The Tangled Roots Trilogy is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series written by Bad_Seed_72, composed of three books:
Tangled Roots takes place before and after the events of the episode "One Bad Apple", describing Babs Seed's life in Manehattan (having to deal with bullies and her mean father Bernie Madhoof), and how she slowly starts developing feelings for her cousin Apple Bloom. It has an epilogue that takes place seven years later.
Sweet Apple Anthology takes place between the end of Tangled Roots and its epilogue, describing the lives of Babs Seed and her family and friends during those seven years, while at the same time showing how Bernie Madhoof slowly becomes more depraved and gains more control over Manehattan.
Severed Roots continues where the epilogue of Tangled Roots left off; Babs Seed and Apple Bloom are having a nice life, but Bernie Madhoof is unleashing a reign of terror on Equestria, and so they may have to go back to Manehattan and stop the troubles at their source...
The trilogy is completed as of April 9th, 2014.
This fanfic series provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: Especially at Babs's school. They can't teach her anything or protect her from bullies. Her mother Libra Scales initially fits into this.
- Archnemesis Dad: Bernie Madhoof, Babs Seeds father, is a a crime lord, ruthless businesspony and not above trying to kill his own subordinates. Later on, however, it's revealed that Madhoof is actually Babs' uncle; her real father, Page Turner, is a nice guy.
- The Big Rotten Apple: Manehatten, after Madhoof more or less took over, is depicted as a city ruled by gangs and corrupt cops. It had some shades of it before he took over too.
- Bittersweet Ending: The end of Severed Roots. While Bernie Madhoof's reign of terror has ended, Babs and Apple Bloom lost their bar and several good friends in the process.
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: If you're an OC who's a supporting character, don't expect to make it to the end of Severed Roots.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Between Babs Seed and Apple Bloom.
- Darker and Edgier: Severed Roots is this to the rest of the trilogy.
- Death by Childbirth: The Apple siblings' mother died giving birth to Apple Bloom.
- Driven to Suicide: Their father was unable to cope and hanged himself not long after.
- Funetik Aksent: Some of the Manehattanite ponies (Babs Seed, Page Turner, White Dove, etc.) speak with this.
- Happily Adopted: Babs by the Apple Family.
- Happily Married: By the end of Severed Roots, Babs Seed to Applebloom.
- Happy Marriage Charade: Libra Scales and Bernie Madhoof. It ain't pretty between the two when they both get angry...
- Heroic Sacrifice / Redemption Equals Death: Card Slinger, after Bernie Madhoof mortally wounds him, uses the last of his strength to stab him to death.
- Kissing Cousins: Babs and Applebloom by the end of Tangled Roots, and Citrus and Braeburn in Severed Roots.
- Missing Mom: Diamond Tiara's mom passed away a long time ago. When Babs discovers this, she feels guilty about bringing it up.
- Parental Neglect: Babs mainly undergoes this.
- Long-Lost Relative: Turner is Babs' father... and Bernie Madhoof's brother.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Turner, the stallion who helped Babs when she was attacked by her bullies, is Babs' father.
- Parental Abandonment: The Apple siblings, as detailed above.
- Pater Familicide: Bernie Madhoof tries to hire a goon to do this to Libra Scales, leading her to flee with Citrus.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Card Slinger claws his way up to become head of the Manehattan Kings, Bernie Madhoof's sponsored goons.
- Sole Survivor: Lucky Toss is the only one of Babs' childhood bullies to survive to the end of Severed Roots, and aside from Babs herself, Rustler is the only Manehattan CMC to survive in the end.
- The Bully: Technically bullies... Card Slinger and his goons.
- The Western: Mostly everything that happens outside of Ponyville and Manehatten has a western atmosphere.
- Together in Death: Soapy and Dyea, a fact noted on their respective tombstones.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Oranges become Madhoof's favorite fruit after he learns that if he keeps drinking booze, he'll die.
- Virtual Soundtrack: All three stories have had one; the ones for Tangled Rootsnote and Sweet Apple Anthology used to have Youtube playlists, but they seem to have disappeared. For Severed Roots, Bad_Seed_72 just lists the current chapter's song in a comment for the chapter.