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Fanfic / Getting Back on Your Hooves

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Trixie doesn't look so great and powerful anymore, does she?
"Twilight finds Trixie homeless on the streets in Canterlot. Can Twilight help her get back on her hooves? And will Trixie even LET her?"

Getting Back On Your Hooves is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction by Kendell2 and Shadow Raikou with cover art by Paraderpy, available on DeviantArt here, Fanfiction.Net here and here.

During a trip to Canterlot, Twilight Sparkle and Spike encounter a familiar face: Trixie, who is now an unkempt, miserable hobo. Feeling somewhat responsible for Trixie's condition, Twilight sets out to help the fallen entertainer her get back on her hooves, starting by letting her live in the library. But will the haughty, prideful Trixie even let her? How will Twilight's friends handle Trixie's presence in Ponyville? And what does Checker Monarch, a cold and quietly terrifying unicorn mare, have to do with it?

Kendell2 also made a side story set in the same universe called Perfect Companions which deals with how the Mane Cast got their pets.

This was followed with a sequel Magic Duel, focusing on this universe's version of the episode Magic Duel, the tropes for which (as well as one shots) can be found below. A live reading can be found on Martialartfruituser's channel.

Another sequel was also made called Tarnished Diamonds, focusing on Diamond Tiara after the events of the fic. It has its own page.

The story is presently complete, though the writers have shown interest in writing more stories in the same universe. This includes a one shot titled "Happy Mother's Day" and its Optional Canon companion piece Another Happy Mother's Day (by Alexwarlorn) (Warning! Contain spoilers for for the main fic and Perfect Companions in both the story and the trope listing below) and Word of God is they intend to write more one shots. A live reading of the Mother's Day stories can be found here.

Another piece of Recursive Fanfiction is in progress, revolving around Helping Hoof and his father Iron Hoof dealing with the fall out of the main fic.

Three separate live readings have started. here, here, and Here at Crunchy Monkey Studios. The first is up to chapter 4, the second to half of chapter 10, and the third is complete. A live reading of the final chapter can be found here.

Was featured in episode 16 of KPNYRadio. And was reviewed by Tommy Oliver (AKA Bronycurious).

This My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic contains examples of the following tropes:

