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Fanfic / The Conversion Bureau

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A dream of the future, doomed to split the world in twain...

"Human bodies are icky and big and ugly and...and mean! Humans are mean!"
Pinkie Pie

The Conversion Bureau, also known as "TCB", is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic written by Blaze, which has in turn spawned other stories by other people using the same premise.

The details of these fics vary Depending on the Writer, and they don't occur in the same canon, but they do share common elements. Conversion Bureau fics are set on an Earth some time in the future, where the island (or pocket universe) of Equestria has suddenly appeared in the sea. Unfortunately, the realm of Equestria is pushing into Earth's territory, and the magic of Equestria is lethal to humans. In a few short years, Equestria will flood Earth with magic, and there will be nowhere left for humanity to live. To fix this, Princess Celestia sets up "Conversion Bureaus" all around Earth, offering the humans the chance to be turned into ponies and eventually live in Equestria.

Complicating that, however, is that ponification—as the process is called—is heavily debated both in- and out-of-universe. In-universe, this leads to ideologues forming terrorist groups. One, the Human Liberation Front (HLF), is violently anti-pony; the other, Ponification for Earth's Rebirth (PER), sees ponification as a sacrament which absolves humans of their vices, and which should be given to every human on the planet, whether they like it or not.

The original story can be found here. Spinoff fics can be found here, here, here and here. The majority of the Shadow Archetype of the stories (the curb stomps, war stories, Take Thats, and the like) are found here.

Some of the spinoffs have their own tropes pages:

An MST of the original can be found here and the MSTing itself has its own page here.

The fanfiction group as a whole was featured on KPNYRadio.

Because this series tends to arouse strong emotions, especially the stories written by Chatoyance, please keep all edits made to this page civil. To add a bit of perspective to that, A New Age, Transhumanism and Not Just Ponies are the only stories listed above that are not out to defeat the ponies, who are depicted as an invading enemy force.

The following tropes can be found in the original, and are often applicable to the spin-offs:

  • Assimilation Plot: While ponification is more or less voluntary, the entirety of humanity is facing extinction not simply from pollution, plague, or economic problems, but also because of the "purification spell" that is harmful to humans. In short, humanity is being forced to become another species.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: From a Certain Point of View...
  • Can't Argue with Elves: The ponies. While Blaze's ponies aren't too far from canon, the ponies are often portrayed as a Superior Species who are simply better than humans, and as such have a right to do anything they want to humanity.
  • Les Collaborateurs: It's mentioned that human scientists helped develop the ponification serum. Additionally, the world's leaders don't seem to have any interest in stopping what the ponies are doing, possibly because they are aware that the world is ecologically ruined.
    • The PER is often depicted as such as well.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The prologue mentions that warfare and disease are decimating humanity, but what little we're shown of human society doesn't seem any different from present-day America.
  • Creator Provincialism: Very little of the world outside of the United States, Europe and Equestria is mentioned in most fics.
  • Dead Fic: Due to a mixture of the intense backlash he got and a general loss of interest, Blaze abandoned the story and has no desire to go back and finish it.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Humans need to be ponified to get rid of all those violent thoughts.
  • Fantastic Racism: The ponies see humans as savages. Likewise, humans see the ponies as invaders.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Why Celestia won't allow non-ponified humans into Equestria.
  • Master Race: The ponies here clearly consider themselves categorically superior to humanity.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Ponies do not like war, poverty, crime or violence, and distrust humanity because of it.
  • Not Himself: Getting transformed into a pony fundamentally alters one's personality. This is dealt with in numerous ways as a means to explore what it means to be human.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The ponies borrow elements from two of the four types.
    • Ponies as Nazis: Only ponified humans are allowed inside Equestria, and the purification spell will kill all humans that do not get ponified.
    • Ponies as Communists: Ponification expunges the negative, selfish parts of "human nature" and leaves you just as altruistic as all the other ponies.

Tropes found in spinoff fanfics:

Please note that "Conversion Bureau Fanfic" is a very wide umbrella covering a vast amount and variety of stories. Simply because one trope is applicable to one fanfiction, does not necessarily make it applicable to all Conversion Bureau fanfictions. For example, "Ten Minutes," is a dark last stand, while "Conquer the Stars" is a Space Opera.

