One day, Rainbow Dash was showing off her latest greatest stunt to Twilight, which at first seemed to go off without a hitch. But suddenly, Rainbow lost control and crashed, leaving her body mangled and her head cracked open. Twlight immediately snapped out of her horror and did all she could to fix her friend before rushing to the hospital. But little did Twilight know, it was not Rainbow's physical injuries that would be the problem.
Falling Backwards is a Tragedy/Comedy written by Tofu-Monstrosity centering around Rainbow Dash suffering brain damage after a failed stunt, leaving her with permanent brain damage and reducing the once proud Pegasus to being mentally a toddler who mistakes Twilight for her mother. Feeling devastated and guilty for not being able to save her, Twilight takes her in to avoid having to send Rainbow to a mental hospital, where she would most likely be sedated and isolated for the rest of her life.
Despite the story's depressing premise, it manages to maintain the fill of a light-hearted comedy, focusing on Twilights struggles to help Rainbow Dash while coming to terms with her friends condition in hopes that one day, Rainbow will make a full recovery. Unfortunately, forces outside Twilight's control decide it is best to physically regress Rainbow so she will at least have a chance at growing back into her old self. From here, the story splits into two timelines: one that continues Twilights struggles as she tries to be a new mother to Rainbow Dash while evil forces brew, and a fanmade, alternative timeline where Rainbow's condition may not be as permanent as thought...
Also has an alternative sequel, Raising Rainbows, written by DGGames.
- Actionized Sequel: Both Flying Forwards and Raising Rainbows introduce villains and evil conspiracies, in what was a Slice of Life drama in the original fic.
- Adult Fear: Rainbow's kidnapping in Flying Forwards is this for parents everywhere.
- Asshole Victim: Chrysalis in Raising Rainbows is regressed into a filly and left to be eaten by Timber Wolves, by Typhon.
- Berserk Button: Anyone but Fluttershy, calling Rainbow Dash "Dashie".
- A more serious if unstated example; Twilight's clearly unhappy when a few of the town's ponies, feel sorry for Rainbow Dash's mental state, knowing Rainbow would never want that.
- Big Bad: Gilda for Flying Forwards and Typhon for Raising Rainbows.
- Bittersweet Ending: In Falling Backwards, Rainbow Dash ultimately has to be de-aged to avoid being stuck in the mental hospital. Meaning, she has a second chance at life, but her friends will likely never get the same Rainbow Dash back again.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Rainbow has her moments.
- Breather Episode: The Mother's Day side story, considering the events in the main sequel.
- Broken Pedestal: Subverted. Scootaloo is understandably shocked, that her personal hero and adopted older sister, is brain damaged to the point of being less mature than herself. But she gets over and accepts the situation.
- Conveniently Orphaned: Rainbow Dash apparently has no living relatives, as if to eliminate an obvious answer to her current predicament.
- Cruel Mercy: Chrysalis is allowed to live, only to be left in the Everfree, in a completely helpless state.
- Cry Cute: Rainbow, while in her current mental state.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Rainbow Dash is very heavily implied to have one.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Though Rainbow is not in the mental state to understand what is going on, Twilight expresses this sentiment in her place, in regards to the town ponys reaction to seeing her.
- Evil Former Friend: Gilda to Rainbow.
- Fountain of Youth: In a desperate attempt to help Rainbow, Celesta uses a de-aging spell to physically regress her into her mental age so she can be less of harm to herself and to others, while alos creating a chance for her to grow back into her old self.
- This is revealed to be Chrysalis' fate in Raising Rainbows, as punishment for failing to take Canterlot.
- Gilligan Cut: Twilight leaves Rainbow and Spike alone, thinking things will be alright. No points for guessing what she hears next.Spike: "You were gone for 10 seconds."
- Heroic BSoD: In Raising Rainbows, after a knocking her brain back to normal, Rainbow's reaction to now being physically a toddler... is about as good as could be expected.
- Innocently Insensitive: Twilight, understandably, has a lot trouble thinking of Rainbow Dash as having the mind of a child, which leads to her constantly overlooking this fact and expecting Rainbow to act as her old self-confident, brash young-adult self. This causes predictable results like Rainbow tearing up when she refuses her friend's request to carry her.
- Mare Child: Rainbow Dash is a rather tragic example. Her horrific injuries sustained in a stunt gone wrong gave her permanent brain damage and also caused her to mentally regress into a filly.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Twilight has one in Raising Rainbows, after Rainbow Dash gets her memory back, but now has to deal with being regressed back into a filly, because Twilight decided that was better than going to a mental hospital.
- My Greatest Failure: How Twilight sees the whole situation, do to not being able to intervene in time to save Rainbow Dash.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the alternative sequel, Raising Rainbows, Rainbow Dash's condition turns out to not be as serious as previously thought, and she gets her memories back from a bump on the head. Too bad this is after Celesta cast that permanent age-regression spell. This leads to Rainbow's Heroic BSoD.
- Promotion to Parent: Odd variation. Twilight takes it upon herself to take in Rainbow Dash, partially because Rainbow thinks Twilight is her mother, and partially because she feels responsible for what happened. Though she is reluctant at first to treat Rainbow as a child, let alone act as a mother, she eventually accepts her new role.
- Played straight in the sequel, after Rainbow Dash has been de-aged to fit her mental state.
- Subverted and played with in Raising Rainbows, where Rainbow Dash gets her memories back, but is now stuck as a three year old. Now she and Twilight are closer to their former relationship, but Rainbow has to reluctantly remain in Twilight's care.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Rainbow Dash, after being de-aged.
- Undying Loyalty: Twilight's reasoning for taking Rainbow Dash in, instead of letting her be sent to a mental hospital, is that Rainbow would never let that happen to them and they should do the same.
- Wham Episode: The first chapter of Raising Rainbows reveals Rainbow's condition may not be permanent.
- Wham Line: Rainbow calling Twilight "Mommy" for the first time.
- In Raising Rainbows: Egghead?
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Implied with Gilda's uprising.