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Fanfic / Step Right In and Start Again

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Starlight Glimmer is ready to be dealt whatever punishment she must receive for her crimes. Thankfully, Princess Twilight Sparkle is a generous mare who believes in friendship and second chances. Instead of jailing her or worse, she decides to teach Starlight about friendship and become her mentor. All is well... For fifteen hours or so.

The next day, Starlight Glimmer is back where she started. She is ready to be dealt whatever punishment she must receive for her crimes. Unfortunately, Twilight has already dismissed her of her crimes yesterday morning. Starlight was supposed to be at Applejack's, so why is she back at the castle, and in the same panic as yesterday?


The same thing happens later that day. Starlight suddenly disappears and then reappears just as suddenly, no memory of the previous several hours. She's suffering from the side effects of the magic she used. Now, if only fixing this issue was as easy as casting the original spells had been. But what if no cure can be found?

Step Right In And Start Again is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic oneshot by shortskirtsandexplosions that can be read here. It has a infamous reputation for its existential horror themes.


Step Right In And Start Again provides examples of:

  • Accusation Fic: The fanfic gives Sixth Ranger Starlight a punishment for her actions in the season 5. However, the punishment goes way, way too far in this case.
  • Amnesia Loop: Starlight can't remember more than a few minutes each loop.
  • Dark Fic: Starlight is given a Fate Worse than Death by being cursed to be immortal, but without any memories of the past day and always in a loop.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Starlight Glimmer is forced to relive the same few moments at 8:15 AM. After fifteen hours she disappears suddenly and restarts the next day with no memory exactly at 8:15 in the morning. This keeps on happening even after the planet itself, and later the universe, both die.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!:
    • Applejack curses with "Land's sakes".
    • Rainbow Dash has the line "—but if she can't even remember more than a few gosh-dang minutes, then what's the friggin' point?!"
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    • Twilight yells at Starlight to "drink the dang potion".
  • The Great Offscreen War: Partway through, Equestria is suddenly at war with the changelings. The reader is just as out-of-the-loop as Starlight.
  • Oh My Gods!: Starlight uses "Goddess", such as in the line "Goddess help me with what they have in store".
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Starlight finds Twilight sitting alone in a broken down castle years in the future. She's too far gone after her friends have all died.

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