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Fanfic / The Life and Times of a Winning Pony

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The Life and Times of a Winning Pony (also available at FF.Net) is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic by Chengar Qordath. The story tracks the life and times of Cloud Kicker, a fun-loving Ethical Slut with a tendency to have lots of random sexual encounters and end up in wild misadventures. The story weaves reasonably well into actual episode screentime, and also points out some of the cronyism inherent in Equestrian society. It is complete and also has a finished sequel, The New Life of a Winning Pony.

There is also a prequel, The Lunar Rebellion, set nine hundred years before the events of the show and focusing on Cloud Kicker's Famous Ancestor Shadow Kicker, one of Celestia's lieutenants during the Lunar Rebellion, when the pegasi of Pegasopolis rose in revolt against Celestia under the flag in Nightmare Moon. It is completed.

Side-stories and recursive fanfiction for this fic have been written by numerous authors, and these are collectively referred to as the Winningverse. They range from the comic tale of Pinkie Pie's attempts to make a romantically dense Rainbow Dash realize her affections, to the more serious story of Derpy Hooves running off to Ponyville after being kicked out from her family for an unplanned pregnancy. There is also The Freeport Venture, a series of stories (beginning here) focusing on Sunset Shimmer during and after her stint as Celestia's student, centering mostly on her adventures in Freeport, and which are related to the main Winningverse mostly by a shared setting and backstory, although the narratives are quite separate, as the Sunset stories are set some years before the events of the show proper.

This fanon universe also splits off into six Alternate Universes:

  • The Dead-Derpy-Verse — Cancer kills Derpy, who leaves behind two daughters and Rainbow Dash as godmother.

  • Tales From The Phoenix Empire — Splitting off not long after The Lunar Rebellion, the Phoenix Empress, ruler of a much different Equestria at the time of the show, is born when a misunderstanding leads to Celestia accidentally crippling Sunbeam Sparkle, and the only way to fix it is if Celestia gives her immortality and her dominion over the Sun to Sunbeam, thereby cementing Sunbeam as the new ruler of Equestria. Currently, Tales of the Phoenix Empire is leading up to the Empire's version of Nightmare Moon's return.

  • The Road Not Taken — A pair of "What If?" one-shots where Fluttershy and Cloud Kicker did not break up over the Flight Camp incident, and instead got married and had a daughter. Also, Sparkler was adopted by Cloud's mother instead of Derpy.

  • The Incredibly Loyal Heart Of a Winning Pony sees Cloud taking Rainbow Dash's place during the pilot episodes, and carries the day just as well as Rainbow Dash.
    • It has an alternate ending where Cloud's guilt over running out on the Guard ruins everything at the critical moment, forcing Celestia to intervene and kill Luna. Ironically, this is what convinces Cloud to accept her commission to the Guard.

  • The Oncoming Storm series follows the Equestria Girls versions of an alternatenote  Cloud Kicker and Rainbow Dash as they deal with various magical incidents at Canterlot High School.


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     Core stories 
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Applejack and Rarity, to the point that arguing and foreplay are virtually indistinguishable.
  • Breakout Character: The author wrote a previous fan fiction, The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash. Word of God: 'Somehow, Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth really managed to steal the show in terms of what I enjoyed writing. To heck with RainbowPie, Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth is my new OTP. In fact, I will e-mail cupcakes to the first person who writes a good Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth story. Pinkie Promise.' Note that RainbowPie was the actual primary ship being built in the fic.
  • Cast Full of Gay: All of the Mane 6 are gay, and mostly every other girl is too. In fact, only one couple is heterosexual. note 
  • Cat Fight:
    • Blossomforth and New Fluttershy get into a particularly nasty one.
    • The fight between Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker from their flight camp days is an aversion. The sum total of the resulting injuries included a concussion, broken face bones, a broken leg, broken ribs, a dislocated wing, an eye injury, a collapsed lung, and a Groin Attack so vicious that it ended the fight and caused serious internal injury and near fatal bleeding.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Rainbow Dash' crashing is usually treated as a Running Gag. It's not so amusing anymore when it's revealed to be happening due to an eye injury that could possibly blind her.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While Life and Times started as a bit naughty romantic comedy, it gets more and more drama-driven by time, with some serious character backstories and a complicated Love Triangle, only getting more serious the closer its story arc gets to The Canterlot Wedding.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Equestria's military traditionally uses a form of martial arts called "krav pega", based off of the real life martial arts for krav maga. As a result, Cloud is trained in this art, and uses it with her own weapons to kill the changeling infiltrator that killed her mother.
  • Childhood Friends: Cloud Kicker, Derpy Hooves, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy are all old friends from Flight School.
  • The Clan: The Kicker family is big and almost all of them are in the military.
  • Conflict Ball:
    • Everyone gets hit with shades of this in chapter 16 of Life and Times, from Rainbow Dash growing incredibly violent and Blossomforth uncharacteristically trying to pick a fight with Derpy, with bug insults coming from both sides. However, it appears something else is at work here.
    • In later chapters, there's a growing tendency for characters to get into arguments, along with the trend for those involved to end on bad terms.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: It's left unclear if Cloud Kicker actually banged Princess Luna or if it was just a drunken sex dream. Further confusing things, the author has pointed out that even if it was a dream, it may have actually been Luna anyway, due to dreams falling under the domain of night. Not that Luna will confirm either way, since that way lies public scandal, which is why Luna had Cloud arrested prior to this dream encounter.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Fluttershy doesn't like it when Cloud calls her "Eepysqueak" because it reminds her of the sexual relationship she and Cloud had, which she believes led directly to the fight Cloud and Rainbow Dash had which left the latter with near-fatal injuries.
  • Easily Forgiven: Defied. Fluttershy thinks the "Flight Camp incident" can be resolved easily if she just apologizes, but once Chapter 9 reveals what happened, it's clear that she actually needs to forgive herself and realize she didn't play as big a role in it as she thought, and until then, she keeps hurting over it and hating being called "Eepysqueak" because it reminds her of the incident.
  • Famous Ancestor:
    • Cloud Kicker, like all members of her clan, can eventually trace her (admittedly indirect) descent to Shadow Kicker, one of Equestria’s most celebrated heroes and a champion of Celestia’s during the Lunar Rebellion.
    • Twilight and her family are direct descendants of Sunbeam Sparkle, Celestia's vizier and the Archmagus of Canterlot during the Rebellion, and another prominent figure in the war, though her adoptive daughter Midnight Sparkle. Sunset Shimmer can also trace her ancestry to Sunbeam, by means of Sunbeam’s bastard son Daylight Shimmer.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Wingboners (a pegasus unfurling their wings when aroused) are present.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Near the end of "The Pony Who Doesn't Fit Into Their Little Box", Chrysalis gives Cloud Kicker the following offer: giving up Shadow's armor in exchange for having her and her loved ones leave Canterlot unharmed, saying before leaving that Cloud has until Chrysalis has had enough of gloating over her victory to think it over. You are invited to guess how that turned out for Chrysalis.
    • Cloud and Blossom were stated to be the Official Couple of the fic, even though they don't become official until the final chapter.
  • Gilligan Cut: Sparkler makes a Pinkie Promise that she has no romantic interest in Cloud's cousin Star Kicker. "Less than two hours later, I caught Star and Sparkler making out behind the equipment building. So much for Pinkie Promises." Naturally, seconds later, Pinkie shows up to chew out Sparkler for breaking her promise.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Anything that justifies taking Shadow's armor out of the vault at the Kicker Compound. Which includes the battle with the Changeling swarm once word reaches the Kicker Compound that Princess Celestia is down, though Shadow rejects Cloud and things work out without the armor anyway, and Tirek's attack on Equestria, and keeping Shadow's armor afterward.
  • Groin Attack: When it is delivered by a horse, it matters not if you are male or female. Played for Drama, since Cloud's desperation kick on Rainbow Dash resulted in Rainbow being unable to have kids... ever.
  • Growling Gut: Pretty much every time eating is mentioned.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: Rarity inadvertently sets one up for Cloud Kicker.
  • Hive Drone: This is the nature of most of the Changeling race, with the vast majority of the swarm being puppets under Chrysalis’ control.
  • Hive Mind: The changelings have the variant where a single consciousness is distributed across the entire species, with Chrysalis serving as an avatar of sorts, essentially being the hive mind’s self-aware consciousness.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: It's possible in-universe for two mares to conceive a foal, provided access to high-level and hard-to-get (not to mention expensive) unicorn magic and/or The Power of Love.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cloud Kicker tells Derpy off because she made Fluttershy cry, when she overheard Derpy implying that she was going to steal Cloud Kicker from her. Once she kicks Derpy out, Cloud sleeps with Fluttershy and discusses running away to get married afterwards. To be fair to Cloud, though, her only intent was to comfort Fluttershy. The sex... simply just happened, and realizing that she'd screwed up by doing it is why Cloud suggested she and Fluttershy elope.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter title follows the format of: "The Pony (Adapted Charlie Sheen Quote)"
  • Innocent Innuendo: Cloud Kicker, at a party, chats up Derpy. The conversation turns to "eating muffins". After being reminded of innuendo, Blossomforth figures Derpy was talking about actual baked goods. Naturally ... they spend several minutes putting together muffins. Then they clean up the leftover batter, up to when Derpy accidentally spills some. All of it lands on very lickable parts of herself, and nowhere else.
  • It's All My Fault: Fluttershy blames herself for Rainbow Dash's injuries in Chapter 9 and breaks up with Cloud because she believes she doesn't deserve to be in a relationship if it leads to ponies getting near-fatal injuries. She also hates being called "Eepysqueak" because it's Cloud's pet name for her, which reminds her of the incident and is thus a Trauma Button. All because she thinks the fight could have been avoided if she'd just kept her mouth shut. Not quite the right thing there, Fluttershy.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers:Light refraction spells can be used to create pretty light shows, focus light for long range observation... or cut enemies into smoking chunks with laser beams.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth. Said word-for-word by Nurse Redheart.
  • Love Triangle: Blossomforth is Cloud Kicker's best friend hoping for a Relationship Upgrade, Derpy is currently in a very loose relationship with Cloud Kicker. That said, Blossomforth insists that it's a case Friend Versus Lover. After Chrysalis is defeated, Cloud finally makes things official with Blossom, and FINALLY gets Fluttershy all the way back at the same time. Sadly, it seems Derpy opted out.
  • Military Academy: Cloud Kicker went to one for four years, but dropped out shortly before graduation. Specifically, she ran off in the middle of the graduation ceremony.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rarity when she finds out about Cloud's Happy-Ending Massage, since she asked the Spa sisters to "give her special treatment" without clarifying that "special" didn't mean banging. Of course, Rarity was the only one who cared about it.
    • Fluttershy in Chapter 9 when she sees the condition Cloud and Rainbow Dash were left in after their fight ended, which led to Fluttershy breaking up with Cloud right then and there because she was convinced it was her fault.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Applejack tries to run Cloud Kicker off the farm when she catches her talking to Big Macintosh, neither knowing nor caring that she's actually there on Weather Team business and wasn't even entertaining the notion of a sexual encounter.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Two big ones in Life and Times, both eventually revealed.
      • Something happened between Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy that destroyed their childhood friendship. As of Chapter 9, it turns out that Fluttershy and Cloud Kicker became a couple in flight school. Then Fluttershy created a misunderstanding that started a fight between Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker that left both with life-threatening injuries. Then Fluttershy panicked and broke up with Cloud Kicker as she was being flown to the hospital.
      • Also, the Lunar Rebellion. All that's really been established about it is that it happened 900 years ago, it started in Cloudsdale, and Cloud Kicker's family was one of the few pegasus families to remain loyal to Celestia. It was later covered by the eponymous story.
    • Cloud has a rope that "can hold a weight of a stallion the size of Big Macintosh, suspended from the ceiling." The immediate response is to question whether or not the stallion was in fact Big Macintosh.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • Cloud admits at one point that name duplication has been an issue in her clan, since there are only so many names one can combine with "Kicker" that still sound good.
    • The Lunar Rebellion also feature Nimbus Kicker as a character, while Cloud Kicker's mother is named Nimbus Gust.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Where Sparkler, Derpy's adopted child, came from.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Almost literal case in Chapter 9. Fluttershy was having doubts about being in a sexual relationship, and went to Rainbow Dash for advice. Unfortunately, her vague wording led Rainbow to believe Cloud was raping Fluttershy, which led to Rainbow picking a fight with Cloud in revenge, but she was defeated and left with injuries she's still coping with in the Present Day, like the lazy eye that leads to her constantly crashing, and her lack of a sex drive.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Rainbow Dash believes this, as it leads to her fight with Cloud in Chapter 9, due to Fluttershy's nerves making her fail to properly communicate what she wanted to talk about, which led to Rainbow thinking Cloud was raping Fluttershy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Chapter 6 Blossomforth starts out by calling Cloud Kicker out on her tendency to be a bit self-centered and inconsiderate, but before long it morphs into something nastier, and then things get worse.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: The page image for one. The author actually posts any Fan Art of his works on his blog.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cloud Kicker is red, Blossomforth is blue.
  • Tracking Spell: Star Kicker's special talent is tracking and location magic. She specializes in creating small gems enchanted with tracking spells. She also has the rather impolite habit of planting these gems on the clothing and persons of everybody she meets or talks to, for the purposes of being able to track them should the need arise. This does come in handy on some occasions, such as when a character goes missing and Star is able to use one of her gems as a focus for casting a tracking spell.
  • Sex for Solace: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth finally do the deed in the wake of Cloud's mother being found dead at the hands of a Changeling Infiltrator.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Heavily utilized to keep the fic from entering mature territory.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the author's other works, there are one or two references to The Dresden Files.
    • The thing of mares' tails involuntarily twitching when they're aroused, seen when Sparkler is teased about her developing relationship with Cloud's cousin Star, is taken from Xenophilia.
    • After the Wham Line at the very end of Chapter 15 reveals that Cloud's mother has seemingly betrayed Equestria and Cloud is planning on killing her, the very next chapter starts off with Rainbow Dash reacting by dropping a pegasus version of the Cluster F-Bomb rant from The Boondock Saints. Cloud's narration even comments that it "certainly illustrated the diversity of the word."
  • Tap on the Head: Discussed — at one point Cloud Kicker finds herself in a situation where she needs to disable a pony without causing injuries and she finds her options very limited.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Chapter 9 kinda gives us an explanation why Cloud Kicker doesn't want to have a romantic relationship.
  • Theme Naming: Cloud Kicker's family engages in this.
  • Threat Backfire: In Chapter 16:
    Changeling!Nimbus Gust: I suppose I should thank you, though. I admit, some of my plans did not develop entirely to my satisfaction, and the fact that you found my papers earlier than planned was unfortunate. However, I’m sure my queen will overlook such minor affairs when I present her with the corpse of one of the Element Bearers.
    Rainbow Dash: Over my dead body!
  • Trauma Button: The ponies involved in the "Flight Camp incident" don't like talking about it, two of which (Rainbow Dash and Derpy) are outraged at separate moments when they find out a third (Cloud Kicker) told Blossomforth about it over the course of Chapter 9, and a fourth (Fluttershy) doesn't like being called by a certain pet name because it reminds her of the incident, but is able to get over it later on.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: When Rarity arranges an apology, Rarity arranges an apology. Well, accidentally.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Cloud Kicker certainly enjoys Derpy's muffins.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Rarity and Applejack. Also possibly Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy. Chapter 9 tells us why, and it's not cleared up until later.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 6 has Cloud Kicker pull Blossom's crush on her out into the open during a fight that seems to have torn their friendship to pieces.
    • And then we have Chapter 9...
    • At the end of Chapter 15, Cloud Kicker's mother has apparently betrayed Equestria, and Cloud intends to kill her to save her family's honor.
    • The next chapter then hits us with a double-whammy: Nimbus Gust was never a traitor. What everypony thought was Nimbus Gust is actually a Changeling Infiltrator... who has already killed the real Nimbus Gust and dumped her body in a cave.
  • Wham Line:
    • In-universe example: When Cloud tells Derpy she turned down not one, but two threesomes, Derpy responds with "I love you too, sweetie!" which floors Cloud.
    • The last line of Chapter 8, provided by Cloud. "Fluttershy was the first pony I ever banged."
  • Will They or Won't They?:
    • Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth. They do, and Fluttershy joins in.
    • Applejack and Rarity, too. They did... eventually.

     Winningverse side stories 
  • Alliterative Name: A couple of story titles:
    • Princess Twilight's Profoundly Peripheral Protector
    • Princess Twilight's Protector and the Prankster Pests.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The fey, naturally enough, operate on this sort of mentality. Their attitude towards contracts is a good example of this: to them, honoring a contract (regardless of its terms and effects, or of whether the other party even knew a contract was being made) supersedes all other considerations, and they're are genuinely confused at the idea that ponies might disagree with this. For instance, Musette made a contract with Vinyl Scratch after Vinyl idly said she'd "die" to be as good a singer as a famous performer, with Musette interpreting the contract to mean that she'd make Vinyl that good at the cost of her life — it's not her fault Vinyl didn't choose good terms! Of note is that Musette has come to genuinely like Vinyl and truly doesn't want to kill her — but she made a deal, and she simply can't conceive of not honoring their agreement.
  • Brainwash Residue: Cheerilee is worried her feelings for Big Macintosh might be this.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When Twilight is startled out of an eavesdropping spell in Princess Twilight's Profoundly Peripheral Protector, she awkwardly tries to claim she was distracted due to thinking about "magic and friendship, and the magic of friendship."
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Fey cannot deliberately say anything they know to be untrue or go back on their word. However, they can still lie by omission, avoid answering, or give answers that are technically true but imply or suggest a conclusion that isn't, and likewise they can get very creative in how they interpret their contracts' wording.
  • Cold Iron: Contact with cold iron causes immense physical pain to fey creatures, and as a result the metal is often used as a way to determine if somepony is a fey in disguise. Cold iron also disrupts and impedes unicorn magic, something that has led to a lot of speculation in-universe about unicorns' exact relationship with the fey.
  • Creative Sterility: Despite their association with art and artists, and their need to feed off of the psychic energies associated with artistic creation, muses lack the creative spark required to create true art. As such, they cannot create original works themselves: the most they can do is imitate what's already there.
  • Curse of The Ancients: Normally a given considering it's Applejack, but one in The Incredibly Blitzed Night of Rainbow Dash is particularly impressive and lampshaded.
    Applejack: "That dadgum sidewindin' hornswaglin' sodbustin' tree-poundin' corn-shuckin' blockheaded barn-razin' scruffy-lookin' nerf-herdin' bushwhackin' cracker-croakin' yellow-bellied galoot! What the hay is he thinkin'?"
    Lyra: "Wow. That was some authentic frontier gibberish."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash was originally written as a one-shot story without any indication of starting an all-out Shared Universe, and thus contradicts some of the later established backstories. It was afterwards rewritten to fit the current Winningverse canon, but the original version was also kept for comparison.
  • The Fair Folk: The fey, a group of pony-shaped magical creatures known for their love of contracts (and... interesting and creative ways of interpreting them), their unique takes on morality, their inability to lie and their aversion to Cold Iron.
    • The rusalka in "The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker". It looks like an earth pony, but just slightly... wrong, and it's described as a trickster spirit that uses what appears to be a form of vocal glamour/mind control to turn ponies into thralls and force them to dance with it, and it's perfectly happy to kill them if they, say, miss a dance step, or if it gets bored. It apparently considers this a justifiable way to alleviate its loneliness.
    • Muses are fey that feed off of the psychic energy associated with artistic creation. As such, they often associate with artists, inspiring them to create more and greater works in exchange for, essentially, sustenance, although they lack the ability to create truly original works in their own right.
    • There is speculation, in-universe, that unicorns share a closer relationship with they fey than other pony tribes do, due to the fact that cold iron, which hurts and repels fey creatures, also disrupts and impedes unicorn magic. Theories presented in-universe include unicorns being descended from pony/fey hybrids, or from ponies who managed to steal the fey's magic.
  • For Want of a Nail: Incredibly Loyal Heart note  explores the question of how things would have gone if Cloud had been the Element Of Loyalty instead of Rainbow Dash. Its alternate ending shows what would have happened if the Elements Of Harmony had FAILED against Nightmare Moon in the pilot of FiM.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Free Minds were created by Chrysalis to have more independence and personality than regular Changelings, to serve as better infiltrators. This worked a bit too well—they had enough independence to resent being slaves to Chrysalis' will, and rebelled.
  • Hero of Another Story: Since most of the side stories take place simultaneously and sometimes intersect, the POV characters are all this to each other.
  • Hunter of Monsters: The Long Patrol, an order of guardponies that patrol Equestria's wildernesses to hunt dangerous monsters.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: A good deal of the Winningverse stories are titled as some variant of "The [adverb] [adjective] [noun] of a [character name/descriptor]".
  • Involuntary Dance: Ponies who hear a rusalka’s song are forced to dance with it until they miss a step and the rusalka kills them, or until it gets bored and kills them anyway.
  • Jackass Genie: When they’re not being Literal Genies, fey tend to interpret wishes and contracts in the most convoluted, abstruse ways they possibly can, making full use of every loophole they can find. Which tack they'll go for generally depends on what would bring them the greatest advantage and/or amusment.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Rainbow Dash's mother Surprise and her fillyfriend Pinkie Pie are... remarkably similar. It takes her a good while to notice, and when she does she freaks out at the idea of dating her mom until Twilight and Pinkie calm her down.
  • Literal Genie: Fey tend to be very literal about enforcing contracts and agreements with mortal ponies. For instance, one of Octavia's teachers once idly mentioned to a muse that he'd trade his right hoof to be as good as the in-universe historical cellist Animando Assai.
    Octavia: Suffice to say that my teacher is the best three-hooved cellist I have ever heard.
  • Mind-Control Music: The rusalka's song in "The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker", which hypnotizes ponies and turns them into thralls under the rusalka’s control.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Rainbow Dash's parents are the G3 Rainbow Dash and Surprise, a G1 pony that was the inspiration for Pinkie Pie.
    • In Cadance's Lovely Misadventure, some of the schoolfillies Cadance visits believe that baby ponies are born from adults looking at their own reflections, in a nod to how it actually happened in the G1 My Little Pony continuity.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, after a drunken bender, Lyra once somehow ended up hanging from a statue of Celestia, asleep, and with her tail tied to her horn. Storm still isn’t sure how that happened.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: The rusalka (essentially a ponified Slavic mermaid), whose singing hypnotizes ponies into dancing with it to alleviate its loneliness. This tends to lead to the ponies' deaths, either through exhaustion or when the rusalka kills them on a whim.
  • Persecution Flip: There are hardly any heterosexual couples, Applejack actively guards Big Macintosh from courting mares, and since magic can help with same-sex conception, some family trees are filled entirely with females.
  • Roc Birds: Rocs resemble an eagle twenty times larger than normal, and are fully capable of carrying off a grown pony in their talons.
  • Rogue Drone: The Free Minds, changelings created by Chrysalis to have actual personalities rather than being extensions of the Hive Mind, so as to be better infiltrators. They eventually got fed up with what was essentially slavery, rebelled, and broke away from Chrysalis' swarm.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Hospitality and guest and host rights/obligations are one of the various things fey find extremely important. For instance, while guests in someone else's home, they must abide by their host's rules.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tortured Monster: The rusalka in "The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker", which uses Mind Control to enslave ponies in order to alleviate its crushing loneliness. Deconstructed, as it's stated that even though a Tortured Monster is tortured, it's still a monster. It doesn't matter why the rusalka is enslaving and killing ponies, only that it is, in fact, enslaving and killing ponies.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Rarity refers to Cloud Kicker's fondness for banging as "socializing".

     "Dead Derpy Verse" 
  • Children Are Innocent: Dinky, oh so much, in "From the Mouth of Fillies" and its sequel "Changes".
  • Driven to Suicide: Sparkler stops eating and drinking after Derpy's funeral and throws away her food to cover it up. While it's not clear if it was an intentional suicide attempt or just a side-effect of depression, the end result is that she nearly dies before Rainbow Dash figures out what's going on.
  • Please Wake Up: When Dinky finds her mother's body in Changes, she thinks Derpy is just sleeping and cuddles up with her. Then she realizes she won't wake up and this trope happens.
  • The Plot Reaper: While not technically an example, this does solve the Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth/Derpy love triangle.
  • Promotion to Parent: In "Changes" Rainbow Dash finds herself no longer acting as the world's greatest baby-sitter, but a mother, and isn't quite prepared to cope with the promotion and the death of one of closest friends.

     Road Not Taken 
  • An Arm and a Leg: Rainbow Dash lost one of her hind legs defending a town from a dragon attack during her stint in the Long Patrol.
  • For Want of a Nail: In Chapter 9 of Winning Pony, we see Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy break up over the former's fight with Rainbow Dash during Flight Camp. This Alternate Universe explores the "What If?" of how things would be if Cloud and Fluttershy had NOT broken up. Other examples include:
    • Rainbow Dash briefly joins the Guard before being forced into early retirement due to a hind leg getting mangled to the point of amputation.
    • Sparkler's foster mother becomes Nimbus Gust, not Derpy, creating Sparkler Kicker instead of Sparkler Doo.
    • Cloud Kicker does not fly out on the Guard, rising to the rank of Major as of the original one-shot.
    • Rarity and Applejack are ex-wives, as Applejack kept sponging off Rarity's success to fund Sweet Apple Acres, which no longer exists as of the original one-shot due to the Apples going bankrupt after Rarity divorces AJ.
    • Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy eventually marry and have a daughter, whom Rarity and Rainbow Dash are tasked with watching over in the original one-shot while Cloud and Fluttershy go out somewhere.
  • Happily Adopted: In this continuity, Sparkler is Cloud and Alula’s adoptive sister, after being adopted by Tornado Kicker and Nimbus Gust after Nimbus rescued her after her foster father broke her leg.