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Fanfic / Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

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Shining Armor is on holiday with his family, a Workaholic Love Goddess, a Tomboy Princess and a Creature of Habit out of her comfort zone. By the end of it, he's going to need a break.

A My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic by Kuzduhaiku in his Weedverse, it can be read here.


This story contains:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Skyla is Shining's Sproglodyte, and, as seen in other stories, Flurry is his Fluffalump. Neither foal is exactly pleased with the nicknames, but Shining continues anyway.
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  • Aggressive Negotiations: Mentioned by name as a likely option for Chartreuse should her trade negotiations with Princess Celestia go badly.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Shining is one very frequently, especially given his Affectionate Nicknames for his daughters. Skyla is very displeased when Cadance also begins using them.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Shining uses it at one point in response to another request that he stop using Affectionate Nicknames, as part of the Running Gag of him using Exact Words to get out of promising to not. Flurry doesn't quite believe he agreed to stop.
    Flurry Heart: Dad, you have to stop calling me that. It’s super embarrassing.
    Shining Armor: Yes, I agree.
  • Artificial Meat: The many varieties of fake meat in pony society are discussed when Flurry asks about the contradiction between a society that considers meat-eating shameful and one that consumes such vast quantities of artificial substitutes. The conversation is derailed by Skyla mentioning when she walked in on Shining eating Cadance.
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  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Shining ends up in the realm of the Librarian of Souls, where he is subjected to a Secret Test of Character (it was actually just to assure Cadence) before Cadence uses Animancy to change Shining into an alicorn.
  • Baby Factory: There's a brief discussion with Flurry about how some of the nobles see her as little more than this, part of what precipitated the earlier incident in Crystal Cotillion.
  • Bribe Backfire: Celestia attempts to bribe Chartreuse. Chartreuse nearly imprisons her, but merely sentences her to public humiliation. Celestia knew she'd do that.
  • Call-Back: A conversation about The Chains of Commanding references Celestia's wrecked mental state in The Sun Also Surprises, and this story is not long after the events of Crystal Cotillion, and the catastrophic outcome of that story impacts the relationship between Flurry and her parents.
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  • The Chains of Commanding: Shining and Flurry have a conversation on the theme, as Flurry will, in time, be responsible for the lives of others. Her mistakes have already caused major problems for Sumac.
  • Closet Geek: While her husband's geekery is well known, it turns out that Cadance can be his match, when she talks about her foalhood ambitions to be a marine biologist, a Wonderbolt, circumnavigate the globe, and write O&O modules, due to being annoyed at the poor female representation.
  • Come to Gawk: Chartreuse inflicts this on Princess Celestia, due to attempted bribery.
  • Comically Small Bribe: The bribe that Celestia offers to Chartreuse for a better deal? Cookies, Chartreuse is rather offended.
  • Complete Immortality: Cadance's (gained from a soul splice with Celestia) is mentioned, and it's made explicit that it wasn't passed on to Flurry and Skyla, though it could be if they chose (much as Twilight was not immortal until the events of Ink).
  • Continuity Nod: Sleet is mentioned as being the fillies' nanny, though she doesn't appear, being on holiday herself.
  • Cool Airship: One of Istanbull's Battleships makes a brief appearance and is fawned over by the militarily minded members of the family.
  • Creature of Habit: The fact Skyla is this means that the holiday is somewhat tenser than it might have been, as Skyla struggles to cope.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shining's narration notes Flurry's tendencies in this direction, much like her Aunt Twilight, and in contrast to his own more direct humour.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: In a desperate attempt to calm an overexcited Flurry, Shining calls her to attention with a shout. As they're in a military base, this results in rather a lot of affected ponies.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: Skyla has to seek help from her dad after a nightmare.
  • Exact Words: Whenever Skyla or Flurry say their father shouldn't use his Affectionate Nicknames for them, he claims he "never agreed to anything". Indeed, he never does agree to stop using them, though he's not above using ambiguity to make them think he might.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Shining discusses how he's been going through these with regards to the loss of his unicorn self, starting with denial when he initially received the offer of Ascension, and then he was angry. He bargained, promising to be a paragon of unicornhood if he could just keep it, but once that failed, he became depressed, and finally coming to acceptance over the course of the story. His explanation of his perspective as this puts Cadance through the stages as well, which he Lampshades.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Shining knows it has gotten serious when his wife uses his full name, rather than the more informal names they usually use.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Shining acquires one with a Double Entendre on after going on the zip-line. Cadance gets it, their daughters do not.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Shining and Cadance are Happily Married, and their sex life is equally happy, to their foals' embarrassment. Shining's narration occasionally gets sidetracked into reminiscence.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The attendant on the zip-line. Skyla joins in, while her father just groans.