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    Getting Back On Your Hooves 
  • A God Am I: Checker Monarch's worldview has shades of this, even if she doesn't outright say it, though hers is a more realistic depiction of a god complex than most.
    • She also assumes the form of one in the dream world. The protagonists are less than impressed, having faced off against the real deal before.
  • Abusive Parents: Trixie's father appears to have been of the emotional variety though Checker was actually making it seem worse than it was.
    • Helping Hoof's father forced him to act exactly the way he thought he should act, never letting him do what he wanted. As a result, he never got his cutie mark. Because of this, he called him worthless and belittled him, driving him to work for Checker.
  • Action Girl: Turns out, Rarity knows how to fight unfortunately for the Diamond Dogs. Her chapter of "Perfect Companions" reveals she learned how to fight because she was bullied frequently as a filly and needed to protect herself.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The fic is actually based off an roleplay between the two co-writers. The original RP only came up to the story's half-way point, didn't have many of the scenes in the final version even up to that point, and Checker Monarch didn't exist, her role instead being filled by Trixie's parents, who only appeared at the very end.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: The key to the Lucid Dreaming technique Trixie teaches Twilight is finding something in the dream that doesn't make sense and use that as proof that it's a dream, which gives you power over the dream.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Word of God has declared it such in the same way as the Pony POV Series; events run alongside the show until canon contradicts the story at which point they go their separate ways (though the story will continue to go for Original Flavor) because the author felt that'd be easier on everyone.
    • According to Word of God, the timeline diverges at "Magic Duel", though the actual split was between seasons one and two.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Twilight does this to Prince Blueblood during a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. After explaining how Celestia and Luna seek such a close relationship with their subjects, a stark contrast to the self-obsessed, high and mighty Blueblood, she asks him a question that, for once, actually makes him think about his actions:
    Twilight Sparkle: If they're the highest royalty in the land, Blueblood, what does that say about how you behave when you're so much lower than they are?
    • The ending implies it actually stuck. When Applejack meets him again, he apologizes for how rude he was to her at the Gala.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Trixie's List of Transgressions, typically ending in the fact she bragged about the aforementioned misdeeds.
  • Artifact of Attraction: Checker knows the 'Want It, Need It' Spell and cites it as one of her favorites. She uses it to distract Spot and Fido so she can talk with Rover to convince the Diamond Dogs to work for her and later on Trixie and the Cutie Mark Crusaders to set Trixie up to trigger a rant in AJ. Notably, she's much more adapt at canceling the spell than Twilight, due to it falling under her Special Talent.
  • The Atoner: Trixie becomes determined to make up to Ponyville for the Ursa incident.
    • Helping Hoof lets himself be arrested for the part he played in Checker's plans. Fortunately, he only serves a few months.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Spike considers Trixie's (actually her grandmother's) last name, Midsummer, a cool name.
  • Badass Boast: Rarity gives one to Checker after Checker goes One-Winged Angel and turns into an Alicorn in the dream world.
    Rarity: It's hard to be intimidated by a fake Alicorn, when you've dealt with the real thing. We're the ones who beat Nightmare Moon and Discord. You didn't know that, did you?
  • Batman Gambit: The below-mentioned Engineered Public Confession is built around Trixie knowing exactly how Checker will act.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The Ropen, a giant bat-like monster in Everfree Forest that Trixie has to fend off to protect the Cutie Mark Crusaders as it's blind, meaning Fluttershy's Stare has no effect.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The final confrontation with Checker has her trapping Trixie and the Mane Six in their worst nightmares, only for them to fight back and defeat her.
  • Big Bad: Checker Monarch, Trixie's sinister sister, spends the fic doing everything in her power to ruin Trixie and her quest to rebuild her life.
  • Big "NO!":
    • "Tirek" at the end of Trixie's play, and Checker when her plans are exposed. Pinkie lampshades it both times.
    • Checker gets another one when she's defeated in the dreams. There's no lampshading this time.
  • Blatant Lies: When Trixie is telling the Cutie Mark Crusaders how she got her Cutie Mark and gets to the part where she's about to go on stage for a talent show:
    Trixie: All in all, Trixie thinks she handled the stress pretty well.
    (Cuts to Past!Trixie curled up in a Troubled Fetal Position due to Performance Anxiety)
  • Blind Bats: The Ropen is a giant, blind batlike monster that hunts by sound. Since it's blind, Fluttershy's Stare has no effect on it, but Trixie temporarily cripples its echolocation by using a fireworks spell.
  • Breaking Lecture: Checker is good at these. Justified, as she has a spell that lets her see what the victim's insecurities and fears are, letting her use them against them.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Spike asks Twilight if he can plant a Stink Bomb in Prince Blueblood's room, which she denies. It turns out next chapter he did it anyway.
    • When Trixie faints in a dramatic fashion, Sweetie Belle comments that she does so in the same manner as Rarity. When Rarity herself does faint likewise a couple of chapters later, Trixie comments that Sweetie Belle was right.
  • Broken Bird: Trixie.
  • Broken Pedestal: After witnessing her idol Checker's true colours, Diamond Tiara is horrified by what she's capable of, as she dearly loves her family and would not treat them as such.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Happens to Trixie at Checker's hooves after she's become a nicer person. Multiple times.
    • Checker does this in the final confrontation, using their worst nightmares combined with Breaking Lectures to nearly drive the Mane Cast over the Despair Event Horizon. They manage to recover when they realize that both their loved ones are cheering them on and that they're in a dream.
  • Break the Haughty: Trixie begins the fic like this, having lost everything she owned as well as having had something traumatic happen to her since then. Specifically, having Checker (supposedly speaking on behalf of their father) disowning Trixie and kicking her out of the house.
  • BSoD Song: Trixie and Helping Hoof's parts of the group song "The World I Want To Be In", Trixie's being about how she finally found happiness, only for it to be torn away from her by Checker and Helping Hoof's revolving around his guilt over his part in ruining Trixie's life.
  • Burning with Anger: Rapidash!Twilight Sparkle shows up again when Prince Blueblood insults Rarity by calling her selfish. Prince Blueblood doesn't seem all that surprised.
  • Cain and Abel: Trixie and Checker, Trixie being Abel and Checker Cain.
  • The Cameo: In chapter 11, Golden Tiara makes an appearance as Diamond Tiara's mother, the author even getting permission from Alexwarlorn to use her.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Pretty much everything that happens around the middle of chapter 11 helps set up the Engineered Public Confession near the end. And many of those things where introduced previously in the story, mostly during Trixie's charity play.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Trixie teaches all her friends her Lucid Dreaming trick which allows them to defeat Checker in the final confrontation.
    • A tropical storm is mentioned as being headed in to clear up the damage Discord caused that wasn't fixed by the Elements. After being mentioned several times, it finally arrives as part of Checker's attempt to kill Trixie by stranding her in it.
  • Chekhov's Gun Stallion: Helping Hoof starts out as merely Checker's butler, but ends up playing an important role in the story.
  • Chekhov's News: Twilight receives news from Celestia about a tropical storm to be used to clean up after Discord. The storms from it finally hit later on. And Checker drops Trixie in the path of the main storm in an attempt to kill her.
  • The Chessmaster: Checker Monarch, natch.
  • Childhood Friends: Turns out that Trixie and Helping Hoof (Checker's servant) were friends when they were foals…or they would have been, if Helping Hoof's father had allowed him to have any friends.
  • Climax Boss: The Ropen, who caps off Trixie learning caring for others doesn't make one weak by showing her she can be strong when she's protecting something she cares about.
  • Control Freak: Helping Hoof points out that Checker Monarch relishes control, especially the control she has over him and Trixie. According to Word of God, this is a big part of Checker's motivation for ruining Trixie; her control over them is how she proves her twisted worldview to herself by giving herself absolute control over someone since she can't control the entire world like she thinks she should. As a result, when that control is broken, the shock and her denial of the fact her worldview was completely wrong was too much her already unstable mental state.
  • Cool Old Lady: Trixie's grandmother Helena.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Checker is the owner of her own corporation, stated to be one of the biggest in Equestria. It isn't until chapter 10 this has any baring on the plot, however.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Twilight has yet to come across a situation she doesn't have a book for.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Rarity dishes one out to the Diamond Dogs.
  • Cut Song: Checker Monarch was meant to have a song in chapter 9, but it was cut for time. Ironically, it was meant to based off of another Cut Song; "Humiliate the Boy" from Aladdin.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: It's mentioned that most unicorns have more magical power than they can safely use, and while it's possible to expand their limits through training, using their full, unrestrained power could cause serious damage (compared to how muscles are often stronger than the body can safely make use of). Checker does this in a last resort, and ends up severely damaging her horn in the process.
  • Darker and Edgier: As this fanfic continues, the confrontations between Trixie and Checker Monarch gets more and more intense and Checker herself spells terror as this series goes on.
  • Dark Reprise: It's hard to tell without any actual music to listen to, but going by title and lyrics, Checker's "Through My Eyes" is this to Trixie's "Through New Eyes".
  • Dark Secret: Helping Hoof turns out to still be a blank flank, having never managed to find his special talent.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Trixie quite often. Spike also has his moments.
  • Deal with the Devil: Helping Hoof agreed to work for Checker in exchange for her helping him make his father proud by faking earning a job and Cutie Mark, but Checker won't let him leave; threatening to ruin him if he does so. He even calls it a "deal with the Draconequus". He eventually breaks the deal and turns on her.
  • Death Glare: Besides Fluttershy's Stare, Checker Monarch seems to have a near-constant one going, leaving everyone who makes eye contact with her unnerved at the least and terrified at most. In chapter 10, there is a Stare-Off between Checker and a rather angry Fluttershy. Checker loses, being left shuddering and filled with instinctual fear of the Pegasus.
    • This is also how Fluttershy deals with the part of Checker's consciousness that attacks her in her dream.
