They don't pose as much threat as the Big Bads, nor do they actively seek to conquer or destroy Equestria and ponykind (though for some of them their behaviors could have that consequence), but they still pose a threat. They are not (usually) actively malicious or villainous, but are instead dangerous fauna, strange creatures and forces of nature.
Season 9 reveals that many monsters can trace their origins to the final Big Bad Grogar. He implies he created most of the monsters to ravage ancient Equestria and King Sombra himself calls Grogar the "Father of Monsters."
Ferocious, lion-like monsters native to the Everfree Forest. An enraged manticore is one of the obstacles Nightmare Moon puts in the way of the main characters while they are trying to reach the Elements of Harmony, making them the very first monsters to appear in the show.
- All There in the Script: The toyline's Elements of Harmony Friends◊ character collection set names the manticore from "Friendship is Magic, part 2" Manny Roar.
- Androcles' Lion: Manny Roar, the manticore in "Friendship is Magic, part 2", is a straight-up homage to the fable. It is only enraged due to a large thorn in its paw, and once Fluttershy removes it it calms down and lets the main characters pass by unmolested.
- Ascended Extra: Manny Roar the manticore from "Friendship is Magic, part 2" got a molded toy in the Elements of Harmony Friends character collection set.
- Benevolent Monsters: They are surprisingly gentle creatures — of the two seen on-screen, one was simply driven to aggression by a thorn in its paw and became extremely friendly and gentle when it was removed, while the other was by all appearances a willing actor in Trixie's show.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Typically for manticores, they have scorpion tails ending in large stingers.
- The Cameo: Manticore plushies can be seen on sale at the store Twilight visits in "A Flurry of Emotions".
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They are lions with bat wings and scorpion tails. Some also have horns. This is exploited in "School Raze" when the main characters borrow the inherent magic of the fantastical creatures within Tartarus to escape it, temporarily disassembling a manticore into a lion and a scorpion until Equestria's magic is restored.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The manticore in "Friendship is Magic, part 2" is a clear threat to the main characters, but it isn't motivated by malice or even animalistic instincts like hunger or territoriality. Rather, it's being driven mad by the pain caused by a thorn stuck in its paw, and calms down and becomes much friendlier once Fluttershy removes it.
- Our Manticores Are Spinier: They are large, lion-like animals with bat wings and scorpion tails. Since humans don't exist in the world of MLP, they have fully leonine heads. Some have horns. They generally seem to take the narrative roles lions get elsewhere.
- Punny Name: Manny Roar the manticore.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In School Raze, a manticore is present among the creatures imprisoned within Tartarus.
- Your Size May Vary: Manny Roar the manticore's molded toy from the Elements of Harmony Friends◊ character collection set is on a smaller scale than the ponies' equivalent molded toys.
Ursa Majors are titanic beasts with fearsome reputations that the magician Trixie claimed to be able to defeat so as to gain popularity... which resulted in two colts luring a real Ursa to town for Trixie to defeat. Turns out they had the wrong animal — the building-sized monster they found was an Ursa Minor, a baby. Adult Majors are much, much bigger.
They make a brief reappearance in the 2017 movie, where an Ursa Minor plays a crucial role in Tempest Shadow's backstory.
- Animalistic Abomination: They're bears. Except they're the size of buildings, grow to be the size of hills, and are quite literally made out of stars.
- Bears Are Bad News: Especially when theyre the size of a two-story building and in a bad mood from being just woken up.
- The Cameo: An Ursa Major briefly appears in "A Matter of Principals" when Trixie tries to pull a rabbit from her hat... and thanks to Discord's magic pulls out an irritated star bear instead.
- Celestial Body: They provide the current page picture. The Ursa Major is a bit unusual in that it is a deep purple, instead of the standard indigo, black or blue.
- Constellations: They're essentially puns on the real life constellations Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, the Little Bear (which includes the North Star) and the Big Bear (mostly made of the Big Dipper).
- The Darkness Gazes Back: When the Ursa Minor that breaks off Tempest's horn in the movie first appears, it is shrouded in the darkness of its cave. Tempest's first warning of its presence is a pair of glaring yellow eyes appearing in the darkness, the only other visible part of the beast being the glowing star on its forehead.
- The Dreaded: Ursa Majors seem to have this reputation. Trixie claiming to have beaten one gets her a lot of attention, and in the end she admits that nothing can defeat an Ursa Major.
- Eldritch Abomination: In a sense, they are very much this. The Minor is a huge blue Energy Being bear that is easily bigger than a house. Its parent, the Major, is a purple, fanged and even larger monster than the Minor, and there are strong implications that the Minor is still an infant. They don't even look like regular animals so much as pieces of the night sky in the shape of bears.
- Energy Being: They may be this, given that they seem to be made of stars and the night sky rather than flesh and bone.
- Karma Houdini: Nothing bad happens to the Ursa Minor that broke Tempest's horn and changed her life for the worse. It's not even seen again after this.
- Lovecraft Lite: The Ursa Minor. It's a gargantuan bear made of stars and it's only going to get bigger and more dangerous with time, but looking at it doesn't drive anypony into insanity, and it was stopped from destroying the town thanks to Twilight Sparkle giving it a bottle.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Twilight's first move against the Ursa Minor is to create a wind that produces music by blowing through cattails, seriously mellowing out the monster.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The Ursa Minor only went into a rampage because of Snips and Snails disturbing it from its sleep.
- Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: In "A Matter of Principals", Discord's tampering with Trixie's magic tricks results in her accidentally pulling an Ursa Major out of her hat instead of a rabbit.
- Rent-a-Zilla: The Ursa Minor is a bear quite a bit larger than most buildings in Ponyville. The Major is quite likely the single biggest animal in the show.
The first adult dragon to appear in the show, who chooses a high peak near Ponyville as a spot to hibernate and comes into conflict with the ponies when his unfortunate snoring habit threatens to blanket Equestria under a century of dark smoke. As a result, the main characters are chosen to head up his mountain to ask him to please pick somewhere else to sleep. The ensuing negotiations... don't go very well.
- Back for the Finale: This particular dragon, or one identical to him, makes a brief appearance in "The Ending of the End - Part 2" listening to Smolder's Rousing Speech and witnessing Twilight's coronation in "The Last Problem".
- Bullying a Dragon: A literal example. Rainbow Dash learns the hard way that telling a dragon that is several orders of magnitude bigger than her to get lost and then kicking it in the face is never a good idea.
- The Cameo: He, or a dragon identical to him, appears in the background of a couple of scenes in "Dragon Quest" after the migrating dragons arrive at the dragon lands.
- Dragon Hoard: He keeps an enormous hoard of gold and jewels in his cave, which he uses as a bed. This is what Rarity is after when the main characters head up his mountain, and she manages to help herself to a crown, a necklace and a ring with a giant diamond on it before the dragon realizes what she's up to, at which point he immediately chases her out of his cave and reclaims his trinkets for himself.
- Lazy Dragon: He spends most of the episode asleep on his hoard, and it's implied he will keep sleeping for a century if left undisturbed. The biggest reaction he has to the ponies before Rainbow Dash kicks him in the snout is at most to stretch and go right back to sleep. He only poses a passive threat due to the clouds of smoke he breaths out while snoring.
- No Name Given: He's never referred to by name in the show, only being described as "the dragon", even through dragons canonically have their own personal names. He has been referred to by the fans as "Basil".
- Non-Malicious Monster: He's a threat mostly because his snoring is inadvertently creating a huge cloud of smoke and he refuses to leave until Fluttershy scolds him. He does not intentionally set out to harm anyone — although he is fairly apathetic to the ponies' plight — and for the most part he doesn't even attack the Mane Six until he is provoked.
- Ocular Gushers: When Fluttershy yells at him for roaring at her friends after Rainbow Dash kicked him in the face, he bursts into tears that resemble a rainstorm to the tiny ponies.
- Rage Breaking Point: He reaches this after Rainbow Dash kicks him; it's only after this point that he actively pursues the ponies out of his cave, having grown visible angry.
- Rent-a-Zilla: He's enormous — his eyes alone are as big as a pony.
- Vocal Dissonance: To an extent. His roars are certainly fitting, but after being berated by Fluttershy, his "But that rainbow one kicked me!" and crying are juuuust a bit on the dopey side.
- Would Hit a Girl: He beats up Pinkie Pie off-screen and blows Rainbow Dash out of his cave. He very likely would have done further damage had Fluttershy not intervened.
