhero squad movie didn't sit well with some fans of the previous films, especially Rainbow Rocks. Others simply don't mind the shift and just have fun with it.
    • The relationship between Human Twilight and Timber Spruce. A very cute and well-done attempt at an Official Couple in the series, or a pointless time-wasting romance that doesn't really add anything to the movie besides just being there? Also, is it better than Pony Twilight's relationship with Flash Sentry, just as bad, or even worse?

    The Comics 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW):
    • The quality of the comic:
      • Some enjoy it for its World Building and having stories and content the show itself wouldn't dare try to get away with, while others describe them as poorly written fanfiction. Numerous differences in characterization, a different tone from the show, and the extremely heavy-handed references (both to the fandom and other media) don't help matters.
      • Some find fault in the numerous mistakes the comics seem to be making lately such as typos and terminology errors, using clip art photoshopped into panels and clips taken directly from the show, movies, and even fan art to save effort, and the considerable debacle surrounding the production and release of Friends Forever #24. Others believe they're honest and harmless mistakes that aren't much worse then the shows, and it's simply nitpicking by the comic series Hatedom, detracts from more justifiable critiques at worst, and that the overall quality of the artwork and writing (usually) more than makes up for it.
      • The minimalist designs given to some characters in the backgrounds, such as this and this. Is it a cute, clever, and comical thing to slip into the background that adds a bit of spice to the scene, or the artists being lazy and putting zero effort into a background character which detracts from the whole scene?
    • Similar to Equestria Girls, there's been an ongoing debate regarding the comics' canonicity. After artist Andy Price declared that the comics are completely canon with the show, this created a schism between fans who fiercely gather evidence to insist they are, fans who fiercely gather evidence to insist they are not, and fans who want the comics to be their own separate continuity as they feel it gives them more freedom to do things the show either can't or won't do and don't think the comics need the, for lack of a better word, "approval" of being canon. Show staff on the other hand were very careful to not give a definite answer, and as things stand now it's quite clear there's no communication between comic and show staff as they each contradict the other quite regularly, guaranteeing that base is going to remain broken for a very long time. The Times They Are A Changeling seemingly torpedoing much established about changelings in the comics has really kicked up fresh arguments, with defenders arguing that Chrysalis could have easily lied about their origins in her Fiendship issue and that the changelings could choose to either feed passively on love or drain their victims to lifeless husks, with detractors using this as fuel to shove the comics firmly into non-canon territory. The conclusion to Shadow Play helped to quell much of the animosity surrounding this debate, with most fans now generally assuming the comics take place in their own Alternate Continuity.
    • The existence of the Nightmare Forces for some, who prefer the idea of Nightmare Moon being a corrupted Luna rather than a different entity possessing her, feeling it cheapens her Start of Darkness. There's a Hand Wave they do this via More Than Mind Control, so Luna's fall to darkness could still be in part because she was corrupted by her own dark emotions, and thus leave the tragedy intact. Whether it does so or not is a matter of debate.
    • The first Annual issue showing more of pre-redemption Sunset Shimmer also got this. While appreciated for giving her much-desired backstory, it showed her being just as unsympathetic as in Equestria Girls, disappointing those who hoped she would be given a Freudian Excuse or reason to believe her Heel–Face Turn was real or deserved. The 2014 Holiday Specials focus on Sunset having to further prove her reformation came off as an attempt to address that, but created its own debate regarding whether or not her treatment during it was justified.
    • The Reflections Arc. On one side, you have those who think Celestia's romance with Mirror Sombra is cute, that the ending is beautifully tragic, and appreciate getting to see that Celestia has inner struggles and makes mistakes like anypony. On the other side, you have those who hate that Celestia and Mirror Sombra's relationship is the center of the plot or think romance shouldn't be in the series, cried that the ending was a Deus ex Machina apparently to maintain the status quo, and wish the alternate world got to be explored more.