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: A significant chunk of Cadance's work is statistical analyses of romance in Equestria, with concerning conclusions. Shining points out the potential unreliability of the data. Cadance reviews the data carefully as a result, and, as it turns out, it's good data, and the problems are real.
  • Long List: Cadance's foalhood ambitions. She's a little regretful she doesn't have time to pursue them all.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Shining briefly reminisces about the beginning of his romance with Cadance. This was apparently a regular feature.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Described as a problem, in the chapter "Alicorn of steel, little pony of tissue". It's stated, perhaps not entirely seriously, that attempting to woo an alicorn is considered evidence of a mental disorder.
  • Nose Nuggets: Skyla sprays a sandwich she doesn't want and that Flurry has threatened to eat.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Invoked to take a little revenge on Skyla for meddling in their relationship by insisting Shining and Cadance literally kiss and make up. They proceed to begin quite heavily flirting, resulting in Skyla quite loudly attempting to abort. As both parents are rather into each other, said abort doesn't work.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After Shining's return to the Empire, Chartreuse collapses as the strain of ruling (and not sleeping) overcomes her at last.
  • Primal Scene: At one point, Sklya recalls a time she walked in on Shining performing oral sex on Cadance.
  • Propaganda Piece: In-Universe, the museum on Depot Island is basically entirely this.
  • Running Gag: The foals complaining about their Affectionate Nicknames and being told that the culprit never agreed to stop using them. At one point, Cadance's nickname comes up, with the same result.
  • Secret Keeper: All the alicorns are sworn to secrecy on how much becoming an alicorn changes your perspective, to avoid putting pressure on their unascended loved ones. The secret is revealed to Shining when Flurry can't keep it any more.
  • Secret Test of Character: Once Shining's Ascension begins, the Librarian of Souls offers him a chance to claim the needed power and perspective without fully Ascending and ceasing to be a unicorn. Shining, having made his decision, rejects the offer, upon which the Librarian reveals it to have been a final test. It's Played With, though, the test was meaningless, and Librarian knew he'd pass. It was intended to reassure Cadance.
  • Screaming at Squick: As the story opens, Skyla is fleeing, screaming, from her older sister, who has something disgusting from a nearby tide pool.
  • Slice of Life: Largely this, the family's personalities bouncing off each other while on holiday. At least until the revelations start coming.
  • Soul Power: Cadance uses Animancy to reshape Shining's soul and cause his Ascension.
  • Super Senses: Alicorns have exceptional hearing, making it very hard to have secret conversations around them. Apparently Cadance can hear mouse farts, and gets annoyed at the shrill shrew farts.
  • Take Our Word for It: The horror of what happened when Dim Dark and Twilight Velvet tried outsnarking each other during a ball for the wealthy. Apparently the resulting torrent of bile at the nobility only got worse when Maud joined in.
  • Undying Loyalty: Shining is very careful of the orders he gives to Chartreuse because he knows they will be obeyed.
  • Use Your Head: Shining is rather concerned by Flurry's newly developed tendency to crack coconuts with her head. Cadance, on the other hand, taught her the trick.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The consequence of Flurry Heart drinking too much seawater is clearly described.
  • Wham Episode: The early parts of the fic are relatively normal Slice of Life of the characters on holiday, with only occasional slips into the deep philosophical and moral considerations of the wider 'Verse. Then, in chapter 11, Flurry reveals to Shining that she feels an ever-widening gap between her and her father, because he cannot understand her alicorn perspective, with it's associated instincts, and that the other alicorns made her promise to not tell Shining, in case it pressured him into accepting ascension himself. As a result, he finally takes the offer.
  • Workaholic: A decent chunk of Shining Armor's exasperation is due to Cadance not being willing to leave her work behind while they're on holiday.
  • You Are in Command Now: Played With. Dim and Sunburstnote  were left in charge while the royal family is on holiday, but Shining Armor told Chartreuse, their apprentice, she was in charge, to Flurry's amusement and Cadance's concern.

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