Adorable, colorful and spherical insect-like creatures with ravenous appetites that reproduce asexually. The parasprites came to Ponyville when Fluttershy brought one home as a pet and soon bred out of control, forming a swarm that threatened to eat all the food in Ponyville.
- Big Eater: They eat constantly, and don't appear to be ever sated. The parasprite swarm almost ate all the food in Ponyvile.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The parasprites reproduce by throwing up, the resulting vomit becoming a new parasprite. Rarity appears to be the only one who witnessed this firsthoof, much to her disgust.
- The Cameo:
- The parasprites briefly reappear in "Magic Duel". During the first duel, Twilight briefly summons a brown one to devour the pies Trixie had launched at her. It then coughs up a new blue parasprite before Twilight dismisses them both with her magic before they can become an issue. They also show up in "Leap of Faith", where multiple motionless parasprites appear as part of the hats of some members of the Flim-Flam brothers' audience.
- In "Viva Las Pegasus", one the attractions in the casino's arcade offers parasprite plushes as rewards. In "A Flurry of Emotions", parasprite plushes are also seen being sold in the store Twilight visits.
- Cute Is Evil: Maybe not evil as such, but their cuteness belays a ravenous, uncontrollable and highly dangerous nature. Zecora's description of them provides the page quote of this trope.Zecora: Oh, monster of so little size... is that a parasprite before my eyes?
- Explosive Breeder: The parasprites reproduce by spitting out fully-formed babies, and can so very quickly when food is available — the ones in Twilight's library went from a hoofful to a swarm of dozens thanks to one late-night snack.
- Extreme Omnivore: The parasprites after Twilight cast her spell so they can't eat food. They almost eat Ponyville itself instead.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The parasprites, while not "aliens" in the sense of being extraterrestrial in origin, very much fit the other aspects.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Most ponies' first reaction to seeing the adorable, seemingly harmless parasprites is to adopt them as pets and take them home. This proves to be a mistake.
- Killer Rabbit: The parasprites are adorable little creatures, but when they swarm you'd better run for your life and keep any food and valuable belongings away from them.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Pinkie is able to distract the parapsrites from their feeding frenzy by means of a one-pony band, luring them out of Ponyville thanks to the creatures evident fondness for music.
- Noisy Nature: They're small insectoid beings, yet they can utter squeals and coos.
- Palette Swap: The parasprites all use the same model, with individual members of the swarm being recolored yellow-orange, brown, blue, purple or pink.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Very. The only one who wasn't taken in by their cuteness was Pinkie Pie, presumably because she had dealt with them before.
- The Swarm: By themselves, they're cute, adorable and seemingly harmless. However, they have a less than endearing way of reproducing explosively and exponentially when fed. The end result is a massive, out-of-control swarm of bug things voraciously devouring any food they can find.
- Debute: "Feeling Pinkie Keen"
A gigantic, four-headed reptile that lives in Froggy Bottom Bog. The hydra attacked the main characters when they ventured into the swamp to find Fluttershy, who had gone there to relocate a population of frogs without knowing of the danger.
- Armless Biped: Its only limbs are its two short, stocky legs. As a result, it's limited to lunging with its heads when it wants to attack, which backfires when its missed attacks send its heads smashing into trees, rocks and the ground.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Despite being completely reptilian otherwise, the hydra sports a pair of thick, black eyebrows on each of its heads.
- Blowing a Raspberry: Once the hydra's forced to give up the chase and it starts to head back to its bog, one of its heads turns around, sticks its forked tongue at the ponies and blows them a parting raspberry.
- Cranial Eruption: When one head smashes through the cliffside Twilight is standing on, it sprouts a large, cartoony cucumber-shaped lump that pushes past its scales — and which rather incongruously sports a couple of hairs.
- Multiple Head Case: Four. They seem to have distinct personalities: they occasionally laugh at each other's misfortunes, and one is a bit slower on the uptake than the others.
- Our Hydras Are Different: A stocky, armless biped with four heads on long, snakelike necks. Like its mythical inspiration, it's primarily a swamp-dweller and, while it's not poisonous, it's accompanied by a foul-smelling, choking gas.
- Roar Before Beating: Its four heads let out a loud, collective roar before giving chase to the ponies and Spike, although it takes one head a bit to catch on and roar with the rest. It does this again when one head's lunge misses Twilight and smashes into through a cliff, before charging Twilight down in a rage.
- Use Your Head: Towards the end of the chase, it starts to use its heads like battering rams when charging at the main characters, doing so with enough force to shatter stone.
Fearsome, chimeric creatures from the Everfree Forest, cockatrices have the power of turning anyone who looks into their eyes into stone.
- Basilisk and Cockatrice: Cockatrices are creatures with the head and tail of a chicken on a draconic reptilian body, and can turn other creatures to stone with their gaze.
- Don't Tell Mama: The cockatrice was more than willing to leave the Cutie Mark Crusaders alone and revive its victims when Fluttershy threatened to tell its mom about its behavior.
- The Dreaded: You know a cockatrice is bad news when it petrified Twilight Sparkle before it even shows up on screen; Fluttershy acts accordingly.
- Feathered Fiend: The cockatrice is a dangerous birdlike animal that goes around turning people into stone.
- Killer Rabbit: The cockatrice is a silly-looking creature that's part chicken and part snake, something the CMC find downright laughable, but it turns anyone who looks it in the eye to stone.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It has a chicken head and feet on a serpentine draconic body. This is exploited in "School Raze" when the main characters borrow the inherent magic of the fantastical creatures within Tartarus to escape it, temporarily disassembling a cockatrice into a cobra and a chicken until Equestria's magic is restored.Scootaloo: The head of a chicken and the body of a snake? That doesn't sound scary, that sounds silly!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Its eyes are solid red, with no visible whites or pupils.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In School Raze, a cockatrice is present among the creatures imprisoned within Tartarus.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: The cockatrice's gaze will turn anyone who looks into its eyes to stone. Despite this, when it threatens the CMC, Fluttershy is still able to look right into its eyes and quite literally stare it down, forcing it to blink even as it was turning her to stone.
- Taken for Granite: The cockatrice has the ability to petrify other creatures with its gaze.
- Toothy Bird: Although it isn't really a bird, it still sports teeth in its chicken beak.
- Token Heroic Orc: Edith is a cockatrice that Silverstream has tamed and befriended. To differentiate her from other wild cockatrices, she has purple scales and a Shonen Hair-like style to her red chicken comb.
While lost in the Everfree Forest, Spike enters a cave to shelter from the rain and discovers that it contains a large pile of delicious gems. Unfortunately for him, said pile belongs to an adult dragon who's less than pleased to find a baby dragon in his lair and eating his hoard.
- Acrophobic Bird: Despite being a dragon in possession of what are by all appearances two perfectly normal wings, he pursues Spike only through running on the ground. This is especially notable when the main characters escape him by passing through vegetation too thick for him to pass through and he simply stays back, roaring in frustration, instead of trying to climb or fly over the obstacle.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: He has what appears to be a retractable thagomizer at the end on his tail — when he's preparing to attack Spike, he flexes it and several sharp spikes pop out.
- The Cameo: He, or a dragon identical to him, appears in the background of a couple of scenes in "Dragon Quest" after the migrating dragons arrive at the dragon lands.
- Dragon Hoard: He guards a large pile of colorful gemstones — although, interestingly enough, no gold or other precious metals. Spike eats several of these when he stumbles upon the cave, turning the dragon hostile.
- No Name Given: He's never referred to by name in his episode, despite the fact that as a dragon he would have his own personal name. Some fans do refer to him as "Reginald", though.
- Palette Swap: His model is a green recolor of that used for the red dragon in "Dragonshy".
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Unlike the dragon from "Dragonshy", the green dragon is aggressive and violent, and willing to harm a baby dragon to protect his treasure.
Quarray eels are gigantic fishlike monsters that live in the holes that riddle the sides of Ghastly Gorge and try to devour anything that passes by. They are one the dangers faced by the animal racers in "May the Best Pet Win", and another one nearly eats Maud in "Rock Solid Friendship".
- Eaten Alive: They consistently try to eat their intended prey alive: both the ones that went after the animal racers and the one that tries to eat Maud snap their prey up whole and breathing.
- Non-Malicious Monster: According to Rainbow Dash's description of their behavior, they don't attack out of malice so much as territoriality — they don't like it when other creatures get close to their nests.
- Palate Propping:
- In "May the Best Pet Win", when the animal racers are dodging the quarray eels, the owl gets grabbed by one and has to force its mouth open by using its wings like a jack to keep from being eaten.