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  • 20 Minutes into the Future: It depends on the individual story, but it's common to set stories in the late-2010s (when the genre was first born) to at least the mid-late 21st century.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The barrier serves as this, instantly vaporizing or transforming any human-made object in its path.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Ponies hurry to judge and cast aspersions on humanity, as if they hadn't learned anything from "Bridle Gossip".
  • Affably Evil: Many members of the Ponification for Earth's Rebirth (PER) movement meet this description. They are almost unfailingly friendly and polite, and will usually begin a conversation with a human by trying to reason with them and convince them that getting converted is the best choice. If the human disagrees, however...
  • Aliens Are Bastards: A common depiction is of the ponies as xenophobic conquerors. To be fair, despite how polite they are about it, they are stealing land from the humans and assimilating them - sometimes by force.
  • The Alliance: Some fics feature every nation on Earth - sometimes even joined by terrorist groups - banding together to fight off the ponies.
  • Alternate History: Some TCB fics start during certain events in history, such as the last years of the Cold War or during the start of World War II.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: An in-universe example in Railroad Seven-Three. Balthazar loudly and repeatedly insists that he won't get ponified because he is disdainful of those who run from their problems and he finds fulfillment in battle that he never could in Equestria. Melchior however refutes this, claiming that Balthazar is just lying to himself and that the real reason is that he's afraid to be happy. The point is never decisively answered and there's ample evidence for either theory.
  • Balkan Bastard: The Palladium Wings has a rare Greek example in Nikolaos Drakonakos, the Dragon of the Skies. He's vicious Sky Pirate captain with a blood feud against Princess Celestia. In line with this trope, the narration describes him as "a Maniot Greek, piracy and bloodshed is in his blood". In addition, the majority of crew of his ship also appear to be of Balkan descent.
  • Battle Trophy: A Diamond Dog foot soldier in A Dark in the Light tends to collect armor, weapons and other gear as a form of this.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Several fics have this with humans or ponies occupying either side. Most visible in The Palladium Wings. Human privateers enslave, sell, torture and kill pony civilians. Celestia's government takes over human lands by force, denies aid to starving nations for a purely selfish reason, does mass killings and/or ponification of humans and engages in torture.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Occurs in several fics. Humans or ponies can occupy either side, depending on who the author likes more.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: The PER wholeheartedly believes in this trope. It forms the basis of their entire goal as an organization.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Some stories will have the ponies (especially the Royal Guards) magically brainwashed to gleefully participate in ponifying every human they see. The newfoals will also be this in some stories.
  • Caught Up in the Rapture: TCB-Earth often fits in the more pro-pony fics, with huge swaths of humanity abandoning Earth en masse and leaving their more jaded brethren behind.
  • Condescending Compassion: The ponies' view on humans, who "can't help" their barbaric and monstrous behavior, so they must be saved by ponification. Often, this leads to the humans declaring Screw You, Elves! and fighting back.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • The view of the Earth largely depends on the author of the spinoff in question. While some do take place on horrific death worlds or burned-out techno-urban hellholes, many also take place on far quieter and/or closer to real life versions of the earth, no better or worse than Equestria itself.
    • In some stories, humans live in a steadily eroding world where things like theft, murder, and rape are common, and communities are forced to band together to protect themselves. Equestrians find the fact that violence occurs at all to be horrifying.
  • Deconstruction: Numerous of varying qualities.
    • Grayscale has the scenario play out as usual... but all the ponies have the same characterization as the show, including/especially Princess Celestia, who does not have any control over the barrier and does make the process entirely voluntary. The Equestrians themselves are divided into those who believe they're committing genocide and those who believe they should save as many people as possible. It's mentioned that while the Human Liberation Front attacks the bureaus, so do ponies. The Mane Six nearly broke up when they disagreed about the process was right or not. Pinkie Pie did go insane and is in an asylum. The ponies who work at the centers themselves burn out mentally, and the readers see what happens as a pony doctor goes insane and tries to kill her coworkers, as well and being driven to despair and begging for someone to kill her.
      "We tear them so the soul leaks out! Nothing left, and something grows, but it's not what it was! Not what it was!"
    • Not Alone is a realistic story where it's shown that humanity would not take kindly to the ponies' misanthropic attitudes, the effects of the expanding barrier (such as loss of infrastructure and human displacement) are explored in detail, and it's shown that not only do a good number of ponies disagree with the conversion, but the other races in Equus aren't happy about it either.
    • The Other Side of the Spectrum is a War Fic that exercises realism and Mirror Universe to serve all kinds of vicious middle fingers at the premise of TCB and the logical inconsistencies and unsavory/horrific implications that other stories glossed over.
    • The Negotiationsverse centers on Twilight Sparkle, the only living Alicorn princess, realizing over time the atrocities of ponification. It also gives Celestia a very plausible motivation for her actions, though it's also made clear that her mistakes and shortsightedness have made her irredeemable.
    • The universe presented in Not Just Ponies is a unique twist on it: it's a deconstruction of both the common types while reconstructing the setting. Namely in this universe, the issue really is a natural disaster no one has any control over, and the common portrayals of the setting are believed to be true by some on both sides, but those assumptions are wrong and the consequences of people believing they are are explored. As a result, New Foals get treated with Fantastic Racism by both sides, the PER and HLF are both extremist lunatics who grossly misunderstand the issue and cause more harm than good, and the attempts by some bits of humanity to 'save' the human race amount to trying to kill genuinely good people who are trying to do whatever they can to save another race from something neither side can control. One instance is the PER converting a human... who was going to convert anyway, but into a different creature who is now trapped as a creature they didn't want to be.
  • Deconstructive Parody: These also have arisen.
  • Depending on the Writer: Since the original's author, Blaze, has abandoned the story, there is little in the way of a set canon other than the initial premise.
    • The question of whether or not the Barrier was deliberately formed and used as an attack on humanity is a constant point of contention among the fanbase... and something that varies wildly from story to story. Whether it's something that can be overcome by human military power or not is also a varying quality. Even the authors themselves don't always seem to know which is the case, both in their universe and outside.
    • Also, how powerful and threatening the PER and HLF are varies by the writer. Some fics have them as little more than street gangsters and a nuisance; others portray them as highly sophisticated paramilitary organizations with enough resources and firepower to rival a small country's army and being very dangerous.
    • Likewise, the attitude and motivations of Celestia. Sometimes she is benevolence given form, going out of her way to make peace with even her most hateful enemies and ensure an ending where everyone winds up happy. Other times she's shown as an absolutely merciless despot and conqueror, completely uncaring about human lives, unsympathetic to the human race's imminent destruction and ruthlessly disposing of anyone who inconveniences her. Some authors go with an approach in-between and have her taking drastic actions against the humans in wartime, but not enjoying what she has to do, being plagued with guilt, or having to convince herself it's for the sake of her species' survival.
    • Also, the effects of the serum. Sometimes, it just changes the drinker into a pony but leaves their mind intact. Sometimes it makes them more caring in addition to their bodily changes. Still others have it completely wipe the drinker's brain and replace with with an artificially happy personality.
    • The setting varies wildly with the writer. Some go for Next Sunday A.D.. Others go for a cyberpunk 20 Minutes into the Future setting. And still others go for a setting where the ponies have won. One alternate spinoff even has the humans winning, at the cost of vaporizing all of Equestria and locking Celestia's forever screaming head in a box..
    • And the ponies themselves. How many share misanthropic views, or sympathize with the humans, or are just fed lies by a propaganda machine?
    • In addition, are the ponies totally superior to humanity or are they just as flawed?
  • Despair Event Horizon: Due to Grayscale's premise, to say the concept and process of conversion are extremely heartbreaking is the understatement of the millenium. Both volunteers and doctors are often Driven to Suicide, or in rarer cases, Ax-Crazy Freak Outs, most often after a few months. And you don't have to work on the bureaus themselves to be driven to it, either: Princess Luna only visited a bureau once, and after spending some time with a young human girl, she got up, thanked her for the attention, found an empty office and locked herself in to cry alone. She never even came close to a bureau afterwards.
  • Dispel Magic: In Metal Ripper, when "Back In Control" is sung by Joakim Bróden, it instantly disables all enchantments or spells placed on him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: One common reason that humans can't just live in Equestria as-is is because they're naturally more violent than ponies, and can't be allowed in lest they corrupt Equestria. Sound like a lot of racist justifications?
  • Domed Hometown: Equestria is surrounded by a magical dome. However, it can be passed through by magical creatures, but not by unchanged earthly life forms.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Discussed in Railroad Seven-Three. The average native Equestrian sometimes claims to pity humans rather than hate them; many humans in turn resent this. Balthazar in particular despises Celestia for what he views as an incredibly condescending attitude.
  • Driven to Suicide: In some stories, some humans choose this instead of facing the restoration magic or getting ponified.
    • Grayscale has this in spades for both sides: for the humans, it's just an alternative to conversion, a process that kills them as the people they are; for the other side, it's the Bureaus' volunteers that kill themselves because of the massive emotional burnout that comes from what is essentially killing off innocents. Rainbow Dash (the POV character) remembers how, after the Bureaus began working, the suicide rates rose in Equestria and how over half of them were volunteers that had crossed the Despair Event Horizon. Things got so bad that a royal decree was instituted that no one should work on a bureau for more than six months.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Many TCB fics see humanity as inferior and call ponies morally superior while conveniently ignoring the fact that canonical pony jerks do exist, like Trixie, the Flim-Flam Brothers, snooty Canterlot nobles like Prince Blueblood, bullies like Diamond Tiara and Rainbow Dash's Cloudsdale bullies, historical figures like Princess Platinum, Commander Hurricane, and Chancellor Puddinghead, and straight up villainous tyrants like King Sombra and Starlight Glimmer. The stories that paint Equestria up as a paradise also tend to ignore the existence of hostile native Equestrian races like Diamond Dogs, Changelings, and dragons, as well as what these other native species (like the griffons, buffaloes, donkeys/mules, zebras and others) would think of an entire species being converted into ponies.
  • Emergency Transformation: This is a core idea behind most of the stories. Either you die by the magical radiation of Equestria, or you become a pony.
    • In addition, one of the perks of the ponification serum is that the process instantly and fully heals the recipient, even going so far as to remove diseases or genetic defects. Several stories feature humans on the verge of death taking the potion to save their lives.
  • Enemy Mine: Some TCB fics have all of the nations on Earth putting aside all differences to combat the ponies. Hell, even organizations like the Taliban pull off a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Invoked by the story Wrong Universe #2: Deus ex Dalek, which has Dalek Sec sum up everything wrong with the TCB ponies, before destroying the barrier, which, by proxy, kills Celestia and causes an imbalance in the ambient magic that sends the ponies into a massive Villainous BSoD and has every military force on Earth charging their way to Equestria to finish them off.
    • On the Spacebattles forums, The Draka are considered less evil.
      "Damn it, I have absolutely NO idea who to cheer for! On one hand, we have the xenophobic racist abominations of nature that violate almost every law and convention that exists, and on the other hand, we have the Draka!"
    • Often times when comparing the Nazis to the TCB Ponies, most tend to choose the Nazis as the lesser evil. At least the Nazis sort-of admitted they were committing genocide to "purify" humanity; Celestia does the same genocide, only under the pretense that she's only doing what's best for humanity, that she's killing or converting millions "for their own good".
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • In some fics, both the humans and ponies are sociopathic xenophobes.
    • In Not Just Ponies, humanity and the ponies are both benevolent and trying to largely work with the other side to save as many people as they can. The PER and HLF, however, are both grossly misunderstanding the situation, actively opposed to one another, and seen in-universe as extremist lunatics who cause suffering to innocent people on both sides.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The purification spell... except when it doesn't work.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The ponies see humans as savage brutes. The humans see the ponies as xenophobic conquerors and despots. Which side is right depends on the story in question.
    • These are the main viewpoints of the PER (Ponification For Earth's Rebirth) and the HLF (Human Liberation Front) respectively. Most regular ponies and humans stay a mixed bag.
    • Subverted twice in Change of Life. At first, it looks like Applejack and Silver are both racist towards Robert, a human. It turns out Applejack distrusts him for being "city folk" and Silver just plain doesn't like him for personal reasons.
  • Forced Transformation: Some stories have forced ponification as a response to the Human Liberation Front and humans that like being humans. Ponies usually see it as a better alternative to killing them, but those getting changed tend to disagree.
  • For Your Own Good: How some ponies feel about ponification. The PER love this justification to the point where they will forcibly ponify people or spike their drinks without their knowledge.
  • Gender Bender: The beta version of the ponification serum could only create female ponies. There are a few stories where it is accidentally given to a male.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Some TCB fics paint the conversion process as being this trope. The happiness it induces isn't fake - you really will become a much more content and friendly person - but still. A complicated example, as sometimes it clearly is for the better - just as other times, it obviously isn't.
    • One fanfic that involved the Canon!Equestrian ponies infiltrating TCB!Equestria notices that the TCB ponies were acting like this.
  • Glamour Failure: In some fics, there exists an extremely rare variety of potion that can transform a human physically into a pony while letting them retain a completely human mind. Such ponies are almost completely undetectable but in Terminal Leave, Celestia notes that there's always a hardness in their eyes, "like an adult who was never hugged as a child."
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The ponies are fairly consistently portrayed as xenophobic to varying degrees, but genuinely believe that their actions are helping humanity and leaving them happier in the long run. Humanity is only trying to defend itself, its culture, and its world but seems to take rather perverse glee in living down to its thuggish reputation in the process.
  • Godwin's Law: Comparing the ponies to Nazis is not uncommon.
  • Hate Fic: There are a lot of fics that either examine its flaws or just murder the characters.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Some of the spin-offs take this attitude in contrast to the original. Many have protagonists that are and remain human, become good friends with ponies, but does not sweep away the fundamental problems with humanity being apex predators descended from pack-hunter gatherers.
  • Humans Are Warriors: One thing both the fic's fandom and hatedom seem to consistently agree on is that humans are often much fiercer fighters than ponies. Whether or not it's effective enough to drive off Equestria and their Conversion efforts is up to the author.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In Last Man Standing, Celestia confirms the suspicions of many in a conversation with the last remaining human: she DID invade Earth deliberately. However, she points out that due to the merging of the worlds, either Equestria or Earth was going to be destroyed no matter what; she simply chose to try and save her subjects.
  • Idiot Ball: An Azure Future, in spades. After an entire story of wanting to remain human and not undergo conversion, the protagonist pulls a complete ideological 180, joins up with a terrorist organization and helps them successfully carpet-bomb a human settlement, then gases a cop whose only mistake was trying to give him a speeding ticket. Making the whole matter worse, the only reason he decided to help the terrorists was so they would convert him in exchange - something that is their entire purpose to do anyway. Not to mention he could've walked into any of a dozen nearby Conversion Bureaus and had the process done legitimately by trained professionals at any time. He receives nothing worse than mild disappointment from Celestia for the whole thing.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: The ponies and PER humans that believe this of humanity use this as a justification for their For Your Own Good basis of ponification.
  • Knight Templar:
    • The PER believe that ponification is the right way and they see nothing wrong with forcibly dosing innocent civilians.
    • Celestia fits this trope in some stories too. She feels that by ponifying humans and wiping their technology from the Earth, she can give them a better life. In these cases, she has no compunction about committing sundry atrocities to do so.
    • Both the PER and HLF are this in "Not Just Ponies," as they both completely misunderstand the situation at hand and are ultimately equally as bad as one another.
  • Light Is Not Good: Celestia is a pure white alicorn who wields The Power of the Sun. She also the mastermind behind the genocide.
  • Lighter and Softer: Change of Life is this. In it, the Barrier is completely beyond Celestia's control and she is in fact doing her best to help the remaining humans. While the majority of ponykind does seem to pity humanity, it's more because of the latter losing their world than racism. Even the HLF is less aggressive than usual, preferring protests and rhetoric to open war.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: The ultimate fate of humanity. Sometimes happens to the ponies in some fic.
  • Loss of Identity: Is a pony produced by the potion the same "person" as the human that it originally was? If not, is this a good thing, or is it unforgivable xenocide? The answer largely depends on what spinoff you're reading, how much the potion affects emotions, predispositions, beliefs, and allegiances, and the beliefs of the author; most of the fics where the answer is "yes, and it is xenocide" are a backlash response against ones where the answer was "yes, and it is a good thing", or at least a perception thereof.
  • Magical Profanity Filter: In some continuities, newfoals are unable to swear due to the effects of the ponification serum and can only use Gosh Dang It to Heck! substitutes and childish insults. In The Other Side of the Spectrum, the PHL take advantage of this and use obscene phrases for their passwords like "Fuck that Solar Bitch" and "Celestia is a cock loving whore" to prevent newfoals from being able to infiltrate their ranks.
  • Magic Music: Combined with The Power of Rock in the Deconstructive Parody The Conversion Bureau: Metal Ripper, with Celestia being purged of a demon by Sabaton's "Primo Victoria".
    [Attero Dominatus] - Attero! Dominatus!
    [Endless Nights] - Clouds are gathering in the darkness!
    [Back In Control] - We are back in control!
    [Unchain the Rain (Altaria)] - Together, we’ll unchain the rain!
    [Phantom Queen (Dark Moor)] - Focusing the light!
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Joakim Bróden singing "Attero Dominatus" in Metal Ripper. It produces a shockwave powerful enough to shatter every window in Canterlot Castle's throne room and send the Royal Guards flying.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: In some stories, turning into a pony fundamentally alters your personality. You keep all of your memories, but become much more predisposed towards happiness, nonviolence, and social interaction.
  • Mirror Universe: A number of fics use this to compare TCB Equestria with Canon Equestria and how much the personalities of the characters differ. This is especially true for fics that view the story as Canon Defilement.
    • United We Stand presents a very interesting take on the mirror universe; while the pro-human Equestria is otherwise identical to the show's canon, it's heavily implied that it's descended from the Generation 1 pony universe, which canonically already made friendly contact with humanity. Naturally, TCB Celestia views the pro-human mirror universe ponies as impostors and traitors.
    • There's also The Other Side of the Spectrum where a shell-shocked US Marine is thrown into an alternate Equestria through a magical portal, whereupon his account of what's happening in his world horrify the Canon Equestrians, who go on to declare war on behalf of Earth, all the while, something else more sinister is going on behind the scenes. It also includes a lot of Take Thats to some of the Fridge Logic questions raised in the genre.
  • More than Mind Control: In some fics, the ponified humans are more than happy to forcibly ponify any humans. Even if they were once friends and family.
  • Moral Myopia: If the ponies do something questionable, it's okay because they're supposedly doing the right thing no matter where they're going with it. If the humans do something questionable, they're evil monsters.

  • N.G.O. Superpower: Some fics depict the Human Liberation Front as having resources more akin to those of a country rather than a paramilitary group. In those stories, it is not uncommon for the HLF to have Super Soldiers in Powered Armor or even doomsday weapons.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: Occurs on both sides in various fics. The ponies often refer to the humans as "apes" or "monkeys". Humans call the ponies everything from "Celestians" to "geldos" and various other crude phrases.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Metal Ripper, Joakim Bróden of Sabaton, Joacim Cans of Hammerfall, Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian, Taage Laiho of Altaria, Alfred Romero of Dark Moor and Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius are the main characters. They appear as musician-mages.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: In a number of TCB stories — notably The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone — Celestia is portrayed as wanting to help humanity but going about it in all the wrong ways. However, an equal number of fics have her as a power-mad xenophobic conqueror.
  • Nuke 'em:
    • Many a fic points out that atomic weaponry is humanity's ace-in-the-hole. Sometimes they shatter the Barrier and consign millions of ponies to an agonizing death by radiation poisoning, sometimes not.
    • This was attempted in Not Just Ponies, but with two major differences: one, the attempted nuking is by Knight Templar types who deeply misunderstand the situation (as a Reconstruction, the ponies are genuinely benevolent and are completely on humanity's side in the crisis), and two...the Veil is not a physical barrier so the nuke just goes right through it. However, Celestia, having domain over the sun and thus nuclear fusion, is immune to radiation and just absorbs it to prevent damage.
  • Parents in Distress: A species-wide example in the Wrong Universe short "The Children of Man", which has the now Sufficiently Advanced Cylons appear to defend their "parents".
  • Perspective Flip: The Humanification Bureau, in which Equestria is a post-apocalyptic Crapsack World and ponies want to emigrate to earth, but can't live without magic.
  • Physical God: Although Celestia was already somewhat a goddess in canon material, TCB stories tend to ramp this trait up to the extreme. Celestia is almost always completely unstoppable, and sometimes even omnipotent.
    • Backfires horribly on her in the Hate Fic Thus Saith The Lord, when her conversion efforts make God angry enough to reenact the Book of Exodus, with Celestia as Pharoah Rameses.
      Twilight Sparkle: I think that Celestia angered Someone she couldn't fight back against.
    • Depictions of Celestia as a god in TCB stories range from "Canon Celestia", where she is more powerful than almost anything else on the planet (but still mortal, as shown in the "Canterlot Wedding" episodes where she got taken out by Chrysalis), to "Eldritch Abomination" where she only looks like a pony, but is a vast, unkillable intelligence with limitless power.
    • In The Harshest Lesson, the ponies' attempts to control nature with magic causes planet Earth itself to develop self-awareness. Unfortunately for them, Nature Is Not Nice and the planet considers the Equestrians a disease that must be purged and starts using Death World tactics to drive them off. In an additional Take That!, it actually takes the ecological damage that humans caused in stride because it considers it to be part of survival of the fittest.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: The ponies are the "heroes" of the story, yet they force humans to either lose their personalities and all other aspects of their selves in the conversion process or be killed.
    • Likewise, some stories show the humans as evil simply because they didn't want to convert or they dared to defend themselves against the ponies.
  • Punny Name: The demolitionist mare in A Dark in the Light is named Anne Foe.
  • Puny Earthlings: Many TCB fics paint up the ponies as being totally superior to humans.
    • In Option Gamma, the humans are horribly outmatched by all Equestrian species.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Deconstruction stories that have the ponies successfully turn Earth into a Neo-Equestria and all of humanity into newfoals go out of their way to show how ruinous victory would really be for them on a social and economic level.
    • The Price of Generosity is one such example. The barrier wiped everything out, and it turns out that colonizing Earth was much harder than the ponies anticipated, with their resources being stretched to the breaking point. This in turn left the newfoals having to figure things out on their own with little support, and as a result, self-preservation overrode their programming almost completely and they started building their own countries based on the original human ones and their political systems. And with news reports of newfoals raiding Equestrian ships and trains for food and other supplies, it's implied that even the part of the potion meant to curb human aggression no longer works.
    • A few fics have one of the villains from the show, such as King Sombra or Discord become powerful enough to No-Sell the Elements because the barrier transforming the Earth and the large number of newfoals in Equestria supercharges the Background Magic Field with Black Magic.
    • In The Harshest Lesson, the ponies' attempts to control the environment turns Earth into a Death World because the planet has become a Genius Loci and interprets what they're doing as a disease that must be purged.
    • In The Other Side of the Spectrum, it's made clear that this will be the end result for Imperial Equestria if humanity and its allies are all assimilated. The Solar Empire is already collapsing under its own weight of waging a near hopeless war against the humans while simultaneously dealing with a massive population boom and having little resources available to support them; victory will only exacerbate the problem.
  • Reality Bleed: Causes the fun.
  • Reconstruction:
