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Fanfic / Waking Nightmares

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Waking Nightmares is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Team Fortress 2 crossover fan fiction written by Jonathan "KnightMysterio" Spires. It also incorporates elements from Doctor Who, The Slenderman Mythos, some Garry's Mod animations, and a number of My Little Pony fan fictions. Princess Luna has been having some bad dreams, and when she informs Celestia, Celestia is worried, and wishes for her sister to be safe. Naturally, the wish is granted.

A few days later, Derpy Hooves discovers nine strange ponies outside Ponyville, whom introduce themselves as the BLU team. It goes south from there as what appears to be Diamond Dogs launch an attack on Ponyville but these Diamond Dogs seem different...

Can also be found here.

Now has a sidestory here.

As of July 17, 2017, the original version of the story has been canceled. A rewrite of the story, Waking Nightmares Remix Heart, was released on the 30th (Dormant; last updated March 2020).

This Fan Fic provides the following examples:

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     Tropes A - G 
  • Alternate Universe: KnightMystyerio tried hard to stick with canon and initially only planned to go this route when any of the following conditions were met: 1) Fluttershy's parents are revealed and turn out not to be as how he has portrayed them, or 2) the Cutie Mark Crusaders get their cutie marks. He started deviating from canon when...the Smooze turns out to be (somewhat) benevolent and Discord and Celestia are in amicable terms, both of which clash with what he has established.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Fusions' weapons are charged with their requisite Element, providing them with bullets of Kindness, rockets of Love, and so on.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Rarity is more resistant to poisons than dragons. She became immune by growing up with her parent's cooking.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Doctor Whooves takes a moment to compliment Nightmare Gardener's sense of humor.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Pinkie Pie's Patented Pony Party Panzers.
  • All Just a Dream: In a more recent chapter, Twilight (or Trisha Sparks, if you prefer), wakes up in what appears to be a mental hospital in which human versions (no, not the humans from Equestria Girls; actual humans) of all of the characters from the MLP set in the story so far are being kept, all apparently having latched onto characters from the show as part of a delusion after some sort of chemical accident.
  • All of Them:
    Heavy: "SOLDIER! SNIPER! Go retrieve bacon!"
    Soldier: "Sir, yes sir! How much bacon, sir?"
    Heavy: " ALL OF THE BACON!"
  • All There in the Manual: KnightMysterio Tumblr has some info not found in the fic, like the problems the BLU team had in they first days as Ponies, or the canon status of Equestria Girls. Is also a Character Blog for the BLUs and Mane 9.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Mare Do Well. She has the powers and traits of each of the Mane 6. So, yes. She does turn into an alicorn.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Rarity's parents are definitely this.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Rarity loses one of her legs when she rescues Gem Sentry from Nightmare Clockwork.
  • And I Must Scream: Grey Hoof's ultimate punishment: Celestia imprisons him in the ruins of Sunnytown, and places a geass on the village to turn away forms of life from Sunnytown's former location, as Sunnytown has also shifted dimensions so that Grey Hoof can't be seen by anyone else. And to add insult to injury, Celesita's spell also prevents Grey Hoof from going insane. Proof that you should never piss Celestia off.
    • When Rarity is brainwashed by Nightmare Cuddles, he leaves enough of her intact that she knows what she's doing and can't stop it.
    • Sniper when possessed by Christian Brutal Sniper.
  • Anti-Villain: Grey Hoof is the only one of his team who's really malicious, and even he has some sympathetic moments. Until his Villainous Breakdown, anyway.
  • All a Part of the Job: Fine Print. He knew that Flim and Flam were scumbags when they hired him. However, they paid his fee in full, so he was obligated to do his job. Apple Bloom understands though.
    • The BLUs often claim this as their reason to protect Ponyville - they're hired, so they do their job. Of course, they soon develop more personal reasons for protecting the town.
  • Always a Bigger Fish / Authority Equals Asskicking: A mind-controlled Barricade picks a fight with Princess Luna, hoping that an alicorn might provide a decent challenge. She does. In the same chapter, a mind-controlled and dragoned-out Spike finds out for himself why dragons do not threaten Equestria anymore.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The diary of a researcher trying to study Slendermane. It ends with SLENDERMANE scrawled across two pages.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Twilight gets one that snaps Barricade out of being Brainwashed and Crazy.
    Twilight: " Barricade, is it really the Doctor you hate?"
  • Art Shift: The WITNESS chapters. They're short, in all caps, and KnightMysterio claims that he only gets error messages when he tries to view them.
  • Ascended Extra: Although the latter two were never truly extras in the traditional sense, Derpy, Zecora, and Trixie have their roles greatly extended from the TV Show as the Elements of Love, Trust, and Hope, respectively.
  • Asshole Victim: Nightmare Gardener is eaten alive.
    • Brickhouse, one of the Jerk Jock pegasi that gave Rainbow Dash a hard time, is killed by Princess Celestia while Slendermane is controlling her.
  • The Atoner: Spy, before the war games. He was a collaborator for the Nazis in return for his town and family being spared, until just before the Normandy invasion... when he discovered that the town had been taken, and his mother raped to death. After killing every Nazi in the area, he was prepared to kill himself when he heard of Soldier's rampage across Europe, and instead started secretly providing him with Nazi information so Soldier could wipe out the whole chain of command, all the way up to Hitler himself.
  • Badass Finger Snap: Christian Brutal Sniper does this a few times as he imprisons the BLUs and element bearers in a shared dream.
  • Bag of Spilling: The BLU team loses all their gear, with the exception of Spy's butterfly knife, upon arriving in Equestria. They can mimic some of their lost abilities with magic, however.
  • Batman Gambit: Spycora pulls one against Nightmare Clockwork. In order to get past a corridor fuilled with death traps, She uses some magic dust (a Zecora trait) to create a smokescreen to hide, knowing that Clockwork would most likely panic and fire off all the traps. True enough, Clockwork does indeed fire off all the traps, only to find that Spycora didn't move at all, and simply walks past all the traps as they reset. And then, just to rub it in, she lights a cigarette off of some smoldering flames left by a laser beam trap.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Nightmare Doctor summons phantoms of numerous threats Equestria has faced in the past. Twilight destroys them with phantoms of what bested them in reality.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Grey Hoof is the only one of his group who's glad that their curse is lifted. Everyone else is too busy being horrified at the cost.
    Mayor Mare: "At this rate it'd take a crisis of some kind where ponies actually died to convince them to approve (the plan to train Ponyville to defend itself)."
    (Explosions and screaming)
    Mayor Mare: "Of course. The INSTANT I say it. I just HAD to FUCKING SAY IT!!"
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Grey Hoof's friends experienced friendship and love in Ponyville for the first time in ages. They unanimously choose not to abandon the town, even if it means getting cursed again.
  • Berserk Button: The biggest button for any of the mercenaries, BLU or RED, is hurting a teammate when there's no Respawn available. Hurting one will bring the wrath of God in the form of the other eight mercenaries down on your head. It's even worse if you hurt an Engie and a Pyro finds out about it...
    • Even insulting Engineer around Pyro is a very bad idea.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Princess Celestia is a Reasonable Authority Figure who's quite calm and collected most of the time, but she really hates Slendermane, and is truly enraged, something that she hasn't been in years, when chasing one of its minions.
    • Also, when she discovers what's been happening in Sunnytown she curses the entire town. The inhabitants turn into zombies, and "live" long enough to go crazy and recover again.
  • Big Ball of Violence: The BLUs when trying to subdue Painis Cupcake.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Trixie shows up just in time to interrupt a possessed Twilight. Mayor Mare also has her moments, unexpectedly taking down minor villains with her lead pipe.
    • Luna gets two of these in quick succession when she arrives in Ponyville to protect it from the latest Nightmare attack.
    • A small army from Canterlot arrives in Ponyville just in time to battle the giant robot army that's attacking.
  • The Big Girl: Barricade. She's bigger than Heavy, who is bigger than even Big Macintosh. Queen Chrysalis nicknames her "Family-Size."
  • Big "WHAT?!": Masky Pegasus, during his jail break, corrupts Heavy into, of all things, a plush toy named Nightmare Cuddles. It was not something it or anypony expected.
    • Pyro and Medic also get one when Spy asked if Discord living with Fluttershy was true.