- In "Rock Solid Friendship", Pinkie Pie has to use a jack to force open an eel's jaws so that she can retrieve Maud from the creature's mouth.
- Phlegmings: In "Rock Solid Friendship", the quarray eel is seen copiously drooling, especially in the scene where Maud is inside her mouth.
- Punny Name: "Quarray" eels live in quarry-like rocky escarpments.
- Sand Worm: They're massive eel-like monsters that live in the sides of cliffs and shoot out to devour anyone passing close to their nests.
Creatures made of magically animated wood and branches from the trees of Everfree Forest, they have a wolf-like appearance. In Granny Smith's flashback in "Family Appreciation Day", the howl of the Timberwolves indicate the start of Zap Apple Season, while in "Spike at Your Service", they appear as generally dangerous creatures nopony should mess with.
- Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: In "Spike at Your Service", the timberwolves are mostly animalistic in nature but have a few quirks for Rule of Funny.
- After a thrown rocks smashes off a timber timberwolf's front legs, it gives an Aside Glance to the camera before it falls and crashes.
- When the King Timberwolf starts choking, it pauses and holds up a "claw" in a classic "one moment, please..." fashion.
- Aside Glance: One of the timberwolves looks at the camera◊ when its front legs come off, right before smashing into the ground.
- Break Out Villain: Ever since their debut, they've been quite popular with fans of the show and have made constant reappereances since then.
- Conspicuous CG: In their first appearance, the Timberwolves were animated like the other characters in Flash. In "Spike at Your Service", they are rendered using CGI, making them stand out from the rest of the Flash animation on the show, but then return to being animated in Flash when they combine to form a big Timberwolf.
- The Dreaded: Ponies are terrified of these things.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Timberwolves are formed from ordinary sticks and branches; this further allows them to join together to form a single giant Timberwolf.
- Glass Cannon: The fear Timberwolves invoke implies they can be deadly, but they can't take a hit — they shatter apart after being hit with a thrown a rock, and even the giant Timberwolf chokes and falls apart after a small rock gets stuck in its throat. (They're all bark and no bite.)
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes glow bright green, easily making them visible in the darkness of the forest as they stalk their prey.
- Golem: They're made of wood, but appear to be natural creatures instead of artificially made by someone.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Of the dramatic kind. One of the running timberwolves, after losing its front legs to an AJ projectile, has the time to keep moving for a moment, look down to see its missing front limbs and turn to look at the camera before falling and collapsing.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Despite how scary and creepy they are, Timberwolves just want to eat and survive.
- Not Quite Dead: After her first encounter with the timberwolves in "Spike at Your Service", it seems Applejack had killed them (on-screen, no less) until she and Spike leave, and the twigs and leaves start to move glow, float and put themselves back together.
- Planimal: They are wolf-like creatures made of logs, branches and assorted wooden debris.
- Pulling Themselves Together: If they fall apart or are dashes to pieces, their fragments will simply reassemble back into a wolf. They can even use it to combine into a single larger version.
- Punny Name: They're timberwolves made of actual timber.
- Savage Wolves: The Timberwolves are feared because of their vicious nature, and will attack ponies out of hand.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The possible reason they are still very feared predators; they don't give up easily, and their regenerative abilities mean they'll be back to hunting even if they are destroyed.
- You Need a Breath Mint: One distinctive quality of Timberwolves is their rancid breath — Spike points the lack of this stink out as the flaw in the Mane Six's attempt to create a puppet of one.
Winter spirits that feed off of hatred and cause deadly blizzards the more powerful they get. They existed before Equestria's founding and were seemingly destroyed when the three tribes united in friendship, triggering a powerful spell that vanquished them.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Comes with the territory of being personified hate. In "A Hearth's Warming Tail", it's implied that they're the only beings in Equestria that are truly beyond any redemption.
- Animalistic Abomination: They look like horses but they live in the atmosphere, feed off hatred, and generally appear otherwordly.
- As Long as There is Evil: Or Conflict in their case. It's implied at the end of their debut that they will continue to exist as long as ponies are still able to feel hatred and anger, and if those conflicts reach the point that they were over a thousand years ago, the Windigos will come back... And we see, in "The End of the End", that they do.
- Back for the Finale: In "The Ending of the End" two-parter, the animosity caused by the pony races after Tirek, Chrysalis and Cozy Glow manage to turn everypony against each other allows the Windigos to return and they promtply beging unleashing mayhem of their own.
- Big Bad: Of the Hearth's Warming Pageant and the founding of Equestria.
- Character Overlap: In-universe. The Windigos appear as characters featured in both the "Hearth's Warming Eve" pageant and the A Hearth's Warming Tale story. Of course, it is strongly implied they are not mythical at all, which would make them an example of Historical Domain Character for Equestria.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to a lot of antagonists in this show they are more serious, more frightening, and have nothing remotely redeeming about them. They do not speak, but utter ghostly wails, and in keeping with the wendigo myths their sole concern is to feed, never satisfied.
- Diabolus ex Nihilo: Where they come from or what their plans are besides feeding off the ponies' hatred is never stated, but they do their plot-wise job of forcing the three races to stop fighting.
- Eldritch Abomination: The closest things the series has to true Lovecraftian Horrors besides the Ursas, and indeed seem to be worse than them in this regard; they greatly resemble Ithaqua, a beast that came from the mind of H. P. Lovecraft himself. As a further comparison to such abominations, they are mysterious to the point that a number of ponies don't believe they exist, and are themselves seeming eternal and beyond any reasoning with by ponies. Destroying or imprisoning them for good seems impossible, they can only be repelled/banished and kept at bay.
- Emotion Eater: They feed off of hatred.
- The End... Or Is It?: They are seemingly incinerated by the friendship powered spell the union between the tribes causes. Although the end implies that they or more of their species are still out there. That being said, they meet their definite end in "The Ending of the End - Part 2".
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: They are frost spirits that feed off hatred and almost created a frozen planet.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: They seemingly burn to death. It's not that graphic, but it's still pretty unnerving. Albeit it seems more likely they were simply driven away.
- Greater-Scope Villain: "A Hearth's Warming Tail" further confirms them to be this to Equestria as a whole. They are a seemingly eternal and implacable force that will destroy all life in Equestria should the ponies ever give them the opportunity to.
- Harmless Freezing: Only in a sense. That is their ultimate freezing attempt on the Equestrian founders does not appear to be painful or necessarily fatal, their initial victims continuing to argue without even noticing it. However this may cross into A Fate Worse Than Death territory as their victims could be frozen, continuing to feel the hatred they felt at the time and thus continuing to feed the Windigos, unable to do or feel anything else.
- An Ice Person: They can summon blizzards and cause terrible winters, which can freeze entire countries over.
- It Can Think: They're strongly implied, mostly in the Hearth's Warming Pageant, to be sapient and capable of thought. Despite this, they cannot be reasoned with by ponies.
- Killed Off for Real: They are destroyed once and for all in "The Ending of the End - Part 2".
- Kill It with Fire: It was friendship-powered fire, but they're destroyed or maybe repelled by fire nonetheless.
- No Name Given: If they even have individual names.
- Omnicidal Maniac: It's not made clear if they have a plan, but by the looks of it, the blizzards they create could render the world eternally frozen over at best and utterly lifeless at worst.
- The Power of Hate: They feed off of hatred and use it to spread deadly blizzards everywhere they go.
- Punny Name: Windigos cause blizzards.
- Real After All: Their existence is heavily hinted to be more than an in-universe diary tale at the end of "Hearth's Warming Eve". In the in-universe story in "A Hearth's Warming Tail", Snowfall believes the Windigos are fables. She is very wrong. The Grand Finale confirms they are all too real.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Word of God has used "windigos" but the closed captions use the "Wendigo" spelling.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While when it comes to outright malevolence they're not on the level of Sombra or the Changelings, they're still freaking scary for this show. They turned the original pony homelands into a frozen wasteland in "Hearth's Warming Eve" and would have done the same to Equestria in the in-universe story in "A Hearth's Warming Tail".
- Villainous Breakdown: It's subtle, but when the assistants begin reaching an agreement, one of the Windigos gives them a seemingly panicked Death Glare. When their affirmation strengthens, the Windigos roar with fury and try to make the blizzard stronger, encasing the assistants in ice even faster. This culminates in them screaming and flailing when the friendship fire drives them away.