  • Deconstruction Fic: While generally not this trope, Checker making the Diamond Dogs her mooks was meant to be a deconstruction of the 'jerk villains team up with the serious Big Bad' storyline the fandom uses. The Dogs might be bad creatures, but they're not monsters. So when confronted with a real monster, they're horrified and terrified of her.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: While subverted with Checker, who ends up going so insane she'll likely spend the rest of her life in an insane asylum, it's played straight with Trixie and the Diamond Dogs, who both perform a Heel–Face Turn and are befriended. This is ultimately the moral of the story delivered by Twilight in a letter to Celestia at the end, even quoting the 'the best way to defeat an enemy, is to make them your friend' line.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: As Trixie lives with Twilight, she gradually opens up and becomes a much nicer mare to everypony.
    • Rainbow Dash gives Trixie the cold shoulder throughout the story, but eventually eases up when she realizes she's been acting like the bully she accused Trixie of being, and warms up some more when she realizes they have stuff in common.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Trixie very nearly crosses it due to Checker's manipulations. Fortunately, she is pulled back by the efforts of her friends, and pulls herself out completely when she faces off with Checker in her dream.
  • Determinator: Another of the many things that make Checker Monarch so dangerous is her absolute refusal to accept defeat. While every other MLP villain is taken out of the picture after as single ONE of their plans fail, Checker manages to remain a threatening presence over four separate plans. Actually becoming progressively worse each time.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Trixie causes an accident while working for Rarity, who lampshades it by noting that "Sweetie Belle has made bigger messes and I really need to stop setting up my shop in such a way that one little thing toppling over somehow sets off a chain reaction that wrecks the entire room…"
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • While none of them actually kill her, being it's a dream, Checker gets defeated in dreams this way a total of three times (once in Trixie's dream, then twice later during her final dream attack in Pinkie's and Rainbow's dreams). When it happens in Rainbow's, she actually says 'Not again'.
    • An alternate ending the creator considered had Checker escape in her chariot with Trixie catching on. During the fight, the lightning rod she used to try and kill Rainbow Dash earlier would fall out of her pocket and cause her to be struck by lightning and fall to her death while Trixie got to safely. The creator decided this was too dark for the tone they were going to.
  • Distant Duet: "The World I Want To Be In", between Trixie, Helping Hoof, and Checker Monarch.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In chapter 11, Helping Hoof finally has enough of Checker's crap and helps the Mane Six save Trixie and expose her.
    • There's also a literal example in that chapter, as the Diamond Dogs likewise turn on her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Trixie's general mindset throughout most of the fic, due to her belief accepting help makes one weak. She gradually grows out of it though.
  • Dramatic Thunder: There just happens to be a thunderstorm going on when Checker comes into Sugarcube Corner to confront Trixie and introduce herself to the Mane Six.
  • The Dreaded: Checker Monarch. Trixie just seeing her name causes her to freeze up in fear and Rarity is actively terrified of her, simply due to her menacing and cold personality. The Diamond Dogs are also deeply unnerved by her, even though they just met her once.
  • Dream Weaver: Checker Monarch is capable of doing this. See Mind Rape.
    • Lucid Dreaming is also a plot point, as teaching it to Twilight is how Trixie helps her overcome her nightmares about Discord and Trixie commonly uses it herself. Checker's words and actions imply she's using Lucid Dreaming to obtain this affect in addition to her dream infiltration spell. She only manages to successfully manipulate Trixie in her dreams by crafting a dream world based off her detailed observations of reality so Trixie can't find A Glitch in the Matrix to realize it's a dream.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Rainbow Dash gets rather exasperated at how few ponies actually recognize them for the world-saving national heroes they are, Trixie and Checker included.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the Mane 6 have to work as well, this applies heavily to Helping Hoof and Trixie, both of which have endured hell all their lives due to their respective Abusive Parents and Checker until they finally find redemption and happiness.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Double Subverted. The Mane Six and Trixie set up a scheme to get Checker to confess to her crimes in front of all of Ponyville, only for Checker to anticipate this and destroy their hidden microphones. But then Helping Hoof betrays her and plants another microphone on himself, helping the plan succeed.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Trixie's reaction when she realizes that Helping Hoof is aiding Checker in ruining her, albeit unwillingly.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: The girls are at a loss to figure out how to help Trixie recover, until Twilight compares Trixie's present predicament to her own at the Winter Wrap Up. She suddenly realizes that how she managed to turn that around in might work for Trixie to.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Diamond Dogs may be willing to do a lot of things, and work for Checker to ruin the life of a mare they don't know for gems, but even they are horrified when Checker Mind Raped Rainbow Dash with a dream infiltration spell. They still work for her, but after this, they're actively terrified of her.
    • Diamond Tiara may be a bully — and proud of it — but even she is sickened when it's revealed that Checker has been ruining her own sister's life.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Checker Monarch has shades of this, especially when Rainbow Dash goes against her expectations and forgives Trixie, rather than running her out of town.
    • Justified, as Checker Monarch is confirmed by Word of God to be based off a Sociopath, who, by definition, are incapable of truly understanding empathy and compassion.
  • Eviler than Thou: Checker hires the Diamond Dogs to be her Mooks with them being Only In It For The Gems. It takes about two chapters for her to begin doing things that disturb and terrify them (particularly, her Mind Raping Rainbow Dash) and have them so outright terrified of her they're too afraid of her retribution to defy her.
  • Evil is Petty: Checker, oh so much. It doesn't help that she outright admits to viewing the entire world as her Unwitting Pawns.
  • Face Doodling: Twilight and Spike ended up getting arrested during their visit to Canterlot because Spike snuck past the guards and doodled 'Discord drools' on the face of Discord's statue to pay him back for hurting Twilight and her friends so much. Spike (and somewhat Twilight) feels getting arrested was Worth It and even Celestia got a laugh out of it.
  • Face Hoof: Happens rather often.
  • Fainting: Trixie when it hits her what she just did to protect the Cutie Mark Crusaders (which included going deep into Everfree Forest and dealing with two monsters that could've killed her or worse) and later when discovering Princess Luna was Tirek in her play. Rarity also does it when it turns out one of Pinkie's Doozies was simply Trixie genuinely apologizing for her transgressions. Both Sweetie Belle and Trixie herself comment they do so in the same manner. Given their personalities, it's like they're just being over-dramatic.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Helping Hoof's father Iron Hoof did not approve of his interest in theater, forcing him to be a business stallion. This ended badly.
  • Fatal Flaw: Checker Monarch's inability to anticipate empathy. Her otherwise good plan to have Trixie run out of town and rob her of what little self-confidence she has left hinged on Rainbow Dash kicking her out...then Dash saw her in a Corner of Woe.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Perfect Companions reveals that Checker is incarcerated in an asylum, her sanity having degraded to the point that she's unable to do anything for herself and forced to have others help her with anything, in direct opposition of her Social Darwinist philosophy. Her business empire is gone, and even if she got out nopony would ever want to work with her again. And Trixie doesn't even care about her anymore - even the slight influence she could claim by having Trixie hate her is denied. She has lost her pawns, her business, and her self-control.
  • For the Evulz: Essentially why Checker Monarch decided to start picking on Trixie again, or so it seems at first. Her actual motivation is jealousy.
  • Fountain of Youth: What Poison Joke does to Trixie.
  • Freudian Excuse: Trixie is implied to have one involving her family. And about half of it was Checker's fault.
    • It's heavily implied that Rainbow Dash's treatment of Trixie is due to having been bullied as a filly, thus meaning Trixie's humiliating her in public was far more painful for her than it otherwise would be.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Checker tells Diamond Tiara she reminds her of herself as a filly, and Trixie's Flashback to her and Checker's childhood shows Checker was a lot like Diamond. At first Diamond is ecstatic...until she sees what's Beneath the Mask, at which point she's horrified that she has the potential to become like Checker. According to Word of God, this was intentional and Checker was partly intended to be what Diamond could grow up into if nothing changes.
  • Glamour Failure: Checker has difficulty hiding her terrifying eyes in dreams, at least if her targets are able to pick up on it.
  • Good Costume Switch: Trixie gets a new costume to wear from Rarity after she's accepted the group as her friends. Her taking control of one of her dream confrontations with Checker is normally signified by her donning this costume.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Checker Monarch, who pretty much says her motivations for harming Trixie is jealousy of having the spotlight divided between them. Of course, this is mainly because Checker believes It's All About Me.
  • Guile Heroine: Trixie ultimately becomes this, using illusions, stage magic, and misdirection.
    • Rarity, particularly when she begins tricking Checker's backers into thinking Ponyville isn't a good place for a mall...but might be a perfect place for a theater and also simply paying the Diamond Dogs BETTER than Checker did to get them to turn on her.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted. While not frozen solid, Trixie nearly freezes to death due to being soaked by a storm while in a desert at night (while hot in the day, they get VERY cold at night). By the time she's rescued, she's in the beginning stages of hypothermia and the Mane Six call in Zecora to give her medical treatment. It's made quite clear that Trixie could have died if she hadn't been saved.
  • Hate Sink: Checker Monarch is a manipulative sociopath who spends the whole fic making Trixie's life a living hell, resorts to psychological torture, and even attempts outright murder. All purely out of envy. There's not a single redeeming quality in this mare.
  • He Knows Too Much: According to Word of God, this was why Checker planned to dispose of the Diamond Dogs. Thankfully, Rarity uses this fact (and some bribery) to get them to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hidden Depths: Helping Hoof is first introduced as Checker's cowardly servant, but is gradually revealed to be a Childhood Friend of Trixie and an adult Blank Flank due to his father refusing to allow him to be himself. He made a Deal with the Devil with Checker for her to help him fake getting a Cutie Mark and a job so his father would be proud of him. Now he's simply too terrified of her to back out until the end when he turns on her.
  • Hobos: Trixie, who after the Ursa incident ends up living on the streets until Twilight takes her in.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lampshaded in-fic, as Trixie says, their plan is to trick Checker into defeating HERSELF.
  • Humiliation Conga: Checker puts Trixie through one starting in chapter 8 and part 1 of 9. Played for Drama, as it ends up nearly driving her over the Despair Event Horizon. It was originally intended to be longer, but the author felt it'd be too cruel to do so. The latter was even originally intended to be accompanied by a Villain Song based off the Cut Song "Humiliate the Boy" from Aladdin.
  • Ice Queen: Checker Monarch.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: The first song of the fic "Through New Eyes" is about Trixie coping with how her world view has been changed and the conflict that's causing her. Twilight joins in and sings about how she was changed by her first visit to Ponyville to reassure her. After she leave, Trixie finishes the song with her realization she's got a True Companion to help her through her uncertainty.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When confronted by the Diamond Dogs again Rarity attempts to whine them into submission like she did the first time. When that fails, she breaks out her martial arts skills and delivers a Curbstomp Battle. According to Word of God, this included to show she could have beaten the Diamond Dogs to a pulp the first time, she just preferred the nonviolent approach.
  • "I Am" Song: The second song, Checker Monarch's "Through My Eyes", gives us an insight into her cruel, manipulative persona.
  • Idea Bulb: Happens to Twilight in chapter 9; turns out Spike was replacing a bulb above her.
  • I Hate Past Me: Trixie when facing the Great and Powerful Trixie (actually Checker in disguise) in a dream. She ultimately ends up giving her past self a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and declaring she'll never be her again.
  • I Lied: Checker said she'd leave Trixie's friends alone if she agreed to go into exile. Naturally, Checker decides to go after them anyway.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Pinkie Pie, as always:
    Trixie: How did she…when did she…where did she g…What just happened?!
    Fluttershy: Um…Pinkie does things like that… Sorry, I can't explain it any better than that, but even Twilight can't figure out how Pinkie does a lot of the things she does…She's tried...
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Trixie forms one with the Cutie Mark Crusaders after she saves them from a Ropen in the Everfree Forest (though Sweetie Belle already liked her before then).
  • Ironic Echo: "Checkmate."
  • It's All About Me: Checker Monarch firmly believes this.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Trixie, repeatedly, upon learning of the Mane Cast's heroics.
    • And several from the Mane Cast when certain parts of Trixie's Character Development assert themselves.
    • Trixie again when she realizes that the pony playing Tirek in her play is Princess Luna.
  • Jerkass Realization: Most of the first part of the fic is Trixie having one.
    • Prince Blueblood seems to have hints of one when Twilight asks him an Armor-Piercing Question. During the Time Skip after Checker is defeated, he's shown apologizing to Applejack in Canterlot, implying he had a full one.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While it has some dark points, the story is pretty lighthearted…then Checker Monarch shows up.
  • Know Your Vines: Trixie takes a blue flower from the Everfree Forest after her adventure there, unaware it's Poison Joke. When Twilight informs her of this, she doesn't take it seriously because she's immune to Poison Ivy and thus assumes she will be to Poison Joke. She isn't.
  • Lack of Empathy: Checker, being The Sociopath, has this, but it's also clear that it also blinds her to certain flaws in her plans.
    • Trixie's words imply she forced herself to have this due to her childhood though mainly Checker's lies, but is regaining her sense of empathy now that she sees it was stupid to suppress it in the first place.
    Trixie: Of all the days for me to start actually caring about somepony else's well being…
  • Large Ham: Trixie, naturally, even after her Character Development. The others don't mind, however, accepting it as part of her personality.
  • Laughing Mad: Checker during her second Villainous Breakdown.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Trixie's reaction after her encounter with Fluttershy's "ninja chicken".
    • This also appears to be Twilight's attitude towards the events of "Lesson Zero".
  • List of Transgressions: Trixie lists her own, twice.
  • Mama Bear: Do not harm Helena's grandchildren.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Checker Monarch. Manipulation is her Cutie Mark! Which is why Trixie eventually beating her mind games causes her to develop Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome.
  • Master of Illusion: Rarity's skills with illusion spells come into play for the charity show, where she makes the back drops. Trixie also knows a few illusion spells and knows the same trick Zecora used to tell stories on Nightmare Night. According to Word of God, Helena Midsummer and Stage Hoof also qualifies due to their special talents being theater.
  • Meaningful Rename: Helping Hoof does a Heel–Face Turn, then earns his theater Cutie Mark while in prison (Equestrian prisons apparently have very good inmate learning programs). As a result, he changes his name to Stage Hoof.
  • Mind Hive: During their final dream confrontation, Checker splits her consciousness in order to go after Trixie and all the Mane Six at the same time.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Checker Monarch subjects Rainbow Dash to this via a dream infiltration spell, giving her horrible nightmares involving Trixie to turn her against her. And it almost works. This act even horrifies the Diamond Dogs.
    • There's a more subtle example later when she infiltrates Trixie's dreams and Breaking Lectures her about how the town will never accept her. Trixie is left so traumatized that the next day she's barely able to bring herself to go on stage for her public apology.
    • How Discord broke Twilight and Trixie during his reign is depicted this way, as unlike the show Twilight been traumatized by the event and has suffered horrible nightmares about it for a good while afterwards, and Trixie nearly breaks down crying recounting what he did to her.
    • Checker's manipulations and efforts at sabotaging Trixie qualify as a more mundane but still effective method of Mind Rape. Notably, her coat starts graying, implying that Checker is managing to Discord her.
  • Missing Mom: Trixie's and Checker's mother is never seen. According to Word of God, he imagined that she died giving birth to Trixie.
  • Moment of Weakness: Applejack and Rainbow Dash are manipulated into growing ever more frustrated throughout the course of a day, with the intent that their anger will boil over and get directed at Trixie. Rainbow Dash subverts it, ultimately.
  • More than Mind Control: While Checker has no qualms about using Mind Rape to get others to do as she wants, she still exploits their actual emotions and manipulates them instead of outright controlling them. Best shown with Rainbow Dash, who Checker Mind Rapes, but also takes advantage of her pre-existing grudge on Trixie.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Both Helping Hoof and the Diamond Dogs turn on Checker in chapter 11, for different reasons.
  • Multi-Part Episode: "Checkmate", the final three chapters, which were based off of the actual two part episodes of the series proper (though some previous chapters were split in two parts due to text limits, including all three parts of "Checkmate").
  • Mundanger: Checker Monarch may be a unicorn, but she's no stronger than a normal unicorn. What makes her dangerous is she's extremely skilled in manipulation and a complete sociopath capable and willing to ruin other's lives for the pettiest reasons. Invoked by Word of God, who said he based Checker off real life sociopaths because in his mind that was far more frightening than a fantasy villain because people like Checker actually exist.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Applejack, upon realizing she just blew up at Filly!Trixie over an accident and left the poor girl in tears. Later, Rainbow Dash comes across Trixie and is about to finally give her a piece of her mind (as she's been wanting to do all story), then sees Trixie sobbing and realizes that she's becoming just like the bullies she faced in Flight School. That snaps her out of her anger at Trixie quickly, and she finally lets go of her grudge against her.
    • Helping Hoof's section of the group song "The World I Want To Be In" in chapter 11 basically boils down to this.
  • Narcissist: Checker Monarch.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Checker's chauffeurs learned this the hard way when dealing with Helena.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: According to Word of God, Checker Monarch's actions are responsible for the events of "Magic Duel" not happening in this universe (or at the very least, Trixie not being the villain), either because she and Helena don't exist in the main timeline or Checker simply took active steps to further ruin Trixie's life after "Boast Busters", humbling her to the point she was willing to accept Twilight's help and was afraid of becoming like Checker influenced Trixie further.
    • A straighter example is when she tells Trixie she'll be like their grandmother during an up until then successful Breaking Lecture. This results in Trixie getting a Heroic Second Wind as she realizes she is like her grandmother, and her grandmother was a lot stronger than either of them believed.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: Each of the Mane Six get one on Checker during the Final Battle, managing to overcome what Checker was using against them and Trixie ultimately gives another, telling Checker she's Not Afraid Of You Any More. Justified in that so long as they deny those doubts instead of facing them, their mental state was compromised and Checker had the advantage.
  • Noodle Implements: Pinkie's planned attempt at cheering Trixie up apparently involved her wearing a large gift package around her body, swim fins, and big sunglasses, and carrying a lot of balloons.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, during one of their attempts to get their Cutie Marks, the CMC ended up in a wrecking ball crane and set it off.
    • The Diamond Dogs' second attempt to ruin Trixie's charity performance. While we know they went under the stage and the mane six had set boobytraps (and some animals as guards), we don't see it actually happen, just the end result.
    • Trixie apparently once had a show be ruined by a swarm of hamsters.
  • No Social Skills: Trixie to a degree, as she has little experience with things friendship or expressing gratitude or remorse due to forcing herself to have a Lack of Empathy most of her life, so once she starts seeing the mane cast as True Companions, she has some difficulty expressing how she feels.
  • No Sense of Direction: While trying to find a camp spot in the Everfree Forest, the Cutie Mark Crusaders get so lost they somehow end up in the middle of a cave.
    Apple Bloom: How'd we even get in here?
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: While she admits she's still afraid of Ursas, Trixie tells Checker that she's no longer afraid of her.
  • Not Me This Time: After Trixie caused a Disaster Dominoes effect that wrecked Rarity's sewing room, Rarity walks in and automatically cast a Death Glare at Sweetie Belle. The defensive sister said this word-for-word.
  • Oh, Crap!: Trixie upon realizing the three ponies she publicly humiliated are three of the heroines who saved Equestria twice.
    • She has one earlier, when she realizes that Twilight is the Princess' personal student.
    • She has another one, this one played for drama, when she merely sees Checker Monarch's name written down on the tag of an article of clothing, causing her to freeze up in catatonic terror.
    • Trixie has yet another one when Checker infiltrates her dreams.
    • Then it's Checker's turn when, during her second dream attack, Trixie fights back and manages to defeat her.
    • Checker gets another one in chapter 11 when she realizes she's been Out-Gambitted.
    • Gets another one in chapter 12 upon realizing the mares she's facing were the ones who saved the world twice.
  • One Degree of Separation: While Trixie didn't earn her Cutie Mark due to the Sonic Rainboom, she did earn it thanks to the story about Granny Smith founding Ponyville inspiring her act. The same Summer Sun Celebration that inspired Twilight's love of magic also inspired Trixie's as well. Twilight points out this isn't that surprising by referencing the Aesop of "Cutie Mark Chronicles"; that friends can share a special connection before they've even met.