  • Big Bad: Slendermane
  • Bigger on the Inside: Nightmare Clockwork.
  • Blessed with Suck: Spy can disguise without his disguise kit now. It turns out that's because he's a changeling, and part of the changeling hive mind, meaning that Chrysalis can control him.
  • Body Horror: The zombie curse. It's described in great detail. Medic can feel wind blowing in his ribcage.
    • The villain of that arc has a very disturbing Transformation Sequence. His skeleton, and only his skeleton, grow to the size of an alicorn. He also grows bone wings and a horn. As expected, this tears his flesh apart.
  • Body Swap: Twilight knows a spell to do this. She's very reluctant to cast it, though, as it can go wrong in a number of ways.
  • Bound and Gagged: Masky Pegasus.
  • Bored with Insanity:
    • Grey Hoof and his buddies were insane for part of the time they spent as cursed zombies in Sunnytown. Eventually, they got better.
    "At least it is fucking warm out here," the disembodied [BLU Spy] head said. "I've been in zat goddamn fridge for years now. Do you know how many times I've gone insane and recovered? THREE TIMES! And STILL zis bastard wouldn't kill me!"
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Heavy, Engineer, and Solider borrow Big Mac's "Eeeyup" when Big Macintosh comments that Pyro isn't right in the head.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Slendermane is a very psychological villain, so this happens to a lot of people. All the Nightmares are cases of this.
    • During the "Nothing Can Stop it" arc, the Masky ponies do this to Spy, Fluttershy, Twilight, and Spike, as well as some guards.
    • Nightmare Doctor does this to Lyra and Bon Bon.
    • Nightmare Cuddles does this to Barricade.
    • This slowly happens to Princess Celestia, culminating in the end of Quick Little Gashes.
  • Breather Episode: Several seem to be this, but see Mood Whiplash.
  • Break the Haughty: Pretty much the core concept behind turning Blueblood into BLU's Cadet; it's hoped that their Training from Hell will either cure him or kill him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    Scout: I'm not sure I wanna see where this fanfic goes next...
  • Brought Down to Normal / Brought Down to Badass: Twilight Sparkle. During Discord's relapse, Alicorn!Twilight fought him and was partially the reason why Fluttershy was almost killed. She then depowered herself due to viewing herself as unworthy.
    • The BLU team is considerably less effective without their equipment. Doesn't stop them from being able to put up quite a fight.
  • Broken Bird: Under the Cloud Cuckoolander, Pyro is this.
  • Brown Note: Nightmare Harmonic's song in the "Melody of Agony" arc. The first time it's heard, especially loyal ponies start freaking out. The second time, they start to bleed from their eyes. The third time, victims try to kill whoever they are loyal to, to end the pain.
  • Bully Hunter: According to the tumblr, Trixie makes a habit of ruining the Flim Flam brothers' scams whenever she can, almost solely for her own amusement.
  • Burning with Anger: Celestia when she discovers that Sunnytown murders anyone who gets a cutie mark.
    • And again when she senses that some survivors are in Ponyville.
    • Rainbow Dash does a variant with electricity instead of fire when she finds out Scout got fired from his job at the weather factory on his first day.
  • Call-Back: Several.
    • The BLUs initially assume that Merasmus is responsible for their transportation to Equestria, just like last time with De Groot Keep.
    • Medic is again asked, "Are you sure this will work?" He responds, "I have no idea."
    • Soldier get whacked on the head by several falling objects dropped by Derpy's boss, who was attempting to 'show Derpy and Raindrops how it was done.'
    • Rainbow Dash tells Sniper the story of the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness.
    • Engineer asks Rarity why Pinkie seems to be able to warp reality.
    • Spy reminds Twilight of her mental breakdowns.
    • Luna gives Mitta an amulet that lets her become The Mysterious Mare Do Well
    • RED Medic still has BLU Spy's decapitated but still alive head from "Meet the Medic" in the fridge. Although it's dead now thanks to Slenderman.
    • Nightmare Doctor weaponized a Call-Back, summoning shadow copies of Tirek, Crunch the Rock Beast, Grogar, the Daleks, and Jeff the Killer. Twilight counters by weaponizing a Call-Back of how each of those threats where defeated, then finishes off the Nightmare the same way he was beaten the first time: twenty level three sentries.
    • The author's Tumblr Page often mentions past tidbits, such as:
      • When someone questioned the Doctor on the existance of Clara, he stated that he didn't know who she was, and hadn't encountered her yet; which places his personal timelime half way through Season 7 of Doctor Who. Justified by his apparent loss of the Pond couple almost immediately prior to his arrival in Equestria, which was the storyline preceding Clara becoming a main character.
  • The Casanova: Spy seduces the ladies with astounding ease. Even the pony ladies. Medic warns Spike not to mess with Spy over the fact that he's living with Rarity, as he may decide to woo her out of sheer spite. On the other hand, he claims to have had genuine feelings for many past conquests, including Scout's mother.
    • Orion, aka Jack Harkness.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Masky ponies can spit Smooze. They're essentially spitting part of themselves at their enemies.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Twilight Sparkle.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In this fic, Applejack moved to Manehatten to visit the Oranges after her parents died in a manticore attack.
    • The same attack killed Derpy's husband, leaving her a single mom.
  • Character Tics: Spy goes to Twilight for help interpreting pony body language, which he has no experience with.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Played for Laughs in Sniper's revenge fantasy against RED Spy.
    Dream RED Spy : "Please, Monsieur Sniper, don't hurt me! I'm so weak and puny and French, I can only fight you from behind!”
  • Child Eater: The Maskies, and of course Slendermane.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Spy badly needs one after seeing Discord's reign, before Celestia and Luna intervened.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Elements of Harmony can teleport to their wielders under certain circumstances.
  • Co-Dragons: Masky Earth Pony, Masky Pegasus, and Masky Unicorn to Slendermane. Gray Mann has also taken this position.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The BLUs have blue colorations, whether it's their coats, manes or clothes. RED Spy gets a red coat when he crosses over. When the changelings take on the forms of Mann Co robots, they are colored green to distinguish themselves from the actual robots.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live:
    Mitta: If either want (sic) to protect every pony in Ponyville from suffering a Fate Worse than Death, then you have to come with me at once.
  • Composite Character: The fusions.
  • Confusion Fu: Derpy fights like this, using her "destructive clumsiness" to her advantage.
  • Consummate Professional: Sniper, played seriously. (The original game plays it more like a joke.) His dedication is enough to shrug off mind control.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Rarity's mother. Her big dinner for the heroes moves on its own, glistens in colors no food should be, smells worse than Medic's lab, and tasting it is enough to knock Pinkie Pie unconscious. They need to have the substance incinerated and the kitchen exorcised before anypony can relax again. Rarity mentions being highly resistant to mundane poisons simply from being exposed to her mom's "food". Fortunately she seems to have gotten better after Heavy (a master chef) shows how it's really done.
  • The Corruption: The Smooze, which also doubles as a Mythology Gag.
    • King Sombra left some artifacts behind which partially corrupted Cadence. She was only physically affected, though, with one of her eyes changing color and her horn curving. Then it turns out that Sombra can possess Cadence now.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Pinkie Pie, according to the Mann Co robots. Their analysis is that she is either capable of breaking the laws of physics, or she's prepared for any scenario, up to and including dueling with a magical knife-wielding psychopath. Canonically, she could be either, or both.
  • Crossover: Naturally, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Team Fortress 2, but also has Doctor Who, Slenderman, (Both as Slendermane in the pony universe and the regular Slenderman in the Team Fortress 2 universe. G1 My Little Pony, various Tumblrs, etc...
  • Cuckoo Nest: Almost the entirety of Ponyville is trapped in one in the chapter "The Difference Between Dreams and Reality. The nest is in a world where the My Little Pony TV show exists, and no-one can remember anything that's not from the TV show, adding to its credibility.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All the mercenaries have some form of this.
  • Darker and Edgier: YES!
    • News flash, it started off a teen story with simple descriptions of death, it's now mature with more blood and gore.
    • Dark Fic
  • Dark Is Not Evil: "The Rainbow of Darkness once existed in perfect harmony with the Rainbow of Light. But the greater demon Tirek seized control of it a hundred years before the dark reign of Discord. Its power was corrupted, and thought lost for ages. Researchers believe, however, that the Rainbow of Darkness may have simply retreated somehow, gone into dormancy to purge itself of the corruption Tirek inflicted on it." It seems that The Rainbow of Darkness is what transported the BLU team to Equestria, and they are The Dark Elements of Harmony.
  • Dark Reprise: Of "Hush now, quiet now" oh so very much. The first time we hear it, it's a soothing lullaby. The second time, it's part of Fluttershy's Mind Rape nightmare. Hearing the song again after that is... traumatic.
    • Celestia sings "I know for absolute certain/that everything's going to be fine..." after murdering a guard, drinking the Smooze, and hypnotizing Harbinger to cover it up.
  • Deal With The Eldritch Abomination: Slenderman makes Gray Mann a deal during the "Brutal Sniping" arc. Gray Mann does something for him, and in exchange Slenderman gives Gray Mann some Australium.
    • Spy makes one with Queen Chrysalis so that he can get the medicine he needs to help his friends, at the cost of a favor.
    • King Sombra made one with Slendermane for powerful crystals in exchange for becoming its proxy.
    • Grey Hoof and co. make a deal with Masky Pegasus to be free of Sunnytown and its curse.
    • Chrysalis tries to make a deal with Slendermane, but it turns out he is only stringing her along for his own amusement. This is one of the motivations for her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Death Glare: Barricade, Fluttershy's mother, wields a Stare so strong that people who aren't even the targets can feel it.
  • Death Seeker: Medic. To put it in perspective, when each of the BLUs are being evaluated by the villains, Medic is called "The dead one." Everyone else has a more badass title like "The raging war cry". The only one who comes close is Broken Bird Pyro, who's called "The lost soul of fire".
    • The influence of the other BLUs has been good for him, though. He says that he probably would have killed himself long ago if he hadn't met them.
    • The severed spy head Medic's been keeping in his fridge for three years is also looking for death.
  • Defiant to the End: Barricade's last actions before being Mind Raped are to spit in her attacker's face and yell "Celestia Regina!" It's an expression of loyalty to the throne.
  • Determinator: Despite facing an unstoppable Eldritch Abomination with no chance of survival, RED Medic absolutely refuses to let Slenderman take RED Heavy, desperately firing Heavy's minigun, Sasha, at the foe. His conviction is so great that he manifests the Dark Crown of Magic and empowers Sasha with Harmony, which is one of the few things capable of actually injuring Slenderman.
  • Descending Ceiling: This and a rising floor show up in Nightmare Clockwork.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Medic says that after dying so many times he's "moved past despair".
    • Twilight Tragedy knows a spell that can cause enough despair in their victims that their bodies actually shut down.
  • Deus ex Machina: Far too many to list. Pretty much every mayor fight and crisis gets solved by one at the last minute.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As Nightmare Cuddles leaves Rainbow Dash and Sniper after using his hypno eyes on them, he realizes that he forgot that Rainbow was currently blind, thus protecting her from the hypnosis.
  • Dope Slap: Spy does this to Scout whenever he gets fed up with him.
    Scout: "That hurts more with hooves, y'know."
    Spy: "GOOD."
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Soldier treats Blueblood like this, who now goes under the name Cadet.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Celestia, due to her guilt over what she did to Princess Luna, spent about fifty years drunk off her horn. During that period she approved several laws she probably shouldn't have and has been trying to get rid of them ever since.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All the BLUs have some kind of Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Eaten Alive: The gristly fate of Nightmare Gardener. Having her body consist of a mass of extremely poisonous flowers was a good idea - less so when changelings are immune to it and consider it to be delicious candy.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Slendermane, and quite possibly the Maskies. Even MONOCULUS! was frightened of it.
  • Empathic Environment: Pyroland starts rotting when Nightmare Moon possesses several of the Element bearers.
    • Pyroland does this around Slendermane and his more powerful minions.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Pyro, Medic and Engineer can use magic as ponies. Spy, Sniper, and Scout can fly. While most of their magic replicates abilities they had before they became ponies, they do have some new abilities. For example, Engineer can construct more advanced sentries, and Pyro has more control over flame.
    • As a pony, Spy's disguises become actual shape - shifting, and can be maintained while attacking. He can cloak indefinitely as well. It's because he's part changeling.
    • Engineer can construct full A.I.s using gems.
  • Epic Fail: The BLU's plan to contain Painis Cupcake by using Demopan and a paradox ends in one of these, causing Twilight to remark that the Cutie Mark Crusaders have never failed that epically.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Herr BLU Medic is a self-proclaimed "sadist of the vurst sort" but even at his worst he would never give someone something cooked by Marsha.
    • Discord knows Slendermane. He's not at all fond of him.
  • Every Device Is a Swiss-Army Knife: Rarity's artificial leg also functions as a hand, a gem cutter, a flashlight, a drill, pickaxe, shovel, wrench, lightning gun, and diamond - tipped chainsaw.
  • Evil Laugh: Nightmare Doctor.
  • Exact Words:
    "Two things. First... will this hurt the princess in any way, shape, or form?" Brickhouse asked, pawing the ground uncomfortably.
    The masked pegasus smiled, an enticing, inviting smile. "I can honestly say that your actions will not bring any physical harm to the princess in any way, shape, or form."
    If Brickhouse were a smarter pony, he might have noticed how specific her statement was. As it was, all her statement did was make him start to accept it.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Rarity is a mild version. As she puts it, her mother's horrible cooking is the reason why she has a greater poison resistance than that of a dragon.
  • Facial Horror: The human forms of the Pyros.
  • Fake Memories: Luna does this to everyone in Ponyville but the BLUs and the bearers of the Elements in the aftermath of Nightmare Grave's attack on Ponyville so they don't remember all the Nightmare Fuel they experienced. They instead remember a Lighter and Softer version of events.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Cutie Fracture, the complete loss of your own special ability and, essentially, a loss of who you are. This is NOT something you can recover from either and drove an affected pony to suicide in the past.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Cheerilee doesn't take being turned into a nightmare lying down. She manages to slow the Nightmare down and mess with it several times, and then actually escape it.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Pinkie, and she's rubbing off on Scout.
  • Flat "What": During his jail break, Masky Pegasus corrupts Heavy, turning him into Nightmare Cuddles. Masky Unicorn does not find this funny at all.
    • RED Spy does this when he realizes why Soldier created the Decoy Mv M map.
    • Spy does this after hearing Soldier's plan before their first battle, which is completely unintelligible because of him using a bunch of gibberish code phrases.
    • While watching one of Sniper's revenge fantasies, this happens:
    Dream Sniper: Release the Snoipahdiles!
    Spy: What.
    • Engineer's response upon finding that Gem Sentry, his AI-controlled weapons platform and surrogate daughter, has joined the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Whose latest misadventure has reached the usual "covered in pine sap and no cutiemarks" ending.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Heavy barrels through several corrupted Diamond Dogs to get to Fluttershy.
  • Forced to Watch: When Sniper becomes a Nightmare, he can still see what he's doing, but he can't stop Nightmare Brutality from trying to kill his friends.
  • Forceful Kiss: Soldier (as PAINis Cupcake) plants one on Derpy. She takes it rather well.
  • For Science!: RED Medic's reason for keeping one of BLU Spy's heads alive, leading to this exchange:
    Merasmus: ...Interesting. Why have you kept the head alive?
    RED Medic: For SCIENCE!
    Merasmus: ...That's not an answer.
    RED Demoman: For him it is.
  • For the Evulz: Virtually everything bad that happens is all part of Slendermane's attempt to torment Celestia to insanity, and we are given NO REASON WHATSOEVER as to why he's doing it. He also strings Queen Chrysalis along with a phony Deal with the Devil just for the hell of it.
  • Foreshadowing: Applejack gets an odd itching feeling on her neck when Demoman makes a remark about being honest. Rarity and Rainbow Dash gets the same, when Engineer promises to compensate her for the resources he took and when Sniper expresses his dedication to protecting his team. Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle experiences the same thing, although in Twilight's case the sensation is on top of her head...
    • PAINis Cupcake decides to kiss Derpy rather than try to eat her. Seeing as he has no compunctions about trying to eat his own teammates, this means a lot.
  • Friendly Enemy: Even during the war games, when they weren't actively fighting, the BLUs would occasionally form truces and do friendly stuff, such as when the Scouts rigged both bases with pie traps. (Canonically, BLU Soldier and RED Demoman developed a close friendship in the source material until the Administrator ruined it.) Since the war games are cancelled with the deaths of the Mann brothers and the disappearance of BLU, the REDs have cast aside their animosity and are doing what they can to help.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Fifty-one of these falling on Soldier's head turn him into Painis Cupcake.
    • And then Soldier knocks Heavy out with one.
  • Fusion Dance: The Elements of harmony are each able to fuse with a member of the BLU team. So far the fusions are:
    • Heavy + Fluttershy = FlutterHeavy
    • AppleJack + Demoman = AppleDemo
    • Rarity + Engineer = EngiRarity
    • Pinkie Pie + Scout = Scoutie Pie
    • Derpy + Soldier = Solderp
    • Rainbow Dash + Sniper = Rainbow Sniper
    • Zecora + Spy = Spycora
    • Trixie + Pyro = Trixyro
    • Also, presumably in future chapters:
      • Twilight Sparkle + Medic
  • Gambit Pileup: In addition to Big Bad Slendermane messing with the heroes, the nightmare that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon is plotting something that seems to be detrimental to both Slendermane and the heroes. What it is isn't clear yet. Meanwhile, the RED team is working with Merasmus to figure out what happened to BLU.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    BLU Scout: "At least (our families) have the RED versions of us there, so they won't be without some version of us and be worrying."
    RED Engineer: "Damn, Helen, you can't do this! They're our FAMILIES!"
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Sombra
  • Godzilla Threshold: Scout decides that they need PAINis Cupcake to defeat Heavydile, Christian Brutal Sniper, and Vagineer.
    • Earlier, there's the alliance between the REDs and Merasmus.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Happens to the BLU and RED Engineers after being trapped on another planet for 2000 years and trapped in a mine for 1000 years, respectively. They would be long dead if not for Smooze and Australium poisoning.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In Pony vs. Machine, literally everyone, from Mare-Do-Well to the Wonderbolts to the Changelings, gets called in to defend Ponyville from Gray Mann's forces.
  • Good is Not Nice: The BLU team, especially with Equestria as a contrast. Just about all of them have some kind of psychological issues, especially Pyro, Soldier, Medic, and Sniper.. They're also much more relaxed about murder.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We never see exactly what happens to the Diamond Dogs Pyro catches.
    Scout: Oh my God...
    Soldier: Oh geez... That ain't right. Even for HER that ain't right...
    Engineer: Pyro... darlin'... yer scarin' the locals...
  • Got Me Doing It: Spy accidentally pronounces sandwiches "sandvitches".
  • Graceful Loser: Nightmare Dubstep.
    Nightmare Dubstep: "Ahright (sic). You win, I won't hold it against you."
  • Gratuitous French: Spy, after being corrupted by Masky Pegasus.
    • Queen Chrysalis does this when impersonating Spy.
  • Gratuitous German: Medic tends to swear in German.
  • Groin Attack: Heavy decides to practice applebucking on a pole in an old farmhouse at Sweet Apple Acres. He misses on his first attempt, resulting in this.
    • Medic threatens to do this to Merasmus with a serrated, rusty scalpel.
    • Happens to Merasmus by six RED team members at once after he insults them one time too many.
    • Also to Blueblood after he cops an attitude with the mercenaries. To be fair, though, they did say that Pyro would set his crown jewels on fire...
    • Merasmus tends to attract these: Spy gives him one after returning from Equestria.
  • Green Thumb: Nightmare Gardener. And now Cheerilee, the pony the latter was based from.

     Tropes H - M 
  • Handicapped Badass: After Rainbow Dash is temporarily blinded, Sniper trains her to use her other senses to see. She is able to detect Twilight from the sheer feeling of her magic, whereas she identifies Rarity by her perfume overuse.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: We don't see Sniper's fantasy about Rainbow Dash, but we know that it made Rainbow blush redder than her hair.
  • Healing Factor: Nightmare Gardener heals in seconds from a machete through the eye, a sawblade to the chest, and having both wings and a leg chopped off in seconds.
  • The Heart: Scout considers himself and Pinkie Pie to fill this role, being the ones to keep the others smiling when everything feels too grim to bear.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Chrysalis, after she gets a sustainable source of love to feed her hive. Also, Trixie could be considered this, given her position as an antagonist in the show.
  • Helpful Hallucination: Pyro's friend Mr Balloonicorn has enough self-awareness that he can look out for her and offer observations that she is unaware of. Since he is also RED Pyro's hallucination, he's aware of what is going on in their original world too, and can relay information.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Trixie pulls a non-lethal variant, absorbing two thousand years worth of agonizing memories from Engineer (and another thousand from his conterpart, which was not expected) in order to free him from the Nightmare remnants. It is as horrible for her as you'd expect, and only the knowledge that it's not actually hers make it bearable. The BLUs have a very solid respect for her for this.
  • Hero of Another Story: Doctor Whooves has saved Equestria at least once before the story begins, and then there's his adventures in canon Doctor Who. Derpy's worked with the Doctor for at least some of his time in Equestria, and saved Trottingham at one point.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The old officials of Ponyville apparently think of this for the Elements of Harmony, But after a very powerful robot sent by Gray Mann nearly destroys the town after powering its way past all the heroes at once , they finally agree to let the town be trained to defend itself.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Soldier mentions it took BLU team "way too long" to learn basic motor control in their new bodies.
    • No-one is sure how to trigger a fusion, either.
  • Hidden Depths: Pyro surprises Twilight and Trixie with her reasoning as to why Celestia is so informal.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Both Soldier and Pyro identify as their title. Soldier didn't even know his real name until he drank a potion from Zecora. Meanwhile, Pyro is NOT Mariko but a separate personality.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Vagineer and the Heavydile. On the pony front, the Nightmares can count as these.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Celestia inverts this trope by summoning a small sun in the midst of the Daleks.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Nightmare Brutality. Although his weapons are made from magic, this does count since he spawns so many weapons during his fun.
    • Pinkie Pie employs this as well. And she's teaching Scout to do it.
    • Painis Cupcake frequently pulls things out of nowhere.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Nightmare Cuddles/Juggernaut.
  • I Can Explain:
    "GOTCHA," [Celestia] said, roughly yanking the mask off of Brickhouse's face. She blinked, startled to see a perfectly normal pony beneath the mask.
    Brickhouse grinned weakly. "I can explain," he said.
    Celestia snarled. "Explain it to the guards," she said.
    • Masky Pegasus says this when attempting to justify losing to the protagonists with two Nightmares.
    • Gray Mann does this when attempting to justify failing to destroy Ponyville to Slendermane
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Doctor Whooves begs the BLUs to kill him before he transforms into a Nightmare.
  • I Can Still Fight!: A badly poisoned Pyro claims this, but no one buys it.
  • I Can't Dance: Justified. Engineer and Pyro can't dance, though it could just that they aren't used to dancing as ponies.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Maskies are this.
    • Heavydile is also this, causing Heavy to swear off meat after he reverts to normal.
    • Painis Cupcake also counts by technicality, having never actually eaten anyone.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: The changelings impersonating Soldier, Derpy and Sparkler got enough details wrong that their cover was blown within one day.
  • Improvised Weapon: Sniper turns a cloud into a sniper rifle during the Nightmare Dog attack. Rainbow Dash is both amazed and disturbed.
    • Demoman uses a plank of wood with some nails stuck through it in the same battle.
    • Soldier still fights with a shovel occasionally.
    • Mayor Mare is quite deadly with a pipe.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    Scout: (to Rainbow Dash) "You'll be lucky if you beat HEAVY!"
    Heavy: "I'm standing right here."
  • Incompatible Orientation: Heavy for Medic.
  • Indy Ploy: Medic figures out Twilight's capable of mimicking his spells, so they Ubercharge Celestia and Luna without knowing if they can survive an ubercharge. As it turns out, they survive.
  • In Love with Your Carnage:
    Pyro: (hearing Heavy's minigun) "Oh my God that sounds sexy."
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Applejack after beating Nightmare Grave as AppleDemo.
    • Cheerilee after talking with Soldier.
    • Demoman after seeing what Discord's reign was like before Celestia and Luna intervened.
    • Sniper needs one when Soldier starts talking about his head collection.