    • Not Just Ponies is one intended to present the setting in a world where the ponies are much closer to their show selves (with a Reasonable Authority Figure Celestia who has no intentions of conquest in any form) and the Veil is genuinely a force of existence neither side can do anything about. Ponification is genuinely a last resort to save humanity from the Veil that decidedly does not cause a Death of Personality and the ponies themselves for the most part aren't forcing it on anyone. The HLF and PER are both presented as equally bad extremist groups who are both Wrong Genre Savvy about the situation. The mirror portal to the Equestria Girls verse is also mentioned as a potential solution for humans who wish to return to being human after all is said and done if they so choose, and human technology is being preserved. The main protagonist in Conversion Zebra is a newfoal zebra trying to adjust to his new life and being fed up with the Fantastic Racism he sometimes gets from both sides who don't truly understand the situation.
      • This is continued in the sequel, Conversion Dragon. As suggested by the above Zebra situation, the humans have full choice in what they become (with some exceptions for safety's sake). In this case, the main character is an elderly woman who became a dragon, which she's rather happy about, given that being 70 for humans is the equivalent of being a teenager for dragons (though there is a limitation on the number of dragon conversions due to a dragon population boom having obvious drawbacks) so she's young again. The entire story is mainly just her and a still human bartender having a friendly conversation.
    • When the Sun Comes can be considered this as well. Celestia and the ponies genuinely go and offer humanity as much salvation as they can without changing anyone's bodies or minds, neither side is treated as being better than the other and the disaster that prompts all this was not man-made, but a natural disaster (supervolcanos erupting).
    • Project Sunflower also takes certain conventions of TCB while using them for less sinister purposes. Earth is under attack, but this alien threat is not of an Equestrian origin. The protagonist does turn herself into a pony out of her own free will and doesn't suffer any kinds of dramatic personality changes, and while things like converting the human race or a full military takeover are brought up, those options are automatically rejected. And once the ponies learn of humanity's plight, they immediately get to helping the humans save their world.
  • Reckless Pacifist: In Railroad Seven-Three, the PER threatens to stop the Railroad vehicle with a spike strip. One of the PER pegasi even explicitly points out the pickup truck would probably flip over... and there were ponies in the flatbed at the time. Shortly thereafter, we see they weren't bluffing about the spike strip's presence, either.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: A single story that spawned its own genre.
  • Rogue Drone: Some fics explore what happens when the mental changes from the serum stop working, or work differently than Celestia intended:
    • In TCB: A Beacon of Hope, the mental aspect of the formula seemingly failed, as most newfoals self-identify as human and hate their new bodies, abilities, and other ponies with a passion. It's implied their Boomerang Bigotry is actually caused by the Species Loyalty and Fantastic Racism aspects of the formula applying to humans and ponies respectively rather than the other way around.
    • In The Conversion Bureau: The Price of Generosity, it's been long enough for Lyra (and presumably, the rest of the Mane Cast outside the alicorn princesses) to die of old age since Earth has been taken over and flashbacks imply the formula used to work as Celestia intended back then, newfoals thought she transformed them for their own good and hated having been humans before. According to news broadcasts in the present, however, it appears that once the newfoals realized Equestria doesn't have the resources or competence to govern an entire planet, self-preservation overrode their programming almost completely. The newfoals started building their own countries based on human ones and their political systems. Also, newfoals in Somalia have taken to raiding Equestrian ships for food, implying that even the part of the formula meant to curb human aggression no longer works.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Complicated. The humans are normally the technology users regardless of time period while the ponies are the High Fantasy Sugar Bowl paradise. However, the conversion is essentially a Utopia Justifies the Means plot while the Humans are trying to defend their values, even though these values are far more futurist than what Equestria has to offer. It's generally uncanny, essentially a reverse Avatar and all a matter of perspective really.
  • Sadistic Choice: Humanity as a whole faces one: lose their bodies and culture or be killed by the expanding barrier. Of course, they can just Take a Third Option and fight to the end.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Spinoffs sometimes feature all the scary dogmatic alien types from the original in addition to two more.
    • Ponies as Religious Fundamentalists: Some fics show the ponies as crusaders who go out to convert - or kill - humanity on the orders of Celestia.
    • Ponies as Conquistadors: Some fics show them as planning to subjugate Earth and humanity to make them more "civilized".
  • Screw You, Elves!: The Deconstruction Fics wherein humanity doesn't take kindly to the ponies' misanthropic attitudes and genocidal ambitions run on this theme. The Ten Rounds universe features this in spades, with the human characters resisting the ponification to truly epic lengths. One called Ten Minutes ends with Celestia, along with thousands of ponies, being lured into the blast radius of a nuke.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: In the Railroad series humanity is often accused of these; In Terminal Leave Applejack accuses Major York of putting Honor Before Reason for his insistence on humanity achieving Utopia on its own. In Railroad Seven-Three Sugar Spoon explicitly refers to humanity as a Martyrdom Culture. Given that humanity is staring extinction in the face and has been given an alternative, the ponies may have a point.
  • Sky Pirates: The spinoff fic The Palladium Wings features very vicious pirates who plunder Equestrian airships for profit.
  • Soapbox Sadie: In many fics, the ponies - especially the newfoals - will often preach about how Humans Are the Real Monsters.
  • Song Fic: The Deconstructive Parody, The Conversion Bureau: Metal Ripper has the lyrics of Sabaton's "Primo Victoria" complete with Youtube links at the end where the group defeats Celestia through The Power of Rock.