  • One-Winged Angel: During the dream fights, Checker turns into an Alicorn when facing the Mane 6 collectively, and an Ursa Major while going after Trixie.
    • Clipped-Wing Angel: The girls aren't very impressed, having fought a real Alicorn, and use the Elements of Harmony to defeat her. As for the Ursa, they help Trixie overcome her fear, and she proceeds to curb-stomp her.
  • Only In It For The Gems: The Diamond Dogs have nothing against Trixie, and are actively horrified by some of Checker Monarch's actions, they're only working for her because she is paying them with large amounts of gems.
    • It's because of this that Rarity is able to bribe them into changing their loyalties near the end. Of course, the fact that she revealed that Checker was going to betray them anyway helped.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Checkmate Monarch is Checker's full name, but even the more professional Rarity refers to her as Checker. The only one who consistently calls her Checkmate is Trixie her younger sister.
  • Original Flavor: Specifically stated by Word of God to be one of their main goals with the fic. According to many readers, they've succeeded.
  • Out-Gambitted: Checker in chapter 11. It triggers her second Villainous Breakdown.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Pinkie's defeating Checker's attempted Mind Rape basically turns into first Scooby Do and then Looney Tunes. Justified as it's Pinkie Pie's dream.
  • Owls Ask "Who?": When settling into Twilight's home, Trixie gets into an argument with Owlowiscious when she mistakes the owl's hooting for him asking the question "who?"
    Trixie: Um... hello there...
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Trixie.
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Umm... Trixie.
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Trixie!
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: You stubborn bird! I said my name is Trixie!
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Twilight: Trixie, he's an owl, that's all he can say!
    Trixie: Oh! Um yes! Trixie knew that! Oh look at the time! Goodnight!
  • Pep-Talk Song: Pinkie Pie's song, "Things Are Going To Get Better", in chapter 8. Was written in an attempt to emulate Pinkie's singing style in the show.
  • Persona Non Grata: Sweetie Belle tells a story to Twilight about the Cutie Mark Crusader's attempt to earn tennis Cutie Marks. The audience doesn't hear much of it, but it ended with them being banned from the tennis court. Later, when Trixie is in their tree house, she discovers a poster marked 'list of places we've been banned from trying to get our Cutie Marks' and notes it's unnervingly long.
  • Plagued by Nightmares:
    • Twilight's been having recurring nightmares about Discord's brief reign, and the effect he had on her friends. Trixie helps her find a way to cope with them, as an early sign of her Character Development.
    • According to Applejack in chapter 11, all of the Mane Six have been having nightmares since then. Trixie, who by this point considers them all True Companions, offers to teach them the Lucid Dreaming trick she taught Twilight to help.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While she is owner of her own corporation and fabulously wealthy, Checker refuses to spend more than the gems she gives the Diamond Dogs to ruin Trixie because it'd be a waste of money. Unfortunately, in chapter 10 she discovers a way to make money and ruin Trixie, and also had a Villainous Breakdown that cost her what little restraint she had.
  • Produce Pelting: A disguised Checker does this to Trixie during her attempted public apology to Ponyville.
    • She tries again during Trixie's charity play, but is prevented by Twilight.
  • Prone to Tears: Trixie, once she's age-regressed by Poison Joke. Justified in that not only does she have the emotional maturity and control of a child, but she had a rather traumatic childhood, and being physically and emotionally regressed made all those old wounds become fresh.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Helping Hoof, Checker's butler, only helps her with her schemes because he works for her. And he seems perfectly willing to keep information from her.
    • The Diamond Dogs are shown to be working for Checker Monarch only for the eventual payday and fear of her. At least, until Rarity offers to pay them gems regularly, as well as telling them she planned to build her mall over the quarry they've made their home.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Invoked by Checker Monarch, who manipulated events to get Applejack and Rainbow Dash so frustrated that they'd explode on Trixie at the moment Checker desired.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech
    • Twilight spends an entire day putting up with Blueblood's high and mighty act while cleaning up a Stink Bomb Spike let off in his room. She manages to put up with his insults...until he calls Rarity selfish for her expectation of him being a gentlestallion to her. Twilight lets him have it after that, pretty much letting out her entire day's worth of frustrations on him at once. Surprisingly, it actually gets it through his thick head that he needs to be a better pony.
    Twilight: I don't care what you say about me, I can even forgive you for saying Pinkie, Rainbow, and Fluttershy ruined the Gala, because they actually kind of did! I may even be able to forgive you for insulting Applejack's cooking! But you do NOT call Rarity of all ponies selfish! She may be a little vain sometimes, and sometimes she lets her desires get the best of her, but she's the most generous and unselfish mare I know! She's the Element of Generosity for crying out loud! She worked herself ragged making me and my friends TWO sets of Gala Dresses, doing everything we asked even though she knew our designs were a big disaster! And you know what, Blueblood? She didn't even think about working on her dress until she had ours made! Is that selfish?! Does that surprise you? Of course it would surprise a self-serving, egotistical, narcissist like you! You know, I wasn't expecting you to be her prince charming, but I was expecting you to be a proper gentlestallion! That's ALL she wanted for you to do! She'd probably even have been happy if you'd just split everything 50/50! Instead you were a selfish, egocentric, self-absorbed royal PAIN who only cared about yourself and wanted your date to do absolutely everything for you! And now you have the nerve to call that poor mare selfish?! And don't you DARE use the fact you're royalty as an excuse! Because it's NOT! Princess Celestia is a lot more royal than you are and she gave me a place to stay in Ponyville just because she knew I'd be miserable without my friends! She lent me and my friends the castle ballroom for my birthday party without even being asked! She gave Rarity a room in the royal palace just because I told her Rarity needed somewhere to stay! Celestia set everything aside and came to Ponyville as fast as she could just because Spike wrote her a letter saying I was getting worked up at making a deadline! So no! Being royal most certainly isn't an excuse, Blueblood! And let me tell you something else! It's not an excuse to treat ANY of your subjects who look up to you like dirt the way you did Rarity! Celestia and Luna both go out of their way to befriend and have a good relationship with their subjects. Luna, who rules the night, set everything aside to try and reconnect with her subjects on Nightmare Night! And Celestia isn't too 'refined' that she can't take a little commoner food! If anything, Celestia tries to be LESS royal than she really is! If they're the highest royalty in the land, Blueblood, what does that say about how you behave when you're so much lower than they are?
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Someone wrote on. Warning, spoilers for the fic itself.
  • Redemption in the Rain: Helping Hoof during 'The World I Want To Be In'.
  • Related in the Adaptation: A throwaway line by Cheerilee in chapter 9 part 1 indicates that Berry Punch is her younger sister.note 
  • Remember When You Blew Up The Sun: The Mane Cast's exploits, which Trixie, not knowing any of them, is quite shocked to hear. And quite upset to discover she publicly humiliated three national heroines. Rarity later uses this for a Badass Boast against Checker after Checker goes One-Winged Angel.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Checker uses a holographic chessboard to symbolize all of her plans, with her intended Unwitting Pawns as pieces. Her final Villainous Breakdown sees her shatter the projector and destroy the board, symbolizing her sanity also shattering.
  • Running Gag: Trixie and Twilight messing up the Pinkie Pie Swear.
    • A guilty Trixie pointing out that she humiliated the girls, with someone pointing out that she also bragged about it, and her quickly admitting to it.
    • Someone mentioning the Smartypants incident around Trixie and Twilight, only for the latter to shut them up.
  • Sadistic Choice: Checker tells Trixie to either leave town, or she'll ruin all of her friends completely. Naturally, when Trixie chooses to leave, Checker decides to ruin the others anyway out of spite.
  • Sanity Slippage: Checker gradually loses her mind as the fic progresses, going from a calm and composed individual to a psychotic lunatic to finally a completely broken mare. According to Word of God, she was found criminally insane and is presently locked up in an insane asylum for what is likely the rest of her life. "Another Happy Mother's Day" expands on this, showing that Checker ultimately retreats into a fantasy world to escape the reality of her crimes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Checker's plans are exposed, her servants decide to abandon her. Unfortunately, Helena overheard them discussing their involvement, and decides not to let them get away with hurting Trixie.
  • Sense-Impaired Monster: The Ropen is a blind batlike monster that hunts by sound and, being blind, is entirely unaffected by Fluttershy's Stare, which requires eye contact to work; however, loud explosions such as fireworks can temporarily cripple its echolocation.
  • Sequel Hook: Word of God admits [[spoiler:Diamond Tiara's reaction to what's Beneath the Mask of Checker Monarch was intended to be this, and leads into Tarnished Diamonds.
  • Shadow Archetype: Checker is this to Trixie, representing what the Great and Powerful Trixie could have become if she hadn't seen the error of her ways. This is shown most directly when Checker assumes the form of the Great and Powerful Trixie in Trixie's dream. In the end, it's only by accepting she was really like that and that she's changed that she managed to defeat Checker and finally be happy with herself.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Checker does this to most of the mane six during the Final Battle, taking the form of their loved ones and giving them a Breaking Lecture based around their personal faults and saying those faults have in some way harmed said loved ones. Special mention goes to Rainbow Dash's, which involves her how she handled Discord's Sadistic Choice, something she feels genuine guilt for.
  • Shout-Out: During an argument with Rarity, Applejack comments that "Ah ain't got no accent!" In fact, the entire subplot going on there appears to be based on that fic.
    • Checker Monarch appears to be based on Azula, a perfectionist Manipulative Bitch Chessmaster who is jealous of a younger sibling whom she bullies and has an overbearing father. Moreover, both characters are deeply insecure beneath all their arrogance.
    • Trixie is apparently a big fan of the Harry Trotter novels.
    • Several Shout Outs to the Pony POV Series were included due to the author being friends with Alexwarlorn.
    • The charity play Trixie puts on with help from her friends and Princess Luna is "Rescue at Midnight Castle", the original G1 My Little Pony special.
      • She later tells the story of Grogar to the Cake Twins. Both of those stories are used by Trixie to defeat Checker in her final dream attack.
    • According to Word of God, what happened to the Diamond Dogs during their second attempt at sabotage the charity play was based off the Home Alone films
    • Ditzy, when talking about how she accidentally wrecked city hall with her flank, says that isn't the only time it's happened, and starts to recount another time it's happened until she remembers the Doctor told her not to tell anyone about it.
    • While travelling through the Everfree Forest, the Cutie Mark Crusaders realize their path will go past Zecora's hut. Scootaloo suggests a path leading off the one to Zecora's hut, but Apple Bloom quickly shuts down that idea after remembering where it goes.
    • Pinkie Pie doesn't make cupcakes where audiences can see anymore, and angrily mutters about wanting to sue someone for defamation of character.
    • In chapter 11, Applejack mentions a time Twilight messed up a spell and sent the six of them to a gender-flipped alternate universe.
    • Chapter 12 takes some references to Persona 4 including Checker's One-Winged Angel transformation into an Ursa Major referencing the Shadows' transformations.
    • Pinkie's dream confrontation with Checker in chapter 12 contains references to both Scooby-Doo and Wile E. Coyote.
    • According to Word of God, Checker's obsession with controlling Trixie and Helping Hoof is inspired by the one Breach from Generator Rex had for her 'dollhouse', namely the fact it's the only thing allowing them to maintain any semblance of sanity.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Trixie delivers one to Checker (though she doesn't know it's her at the time) in her second dream attack on her, combining this trope with a speech.
    • Later, each of the Mane 6 get their own against Checker when she attacks them in their dreams, followed by Trixie doing it again to finally defeat her once and for all.
  • Sixth Ranger: Trixie. Derpy also deserves a mention, as she forgives Trixie completely and assists with the charity play, the desert rescue and the Engineered Public Confession.
  • Smelly Skunk: Trixie ends up getting sprayed by one, named Sally, while working for Fluttershy.
    • The same skunk (according to Word of God) ends up spraying the Diamond Dogs when they try to sabotage Trixie's charity show.
    • Fluttershy turns into one and sprays Checker in the face during their dream confrontation.
  • Smug Snake: While Checker Monarch is legitimately intelligent and competent, her Narcissism, frequent Villainous Breakdowns and pathological desire to control everything, has led many fans to place her firmly in this category.
  • Spanner in the Works: Checker's initial plans are ultimately derailed by, of all things, Featherweight's photography hobby, which first clues the CMC and Mane Cast into the fact that someone is sabotaging Trixie's efforts at making up for the Ursa.
  • Social Darwinist: Checker is a type 4, and uses it to justify her A God Am I and It's All About Me behavior. Trixie was formally a relatively mild type 1 (as was their father, who they both get it from, Checker just took it too far), but leaves it behind after seeing what The Power of Friendship is capable of.
  • The Sociopath: Checker Monarch, who was modeled after one — and it shows.
    • She gets worse after her Villainous Breakdown.
    • The sequels have Checker referred to In-Universe as a Sociopath and was officially diagnosed after her defeat.
  • Sore Loser: Checker Monarch, and she has been since she and Trixie were kids.
  • Spock Speak: After her first Villainous Breakdown, Checker alternates between a monotone, contraction free speech and psychotic bursts of angry speech. According to Word of God, Checker was overcompensating in an attempt to maintain her Mask of Sanity as it slowly degraded.
  • Stink Bomb: While visiting Canterlot, Spike asks Twilight if he can throw one of these that Rainbow Dash gave him into Prince Blueblood's room to pay him back for how he treated Rarity at the Gala. Twilight says no on the grounds one of Spike's pranks had already got them arrested once during that very visit. He does it anyway when she's not looking, causing Twilight to end up going to Canterlot to clean up the mess.
  • The Stoic: Checker Monarch shows very little emotion other than icy, sadistic joy at times. This seems to be an effect an effect of her and Trixie's father apparently not wanting them to show much emotion around him and the fact she's The Sociopath.
  • Stronger Sibling: Played with. Checker's far more dangerous than Trixie is, but it's because she is quite skilled with her spells, what those spells are, what her special talent is, and her lack of a moral compass to restrain her rather than outclassing Trixie power wise.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Checker ultimately has this reaction after the Diamond Dogs fail to ruin Trixie's charity show twice as a result of her growing Villainous Breakdown.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: We see Trixie's and Checker's father, Centurion from both their perspectives, but ironically, it's Checker's perspective that shows him in a more sympathetic light, as Checker intentionally made him out as a more Abusive Parent in Trixie's perspective to hurt Trixie.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Helping Hoof feels a brief moment of pity for Checker as he explains her past to the Diamond Dogs, wondering if someone with her unending lust for power could ever be truly happy.
    • Helena's reaction to Checker's downfall is this as well.
  • Taken for Granite: Twilight being turned to stone by a Cockatrice in "The Stare Master" is mentioned several times. Trixie runs into the same Cockatrice in Everfree and gets almost completely turned to stone, but is saved by Fluttershy.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Helping Hoof and the Diamond Dogs do this to Checker in their The Dog Bites Back moment against her, but Helping Hoof's fits better as he actually does finally snap and get openly furious with her for the first time in the entire story.
  • Taking You with Me: Checker tries to pull this at the end of "Checkmate Part II"/most of "Checkmate Part III". She knows using the dream infiltration spell is illegal and she'll go to prison for it (since she just used it in front of a large crowd of witnesses), but she figures it's worth it if she can destroy Trixie and her friends in the process. She fails.
  • Third-Person Person: Trixie, though when she gets emotional, she slips out of it.
  • The Unfettered: Yet another thing that makes Checker Monarch so dangerous (because, you know, she wasn't dangerous enough already). As The Sociopath, she has no moral framework to hold her in check, and the only thing that stops her from doing something is the possibility she will get caught. After her Villainous Breakdown, she becomes even more this: willing to resort to outright murder attempts to get what she wants.
  • This Cannot Be!: Checker's reaction when Trixie manages to counter her Dream Weaver abilities and beat her.
  • This Explains So Much: Twilight has this reaction when Trixie reveals she learned her stage presence from Iron Will.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Trixie's reaction to realizing the den her head is presently in is inhabited by a skunk, which is about to spray her in the face.
  • Tranquil Fury: Fluttershy when Checker threatens Trixie at Sugarcube Corner. She even manages to out Stare Checker and force her to backdown.
  • Title Drop: Checker Monarch has dropped the title once or twice.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Trixie by the end of the fic.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Trixie during her Cutie Mark story, due to her nerves getting the better of her about a performance in front of her father.
  • True Companions: What Trixie eventually becomes with the Mane Six and the CMC. Especially Twilight, who she admits now feels like a true sister to her as opposed to Checker.
    • The Mane 6, CMC, and Derpy (who Trixie befriended as well) show just how much they care about her by braving a dangerous storm to save Trixie.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Averted. Trixie becomes significantly nicer to the Mane Six after being allowed to lodge.
  • Unwitting Pawn: According to Checker Monarch's worldview, everypony is this for her.
  • Verbal Tic: Trixie's habit of referring to herself in the third person.
    • Not necessarily a verbal tic but the book repeatedly describes Trixie's jaw dropping/almost touching the ground.
  • Vile Villain Saccharine Fan Fic: Checker Monarch. She was based off real life Sociopaths but in a fan fic written with the intention of maintaining Original Flavor. The author did this intentionally due to the show's habit of having major villains be disproportionately dark.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When she's prevented from ruining Trixie's charity show, Checker starts cracking. Then, when Trixie finally fights back against her mind games (albeit in her dream without realizing it's Checker) and successfully beats her, Checker ends up developing full-blown Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome and completely snaps.
  • Villain Song: Checker Monarch gets several. First, there's "Through My Eyes" in chapter 7, with a short reprise in chapter 8. She later gets "Checkmate" and "Checkmate (Reprise)" in chapter 10. Finally, her part of "The World I Want To Be In" in chapter 11 also counts.
  • Villain Team-Up: Checker Monarch and the Diamond Dogs. They ultimately get bought off by Rarity, who also reveals that Checker was going to betray them anyway.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Checker Monarch is this, due to being the owner of one of Equestria's largest companies and her wrong doing being unknown to most ponies. She cites this as one of the reasons she's not afraid the Diamond Dogs will back stab her; no one would believe their word over hers. This complicates things when the Mane 6 have to take her down, until they trick her into an Engineered Public Confession.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 10. Trixie is left to die in a desert thousands of miles away from any form of civilization, and Checker is planning to destroy the Mane 6's homes and replace them with a giant strip mall, just because the Mane 6 accepted Trixie as their friend.
  • Who's on First?: Happens in chapter 2 between Trixie and Owlowiscious when they first meet.
    Trixie: Um…hello there…
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Trixie.
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Umm…Trixie.
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: Trixie!
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Trixie: You stubborn bird! I said my name is Trixie!
    Owlowiscious: Hoo?
    Twilight: Trixie, he's an owl, that's all he can say!
    Trixie: Oh… Um yes… Trixie knew that! Oh look at the time! Goodnight…
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Trixie is terrified of Ursas due to the Ursa Major incident, and even mentioning one causes her some fear. This is why Checker transforms into an Ursa Major during their final Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Checker ends up using a bee hive to attack Trixie at Cheerilee's school, not caring this can and does result in the class getting stung by a swarm of bees.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Naturally, this gambit is in Checker's arsenal and she threatens to use it if Trixie tells the authorities, and apparently did so frequently as a child to get Trixie in trouble. Ironically, Trixie ultimately does a variation of this to Checker as part of the Engineered Public Confession, acting and dressed up to appear in far worse shape than she really is to make Checker think she'd hiked all the way back to Ponyville.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Rarity tells Trixie this to help her after Checker broke her with her mind games.
  • You Are Not Alone: The Mane Cast are all driven to the brink of the Despair Event Horizon by Checker's Dream Weaver abilities...until their loved ones all begin cheering them on and help them find A Glitch in the Matrix to turn the tables. They (with Helping Hoof and Helena cheering her from the outside) proceed to do the same for Trixie, who is faced with her worst fear; an Ursa Major, helping her overcome it to defeat Checker once.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Diamond Tiara was all to happy to hear Checker tell her that Checker was just like her as a kid... until she finds out what kind of pony Checker ended up growing into. Diamond isn't quite as thrilled by Checker's compliment after that.