    • "Siege of the Crystal Empire". Whoo boy. It continued on from Sombra's Fiendship Issue where his portrayal as a Tragic Villain Driven to Villainy was almost universally loved (even the comic's Hatedom admitted to liking it), except halfway through it shifted tone violently from a dark and serious plot to one that was very comical and lighthearted (with the CMC able to battle the Umbrum using slapstick and cartoon physics, among others), and ended with King Sombra fully reformed, recieved by the princesses as a hero, and given a "happily ever after" ending with his Love Interest / Morality Pet Radient Hope. Half the readers felt this was the pinnacle of terrible writing, effectively negated everything that happened in his Fiendship issue, that Radient Hope was horribly portrayed, Sombra had done far too many horrible things to be forgiven like that and didn't deserve a happy ending, and that it had the misfortune of following the Season 5 Premiere which gave Sombra a Badass Portrayal as an irredeemable monster who was using mind-controlled innocent slave civilians as his own army to thrash Equestria. The other half felt he was still a redeemable victim all this time, that he deserved his redemption and a happy ending after everything he had suffered, that it blew his portrayal in the show clear out of the water, and that it ended on a beautiful heartwarming note. Either way, what definitely didn't help it's case was that it directly referenced the heavily contested Reflections Arc mentioned above, which some fans even felt was a not so subtle Take That! against those who had criticized it.
    • The Cattle Rustlers arc (#25-26) quickly establishes that Twilight will not use her powers directly against any non-magical citizen of Equestria, otherwise the situation would be resolved in just a few panels (this is even lampshaded in the second issue). This has created debate if that's a legitimate approach to considering her magical strength. Not helping this is the fact that in a previous issue from the "My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy" arc {Issue's 13-14} actually did have her use magic on hostile ponies, with claims of self-defense being debatable.
  • The design of the pony's armor from Guardians of Harmony being lifted directly from fan artist Equestria-Prevails earlier works, and it being done by the already divisive Jay Fosgittnote  is probably a hotter topic than the plot of the comic itself. One chunk of the group were quick to call foul play and call the artist out for stealing the designs of a fan artist without crediting him, with another claiming it to simply be proof of laziness and lack of standards on IDW's part as the image was likely lifted from Google without realizing it wasn't official (Its tag on Derpibooru is an obvious reference, and possibly even Take That!, to this), while a third group defends and praises it as a (intentional or not) fandom nod instead. The artist publicly stating he was happy his designs made it into an official work and that he himself was a fan of Fosgitt's work helped to quell some of the arguing, but it's still one heck of a stirred up hornet's nest that likely won't quiet any time soon.
  • My Little Pony Micro Series:
    • Issue #8. Several fans felt that Inkwell ended up stealing Celestia's spotlight in her own issue, while others felt that there was still enough time and character dedicated to Celestia to still be considered in the issue's spotlight.
    • Fans often disagree on whether certain issues were any good or not. Only the Rarity and Luna stories get universal praise, though plenty of fans enjoy all ten issues.
  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever:
    • While some fans think #10 was a great issue and Iron Will needed to return after he was such a compelling three dimensional antagonist, Fluttershy didn't obtain the Jerkass Ball again like "Putting Your Hoof Down", others believe Rainbow Dash and Angel's behaviour in this comic was almost callous, making two characters who were originally likeable into mean-spirited pranksters at best and callous remorseless Jerkasses at worst.
  • #11:
    • The art style is either regarded as cute chibification or grotesque balloon animals.
    • The actual story about Spitfire getting a Freudian Excuse and Rainbow Dash being a Cool Teacher to a group of young flight camp foals is divisive. It's either seen as one of Rainbow Dash's kindest moments or seen as OOC for the usually brash impulsive speedster.
  • #18: Fans are divided as to whether or not this was a good issue. Some fans argue Rainbow and Fluttershy got a lot of bonding, the ending was heartwarming especially from Spitfire, who previously held the Jerkass Ball in both Friends Forever #11 and Rainbow Falls, and they still love the artstyle from 11 (Jay Fosgitt returning) that they consider to have improved significantly. Others argue the artstyle still makes the ponies look like deformed balloon animals, Rainbow didn't figure out what Fluttershy was so nervous about until the very end, and that the Alpha Bitch pony was needlessly cruel.
  • My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic:
    • The Tirek issue; some like how it shows his personal life, mentor, and family, while others feel it's too rushed and doesn't reveal much. Not helping is the prior issue's Tough Act to Follow status.
    • The Sirens issue over being lighter and more joke-heavy than the first two issues. Some enjoyed the humor, others criticize it for diluting the series' Darker and Edgier draw. It's being make Canon Discontinuity by the Season 7 finale has likewise been mixed, with some grateful for replacing the unpopular story while others find what replaced it bland in comparison and raised its own issues.


Example of: