It's Parent-Teacher Conference Night at Ponyville Schoolhouse, so it falls to Cheerilee to deal with a building full of the most irrational, unruly ponies in Ponyville—and their children, too. As if that weren't already stressful enough, Cheerilee also has to contend with bizarre interruptions from time travelers, would-be conquerors, unpleasant transformations, and hallucinogenic drugs.
She's gonna need a stiff drink when this is all over.
Experience it here.
Provides examples of:
- Absurdism: Scootaloo shows up and waits for her parents to arrive, and the story turns into a Waiting for Godot parody.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Aside from all the craziness that carries over from the prior Insaneponyauthor stories, this story establishes that Cheerilee has been an unofficial diplomat to a changeling hive since sometime before Twilight came to Ponyville.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Turns out Scootaloo isn't an orphan — she just doesn't like to go out in public with her parents because they're constantly doting on her and taking pictures of her. One is even an Expy of Maes Hughes.Mom, dad! You're embarrassing me in front of everypony! Scootaloo hissed, sidling up to her parents with one hoof shielding her face from the other waiting families. This is exactly why I never go anywhere with you guys!
- Ambiguously Bi: Cheerilee. In the middle of the story, she fantasizes about drinking liquor shots off the abs of a muscular stallion, but at the end of the story she gets some Ship Tease with Princess Luna.
- Baleful Polymorph: A dose of poison joke leaves Cheerilee with hands for the length of several conferences.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Cheerilee explains to Gossamer that her daughter, Cara, has been bullying classmates. Gossamer and Cara both have trouble grasping why this is a problem.[Gossamer said,] But how are her classmates to know that they are inferior otherwise?
- By "No", I Mean "Yes":High Note was a good kid, always getting along with everyone except for when she didn't. Pretty good grades for the most part, though she scored low in quantum mechanics. And advanced firewall configuration. And Gaelic. And...
Okay, so maybe High Note was a pretty lousy student. But her parents didn't need to know that, did they?
- To Derailed: Octavia and Princess Celestia are still a couple, and now they have a daughter in Cheerilee's class. Celestia uses her Sunny Skies disguise to attend the PTC.
- The Cultist from Tealove's Steamy Adventure crashes one of the conferences.
- Agents Blaze and Briefs from Diamond and Silver's Excellent Adventure also have a son in Cheerilee's class.
- To Scootaloo's reactive "duck facing" for photographs in Twilight Time.
- Comic-Book Time: This was written during season 5, and different authors made references to whichever episode had just come out. As a result, the whole story takes place before Tree Hugger visited Fluttershy in Ponyville for the first time, yet after the Tantabus incident.
- Completely Off-Topic Report: Young Dinky Doo is obsessed with romance and finds ways to shoehorn it into all of her schoolwork. The one example mentioned in the story was her assigned history report, which she used as an excuse to write a ship-fic about historical figures.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Diamond Tiara convinces Snails to impersonate her dad, dressing him in an oversized trench coat and a hat that covers most of his face.
- Continuity Nod:
- Applejack shows up as Apple Bloom's "parent", but she can't outright admit that AB is an Artificial Pony that she created.
- Princess Luna is still dressed like a pirate, and can't explain why.
- "The drugs were beginning to wear off."
- Crazy-Prepared: When the Cultist attacks the schoolhouse with rapidly growing vines, Cheerilee already knows what to do.Cheerilees instincts took over: she dove under her desk and retrieved the machete that had been taped to the underside for just this purpose.
- Dead All Along: Discussed. The nonsensical wait for Scootaloo's parents convinces Cheerilee that she's actually in the afterlife.Cheerilee breathed a long, desperate, exasperated sigh. This is absurd, she said. I'm fairly certain I'm in hell.
Absurdist, Scootaloo corrected. And Purgatory. Although that's very much up for debate.
- Depending on the Author: The contradictions are more blatant than any prior Insaneponyauthor story, with a few children (Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Featherweight) getting multiple conferences with Cheerilee, or multiple sets of parents, or both. And there's the way the opening scene portrays Cheerilee and Big Macintosh as just friends, while the musical number implies she has a crush on him.
- Driven to Suicide: The wait for Scootaloo's parents causes Cheerilee to think about suicide as an abstract concept. A few more minutes of waiting convinces her to actually kill herself. But she can't go through with it, because she doesn't have anything sturdy enough to make a good noose.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Moquette and Corduroy only ever refer to their daughter as Terry. Afterwards, "Terry" asks Cheerilee to not let any other ponies know about that nickname.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Garter, offspring of the Interspecies Romance below. He looks like a pony with a monkey tail.
- I Ate WHAT?!: Truffle brings along a salad for his parents and Cheerilee, which he made himself. It's only after they've eaten that he mentions he gathered some of the ingredients from the Everfree Forest, and the adults realize they just ate Poison Joke...
- Intergenerational Friendship: The foal Sunny Daze has struck up a friendship with an adult, which would normally be a good thing. Unfortunately, the adult in question is the Cultist.[Cheerilee said,] I did discover that her friend is an adult mare. That in itself isnt worrying. There should be more intergenerational friendships, but accompanying the secrecy and the fact that Sunny said that they like to dress in dark cloaks and have secret meetings together, it is a bit concerning.
- Interspecies Romance: Agent Blaze Burst Briefs (a pony) is married to Agent Trunks Briefs (a Saiyan).
- Irony: Happens due to the different authors' sections interacting in strange ways.
- There's Dramatic Irony when Cheerilee warns Twos Daze and Inner Daze about their daughter Sunny hanging out with a possibly-dangerous adult who wears dark robes — not realizing that the adult in question is the Cultist, who just got arrested, right there at the schoolhouse.
- The Totem Pole Trench scene retroactively becomes situational irony with the reveal that one of the participants was a changeling: it means they were wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise (that fooled nopony) on top of their actual disguise (that fooled nearly everypony).
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Moquette's factually-dubious flashback has Cheerilee being rude and dismissive toward her and Corduroy, because they're a unicorn / earth pony couple.[Cheerilee said,] "Everypony knows the children of mixed-tribe marriages are bad at math."
- Montage: The second half of Cheerilee's musical number.Two down, and how many to go? It seemed about time for a montage. Once you establish the pattern, you can get away with spending barely any time on the rest. Out of the corner of her eye, Cheerilee saw coordinated groups of ponies ready to jump in and start dancing during the chorus.
- Mushroom Samba: Cheerilee gets high on some weed cookies. First it gives her some Medium Awareness (for example, she sees the entire room lean to the right every time there's a sentence in italics). Then she hallucinates that she's a human, using a computer, and that Octavia and Sunny Skies are just empty suits. Then her mom shows up in the hallucination to nag Cheerilee, and her speech degenerates into word salads.
- Musical World Hypotheses: The songs and music actually happen in-universe. Cheerilee starts singing, and the accompanying music starts playing spontaneously, and other ponies join in the chorus. And Cheerilee does this deliberately to exploit the fact that time flows differently during a musical number.And then [Cheerilee] remembered the saying. Time flies when youre singing a song. Well, it was worth a try.
- My Little Panzer: Garter has a digital wrist communicator so he can keep in touch with his dad. But it also has a built-in energy weapon and can manipulate time. His parents don't think anything of this until Cheerilee points out how crazy that is.Do you think something that can create massive holes in the ground is deemed safe for someone his age?
- Past-Life Memories: Tree Hugger is convinced that she has a meeting with Harsh Grade... who taught at the schoolhouse back when Ponyville was first founded. Turns out one of Tree Hugger's past lives cheated on an assignment and never got the appropriate punishment, so she needs Cheerilee to restore the cosmic balance by punishing her.
- The Power of Rock: Terry vanquishes Puddinghead with a totally awesome guitar solo.
- "Rashomon"-Style: The conference with Terry's parents is shown via flashbacks. Moquette, Corduroy, Cheerilee, and Terry all have very different interpretations of what happened.
- Retcon: Back in Tealove's Steamy Adventure, the Cultist was strongly implied to be Pinkie Pie in disguise. This story strongly implies she was actually the time-traveling Puddinghead in disguise.
- Rousing Speech: The story opens with Cheerilee talking to her reflection in the mirror, trying to psych herself up.
- Shipper on Deck: Dinky Doo is obsessed with romance. She finds some way to shoehorn romance into all her schoolwork, such as turning her history essays into shipfics about historical figures. When Cheerilee brings in Time Turner as a guest teacher, Dinky becomes convinced the two of them are destined to marry.
- Ship Tease: The story ends with one between Cheerilee and Princess Luna. Lu-lu shows up in Cheerilee's dream to reassure her that she's doing a good job as a teacher, and they bond over their shared experience of hard work going unappreciated. Cheerilee notes that the princess is "tall, dark, and handsome", and she asks Luna to visit again sometime.
- Shout-Out: During her pep talk to herself in the beginning, Cheerilee says "You will show no doubt, for doubt is the authority-killer. Ignorance is the little death that brings total obliviousness."
- The Stoner: "This Tree Hugger was clearly off the wagon." Also, Cheerilee experimented with drugs in college, and she still recognizes the taste of a pot cookie.
- Take Our Word for It: When the extended Apple family shows up for Apple Bloom's conference and won't shut up, Cheerilee brandishes a very ominous lever. She describes what will happen if she pulls the lever. The audience doesn't get to hear, but Cheerilee's description scares everypony present into silence.
- Theme Naming: Moquette, Corduroy, and Terry (as in terry cloth) are all pile-woven fabrics.
- Tomato Surprise: Silver Spoon is actually a changeling. And she's been a changeling all along.
- Totem Pole Trench: Diamond Tiara ropes Silver Spoon and Snips into impersonating her mom, so SS stands on Snips' back and they wear an adult-size dress.
- The Vamp: In Corduroy's dubiously-factual flashback, Cheerilee flirts with Corduroy very aggressively—right in front of his wife, no less.