    GBOYH Verse: Magic Duel 
.Unmarked spoilers for the main stories here! You've been warned!

  • Alternate Universe: While mentioned by Word of God, this fic diverges completely from canon and depicts an alternate version of Magic Duel. Lampshaded by Doctor Whooves showing up and mentioning the timeline split, much to Trixie's confusion.
  • Brick Joke: In chapter one, it's mentioned the Doctor is taking Derpy to a muffin planet. In the last chapter, she shows up surrounded by muffins, including several giant ones.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Trixie's first move in the duel is to hit Twilight with a stinkbomb spell. When she uses her strongest spell later in the duel, she uses the scent it left on Twilight to enable her to track Twilight by scent thanks to Zecora's training.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Spike knew Twilight would probably ask Trixie to help her with the show for the Princesses, so he had posters premade and just needed to know the details.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: What the townsponies seem to be expecting Twilight to dish out to Trixie, much to both their dismay. Ultimately subverted, while she doesn't win, Trixie actually manages to do well enough to earn the town's respect.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Trixie, as per usual.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Twilight and Trixie plan to have a friendly exhibition magic duel...but don't realize until after the whole town knows about it that Twilight's still an extremely powerful unicorn with much more experience than Trixie, even considering Trixie Took a Level in Badass.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Opens with Trixie in a black cloak with glowing red eyes and making a threatening speech, implying things will be similar to the original episode...only for Trixie to be practicing for her Nightmare Night act.
  • Friendly War: Twilight and Trixie still have a magic duel, but in this version, they intended it to be a friendly exhibition and Twilight set it up so Trixie could perform in front of Princess Celestia. Unfortunately, it isn't quite so simple. In the end they actually DO have the duel in this fashion and it goes well.
  • Gift of the Magi Plot: After realizing that they Didn't Think This Through, Twilight and Trixie both try to address the problem...however, Trixie's solution is training with Zecora and Twilight's is Playing Sick to cancel the duel and let Trixie do the show herself, making Trixie's training addressing the problem Twilight was trying to fix pointless. Played With because Trixie is actually glad the duel is off (as her confidence boost wasn't that high)...but pretends to be disappointed so as to save face and avoid hurting Twilight, convincing Twilight she really is and causing her to 'cast a healing spell on herself' and put the show back on, accidentally crushing what confidence Trixie had gained from her training. Lampshaded by Trixie once she finds out how Twilight actually felt.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Downplayed. While Trixie is jealous of Twilight for getting to perform in front of the Princess and the delegates from Saddle Arabia, she genuinely does try to hide and let Twilight enjoy it. She just is very bad at doing so and it's soon resolved by Twilight giving her a part in it.
    • It's also revealed that Checker was jealous of Trixie for getting into Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns. Given her characterization in the original fic, this isn't surprising.
  • Ironic Echo: Some situations and lines are taken from the original episode but in a completely different context, such as Trixie's glowing red eyes being for a Nightmare Night performance and her mistrust of wheels being due to the wheels of her chariot for said act keep breaking.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Obviously, contains them for the original fic.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Trixie may be a heroic character now and deeply care for her friends, but she's still a bit proud and desires to be the center of attention, as well as envying Twilight for getting to perform in front of the Princesses.
  • Noodle Incident: While listing the things Twilight and the others have forgiven her for as reasons she's accepting Twilight's apology for underestimating her, Trixie finishes with 'that time she got really carried away pranking with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.' Rainbow Dash simply rubs her head and says she should've kept a closer eye on her.
  • The Nose Knows: Part of Trixie's training from Zecora is being able to track things via an equine's acute sense of smell. Trixie uses it as part of her strongest spell to create an illusion Twilight CAN'T see through.
  • Oh, Crap!: Twilight and Trixie both have their own when they realize they Didn't Think This Through.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: This is part of Trixie's reason for wanting to prove herself in the magic duel: so ponies will finally stop judging her based on the Ursa Incident and just let her move on with her life. It succeeds.
  • Ship Tease: Spike jokingly refers to Stage Hoof as Trixie's coltfriend, causing her to blush.
  • Smelly Skunk: Continuing from Perfect Companions, Trixie has one named Sally as a pet. Apparently, Vinyl Scratch (Trixie's roommate) got sprayed by her at one point. She didn't seem to mind though.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: After Playing Sick in an attempt to let Trixie perform alone (thus avoiding humiliating Trixie by Curbstomping her), Twilight realizes the flaws in her plan and pretends to do this to get back into the duel...putting herself right back in her original situation and accidentally dealing Trixie's self confidence a blow in the process.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Trixie boasts that she's taken several while trying to convince Twilight to agree to their duel. Unfortunately, she begins to doubt she's taken enough of them to avoid Twilight Curbstomping her.
    • She trains with Zecora to try and take some more, but doubts how good it is. It turns out she's grown strong enough to put up a good fight with Twilight, but not win.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Trixie in the actual duel proves to be this, as despite being MUCH weaker than Twilight, she's skilled enough with the spells in her special talent to actually put up a good fight.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Trixie knows the Alicorn Amulet's location and is tempted to go get it to win against Twilight, but despite her pet skunk being the only one watching she decides it'd be cheating herself and Twilight, and decides not to get it.

    One-shot stories 
Unmarked spoilers for the main stories here! You've been warned!

  • A Day in the Limelight: "Happy Mother's Day" mostly focuses on Applejack. Lampshaded by Pinkie, naturally.
  • Bad Liar: Applejack, in keeping with the source material.
  • Book Ends: "Happy Mother's Day" begins with the Apple siblings telling their deceased mother happy Mother's Day as they do every year. It ends with Applejack wishing her Parental Substitute, Granny Smith, a happy Mother's Day after realizing she'd picked up where her biological mother left off.
  • Death by Childbirth: "Happy Mother's Day" confirms the above Word of God regarding Trixie's Missing Mom.
  • Fake Memories: Self inflicted by Checker Monarch in "Another Happy Mother's Day". Her insanity and denial of her crimes and flawed beliefs has caused her to invent a new history for herself where they never existed. She believes their mother never died, she was actually a good sister for Trixie, a Benevolent Boss for Helping Hoof, and that the events of the original fic never happened. The main author has said that it's possible what she remembers Discord doing to her were False Memories as well, as his original game would no longer make sense.
  • Freudian Excuse: "Another Happy Mother's Day" implies Checker cares for their and Trixie's mother and part of her behavior towards Trixie may have stemmed from the fact their mother died died giving birth to Trixie. Of course, Checker is presently insane and given herself Fake Memories, so it's hard to tell if she always cared for her mother or just thinks she did.
  • Generation Xerox: Fluttershy and her mother Posey. Subverted with Rarity and her mother Pearl, despite Applejack's initial expectations.
  • Hallucinations: "Another Happy Mother's Day" is told from Checker's POV, and as she's completely insane at this point, she's hallucinating the insane asylum as her still going about her life (or what she thinks is her life) as normal. The biggest, however, is her hallucinating her mother still being alive and with her constantly, and even talking to other ponies.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Rarity's mother Pearl mentions what fashion was like when she was a teenager while bonding with Rarity by invoking this trope. Rarity's reaction?
    Rarity: The horror...
  • Loose Canon: "Another Happy Mother's Day" is Optional Canon, and the main author has said it's simply one of the possible fates of Checker Monarch.
  • Loss of Identity: Checker in "Another Happy Mother's Day" seems to have done this to herself in her insanity. Her denial of committing actions or believing ideas that she can no longer deny were wrong or the monster she was resulted in her retreating into a fantasy world were their mother never died and she never believed the beliefs or committed the actions at all. Even Fluttershy, who visited her, admits it's difficult to tell she's the same person.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Happy Mother's Day" in the story of the same name.
    • Nonverbal one from the same story, Rarity does her over dramatic faint Running Gag once more when she realizes she has nothing in common with her mother and thus won't be able to give her a good Mother's Day. This time, her mother catches her and consoles her.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, while she was staying with Applejack after disowning Rarity in "Sisterhooves Social", Sweetie Bell tried making breakfast for Applejack. It went as well as to be expected.
  • Parental Substitute: Helena for Trixie and Granny Smith for Applejack.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Applejack's grief over her parents death, while touched on in the main stories, is the central point of "Happy Mother's Day", though all three Apple siblings are shown to be still be grieving on some level. According to Word of God, the reason it hit her the hardest is being the middle child, she was old enough to remember them (unlike Applebloom), but young enough to still be emotionally dependent on them (unlike Big Macintosh) when they died.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: "Another Happy Mother's Day" was written by Alexwarlorn, author of the Pony POV Series.
  • Signature Style: "Another Happy Mother's Day" was written by Alexwarlorn, author of the Pony POV Series, and is...well, more of a POV narrative than the mane fic, even though it's written from the third person minus the last scene.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: "Another Happy Mother's Day" is written from the perspective of the now insane Checker Monarch, who has retreated into a fantasy world and invented Fake Memories.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Another Happy Mother's Day" is written in the third person except for the last scene, but is still from the POV of Checker Monarch, who's completely insane and living in a fantasy world complete with Fake Memories she gave herself, so it's difficult to tell how much was actually true about her past and how much was simply an invention of her shattered mind.
  • Villain Episode: "Another Happy Mother's Day" is written from the perspective of Checker Monarch after her defeat and decent into insanity at the end of the main fic.