The Demesne of the Reluctant Twilight Sparkle is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic by MrNumbers, in which Equestria's newest princess receives the one gift Luna believes worthy of her: Ponyville and all of its lands and population. Despite Twilight's discomfort at her newfound power (and Celestia's exasperation after trying to let the feudal laws that support this sort of thing expire), she eventually becomes lost in visions of a hub for a potential scientific revolution (and of a cute new assistant). But change never comes easily, with everypony wanting a piece of the pie, as well as the implications this new title has for Equestria at large....
Sadly, this fic has not updated since February 2016 and is listed as cancelled. However in it does have a successor in The Quiet Equestrian, a side story/AU by a different author.
This story contains examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: Pinkie drops one on Discord, asking why he doesn't turn the universe into pure entropy and shifting Alien Geometries. After all, that's theoretically maximum chaos. It leads Discord to understand that he actually does appreciate life in general and ponies in specific.
- Brutal Honesty: Comes up quite a lot from Luna. "Are you trying to buy my forgiveness?" "Yes!"
- Cannot Spit It Out: It is painfully obvious (except to Twilight) that underneath Dash's playful flirtation she actually does have feelings for Twilight. But wow is she bad at expressing it.
- Discord also finds a confession that he has genuinely come to like Ponyville and it's residents to be almost physically painful.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Much of the story is Slice of Life hijinks with Twilight figuring out the ramifications of her position for her and Ponyville- then, come chapter 8, she learns that, thanks to all the other nobles who now know they are legally demesne-holders, Equestria is on the brink of civil war.
- Comically Missing the Point: Twilight doesn't understand why explaining in detail how she would go about liquefying a pony counts as Nightmare Fuel. After all, she specifically said that she would never do such a thing! She also takes Fine Mane's sarcastic comment about studying the rate of paint drying compared to grass growing at face value and asks for his data.
- Democracy Is Bad: Explicitly averted. While it is clear that Twilight is going to be an effective benevolent dictator, the problems with the system become immediately obvious with all the other nobles that are greedy, power hungry, incompetent, or a combination of the three. Twilight also realizes that she doesn't have the right to make unilateral decisions for the entire community when there are differing opinions, and actually puts her new policy for redesigning Ponyville up to vote even though she doesn't actually need to.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Twilight's reaction to her "gift".Twilight (thinking): I'm sorry Celestia, I should really head back to Ponyville and talk to Mayor Mare about this. Please rectify this situation for me, Luna, as soon as equinely possible, as well intentioned as your gift was. I hope you understand that I refuse it humbly, and not out of malice, as being the overlord of your friends tends to be a bit of a faux pas.
Twilight: I need to get the buck back to Ponyville and figure this out before they tar my ponyfeathers and lynch me for this!
Twilight: ...I just said the in-my-head thing out loud and the out-loud thing in my head, didn't I?
- Didn't Think This Through: Twilight has to get a lot of gold from the Ponyville train depot to her new royal bank across town, preferably in secret to avoid looters, and doing it by cartload takes uncomfortably long. Her solution? Telekinetically use the gold bars to construct extra tracks to the bank and levitate the train along them, picking them back up as they go. Sensible enough except that it goes through the middle of town, so secrecy is right out.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Two guards, when Twilight is already in a towering temper, just can't seem to stop saying things to piss her off. And it just worse when they realize it and start babbling. And then one of them tries to throw his friend under the bus for it...
- Expy: When Twilight starts recruiting for a new university she seeks out the best researchers she knew from her days in Canterlot. Among them are pony versions of Einstein (One Stone) and Feyneman (Fine Mane).
- Dismissing a Compliment: Twilight giving Discord earnest compliments is so surprising that he assumes she's being sarcastic at first.
- False Friend: Downplayed. Twilight is genuine in her growing friendship with Discord, but he correctly realizes that she's deliberately cultivating that friendship for reasons that could be interpreted as a way to keep him under control.
- First-Person Smartass: Twilight, at least as much at her own expense as at anypony else's.
- Grammar Nazi: Twilight to herself. she polices her own internal grammar to the point of it being a Running Gag.
- HeelFace Turn: Discord winds up taking his first steps to being solidly on the Good side in this story. Some insightful questions from Pinkie Pie, Twilight giving him some earnest compliments, and finding an outlet for his creativity all contribute to his admitting he likes Ponyville and the Mane Six. And, more importantly, rejecting Tirek's offer.
- Hidden Depths: Would you believe Pinkie Pie has an engineering degree? As she herself points out, Party Cannons and hoof powered candy helicopters don't just happen. She also has a surprisingly insightful (and cynical) understanding of political realities. She immediately points out that dictatorships often allow rigged votes to give their subjects the illusion of agency, and then does a cannonball into a literal sea of paperwork.
- Golden questions Twilight's wisdom in having the Element of Generosity negotiate for her in a business deal, citing the fact that Rarity just gave her a dress. Twilight retorts that in the process Rarity also sold Golden three more, and left her feeling like she was the one who got a deal. She also points out that Rarity runs a successful clothing business. In Ponyville. One of the most notoriously clothing-optional places in Equestria.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Filthy Rich, for the most part. He gives Twilight a very reasonable deal for developing Ponyville. That said he is still a businessman, and Rarity has to get a bit sharp about some rather important particulars. Not so much actual fine print as implications of the policies that are not immediately obvious.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Twilight has a terrible weakness for them. Half her internal monologue seems to be wordplay and alliteration.
- Insistent Terminology: Twilight Sparkle starts falling into this- excuse me, that's Doctor Princess Twilight Sparkle.
- It Makes Sense in Context: So, so much. A dream of Celestia in a sexy chicken costume is the least of it.
- It Runs On Nonsensium: The Pinkie Sense makes no sense at all. Even to Discord. He thinks that it's wonderful.
- Kick the Dog: Discussed at length when Golden meets the Mane 6. One really has to be there. Even Fluttershy gets in on it!
- Klatchian Coffee: Golden makes coffee that Twilight waxes poetic about at length. It's a large part of why Twilight falls for her so fast.
- Like Brother and Sister: Very clearly establishes that Spike isn't Twilight's pet, or assistant. He's her brother thank you very much.
- Love Dodecahedron: Notwithstanding the on-site description, it's a bit more complicated than a Love Triangle. It's briefly implied at the start (though not since) that Twilight has a crush on Big Mac, and then that Celestia has feelings for Twilight. Twilight also quickly falls for Golden, while having to deal with Rainbow Dash who is then implied to genuinely have a crush on Twilight herself. And then Golden expresses interest in Dash....
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: You wanted to give Twilight a gift worthy of a Princess, Luna? Good job not only screwing up her life even more but enabling the other nobles who also have claims to demesnes and threaten to plunge Equestria into civil war.
- Pet the Dog: The first thing Twilight does when she realizes she has the power to bestow titles is to promote Spike to Royal Scrivener.
- Reality Ensues: However badass Rainbow Dash and Applejack are, they can't singlehoofedly fight off a group of anonymous looters who both outnumber and get the jump on them.
- Twilight deliberately works up enough anger to yell at Luna for getting her into this mess and the looming civil war. Luna demonstrates her long experience with politics by defusing Twilight's anger, leaving her too confused to argue effectively.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: There are a lot of tangents in both dialogue and Twilight's stream-of-consciousness narration.
- Skewed Priorities: Discussed with regards to Twilight's title, and whether it should be Doctor Princess or Princess Doctor. After all, the most important title is supposed to go first. Twilight settles on Doctor Princess, on Golden's argument that royal titles are just given but doctorates are earned. Of course, Fluttershy points out that Twilight earned her title as well, along with her wings. But It's the Principle of the Thing.
- So Proud of You: Twilight actually winds up feeling this way about all the progress Discord has made. Not that she'd ever tell him so.
- So Unfunny, It's Funny: Referenced by Pinkie after Applejack says that they should all get along with Golden "short of [her] tellin' us her favourite hobby is kickin' puppies" and Golden's attempt to break the ice ("Why would I kick puppies when you can get so much more distance out of kittens?") falls flat.
- Then everyone else joins in on the joke. Even Fluttershy. With a comically earnest speech about the merits of kicking baby birds, since they would try their very very hardest to fly farther and get good distance.
- Spit Take: Twilight attempts to defy this when she learns Golden technically works for Spike as well as for her. Then she sees the cheque Luna sent for her royal funds. She makes sure to aim away from the paperwork.
- Tempting Fate: Played with at the beginning when Twilight and Spike note how well the day is going and how good they feel- and immediately panic at the inevitable approaching catastrophe. Spike decides that's enough of a bad thing but Twilight worries that that's just False Reassurance on the part of fate- and then Luna's message arrives....
- Unfortunate Names: Golden Retriever. Twilight eventually grants her a literal license, "as a civil servant of the highest order", to kick the flank of anypony who teases her about her name within the bounds of the demesne.
- Villain Respect: Not really villainous anymore. Probably. Maybe. But even Discord, with his massive ego, will admit that Pinkie Pie is a genius.
- We Have Become Complacent: Luna holds this opinion of Equestria's military, especially regarding the notoriously poor performance of the Royal Guard. She actually thinks a civil war will be good for them, at the end of the day!
- After a certain amount of consternation the author had to put a note in the chapter explaining that he knows Luna is wrong, and that Twilight was just too flustered to argue effectively.
- You Need to Get Laid: Rainbow says this to Twilight. Twilight denies it, but it helps explain both her fixation on Golden and her previously-and-then-never-again-implied attraction to Big Mac.