    • Berry Punch after the events of Brutal Sniping.
  • Insistent Terminology: The BLUs are adamant that returning to their world is a matter of "when", not "if".
  • Insult Backfire: Scout experiences this in chapter 8.
    Scout: You do realize that you basically said "I'll tell Mom on you" just now?
    Spy: You do realize that I've done your Mom?
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Gem Sentry speaks in electronic beeps and warbles like a regular sentry, but Engineer and a few others can understand her.
  • Interspecies Romance: Quite a few.
    • Spy/Zecora
    • Scout/Pinkie Pie
    • Soldier/Derpy
    • Demoman/Berry Punch
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The BLUs each get hit with this upon entering Equestria.
    • Soldier, Demoman, and Heavy are turned into earth ponies.
    • Engineer, Medic, and Pyro are turned into unicorns.
    • Scout, Sniper, and Spy are turned into pegasi. The RED Spy turns into one as well upon entry to Equestria.
      • Also, the Doctor as well as River Song (taking the name of Minuette) and Captain Jack Harkness (under the name Orion) is hit with this.
  • Irony: The Spy, A.K.A. the guy who disguises himself as your friend to stab you in the back, is the Element of Trust along with Zecora.
  • Killer Rabbit: Nightmare Cuddles. Don't let his appearance and general friendliness fool you: He's a Nightmare through and through. Soldier seems to be the only one who recognized this.
  • Knight Templar: Once her Sanity Slippage starts setting in, Celestia becomes this, willing to kill someone on suspicion of them being Slendermane.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Most of it is done by the BLUs:
    • Medic, Spy, and Engineer wonder why there are horse drawn carriages in a world filled with fully sentient ponies.
    • Pinkie Pie's emergency parties. Engineer states that it makes more sense than it should.
    • Twilight telling Marsha that if a book as "nomicon" in it's name, it's usually evil.
  • Laughing Mad: Three Leaf after seeing what having her curse lifted cost.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: EngiRarity removes everyone's memories of being Mind Raped by Nightmare Doctor.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Scout does this when talking to Horse Power about his status as a running gag. The reply is pretty good.
  • Leave Him to Me!: Queen Chrysalis does this when facing Nightmare Gardener. The brutality with which she kills Chrysalis's changelings is more than Chrysalis can stand.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: BLU Soldier, especially when the teams were just getting started.
  • Leitmotif: Nightmare Cuddles has one in Living In The Sunlight by Tiny Tim.
  • Lethal Chef: Rarity's mother, Marsha Mallow. For an example, she found a book called the Chefinomicon and thought it would be just dandy to cook from it. She ends up getting the kitchen haunted by Windigos without even realizing it.
  • Light 'em Up: The primary powers of Nightmare Dubstep.
  • Living Lie Detector: Spy tries a hastily made cover story against Celestia and Luna. As she once bore the Element of Honesty in the Waking Nightmares timeline, Luna retains some of its power, and thus is not fooled.
  • Logic Bomb: Cheerilee manages to stop PAINis Cupcake by putting a mirror in front of him and trying to get him to eat himself. The bomb doesn't kill him unlike most examples; it just 'resets' him back to being Soldier.
  • Loophole Abuse: Trixie pulls this on Flim and Flam to render their victory over the Apples moot. They really want the Zap Apple grove, but since the grove is technically part of the Everfree Forest and not the Acres, it's under custody of Ponyville and the Mayor, and she's perfectly willing to lease it to the Apples. When they think they can at least make money off the farm proper, they are informed in no uncertain terms that nopony will do business with them, all the other Apple families in Equestria will boycott them, and Rainbow Dash is within her rights to deny them the rain they'd need to grow anything in the first place.
  • Made of Evil: The Smooze: A force of pure darkness that corrupts everything it touches. Just about every boss and plenty of mooks the heroes face have been severely corrupted and mutated by Smooze exposure. It's also what turned Luna into Nightmare Moon.
  • Made of Iron: Rover survives a backstab from Spy. Even a fully overhealed Heavy can't do that. Admittedly, he's badly hurt afterwards, but that still puts him in a category with Gray Mann's toughest robots.
  • Mad Oracle: Because they both bear elements of Generosity, when Engineer is turned into a Nightmare, Rarity knows what's happening to him. She's not able to convey the news very coherently, though, as she's seeing what he's gone through.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Barricade and her husband Dr. TL Care. After meeting the anxious little fellow, Engie finally figured out why Fluttershy is the way she is.
  • Magitek: Engineer's Gem Sentry.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Nightmare Harmonic.
    • Changelings can do this as well.
    • Engineer installed a sonic attack in Gem Sentry.
  • Mama Bear: Barricade. Berry Punch is also willing to jump an indestructible Eldritch Abomination and beat on it to make it let go of her daughter, and attacks the robot manning the Disharmony device without either weapons or plans other than a fierce desire to save her daughter.
    • Queen Chrysalis, after her Heel–Face Turn, would rather engage a Nightmare on her own than let her children get killed. Having a psychic bond that lets her experience their deaths may be a strong motivator.
  • Meaningful Name: Lets review, shall we?
    • First, the fusions. They are simply a portmanteau of the names of the fused.
    • Barricade of the Pegasus Guard. She is pretty large, surpassing Big Macintosh and Heavy in size. And she is sent to Ponyville to act as defense against the Maskies.
    • Harbinger of the Earth Pony Guard. True to his name, he delivers news of Celestia's Sanity Slippage to Barricade.
    • The Nightmares. Their names represent what they are (the Nightmare Dogs, Nightmare Grave), Nightmare Clockwork or what they did before their corruption (Nightmare Doctor, Nightmare Dubstep, and Nightmare Harmonic.)
  • Metaphorgotten:
    Trixie: "You literally cannot swing a cat anywhere in Equestria without an apple catching the cat and telling you to stop hurting the poor thing."
  • Mind Rape: Half of the Elements have suffered from this, having severely traumatizing nightmares that are loosely based on famous Darkfics they have been the antagonists of... Naturally, Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles) is the nightmare Pinkie suffers. And Rainbow Dash's is Rainbow Factory. Fluttershy's, though, is something much, much worse.
    • And, as such, the return of the Engineer as Nightmare Clockwork also invokes this, through his ability to reverse time and reawaken the other Nightmares, even to the extent of affecting the REDs despite their distance.
    • Nightmare Doctor also likes inflicting this on people. He'll leave you reliving the deaths of every version of yourself from an alternate universe. All the really painful ones. anyway. He also makes people relive the Element's Mind Rape nightmares. Until you tick him off enough.
    • Nightmare Cuddles uses this too. His repertoire ranges from just making you happy and lazy, to removing your memories and adding subconscious orders, to trapping you in a delusion while a small part of you in unaffected and forced to watch.
    • Happened to both BLU and RED Engineers, over the course of a very lonely 2000 years on a deserted planet and 1000 years in an Australium mine, respectively.
    • This is also Slendermane's speciality. He's very good at it.
  • Monster of the Week: Apparently, according to Gray Mann, Slendermane has been doing this formula when attacking Ponyville
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens often enough that it's practically a trademark. Whenever there's a comedic/slice-of-life/feel-good chapter that doesn't have anything to do with the main story, you can bet money that there will be one of the aforementioned Mind Rape nightmares at the end.
  • More Dakka: As EngiRarity puts it, if a gun proves a non-viable solution, use more gun. And one of the advantages of having only one opponent (albeit an extremely powerful one) rather than several opponents with advanced anti-sentry tactics, as well as being free of the Administrator's rules, is that she's not restricted to just one sentry. Try twenty.
  • Mundanemade Awesome: Trixie has a spell that can respawn destroyed hats. The BLUs are very impressed.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Actually explained in-universe as a Heartsong. Sometimes, an individual's emotions can be so strong that they manifest though their inherent magic in the form of a song. The music and special effects that go with the song come from the planet's ambient magic. Catharsis is induced during someone's Heartsong, so unless one was a part of the song, it would be rude to disrupt it with their noise. If the emotions were happy enough, there's a strong chance that the Heartsong would become a group number.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Twilight, once she's no longer Brainwashed and Crazy but remembers that she tried to murder everyone in Ponyville.
    • Discord had this reaction when he accidentally nearly killed Fluttershy during his Face–Heel Turn. Once he realized what he'd done, he healed her and surrendered.
    • All the zomponies, with the exception of Grey Hoof, are so horrified by the cost of their freedom that they immediately Heel–Face Turn.
  • My Greatest Failure: Barricade's is the massacre of her entire platoon by Jeff the Killer, thanks to failure on both her part and the Doctor's. Has resulted in quite a bit of self-loathing, as well as animosity toward the Doctor.
  • Mythology Gag: AppleDemo's grenade launcher has a six - shot clip. Demoman's only has four, but the gun appears to have six tubes for grenades. Originally, Demoman's grenade launcher was going to have a six - shot clip, but it was cut back to four for balance reasons.

     Tropes N - S 
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: An interesting case. Because Friendship is Magic is still on the air and Team Fortress 2 is still receiving updates, new details from both are integrated into Waking Nightmares as they become apparent. One such example is Gray Mann. When Waking Nightmares started, Gray Mann was not introduced into Team Fortress 2 canon. When he was introduced, he and his robots received their own subplot in Waking Nightmares.
    • Another well done example of Knight Mysterio's adaptability is Discord... In one scene in Waking Nightmares, he was having a chat with Celestia while he was a statue. Come My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S3 E11 "Keep Calm and Flutter On", and Discord is revealed to have been turned back to stone. Because of this, the story is assumed to take place over a year after the end of Season 3.
      • According to Word of God, unless something major happens, the only thing that will cause the author to make this an Alternate Universe story is if the Cutie Mark Crusaders get their cutie marks in the show.
      • Initially, it was unclear how much of Season 4 would be [[canon]], but it has sice been confirmed that it all is.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Slenderman. During his visit to the RED team's base, The only thing that was capable of damaging him was Medic's desperate use of Sasha to protect Heavy. That act allowed Medic to channel the Elements of Magic and Kindness (through Sasha).
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Pyro. Even her own team fear her (which is, in fact, canon) and prefer to pay very little attention to what she does to her enemies because they like to sleep at night.
  • Noodle Incident: Pinkie blew up a cake one time. The Cakes and her agreed to never speak of it again.
  • 8 The Cutie Mark Crusaders once summoned freakin' Nyarlathotep, who almost destroyed the town (again), but Discord and the Princesses convinced him not to devour the world, and not only Pinkie Pie threw him a party, she got him to take on a form that wouldn't drive ponies insane just from looking at it.
  • Noodle Implements: Chocolate, popcorn, taco sauce and whipped cream were involved in blowing up the Noodle Incident cake.
    • When Medic wants to interrogate someone, he lists off the multitude of creative and horrifying uses of a number of instruments. The order is usually a scalpel and bonesaw, syringes, chemicals, a melon baller, an ice cream scoop, a hot water bottle, a tazer, three bananas, a canister of chili powder, a walnut cracker, and a power drill. He's never gotten past the power drill before a subject starts talking.
  • No More for Me: Berry Punch, after seeing Soldier and Pinkie bouncing down a road together.
  • No Place for Me There: Of a sort. Medic says that the BLU team "does not belong (in Equestria), in zis good place...".
  • No-Sell: Slendermane's extension to the human world was this to the RED team, Not so much as flinching no matter what the REDs do to him, even killing the Medic and Demoman while they were Übercharged. And while MONOCULUS! could at least damage him some, it was taken out in ONE HIT!.
    • Mare-Do-Well's mask shields her from Smooze spit, allowing her to simply shrug it off.
    • Someone who's insane, like Discord, is immune to Slendermane's powers and illusions, as he's already mad. Slendermane can't do much to someone who's already gone crazy.
    • Nightmare Clockwork smashes Twilight's shield (that's withstood multiple powerful explosions) with a single blow.
  • Not Quite Dead: Nightmare Moon. When the Mane 6 purified Luna, they did not kill Nightmare Moon. She still exists in some way, as a separate entity from Luna, but how has yet to be revealed.
    • And apparently, she refers to Luna as 'Mother'.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Nightmare Cuddles/Juggernaut. The only one who seems to realize that he is a real threat is Soldier.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Balloonicorn is becoming this, as he's able to notice things that Pyro, who was thought to be hallucinating him, doesn't.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Ponyville town council, with Mayor Mare the Only Sane Man.
  • Oh, Crap!: This shows up so often it's almost as common as the above mentions Mood Whiplash.
    • All the BLUs have one when they realize Soldier's become Painis Cupcake.
      • And again when Painis Cupcake somehow manages to find two metal girders.
    • Masky Unicorn's eyes widen when Medic's ÜberCharge turns Applejack into an alicorn and uses the power of truth to cure Spy and the princess's guards from their corruption. Then it gets a good look at the princesses, and decides to run.
    • Nightmare Doctor realizes he is screwed when EngiRarity reveals the twenty level three Sentries she built when he was distracted.
    • Masky Pegasus gets a triple one during his first confrontation with Mitta as the Mare-Do-Well.
    • All the BLUs and Element bearers when they realize Gray Mann is attacking them with nearly a thousand robots.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Rainbow Dash has apparently ended up in one of Hugh Jelly's "personal use" vats of jelly before.
  • Omniglot: Princess Celestia learned every language a long time ago. Justified in that she's certainly had time.
  • One-Winged Angel: Nightmare Cuddle's true form, Nightmare Juggernaut.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Spy tends to do this, thanks to his new powers, despite being a pegasus. He does have Changeling DNA inside him, which enables him to do this.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: BLU and RED Soldier cry when they finally remember what happened before the war, and RED Soldier is being polite to Merasmus.
    • It's also a sign of changeling impersonation.
    • It's a sign of how serious the melody of agony is that it terrifies Sniper.
  • Out of Continues: When the BLUs got transported to Equestria, they lost the benefits of the respawn. If they die now, they're gone for good.
  • Painful Transformation: The zompony plague, and when Grey Hoof takes it up to eleven.
    Grey Hoof "I swore I wouldn't do it again, as the transformation HURT."
    • Any time someone transforms into a Nightmare is bound to be this. The transformation is caused by ingesting Smooze, after all.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: The Masky Ponies and those affected with the zombie curse SpEaK iN aLtErNaTiNg CaSeS.
  • Paint It Black: Doctor Whooves, after becoming a nightmare. His coat turns a dark black.
    • This seems to be a theme with the nightmares - it happens to Sniper as well.
    • When Octavia becomes Nightmare Harmonic her coat turns jet black.
  • Papa Wolf: RED Medic is willing to stand in the way of the Slenderman to keep him from harming his friend. BLU Medic regards Chrysalis's taking of his friends as a clear invitation to kill her in the most horrific way imaginable. And he has a vivid imagination.
  • Parting-Words Regret: Soldier/Solomon fights with his brother, who wanted to enlist, the fight makes his newborn daughters cry and he leaves to run an errand, only for the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor to begin, his family was killed when a shot-down plane crashes into his house.
  • Perception Filter: Slendermane can cause people to simply not notice him unless he wants to be seen. The Maskies also seem to be able to create these.
  • Plant Pony: Nightmare Gardener, whom has vine and petaled wings.
  • Poison Is Evil: Masky Earth Pony laces cookies with Smooze to deal with Doctor Whooves.
  • Power Copying: Twilight and Trixie are both able to figure out how to cast spells by seeing them performed.
  • Power Limiter: Twilight had her alicorn powers sealed and princesshood abdicated after a moment of recklessness harmed Fluttershy, thus explaining why she's still a unicorn. She reclaims it during her fight with Nightmare Brutality.
  • Power Nullifier: Gray Mann's Disharmony Device, capable of negating the fusions.
  • Power Trio: Barricade, Harbinger, and Shining Armor, whom are the captains of the Pegasus, Earth Pony, and Unicorn Guards respectively. Also, the Doctor, Riversong, and Captain Jack Harkness.
  • Precision C-strike: Spy gives one to the Administrator when he discovers why the REDs and BLUs are identical.
    • Nightmare Brutality has one when he starts losing.
    • Rainbow Dash has one during her nightmare.
  • Precision F-Strike: Mayor Mare has one as the latest threat to Ponyville arrives.
    Mayor Mare: At this rate it'd take a crisis of some kind where ponies actually died to convince them to approve (the plan to train Ponyville to defend itself).