- Wendigo: Of the Ithaqua-esque variety in the form of beings that can run/walk on air and are associated with ice and winter, rather than the emaciated cannibalistic monsters of Algonquin mythology.
A giant three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Tartarus, ensuring that the evil beings trapped there do not escape. In "It's About Time", he runs off from his post and has to be brought back. His temporary absence is hinted at to be what allowed Lord Tirek to escape his imprisonment.
- Benevolent Monsters: Cerberus is an intimidating Hellhound the size of a house and can cause a lot of damage, but he's just a guard dog who ran off from his post and often behaves more like an overly affectionate Big, Friendly Dog than anything else.
- Big, Friendly Dog: He's surprisingly friendly once someone — usually Fluttershy — calms him down, happily getting his belly scratched and chasing after balls.
- The Cameo: He makes one in "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", where he's briefly seen standing guard in Tartarus when Tirek is returned there.
- Canis Major: Cerberus is easily the size of most buildings in Ponyvile.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Cerberus may look huge and frightening and monstrous, but he's a force of good, and keeps evil beings trapped in Tartarus. He's also got some passive magic within him that comes into play with allowing Twilight to open the Gates of Tartarus so that the Mane Six can leave the prison in the Season 8 finale.
- Hellhound: He is one of the Guardian type, standing watch at the gates of Tartarus to ensure none of the monsters imprisoned there get out. Physically, he resembles a three-headed black bulldog the size of a two-story house.
- Multiple Head Case: True to Greek myth, he has three heads. This is exploited in "School Raze" when the main characters borrow the inherent magic of the fantastical creatures within Tartarus to escape it, temporarily disassembling Cerberus into three regular-sized mastiffs until Equestria's magic is restored.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Cerberus' absence from his post, although it was nothing more than the mythological equivalent of a guard dog running away for a while, is stated to risk the evil beings imprisoned there escaping and threatening Equestria — and thus, by implication, to have allowed Tirek to escape, setting the events of the Season 4 finale into motion. This later averted in the Season 8 finale, as Cerberus has made certain not to make the same mistake again as he keeps all six of his eyes on Lord Tirek and the other creatures at all times, even when visited by the Mane Six as they had come to interrogate Tirek regarding a new threat to Equestria that bore some of his fingerprints.
- Urine Trouble: A jumbo-sized example is narrowly averted in "It's About Time" when Twilight confronts Cerberus, who is standing with his leg lifted over an ice cream store and obviously about to pee.
Bigger, nastier relatives of Fruit Bats. The Vampire Fruit Bats suck fruit juices and spit out the seeds (which leads to the plants germinating).
- '80s Hair: Some of them sport a furry, white mohawk on their heads.
- Bat Out of Hell: Of the Dire Bat variety — big as birds and ugly as sin.
- Bat Scare: In "Inspiration Manifestation", when Spike enters the locked chamber where the spellbook is kept, a large flock of vampire fruit bats flies past the screen, briefly obscuring Spike. Downplayed in that Spike isn't startled by them — he's as oblivious to them as to every other thing in that scene — but they do serve to highlight the unsettling nature of the place and that the chamber has been abandoned for a long time.
- Beauty = Goodness: Subverted. Applejack wasn't lying when she said they were ugly, but that doesn't stop Fluttershy from wanting to defend them.
- Bullet Seed: In addition to simply spitting out the seeds of fruits they eat, the can apparently store them and spit them out later with enough force and precision to use as a ranged weapon.
- The Cameo: A flock of them appears in "Inspiration Manifestation", flying past the camera when Spike enters the chamber where the titular spell is held. They also appear in the teleportation sequence in "Every Little Thing She Does", when Twilight and Starlight briefly pop into a cave where a flock of vampire fruit bats is sleeping.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed. None of the Mane Six seem to see them as flat-out evil, but Applejack (somewhat rightfully) sees them as nuisances.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Their tongues are long and prehensile, and they use them to grab the fruits they eat off of branches and pull them to their mouths.
- Nobody Poops: In real life, fruit bats disperse seeds by eating fruit, and passing the seeds through their droppings, far away from the parent tree. These bats on the other hand just suck the juices dry and spit the seeds out. Somehow this is helpful to the plants that sprout later on.
- Non-Malicious Monster: They're big and scary-looking, but are not evil and can even be helpful. Fluttershy even lampshades this.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They are thematically very reminiscent of vampires. Besides the name and the association of bats with vampires, they vampirically suck fruit dry of juice through their fangs, instead of eating it like real fruit bats do, and their default standing posture has them gather their wings around them like a vampire's cloak.
- Overly Long Tongue: Their tongues, when fully extended, are nearly as long as their bodies.
- Palette Swap: The same Flash model is used for all the bats, recolored brown, gray or slate blue to give them some variety.
- Planimal: Downplayed; they only have ears that look like leaves, but they're presumably close relatives to regular Fruit Bats, which are more obviously planimals.
- Vegetarian Vampire: Unlike most vampires or real life vampire bats, they don't drink blood — they suck fruit dry of juice instead.
A burrowing worm-like monster found living at the very edge of Equestria. It appeares when Twilight and Cadance went to pick a giant flower in order to cure Discord's supposed illness. When they remove the flower from the soil, the Tatzlwurm bursts out of the hole and attacks.
- All There in the Script: Its name is not mentioned in the episode, as none of the characters know what it is, but was revealed in a tweet by Meghan McCarthy. The term "tatzlwurm" is dropped by Smolder four seasons later in the episode "Molt Down".
- Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": Tatzelwurms are creatures from real-life Alpine folklore, but the mythological Tatzelwurm is a snake- or lizard-like creature with two articulated forelegs (and occasionally one or two other pairs as well) and the head of a cat, and ranging in size from a foot long to somewhat longer than a man is tall. The gigantic, Flower Mouthed, limbless Sand Worm of the show doesn't have much in common with them.
- Combat Tentacles: It has three of them inside its "mouth", using them to entangle Twilight Sparkle and Cadance.
- Diabolus ex Nihilo: It shows up out of nowhere when Twilight and Cadance pick the giant flower, attacks them, and after a difficult fight gets sealed back up underground. And just to hammer home that it was something not even Discord was expecting, it pops out of the ground again and sneezes on him.
- Didn't See That Coming: Even Discord was unprepared for the Tatzlwurm; doubly so when he's about to "snap" it away, but then it sneezes on him.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A more balanced example where mighty Discord, the insane Mad God who more than once held Equestria under his dominion through sheer power alone and previously only stopped by the Elements of Harmony, is laid low by a sneeze from a single monster.
- Eldritch Abomination: A downplayed version. It has a simplistic yet terrifying design, especially its mouth. Even Discord didn't know what it was, and it managed to make him sick.
- Flower Mouth: Most of its head is occupied by a large, three-lobed mouth. When it attacks, its entire head opens like a flower, a comparison heightened by the trio of writhing tentacle-like tongues in the center.
- Multipurpose Tongue: It has three long, black wormlike tongues, which are fully prehensile and which it uses in combat to grab and entangle its foes, snatching them out of their air and attempting to pull them towards its mouth.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: A massive purple worm with a ruff of fur around its neck, six eyes arranged radially around its head in sets of two, and a three-lobed mouth that opens like a flower to reveal three yellow fangs down the middle of each jaw and a trio of writhing, prehensile wormlike tongues.
- Sand Worm: A massive, wormlike monster that burrows through stone and soil with speed and ease, bursting out to attack potential prey passing above.
- Stock Scream: It lets out a Wilhelm Scream when it's forced back underground; it's easy to miss since the beast's normal roaring sounds are layered on the scream.
Goat head: Yeah, you don't have to worry about anything anymore.
Snake head: Because we're going to have our apple pie with a ssside of filly filet.
A ferocious monster living in a fire geyser swamp, the chimera menaces those who cross its hunting grounds — including Apple Bloom, who unknowingly went into the beast's territory while trying to prove to her sister that shes mature enough to handle herself on her own.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: The goat head, which seems just as eager to devour Apple Bloom as the tiger and snake heads.
- Breath Weapon: Much like its Greek inspiration, the chimera — or at least its goat head — can breathe fire.
- The Cameo: She later shows up as a prisoner of Tartarus in the season 8 finale, "School Raze".
- Child Eater: Tries to eat Apple Bloom
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: The chimera gets hit with this several times. First, the snake head unwittingly trips the chimera when chasing Apple Bloom around the monster's legs. Later, the snake head gets lodged between two tree branches while the saber teeth of the tiger head get stuck in the trunk of another tree, leaving it completely immobilized.
- Hypnotic Eyes: The chimera's snake head makes these briefly when plotting to eat Apple Bloom, though she never utilizes them.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The chimera has the forelegs and head of a tiger (as well as saber teeth) the hind legs and a second head of a goat and a snake for a tail. This is exploited in "School Raze" when the main characters borrow the inherent magic of the fantastical creatures within Tartarus to escape it, temporarily disassembling the chimera sisters into a saber-toothed tiger, a goat and a snake until Equestria's magic is restored.
- Multiple Head Case: It has three heads working independently; a tiger, a goat, and a snake. They refer to one another as sisters, and spend much of their time arguing with each other.
- Palate Propping: What the lion tamer's chair Applejack brings with her is needed for. When the chimera lunges at her, she jams the chair in the tiger's mouth, forcing it open until the beast manages to crush it.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: As shown on the season 8 finale, "School Raze", the chimera was captured and imprisoned within Tartarus at some unseen point.
- Sssssnake Talk: The snake head speaks this way, drawing out hissing sounds in its words.
- Swamps Are Evil: The chimera lives in a fire geyser swamp, a stretch of tangled, marshy forest dotted with pools of water that constantly erupt in geysers of flame. The chimera's own presence does quite a lot to make the swamp's even more dangerous and menacing than it already is.
- Vocal Dissonance: While all three heads of the chimera are female, the tiger head's voice is much deeper and more masculine than the others.
- Would Hurt a Child: The chimera's heads have no problem with hunting and eating Apple Bloom, and if anything seem to relish the chance to have a bit of "filly fillet" to go with the apple pies she's carrying.
The Smooze is a creature made of green slime, and apparently a friend of Discord's. It enjoys consuming treasure and other shiny things, which makes it grow bigger. Its gunk is impervious to magic, but it likes calming music.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: The G1 incarnation of the Smooze nearly causes a Sugar Apocalypse. The new one is more of a comedic nuisance.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Purple and opaque in the G1 movie, translucent green in the G4 cartoon.
- Adaptational Heroism: Unlike the G1 movie, it isn't actively malicious and just can't help growing and spreading slime everywhere.
- Adaptational Wimp: Subverted. Despite being a Non-Malicious Monster instead of a sapient cataclysm like its G1 self, it's still Nigh Invulnerable and has gained Anti-Magic abilities. It's just much nicer than the G1 version.
- Anti-Magic: It's made of the stuff. A little slime on an alicorn's horn renders them powerless.
- Big Eater: It constantly absorbs gems and jewels to eat.
- Blob Monster: A sapient blob who likes eating shiny things.
- Cat Smile: It smiles this way after giving Discord an affectionate smooch.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: While it can technically engulf anything, it seems to prefer shiny jewels and metals.
- Eldritch Abomination: A downplayed and relatively benign example, but the fact that neither Twilight nor Celestia's magic is capable of affecting it should probably be a tip-off that there's something particularly off about it.
- It Can Think: At first it is not certain how sapient the Smooze is, but it kisses Discord after his apology.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Smooze is mostly referred to as "it" or a "thing", including by Discord, who isn't too convincing when he claims that he cares about his guest. The exception is Tree Hugger, who consistently uses male pronouns when talking about it.
- The Juggernaut: The Smooze is both Nigh Invulnerable and Anti-Magic. Given its G1 self's reputation as this trope, this is rather fitting.
- Miracle-Gro Monster: It grows in size with every object he eats.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: It stops terrorizing the ballroom and covering everything in goop after listening to Tree Hugger sing.
- Mythology Gag: Just like Tirek, the Smooze is inspired by the character of the same name from G1's My Little Pony: The Movie (1986).
- Nice Hat: The Smooze is particularly dashing in its top hat.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Shares this with its G1 counterpart. It easily re-forms itself after being physically split in half by Discord, and Twilight's magic blasts do nothing to it.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Although its appearance and habits suggest otherwise, it is actually a nice creature. It takes Discord's treatment in stride and enjoys the Gala once everything is settled.
- No-Sell: Magic blasts do nothing to the Smooze.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: It's a legitimately friendly creature, despite its spooky nature. Pinkie Pie adores it.
- Odd Friendship: Does seem to have formed a genuine one with Discord. Any number of questions, including how they met, are left unaddressed.
- Pulling Themselves Together. It gets squeezed in two halves by Discord at one point — and doesn't even seem to notice. Also, the slime it leaves behind seems to still be a part of the creature; when soothed by Tree Hugger's song, all of it oozes back into the Smooze, including the slime on the guests.
- The Speechless: Makes no other sound than a belch during its screentime.
- Sticky Situation: The Smooze's slime is (thankfully) not corrosive, but it is extremely adhesive. The slime sticks many ponies to the floor, leaving winged ones unable to fly — even Rainbow Dash, despite all her efforts.
- Sudden Anatomy: The Smooze is just a blob with a mouth, but when it spots the treasures in the storage room, it suddenly grows a tongue to lick its chops.
A massive bear-like monster with insectoid characteristics, the bugbear was imprisoned in Tartarus, but escaped at some point before "Slice of Life". It comes to Ponyville seeking revenge against Special Agent Sweetie Drops, who put it in Tartarus in the first place, and is fought off by the main characters. Narratively speaking, its presence largely serves to take the main six characters out of the picture and allow the episode to focus on the minor characters instead.
- Bears Are Bad News: It's highly aggressive, very powerful, prone to holding long-term murderous grudges and hunting its targets down over considerable stretches of time and land and dangerous enough to have to be put away in Tartarus, and it takes the main characters all episode to defeat after constant combat. Even Fluttershy can't get through to it.
- Bee Afraid: Its bee-like characteristics are less prevalent than its bear-like ones, but still present. Most notably, it has a large and pointed stinger on its rear. It begins the fight by dive-bombing the main characters stinger-first, and leaves a deep gouge in the ground where it hits.
- The Cameo: A bugbear briefly appears in "A Matter of Principals" when Discord summons or creates it to "motivate" the students to run faster during gym class.
- Funny Background Event: Its fight with the Mane Six becomes this over the course of "Slice of Life", as only snippets are seen in the background during the other characters' wedding-related misadventures. There's a "King Kong" Climb on Carousel Boutique, the bugbear giving Pinkie a noogie, a scene where Rarity and Pinkie are just standing in place waving their hooves at it, and a scene where Pinkie Pie is on a unicycle holding spinning plates on sticks while the bugbear watches in confusion.
- "King Kong" Climb: The bugbear is briefly seen climbing to the top of Carousel Boutique, with a visibly annoyed Rarity in one of its paws and Twilight strafing it with magic beams.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It's a bear with the six limbs, stinger, wings, antennae and compound eyes of a bee. This is exploited in "School Raze" when the main characters borrow the inherent magic of the fantastical creatures within Tartarus to escape it, temporarily disassembling it into a panda and a wasp until Equestria's magic is restored.
- Noodle Incident: It's never explained exactly what led to it facing down Bon Bon, how it was captured or what exactly it did to warrant being locked away in Tartarus.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Bon Bon explains to Lyra that since she was the one who defeated the bugbear the first time around and put it in Tartarus, it's been chasing her in search of revenge ever since its escape. The beast has been on her trail for years, and it proves entirely willing to tear its way through an innocent town to get its vengeance.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: As shown on the season 8 finale, "School Raze", it was eventually brought back to Tartarus.
- Super-Persistent Predator: If Bon Bon is right, the bugbear has spent years tracking her down in order to have revenge for her capturing it.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For the duration of "Slice of Life", this massive, chimeric monster is fighting a pitched, all-out battle all over town against the Mane Six, complete with climbing on top of buildings, dodging magic blasts and plowing into the ground in the middle of the street. With the exception of the odd crowd of gawkers, this is entirely ignored by the Ponyville citizenry, who instead focus their attention on the arrangements of the oncoming wedding.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: As its bee-like traits are mostly secondary to its bear-like traits, it comes across chiefly as a bear with six limbs instead of the usual four.
- Villain of Another Story: Being a powerful, destructive and violent monster seeking to avenge itself on the government agent that locked it away and not seeming to care very much about the collateral damage it inflicts along the way, it easily counts as a villain by most narrative metrics. It's simply not a significant focus of the story it appears in, being largely relegated to in the background in some scenes and serving as a reason for why the usual main cast is otherwise engaged.
- Visual Pun:
- Bugbear is an old English term, meaning either a mythical monster that frightens children or metaphorically a recurring obstacle or source of dread. Here, it is both the latter but also a literal hybrid of bug and bear.
- Its coat markings are inspired by real-life pandas, and it appears in an episode focused on good-natured pandering to the audience — or, as an old internet meme words it, panda-ing to the audience.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never explained what happens to it after the Mane Six defeat it. Presumably it goes back to Tartarus, but at the end of "Slice of Life" the Mane Six simply show up for the wedding after having defeated the beast off-screen, and nothing is said of how they did it or where it went. As shown on the season 8 finale, "School Raze", it was eventually re-imprisoned in Tartarus.
Flying, swarming spiders native to northwestern Equestria. A swarm of these creatures attacks the main characters in "Campfire Tales" after being attracted to their campsite by their food, forcing them to seek shelter in a cave. They afterwards appear at various points in the series, becoming the show's go-to variant of bothersome flying, swarming critters.
- The Cameo: It's not immediately obvious, but the creatures buzzing around the gates of Tartarus in "School Raze" are in fact flyders, and the swarms bothering Applejack in "Sounds of Silence" strongly resemble them as well.
- Misplaced Wildlife: An in-universe example; in "Campfire Tales", Applejack mentions that flyders are native to the Luna Bay areanote , and don't usually travel so far from their home. She suggests that they may simply have been drawn to the camp site by the group's food.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Spiders with insect wings.
- Portmanteau: Of "fly" (either the insect or the verb) and "spider".
- Projectile Webbing: They can squirt strands of webbing from their spinnerets with a fair degree of accuracy. One is able to shoot out enough webbing to cover half of Sweetie Belle's face with a single shot, while another shoots out a strand accurately enough to tangle Applejack's legs bolas-style in mid-gallop.
- Spiders Are Scary: They're spiders with insect wings, meaning they can fly, move in swarms, and bite large mammals much more readily than real spiders. They can shoot webbing with enough accuracy to tangle a fleeing pony's legs and at one point completely cover a campsite with webbing in a matter of minutes. They're also highly aggressive, and seem to consider ponies to be food. When a huge swarm attacks during a camping trip in "Campfire Tales", the characters are visibly — and admittedly justifiably — terrified of them.
- Spider Swarm: A large swarm attacks Applejack, Apple Bloom, Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo during their camping trip, unlike how solitary real-life spiders would behave. They quickly overwhelm the campers through sheer numbers, biting anyone they can reach and trying to web them up. Applejack implies they would have tried to eat them if they had managed to overwhelm them.
- Stock Beehive: In "Daring Doubt", a swarm of flyders appears inhabiting a grey variant of the classic donut-stack beehive with a single large opening in its middle, albeit draped with spiderwebs.
Blue-and yellow swarming insects native to the Hayseed Swamp, flash bees are immune to the effects of swamp fever, and their honey can be used as a cure for the disease. However, actually getting that honey is complicated by both the bees' highly aggressive natures and their electrified stingers, as both Meadowbrook and Fluttershy found out.
- Artistic License Biology: The flash bee colony in "A Health of Information" consists of aggressive males who sting intruders to protect the queen bee. In real life, only female bees (workers) have stingers, and the only duty the males (drones) have is to mate with the queen. Of course, in real life, bees also have no electric powers, so these might just be other characteristics of the species.
- Bee Afraid: Flash Bees combine all the qualities that make swarms of real-life bees as frightening as they are — the constant droning noise, an extremely aggressive and territorial nature, sharp and painful stings and the sheer numbers they can put into each attack — with the delightful addition of their ability to charge their stings with electricity.
- Dressing as the Enemy: This turns out to be the trick to getting past them and to their honey. Meadowbrook and, later, Fluttershy observed that the male bees are much less aggressive around the queen. Thanks to its blue and yellow stripes and the feathers at its base, Meadowbrook's mask turned out to resemble the colors and ruff of the queen bee closely enough to calm the flash bees down and allow its wearer to retrieve their honey.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Fluttershy comes up with her disguise plan after seeing a male flash bee cuddling with Meadowbrook's mask, which resembles the queen bee. When one considers that the role of real-life male bees is to impregnate the queen, this bee's motions suddenly become a lot more suggestive.
- Insect Gender-Bender: The workers of the colony are explicitly referred to as being male, with only the queen being female, whereas in real life bees every member of the colony is female except for the breeding drones.
- Insect Queen: While the queen of the flash bee hive is not seen commanding or ordering the other bees about, she is shown wearing a crown, as well as standing on a raised, throne-like dais in the center of the hive.
- No-Sell: They are completely immune to Fluttershy's Stare, seemingly out of nothing more than bloody-minded aggressiveness. Twilight's magic also fails to have any effect in calming them down.
- Shock and Awe: Their stingers are electrically charged, adding an extra painful zap to their stings. Their swarms are also visibly charged with electricity, with sparks coming off of them as they fly. Their stingers even look like little lighting bolts.
- Stock Beehive: Their beehive resembles five yellow donuts stacked on top of each other, thin at the top and bottom and fat in the middle. Its opening is on the "donut" in the middle, and for some reason it's shaped like a cloud.
- The Swarm: They don't appear to be any threat individually, but are a serious obstacle in large groups. They aren't even rendered individually when swarming — the whole swarm is a single, blue-and-yellow, electrically charged mass attacking as a single entity.
A monstrous, mole-like creature found in the Badlands. The Maulwurf has been attracted to the Changeling hive by the reappearance of plant life around it, and has been terrorizing the Changelings ever since.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: While it's much bigger and more brightly colored than the real deal, the Maulwurf is based on the very real star-nosed mole.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Maulwurf" simply means "mole" in German. It would be pronounced "mowl-voorf", though; "mowl" rhyming with "howl".
- The Cameo: A maulwurf is among the monsters trapped in Tartarus when the main characters visit it in "School Raze".
- The Dreaded: The changelings are terrified of this thing: they refer to it as "the dread Maulwurf", and the knowledge that it's heading for their hive is enough to send them in a state of utter panic. This is nearly all we know of it until it actually shows up, fairly late in the episode.
- Fast Tunnelling: While it spends most of its on-screen time above ground, it digs away extremely quickly once it decides to flee at the end of episode. At the very least, it digs fast enough to take its entire sizeable bulk underground in a second or so, while leaving nothing more than slightly raised edges around the hole in the way of detritus.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted. The maulwurf feeds on the plant life around the hive, but it proves extremely agressive toward the changelings or anything that could bother it.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Thorax and Pharynx defeat the maulwurf by tricking it into hitting and even biting itself.
- Mighty Roar: This is the maulwurf's reaction after Starlight blasts it with her magic, which seems to make it more furious than anything else.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The maulwurf is an enormous mole-like monster that's described by Starlight as "half-mole, half-bear, half-raging-pile-of-claws". The end result is a colossal star-nosed mole with a bearlike or apelike build. In addition, its teeth seem to be those of burrowing rodents such as pocket gophers.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once the changelings figure out they can hurt it by tricking it into beating itself up — and especially after it gives itself a very painful bite on its own arm — it decides to cut its losses and run for it, leaving the hive and its plants behind.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In "School Raze", a maulwurf is present among the creatures imprisoned within Tartarus.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: This turns out to be the trick to defeating a maulwurf — since the only thing that can hurt it through its thick hide are its own attacks, Thorax and Pharynx goad it into slapping and biting itself by hovering next to it or standing on it and dodging before it can hit them.
- Super Toughness: The maulwurf has a very thick hide, allowing it to all but ignore anything from physical blows to thrown boulders to magic blasts. The only things that do significant damage to it are its own blows and bites.
When the Student Six go into hiding in the Castle of the Royal Sisters, they come across a small, fuzzy creature in the nearby bushes. Things take a sour note when this beastie turns out to be very aggressive and to have a lot of friends, forcing the students to take cover behind a makeshift barricade until the Mane Six arrive and rescue them.
- Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": Pukwudgies originate from the folklore of the Delaware and Wampanoag people of the American East Coast. They're generally described as humanoid little people of the woods, not unlike European myths of kobolds and wood-fairies, intelligent and fond of playing cruel pranks on humans and shooting them with poisoned arrows. The ones in "School Daze" resemble long-tailed, pastel-colored hedgehogs that stand on their hind legs like kangaroos and behave like viciously territorial animals. They are also Spike Shooters who attack by launching volleys of their own quills, which might be intended as a link to the mythological pukwudgies' archery.
- Human Cannonball: The Mane Six finish off the pukwudgies by having Rainbow Dash stuff them in Pinkie's party cannon and launching them into the distance. Pinkie was thoughtful enough to strap parachutes to them in the process, giving them a safe landing.