  • Son of an Ape: "Apes" and "monkeys" are common slurs for anti-human ponies to use against humans.
  • Species Loyalty: The HLF embraces this trope to the point of blindness.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Many a fic uses nuclear bombs and firearms as mankind's Ace-In-The-Hole.
    • TCB: Thus Saith The Lord has God Himself as the "Bigger Brother" version of this.
    • Cold War has NBC troopers. Hazmat Suits No-Sell potion bombs unless punctured, which happens exactly once.
    • Some less-than-serious fics have swear words as this. An unguarded word or two is enough to reduce a Royal Guard veteran to paroxysms of weeping.
  • Take That!: TCB itself is a frequent target of these from its deconstruction stories and other stories in the MLP fandom.
    • All-American Girl (Shinzakura) mentions a "Humans Are Bastards" horror film called The Converters. The makers of which nearly got sued for libel.
    • There are plenty of stories that involve middle fingers being given out to traditional TCB stories, including Wrong Universe by Dalek IX, or What Would Really Happen, which is where a few people convert but then everyone else goes back to their lives, fine with the world as-is.
  • Tautological Templar: Many stories have Celestia and the ponies completely failing to see anything wrong with the Mind Rape that accompanies the potion. Or failing to understand why the human race declares war on them after the effects of conversion are known.
    • In Ballad of the White Rose, Celestia and her followers seem to be in denial a la We Happy Few, and when confronted about it by pony protesters, they shut them up by force and don't seem to understand why they need to defend their points at all.
  • Technical Pacifist: On paper, the PER is biologically prevented from harming humans. In reality, they find quite a few ways around this: Forced Transformation is their hat, obviously, but they also have no problem forcibly converting humans under hazardous conditions or with experimental, unstable serum versions. Both circumstances can, and often do, lead to death.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Humanity is constantly derided by the ponies as being savages and brutes. Some humans, the HLF especially, decide to embrace their brutish reputation.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Once a person goes pony, they may still feel an attachment to individual humans. Any sense of love for the race as a whole is long gone, however, even if they ardently supported it before.
  • Uncanny Valley: Deconstruction fics will present the newfoals as an In-Universe case of this for both humans and natural-born ponies. Depending on the story, it can range from them looking just slightly off to being borderline robotic Stepford Smilers.
  • War Fics: Many of the fics could be classified as such. Mostly Hate Fics but some standard TCB stories fit as well. The most prolific ones include The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum (and its Continuity Reboot Spectrum) and The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone. The Negotiations-verse has the war as The Great Offscreen War, exploring the aftermath and its consequences.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: One of the major contentions with the premise and its fans is that readers who would stand against the Mind Rape, xenocide, and assimilation of humanity were the perpetrators orcs or lizards or beastmen or other stereotypically ugly sorts instead support it because cute ponies are the ones doing the "conversion".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If someone calls out the ponies and/or Celestia specifically for their actions, they'll invoke this.
    • This forms the premise of The Ballad of the White Rose, where a group of rebellious young ponies discovers that the death of humanity was no accident and decides that Celestia has a lot to answer for.
    • Not Alone ends with the queen of the griffins declaring Celestia's Omniscient Morality License revoked, making it clear that the other races of Equus are not happy to hear about what she did to the humans and now they have every reason to fear for their own safety.
    • Negotiations hands several of these out throughout the series. Twilight Sparkle receives one from a human diplomat in the first story for still defending Celestia even after all the crimes she committed and ruining Equestria over her obsessive crusade to convert humanity, Celestia herself receives one from Twilight in the third story for leaving the other races behind to die when she jumped Equestria to Earth and dragging Equestria into an unnecessary war because she chose to believe in the worst of the humans rather than attempt to achieve peaceful coexistence, and the side story Choice has a few of its own scattered throughout the chapters.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The main theme of Checkpoint. An HLF soldier is confronted by a family of newfoals and holds them at gunpoint. Absent any witnesses to condemn him or allies to encourage him, their fate is purely his own to decide. He lets them go.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": The ponies essentially force mankind to "convert" en masse into ponies. If they don't, they'll killed by the unstoppable barrier. The sentiments that ponies have towards this in some of the darker fics lean towards the Type A variant.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: In some fics, Celestia is motivated by this, she thinks humans are wasting their potential by not using their talents for harmony.
    • Socrates from A Beacon of Hope specifically hates Celestia because of this, telling him to use his skills as a philosophy teacher to preach harmony made him make the jump from teacher to ruler of a nation.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Naturally, the HLF and PER are subject to this.
    • The HLF: La Résistance bravely fighting against the xenocidal ponies? Or Right Wing Militia Fanatics bent on slaughtering every non-human?
    • The PER: Saviors of a fallen human race? Or Quislings who've thrown away their humanity in exchange for "paradise"? Or Knight Templars who believe everyone should be ponified — regardless if they like it or not?
  • Zerg Rush: The Ten Rounds universes tend to rely on these, where groups of humans are usually overwhelmed by herds of smiling newfoals trying to dose them all with ponification serum.