    (Explosions and screaming)
    Mayor Mare: Of course. The INSTANT I say it. I just HAD to FUCKING SAY IT!!
  • Properly Paranoid: Jeff the Killer covered his warehouse in magical trap glyphs. They turned out to be quite useful.
  • Psychic Link: The REDs have this with the BLUs because they are two halves of a soul.
  • Pyromaniac: Pyro, of course. It's more noticeable now that she's capable of speech.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Merasmus hits this after Heavydile eats him.
    Merasmus: FUCK THIS NOISE!!
  • Reality Warper:
    • PAINis Cupcake. He ÜberCharged himself'.
    • Pinkie Pie taught Scout how to move through the narrative as well as she does, so now he is capable of her teleportation antics!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Bomonomicon gives one to Merasmus detailing why the REDs don't like him: He gave the Administrator the spell to split their souls, constantly preens, exaggerates the sacrifices he makes for them, and always talks like he's better than them.
  • Recursive Fan Fiction: The story incorporates material from several other known stories. Most of the nightmares tormenting the protagonists are based on several darkfics such as Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles) and Rainbow Factory. Story of the Blanks is also fully canon, as is The Light in the Darkness.
  • Redemption Earns Life:
  • Reference Overdosed: Good luck finding ANY chapter that doesn't reference memes, Creepypasta, or a Dark Fic in some way.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Grey Mann repeats Slender Man's half of the conversation, which is entirely telepathic.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Averted with the equestrians, who don't need a heart transplant to survive the effects of Medic's ubercharge. Their horse hearts are more resilient than a human's.
  • Reset Button: Destroying a Nightmare tends to heal whatever injuries and even repair collateral damage it caused during its rampage. Averted for the last chapters, due to the fic getting increasingly darker as it goes on.
  • Retcon: If anything new is added to either the Friendship is Magic or Team Fortress 2 canon, it will be mentioned in Waking Nightmares in some way, shape, or form. See New Powers as the Plot Demands.
  • Robot Girl: Gem Sentry.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    Barricade: "Do you like your beatings performed with the foorhooves or backhooves?"
    Imposter: "Backhooves. (Beat) Wasn't I supposed to answer?"
  • Running Gag: Soldier smacks himself in the face whenever he salutes as a pony.
  • Run or Die: When Medic and Engineer first face Nightmare Doctor, they turn and run.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Pyro.
  • Sanity Slippage: Slendermane slowly does this to Celestia, beginning with horrible visions and ending with turning her into a Nightmare.
  • Scaled Up: Chrysalis pulls this off during her rematch with Nightmare Gardener.
  • Scars Are Forever: Because the wound was caused by a Smooze creature, Medic can't regrow Rarity's leg. Engineer and the Doctor construct a replacement, though.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Trixie invokes this while curb stomping Flim and Flam, not by using her connections, but Twilight's and her friends' connections.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Merasmus tells the Administrator off for making him keep secrets from RED Soldier. So he's going to tell him and the rest of the REDs why the BLUs are more important than either team realizes.
  • Serious Business: Hats for the BLUs. This naturally goes for the REDs, too. Justified since it's an easy way to distinguish yourself and avoid Clone Angst.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Inverted. When Mitta, Demoman, and Applejack are reliving a traumatic event in Mitta's past, she needs to proceed through the memory as it really happened, letting her sister die to snap the others out of it.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Nightmare Cuddles/Juggernaut power is to take one's sins and give them hold over you. He seems to greatly favor Sloth.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Discord. About a year after 'Keep Calm and Flutter On', Discord relapsed and tried to take out Celestia, hurting Fluttershy in the process. Once he realized what he had done, he surrendered and willing went back into his can.
  • Ship Tease: The following people have some level of relationship:
    • Soldier and Derpy
    • Demoman and Berry Punch
    • Spy and Zecora
    • Scout and Pinkie
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few.
    • Pinkie Pie's bad dream is obviously Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles).
    • Mayor Mare's father is the mayor of Metrot City. She even has a lead pipe in her office.
    • Upon becoming a Nightmare, Doctor Whooves has this to say:
      Doctor Whooves: Oh, I so hope I haven't become one of those cowardly Discorded versions of myself.
    • There's a cutie mark-related disease called "Cutie Fracture." It involves a pony being unable to perform their special talent, indicated by their cutie mark, and is indicated by their cutie mark appearing fractured and broken. That may be a reference to Fractured Loyalty. In it, Rainbow Dash's cutie mark appears fractured. KnightMysterio says otherwise, however.
    • Merasmus has heard of a girl who disappeared, only to return broken and mad, talking about a demon called Tirek.
    • Heavy's reaction to Marsha's cooking?
    • "Now is EPIC COOKING TIME!"
    • Herr BLU Medic created a zombie virus; he never used it, as while it's easy to make zombies, it's hard to control them.
    • Slendermane is referred to as "the child of Krastos", as in Krastos the Gluemaker, a jokingly proposed archvillain mentioned among fans in the early seasons.
    • Scout decides to taste the rainbow waterfall outside Dash's house, and his eyes tear up from the extra-spicy flavor. Sniper remarks that Spy was right - rainbows do make him cry!
    • Several Garry's Mod joke characters make their appearance. Some, such as Painis Cupcake and the Demopan, are played for laughs. Others, very much not.
      • Christian Brutal Sniper, unlike the original, explains the Christian part of his name. He's the embodiment of everything Sniper hates about himself, including the time he was Christian. He stopped when he found out his church had murdered some aboriginals in the area for not being white.
    • Chrysalis's Battle Cry during her rematch against Nightmare Gardener? "Time to find how many bites it takes to get to the center of a Morrigan pop!"
  • Lyra once went around in a black hoodie to avoid being noticed.
  • Cheeriliee's nightmare form is Nightmare Gardener, which is probably a shoutout to Cheerilee's Garden, another grimdark fan fic.
  • In the chapter "Running of the Leaves", Spy quotes something from Kung Fu Panda.
Spy: "Zere is an old Chinese saying on my world... Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Zat is why it is called ze present."
  • Averted in chapter 33: The author notes that the scene in question was written before he became aware of Asylum (Daemon of Decay) and that it is not a reference.
  • The Fusions are very reminiscent of the Gem Fusions in Steven Universe in that the two components have to be emotionally in sync and their being composite beings... except the author has been writing this fic since September 7, 2011, and the show came out November 4, 2013.
  • Shrinking Violet: TL Care, Fluttershy's father. Except when it comes to the sight of injuries and even he won't be scared of Heavy while tending to him. That, and Harbinger.
    Harbinger: A million things terrify him and I'm not one of them.
  • Sixth Ranger: Derpy, Zecora, and Trixie, whom are the lost Elements of Love, Trust, and Hope respectivly. Cheerilee, Berry Punch, and Mayor Mare also lend their hooves when they can.
  • Smug Snake: Gray Mann. It's accentuated here because he's Slendermane's flunky.
    Gray Mann: "Oh, and because I'm feeling like being an especially large dick today..."
  • Sociopathic Hero: The BLUs are perfectly aware of the fact that they are dangerous, psychologically damaged killers, and prefer that their pony friends remember this. Medic in particular is a self-admitted sadist who has only his strict adherence to ethics and loyalty to his friends to keep him from performing horrible and fascinating experiments on anything he can find, including the ponies they're supposed to protect. His habit of bringing up his interests in casual conversation comes across very much as reminders to others not to let him slip up.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The monsters attacking Ponyville and the protagonists become much more deadly as the story goes on.
  • Split at Birth: While not exactly at birth, Merasmus reveals that the REDs and BLUs were split from the nine people they originally were thanks to the Administrator. The Mann brothers hired nine mercenaries. The problem was that both of them wanted the nine, so the Administrator performed a ritual (that Merasmus unknowingly provided) involving their blood and Australium to split them into half. As such, the REDs experience a fraction of what the BLUs are experiencing in Equestria.
  • Spot the Thread: Several of the protagonists start noticing minor inconsistencies when some of their friends are replaced with changeling impostors.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: One of Slendermane's ways to mess with someone is to appear, possibly with other, more disturbing illusions, and then vanish as soon as they look away.
  • Straight Gay: Heavy is comfortable with his orientation, although his crush does not answer his feelings. Which may be for the best.