- Killer Rabbit: They appear to be adorable, colorful little furry critters... until they get angry, bare their sharp fangs and start launching their quill-like missiles.
- Palette Swap: The same character model is used for all the pukwudgies, simply recolored orange-brown, blue or pink to add visual variety to their mob.
- Rain of Arrows: When Yona charges the pukwudgies, they turn around and begin to shoot volleys of their quills like this to rain down on her. Only Silverstream using a wagon as a makeshift shield saves her.
- Shout-Out: Even though pukwudgies are creatures from Native American Mythology, their appearance and behavior borrow heavily from the Crites, from being small, furry and vicious creatures with sharp teeth to their abilities to curl up into a ball and roll and bounce around and shoot their sharp quills like arrows.
- Spike Shooter: When angered, they can launch volleys of their quill-like hairs with enough force to bury them in solid wood.
Ferocious predatory fish that live in a stream near Ponyville and almost devour Rainbow Dash and Applejack when they accidentally trap themselves close to the river where the fish live.
- Cephalothorax: A bit of an odd example, but the bulk of their bodies is composed of their heads and mouths. The rest — their fins and tail, as well as the entirety of the post-cranial body — is tacked onto the back of their heads almost as an afterthought.
- Flying Seafood Special: While they normally stay in the water like regular fish, they have bat-like wings instead of fins and — at least in the case of changelings taking their form — are capable of powered flight.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They're fish with bat wings.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: They mouths are so full of enormous, sharp, triangular fangs that they're barely able to close them — on-screen, biteacudas with their mouths closed are shown with their maws jammed halfway open by the mass of fangs they contain.
- Piranha Problem: They're visually reminiscent of piranhas, being stout-bodied, river-dwelling carnivorous fish. As is typical for fictional piranhas, they're depicted as highly aggressive, voraciously carnivorous bundles of sharp teeth and bad attitudes waiting to devour anyone and anything that falls in the water with them.
- Punny Name: A pun on "to bite" and "barracuda".
- Summon Bigger Fish: In a rather literal sense. The students deal with the biteacudas by having Ocellus transform into a much bigger specimen and chase them away.
A giant bird of prey that is attracted to a molting dragon's scent.
- Artistic License Biology: A somewhat borderline case in that this is a mythological being, but the roc is noted to have tracked Spike down due to the smell he emitted during his molt. Birds, with the exceptions of certain fruit- and carrion-eaters, have very poor to nonexistent senses of smell. Birds of prey like the roc is based on rely almost entirely on their eyesight instead.
- Ash Face: After Spike blasts it with a close-range gout of dragonfire, the roc's face — and as revealed in the following scene, its entire body — becomes covered in ash and visibly charred feathers, trailing lines of smoke as the giant bird flies away.
- Feathered Fiend: A gigantic and aggressive raptorial bird of prey that feeds on dragons. Not that ponies or zebras are safe either.
- Giant Flyer: The roc is an example of the Large Flying Predator variety — it's a colossal bird of prey the height of a two- or three-story house, and its actions are primarily motivated by predatory instinct.
- Kidnapping Bird of Prey: It attacks by swooping down on ground-bound targets and trying to carry them off in its claws, and manages to abduct both Zecora and Rarity.
- Oh, Crap!: In the moment before Spike lets loose his fire breath in the aerial fight, its eyes widen in horrified surprise as it realizes it's about to get a face full of dragonfire and it's far too late to avoid it.
- Roc Birds: It's an enormous, predatory bird that towers over the trees of the Everfree even when standing on the ground. Rocs, alongside hydras and tatzlwurms, are among the few true predators of dragons — they track young, molting dragons newly kicked out of their homes, through the smell they produce and stop at nearly nothing to devour them. There's also a moment of confusion early on in "Molt Down" when Smolder is explaining this to Spike, and he thinks she's talking about rocks instead.Smolder: That molt stench is a magnet for predators. Tatzlwurms, hydras, rocs...
Spike: Dragons are scared of rocks?
Smolder: R-O-C-S. Rocs? Humongous birds of prey that can snack on a molting dragon like candy!
- Super-Persistent Predator: The Roc doesn't easily let go of its prey or renounce the chase, even against some serious resistance and when only standing to gain very small prey for its trouble. It tanks several shots from Twilight, and it stops clenching its talon around Rarity and Zecora only after taking a beam in the heel. Also, despite an earlier glancing fire breath from Spike as a warning shot, it is still going after the dragon. Only a direct blast of dragonfire in the face finally makes it reluctantly give up.
- Toothy Bird: Teeth are briefly visible in its beak when it's grinding it after being hit by one of Twilight's magic beams. When it opens its beak the rest of the time to snap at Spike or screech, however, it's a normal, toothless raptor's beak.
- Wingding Eyes: Its eyes become filled with concentric, moving red and yellow rings after Spike's flying makes it dizzy, and it briefly gains similar rings in its left eye when Twilight blasts its left talon with magic.
A small, adorable and very speedy rodent that Rainbow Dash tracks down on Discord's advice to give to Fluttershy as a Hearth's Warming present. As it turns out, however, winterchillas undergo a very dramatic transformation after sunset...
- Informed Attribute:
- Winterchillas are supposed to be extremely quick, and thus very difficult to chase down and catch. This never comes into play in the episode — Rainbow quickly zooms over to and retrieves the first one she sees, which stays in her hoof until it transforms, and no running or chasing is seen.
- An In-Universe example is also present in the form of their rarity: winterchillas are, according to Discord, also supposed to be extremely rare, but he loudly announces that he's seen one the moment he's finished saying that.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: In its "zilla" form its roar outright blows away a magic shield Twilight makes.
- Miracle-Gro Monster: The winterchilla grows into a winterzilla after dark.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Winterzillas grow an extra pair of arms when transforming, and the one in the special puts them to good use in tearing its way through the walls of Twilight's castle.
- Punny Name: In both forms — the name of their day form is a pun on "winter" and "chinchilla", while that of their night form is a pun on "winter" and "Godzilla".
- Rent-a-Zilla: In the name, even. Winterzillas are massive, easily a good few stories in height, and prone to destructive rampages.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Winterchillas are tiny, adorable fluffballs that look like already-adorable chinchillas stylized to emphasize their cute traits. Then night falls, and they get a lot less cute...
- Rodents of Unusual Size: The winterzilla remains a visibly rodent-like creature even after it grows to the height of a two-story house.
- Super Speed: Winterchillas are extremely fast, requiring somebody extremely fast, like Rainbow Dash, to catch one.
A half-bull, half-serpent monster that is one of the obstacles Grogar's Legion of Doom face on their quest to retrieve Grogar's ancient bell.
- Adaptational Villainy: The original ophiotaurus from Ovid's poem was a very passive actor in the story, existing only to be slain and to have its entrails sacrificed. The ophiotaurus in "Frenemies" is recast as a vicious roaming monster.
- All There in the Script: It's unnamed in "Frenemies" itself, but is identified as an ophiotaurus in the episode transcript.
- Always a Bigger Fish: It ambushes Tirek and Cozy during their argument, and is in turn drained and cocooned by Chrysalis.
- Honey Trap: Chrysalis turns into an attractive ophiotaurus cow in order to seduce the bull long enough to get his guard down and drain him of his love.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It has a bull's chest, forelegs and head and a serpent's trunk and tongue.
- Seldom-Seen Species: In a mythological sense. It's generally present only in works which specialize in including a great depth of Greco-Roman monsters.
A humongous land tortoise who threatens to devour most of Sweet Apple Acres' orchards before being stopped by the Mane Six.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Zig-zagged. Although not hostile per se, Mr. Tortoise-Snap's huge appetite constitutes a serious threat of destruction for a whole orchard, and his size makes him likely to cause a lot collateral damage while eating. He's also not picky about what he drags to his mouth with his long tongue, and someone getting accidentally stuck along a tree is at risk of being eaten too, as happen to Spike. Once cajoled, though, he can prove tame and useful for garbage disposal.
- Extreme Omnivore: He's far from picky about his food; early in the episode he eats whole trees, and later on he devours a large pile of garbage, bags and all.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Mr. Tortoise-Snap possesses a long tongue with which he can grab objects. It's coated in sticky saliva and strong enough to uproot a full-grown tree before bringing it to the ravenous beast's beak.
- Mundane Utility: Later in the episode, Pinkie Pie puts the giant tortoise's appetite to a better use by having him consume heap of garbage.
- Overly Long Tongue: His tongue is extremely long, far longer than his head and neck put together.
- Rent-a-Zilla: Not the biggest among the monsters roaming Equestria, but still the size of a small hillock and large enough to be a serious problem for your average ponies.
- Shout-Out: Mr. Tortoise-Snap resembles the Pokémon Torterra.
- Turtle Island: A land-bound version — a Turtle Hill, in a sense; he's big enough for a small grove of trees to be growing on his back.
- Turtle Power: Mr. Tortoise-Snap is large enough to have several trees and hillocks on top of his shell, and can eat a whole apple tree after uprooting it with his prehensile tongue.
Animated statues that guard the temple where the Truth Talisman of Tonatiuh is kept.
- No-Sell: The guardiangoyles aren't affected by Fluttershy's ability to speak with animals, despite it working against other wild beasts earlier in the episode, since they're creations of stone and magic rather than true animals.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Animated stone statues in the general shape of a bat-winged pony, which serve as protectors of a sacred site, come to life by magic and are petrified by light.
- Portmanteau: Of "guardian" and "gargoyle".
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their eyes glow red when they come to life.
- Taken for Granite: They're turned back into inert stone statues by bright lights.
- Weakened by the Light: They're disoriented by bright lights, which on prolonged exposure cause them to return to their inert, stony states.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Their vulnerability to light is extreme enough that even the beam of an ordinary flashlight refracted through a gem is enough to turn them back to stone.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the original Aboriginal myths it came from, the Bunyip is often described as a ferocious, malevolent, predatory beast with a taste for human flesh that lives in swamps, billabongs and creeks. Here, it is instead a friendly, sea-dwelling herbivore with a calm behavior.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: On her way to Yakyakistan, Pinkie encounters a quadrupedal yeti living in a cave in the northern mountains, which is later referred to as pony-eating. Unlike the usual simian depictions, this one looks more like a bear/canine type of beast. May qualify as Fridge Brilliance if it's a nod to those skeptics who believe that sightings of sasquatches and similar creatures are misidentified sightings of bears rearing up on their hind legs.
- Big, Friendly Dog: The Orthrus in "Trade Ya!" is a friendly, seemingly good-natured dog easily the size of a pony.
- Breath Weapon: The fire lizard is a reptile similar to a gecko, but able to spit small gout of fire.
- The Cameo: Multiple monsters from throughout the show's run show up as inmates of Tartarus when the main characters visit it in "School Raze".
- Cats Are Mean: There are two major feline-inspired monsters in the series, the lion-like manticores and the tiger-like chimeras. Manticores seem to have a friendly side and can get along with ponies, while chimeras, on the other hand, are ferocious predators willing to eat little fillies. (Albeit the book Princess Luna and the Winter Moon Festival has Luna peacefully reasoning with a chimera who didn't want to share its winter shelter with a manticore, leading to a fight between the two). "Castle Sweet Castle" from season 5 has a cover of a Daring Do book where she comes across a Sphinx, though it is not until season 7 that we see one, and then only as a (almost certainly true) legend.
- Composite Character: The Bunyip's love for cucumbers may be a reference to the well-known Kappa of Japanese folklore.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
- The slingtail, a type of creature which resides in the Dragon lands, looks like a cross between a ceratopsian and an ankylosaur, whith fur covering its back.
- The Cold Opening of "The Fault in our Cutie Marks" also has a filly named Petunia Paleo discovering the fossil remains of a "spiny-backed ponysaurus", which is, apparently, a dinosaur/pony hybrid. Don't ask us how is that possible.
- Extreme Omnivore: In one scene, one of the orthros' heads is seen happily munching on its chain after having snapped it in half.
- Hellhound: Yes, even here! Besides Cerberus, Orthrus is a kind of dog you can just up and buy, if you're up to training it.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Many of them, including manticores (lions with bat wings and scorpion tails), chimeras (body and head of a tiger, plus a goat head and a snake for a tail), flyders (spiders with fly wings) and biteacudas (fish with bat wings).
- Multiple Head Case: Quite a lot of the monsters seen in the show have more than one head. Most — like the hydra from "Feeling Pinkie Keen", the orthrus and Cerberus — just have more than one head of the same kind (snake, dog and dog, respectively), while the chimera has a tiger head, a goat head and a snake head for a tail. The degree of independence seems to vary, but in most cases the heads have separate identities — one of the hydra's heads seems a little slower on the uptake than the others, and the chimera's often argue and bicker.
- Nature Is Not Nice: These creatures are dangerous, but for the most part are only hungry or territorial, not actively evil.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile:
- One of the creatures that live in the Everfree Forest is a cragadile, a giant crocodile made out of rock that tries to eat the main characters when they try to cross the pond it lives in.
- The Cipactli, a gigantic pony-eating crocodile serving as an ancient temple's guardian monster.
- Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare introduces Colossa-Gators, gigantic alligators about the size of an Ursa Minor with red-eyes and iridescent scales.
- Noisy Nature: Oh yeah. Whenever they chase their prey, the monsters constantly keep roaring, growling, snarling and making all types of sounds. Might be justified by the fact these are, well, mythical monsters we're talking about. Special mention goes to the Hydra, which rises ominously from the swamp and lets out a thunderous roar once it corners the ponies in "Feeling Pinkie Keen". Heck, one of its heads even gets a little delayed and roars with the others when it notices them.
- No Name Given: With the exception of Cerberus, Manny Roar, Snowbutt McTwinkles and Mr. Tortoise-Snap. Even the parasprites who are briefly taken in as pets don't get named.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Most of the creatures are taken directly from real-life mythology, but they have their own flavor to them.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Oh yeah, from wolves made of wood, crocodiles made of stone, yetis that look like bears, and several downright bizarre beasties, the legendary menagerie of Equestria is truly unique, to say the least. Particular mention goes to the roster of unnamed beasts used in places like Discord's dimension, the Scariest Cave in Equestria, the monster-wrangler's stall in "Trade Ya!" and Tartarus; most of Equestria's denizens at least resemble real animals or myths, but this bizarre collection of creatures resembles nothing so much as something out of a particularly bizarre bad dream.
- Planimal: The Fruit Bats, bats made of fruit.
- Predator Pastiche: While sorting photos for a scrapbook, Applejack shows off a picture of Big Macintosh escaping from a spiky-haired creature with oversized mandibles, by jumping in a mud pit to disguise his body heat.Applejack: Big Mac knew if he just covered himself in mud, the creature wouldn't be able to see him!
- Real After All: The twittermites, possibly. A swarm appears in "A Matter of Principals" when Discord briefly remodels Twilight's school to his fancy, whereas before they had only appeared in one of Apple Bloom's dreams. However, like with most of the things Discord summons or creates on a whim, it's somewhat ambiguous whether they're real things outside of his reality warping.
- Rent-a-Zilla: Many of the monsters are huge beasts, but some creatures like Ursas, Colossa-Gators and some dragons reach downright kaiju sizes.
- Rock Monster: The cragadile is a crocodile made of living rock: its scutes seem to be made or rough-hewn stones, and it makes sounds like rocks grinding together when it moves.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: As shown on the season 8 finale, "School Raze", a good deal of these beasties — including a yeti, several of the Everfree's denizens and multiple specimens of the monsters from Discord's realm and the Scariest Cave in Equestria — have been locked into Tartarus.
- Sea Monster:
- Sea serpents like Steve Magnet are sapient and friendly.
- "Gauntlet of Fire" features another kind of sea serpent which resembles an abyssal fish.
- Shock and Awe: The (possibly real, possibly not) twittermites, insects that create localized lighting storms when they swarm.
- Stock Sound Effects: Most of their roars are generic sounds made by the one and only Frank Welker.
- The Swarm:
- Generally, if small, arthropod-like creatures show up, they're very likely to attack in huge swarms, like the parasprites or flyders.
- Apple Bloom's dream sequence in "Bloom & Gloom" features twittermites, electrogenic insect pests. They're not significantly dangerous alone or in small groups — a pony with the right equipment and special talent can neutralize even a small swarm with ease. However, they become extremely dangerous if allowed to spread out of control — a large enough swarm can create thunderbolts capable of destroying buildings with one strike.
- Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My: Tri-horned bunyips, large and vaguely doglike sea monsters with three horns in a row down their snout and fondness for cucumber. Interestingly enough, bunyips in Australian folklore are freshwater dwellers and carnivores, unlike the show's saltwater herbivores.