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Fanfic / Life in Manehattan

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"My Little Pony, My Little Pony
Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahhh…
(My Little Pony!)
I used to wonder what friendship could be
(My Little Pony!)
Until you all shared its magic with me
Great discoveries!
Tricks galore!
A rich slice of life,
And a heartfelt score.
Budding courage
It's an easy feat
And magic makes it all complete!

"You have my little ponies
Do you know you're all my very best friends?"

A group of MLP:FiM alternate universe fanfics, also called the Manehattanverse.

The story diverges some months before the events of Episode 1 , the Elements of Harmony were discovered and moved to a museum by Honey "Daring" Do. As a result, Princess Celestia sends to Twilight to Manehattan to oversee the preparations of the Summer Sun Celebration. Once there, events play out as Twilight meets several different ponies and learns the Magic of Friendship, Manehattan style.

Created by Little Jackie Papercut, it is a shared universe, featuring stories written by different authors.

     Stories currently in the Manehattanverse, in rough chronological order 

  • The Wrong Place at the Right Time: Twilight is sent to Manehattan to oversee the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration, and along the way makes several new friends. Complete.
  • Apples to Oranges: Orange Sherbet receives an invitation to the Apple Family Reunion. Now her friends have to help her remember how to fit in with her rural roots. Complete.
  • Brag You Down: Twilight has enough of Trixie's bragging and devises a way to knock her down a few pegs. However, there are unforeseen consequences that'll risk their friendship, and the city itself. Complete.
  • The DJ-PON3 Party: Octavia's old friend Vinyl Scratch invites her and her friends to attend a party. But this isn't the type of party Octavia's used to. Complete.
  • What You Are In The Dark: Manehattan is an old city. There aren't many surprises or mysteries left in it, except for what mysteries the ponies that live there make. But sometimes, mysteries have a way of making themselves. When one of their own stumbles across such a mystery, the Elements of Harmony need to decide what to do about it... Complete.
  • Daring Do and the Soluna Stone: Spike and Twilight accompany Daring Do on one of her archaeological expeditions. Complete.
  • Hurricane Blossomforth: When Manehattan is offered to help Cloudsdale get water, all pegesi are to help out. So Daring Do and Blossomforth must help out the city using the water reservoir. In midst off it all, Blossomforth has a secret she can't tell which could put the whole event in jeopardy. Complete.
    • Blossomforth's Determination: A rewritten version of the story. All of the pegasi are tasked of getting water from Manehattan's Horsepower Park in what is called "Operation Rainrise". As Blossomforth and Daring Do help out with the mission, a promising young Wonderbolt Academy recruit-in-training named Lightning Dust may immobilize the mission and cause problems for the Mane 6. Complete.
  • Blossomforth With All Your Might: While in Cloudsdale to buy tickets for the Best Younger Fliers competition, Blossomforth accidentally ends up signing up for it. Now how can she get out of it without looking like a total fool? Complete.
  • Tangerine Sashay of Power: When Tangerine is chosen to be the school's new hall monitor, she feels that she cannot live up to the task. Her cousin Babs however, with the help of their new friend Featherweight, is determined to help her by toughening her up a bit. But there might be consequences after the lessons... Complete.
  • Fillies' Play: After a failed attempt to score big by stealing the Soluna Stone, Team Grifficorn is now in financial crisis. With nowhere left to go, they seek out the Manehattan 6 for help and hope to swindle them out of money, but get roped into a catastrophe they've caused when a spell of Twilight's goes horribly wrong. Complete.
  • Mother Shows Best: Trixie's mother has come to Manehattan, and she's here to drag her prodigal daughter back to Canterlot and take up her house's title, whether she wants to or not! Complete.

This Shared Universe provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Like the canon Cutie Mark Crusaders, the Manehattan CMC get their own stories.
  • All Just a Dream: The Great and Dutiful Trixie is Trixie dreaming that she's Daring Do.
  • All There in the Manual: Little Jackie Papercut has started a forum thread detailing how events have been playing out in Ponyville (some similar, some different) due to the differences from canon.
  • Always Someone Better: Moonlight is able to counter every spell Trixie throws at her. Trixie gets back at her later.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Twilight's parents break out the Embarrassing Old Photo album for her friends when giving them a tour of their house. Her mother even says that parents are really expected to have fun at their children's expense like this at least once.
  • Answer Cut: In chapter two of What You Are In The Dark, when Twilight and Honey are having trouble finding information on the mystery creature Blossomforth saw, Twilight wonders if Blossomforth's group is having any better luck. Cut to Blossomforth yelling about how her group's not having any better luck.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Brag You Down, Spike — who was acting as journalist for Trixie's comeback — sums up the Ursa situation as such.
    "This is bad, bad, bad! Twilight's powerless, Daring's down for the count, and to top it off, I'm out of notepad paper."
  • At the Opera Tonight: The DJ-PON3 Party starts with the group attending a theatre performance Octavia is conducting for.
  • A-Team Montage: When the group is going over Twilight's plan to restore Trixie's reputation.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Blossomforth has a tendency to get distracted while performing tasks. This ends up setting up the plot of Blossomforth With All Your Might.
  • Badass Bookworm: In addition to Twilight Sparkle, there's also Professor Honey Do (AKA Daring Do).
  • Berserk Button: A subtle one that results more in annoyance than anger, but Honey Do doesn't like it when people compare her to her fictional counterpart.
    • As Spike finds out the hard way, Blossomforth becomes very scary when anyone messes with her flowers.
    • Twilight is similarly sensitive about her books.
  • Big Applesauce: Manehattan, natch.
  • Big "WHAT?!": A group one from the rest of the group when Orange Sherbet initially announces that she won't be attending the Apple Family Reunion.
    • This is Honey's reaction to Twilight saying she and Spike will be accompanying her to look for the Soluna Stone.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In Soluna Stone, Trixie insists she wasn't spying on Honey and Twilight, she was just hiding and listening in on their conversation.
  • Break the Haughty: The second chapter of Brag You Down has Twilight and the others do this to Trixie. They do it a little TOO well.
  • Brick Joke: In response to the Beam Me Up, Scotty! above, when Twilight is explaining to Nightmare Moon how Octavia earned the Element of Kindness, she pointedly uses the correct version of the quote. (This has been retconed out.)
  • Call-Forward: When the Oranges are talking to Medley during the club scene in The DJ-PON3 Party, Medley mentions that the Wonderbolts are going to be coming to Manehattan soon. This occurs in Blossomforth's Determination.
  • Canon Immigrant: Checkmate "Checker" Monarch, Trixie's villainous sister from the fic Getting Back on Your Hooves, appears again as Trixie's sister, with the same plotting demeanor.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Hurricane Blossomforth, the original version of Blossomforth's Determination.
  • Cassandra Truth: None of the others are entirely convinced when Blossomforth tells them she saw a pony with bat wings.
  • Chekhov's Gun: While at the Equestrian Museum of Supernatural History to check on the decorations for the Summer Sun Celebration, Honey Do shows Twilight "a few unremarkable lumps of rock." Once we learn in the next chapter that the Elements were moved to the Museum from the Everfree Forest, any fan familiar with the show can figure out what those rocks actually were.
  • Chick Magnet: Twilight's friends are pretty happy to meet Shining Armor.
  • Childhood Friends: Octavia and Vinyl.
    • Blossomforth and Fluttershy.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Vinyl has shades of this.
  • Comedy as a Weapon: How Trixie earns the Element of Laughter.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Several stories combine the defining aspects of multiple canon episodes, or have their own plotlines parallel with canon ones. Brag You Down is essentially The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well meets Boast Busters, while Apples To Oranges coupled an original plot with that of Apple Family Reunion. Blossomforth With All Your Might is Sonic Rainboom mixed with a minor subplot about Rainbow Dash learning to love reading, ala Read It And Weep.
    • Blossomforth's Determination, the rewritten version of Hurricane Blossomforth, combines Hurricane Fluttershy with Wonderbolts Academy.
  • Cool Shades: Vinyl admits this is the only reason she wears her sunglasses all the time.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Orange Sherbet goes through one of these while trying to find an outfit to wear to the reunion.
  • Cryptid Episode: What You Are In The Dark plays out as one, as the Manehattan 6 search for the mystery creature Blossomforth saw. It turns out to be one of a group of kirin, pony/dragon hybrid creatures created from stone who are only animated at night, and have been dormant the whole time Nightmare Moon was sealed away, only being freed when Luna was purified.
  • Cunning Linguist: Honey "Daring" Do speaks twenty languages, half of which are dead. Octavia similarly took up linguistics in college.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Blossomforth does this to Rainbow Dash during the Best Young Fliers competition, mostly because she's annoyed that Dash has been pushing her and Fluttershy to get ready for the show for days but is now considering backing out herself. It works.
  • Dark Secret: Blossomforth treats her poor flying skills like this, initially. Retconed in Blossomforth's Determination.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Spike tries to apologize to Orange Sherbet for lightly making fun of her rural origins, he ends up just sounding more insensitive.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Trixie and Honey Do are attacked by birds when on the roof of the club where Vinyl is performing, due to Trixie having moved their nest. The birds chase them into the club, and while trying to fight them off, Trixie accidentally overloads Vinyl's equipment, shocking her. Octavia rushes off to help her, but gets tangled up in cables from the messed up equipment. Spike tries to free her by cutting the cables, but that makes the club's lights malfunction, one of which blinds Honey mid-flight and causes her to crash into a mirror ball, sending it crashing into the crowd. Finally, and rather incidentally to the rest, some gelato Blossomforth had misplaced on a speaker earlier melts and causes the the speaker to malfunction and explode, ruining Vinyl's equipment.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Twilight's mother Velvet is the editor for the Daring Do book series, in a reference to the short-lived but wide-spread belief among fans that she's the actual author of the books in canon (which was suggested by the comics but disproved by "Daring Don't").
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted completely. As shown in Mother Knows Best, the Manehattan Six have received enormous recognition for the downfall of Nightmare Moon, unlike in canon. In fact the plot of Mother Knows Best is the result of this attention making Trixie an asset to her mother, who as a noble seeks to gain prestige and can use her power to force Trixie to return home.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Twilight has this when realizing that the Ursa threatening the city is real.
  • Expy: Specs and Cutup to Snips and Snails.
    • Surprise to Pinkie... which makes sense, when you consider that canon Pinkie was based on G1 Surprise in the first place.
  • Eye Scream: Twilight suffers one in The Wrong Place at the Right Time. Fortunately, the injury was all an illusion.
  • Fix Fic/Deconstruction Fic: The first half of Brag You Down has Twilight enacting the Mare-Do-Well plot to teach Trixie a lesson. The second half deals with the consequences.
  • Freak Out: Rainbow Dash's exaggerations of the possible consequences of Fluttershy and Blossomforth performing badly at the Best Fliers Competition in front of thousands of spectators, reporters and Princess Celestia herself causes both of them and Twilight to run up to a potted plant and stick their heads in it.
  • For Want of a Nail: The series is kicked off by the Elements of Harmony being found and taken to Manehattan, shifting the entire focus of the series as well as the Mane Cast.
    • Without Twilight AJ almost ended up losing Sweet Apple Acres by refusing help
    • Due to the events of Blossomforth With All Your Might, Rainbow Dash becomes a fan of Daring Do much sooner than in canon.
    • Apple Bloom, Babs, and Tangerine found the Cutie Mark Crusaders after meeting at the Apple Family Reunion, with the latter two starting up the Manehattan chapter and AB starting the Ponyville branch. And Word of God states that she hadn't yet met Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo yet.
    • Twilight's Manehattan friends end up meeting Shining Armor well before her canon ones would, and she finds out about his engagement to Cadence well before the wedding.
  • Fountain of Youth: The plot of Fillies Play is driven by a botched spell of Twilight's turning her and the rest of the Manehattan 6 into fillies.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Trixie's mother Moonlight uses this on her.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Twilight's plan in Brag You Down. As she summarizes:
    Twilight: "I...I just don't understand. What went wrong? We were just trying to set an example, not humiliate her! At what point did everypony think that was what we were trying to convey?!"
  • Happily Married: The Oranges
  • Heel Realization: Trixie's mother has one at the end of Mother Shows Best, when Trixie's actions force her to realize that her overbearing and forceful attitude hasn't been good for her or anyone else.
  • Hero of Another Story: What the rest of the Canon Mane Six have become.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A mild example, but Tangerine's attempts to be an assertive hall monitor turns her into a bully, with all the rest of the students fearing her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Trixie calls Vinyl a showoff. Honey Do lampshades it, but Trixie misses her point.
  • Imagine Spot: Spike has one in What You Are In The Dark, seeing himself destroying the monster and getting a big kiss from Octavia... only to turn out he nearly kissed Blossomforth's flank.
  • In-Series Nickname: Vinyl calls Octavia "Octi" and Twilight "Egghead".
  • Ironic Echo Cut:
    Twilight: "Next thing you know, (Trixie) will be given the key to the city just for fixing a broken cart wheel." (Cuts to Mayor Tux giving the key to the city to Trixie for repairing his Marecedes-Benz)
  • It's All About Me: Lightning Dust. Not only does she not care when she puts most of her own tornado team in the hospital with her Training from Hell, but when this results in Spitfire replacing her as team leader with Blossomforth, she actually attacks her while they're making the tornado as petty payback. And she still doesn't care.
  • Koan: Octavia has a tendency to quote famous phrases.
    • Lampshaded by Rainbow Dash:
    "Wow, seriously, do you write fortune cookies for a hobby?"
  • Large Ham: The Great and Powerful Trixie. Lampshaded by Vinyl.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The very first story of the series reveals that museum curator Honey Do is the real life Daring Do, whose exploits are the basis for the popular book series, but she keeps this fact a secret so that ponies will treat her normally.
  • Lethal Chef: Orange Sherbet is this despite having been able to do so in the past. She chalks it up to being somewhat out of touch and out of practice. She gets better when Mosley and Tangerine come to eat her cooking, she cites love as the ingredient that made it all better.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Sherbet and Mosely apparently agreed to this in regards to Mosely's failed attempts at herding cattle when they were younger.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: For the final battle, Nightmare Moon transports the Manehattan 6 into a pocket dimension fascimile of Manehattan that begins collapsing upon her defeat. Luckily, Luna is able to get them all out in time.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The first trial to reach the Soluna Stone is to pass a field of Heart's Desire, the pollen of which has this affect — Twilight becomes Celestia's right-hoof mare, Trixie's act gets world renown, and Spike finds a whole cavern of gems all for himself. Honey snaps them out of it by pointing out how to achieve these dreams as presented in the illusions, they'd have to abandon their friends, which they can't bring themselves to do.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When they realize The Ursa in Brag You Down is the real thing and not a phony.
  • Master of Illusion: The flying foxes use illusions to trick victims, only striking for real once they're paralyzed with fear.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: In Fillies Play, when the ponies are regressed, they start to mentally regress to the way they were at that age as well.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The Manehattan Museum of Supernatural History. Particularly after Nightmare Moon starts messing with it.
  • My Greatest Failure: Orange Sherbet considers her inability to bond with Applejack during the latter's stay in Manehattan to be this.
    • Turns out, Applejack sees her leaving her aunt as hers.
  • Mythology Gag: The museum has quite a few historical displays, such as the "Mammals of Dream Valley" presenting bushwoolies and grundles.
    • Just like in canon, whenever Trixie uses a smokescreen to cover herself running off, it fades away in time to show her still in view.
    • In the opening chapter of Blossomforth With All Your Might, Surprise from G1 has a cameo acting as the Cloudsdale version of Pinkie Pie.
    • Fluttershy has the same reaction to meeting Spike that she did in the pilot.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Babs' reaction when she realizes that her assertiveness training turned Tangerine into a bully, and Tangerine's reaction when she realizes what she's become.
    • The others' reaction in Brag You Down after they reveal themselves to Trixie.
  • Never Split the Party: Octavia gets seperated from the others in the museum, and has an adventure of her own before reuniting with the others.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Capital Gain had just waited until the month ran out instead of interrupting the Apple Family Reunion, Orange Sherbet wouldn't have found out how they were about to lose the farm, and couldn't intervene.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Orange Sherbet.
  • Noodle Incident: After the craziness of the Apple Family Reunion, Octavia says it's nothing compared to her last family reunion.
    • Whatever happened between Blossomforth and Cloud Kicker in that memory Twilight taps into.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: When Twilight thinks that a stallion flirting with her and Octavia at Vinyl's club touched her flank (it was actually Spike hoping she'd assume this, because he didn't like the guy flirting with Octavia), she punches him in the face so hard he stumbles, utters one of these, and then passes out.
    Graphite: "Thank you very much, please come again..."
  • Oh, Crap!: Blossomforth and Fluttershy's reaction to learning they accidentally entered the Best Fliers Competition.
    • Trixie's reaction when her mother shows up.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Twilight's plan to help Trixie in Brag You Down is called Operation Reputation Rescue.
    • The pegasi moving the water up to Cloudsdale is called Operation Rainrise.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Twilight and Spike can instantly tell something's wrong with Octavia when she stops speaking in Koans and shows signs of agitation.
    • Whenever Trixie is upset, she slips out of third person speech.
  • Parents as People: Moonlight does desire what she thinks is best for Trixie, but expanding her family's prestige, and fear of slipping up in front of the nobility like her mother did leads her to make decisions that hurt Trixie.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Orange Sherbet fears that her family despises her and sees her as 'an Orange now, not an Apple'. She also thinks that Applejack suffered a Broken Pedestal moment when she saw what her Auntie was like. AJ, for her part, feels like her Auntie must be ashamed of how she ran away from her rather than explaining how she felt, and that she can't live up to her business acumen.
  • Precocious Crush: With a lack of Rarity, Octavia seems set up as Spike's object of affection, though Word of God states that Spike is attracted to classy, artistic mares in general.
  • Retcon: The author rewrote part of the first story, basically switching Octavia and Blossomforth's Element-defining moments in the museum.
    • The original plot of Hurricane Blossomforth, which was rewritten as Blossomforth's Determination.
    • At some point after Brag You Down was published, Jackie, who has been trying to keep the tone of the stories relatively close to canon, expressed concerns to that story's author about a character who wasn't a major villain directly committing a murder; this resulted in the death of Trixie's mentor being retconned to a coma. Editing out death entirely was not the intention, nor is this meant to be a Convenient Coma; aside from Trixie refusing to write him off, he's treated as if he were dead. It was simply decided that a coma allowed more exploration of the effects of the event and mitigated the thematic concerns without robbing Trixie's backstory of meaning.
  • Running Gag: Trixie using a smoke bomb to cover her exits, only to still be in sight when it blows away.
    Octavia: Can you remember the last time she left a room without doing that?
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Twilight really regrets giving Trixie a thesaurus for her birthday.
  • Shaming the Mob: When Tangerine decides to apologize for her actions as hall monitor to the rest of the student body, they're not willing to listen at first and act antagonistically to her. However, they back down when Tangerine's friends point out that they all only wanted to hall monitor themselves so that they could do whatever they want, so they don't have a right to be judgmental of her.
  • Shared Universe
  • Shout-Out: During her first visit to the Equestrian Museum of Supernatural History, Twilight is startled by a giant Jormungandr skin. Honey Do sympathizes, saying that she "really hates snakes." Also doubles as Foreshadowing since Daring Do is often presented as an Indy Expy.
    • When Nightmare Moon pulls Twilight into her pocket dimension, the Manehattan 6 get a good look at the portal:
    "You mean to say it's a bat-pony? As in, na-na-na-na?"
  • Shrinking Violet: Blossomforth. Though it should be noted that her nervous tendencies aren't because she's a particularly shy pony; it's simply that she's very conscious of the fact that she's a perfectly average pony who is being put into extraordinary situations.
    • And Fluttershy, of course.
  • Spit Take: Orange Sherbet peforms this upon being invited to the Apple Family Reunion. Twilight is the unfortunate recipient.
  • Squee: Blossomforth, of all ponies, upon meeting Vinyl.
  • Taking the Bullet: When Lightning Dust divebombs Blossomforth, Daring jumps in the way of it, getting knocked down in her place.
  • Through His Stomach: Spike's crush on Octavia was only helped along by how, when they first met, she went out of her way to feed him a good meal of rubies, sapphires, tea and cake.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Octavia when she was younger — she was a bully, until a pair of foals she'd picked on sabotaged her performance at a musical competition, only for Vinyl to help her out, despite having picked on her as well. This served as a Heel Realization for her, and she completely changed her attitude as a result.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Inverted and played with. Brag You Down goes into a lot of detail on Twilight's plan to restore Trixie's reputation, so of course it all falls apart when a real Ursa shows up. Though in the end, Trixie is the one who figures out how to stop the Ursa, so she still gets the credit.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Despite not being anywhere near as powerful as Twilight, Trixie holds off the Ursa Minor for a short while with nothing but party tricks and a gutsy attitude.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Honey Do really lets Spitfire have it for shouting at Blossomforth for her poor wing speed, leaving the Wonderbolt speechless.
    • In the third part of Brag You Down, Twilight gets this from a library patron.
      • Orange Sherbet also gets this indirectly from her own daughter.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Spike gives one of these speeches to Trixie in order to get her to stand up to her mother.