  • Steampunk: Nightmare Clockwork
  • Summon Bigger Fish: During Pony Versus Machine, RED Scout realizes they only have one option to deal with the Freaks - bring out their own. Painis Cupcake nearly kills Scout before he sets his target on the bigger and tastier opponents.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Anything that consumes the Smooze tends to develop one of these.
  • Super Mode: Medic's Übercharge in regards to the Elements of Harmony. Using it on them temporarily turns them into an alicorn.
  • Super-Speed: Harbinger. While you can still see him run, he qualifies because he is faster than a train. He's an Earth Pony.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: A romantic song begins playing out of a radio when Soldier kisses Derpy.

     Tropes T - Z 
  • Taken For Steel Nightmare Clockwork does this to Pyro.
  • Tears of Blood: The second time the Melody of Agony is played, it causes this in its victims.
  • Teleport Spam: Celestia's not fast enough to catch Brickhouse, so she teleports after him. She still can't stop him, though, so what ensues is mistaken for a light show by onlookers.
  • Temporary Blindness: Masky Pegasus caused this to Rainbow Dash to get her off its tail during a chase. She gets it back in the chapter "Brutal Sniping - Part 1"
  • Tempting Fate:
    Soldier: "Here, though, it's not like something's going to fall out of the sky at random."
    Soldier: "I'm fine. This is why I wear a helmet all the time."
    (Fifty frying pans on head)
  • That Man Is Dead:
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The end of chapter 26.
    do you think you are safe?
    do you think this is just a story?
    you are wrong.
    • KnightMysterio claims that whenever he visits this page, he gets a 404 error message. Someone else posted that chapter, and they're hiding it from the author.
    • Also, the Cheshire Cat sometimes answers questions in Knight's stead...and he doesn't even know it. He doesn't even see him when asked about it. You know something's wrong when everybody can see something "invisible" to the author himself. Also, the Cheshire Cat had hijacked his Tumblr blog during March 17, 2014 for 12 hours.
  • There Are No Therapists: None who can treat Princess Celestia, anyway.
    • Averted after the Doomtree incident, as Celestia sends a battalion of them to Ponyville to help everypony.
  • The Juggernaut: Nightmare Juggernaut and Captain Punch.
  • The Worf Effect: Discussed by Barricade in "Brutal Sniping - Part 2". She explicitly mentions not wanting to be that one pony just badass enough to make the villain look good when they defeat her.
  • This Explains So Much: Scout says this when he finds out that Pyro's a girl.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Barricade and her husband, Tender Loving Care.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 8 "Tick Tock Goes The Clock - Part 2."
    Nightmare Doctor: "Tick tock goes the clock, an eternity of screams. Waking nightmares will haunt you all, live out your friends bad dreams."
    • Also happens in Chapter 12 "Melody of Agony - Part 2".
    Nightmare Dubstep: "Let never ending WAKING NIGHTMARES begin!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: During Trixie's Canterlot performance, two unnamed fanponies decided to one-up Snips and Snails in the "very bad ideas" department and drag an Ursa MAJOR to the stage for Trixie to defeat, despite her having given up that particular boast just to avoid this scenario.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Trixie took the opportunity to beef up her magic skills (without evil amulets this time) before returning to Ponyville for the third time so she could live up to her title. Rarity has also seen the need to improve, learning to teleport among other things.
    • On the show, Mayor Mare is a rather ineffective political figure fond of making speeches and not much else. Here's she's the daughter of a ponified Mike Haggar who enforces Ponyville law with a lead pipe when the police can't do enough.
    • The Diamond Dogs get the jump on a group of heroes, including Celestia and Luna, and knock them out with gas bombs. They also take steps to neutralize Rarity and her whining. Of course, they have no way of dealing with Celestia, Luna, or even Pyro, but it's a marked improvement.
    • After being the host of a Nightmare, Cheerilee has her Earth Pony magic significantly enhanced, being capable of making entire trees grow in an instant.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Soldier has one. In fact, all of the BL Us get one when struck by Queen Sombra, forcibly breaking any fusions.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: In her original human form, Pyro is a pudgy mess of scars and burns due to her pyromania and abusive childhood, but Engineer says that she's an angel on the inside - in contrast to his ex-wife Irene, a monstrous harpy of a bitch with the body of a superstar photo model. The scars were omitted when she crossed over into Equestria, though - as a pony, Pyro is very pretty.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: RED Spy suggests the option when he crosses over. Against her better judgment, Zecora actually entertains the possibility. And as of "Running of the Leaves" she actually did it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Grey Hoof does not take the desertion of his friends well.
  • Villainous Rescue:
    • Queen Chrysalis shows up in time to defeat Sergeant Crits and Major Bomber. She's partially HeelFaceTurned at that point, but the truce is still uneasy enough to count as this.
      Queen Chrysalis: "This town is under my protection. So swears QUEEN CHRYSALIS, mistress of the Changeling Swarm!"
    • Just as Nightmare Gardener managed to bind all the fusions, the BLUs, the Elements of Harmony (including PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE), Barricade, the Doctor, and the hostages, the night is saved by the changelings.
  • The Voiceless: Slendermane is this, communicating with his subordinates telepathically.
  • Villainous BSoD: The zomponies, with the exception of Grey Hoof, after seeing what breaking their curse cost.
  • Walking Wasteland: The Sunnytown curse turns its victims into zombies. The condition spreads to anyone touching them. The effects are reversed when they stop touching, though.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ponyville. Apparently the place was crazy even before Twilight moved in. (The Doctor being a resident may have been an influencing factor.) To whit, the sight of Soldier anatomy-defyingly snaking along the ground making clicking noises and threatening to eat ponies is met with, at most, mild concern and subsequently disregarded once he's returned to normal.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    Grey Hoof: "So what if it cost Ponyville their souls? After so long, didn't their freedom matter? Wasn't it the ONLY thing that mattered?
  • Wham Episode: At the end of Quick Little Gashes, Part 2, Celestia's Sanity Slippage leads her to kill Phalanx (a minor background character who was completely innocent) and drink the Smooze.
  • Wham Line: The Bombinomicon was created by Star Swirl the Bearded.
  • White Mask of Doom: Masky Unicorn, Masky Pegasus, and Masky Earth Pony.
  • The Worf Effect: A single Nightmare Dog gets the drop on and badly injures Princess Celestia. They go down pretty quickly after that.
  • World-Healing Wave: When Applejack is ubercharged, she releases a wave of honesty that cures everyone currently Brainwashed and Crazy.
    • EngiRatity has a a variant that repairs all damage done to Ponyville and heals the wounded.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Zecora gets greeted with this by Rarity's parents.
  • You Need to Get Laid: When Twilight sent Princess Celestia a friendship report summarizing all her previous friendship reports.
    Spike: "The Princess's response was to send you some videos from her 'private collection' as well as a sternly worded letter encouraging you to go out and get..."
    Twilight: "OKAY!"
  • Your Answer to Everything: Played for laughs with Pyro invoking this on herself in regards to Twilight's long list of chores.
    As Twilight and Trixie argued, Pyro stared at the list blankly. And then her horn flashed, a demented grin coming to her face. The list burst into flames, Spike yelping and dropping it as the scroll turned into a pile of cinders.
    "Chores done!" Pyro chirped.
    Trixie fell over laughing, Spike joining her moments later. Twilight stared, aghast. "Pyro!"
    "Oh, Trixie does like you indeed, firebug!" Trixie said, struggling to catch her breath between fits of laughter.
    Pyro just grinned. "I find that, if you think about it, there are few problems that cannot be solved in some fashion with copious amounts of fire."
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: In this fic take on the sparrow story from Poker Night at the Inventory, Heavy got chewed out for it, lectured and beaten for showing compassion by his commander. After killing him in revenge years later, the man approved of his actions.
  • Zerg Rush: In Pony vs. Machine part 2, when Gray Mann attacks Ponyville with a robot army well over 1000 strong.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Medic claims to have created a viral agent capable of creating one. However, he was forced to discard it due to being set on fire by Pyro, and the fact that while creating a zombie plague is easy, controlling it is not.
    • Celestia, on the other hoof, creates a localized one in Sunnytown after seeing the horrors within.
      • Grey Hoof manages to create a localized one in Ponyville to free him from Celestia's curse. It fortunately doesn't last.

Tropes relating specifically to the remake, Waking Nightmares: Remix Heart: