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Fridge Brilliance / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 2

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     The Return of Harmony, Parts 1 & 2 
  • If one takes Discord's hint how to find Elements of Harmony from other perspective (ie. you as viewers), you will find 0:00 of first episode, which happens to be cover of guide to Elements of Harmony. Where Twilight finds Elements of Harmony? In the guide to them.
  • Fluttershy says she's weak and helpless. This makes sense when you realize that alone she is weak and helpless; see how she reacted to Gilda's bullying when on her own. Fluttershy's strength comes from her friends.
  • Why was Rarity the only one of the ponies to consciously resist mind control? Because she's has had the most experience fighting to stay true to her element.
  • Twilight's Failsafe Spell failed, which makes a lot more sense when you remember stuff like "Feeling Pinkie Keen." Magic makes sense, it has to. You tell it what to do and it does it. It has rules. This is all fine and dandy until you come up against magic that doesn't make sense or doesn't follow rules, like what the chaotic Discord used.
  • When Twilight is turned grey she becomes very depressed and emo. What is she named after as a pop culture reference?
  • I just noticed there is merit to the spelling of Discord's species name Draconequus, the third to last and second to last letters are both U's, like in "continuum" like The Q Continuum. Also, it contains a Q.
    • Or the word "Equus" (Latin for horse) is simply spelled with two U's.
  • From the first part of "Return of Harmony" I thought it was a bit much that Fluttershy was such a paragon of Incorruptible Pure Pureness that Discord had to cheat to negate her element. But then I realized that Fluttershy's low self esteem meant that if there was tension among the group she'd blame herself rather than everypony else. Discord's tactic of negating the elements relied on exploiting the selfishness or short-sightedness of the group which meant that he had nothing to manipulate in Fluttershy who's both selfless and too scared to act in haste.
    • Discord's corruption of Fluttershy becomes even more brilliant when you realize it was basically a role-reversal of her getting angry and staring down monsters that threatened her friends.
    • That and making someone angry usually isn't a kind thing to do, even if they deserve it.
    • In fact, Discord may not be cheating at all. By ramming the corruption into her, Discord shows Fluttershy that if words don't work, you can simply bully them into submission.
  • At first, Discord forcing Rainbow Dash into choosing between helping her friends and saving her home doesn't make much sense going along with Discord's repeated attempts to undermine their Element of Harmony, after all, it's just forcing her to choose which she'll be loyal to. Then you realize that regardless of which she chooses, she's betraying the other and going against her Element Of Loyalty.
    • Expanding on this: while the attempts at corrupting the others are not. Why didn't he do that earlier? Because Fluttershy had just proved to him that his usual methods weren't foolproof, so he decided to step up his game.
    • Not so much of a Xanatos Gambit, but just as much Fridge Brilliance, when you realize that Discord never said which choice was the right choice. For all we know, Rainbow Dash just doomed Cloudsdale, and, if she had just stayed in the maze, it could have been alright.
      • Going even further, Discord never explicitly stated what he meant by "home." Thus, Discord's statement meant that if Rainbow Dash left the maze (making the wrong choice in the process) then she would inadvertently destroy her home (which, for the entirety of the series, has been Ponyville). This means that Discord's prophecy wasn't a lie at all, and that he was merely tricking her with images of Cloudsdale's destruction.
      • Pay close attention and you'll see that he corrupted her even before she had a chance to choose. And, as it turned out in Part 2, he tricked her into believing that a small patch of cloud was her hometown, just to get her to betray her friends.
      • Pay even closer attention and you'll see that her choice was already made before the corruption started. She just hadn't acted on that choice yet.
      • Pay still closer attention and you'll see what actually happened. He used illusion (making her see that cloud as Cloudsdale under attack) to present her with a Morton's Fork. No matter which choice she made, she was betraying her loyalty to someone. Discord wins. What was actually happening was irrelevant...through his illusion, in her mind she saw herself defending Cloudsdale from an attack (betraying her friends). If she had stuck with her friends, she would've been betraying Cloudsdale. The fact that it wasn't actually real doesn't change anything.
    • After being freed from her brainwashing, Applejack says that she felt like lying because she believed the truth was too painful. Discord's point might have been that her loyalties to Cloudsdale and her friends were painful and not worth it, even if either choice would be staying true to loyalty. So Rainbow Dash got corrupted and ran off to Cloudsdale out of apathy rather than loyalty to Cloudsdale.
    • If you think about the whole situation, you realize it's probably just one massive plan anyway. Even if they found the Elements of Harmony, it's very likely Discord would've broken one of them before they did, rendering the Elements useless anyway. The only real way he could've lost is if he failed to break or Mind Rape all of them and they found the Elements of Harmony.
  • Discord did take Twilights element! When they where about to enter the labyrinth, he took her horn and said himself he took her magic.
    • What's more, he separated her from her friends at the very moment her determination convinced them to put their best...hooves forward (cheesy, but awesome). One could say Twilight's not the last to lose her 'element', but it was already taken from her first without brainwashing (because Discord's messing with them all).
  • The order of Break the Cutie in which Discord goes by is actually very smart thinking on the writing staff's part:
    • He first goes after Applejack, the Team Mom who'd have noticed if anything fishy was happening to the group and would have united the team (even if they were brainwashed) with her willpower.
    • Pinkie Pie second since, despite being an earth pony, she has energy that rivals Rainbow Dash's and is the most optimistic and unpredictable of the group.
    • Rarity third because next to Applejack and Twilight, she has the most pluck and common sense to think of a rational way to stop him.
    • Fluttershy fourth since while she has a fierce protective side, she is the least assertive of the group.
    • Rainbow Dash next since to Discord, she presents the least amount of danger in that she acts before she thinks, and was therefore the easiest target of the Mane Six for him to manipulate.
    • And he ultimately succeeds in breaking Twilight by taking away the most important thing in the world to her besides her magic: her first and best friends.
      • Which, when you think about it, IS when he takes away her true magic (and Element of Harmony), because Friendship is Magic.
      • Twilight actually got discorded both first and last. Her element is magic, right? He took away her horn at the start, which prevented her from doing magic, because it wouldn't be much of a maze if she just made the walls disappear. But since "these 5 elements combine to create magic", he had to take away the other elements before she could be permanently Discorded.
  • When Discord corrupts Fluttershy he yells 'Arrivederci!' (Italian for 'goodbye'). At first this seems like just a random thing for the personification of randomness to say, but 'arrivederci' literally means 'we'll see each other again', and he and Kind Fluttershy DO meet again.
    • While he's in the Stain glass, Discord happens to spend most of it sitting on Fluttershy's image. Makes you wonder if they had the sequel episode already planned.
  • In the season two premiere, Discord tells Rainbow Dash that Cloudsdale is in trouble, and she'd have to leave her friends to save the town. A lot of people say that either way she's betraying someone, and that's true. However, earlier in the episode, RD says that she'll ALWAYS be loyal to the Princess, to which Discord responds "We'll see". Taking that into account, it really is Fridge Brilliance.
  • During "The Return of Harmony", I questioned why Celestia didn't help the Mane Cast search for the elements. Then it hit me: Discord was probably causing troubles all over Equestria before and during the Mane Cast were in the maze. Celestia probably had to fix all those problems before they got out of hand. Just as well, there was probably very little she could do to help the Mane Cast anyway. It's implied that Discord may be as powerful, or perhaps even moreso, that her. Since she no longer wields the elements, she likely couldn't do anything to him anyway, and whatever he did do with the elements, it's not likely that Celestia can do a spell or anything else to help find them.
    • And if Discord can remove wings and horns with just a thought, Celestia going in would be risking one of the most powerful ponies in Equestria.
      • When Discord takes over, the sun and moon start rising completely at random, implying that he's able to effectively NEGATE Celestia's powers.
  • Just thought it was clever and worth pointing out, whenever Discord tries to lead the ponies into other areas where he can trick them, the first thing they see are their CUTIE MARKS. Notice, Applejack gets to the Orchard by following three apples. What is her cutie mark? A picture of three apples! Rarity is lured by three diamonds, and Pinkie first sees three balloons in the same color and pattern as her cutie mark. Fluttershy sees three butterflies with pink wings, and Rainbow Dash follows a cloud with a rainbow lightning bolt. During Pinkie Pie's scene, the camera actually has a close up of her cutie mark right before she sees the first three balloons. Their cutie marks represent their calling in life, and it's what attracts them the most, so it makes sense that Discord would use them to lure them into his trap.
    • It's also interesting considering that Discord uses the cutie marks of the mane six talk to most of them character, literally a corrupted form of each of their elements.
    • Alternatively/In Addition, the Elemental Harmony Necklaces and Tiara have gemstones that were in the shape of their cutie marks. We only get it spelled out in Rainbow Dash's case, but most or all of them probably thought that Discord had turned their Elements into the things they saw.
      • ...He took the symbol of the one thing in the world that's most sacred to them and used it to betray them? That's just evil.
    • The same thing happens to Twilight! Her CM is one large star and five small ones, like the Elements of Harmony - five small, and then magic/friendship itself. It was when the Elements of Harmony failed that she got Discorded.
  • Discord's personality varies sharply from one moment to the next. He's Laughably Evil and some of his chaotic creations are simply silly things but at the same time, he's a sadistic, cruel, and cunning Manipulative Bastard who gets a kick out of breaking spirits for fun. One minute he's mind raping the mane cast For the Evulz, the next he's relaxing on a sofa with popcorn to watch the chaos unfold. He's funny and downright monstrous at the same time. Why? He's literally chaos incarnate. His personality is just as chaotic as the rest of him, going from silly to sadistic without warning.
  • While the Celestia part of this image is a joke, it helped me realize that Discord's design has cues from several other antagonists/threats in the series.
  • The reason why Applejack is such a Bad Liar is because she is partially telling the truth at times. For one, "I was talking to nopony", is true because she was talking to a pile of apples.
    • That can be a very effective way of lying. She's terrible because she has an incredible obvious tell, and because she doesn't know how to make them sound plausible.
  • Twilight decides to save Applejack from The Corruption first. Why? As noted above, Applejack is the Team Mom, plus Applejack's roping skills would come in handy, as seen when they went to save Fluttershy.
    • It could also be that, as noted in the Season One folder of this page, that Applejack is probably Twilight's best friend of the mane six so she would want to save her first.
    • Which leads to further Fridge Brilliance as to why they chose Fluttershy to free next. Outside of Applejack, Fluttershy is the other Team Mom.
    • More practically, Applejack was also the most approachable of the Discorded ponies. The others all tried to fight back or run away.
    • Why is Applejack approachable? Because she was just lazying about. Why is she Lazy? it's the opposite of hard working, which was what the normal Applejack was!
  • At first I thought it was disappointing that Rainbow Dash wasn't seen more after she got "Discorded", until I realised that her element, being Loyalty, means "to always be there for her friends". With her Loyalty corrupted, she was literally not there for her friends!
  • At first it seemed like Discord was caught holding the Idiot Ball in the end of "Return of Harmony Part 2", but then again, when you are surrounded by chaos, it's hard to keep track of what has been changed. When Applejack claimed the friends were back together, he could have easily thought she was still brainwashed (and said as much) and just trying to call his bluff. When the Elements start to work, you'd think he'd start running, but remember that when they failed the first time, it looked like they were going to work until the last second, meaning by the time he could have been able to tell it was actually working, it was already too late. Even then he only encountered the Elements once before, so he may have also assumed when they failed that he broke the Elements themselves and not just their users. All of this is much harder to keep track of when chocolate milk behaves like nitroglycerin and buffalos dance in tu-tus. His defeat was less Idiot Ball and more Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • Given this scenario, it's also likely that Discord didn't consider the possibility that the friendship Twilight and the others have for each other would be strong enough to break his spell, making this a case where Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.
  • People have wondered why Celestia kept Discord's statue in Canterlot's Statue Garden, but think about it. How often in works have fiction has a Sealed Evil in a Can been accidentally unleashed no matter where it's kept? Even if he hadn't moved in over 1000 years, the thought he could awaken was probably constantly in the back of her mind. So doesn't it make sense she'd like to keep him where she can see him at any time? Like right outside her throne room window? All it takes to realize he's escaped or if he's still there is walk to the place she likely spends most of her day when at the palace and take a peek out the window. And on top of that, the statue garden is on royal property, likely protected by guards and can be safeguarded, unlike if she'd left it in a forest or something where some poor pony might stumble upon him and accidentally release him. It's just as well guarded as a secret chamber in the castle, but with the added bonus of being able to just peek out and make sure he's still there anytime she needs to. It actually makes perfect sense!
    • Or she just keeps the statue as a monument to one of her greatest triumphs.
    • Why not both? She could be keeping him as both a monument and to keep an eye on him. On top of that, she and Luna are probably the only ones who recognize the statue is Discord the Spirit of Disharmony anymore (as they're the only living beings that would have lived since Discord was sealed), everyone else assumes it just represents the WORD Discord.
    • Plus, remember how Discord stole the Elements or Harmony because they were heavily protected? Celestia probably predicted that, if she guarded Discord's statue, it would make no sense for Discord to be able to escape (and that's why he would). It even makes more sense when you remember that she did the same with the Elements of Harmony at first but, after some hundred years, she probably forgot.
    • You would think she would want to keep the Elements out and easy to take for that very reason, what with Discord being such a dangerous enemy. But that was 1000 years ago. Celestia had probably made/come across more straight forward and powerful enemies since.
  • Spike is Twilight Sparkle's personal assistant and the one who's stuck with her the longest, it makes perfect sense that he'd inherit the Element of Loyalty. This troper felt there was some missed awesome there.
    • He does not hold similar loyalty to the other 5 ponies, except maybe Rarity, but only because of his crush. He's similar but not identical, which is why the substitution failed.
    • I for one feel like it was not as much Spike's fault as the cast not being themselves. Even if Discorded Rainbow Dash happened to be there, it's very likely the result would have been the same.
  • In "Return of Harmony, Pt. 2", you feel bad for Spike because he has to "receive" all the letters from Princess Celestia and it leaves him in a pretty bad state. However, as mentioned in the Fridge Horror section, Celestia probably only knew that Twilight was corrupted and she could only help by sending the letters. But why did she have to send all of them? Because in her apathetic and depressed state of mind, Twilight probably would have ignored one or two letters. However, a whole pile of them was able to pique Twilight's curiosity even in her apathetic state. Also the large number of letters make a deeper impression on her.
  • Why does Discord pretty much completely freeze up when he realizes the Elements Of Harmony have been activated? Because before then he'd always been in control, everything had gone according to plan. The one time before that that something went slightly different from his plan, he got furious very quickly. When he realized the Mane Cast had restored their friendship and the Elements Of Harmony, his entire plan just completely imploded all at once before his eyes in less than a few seconds! It suddenly becomes clear to him that everything he'd done over the past two episodes was in vain. No wonder he froze up!
    • Also, think about this. Discord seemed truly terrified when he realized what was happening. How often in the life of an immortal Reality Warper does FEAR show up? When we see him as a statue the first time, he's laughing. Which makes sense, he probably didn't realize the newly discovered magic Celestia and Luna used on him was more powerful than he was, so he wasn't afraid of it. Now he knows what it'll do to him. By all logic, that was probably the first time in his entire life he'd ever felt fear, let alone reacted to it.
      • In short, he had a textbook Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Why does Discord get so frustrated with Fluttershy? Yes, she's not falling for his mind tricks, but there's a bonus: Fluttershy is in total agreement, total harmony with Discord's insults, while her other friends (even Pinkie Pie) showed doubt, fear, and other kinds of conflicting emotions. Discord is all about conflict, so of course he wouldn't like it if somepony had absolutely no problem with what he was saying.
    • Not to mention that Discord specializes in beating his opponents in their own game, but Fluttershy wouldn't fight him not only because she hates conflict, but because she's the element of kindness and naturally wouldn't fight on principle which means that Discord literally couldn't win a fight that had no conflict for him to take advantage of, and resorts to cheating to defeat Fluttershy since she refused to directly challenge him.
    • There's another layer to it, as well. With the others, Discord is attacking them through the weaknesses they don't normally acknowledge: Competing loyalties for Rainbow Dash, "Truth Hurts" for Applejack, "Laughter Hurts" for Pinkie Pie, Rarity's greedy streak, and Twilight's connection to her friends. This doesn't and can't work on Fluttershy; she's intimately familiar with every weakness she has!
  • In Return of Harmony, part 1, Discord corrupts everyone but Twilight by stripping them of their elements. Twilight's element is Magic, rather then a virtue, so one wonders how he would corrupt her. In part 2, wrecking the Mane cast's friendship corrupts her on its own, no brainwashing needed. Because Friendship is Magic!
  • Return to Harmony, part 1: Flutterbitch asks Twilight "why don't you wave your magic little horn, and make everything alright?" After some (justified) moping, soul searching and letter reading in part 2, that's exactly what she does.
    • She also inadvertently gave the correct answer to Discord's riddle by saying "Can we go home now?" Which is where the Elements are.
  • When Discord causes a character to turn against their "element", they are noticeably... darker. Many fans have noticed the lack of mention this gets in the show, with only Spike mentioning that they look grey. This makes a great deal more sense when you realize that the color shift is a visual cue for the audience to keep up with who has been effected, and to what extent. Spike is often used as an audience analog, so it makes PERFECT SENSE for him to be the only one to notice it.
    • Pinkie Pie also notices, but she's known for Breaking the Fourth Wall, so it makes perfect sense for her to know as well!
  • There's an old saying "It's always darkest just before the dawn," meaning that even in the worst of times, there is hope. When the battle with Discord reaches it's Darkest Hour, guess who restores hope? Celestia, the one who causes the dawn!
  • Discord says the ponies have to "go back to where they began" to get the elements back. So, where do they have to go? Back to the book about The Elements of Harmony, which is where episode one of season one began!
  • Fluttershy gets probably the most angry we've ever seen her when Twilight points out that Discord might win and refers to him by the unusually judgemental phrase "That BIG. DUMB. MEANIE!". This is pretty much the meanest thing normal Fluttershy has ever said about anyone. Why? Discord has broken and Mind Raped all her friends, mutated her animal friends (including Angel), and worst of all, Mind Raped Fluttershy herself into being absolutely cruel to them, something Fluttershy viewed as a nightmare. Remember that Fluttershy is a serious Mama Bear when it comes to her friends and the Friend to All Living Things. Discord pretty much just did everything he possibly could to make personal when it comes to Fluttershy.
  • Think about Discord's personality and methods for a moment. He uses lies, half truths, and Exact Words to deceive his enemies, he cares only for his own amusement regardless of who he harms, he takes sick enjoyment out of causing others to suffer and laughs at their misfortune, he's cruel and outright sadistic, he makes deals which he twists and manipulates to his own ends without any semblence of fair play, and gets kicks out of breaking apart friendships. All of the above are twisted inversions or outright opposites of the Elements of Harmony (remember, Magic means Friendship when it comes to the Elements)! Even at his core, Discord is an Evil Counterpart to them!
    • Well, it could be hardly said he was selfish, or likely to betrayal (after all, he had loyalty to himself). However, take his methods and then his motivations. He uses subtle trickery to get his way when he could very well brute force it, but he prefers to use intelligence to get what he wants. However, he cares for nobody but himself, takes delight in hurting others, and rules for his own amusement. He's the Evil Counterpart to Celestia.
      • The definition of 'selfish' is only caring about one's self. And saying that he had loyalty to himself is pointless, because who the hell doesn't?
  • At the climax of the dediscordification quest, Rainbow Dash was weighed down by Rarity and Pinkie Pie, plus one rope. Fluttershy was pulling an entire hot air balloon that also included Twilight, Applejack, and two ropes, and still caught Rainbow Dash. Using simple distributive mathematics, it can actually be concluded that, when they caught her, Fluttershy was flying faster than Rainbow Dash!
    • Of course. Fluttershy had the Power of Friendship, while Rainbow Dash had lost it.
    • Also, the balloon was supporting the weight of the two other ponies, which means that the only added force Fluttershy would have to exert would be F = (mass of balloon + Twilight + Applejack) * acceleration forward, while Rainbow Dash would have to fight gravity's effect on Rarity and Pinkie Pie by applying force F = (mass of Pinkie Pie + Rarity) * gravitational acceleration upward, as well as applying extra force F = (mass of Pinkie Pie + Rarity) * acceleration forward. Then again, that balloon has a huge profile and Fluttershy was probably experiencing huge amounts of air resistance. I can't be bothered to work this out. Is anyone taking physics?
    • Don't forget, Rainbow Dash carried a cloud with her. And, due to Discord's mindgame, she thought this cloud is Cloudsdale. Truly loyal pegasus simply can't risk destroying her beloved motherland by flying too fast!
  • Why did Celestia send back all of Twilight's letters? Partly to remind her of how much her friends had meant to her, but also because, if Twilight was willing to give up on her friends, then those letters hadn't really meant anything in the first place.
  • At the end of it all, Discord was exactly like Q in the regards of no matter how bad his trolling got, there always was a way out if they could find it, and there was a lesson to be learned (albeit cruelly). "If you can't take a little bloody nose, then I suggest you go back home and hide under your bed" indeed. For all we know, Discord was just preparing them for something much worse.
  • In the new season two intro we see a train. Since when did Ponyville have a train? Remember that ditch from Feeling Pinkie Keen? Ponyville is expanding!
    • The mane six took the train from ponyville to appleloosa in the season 1 episode Over A Barrel.
  • This could be disproved in future episodes, but for now it could be worth noting. During Cheerilee's class field trip to the gardens, the class roster is slightly different than it was in Call of the Cutie (4 background students being replaced by other ponies, but still adds up to a total of 9). Was this done just for the sake of having named characters? Doesn't matter. It's a new year for the show, which means a new school year, which means a slightly different class roster.
  • Discord, as an embodiment of chaos, was doomed the second he formed a plan. Had he acted on pure whims, he might have had a better chance.
  • In "Return of Harmony, Part 1", Discord says he "forgot how grim [Celestia] can be". Seems a little odd, considering Celestia is normally a more relaxed, lighthearted ruler. Now, granted, he could just be talking about how serious she gets when he's around causing trouble, but the statement also makes much more sense once you watch "Luna Eclipsed"; If Celestia's sister, Luna, after being gone for 1000 years, was overdramatic and serious to the point of having to have fun explained to her, imagine what Celestia must have been like all those years ago. (Might also explain why the Grand Galloping Gala is such a boring affair...)
    • This also goes a long way towards explaining why Celestia is the rather mischievous Trickster Mentor that she is. In Discord's time, she was as serious and stern as Luna by necessity, but by the present day, she's mellowed from having seen and done so much, and is very much older and wiser mentally, if not physically. By contrast, Luna hasn't changed, and still has a lot of "growing up" to do on account of being essentially flung 1000 years in to the future with hardly any development.
  • People often wonder what's going on with Discord posing so dramatically when he was first a statue. However, if you look at how Discord poses when he says "I'm missing some excellent chaos here!" It's nearly the exact same pose as when he was first turned into stone. Conclusion? He was possibly giving that same line to Celestia and Luna before being stoned.
    • Also take into account the Elements were newly discovered and Discord has an ego as big as Equestria. How would he react to two (likely young) ponies walking up and saying "we've got something we bet will beat you!" or the like? Probably exactly how he reacted in the present when he though the Elements wouldn't work.
  • When I first saw the second episode, I thought that it was pretty stupid of Discord not to get rid of Celestia, seeing as how her sending the letters to Twilight Sparkle was what led to the mane six being able to defeat Discord. But then I realised, he naturally wouldn't have thought of a plan to get rid of her- he's the embodiment of chaos; the less planning he can do, the better.
  • This one seemed to me, at first, like standard possession of the Villain Ball — Discord is ridiculously powerful, so why does he even give the Mane Six a chance to beat him? Why didn't he just destroy the Elements of Harmony, teleport them to separate locations, or defeat Celestia so that she couldn't contact Twilight? That's when I realized that he needs to hold the Villain Ball. He's the embodiment of chaos. Under his rule, every possible scenario can happen — even the one where he fails.
  • It's mentioned in the start of the episode that Discord isn't just the personification of chaos, so I wondered why he spent so much time focusing on that. Then I realized that a stable environment is the foundation for harmony. When the laws of physics have been twisted and nothing works the way it used to, people are going to spend too much time trying to make sense of the environment to even bother about getting along with each other.
  • When Discord corrupts everyone except Fluttershy it's all through betrayal, He makes Applejack betray her element, he breaks Pinkie's faith in her friends. He makes Rarity disregard her friends for personal gain and material possessions, has Rainbow Dash choose between abandoning her home or her friends and has Twilight's friends abandon her in her desperate hour. Loyalty is considered the thing that holds all friendships together. To fully break Twilight he needed to break her friendship, by removing the thing that bound them together.
  • After Twilight's element is stolen, Discord tries to convince her to accept his world of chaos and join in on the fun, which she declines. He gives what seems to be a brief moment of sadness, then continues gleefully with his mayhem. This seems like just a standard Jerk with a Heart of Jerk moment, until watching "Keep Calm And Flutter On", where Discord attempts the same to Fluttershy and is rejected again. However since Fluttershy had given him the genuine offer of friendship, he relents at the possibility of losing it. Discord had genuinely wanted Twilight to play with him and be his friend, and was rejected when she didn't, however couldn't make the connection at that point so quickly got over it.
    • This is continued with in later episodes, where he is repeatedly insecure with rejection and being ignored or left out, being an Attention Whore. In these episodes, he usually needs one of the ponies to point out why he is suffering this and usually that it's his own fault. In this episode however he is solely an enemy and Twilight does not elaborate, so he just shrugs it off, still under the ethic that spreading chaos is more fun and important than anyone liking him.
  • The shield Twilight uses to protect her friends from Discord during the final confrontation? She probably learned that spell from her brother.
  • How does Discord break Applejack? By pointing out that sometimes truth can be harsh and a lie can be comforting. He broke the Element of Honesty—with a harsh truth. Elegantly played, Discord.
    • The way he breaks Pinkie Pie also deserves mention. Laughing with others is great but being laughed at is one of the worst nightmares.
    • The way he breaks Rainbow Dash is also ingenious. Leaving the maze doesn't mean anything. He plants an illusion in her mind that her home is under attack, putting her in a Morton's Fork. It doesn't matter that it's not really happening. No matter which choice she makes, her loyalty breaks and Discord wins.

     Lesson Zero 
  • At first it might seem like Twilight has the first breakdown on the show that isn't related to her cutie mark in "Lesson Zero", but then you have to remember that Twilight's area of expertise is magic, and in this show, friendship is magic. She didn't have a lesson on friendship to report to Celestia, and when her attempts to fix any problems her friends had were going nowhere fast (as in, they didn't need her to be a "good friend" at the time), she really started to lose it.
    • In addition, she mentions repeatedly that she might have to leave Ponyville and all her friends. When you think about it that way, her breakdown really makes sense. It's not just her fearing being tardy, it's fearing being taken from her True Companions!
    • Twilight is clearly suffering from Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome.
  • Twilight's Super OCD and rapid breakdown in "Lesson Zero" might seem like a case of Flanderization. However, it makes far more sense if one assumes she's having post-traumatic stress disorder: The previous episode had her and her friends suffer Mind Rape at the hands of the Anthropomorphic Personification of chaos, and only re-reading her old friendship reports was able to save her; of course she's going to value order and her lessons afterward!
    • Alternatively, the Flanderization is the result of her...whatever-it-is going through a peak phase. The Philomena incident demonstrated that she had a problem with paranoia prior to Discord, so it's possible that her disorder was going throuh a period of getting worse already. Then again, Discord probably didn't help any with that.
  • Rainbow Dash is seen crashing, head-butting and karate-kicking Applejack's old farm in Lesson Zero, breaking support beams and generally bringing the whole thing to the brink before finishing it off with a nuclear sonic rainboom. Why did she smash it up so bad before the final divebomb? Any demolitionist will tell you that you need to weaken a structure before setting the charges or else the building might take the blast and not implode properly, or worse still, remain standing.
    • That and she was having fun trashing the barn first.
  • So far five out of six mane ponies have suffered complete mental collapses: Twilight from lack of lesson-to-be-learned, Applejack from sleep deprivation, Rainbow Dash's performance anxiety has her curl into a foetal position, Pinkie Pie's party of Companion Cube guests and Fluttershy's "you will love me" outburst at the Grand Galloping Gala. Although Rarity has experienced pressure and extreme stress in Suited For Success, she has yet to undergo a complete mental breakdown like her friends. Why is that? Because in Lesson Zero she shows that she has a powerful coping mechanism: her drama queen outbursts act as a safety valve, releasing her excess stress as occurs and preventing it from building up to dangerous levels.
    • What about when she locked herself in her room in "Suited for success?"
      • Freaking out and locking herself in her room is part of her drama queen behavior.
    • Any psychiatrist worth their salt will tell you that such things are not healthy and make a person more prone to similar stressors in the future.
      • If you're giving a pony psychiatrist too much salt, they'll tell you all sorts of things!
    • Additionally: by letting her friends know she's upset, she makes sure they'll do whatever it takes to make her feel better. Compare that to Rainbow Dash, who always hides it when she's upset, making it hard for her to get the reassurance she needs.
  • In "Lesson Zero", you see Twilight's friends laughing off Twilight's worries about turning her letter on time. Despite being a bit insensitive, you can sort of understand their reaction if you consider they had just seen Rarity flip out over not bringing plates for the picnic.
    • Plus, remember they just defeated a deity-level threat which turned them into their own antitheses. They're a heck of a lot less likely to sweat the small stuff right now.
  • Why would Celestia appear to fix the problem at the end of Lesson Zero, when she had not done so with more serious threats in the past? Surely a rampaging Ursa Minor would warrant a visit if an, albeit potentially catastrophic, spell does. Consider; however, the position she has been in for 1,000 years. Raising the sun and moon, while probably sleeping any chance she could when not otherwise obligated. If Luna is only now in condition to raise the moon again, as is the implication in Luna Eclipsed (especially considering Word of Faust), Celestia would have a very large slate of time now open after the sun sets.
    • Well, that, and Spike asked for her help. Twilight handled the Ursa Minor on her own, and asking Celestia for help would have taken too much time. Twilight also wants to impress Celestia, which means that she considers asking for her help to be strictly a last resort. Especially since Celestia has tasked her with handling crises before.
    • Celestia is also the only one (other than Luna) who can solve the problem. In magical crises it's usually Twilight who solves the problems, but in this instance she can't cancel out the spell she cast because it was much more powerful than she planned. Background unicorns were all caught up in the want-it-need-it spell and Rarity is better at details than huge magical overhauls. So of course it has to be Celestia.
  • It might be confusing to some as to why Rainbow Dash has so much trouble pulling a Sonic Rainboom off in Sonic Rainboom but can do it without a problem in Lesson Zero note . Taking a look at the three times it's been successfully used, Dash was using it to help a friend - saving Rarity in Sonic Rainboom, standing up for Fluttershy in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, and to destroy Applejack's old barn for her in Lesson Zero. She couldn't pull it off unless she was doing it for a friend. The whole idea of the show is promoting friendship, so this was likely another subtle way to get the message across.
    • Or maybe she's just gotten better at pulling it off?
    • On a side note, rainbows are commonly used as a symbol of friendship throughout the show, from the rainbow in 'Cutie Mark Chronicles' to the Elements of Harmony, to Let the Rainbow Remind you.
  • Back in "Lesson Zero", the Cutie Mark Crusaders, usually the epitome of Epic Fail, remain remarkably composed and tactful when approached by Twilight with Ms Smartypants... because they've already seen Twilight wigging out in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • I dunno, it wasn't that kind of wigging out, and they're obviously unnerved by Twilight's condition. I'd guess that the three are keeping calm because they're worried that if they don't, then Twilight will go even more off the deep end than she already has. In short, they're too scared to panic.
  • Princess Celestia arrives at the end of the episode to resolve the crisis Twilight created. Sure, as the embodiment of the Sun (and being over 1000 years old) she's probably well-versed in magic, but what do other sun deities get in their portfolios? Healing. - Alphacat
  • The change in Celestia's demeanor between her arrival and the scene in the library is quite dramatic, but when you think about it it makes sense. If she thought Twilight had gone evil (which has been known to happen to her pupils) , she would have had to put the fear in her. When she discovered not a rampaging threat but a scared, defeated unicorn, she switched back to her gentle mentor attitude.
  • Applejack seems to be the one who notices right away how stressed and frazzled Twilight is. Given that she also went through something like this, and was the first to do so in the series, it makes sense.

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     Luna Eclipsed 
  • Fluttershy isn't seen dressed up for Nightmare Night, she just stays in her home. On a night of scares and frights, it would be much worse for a pony that already gets frightened pretty easily as it is.
  • Read the page quote on the Nightmare Fuel page. Now remember what Pinkie Pie says to Twilight that helps her realize how to help Luna.
  • Rarity isn't seen at all during "Luna Eclipsed", but then you realize that, as a fashion designer, she's probably passed out on the couch after making so many costumes.
    • Or she's still working on her own.
  • The entire characterization of Luna in "Luna Eclipsed" gives a lot more context for what went down before the series started. If you notice she obviously wants to be loved and adored, but is rejected due to coming off as too forceful. She shouts and demands citizens' attention as the first thing she does when arriving into Ponyville. What's more, she has no concept of 'fun', and doesn't seem like the understanding type. It literally takes less than a full-night for her to lose her calm and start buckling into her vengeful 'Nightmare Moon'-esque persona (And cancel an adored holiday tradition, with atmospheric theatrics to boot). If this mere trivial holiday was an accurate representation to what she was like 1000 years ago, imagine how this would have transferred over to her having to rise the moon and stars (her job, talent, and life purpose essentially) every night with no acknowledgment.
    • It also shows how each sister is different from one another. Luna wants respect, but clearly respect out of admiration of her powers rather than her kindness. She also seems the type to fight if needed, serving possibly as the 'muscle' of the Alicorn sisters.
      • This might be part of their yin-and-yang relationship. Celestia's a very capable diplomat, but has trouble with issues involving direct conflict. Hence, her emphasis on harmony and friendship. Luna excels in resolving direct conflict, but very much sucks in the art of negotiation. Hence, the plot of Luna Eclipsed.
    • Also, think about it. Celestia (and Luna after Twilight helps her out) wanted a truly caring relationship with her subjects and to be more like friends. If Luna's behavior was royal custom 1000 years ago, Celestia probably realized it was part of the reason for Luna's alienation from her subjects.
    • How about the fact that while she came to make Nightmare Night a joyous occasion but doesn't know what the word 'fun' means. Sounds odd right? Until you learn that the word 'fun' is only 300 years old and Luna has been gone for over a 1000.
  • The fact that Twilight is the first pony to befriend Luna makes perfect sense when you think about it. Luna is a powerful magician who Celestia cares for and has trouble fitting in and making new friends, just like Twilight was initially. Watching Luna's plight really shows you why Celestia wanted Twilight to make some friends, and not have to possibly endure the same pain as Luna.
  • Luna instantly recognizing the Star Swirl costume. While, in being royalty, it is expected for her to know more history than the average pony, it is far more likely that, being thousands of years old, she actually knew the guy.note 
  • In retrospect, it's fairly obvious that Pinkie Pie is not really scared of Luna. When fleeing in "terror", she remains on her hind legs, running like a chicken, when she could certainly go faster (she's been shown to be quicker than Rainbow Dash on some occasions). She's not frightened, she's just in character.
  • About Luna's new hairdo representing how she's just regaining her powers. There's a couple of things she does in "Luna Eclipse" - moving things with her magic, which is standard ability for unicorns, and manipulating clouds physically, which is standard ability for pegasus ponies. She's literally practicing the basic techniques.
  • Why didn't Celestia simply tell Luna her royal behavior was outdated? If she just told her, then odds are she'd just be going through the motions. She'd just see it as a different style of behavior and not learned anything at all. By having her go to Ponyville, Luna has to learn first hand proper behavior and actually make friends with her subjects.
    • Alternatively, Celestia did tell her, but Luna, in true "little sister" fashion, didn't listen.
    • Or that, unlike Celestia, who slowly changed her manner over time, Luna was more or less flung 1000 years into the future. Old habits are hard to break after all.
    • Another alternative is that Celestia simply didn't because she didn't have the available time/resources to devote to prepping up her sister's mannerisms, being a divine monarch and all. That although they're sisters and Celestia loves Luna, they don't have that much time to devote to each other in general. In this regard their relationship would be closer to an ancient prince/princess, where although they're related by blood cannot (meaning aren't allowed to) bond beyond their royal duties (childhood excluded). Meaning if Luna needed or wanted attention, Celestia couldn't simply put the entire kingdom on hold just on Luna's whims. She would be expected as a princess to handle it independently and prove her own sovereignty.
    • Does nobody else think that it's possible that Celestia just didn't know that Luna had headed to Ponyville?
    • Because Celestia knew that Luna is so amazingly endearing in her over-the-top sincerity that she would prove impossible not to love, once the bumps got out of the way.
  • The way Pinkie constantly screams and runs away from Luna in "Luna Eclipsed" seems to directly contradict her "giggle at the ghostly" attitude from the pilot. Until the end of the episode that is, when she tells Twilight that she's basically just been pretending the whole time because "Sometimes it's fun to be scared!"
    • Also, her costume now makes perfect sense. It is a tradition to be afraid on Nightmare Night - and she isn't... so she pretends to be a chicken!
    • In other words, she has to chicken up to chicken out.
  • Rainbow Dash comes across as a bit of a Jerkass during "Luna Eclipsed", pranking ponies prolifically throughout the night, and nearly ruining Luna and Pinkie's reconciliation. But think about it- she was never around when Luna was terrifying the general populace that night. She had no idea what was going on!
    • She was also dressed as one of the Shadowbolts that Luna, as Nightmare Moon, tried to trick her as in the pilot episodes.
  • Some people have been asking "If they didn't know Nightmare/Luna existed until the last Summer Sun Celebration, how could they have had a holiday about her for the last however many centuries?" But that's just it: they didn't know she actually existed. Most of them thought she was, as the pilot episode called it, "an old pony's tale," hence the rumor that she eats people and the candy sacrifices.
    • Plus, the statue they make the candy sacrifices to is in the Everfree Forest, a place where nopony in Ponyville went until after they'd befriended Zecora.
  • Why did nopony manage to recognise Twilight's Star Swirl the Bearded costume, but Luna could instantly? It's not necessarily because Luna is learned. Luna had been banished for a thousand years - she probably knew Star Swirl firsthand near the time she was banished. Twilight's costume is likely one of the few things she can recognise. Meanwhile, in a thousand years he became less well known.
    • Star Swirl predates Luna by an unknown amount of time — he existed prior to the founding of Equestria, which predated Celestia and Luna. However, he is overtly famous as a magical scholar and Celestia and Luna both are quite aware of him.
    • Confirmed as of the season 7 finale. Celestia and Luna both knew Starswirl.
  • Consider this: Luna keeps using old-fashioned, "formal" versions of the second-person personal pronoun: thou, thee, thy, thine, etc., even though she supposedly wants (much like her sister, in a way) a closer, warmer relationship with her subjects. But remember, thou, thee, thy, and so forth are actually the informal, personal versions of the second-person personal pronoun, much like "tu" in French or Spanish, or "du" in German. You, your, and so forth are the formal, impersonal forms. When Luna addresses the other ponies as "thou," she's basically saying that she considers them to be close friends.
  • In "Luna Eclipsed" why don't the citizens of Ponyville treat Luna as the same pony they threw a party for at the end of "Elements of Harmony"? Simply because Luna looks and acts more like Nightmare Moon (in mannerisms, not evilness) now than she did in episode 2. Rather than being the relatively small, soft-spoken pony with a solid-colored mane that the town met, her appearance changed into a larger, starry-maned pony with a darker coat. In this state, she looks much closer to Nightmare Moon (which all of Ponyville saw for a short time) than the Luna they knew (also seen for a short time). Luna speaking in a booming voice does not help. Keeping this in mind, it is easy to see how they can mistake Luna's return as the return of Nightmare Moon. Also, since Nightmare Night is a holiday dedicated to Nightmare Moon, everypony has the image of NMM fresh in their minds.
    • Alternative explanation: Celestia was right there beside her the whole time. It wouldn't look very good to show disapproval of the god-ruler of Equestria's own kin right in front of her, would it? Especially when the living proof of her power and authority is the thing you'd normally be fearing. (Luna, who'd been banished and is now returning)
  • In "Luna Eclipsed", Zecora, the African pony, is wearing spiders as she tells a story. In African lore, stories are the dominion of Anansi the Spider.
  • A lot of people seemed to have a problem with Pinkies behavior in Luna Eclipsed, saying it goes against her taking peoples feelings into consideration when she 'pranks' them. But look at it this way (or that way, I have two explanations): she's never there to see Luna saying she wants to be loved not feared, except for when she made her big entrance when she was talking in her big booming voice, which to be honest was kinda hard to understand. So, what reason could she have to think that the princess wasn't in on the whole scaring everypony thing? It's her holiday, named after her, in honor of her, and is about frightening people! Of course she would think Luna was trying to scare everyone and Pinkie was just playing along!
    • Alternatively, Pinkie was always in the group of kids. She was the only consistent older pony with them, so it's easy to assume she took over chaperoning them for Granny, who as we are keen to remember, was supposed to be asleep five hours ago. And as any older sibling who has supervised a group of young trick-or-treaters will tell you, half the job is making things fun, and on Halloween fun equals scary. Pinkie was over playing the whole being scared of Luna thing for the kids sake, so her being 'insensitive' to Luna was just a combination of ignorance and trying to be a good chaperone! (and of course, just being Pinkie)
      • She was also staying in character. She was dressed as a chicken after all.
    • Also, did viewers overlook the fact that Twilight DID eventually confront Pinkie near the end? (True, an apology from Pinkie would've helped, but still. Maybe the apology even happened off-screen?)
  • The introduction of the ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE. While the "BE STILL!" was genuinely frightening, it's mainly played for laughs, and seems like an old-fashioned, slightly random addition...until you realize, we've already seen it. When? Just in the previous episode!
    Princess Celestia: TWILIGHT SPARKLE!
    • Whoa, Nelly...
  • Anyone else notice how Ponyville's reaction to Princess Luna in "Luna Eclipsed" mirrors many peoples' (especially children) reaction to nighttime itself? At first night can be terrifying and possibly filled with unknown dangers. However, many of these dangers are imaginary, and once one gets used to nighttime, it can become enjoyable and comforting rather than frightening.
  • You'd think Rainbow Dash would dress as the Wonderbolts for Nightmare Night, considering they're her heroes. But Nightmare Night is about scares, why would she dress as her heroes? So she dressed as villains instead.
    • Besides, Rainbow Dash might have actually had some qualms about dressing up as a Wonderbolt when she hadn't earned it yet — but their villainous counterparts? Fair game!
  • One new little tidbit for "Luna Eclipsed" (yes, I know that's going back quite a ways here, but bear with me): Pipsqueak's accent. It's not that his VA was slipping up; Pipsqueak himself was slipping up, because the British accent was to go along with his pirate costume!
    • It's also possible that his accent is changing because he's still really young and is slowly adopting a Ponyville accent.
      • Except we see him much later in "Twilight Time" and he has the same English accent, implying that's his real accent since he wasn't in costume in that story.
  • Bit of a Late to the Punchline moment. Didn't notice till I saw someone else mention it but I realized a potential Stealth Pun behind Pinkie's choice of costume: Chicken Pot Pie. Couldn't say if that was intentional, but you never know.
  • Twilight was the only one who knew Luna wasn't Nightmare Moon anymore. She was also the only one who recognized her when she was Nightmare Moon in episode 1.
    • Applejack and Pinkie Pie also knew, they just pretended not to as part of the holiday.
  • When Luna changes into Nightmare Moon and back, she has a set of fake teeth. Seems kind of silly, but then you remember the original didn't have fangs.
    • Well... in the Season 4 premiere and Season 5 finale, she does have fangs there, so it could actually be a Retcon.
  • There were several factors as to why ponies were so scared of Luna. As mentioned by other tropers, it was Nightmare Night, which already sets the mood, Nightmare Moon is the main subject of the holiday, Luna came off too strong because she's having trouble adjusting, and ponies like Pinkie Pie don't seem to realize this wasn't a game. But there is another reason. The Nightmare Night story called her a cannibal. In human society, cannibalism is already taboo, but in this show, such an accusation would be even worse. Remember that this society is made entirely of herbivores. They eat plants. Sure, there are sweets, but that's pure energy food. A herbivore would become sick eating meat (Mad Cow Disease ring a bell?), the idea of eating meat, any meat, pony or not, would probably be utterly revolting to them. Therefore, the idea of cannibalism is far worse for them than it is for us. So seeing the "real" Nightmare Moon, as it were, makes the citizens all the more afraid, and Luna all the more hurt when she realizes that's what they think of her.
    • This brought to mind the interesting parallel that Zecora was the one who told the legend of the cannibal Nightmare Moon, when she was also accused of cannibalism ("Gobble you up in a big tasty stew!") in her first appearance.

     Sisterhooves Social 
  • Sisterhooves Social shows us another example of Schizo Tech in Equestria: smoke detectors and feedback-inducing megaphones, but Rarity has an old-fashioned scrub-tub in her laundry room and a clothesline out back. Schizo Tech? Maybe, but then remember she's also a seamstress, and a mechanical washer and dryer are no good for all the delicate fabrics she has to wash after piecing a new outfit together.
  • After rewatching "Sisterhooves Social," I realized that there was an ulterior motive for the scene where Apple Bloom accidentally covers Applejack with grape mush: it is not just a very sweet sister scene between Apple Bloom and Applejack, it allows the audience to see Applejack covered with something messy before the race later on. If you pause that scene and then look at a mud-covered Rarity at the race, they look exactly the same (except for the eyes, of course). The animators wanted to be absolutely sure that both Sweetie Belle and the audience would be completely fooled as to who was actually running the race by showing us what a messy Applejack looks like beforehand!
    • I think it had more to do with the fact that nobody would suspect Rarity of going along with the race, especially covered head-to-hoof with mud. Also, many forget that Rarity is actually in really good shape.
      • Well, a lady does have to always look her best, even when covered in mud.
    • Furthermore, eventhough it may seem questionable for Applejack and Rarity to switch places in the race, it is subtly implied that there are no rules in the race.note 
  • You know how that black goop in Sisterhooves Social that was supposed to be toast? It's burnt bread batter! Yeah, now it's not as big an Epic Fail as before, but still.
    • Except bread is made from dough, not batter. Dough tends to have a more stable structure. That said, maybe Sweetie forgot to add the flour before cooking.
      • or maybe she added too little of it, which would make it something close to batter.
  • It actually makes a lot of sense that Applejack and Apple Bloom would get along much better, and much more easily, than would Rarity and Sweetie Belle. It seems that Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Big McIntosh's parents have been out of the picture, presumably deceased, for most of Apple Bloom's life. Apple Bloom, therefore, has presumably largely been raised by her siblings. Rarity and Sweetie Belle, on the other hand, were both raised by their parents, who are both very much alive. So with AJ and AB, their relationship is really more that of mother-daughter than sisters, whereas Rarity and Sweetie Belle have a more typical sibling relationship, with all the ordinary sibling rivalry that that entails.
    • Another thing you have to consider when discussing these sibling relationships is the location. Yes, Rarity and Sweetie Belle were raised by both parents whereas Applejack and Big Macintosh basically raised Apple Bloom, but Apple Bloom also lives at Sweet Apple Acres with them and Sweetie Belle does not live with Rarity at the Carousel Boutique. Give or take a few years, it's very possible that Rarity has lived at the Boutique (NOT at her parent's house) since Sweetie Belle was still very small. Rarity didn't really have the same kind of constant interaction with Sweetie Belle that AJ had with AB because for most of Sweetie Belle's life Rarity did not live at the same house as her, and therefore not only did Rarity not really have the same chance AJ did to fully integrate Sweetie Belle as a "normal" part of her life before she left home, but AJ never left AB's home in the first place.
    • As a counterpoint, however, anyone that's ever actually been a mother knows from experience that mother-daughter relationships have no greater guarantee of harmony than do sibling relationships.

     The Cutie Pox 
  • Notice how pony bowling balls have no finger holes? That's paying attention right there!
    • Except, oddly enough, in one filly's Imagine Spot. Well, 2 of the 3, anyways. Course, that could just be representative of the Crusaders themselves, but it's still a bit odd since the ponies have no reason for finger holes...
      • There's more than just ponies in Equestria, remember. How would Spike, the Diamond Dogs, Gilda, or other clawed/taloned species be able to bowl without any way of holding/throwing the ball properly? The manufacturers probably make at least some with a means of digit-assisted grip. (This would also explain why teacups have handles.)
  • Twilight says there's no known cure for the Cutie Pox because nopony knows where it came from in the first place. How is it Zecora knows the cure? Simple, she knew Apple Bloom stole some Heart's Desire from her and had implored her to make a potion to give her a Cutie Mark. She may have actually had no idea what Cutie Pox were, but she knew it was likely the Heart's Desire which caused Apple Bloom's case of it. She clearly knows all her herbs very well and would know full well how to neutralize the Heart's Desire and thus cure Apple Bloom.
    • This gets into Fridge Horror when you realize that Zecora was only able to cure Apple Bloom because she got the Cutie Pox due to eating the Heart's Desire flower. The seeds only worked for the flower's effects. If the true Cutie Pox showed up, with no Heart's Desire flower involved,nopony could do anything about it!
      • Apple Bloom mentions when she first sees the Heart's Desire that she's seen the flower around Ponyville. It's entirely possible that the flowers were still related to the original outbreak.
      • Though, the book did say "a group of ponies", not Ponyville specifically - it could have been from anywhere in Equestria, perhaps some place where the Heart's Desire wasn't around.
      • They also mention there's no known cure because you basically have to let it run its course to go away naturally. Putting aside creepy mind rape implications of being forced to do all that crazy stuff because of the next random cutie mark, it really doesn't seem any worse then having to deal with the chicken pox.
      • It could be a lot worse. With the kind of speed that Apple Bloom gets cutie marks in the latter portion of the episode, if it had been allowed to get any worse she wouldn't have been able to do basically anything she didn't have a mark for, potentially including sleeping, drinking, and eating, among other things.
  • Who had to learn a lesson about/have a cure based on honesty? Applejack's sister.
    • In fairness to Apple Bloom, she did tell the truth in the end and it cured her, in a way...
  • Despite being contagious with no known cure, the normal Cutie Pox is a rare disease. Perhaps the outbreaks end when a pony develops a disease-curing cutie mark.

     May the Best Pet Win 

     The Mysterious Mare Do Well 
  • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", after the Mare Do Well constantly shows up Rainbow Dash and she utterly fails at looking like a hero again, she is shown lying on a black cloud rather than a white one while seeming rather depressed. She's on top of her Personal Raincloud.
  • In one scene, we have Rainbow Dash saying her middle name was "Danger." In the G1 opening, guess what Firefly says when she tries a stunt! Then again...
  • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" Twilight mentions that an autobiography should be written by the person it's about. But that means Spike is perfectly qualified to write Rainbow Dash's autobiography!
  • A lot of people are calling out the Mane Six (Well, Mane five, anyway) for what they did to Rainbow Dash in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", effectively embarrassing her in front of the whole town. But remember at the beginning of the episode? RD had her own fan club even before all those accidents started happening. Chances are she will have somehow saved the town again by the next episode and be a hero again.
    • Better yet, nopony aside from Rainbow Dash is really acting like she's been embarrassed. A few ponies grumble at her over the incidents, but nopony's making fun of her or anything. Rainbow Dash is just imagining the situation being worse than it is, just like all the other ponies during their respective freakouts.
    • If anything, Rainbow was embarrassing herself with her constant bragging (the townsponies were going to get tired of it, just like her friends were), so the Mane Five essentially saved her from ruining her own reputation. Which is worse: hurting your friend a little to point out an error in her ways before it gets out of control, or to do nothing and let the town turn against her anyway, despite her efforts to be a hero?
      • In any case at all, it would have worked better if the Mane 5 did not brag about their own contributions to Mare Do Well in front of Rainbow Dash at Sugarcube Corner. Furthermore, even if they gave her a lecture about acting with grace and humility, there's still a chance that it wouldn't do much good.
      • It's even safe to assume that in light of Rainbow Dash's behavior, her friends more or less became inspired to become heroes themselves without being boastful (save for the scene in Sugarcube Corner), even if it meant posing as one hero.
  • The Mane Five's actions against Rainbow Dash in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" can seem particularly harsh before you realize: Rainbow Dash freaking out and then feeling all depressed probably wasn't part of their plan at all!
    • Probably? I'm sure they had no idea how much it was affecting Rainbow Dash. It's just that Rainbow is not up front with her feelings (for example, in "Sonic Rainboom" they all knew that Dash was nervous, but none of them ever learned just how bad she was).
  • Given how much "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" was about teaching Rainbow Dash humility, let's hope she never realizes it took four ponies (not including Rarity) to be a match for her.
    • Technically, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight each outclassed her badly at whatever task they did. Fluttershy didn't, but she just did a quick fly by. The point was that any of them could match her for heroics, without being a jerk about it.
      • Whether or not they could outclass her, Rainbow was perfectly capable of saving the balloon pony, the runaway bus passengers and the construction workers. The fact that her reaction to her failure to do so is "Mare Do Well is better than me" instead of "I messed up" is a big part of her problem for this episode.
    • Also, her friends were more successful because they were playing to their strengths. They didn't really hammer it home, but a secondary point in that episode was that a group is stronger when all its members use their talents, something that Rainbow Dash could really stand to learn. If that episode had had more time, it is likely that Fluttershy and Rarity would have gotten a turn to shine, and that a crisis that Dash's strengths were suited to deal with would have appeared.
  • One thing that occurs to me regarding "Mysterious Mare Do Well", as noted above the Mane Cast acting pre-emptively to keep Dash from ruining her own reputation. They saw Rainbow was getting full of herself, recognized potential danger signs, and acted as quickly as possible to prevent the worst possible outcome. In essence, they remembered the Aesop from "Lesson Zero" about recognizing your friends problems even if they don't appear to be all too serious.
    • And when Rainbow finally finds out they were behind the whole thing you'd expect her to be furious given the way she was acting just a minute ago. Instead she's just confused and asks for an explanation. Why? Because she remembered the Aesop from "Party Of One" and expected the best from her friends, even though their actions seemed weird.
  • How did the Mane Five know where to send Mare Do Well and who had to play her? Pinkie Sense! Also, Twilight's teleporting.
  • It seems the mane five deliberately planned to lead Dash into a secluded alley before making the reveal. That way, Dash wouldn't be utterly humiliated in front of the whole town.
    • More evidence for this during the dam scene: rather than pull Rainbow Dash out by dangling her helplessly in mid-air with magic (which would have been really embarrassing) Mare Do Well just puts a tree in her way so that Dash can pull herself out. Humiliating Rainbow Dash doesn't seem to be part of the plan.
      • Made more obvious by Mare Do Well's actions. Not once does she cut off Rainbow Dash or keep her from helping; instead, she either steps in where Rainbow Dash won't (the balloon), where Rainbow Dash can't (the second bus, the dam) or where there's more than enough trouble to go around (the construction site).
  • It also may be the case that not only the Mane five but some and/or most of the rest of the town was in on this intervention, planning the various "disasters" with Mare Do Well being there to resolve anything that Rainbow couldn't. Even if the town wasn't, it is still likely that the Mane five engineered the events (hopefully warning the construction team ahead of time!) to maximize the effectiveness of Mare Do Well's abilities above Rainbow's.
  • If you look closely, you'll notice that nopony is actually laughing at Rainbow Dash or shunning her! Like her friends in previous episodes, she's just convinced herself that the situation is worse than it is.
  • It makes perfect sense that Rainbow Dash would turn into such a show-off: after all, all the skills she uses to save ponies are the ones she learned in order to put on a show! And in an air show you know you're doing well if ponies are cheering for you. If they aren't, you must not be showy enough, so you have to do something to make them cheer quickly, or your career might soon be over. Rainbow's just taking what she knows and applying it to being a hero.
  • A lot of people are upset with Scootaloo for her role in the episode, but remember Applebuck Season? Rainbow Dash was perfectly content to attend a party declaring somepony else to be the most reliable friend in Ponyville without feeling like the town was calling her a worse friend in comparison. Scootaloo had no reason to assume Rainbow Dash would feel differently about this parade, especially since the 'who's the better hero' competition was all in Dash's head.
  • Who designed/made Mare-Do-Well's costume? Who designed/made the Mare-Do-Well hats the fillies were using when Rainbow Dash was in her personal raincloud? Rarity sure knows how to make the most of MDW fame...
  • Rainbow Dash could've resorted to making trouble so she could keep playing the hero, but she didn't. Why? Because that would be disloyal to everypony else! Also, she already tried that. It didn't work.
  • The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well's costume is noted to bear a strong resemblance to Darkwing Duck's. The reason for the Mare-Do-Well was to deflate Rainbow Dash's growing ego. What was always one of Darkwing's constant problems?
    • This unfortunately accentuates the Broken Aesop some people get from the episode what with the Mane Five bragging about their individual abilities right in Rainbowdash's face. They probably meant well but it came off as hypocritical. Goes to show you if your superhero costume resembles a superhero whose fatal flaw is pride then you probably aren't the best role model to preach about humility for some. It's like teaching to use non-violent solutions while like looking like The Punisher.
      • And as mentioned above, the Mane Five's actions in this episode would be more justified to a certain degree if they hadn't practically bragged about Mare-Do-Well's deeds and attributes to which they each contributed themselves.
  • Many people are complaining about the fact that Rainbow Dash's friends were singing praises about the attributes of Mare-Do-Well they themselves were responsible for, thus making them look hypocritical. However, look at it this way: let's say that her friends were not collectively responsible for Mare-Do-Well's existence. Now what would they be impressed by then? They would most likely praise the exact same traits they did in the actual episode, because think about it. They would be impressed of Mare-Do-Well excelling in a trait they themselves specialized in.
  • What's a common way to throw someone off into making a wrong bet in poker? Bluff. The Mane Five, by praising the Mare-Do-Well, are pulling a bluff to throw themselves out of Rainbow's suspicions by acting as amazed as everyone else is, keeping their hand in the events hidden and maintaining a poker face so that Rainbow's guesses as to the identity go elsewhere until the time is right to reveal.
    • How does Applejack get away with not revealing anything about the Mare-Do-Well? She never mentions a direct action.
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     Sweet and Elite 
  • "Sweet and Elite": One would think that the others would know better than to crash a big, fancy party in Canterlot and make a huge mess of it. Then again, they had "livened up" a boring, stuffy Canterlot party in a similar fashion before, and with Celestia's seal of approval, at that.
  • In "Sweet and Elite", part of the reason Rarity gets caught up with the Canterlot elite is the ponies inviting her actually say things like "it'll be a disaster without you" or how much they need her there. It wasn't just her wanting to be part of the elite crowd, but trying to help them. So not only is it appealing to her personal interest in high society, but also to the Element of Generosity.
    • Not just that. Rewatch the musical number carefully. You will note several instances of Rarity approving of something and being immediately followed by the yes-men... and not one instance of her disapproving of anything. Even with her new status going to her head she only uses that power to lift people up.
  • One may think that Rarity's friends were carrying Idiot Ball when they decided to crash the garden party in "Sweet and Elite", considering how they thought it's a good idea to act stupid on a formal meeting in front of upper class ponies that their friend was trying to make good impression with. But then you realize that they were having Twilight's birthday party, which means they probably had a lot of certain substances, and suddenly their behavior makes much more sense... (especially Twilight doing her crazy dance—didn't look too sober)
  • Remember in "Winter Wrap-Up" when we learned that unicorns aren't native from Ponyville? Sure, the pegasi are from Cloudsdale, which seems to be pretty close of Ponyville, but when did Ponyville got unicorns to live there? Well, in "Sweet and Elite", if you pay attention to Canterlot's background ponies, you'll notice that the huge majority of them are unicorns. Hinted on the same episode is the fact that Canterlot is quite far from Ponyville. It all makes perfect sense!
  • In season one, we saw Twilight's parents enrolled her in Princess Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns, followed by the point that Spike was hatched as part of her entrance exam. In "Sweet and Elite", part of the plot revolves around Twilight's upcoming birthday. Then, in S02E10, we have Spike's birthday! Why so close? Because Twilight's parents enrolled her in the school as her birthday present. Which, when you think about it, is the perfect gift for Twilight.
  • It's highly likely that Hayseed Turnip Truck could tell what Jet Set and Upper Crust were really like, and was in fact scrabbling for something nice to say about them before settling on "they seemed real nice", because we already know he's correct about Rarity by befriending her.
  • Back to Sweet and Elite. Rarity ends up doing two dresses for Twilight's birthday. Twilight adores the second, simple, I-didn't-really-finish-it dress as the best reflection on her, while Rarity had intended to go for something hyper-elaborate; Twilight's horn would disappear in the hat, and the dress would probably attract all peacocks within fifty kilometres. Why would it go that way? When she's making the gaudy dress, she isn't thinking of Twilight. She's designing it not to match her, but to show up Canterlot ponies; she's basically designing it in anger. Subconsciously, though, she did have as a basis something plain and practical ... which is what Twilight ends up with when Rarity's not able to actually complete the design.
  • At first it seems rather odd that how much of a Karma Houdini Rarity pulls in this episode, keeping both her old friends and her new status despite having lied to and blown off her friends. But the more cliche ending of her losing her status with the Canterlot ponies would, in fact, have completely undermined the actual moral of the episode, that you should never be ashamed of your friends. It would have proven that she was right to think that she had to give up her friends in order to achieve success in Canterlot, when in fact the conflict was mostly in her head. She didn't lose Fancypants' respect even after they introduced themselves in the worst possible way, and she didn't offend Twilight by wanting to socialize with the upper crust when she "should" have been hanging out with Twilight.
  • Fancypants clearly comes to Rarity's "rescue" at the end of the day, but there's a few hints that he might have known Rarity to be "rustic" when they first bumped into each other, such as him immediately wanting to introduce her to the upper class. It's possible that he did this intentionally, much the same way that Celestia invited the Mane Cast to the Grand Galloping Gala, to help break the monotony of upper class life (and possibly even to put the more snotty ones in their place). During the derby scene, you can see Fancypants give a knowing look to Rarity, and when the party is crashed by the Mane Cast, he doesn't even pause before welcoming them.
    • Also, Fancypants is clearly well connected. It's possible he knows about the bearers of the Elements of Harmony,
    • It may seem a bit odd that Applejack would not know what a "garden party" was, given even her brief exposure to the upper class as a filly. However, keep in mind that AJ's Aunt and Uncle Orange were high-life society from Manehatten; they're less likely to have garden parties compared to the upper classes of Europe, instead having events like fancy dinners and balls.
    • Fluttershy has learned that acting serenely like a tree is likely a better way to attract the Canterlot wildlife than forcing them to love her.
    • Why does Twilight Sparkle, who had lived in Canterlot most of her life, doesn't know how to act properly in a high class party? Because, as the first episode shows, Twilight was so dedicated to studying that she practically had no social life before moving to Ponyville, and therefore the only parties she had attended are the 'rustic', informal ones, and most of those were organized by Pinkie Pie, so Twilight enjoying some silly, happy dancing is normal party behavior for her. The only time, after moving to Ponyville, when she attended a formal Canterlot party, was at the Great Galloping Gala, and we all know how that ended.
    • Some of the elite ponies manage to talk Rarity into coming to their events by begging, saying how much her being there would mean. They made it seem like she'd be a big help being there (which if you pay attention, she WAS). Rarity has always had a problem getting in over her head when people ask her for help.
      • She is the Element of Generosity, after all. She also spends much of this episode being somewhat generous with the truth.
    • Why wouldn't someone with his own time machine abuse it to attend the same party several times?
    • Several Youtubers have been able to pitch-shift "Becoming Popular" to make it sound like Pinkie Pie is singing it. The brilliance is that the song's lyrics are just as appropriate for Pinkie as they are for Rarity. Efforts are being made to merge the two into a virtual duet.
      • "Just as appropriate?" Because Pinkie cares about high society now? Pinkie isn't going to hold somepony's high status against them (even assuming she deigns to comprehend it), but it's pretty clear that she finds the rules of high society (or any other rules, actually) an impediment to fun.
      • Pretty sure they mean the general gist of the song- "I'm the type of pony everypony should know". If you forget that it's about the upper-class, it's very Pinkie. If you think about it for Pinkie, it's "I'm the talk of the town" Take out the "belle of the ball" part and infer that the "fancy yacht" and other locales are simply pretty places to hold Pinkie Pie's parties, it makes sense. There are only a few lines that aren't Pinkie- the one about being the belle of the ball, and the one about "approving glance". Pinkie believes she is the "girl on the go" the "type of pony every pony should know" she's the "girl in the know" she in a way wants to be as "popular s popular can be". Even the one about making her mark across society could be Pinkie, the "mark" being her friendship. Just because she never uses the word "popular" doesn't mean anything. Pinkie specifically says she loves making friends, and she has a lot. To be popular is to have lots of friends. If you completely ignore that it's about high society, it is, yes, Pinkie Pie to others in a nutshell.
    • Rarity's initial design for Twilight's dress looks like something that could draw attention the next time Twilight borrows the Royal Wind Tunnel; Twilight herself prefers the simple outfit she ends up throwing together. Almost as if Rarity's talent came through when she didn't have an ulterior motive like, say, designing a dress in anger more intended to show Jet Set and his bunch what she could do. That first design was not meant for Twilight.
  • Twilight mentions that Princess Celestia was the one who offered to let them use the royal ballroom as the new setting for her birthday party...right next to the garden party. It's entirely possible she knew exactly what was going on and wanted to make sure Rarity would be forced to come clean.

     Secret of My Excess 
  • So, I’m thinking to myself, the first words in the description for the episode Secret of My Excess are as follows: “Spike gets greedy on his birthday…” Now, at first glance, this seems like severe Out of Character, even for Spike, when all of a sudden, it hit me. Dragons, by nature, are natural hoarders (as has been demonstrated before). Being greedy is, in turn, a sign of Spike growing up, a (presumably) central theme in this episode. You never know what you’ll come up with if you just think about it.
  • The entire episode of Secret of My Excess had multiple scenes of Spike receiving affection from Rarity after he gives her his treasured Fire Ruby that he was saving for months to be eaten as his birthday dinner. Rarity was obviously moved by his gesture, because she's the Element of Generosity, but there's more to it than that when you remember that Spike occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and that the one thing Spike has wanted more than anything is for Rarity to notice him, which happened a lot on an episode about his birthday. The whole episode was a tribute to Spike and Rarity, as well as an actual gift from the writers to him on his birthday as sort of a fourth wall inversion.
  • When Spike burst through the roof of Sugarcube Corner, out of all the ponies watching, only Pinkie Pie was truly shocked. She wasn't the only one seeing Spike growing for the first time, and it wasn't because she had just been fighting with him. It was because she rents a room in the attic of Sugarcube Corner, and Spike's head had just gone right through it.
  • In "Secret of my Excess" Spike gives Rarity his prized fire gem, which is shaped like a heart. When Spike is an evil giant dragon, Rarity moves to protect her fire gem, saying her good friend Spike gave it to her. This reverts Spike back to normal size. Essentially the aesop can be The Power of Love can curb someone's greed.
  • Fluttershy had no problem subduing a rampaging adult dragon before when it was threatening her friends. So why can't she handle Spike while he's threatening her friends? Because Spike is her friend and she doesn't want to hurt him!
  • Why is Rarity so quick to comfort Spike after he reverts to normal? Because thanks to Discord, she knows exactly how it feels to become a greedy monster (though figuratively, not literally) because of something outside of your control and hurt those you care about because of it! Even without Discord's influence, Rarity is constantly struggling to control her more self-centered impulses. And she doesn't always succeed. Remember how little effort it took Discord to corrupt her, not even bothering to say anything to her. Out of the Mane Six, she's the only one that knows what it's like to let her greed take control. And unlike Spike, her greed is present all the time.
  • Before Secret of my Excess, we've almost never seen Pinkie in a state of abject, pure shock before. But then, with her Pinkie Sense, how many things have really been able to surprise her? She might have a sense for "a dragon is about to destroy my home/place of employment", but would she have ever felt it before then?
  • Spike's fast growing and aggressive behaviour might seem like an odd way for a dragon to grow up. But then it hits, it IS odd.
    • Spike is not living the way his species would, he has no siblings to compete with and no older dragon to watch him over and put him down if he misbehaves. It's possible Twilight knew enough about dragons to limit his gifts to manageable amount. It was when Spike got more gifts outside, that his natural hoarding instincts grew.
      • Also: most dragons live in caves; Spike lives in a town. Most dragons only perceive value in gems, but Spike, because he lives in a mercantile society, perceives pretty much everything as having value. Hence the hoarding of dog biscuits.
    • In Dragon Quest, we see that his behavior was pretty normal for a teenage dragon. He was more greedy than aggressive, but his actions were well in line within the baseline that they established. The main difference was that the other dragons in his age group were constantly playing/fighting with each other, with leads to the conclusion that Spike's problems come from a lack of exercise, and that Twilight should have been more physical when she tried to stop him.
    • We can also surmise that "Steven Magnet" turned out the way he did because his obsession was vanity instead. Life as a dragon is a freaking knife's edge.
  • The lack of Spike in this season is understandable given the events of "Secret of My Excess". Poor little guy probably isn't too eager to leave the library any time soon.
    • Also, there's the detail of Spike, even in his adult form, being a wing-less dragon, unlike most of the other dragons that had appeared in the show. It's possible that, just like ponies can be Earth, Unicorn or Pegasus, dragons can be Land or Flying type; a Flying Dragon should be relatively lighter than a Land one, and therefore with much less body fat. As a Land Dragon, Spike wouldn't need to sacrifice body mass in favor of more efficient flying, and therefore his body can get considerably bigger and heavier than a Flying Dragon's.
  • Spike simply getting a book for his birthday is likely the reason this hasn't happened before.
  • Considering that Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie share the same voice actress...
    (Fluttershy screams from off-camera)
    Applejack: What was that?
    Rainbow Dash: That sounded like Fluttershy to me!
    and then later
    (Pinkie Pie screams from off-camera, nearly indistinguishable from Fluttershy's)
    Rainbow Dash: That sounded like Pinkie Pie!
    • That said, it makes sense that Rainbow Dash would be the one to notice the difference, as Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie are her closest friends.
  • Why did Rarity so quickly come to comfort Spike after he reverted to normal? Because she's been in the same position he is now, having been turned into a greedy hoarder by something she didn't really have control over and hurt her friends because of it.
  • One might notice that Spike's adult form is noticeably chubbier than the typical dragon. Why would that be the case? Spike grew up too fast, so he still has his baby fat.
  • Adult Spike doesn't seem to act as predatory as dragons seen before. While this may be Earth Dragon nature, it's also, in a way, a representation of his pony upbringing. Spike acts more like an irritated herbivore - a rhinoceros or even a giant sloth.

     Family Appreciation Day 
  • The Timber wolves in Family Appreciation Day are easily scared off by Granny Smith's banging of pots and pans. But these wolves live in the Everfree forest - home to dragons, Cockatrice, the Ursa Major, killer pony cults.....who knows what. They've learned long ago that if something is making that much noise, it is something that poses a very, very serious danger to them.
  • Family Appreciation Day is one of the few episodes to end without a letter to Celestia.
    • Which is odd, considering there is an ample lesson to be learned here. There are two bits of brilliance here - one, it was a lesson about family, not friendship - Sisterhooves Social was about sisters being friends, whereas this was about respecting ones elders and realising they've probably done some amazing things in their life. The second bit, is that said letter would be written to Celestia - an immortal being who has lived for eons. How would you go about writing a letter about learning to respect your elders to the oldest living being on the planet?
    • Also, the episode was about Apple Bloom, not Applejack and Apple Bloom, as she is not one of the Mane Six, doesn't write letters regularly to Princess Celestia any more than a human would write "Dear Mr. President, today I learned..." The CMC don't write friendship reports — they're just friends.
  • The flashbacks in Family Appreciation Day have served to elevated the earth ponies' place in the status quo. No, they don't have magic, but they have something better - the ability to exact control over apparently magical forces, or at least hammering it into a shape that fits them, with little more than trial and error. It's not Appleoosa, but the obvious Western settlers theme has never been more appropriate.
  • In the first classroom scene in Family Appreciation Day Apple Bloom tries to come up with an excuse to prevent Granny Smith from giving a talk, and for a split second she pulls a face remarkably similar to Applejack's Discorded Liar face from The Return of Harmony. It seems having a terrible poker face is an Apple family trait.
  • Another example from "Family Appreciation Day," and also a call-back to "Cutie-Mark Chronicles": Of course Applejack would have felt called home by a rainbow: it reminded her of the rainbow-colored zap-apple jam that is the trademark of Sweet Apple Acres.
  • Remember how in Family Appreciation, it was revealed that the Apple family were the original settlers of Ponyville? Well, ok, Granny Smith, since the rest of her family didn't have the Apple name. Well, I just realized that it's a reference to legendary pioneer and hero Johnny Appleseed! Seriously, read his story, then re-watch Granny Smith's story to the class!
  • Applejack's outburst at Twilight for using magic in Winter Wrap Up seems more justified in light of the revelation that her family of Earth ponies were the founders of Ponyville.
  • Also wasn't there a prank where back in "Griffon the Brush Off" where Pinkie and Rainbow painted regular apples rainbow-colored? Not much of a prank...unless they were supposed to look like Zap Apples!
    • The events of "Griffon the Brush Off" must have took place near that year's Zap Apple's harvest .... as Applejack laughed at Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's painted apple joke.
  • Silver Spoon is the first pony to start clapping for Granny Smith. Looks like there's a reason for the heart in the handle of her Cutie Mark.
  • If we assume Granny Smith's story happens after the flashback in Celestia's issue of the micro series, then giving Granny smith's family a place to live takes a different meaning. With celestia wanting to make long-term plans to protect Equestria she would need a way to explore and keep on check the Everfree Forest, which can be easily accomplished by having ponies settling there that could endure the harsh conditions. there was a tactical reason for her to give the family that place.

     Baby Cakes 
  • At first it seems rather convenient that the Mane Six are all present at the maternity ward. It seems likely that Pinkie was initially invited but she couldn't couldn't keep the news quiet and ended up squealing to everypony on the way to the hospital and that her closest friends heard and tagged along for moral support for Pinkie as much as the Cakes.
  • Rarity doesn't even provide an excuse as to why she won't babysit the twins. Though it's easy to figure out what reason exactly: she knows her shop isn't child-safe.
    • Her house is FILLED with needles, scissors, pins, beads, spools, and countless other things hazardous to babies. Combine that with the power of Pumpkin Cake's magic spurts, which Rarity knew was going to start happening soon, and you have a recipe for disaster.
    • More like she knows that she isn't child-safe. Rarity knows that she is highly temperamental, especially when she's at work. She also knows that she only barely has enough restraint to resist strangling her own baby sister when she visits. So the prospect of babysitting two one-month-old infants in her shop during business hours? It's not even a question. NO.
    • Another reason for this: Rarity mentioned early on about the "magic surges" that come and go with baby unicorns. Since she was probably still living with her parents when Sweetie Belle was born, she had firsthand experience about having to deal with said surges and thus is not yet able to handle that again.
  • Pinkie's absolute failure at Stand-up. She was using Steven Wright material, which generally requires a more flat, dry delivery - which is a polar opposite to Pinkie at any time.
    • Of course Pinkie would choose Steven Wright-type material; the deadpan, flat, dry delivery is very reminiscent of what her own sister would like and enjoy later.
  • Pinkie, the Element of Laughter is seriously crying and feeling helpless while babysitting the twins mainly due to the stress of taking care of multiple children., which is bad enough, but this is made even worse when you realize that nopony else, including the Cakes, or even Pinkie herself thought she could handle the job of babysitting the twins, and she was at the breaking point and was probably subconsciously admitting to herself that they might all be right about her being incapable of doing the job and making her feel like a completely incompetent failure as a result which is probably the real reason for her tears.
    • Weirdly enough, it sort of breaks the aesop of Applebuck Season of "Don't be proud and ask for help if you need it"
      • It doesn't, really — if Pinkie had followed that aesop and let Twilight help her, there'd be a lot less trouble for her. Declining the help wasn't a good move, since Pinkie didn't know if she really was up to the task. Luckily for the twins, she could do it. It'd have been a lot worse if she turned out unable to.
    • But Applejack been doing the job her whole life, so it's only natural that she would be reluctant to accept help for something that she's been doing forever. Pinkie thought she could handle babysitting, but before now, she's never done anything like that and people made it pretty clear they didn't think she was up to the task, so maybe Pinkie just felt as though this was something she had to do, both for herself and her family, essentially. Not to mention, a lot of times people have mistaken Pinkie's Cloudcuckoolander personality for being simple, like in Swarm of the Century, only for her to turn out to be correct.
      • Her doing the job her whole life also means she should have recognized when she had bitten off more than she could chew. Pride was a problem for both ponies in their respective episodes. Pinkie managed to pull through on her own, but only after a lot of stress that could have been avoided if she asked for help.
  • There has been a lot of speculation about how Pumpkin Cake was able to levitate herself when Twilight, the Element of Magic, couldn't do that in "Sonic Rainboom".
    • Well...she probably could. It seems to be a simple variation of the levitation spell that ALL unicorns use to move things; Pumpkin simply applied it to herself. Twilight could have levitated herself to Cloudsdale, she just didn't think of it!
    • Adding to the above: Twilight was looking for flight spells; she didn't think of just levitating.
    • And why didn't she think of something so simple? Because the levitation spell isn't supposed to be used on yourself. She's too logical to use a spell for anything but its intended purpose. And, of course, it wouldn't have solved the problem of how to get everypony else to Cloudsdale.
    • There's also the simple fact that Pumpkin probably only weighs a fraction of what a full grown pony does. Levitating a full-grown pony for any amount of time would require much more effort, possibly pushing it into Awesome, but Impractical territory for Twilight and downright impossible for a lesser unicorn. In mechanical terms, Pumpkin's 'Power to Weight Ratio' is better than Twilight's, and that's why she can self levitate.
      • Actually, this is averted in the season 3 opener when Twilight actually does levitate herself to avoid a collision with the ground at the bottom of the stairs. Logic would dictate that she didn't leviate herself up to cloudsdale because the cloudwalking spell is actually more practical. Magic requires energy, and levitation requires constant focus. So much focus that if she were to break concentration at any time, she would fall through the clouds, and wouldn't even be able to really watch the competition due to this. It also leaves her with no solution for getting her friends up there. As for the use of the balloon, wouldn't you rather take a comfortable ride in a hot air balloon as opposed to using the much needed energy the magic would require to float the hundreds of feet (possibly more) up to the city itself?
  • This cold start of this episode explains how unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies are all able to bear children that are from one of the other races by having them somewhere in their family history This helps explain what Scootaloo is doing in the classroom in "Family Appreciation Day," and why she's in Ponyville at all instead of Cloudsdale. One or both of her parents can't fly so she has to live on the ground.
  • A somewhat senseful explanation of Pony Genetics that would not give Psycho Mantis a concussion
    • This theory would also provide an explanation for unicorns being nobility. They've been interbreeding like most nobles do, not so much out of 'keeping the bloodline pure', but also out of trying to make more unicorns!
  • Why do the twins come to comfort Pinkie so quickly when she breaks down crying? She's been their constant playmate since they were born. Not to mention that the Cakes have been confirmed by Word of God to pretty much consider Pinkie their daughter. Even if they're babies, they just realized they'd made their best friend and Cool Big Sis cry; of course they'd try to comfort her!
    • It also explains why they were so rambunctious to begin with; they think of Pinkie as a playmate and not a caretaker and believe it's all a game until she cries and they realize it isn't. Real kids do this as well, assuming that certain people are just there to have fun with all the time.
    • In addition, Pinkie went to some pains to comfort them when they cried— whenever they cried, as a matter of fact. So they learned that's what you do. You don't leave someone you care about sad and crying. They immediately sought to comfort her with something she technically taught them at first on accident, and then kept using because it was the only thing she could use to get them to cheer up: the bag of flour.
      • In addition to being their constant playmate as the above posters just mentioned, Pinkie lives in an apartment above the shop, as the Cakes themselves apparently do. The twins haven't just played with Pinkie their whole lives up to this point, she lives with them, unless she had to move out in order to give the babies room. As such, the twins may not be aware Pinkie isn't biologically related to them, so not only do Cup Cake and Carrot Cake think of Pinkie as their daughter, the twins may not realize she isn't related to them. They may believe she is their actual older sister due to their young age. Think about it. They know their parents because they most likely saw them at birth. Who was one of the next ponies they saw, and kept seeing on a near-constant basis? Pinkie. Not that it exactly matters if they think she's really their sister or not. They live with her. This is part of why they would never have expected a time would come where she wouldn't just be playing with them until she snapped and started bawling. She had never been in a caretaker role with them before. They thought she was just playing with them to make them feel better until their parents returned. To be fair, she kind of was doing that because it's what she largely assumed it would work best in keeping them happy in between dealing with the responsibilities laid out for her by their parents.
  • Pumpkin Cake spends much of the episode chewing on things. This may be because she's teething. Yes; it appears that one month old foals can and do teethe.
    • Besides which, magic Unicorn pony, so comparisons to Real Life horses may not necessarily apply.
  • Why did the twins immediately start crying when their parents left? Because their parents just left; that's why! Additionally they're unaware of when their parents are coming back so of course they're upset.
    • On top of that, babies learn very quickly at that age but lack the skills to make logical chain deduction. So they were probably aware enough already to realize that anyone who leaves through the front doors is not necessarily coming back soon...if at all. That's part of why the peek-a-boo game Pinkie was playing is so important to baby development. It helps them learn that "if someone we care about goes away, they will come back sooner or later."
  • Pinkie's instant desire to play with the Cake babies shortly after their birth seems a bit over the top at first. However if her backstory in the Cutie Mark Chronicles is true, and her childhood was likely not a particularly happy one prior to gaining her Cutie Mark, then Pinkie's efforts are her way of ensuring that her foster siblings have all the laughter and playtime she didn't get growing up.
  • It might seem strange that Mr and Mrs Cake started looking to the rest of the Mane 6 to babysit the Cake Twins before turning to Pinkie, but considering the individual Ponies in question, they all (except Rarity, as it was already explained above) have certain things about them that actually would make them decent babysitters, to clarify;
    • Fluttershy already gained experience in dealing with kids after 'Stare Master' and is gentle and patient enough that she might've had no trouble dealing with the Cake Twins
    • Twilight already had years of experience with kids that comes from her growing up with Spike, who was basically a little brother to her ever since he hatched from his egg years ago. And she already showed in the 'Baby Cakes' episode how she is knowledgeable about how babies should be taken care of (presumably from her said relationship with Spike and/or reading about babies).
    • Applejack, in hindsight, likely has the most experience (out of the entire Mane 6) in taking care of baby foals, considering how considering how her parents have been basically confirmed to be dead, she likely has had to help raise Applebloom alongside Big Macintosh and Granny Smith when Applebloom was a baby herself.
    • Rainbow Dash, though sometimes lazy, has been known to work hard when she has to, and sometimes does at least come across as more responsible than Pinkie Pie.
  • Why was Mr. Cake so worried at the maternity ward? Because it is so dangerous for a horse to bear twins. He didn't know if Cup would live. This also explains why she didn't appear in Winter Wrap-Up; she didn't want to overtax her body.

     Hearth's Warming Eve 
  • In Hearth's Warming Eve:
    • There's an in-universe Casting Gag in the fact that the mane six end up all with roles that are almost completely identical to their regular personalities, which seems amazingly coincidental. Then we remember that Princess Celestia, who has already had her fair share of interactions with the mane cast, gave them the roles in the first place. Of course she'd have them play characters with similar personalities to their own!
    • It's also possible that Twilight researched the story proper, then reduced it to a basic plotline while writing the roles as similar to the mane 6 anyways, because none of them are professional actors.
    • It's also possible that the actual characters were nothing like they were portrayed, as—again—none of the Mane Six are professional actors!
    • Even Spike is perfectly cast as the Narrator, while he is important to the show's dynamic he's often outside the action of the story proper and occasionally provides commentary to the goings on.
  • Hearth's Warming Eve provides some in regards to Discord, depending on how you place the founding of Equestria in the timeline. If Discord's reign of chaos came before it, then it makes perfect sense for the ponies to distrust one another, considering all they probably knew for a long time beforehand was disharmony and chaos. Under Discord, it was likely "everypony for themselves", which would carry on for a bit after his downfall. If Discord's arrival and reign over the land happened after that, he had a long history of Fantastic Racism to exploit and manipulate. Heck, perhaps the reason he came was because they suddenly began becoming harmonic and he couldn't stand it.
  • In Hearth's Warming Eve, we see each pony race found their own nation, which would later become Equestria. However, these groups still inhabit their original claims. Unicorns took the mountains, and the majority of the mountainous Canterlot is unicorns. The pegasai founded a nation in the clouds, which presumably became Cloudsdale. The earth ponies took the lowlands, which became places like Ponyville, consisting mostly of Earth ponies. The legacy of their ancestors still exists in the lands they claimed.
  • In Luna Eclipsed, Princess Luna states she knew Star Swirl the Bearded. Clover the Clever's mentor was Star Swirl the Bearded. The historical unicorns raised the sun and moon—perhaps they learned the technique from the alicorns who would become their princesses? Or where they the ones who taught the Royal Sisters the trick?
  • While the parts of the play in "Hearth's Warming Eve'' that appear to be "real" as opposed to a stage production could just be for viewer benefit, a good In-Universe explanation was provided by "Suited For Success". If Rarity can do amazing special effects for a fashion show through magic, whose to say the same wasn't done by Rarity, or another pony knowing the same spell, for the play in this episode?
  • Though none of the episodes really follow a continuity with one another , at the end of "Hearth's Warming Eve" during the Heart Carol you can see the stained glass windows from "The Return of Harmony" meaning that they are in that same hall, and it includes the one window of Discord being defeated.
  • Hearth's Warming Eve also gives a pretty good reason why alicorns are the royal, ruling class: they are the physical embodiment of the complete and harmonious union of the 3 pony races that Equestria was founded on.
  • "Hearth's Warming Eve" also confirms part of Pinkie Pie's claim that "that's how Equestria was made" back in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". In the beginning of the play there's just narration and no dialogue, hence "no talking", and certainly no laughing either - and towards the end, there is indeed a rock.
  • In "Hearth's Warming Eve":
    • It is always thought it was a little odd that Commander Hurricane demands "Well? Aren't you going to ask how it went?" She doesn't seem to care what Private Pansy thinks, really, and as she only ever speaks when asked a question, there was no reason to expect her to ask anything upon arrival—and anyway, there were other pegasi around. Then I realized—Fluttershy forgot her lines!
    • That also explains why ANY pegasus raised in such a martial society ("Do they not realize we are a mighty tribe of warriors?") would be as incredibly skittish as Private Pansy—Fluttershy has terrible stage fright, and it's shooting her nerves to hell.
  • Politically speaking: The play shows what components Equestria was made from. Twilight's intellectualism, Applejack's pragmatism, Fluttershy's pacifism, Rarity's pride, Rainbow's "agressertiveness" and Pinkie's...well...eccentricity (face it; it's Equestria after all!). Although the play depicts some of the traits are more morally objectionable than others, it never downplays the importance of any of them; if they did so, the advisors could have just as well easily discarded of their leaders. But ignoring the fact that all six of them are the mane cast, they still don't. Why? Because they are nevertheless dependent on their leaders in one way or another. Just imagine Twilight, Applejack and Fluttershy founding Equestria on their own. It would be a country that is neither strong or realistically complete. Because one can't build a country based on mere pragmatism, intellectualism and pacifism. A certain level of assertiveness is needed for any country (why do you think diplomats exist in the first place?) and pride and eccentricity are unavoidable side effects to any and all nations, resulting in nationalism and the general incompetence (i.e. of civil servants) respectively. So much for that. The play only says that all those traits are to be kept at a certain balance or else...Wendigos.
  • When the Pegasi discover their new home...Pegasopolis...Private Pansy, Fluttershy's character, points at the ground and says "I can see my future house from here!" But surely as a Pegasus, Private Pansy made her home in the clouds like the rest? Perhaps but here Fluttershy is speaking as Fluttershy and pointing roughly at where her cottage in Ponyville would be. Yup; she's breaking the (in-universe) fourth wall!
  • When the Mane Six are on their way to Canterlot, everypony but Twilight acts like it is their first time there. This doesn't make sense until you realize that it is their first time there during Hearth's Warming Eve. They're just excited about going to see the lights and decorations. This is backed up by noticing that Twilight though clearly enjoying herself isn't as excited as the others due to having lived there most of her life and having seen it all before.
  • Using a chimney to enter a house is shrugged off as typical oddball behavior of Chancellor Puddinghead (and the actress playing her). Then at the end of the scene, she attempts to exit the house (through the door this time) and is immediately buried by the wall of snow that had built up behind it. Guess the chimney actually was easier...
  • The style of armor worn by modern Equestrian guards is apparently an in-universe Call-Back to the ancient Pegasi who were the best warriors of all the tribes.
  • While it could be explained as simply for the viewer's benefit, the realistic looking scenes displayed throughout have another possible explanation. In "Suited For Success", Rarity uses her magic to produce a large number of illusions and effects for her fashion show. It's quite possible that she or another Unicorn knowing the same spell could've produced the effects for the play. While certain things were presented via backdrops and the like, it'd probably be more effective and practical to do things like the ice and snow as well as more detailed settings with magic.
  • Requires substantial knowledge on the subject but if one looks at it, the Wendigos aren't Sadly Mythtaken at all; just re-purposed for ponies. Besides being humanoid, the mythic Wendigos represented the evils of an Algonquian taboo: cannibalism...especially when it isn't absolutely necessary. These Wendigos on the other hand represent the evils of a purely Equestrian taboo: hatred...especially between the races.
    • And there's a second level of Fridge Logic and Fridge Brilliance involved if you think about it. The Wendigos are still encouraging cannibalism of a sort; they're encouraging the 3 pony tribes to devour themselves and each other through violence and hatred.
  • The casting for the play works way better than I'd originally thought. The three leaders need to clash in order to create the central conflict...and which three ponies are picked to play the leaders? The ones with the strongest personalities! Rainbow Dash is aggressive, Rarity is melodramatic and Pinkie Pie is...Pinkie Pie. On the other hand, the relatively mild personalities are chosen to play their respective advisers in order to temper them and to serve as foils. Fluttershy, the quiet conflict-shy personality is attached to the aggressive Rainbow Dash; the reasonable Twilight Sparkle is attached to the histrionic Rarity and the down-to-earth Applejack is attached to the crazy Pinkie Pie. Spike who is important to the show's dynamic but is often outside the action and occasionally provides commentary and pokes holes in certain character's logic is the narrator.
  • It may appear weird that only the Pegasi got a distinct look from the other two tribes, being based on ancient Greece when others are both based on medieval Europe. But it actually makes sense: The Pegasi, living in the clouds, developed in isolation from Unicorns and Earth Ponies who in turn lived side by side which would naturally cause their cultures to meld to some degree. Furthermore unicorns appearing similar to nobility makes sense in that their part of the deal involved relatively cleaner and less exhausting spell-casting instead of working physically in the fields.
    • Even better is that the three tribes still have remnants of their former cultures. Pegasi culture seems to favour bold, strong and fast. And they still have the advantage of flight over other tribes, making them great warriors. Unicorns favour bloodlines and standing, and they cultivate fashion, arcane studies and culture in general. And Earth Ponies still do work others can't do and seem content having simple jobs.
    • Another thing, Pegasus is derived from Greek Mythology. Another example of Shown Their Work.
    • The Pegasi still retain some of their warrior roots: the Royal Guard is predominantly composed of pegasi.
    • During the initial summit meeting, Princess Platinum appears to take offense to an insult that Commander Hurricane directs toward... Chancellor Puddinghead? There's more evidence that the unicorns (or at least just the Princess) prefers earth ponies to pegasi: "...looking like a bedraggled earth pony, or worse yet, a rough-and-tumble pegasus." This might seem strange given that the three tribes, including the unicorns and earth ponies, are supposed to be at odds with one another, but it makes sense when one remembers that, as stated above, the pegasi lived in isolation from the earth-bound tribes. Yes, it's plain old xenophobia.
  • Rainbow Dash gloating about how the play should be all about her makes it seem like she forgot her lesson from "Mare Do Well". Then we see her character Commander Hurricane. She was probably just getting into character!
    • Hey; part of the Aesop was that it's okay to celebrate your accomplishments. And if getting to play Commander Hurricane isn't an accomplishment worth celebrating, what is?
    • Also remember that Rainbow Dash sometimes suffers from stage fright too...especially when she's afraid of public failure. So what better way to stop herself from ending up like Fluttershy than to convince herself everypony will be cheering for her?
  • Why would a species like the Wendigos engage in Harmless Freezing? And just what is the connection between eating negative emotions and cold weather anyway? If you think about it, it kinda makes sense. You encourage the ponies to hate each other in order to feed upon their hatred. But sooner or later they will either a) put aside their differences, b) avoid each other or c) kill each other. No more food. Not a good survival trait. So instead you get them to the point where their hate is the strongest and then see to it that it will last forever. Freeze them while keeping them alive and they'll be stuck in an And I Must Scream scenario permanently without ever having the opportunity to get past their negative emotions. Those three pony leaders came this close to spending the rest of eternity trapped in the presence of those they hated, unable to either leave, destroy or make amends with them. Quite a feast for the Wendigos. Could very well be a Batman Gambit as well.
  • When Princess Platinum returned, Clover the Clever asked, "Did the other pony tribes see reason as I predicted?" Now, the meeting Platinum had just been to ended without solving anything; however, her prediction does come true by the end of the story...
  • All of the episodes are a mix of comic and dramatic, but, in-canon, it doesn't really make sense to have comic moments in a play about such a sombre occasion as the foundation of the country. Then I realized it — extravagant performers playing over-the-top characters? Jokes? Audience participation (one pony tells Spike to get on with it, and isn't told to quieten down by anyone else in the audience)? It's a pantomime!
  • Okay, this one borders on being a Genius Bonus, but bear with me! Around 50,000 years ago (IRL), there was this massive volcanic eruption called the Youngest Toba Tuff, or YTT. It was such a massive eruption that it caused volcanic winter, devastating everything that had been previously under the sun. This apparently created a "genetic bottleneck," which is to say that a lot of early humans died and the entire population was forced to work together to survive. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing...modern humans are said to be descended from the bottlenecked population, which numbered between 5,000 and 10,000. Some of them stayed, a lot of them migrated to greener pastures.
    • Where this gets Fridge Logicky / Genius Bonusey is that early Equestria was frozen over (though by hatred and animosity and Windigoes rather than a volcanic supereruption) and ponies were forced to work together to survive, and this ended up benefitting everypony in modern-day Equestria.
  • There were three tribes and three Windigos. Each Windigo represented the hatred of one of the tribes.
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     The Last Roundup 
  • The Last Round Up finally has Derpy Hooves as a canon character with her own voice lines and if it weren't for her constant appearances, such as in Luna Eclipsed when she bobs for apples and drains the tub, or has a costume of paper bags or any of her other similar appearances, there would be nothing to base her on. It would be like they introduced a character for very little reason, but in reality they brought a background pony to the front that everyone had known all along.
  • Why is Derpy so clumsy? She has no depth perception due to her eyes facing different directions!
    • There exists an eye condition called "strabismus" which makes it difficult for the eyes to align properly, with the result that stereoscopic vision and depth perception is hindered. In other words, Derpy is an accurate depiction of a real-life disability.
  • Why didn't the town just raise the revenue through ordinary means, i.e., a new tax levy or a bond issue, to renovate the town hall? Because who would want to pay for such a needless extravagance when the town is really governed from the library anyway?
  • This is most likely to be unintentional but it's still brilliant: Derpy's formal introduction in an Applejack-centered episode is actually perfect because you know who else was a complete klutz and a silly pony? The original Applejack.
  • A possible indication of an Out of Order ep. How would Rainbow Dash know about Wild Bull Hickock and Calamity Mane? They're clearly not with the Wonderbolts - did she read about them?. Alternatively, they could just be celebrities on par with the Wonderbolts, since Applejack claimed she'd seen them during the rodeo.
    • Assuming they're based on their real life counterparts Wild Bill Hickock (Rogue outlaw and gunfighter) and Calamity Jane (gunfighter and partner of Wild Bill), it would make sense that a badass like Rainbow Dash would know about other badasses like the two mentioned without having to read about them. It's also likely Applejack could've told her about them due to her Western-style upbringing.
  • It is absolutely amazing that Tabitha St.Germain thought that Derpy was male and gave her that particular voice. The whole character of Derpy was born from an "accident" of sorts, and that kind of detail makes it a perfect fit.
  • Derpy and Princess Luna share a voice actress. Derpy is Princess Luna! No wonder everyone loves her!
  • The rest of the group don't really try to reason with AJ that much until after The Reveal. Why? Remember last time they tried to reason with her when she was dead set on something? It took realizing that working herself nearly to death only got half the orchard harvested for her to finally admit she needed help. They, especially Twilight, knew Applejack is extremely stubborn when she's set on something and just trying to talk her out of staying in Dodge Junction would've been a waste of time.
  • Applejack actually brought her "defeat" on the Rodeo upon herself if you think about it. Consider she won A LOT of ribbons at that one rodeo, which means she had to take part in many different events. That means that Applejack has at least some experience and skill at many different events but if she spent only some of her time training for each of those different events, then of course she'd end up losing over and over again to different ponies who had spent all their time training for one particular event!
    • In other words, you might be able to call her an Applejack of all trades, master of none! Eh? Eh???
    • In addition, Ponyville put a ton of pressure on her, especially Mayor Mare, which clearly made her at least somewhat nervous during the part of the episode prior to her leaving and was the primary reason her loss sent her into a Heroic BSoD. It's completely possible all the pressure made her choke at the competition.
    • And lastly, a main reason why she could have lost one or more of the competitions is seen at the very beginning already. When she jumps the extra-high hurdle, her hind hooves strafe it. What if she did the same thing at the actual competition? Even though it was only a minor slip, it could have still either been a plainly illegal move (coming into contact with the hurdle), or may even have resulted in a much bigger mess-up (losing her balance, flying off-course, tripping, etc). After all, Applejack apparently didn't bother to eradicate this one misstep in her otherwise completely flawless training.
  • The board with five blue ribbons just after Applejack is announced as a ten-time champion is pretty much explained in-universe - AJ's habit is obviously in taking on all the events each time, and the five ribbons were all from the same outing. And if it's true about other ponies only competing in one or two events, five blue ribbons is a lot. Which sheds some light on the way things turned out - most of the other competitors would probably marvel at her ability to get one medal for every event at all, but only the hoity-toity winners would make sure to point out that none of them are blue, explaining all the added pressure on her.
  • Yes, it does seem out of character for Rainbow Dash, let alone the other ponies, to not go back for Pinkie Pie and Rarity after they get accidentally knocked out of their carts, but if you think back to the "Return of Harmony" story arc, you realize that Rainbow Dash has come to terms with the fact that she can't help out two, let alone multiple, conflicting parties all at once; in this case, her loyalty was focused on Applejack the whole time. Plus, considering her line "They knew what they were getting into", it's pretty evident that since they were near a town, Rainbow had a feeling that Pinkie Pie and Rarity would find a way to head back to Ponyville with little to no difficulty, even if it meant using a hoofcar. Applejack, Twilight, and Fluttershy would have realized this, too.

     The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 
  • The moral of the story in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" seems to be more directed towards the citizens of Ponyville, as they are at first ungrateful towards the Apple family for not having enough cider for everyone but finally realize the value of quality over quantity in the end.
  • The fan-dubbed Dr.Whooves (Named for his David Tennant-esque hairstyle and hourglass cutie-mark) Is the official time-keeper of the competition in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000." At a small stretch you could say that it's being acknowledged that the rules of time are his to control.
    • And they WILL OBEY HIM!
  • Some fans have questioned why the Apple Family says they need their apple cider sales to get through the winter, when their Zap Apple jam is an amazingly big seller.
    • Simple - the money from the zap apple jam went towards rebuilding the barn, after Applejack asked Rainbow Dash to destroy it in Lesson Zero. Since the family didn't get the money they expected from Applejack's cart at the Grand Galloping Gala, they had to put the money from the jam up for the rebuilding, meaning they'd need the Cider money to get by on.
    • Another reason why Applejack was afraid she'd lose her farm was due to all the losses and damages accrued over the last season and recently. Between the parasprites eating the farm infrastructure, the failed attempt at making profits from the Gala, the building of another new side-barn, Spike stealing her crops, and the money they're clearly saving to get Granny Smith a new hip, they were desperate to get the profits from Cider Season to tide them over until the next major season.
    • Just of the top of my Doylist hat, I'd say it's because the Apple family are the Hippomorphic Personifications of the Determined Homesteader and as such, always just one poor crop away from utter ruin.
  • The Flim Flam Brothers make the bet based on number instead of quality. They know their Cider isn't as GOOD as the Apples', they just know they can make more of it faster.
    • Debatable. Watch Granny Smith's face when she tries some of the first batch...
    • Actually, they were betting they could beat the Apples' speed of making cider. Their first few barrels, before Twilight pulled the "honorary family" card, were made with the quality control on, and those barrels would've been as good as the one they made in their demonstration, which only Granny got to sample.
  • Why does Twilight organize the group to help the Apple family, instead of pulling off an "Ursa stunt", even though it costs her the game in the end? The whole point is not "Flams vs. Apples" but "Flam way vs. Apple way"; reducing it to a contest of unicorn magic would make it meaningless.
  • Where did Twilight get the whole idea of "honorary family member"? From the season 1 pilot episode!
  • Nopony besides Granny Smith really got a chance to have a drink of Flim Flam's carefully made cider, so having a drink of their poorly made cider in the end only made it worse for them.
    • On top of that, the Flim Flam Brothers pretty much did a major Kick the Dog in front of the entire town that visibly upset the majority of them. Not only did the town taste some rotten cider, they realized how rotten the Flim Flam Brothers really were.
  • It's not the first time that a line of campers forms overnight to be the first to get an Apple product.
  • The reason why Applejack said she didn't learn a lesson from all this? She already did.
  • We start seeing more mangled/smashed apples in the Flim Flam brothers' machine at the same time it started sucking up the trees as well as the apples!
  • So you think the Flim Flam Brothers are going to get away with this scot-free and try it again in another part of Equestria, right? When you realize just how BIG the Apple family is, they're going to be hard pressed to find any more willing suppliers for their machine once word gets out.
    • Oh and not to mention that Applejack has her Uncle and Aunt Orange from Manehattan. What's to say they won't come in and learn this from their Apple family members and then spread the word about this all to their rich friends? And what's to say that these rich friends will also make sure that no pony ever helps out the Flim Flam brothers ever again.
    • Dodge Junction is out, too, since Applejack got in good with Cherry Jubilee.
    • It gets worse when you remember not only is the Apple Family HUGE, it's also tight knit. Odds are the Apple Family is going to be TICKED.
    • And Applejack's not the only one with connections. Rarity has plenty of contacts in Canterlot, so Flim and Flam probably can't set up shop there. And that's assuming Twilight or Spike doesn't mention it to Princess Celestia, who could presumably shut them down entirely, fine the living heck out of them, or banish them to the moon. Especially since they were pretty much forcing both an Element of Harmony and the practical founder of Ponyville out of town.
    • Even without all that, Ponyville's entire population hates them. Word of mouth spreads and everypony knows their jerks and Con Artists or thinks their cider sucks. Even without the Apple Family or Princess interfering, they're in deep horse apples.
    • The funny thing is they could start over, as long as they change the name of their business, keep quality control, hide their machine, buy apples through a middleman, and most importantly don't act like jerks.
      • They might have to. They were running their machine at double power, and forcing it to process trees, rocks, and dirt along with the apples. That couldn't have been healthy for the machine to run like that, meaning that Flim and Flam's prized machine will very likely break down before too long, forcing the brothers to pursue other lines of work to pay for repairs.
      • And of course the next time we see those two, their production method has been downsized to a tabletop hoof-operated squeezer, but they've upgraded their sales game from 'recreational beverage' to 'health elixir'.
  • It seems weird how Dash seemed to jump ship for the Flim-Flam brothers so quickly, but if you'll notice, she stopped showing any support for them or any want for their cider once the whole thing became a competition with her friend's farm on the line.
    • That and her first reaction to the Flim-Flam Brothers' Kick the Dog moment is to try and kick their flanks for hurting her friend.
    • She does bear the Element of Loyalty, after all.
  • As much as Applejack claims she learned no lesson, one very good moral to be taken from this episode is to have both quantity and quality rather than one or the other. The Apples might have had excellent cider, but their business model was to make five barrels for each day, rather than make as many barrels at they could in a row and then serve from those. The only reason the Flim Flam brothers had even a chance WAS because the Apples did not make enough cider.
  • It seems weird that Pinkie Pie would invite a bunch of ponies to camp out but leave Rainbow Dash entirely out of it, right? Well, there's a good chance Rainbow went to sleep early so that she could get up at dawn. Pinkie wouldn't want to disturb her friend's rest.
  • Of course the cider is non-alcoholic. It's freshly pressed, unfiltered apple juice. And with Ponyville's population buying it all, it never has time to ferment and become alcoholic. Unless a unicorn has something to do with that as well.
    • Considering that cider is not inherently alcoholic in America and Canada, the cider needs no excuse to be non-alchoholic. (In other parts of the world "Cider", or sometimes "Hard Cider", is generally the alcoholic version, while "Apple cider" is the non-alcoholic variety.).
      • Then again, the cider foams. And cider only foams if it is fermented.
      • Except the cider is poured through a tap, which could provide carbonation. The sound it makes when trying to draw from an empty barrel shows that even though the cider is gone, there is still some gas being forced through it.
      • Only if there's a source of carbon dioxide hooked up to the tap system somewhere, which there pretty clearly isn't. The gas leakage is not necessarily carbon dioxide, but more likely compressed air used to force cider out of the barrel and through the tap.
  • One of the brothers appears to have half an apple as his Cutie Mark. This would mean that his apple-related ideas are... half-assed.
    • But I noticed otherwise: One of them has a slice of apple as cutie mark, while the other one has the full apple(with a slice of apple cut away) as the cutie mark. Their cutie marks can make a full apple.
      • Moreover, Flam's cutie mark is three quarters of an apple, and Flim's is the remaining quarter. Remember that percentage deal they proposed to the Apple family?
    • Flim (the single-apple-slice one with the higher Samuel Vincent voice) is the one who does most of the talking, but Flam (the mustached one with the majority of the apple piece cutie mark and lower Scott McNeil voice) does more of the mechanical operation of the machine.
  • Why does Rainbow Dash bother to wake Fluttershy, fly her to the line and even put her in front of herself, essentially risking not getting a drop of cider? Because she is being loyal to Fluttershy, who is known to be very clumsy about getting somewhere in time, as Angel knows. Dash is making sure, Fluttershy has a good chance of getting cider.
    • She even lets Fluttershy go ahead of her on the first day, though it comes back to bite her when Fluttershy gets the day's last mug.
  • Why do the townsponies have no problem with any of this contest until the Flim Flam Brothers actually win? It's never publicly stated the Apples will lose their farm if they lose until the Brothers actually win, revealing to everypony that their impatience has cost the Apples their home and their livelihood.
  • A small one but the scene where Fluttershy covers herself in embarrassment after Rainbow Dash throws rips her covers away is a little more than a call back to when Rarity didn't want to let Spike in when the girls are getting dressed from an earlier episode. Think, who does Fluttershy hang out with the most from the mane cast?
  • As Chad Rocco mentioned, had the Apples refused to allow the Flim Flam brothers to use their apples, the episode's plot could've ended right there. But that was the whole point of a Flim-Flam: It's a pitch that gets you to submit to a deal that is completely unnecessary and only benefits the con.
  • It's interesting that Applejack claimed she didn't learn a lesson, because in the season 4 followup episode we learn that Flim and Flam continue to rip ponies off, meaning that so far they are the only reoccurring antagonists who haven't learned their lesson. Add in the fact that Ponyville trusts them again, it seems that nopony learned their lesson.

     Read it and Weep 
  • "Read it and Weep". Why would the first "Daring Do" book be the third on the shelf? Anachronic order. It's a little-known fact even today that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is placed chronologically before Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • At the start of the episode (after Rainbow calls reading for "egg-heads") Pinkie says her head isn't shaped like an egg but more of an apple. This gains extra meaning when we find out Pinkie might actually be related to the Apple Family
  • Why is the book titled "Daring Do and the Sapphire Stone" when it's actually about a statue? Twilight Sparkle even repeats the title with "Statue" instead of "Stone." Why, because of reprints and alternative titles, like "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone"!
    • Of course, said statue is clearly carved from a sapphire, or a sapphire-colored stone.
  • Why does Rainbow Dash heal from a compound wing fracture so quickly? Simple, ponies have magic and access to at least some herbal medicines with magical healing capabilities. It's very likely their hospitals are more effective because of it.
    • It's simpler than that actually, If Rarity can reattach tree branches and river serpent's mustaches and Twilight can repair broken dams at what is presumably a molecular level, it stands to reason a unicorn doctor can do the exact same thing to bones. So by the time Rainbow Dash had woken her wing was already mostly healed and she just needed a few day's rest.
    • Rainbow Dash didn't have a compound fracture. Shortly after the opening sequence, we see a doctor looking at an x-ray of Rainbow Dash's wing. One bone is shown split into two fragments, but they are for the most part lined up.
      • According to this, that injury would be considered a complete transverse fracture. Although it's pretty nasty, it would be relatively easy to line the fragments back up and immobilize the wing. If a nail or splint was surgically inserted, the recovery time wouldn't be that far from what modern medicine can do without any magic (the metal implant would not be visible on the pre-operation x-ray.
  • At first, Daring Do's choice of difference in the tiles — the rat as the only non-predator — seems rather arbitrary. However, both predators and the traps try to attack Daring. The rat wouldn't attack her, and so wouldn't trigger the trap.
  • The ponies play a pony version of Battleship. ...which is also owned by Hasbro! So I don't see a reason why they had the line cut off before its title was said.
    • Because, despite the series' use of Schizo Tech, they probably don't actually have battleships. This game is about clouds, so it wouldn't be called that.
      • ............ Cloud..................... ship?
      • Some kind of airship is seen being launched in "Sweet and Elite", so perhaps the game involves them
      • Schizo Tech didn't stop the writers from mentioning tanks.
  • It's interesting to note that Pinkie is the one who mentions Spider powers - her own Pinkie Sense is a direct Shout-out to Spidey's Spider Sense itself.
  • The X-ray with the unlikely bone structure of a wing actually explains the rather odd uses and properties of wings in some later episodes.
  • At first, Rainbow's fears of being mocked for being an "egghead" seem a little strange, but then remember one thing; the poor girl was bullied all through flight school, of course she'd be afraid!
  • Daring Do seems awfully sweaty when she's in the room with the Sapphire Stone. At first it might be because she's nervous, which would make sense, what with being in a temple full of death traps and all, but don't forget - that room only has a thin floor separating her from a pit of boiling hot magma. It has to be hot in there.
  • When Rainbow Dash starts reading the book, she sees Daring has a broken wing, makes a comment about being in the same situation, and proceeds to get sucked into the story. One of the cornerstones of a compelling story is a character you can relate to.

     Hearts and Hooves Day 
  • Fans have wanted Big Macintosh to have a larger role in the show pretty much since the beginning and in season two he starts getting a little more attention, but here's the thing: most of the stuff he gets to do is showing off his softer side, such as his love of Twilight's old Smarty Pants doll, helping his granny with the Sisterhooves Social, or crying Manly Tears when he finds out his sister won't be returning to Ponyville (and then tears of joy when she comes home) it's all well and good until you find out a future episode will revolve around the CMC attempting to set him up with Cheerilee. They're showing us that he's just as sweet and sensitive as he is big and tough, pretty much the perfect boyfriend!
  • In "Hearts and Hooves Day" Doctor Whooves gets two quick appearances, and in one of them he's shown running - if you're at all familiar with the 9th-Doctor-and-onwards Doctor Who, you'll know why the simple word 'Run' became Arc Words for three Doctors in succession.note  That and the whole "I've always been a runner" or something like that.
    • "Run you clever boy, and remember [me]", though that didn't come into play until the later stages of the 11th and 12th Doctors.
  • In a bit of a meta example, the CMC clearly learned and recited the lesson they learned at the end of "Hearts and Hooves Day," even though a letter was never actually written. That doesn't mean that Princess Celestia never heard it, however: after all, the CMC are telling their lesson to Cheerilee, who shares a voice actress with the Princess.
    • Which leads into some Fridge Humor when you imagine the two roles swapped for this episode...
    • Alternatively, the CMC don't have the same kind of friendly connection to Celestia (a mentor figure, at least for Twilight) as the Mane 6 and are reciting the lesson to their equivalent of her; their teacher.
  • The pairing of Twist and Truffle Shuffle seems a bit weird at first... until you realize his "special talent" is eating and hers is candy making.
  • Notice that Scootaloo gathers the cloud—as the only pegasus on the CMC, she's the only one who can actually pick up a cloud.
    • She's also at the top of the Pony Ladder the CMC make to grab it. Makes sense seeing as Pegasi are implied to be much lighter than unicorns and Earth Ponies (and of course she can't fly yet). Also, even though she can't fly yet if necessary she could flap her wings to at least lighten the load on the other two.
    • In addition, notice that Apple Bloom is on the bottom of the ladder — because as an earth pony, she's physically the strongest of the three Crusaders.
  • The name of the holiday (and the episode). Hearts And Hooves Day seems to be a reference to human burial practices for racehorses: bury the head, heart and hooves. Double brilliance in that there is a depiction of a funeral service (presumably for a pony) on-screen, and that St. Valentines Day originates from a rather bloody tale from Catholic history but has shifted to be romantic over the years.
  • Big Mac says very few words himself this episode. Remember that an episode that never got put through production starring him was supposed to have him barely speak at all.
    • Apple Bloom also mentions off-handedly that Big Mac is actually rather shy. This goes a long way towards explaining why he talks normally to Applejack when it's just him and his little sister, but is fairly monosyllabic when Twilight or Applejack's other friends are around. It's also helps explain why he's usually working on the farm while Applejack makes time for activities with her friends.
      • There's a blink-and-you-miss it moment after Scootaloo asks Big Mac if he's doing anything for Hearts and Hooves day where he looks sad. He was most likely happy to be set up with Cheerilee but too scared to say so.
  • Where did Twilight learn the "Want It, Need It" spell? From her Hearts and Hooves Day book. The illustration even has the same heart-shaped irises as in Lesson Zero.
  • How come the Mane Six were pretty much absent besides Twilight giving the CMC that book? So they wouldn't be subjected to Ship Sinking (Big MacIntosh pairings excluded).
  • The Fridge Horror entry points out that one: the recipe for the horrifying Love Poison is printed in an easily accessible book, and two: clouds, rainbows, and pegasus feathers are all in close proximity at the Cloudsdale weather factory and could easily be accidentally mixed. Maybe the potential to make the poison accidentally is exactly why the recipe, along with its symptoms and the only known cure, is so accessible.
  • Why is Hearts and Hooves Day not in the winter? Well, ponies go into heat in the spring...
  • The entire plot of the episode revolves around the CMC trying to give their teacher an apple.
  • A lot of people find it strange that Twilight would just give the CMC a history book that contains a recipe for a love potion, no questions asked. However, this could be seen as a bit of a Continuity Nod. Remember what caused Apple Bloom's dilemma back in "The Cutie Pox"? A potion! Basically, Twilight lent the CMC her book because she thought that after what happened in TCP, the young little fillies, Apple Bloom in particular, would know that potions can be a dangerous thing and wouldn't dare risk trying to make another one.

     A Friend in Deed 
  • A Friend In Deed shows how Pinkie really feels the need to be best friends with every pony in Ponyville. But if that's the case, what was with her behaviour with Rainbow Dash in Griffon The Brush Off? After all, Rainbow Dash was certainly acting like they were not friends at the beginning. And that's why Pinkie was trying to get her to go pranking - to fix just that. Given Pinkie's persistence, suddenly Rainbow Dash running off when she hears Pinkie is looking for her makes a bit more sense....
  • There is a reason for Pinkie Pie remembering everypony's birthday in "A Friend In Deed": the last time she forgot her own birthday was a disaster! She just doesn't want anything like that to happen ever again. Alternatively, remembering all those birthdays was why she forgot her own in the first place. Of course, she apparently remembers her own birthday now, so she's still learned her lesson.
    • Also, Pinkie Pie is Ponyville's resident party planner; she probably had already hosted at least a birthday party for each resident, or she and the Cakes had made the cake and sweets for the very few parties she might not plan or organize personally. Considering Pinkie has a near-perfect memory, it's not likely she'll forget the birthdays' dates, and this is obviously good for her business, plus, even if she wasn't a party planner, since she considers herself to be everypony's friend (and it seems she's reciprocated by pretty much everyone in Ponyville) she would try to remember all the birthdays to give presents or at least congratulate her friends.
  • During the song, next to the Mayor, you see two other other somewhat official looking ponies. Take a look at their cutie marks - they symbolise the separation of powers: executive, legislature, judiciary.
  • The reason why Pinkie's thoughts are shown as felt animation could be a Stealth Pun. The Cuckoo-lander Pinkie has "fuzzy" logic.
  • Some fans might be calling Pinkie out for her constantly 'pestering' Cranky until he became her friend, but when you think about it, the way they became friends in the end had absolutely nothing to do with her so-called "stalking" behavior or her 'pestering'. Add the fact that Pinkie ruining his scrapbook was an accident to which Cranky harshly overreacted and that Twilight and Rainbow Dash had no idea about to begin with with the fact that Pinkie did eventually find out that Matilda could really cheer him up and see that in spite of her peculiar ways and later her constant apologizing, this episode actually delivers a more family-friendly Accidental Aesop: loners really need something more to be happy, and it takes plenty of trial and error for anyone who senses any good in them to figure out what it is.
    • On the other hand, it's pretty evident that Pinkie has trouble understanding and empathizing with other ponies, as we've seen multiple times ("Griffon the Brush-Off", "Feeling Pinkie Keen", "Party of One", "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", "Luna Eclipsed", and this episode being examples. Of course, YMMV on some of these.), that she is prone to downright ignore what others may feel as a result of her actions. If anything, it adds a negative trait, thus depth to her: she wants to party hard, no matter the cost. She's not completely insensible, though, as "Baby Cakes" has shown that she may be aware of this and is trying to improve as a result.
    • Also, to be fair, the trial and error that Pinkie endured throughout, even while naively getting on Cranky's nerves, are more or less justifiable on the basis that trial and error is a rather realistic philosophy when you think about it.

     Putting Your Hoof Down 
  • Why does Iron Will ride on his goats when he acts so tough otherwise? His top heavy proportions would likely cause back pain if he stood on his legs for too long.
  • It seems somewhat strange that Iron Will would hold his assertiveness training course in a hedge maze, but when you consider the original myth of the Minotaur... Also making the hedge maze location a perfect choice for the site of his seminar: remember where Fluttershy originally Took a Level in Jerkass back in "The Return of Harmony?
  • It's kinda easy to understand why some ponies keep calling Iron Will a monster: Who else is depicted as a bipedal figure with horns and hoofed feet who is associated with goats? Oh right, Satan. Or in this universe, Discord.
  • Given events in the most recent episode, it seems that the Ponyville marketplace is a bazaar where sellers greatly inflate the price of their merchandise, and haggling, charm, and trickery are all perfectly acceptable ways for both shoppers and merchants to do business. If this is true, then wouldn't Applebloom's behavior in Call of the Cutie be normal? In this case, Applejack would have stopped Applebloom because she holds herself (and Sweet Apple Acres) to a higher standard. More Element of Honesty points for AJ.
  • In Putting your Hoof Down, both Rarity and Pinkie Pie constantly call Iron Will a monster and blame him for Fluttershy's behaviour. However, Iron Will is shown to be a jerk at most and even willing to accept defeat. By blaming him, Pinkie and Rarity are in effect treating the minotaur like they treated the Hydra or any dragon besides Spike, a foe that must be defeated and to blame. By constantly correcting her friends and owning up to her behaviour, Fluttershy is both showing her Element and maturity. She doesn't need to be a jerk to be assertive, and she doesn't need to blame someone else to justify her actions. Essentially, a good lesson for the kids to learn.
  • There's a theory that "Putting Your Hoof Down" is a "flashback" episode (that it takes place before Twilight came to Ponyville.):
    • Fluttershy, even in her earliest days, was never that much of a doormat. She's nervous, yes, and she prefers not to fight, but it's not because she doesn't know how to stand up for herself. This supports the theory that the episode took place before the beginning of the series.
    • Where's the rest of the Mane Six, anyway? If Fluttershy was having an emotional crisis, you'd think her friends would all help! Well, as we saw in Season One ("Green Isn't Your Color"), Fluttershy and Rarity have been friends for a long time, enough to have developed an almost religious ritual of spa weekends. Applejack and Rainbow Dash also seem to have known each other longer than the series itself, and when you consider they're the athletes of Ponyville, that makes sense. (In addition, Dash is head of the weather team; you'd better believe the Apples would know her, and she's Applejack's age, so it makes sense they'd be friends.) Twilight, obviously, is still in Canterlot, and Pinkie Pie is friends with everypony. It all fits!
    • The recent episode Dragon Quest seems to give this a level of credibility. Cranky Doodle Donkey's appearance makes it clear that that episode takes place before A Friend In Deed, confirming that not all the episodes take place in exact order. So this could very well be a flashback episode.
    • The tone of Fluttershy's letter to Princess Celestia backs this up. She talks about "when I first tried [to be assertive]", putting some distance between the letter and the events of the episode. As well, if this IS a flashback episode, and the first time Fluttershy learned to be assertive without being a jerk, it could explain the origin of her stare. It's brief, but you can see Fluttershy give Angel a stare for a moment right before he finally tries the salad she made for him. If she'd been capable of that all along, she would have used it already. - Alphacat
  • All right, we all wanted to smack Angel Bunny in 'Putting Your Hoof Down'. However, taking into account the above theory, his bratty behavior makes perfect sense. Fluttershy has never asserted herself before; Angel's behavior is exactly the kind of thing you would expect from a spoiled child! He's been raised to always get his way, and Fluttershy never gave him the discipline every child or pet needs. When she started being a parent instead of a servant, he grew into the lovable, if snarky, rabbit we know today.
  • In Putting Your Hoof Down, we see that a lot of the background ponies have become Jerkasses. At first, this seems like a cheap plot device to get Fluttershy in Iron Will's assertiveness class. However, in Iron Will's class we see that there's an enormous crowd of ponies there. Since Fluttershy became a bully after the class, its safe to say that other ponies could have been affected that same way. Now if Iron Will has held previous classes this could explain where the meanness of the background ponies came from. More Jerkass ponies would result in more ponies feeling like doormats and deciding to take the class, creating a viscous cycle. This means that Fluttershy was probably the first to realize the flaw in Iron Will's program and explain it to him, likely ending (or at least reducing) the cycle of meanness.
    • If the above about this being a flashback episode is true, then it's possible that everypony beyond her close friend didn't yet know Fluttershy that well. In fact, Iron Will using her to demonstrate his techniques may have been the first time most of those ponies had even heard of Fluttershy. Her Jerkass behavior after that acted as an object lesson for those other ponies; sure, no one never got THAT physical with her, but her behavior was a clear reflection of how their treatment of her came across. Moral: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
      • However, there is some evidence against this being a flashback: Pipsqueak, who has only lived in Ponyville since just before Luna Eclipsed, is seen running through the market, and Fluttershy knows Mr. Greenhooves by name, when she didn't know him before in The Best Night Ever. Also, the seminar takes place where Discord's statue was, and it's no longer there.
  • While there are a few ponies who act like Jerkasses before (including Angel), most of them come after Iron Will's presentation. Perhaps Fluttershy wasn't the only one who took his advice too far.
  • Fluttershy quickly realizing what she has become might not be as abrupt when you remember how she reacted to being mean last time.
  • Fluttershy is tired of being an extreme doormat and pushover. So she goes to see Iron Will for inspiration. And what does he do? Berate her and goad her into being rude and inconsiderate. She never actually stops being a doormat at all; now she's a doormat who acts rude to everybody because Will ordered her to. Not only is his "technique" spectacularly unhelpful in allowing ponies to overcome being pushovers, it actively relies on them being that way. They feel empowered (and give him globs of cash), but it doesn't address the root cause at all.

     It's About Time 
  • In, "It's About Time", the Stable Time Loop may seem like a "Shaggy Dog" Story...except that because Twilight was worried about a disaster, she ended up fixing a lot of potential ones, as shown in the montage, and making Cerberus go back to his post. So in actuality, messaging herself from the future actually helped a lot.
  • Same episode-it may seem Twilight's gone back to Super OCD...except that from her POV, she's trying to prevent a catastrophe she knows next-to-nothing about, and is legitimately worried rather than anal-retentive. Once she realizes there really wasn't anything, she calms down instantly and actually goes back to give herself a chill pill, rather than worrying more.
  • When Twilight says to her future self, "You're not scientifically possible," she meant that it wasn't possible for there to be two of her, but we've seen her skepticism of things that "don't make sense" so many times that this feels like a nod to our world where magic purple unicorns aren't scientifically possible.
  • The last part of "It's About Time" might seem like a lampshade of the Royal Guard being incredibly ineffective. But with Celestia's photobombing of Twilight at the end, you realize something: Celestia TOLD HER GUARDS to ignore Twilight should she try to access the Starswirl time scrolls. Why? Four reasons:
    • One is the classic "Faithful Student" clause. Celestia knows Twilight's responsible and she wouldn't try to do something like that without cause.
    • Two, it is the "Faithful Student" status that grants Twilight authorization into the more restricted sections anyway.
    • Three: She sensed Future Twilight's time spell when it activated. So she knew that at some point, her student would need that spell in order to maintain a Stable Time Loop. However, Celestia also knows that Twilight has an impulsive streak a mile wide and that she'd NEVER try to ask for something like that normally. So she foresaw Twilight try to break in, and naturally gave her an advantage by having her guards play dumb.
    • Four: The Guard seems pretty friendly with Twilight, which may come from Twilight spending as much time in the castle as she did growing up as Celestia's personal student. However, another possible explanation for the guard's immediate friendliness is, as we later find out, she's the Captain's younger sister and best friend.
      • Celestia may have also known what Twilight was up to because she's been watching her more closely since the last time Twilight Sparkle had an episode.
      • She probable knew what was happening in this episode for the same reason, namely Spike sent her a letter. Celestia was probably waiting in the archives to calm down Twilight if things got too bad.
    • You can just imagine the thought balloons:
      Royal Guard: Oh joy, its the CO's kid sister and the Princess' student that she loves like her own daughter. Who's also our chief national heroine. And she wants into the restricted spells. And I know she's authorized all sorts of research materials but nopony's told me she's specifically been authorized this, so I can either go wake up the Princess at 3 am or... oh, buck it. You know what? I am not even touching this. I'm just going to stand here, smile and nod, and wait for my shift to be over so I can embark on a journey to the magical land of Not My Problem.
  • How does "Madame Pinkie" know Twilight Sparkle will receive an awesome birthday present? She's the one who plans to give it to her.
  • Pinkie Pie keeps assorted, apparently random items hidden all over Ponyville for later use. This can explain some of her toony abilities, specifically how she can get random objects out of apparently nowhere. It's possible that her Pinkie Sense, at a subconscious level, also tells her what item to hide at a specific location where it will be later be necessary.
  • Why does Twilight bring Pinkie, the most random and uncontrollable of her friends, on a stealth mission to break into a top secret magic library? Because she can anticipate the short-term future. (It's too vague to be useful, but Twilight isn't thinking straight at this point.) Pinkie has also had a tendency for locating things in the library that Twilight couldn't, such as the Elements of Harmony reference guide and the spell that gave Rarity her wings in "Sonic Rainboom." Finally, she was hoping that Pinkie's talent for showing up in surprising places without warning would help them infiltrate.
  • After sneaking around the Canterlot Archives looking for the entrance to the Starswirl the Bearded Wing, Pinkie points out that it was right next to the window where the trio had entered. How did Twilight miss something so obvious? The entrance was along the right wall, the same eye she was wearing the eye patch over.
  • Twilight has taken a lot of flak for leaving Spike alone during this season, but in "Its About Time", he says he likes it when Twilight goes off on adventures because he can catch up on his sleep.
  • In Twilight's Kingdom, it is revealed that Tirek escaped from Tartarus while Cerebus was away from his post during this episode. A great disaster DID happen before next Tuesday. It just took some time to come to fruition.

     Dragon Quest 
  • Knowing that dragons can swim in lava certainly makes Spike's once using all of Ponyville's hot water on a seven hour bubblebath a lot more understandable. It's also a nod, to the episode Griffon The Brush Off, where he says that dragons are fireproof.
  • In one of the pictures, during the end sequence, you see that Spike cut and pasted a photo of himself into a group photo of the Mane six. Why on earth wasn't he in the picture with them? Because it was in Canterlot during Twilight's Birthday, and he was absent, for some unspecified reason.
  • When Rarity walks up to the trench, a puff of confetti pops out of nowhere to complete the overdramatic display, Pinkie Pie-style. Then we remember that Rarity was seen hanging out with Pinkie the entire episode in "Putting Your Hoof Down", so the latter has likely rubbed off on the former a bit.
  • The three ponies who go after Spike are Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash. The first two are natural choices (Twi being the closest thing to family he has, and Rarity being his crush), but why Rainbow Dash? Three reasons:
  • At first it just seems like a normal teenage prank for the teen dragons to go raid phoenix eggs. But if you think about it, why would a phoenix ever lay eggs (let alone SIX CHICKS at a time)? The nature of a phoenix is that it never truly dies; it becomes old, burns up, but then becomes reborn from its own ashes. With this in mind you realize that perhaps the teenage dragons' fondness for egg-raids are, in fact, beneficial to the balance of their ecosystem. What at first seems like a cruel prank actually turns out to be an intrinsic requirement so that the world does not eventually become overpopulated by phoenixes.
    • But, then again, we don't really know how often phoenixes reproduce; For all we know, phoenixes only reproduce every few hundred years or so. Even though a phoenix can't die of old age, it could be possible for them to die from other mean; starvation, disease, hunting, predators, etc. Again, keeping in mind that phoenix mating seasons could very well be hundreds of years apart, even for a species that can't die of old age, other causes of death like the ones I mentioned could still make occasional reproduction necessary. Something I feel supports this is Philomena's molting: although she was just playing around with Fluttershy, it could be possible this 'molting rebirth' thing could still take a while, so if a phoenix was fatally injured, it's not out of the realm of possibility for them to die before the 'rebirth' part starts (If I remember correctly, it seems like they needed to loose all their feathers before they could be reborn). My point is, just because a species can't die of old age doesn't necessarily mean they're impossible to kill Then again, we don't know for sure exactly about how phoenixes work in this universe, so I could be completely and utterly wrong, but hey, Wild Mass Guessing and all.
  • It seems weird at first that someone with as much knowledge about clothes as Rarity would come up with such ridiculous camouflage, wearing purple and gold when everypony else is wearing camo green... until you take a second look and see the whole meadow is lilac - Rarity's suit is the only one that is anywhere near the colour of the surrounding plantlife.
    • The "Ya git! E'ryone knows, dat purpl is da sneakiest one! 'Ave you eva seen da purpl a'my? Thot so! Dat 'orsie sure knows her camo!" line from the main page — Spike's from a line of Dragon Ninja, which is why none of the others have ever seen one like him.
  • Spike finally gains his own Cool Pet in this episode (I guess that means he's a full member of the Mane cast now), a baby phoenix he names Pee Wee. Phoenixes are immortal and in many mythologies (except for death by violence) so are Dragons. Spike's pet will most likely live as long as he does, possibly longer.
    • The only other character with a pet phoenix is Celestia, who is also immortal.
  • Why is Spike so small compared to the teen dragons? Because Spike is a baby dragon who was hatched by ponies outside of the natural breeding cycle of dragons. note  This would mean that there simply aren't any dragons of Spike's age. Teens normally aren't welcoming to young kids trying to hang out with them.
  • Considering that phoenixes in MLP are shown to be immortal, or at least being reborn indefinitely, the dragons smashing their eggs may have been the only thing preventing them from overtaking Equestria's ecosystem...
    • Not really. The phoenix lifecycle merely lets them be reborn once in a while. A Real Life equivalent would be the Turritopsis nutricula AKA the immortal jellyfish. Yeah, they can live indefinitely, but they can die due to external forces.
      • Ah, but if the phoenixes do not die of old age, yet continue to reproduce, then they would have to have some external force controlling their numbers - dragons smashing their eggs might be just one example.
  • Twilight mentions early on that ponies have scant knowledge of dragons at all, which would explain why they wound up with a crappy costume even with top fashionista Rarity on hand. The fact that it's also covered in gems can be chalked up to Author Appeal. There's also the fact that Spike leaves immediately after he informs the ponies of his intention to join the migration; chances are Rarity had to throw the costume together really quickly if they wanted to keep up with him.
    • It also explains Twilight's lack of knowledge in "Secret of my Excess."
    • And why Spike's dragon costume in "Luna Eclipsed" still looks like Spike.
  • The last photo that Spike has, where he has taped himself into shot? It's a birthday party, apparently for Twilight (who is at the center of the group), and appears to be taken at Canterlot Castle rather than in Ponyville. That is, the one from "Sweet and Elite". The one party that the fandom noted that Spike was conspicuously absent from. Its Call-Back here may be to justify why Spike was absent then as to make this shot more poignant.
  • Twilight actually has a bit of difficulty teleporting the group to safety and is visibly tired after the teleportation is over. This probably explains why she doesn't just teleport the group where they need to go all the time.
  • Dragons are Nigh Invulnerable reptiles whose growth is based on greed. Of course teenaged dragons, the point were most beings are far more aggressive than normal, would be jerks.
  • The fact that the dragons have no clue who Princess Celestia is makes sense if you factor in how isolated they are from pony society. It works both ways. How do we know they don't have their own Creation Myth and everything?
    • We also don't have confirmation that the ponies' Creation Myth is necessarily true. Princess Celestia is nowhere to be seen in the story of founding of Equestria and the only thing that's confirmed is that she and Princess Luna raise the sun and the moon, which is only seen firsthand once at their respective festivals. There is no confirmation that either of them is immortal (again, not seen in the founding of Equestria) and they do age, albeit slowly (Luna ages between the pilot and "Luna Eclipsed" and I doubt they were born as wholly formed adults, especially since Luna is confirmed to be the younger). They are powerful, they are long-lived, but they are not gods. Dragons are one of the few species that would possibly live as long as them and would know that, which is why they don't recognize their authority.
      • A being of surpassing size, long life, and incredible power? Sounds like the average dragon. Ruling a bunch of "Namby-Pamby Ponies" probably doesn't go far, either.
    • Even if they are aware of her, it's possible they just don't know her by name. We know there's at least one not-so-impressive alicorn princess, and there's been unicorn royalty since before the founding of Equestria. Clearly, just being a pony princess is nothing impressive on its own.
      • Contradicted by the season 4 finale, which shows that alicorns have a bucking ridiculous amount of magical power. As in, the combined magical power of only four alicorns can match the combined magical power of the bulk of Equestria's remaining population plus Discord's. Nah, those teenaged dragons were just ignorant.
  • The dragons exhibit some behavior that can actually be seen in real migratory animals. Each of the adult dragons has a 'nest' that they have decorated (with assorted gems), something male birds from several species do to attract the attention of a potential mate, either with bright, attractive materials or with food, so by using gems a dragon is doing both. This can also be interpreted as all the adult dragons watching over the teens are males waiting for the adult females to arrive from their own migration, and one of the reasons none of them tries to stop or at least control the teens' antics is because they don't want any of the other dragons to steal gems from the nest. The idea of the two genders of the same species migrating on same-sex groups and the males arriving the first to prepare a nesting area can be seen in real life's penguins and other birds.
    • It makes more senses for the dragons and birds to share some migratory behavior when you remember that birds evolved from reptiles.
  • When confronted by the teen dragons, Spike says he'll show them how ponies deal with bullies like them: running away. Real life equines, being prey animals in the wild, have a very strong fight-or-flight response to threats. So in doing this, Spike actually is thinking like a pony, showing how his time with them has come to define him, and that they really are his real family.
  • It's often pointed out by fans that Spike became a kidnapper by keeping and raising Pee Wee, but in fact, if phoenixes behave like normal birds, he did the right thing. Most birds don't return to their nest after it had been attacked by a predator, knowing the area is no longer safe for them, and also many birds don't recognize their own offspring if the egg hatches somewhere else and it's later reintroduced to the nest, and they either attack the newborn chick, or don't attend it at all so the poor little creature starves to death despite its parents feeding its siblings just a few inches away. Spike, after saving Pee Wee from the teen dragons, later saved him by dying out of paternal negligence or aggressiveness.
  • After this episode, Twilight has an owl and a phoenix living in her house. They are birds of night and day, which makes sense, considering her name is Twilight Sparkle.
  • The episode was never meant to give a direct answer to Spike's origins, just to address the mystery behind it and very vaguely imply that his egg was just found alone one day (Perhaps being abandoned or rolling out of it's nest). This is likely a purposeful move on the part of the writers, who have shown many times how aware they are of the fanbase and seem to enjoy throwing them bones every once in a while. Spike's past is kept a mystery so the fans could come up with their own stories.

     Hurricane Fluttershy 
  • Twilight keeps insisting they keep a germ-free environment while training. This isn't just to keep every pegasi healthy- they're transporting water. If the pegasi moving it were sick, the water could be infected and unfit for use.
    • ... except that if it's being used for cloud-making, that itself is a form of distillation.
    • Sorry, wrong form of distillation. Distillation sanitizes by boiling. The germs would be unaffected by being swept up in a tornado. However, given that the pond certainly has bird droppings and fish excrement in it, sanitation wouldn't be an issue (surface water is entirely unlike pre-cleaned potable water or clean well water).
    • It still needs to be turned into clouds. While the mechanism is not shown the easiest way to creat water vapour is to boil it.
Why did Spitfire not join in the effort, when a single extra Pegasus could have meant the difference between success and failure? Spitfire is a Wonderbolt, an organisation that always works as a team. As someone who is used to operating as part of a team, Spitfire would not risk suddenly interfering in an effort of pegasi that she had not trained with.

     Ponyville Confidential 
  • Why in the world would Celestia allow a story defaming her to go past her without a word? There are, in fact, three reasons. First of all, given her habit of trolling, she probably posed for that picture intentionally, just to see how her subjects would react to her gorging on cake. Secondly, she knows for a fact that no matter what, no one is going to question her rule. And finally, listen closely to what Twilight says the headline is; "Princess Celestia: Just like Everypony Else?" To Celestia, that kind of accusation is a compliment.
  • It might seem incredibly odd to some that Big Macintosh would deliver a stern lecture to the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but didn't Applejack once warn Applebloom that she'll tell Big Mac if she didn't do as told way back in "Bridle Gossip"? Perhaps he really is the main giver of discipline in the Apple family household.
    • Possibly suggested earlier on Hearts & Hooves Day, when he's more than willing to go along with Cheerilee's idea that the Cutie Mark Crusaders do all of his chores as punishment.
  • There's a WMG that, in Equestria, social bullying is perceived as even worse than physical bullying. This episode among others suggests that theory may just be correct given just how angry everypony ultimately got over the Gabby Gums stories.
  • The last time we heard the phrase namby-pamby was from dragons, and not particularly smart ones... maybe they only learned it when Namby-Pamby went to research dragons for a story?
    • Before that we heard it from Scootaloo in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", referring to the Mane Cast's Cutie Mark stories. I guess Scootaloo didn't have the same respect for him that Ruby Pinch does.
  • Did Pinkie only break down because she'd been reduced to a mundane party staple like Lampshade Wearing (which we only last saw on Spike in the first freaking episode?)
  • Gabby Gums having the dirt on Celestia is kind of weird, isn't it? After all, it's not like they know anyone that's lived in Canterlot, or has a direct line to the Princess, along with a loose pair of lips, and already gave them an interview. Like Spike. Oh Wait!...
  • Back in the 1860's, the US had a postal delivery service called the Pony Express, used to convey messages of varying length over a distance. Ponyville's newspapers do the same, and what name do they use? The Ponyville Express.
  • Some might complain that Big Macintosh wasn't shown in the montage where the CMC is forgiven, giving the impression that he never forgave them. However, the forgiving nuzzle that Applejack and Applebloom share makes it pretty evident that they later took it up with Big Mac and he actually DID forgive the CMC offscreen at some point. Furthermore, if you look on ahead to "Apple Family Reunion", watch carefully and you'll notice that not once does Big Mac show any hint of resentment towards Applebloom, subtle or otherwise.
  • When the ponies of Ponyville were shunning the CMC, Twilight conjures a forcefield bubble to keep them away. Where did she learn such a spell? From her Big Brother Best Friend Forever, of course! Perhaps it was foreshadowing Shining Armor, who was introduced two episodes later.
  • Diamond Tiara's behavior as editor-in-chief makes a lot more sense if one thinks about her background. We've seen in "Family Appreciation Day" that she not only adores her father but also accompanies him when he goes to make business transactions. She pays very close attention to his business lecture at the school. She may some day be interested in helping in the family business or even taking over when her father retires. Fast-forward to this episode, when she's been given the "boss" position in the school newspaper and she's finally in charge. From what we've seen of Filthy Rich, he seems like the kind of guy who would be a Benevolent Boss for the most part. Hence, at the start when Diamond Tiara is being a good editor and praising her "employees", she's doing her best to emulate what she's seen of her father. And her snapping at the CMC about "feelings" later on may not be stepping away from it. She may have seen her father fussing at a disgruntled employee or recalcitrant supplier, saying something like, "I don't care about the weather difficulties, get the shipment here!" So when the CMC say they don't want to do the articles anymore because of people's feelings, naturally her response would be, "I don't care about feelings!" To her mind she's still emulating the image that she has of her father and is merely dealing with "disgruntled employees" the way he does, so she thinks.
  • Why was Featherweight made the new editor-in-chief when he was also behind taking the embarrassing pictures of everyone in Ponyville? Because he may have already redeemed himself. Think about it, earlier when Diamond Tiara is showing the CMC embarrassing photos as blackmail, we see exaggerated camera flashes that turn out to be from Featherweight's camera. But that may have been Featherweight taking pictures of Diamond Tiara, catching her in the act of black-mailing the CMC. Featherweight told Miss Cheerilee, using the photos as proof. Miss Cheerilee rewarded Featherweight with a promotion because he used his photography skills for good.
  • Why would Mayor Mare dye her mane gray instead of pink, and why would it be in any way scandalous? Because looking older gives you the appearance of wisdom, experience and sophistication. That's useful in her profession, and projecting that image falsely makes her look bad. Other brilliances are:
    • Mayor Mare doesn't want people to think she like a certain other pink pony.
    • In a world of multicolored ponies, a grey mane is exotic
  • Why would Big Mac be the one to chew the Crusaders out for their actions? Because he's already been involved in one of these schemes and remembers how much danger it created so he knows how unintentionally destructive they can get. There's also the possbility of lingering bitterness.
  • Applejack represents the element of honesty. Thus, when faced with those who are looking to find out her darkest secrets, even her sister, she is less likely to make excuses or make things up and more likely to keep herself from speaking any more than necessary. Yup.
  • Why did Diamond Tiara leave and come back when Cheerilee told newspaper staff to stay behind? She likes making dramatic entrances.
  • Why would Celestia be eating cake with her hooves when she could use her magic? As mentioned in the episode she wants to be like everypony else.
  • If Spike was interviewed by Gabby Gums, why didn't he tell the others who she really was when he knew her identity and the others were wanting to know so badly? He's a Nice Guy.
    • On the other hoof, Twilight herself did state that Sweetie Belle is on the Foal Free Press, so it's quite evident that Sweetie Belle was the main clue to Gabby Gums' identity when the whole town started shunning her and the other CMC, which is no more apparent than the possibility that other ponies already knew about Gabby Gums' identity before the shunning took place.
  • Does anypony ever lock their doors? It would have saved some of the trouble (mainly the mayor). Featherweight is a pegasus. All he needs to do is flutter up to a second story window.

     MMMystery on the Friendship Express 
  • It turns out, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity ate the MMM cake, while the other bakers ate the other goods. That leaves Applejack being the only innocent one, while Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle where the ones investigating. If it was Applejack, then being the Element of Honesty, she would have honestly spoken up about it.
    • I am skeptical about this, seeing as how the Element of Generosity stole, the Element of Kindness selfishly ruined months of hard work, the Element of Loyalty betrayed her friend, and the Element of Laughter freaked out about this. You can't claim character X would have acted according to their Element when we have four other characters betraying theirs. Applejack was just not being a jerk.
    • She also wouldn't do it in the first place, since she isn't sneaky either.
    • She's also really bad at keeping secrets.
    • Plus Applejack was drooling over the cake like a dog and wanted to take a bite out of it the most in the beginning. Applejack and Pinkie Pie also eat the most food out of the Mane Six. Having the residential Big Eaters being the culprits would have been way too obvious.
  • Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue. MMMystery on the Friendship Express. It's a little obvious, but the MMM in Mystery stands for Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue, as well as being "Mmm", an English onomatopoeia one makes if they are hungry.
  • It makes sense that Pinkie Pie first suspects Gustave le Grande of sabotaging the cake, given that she's had a bad experience with griffons in the past.
    • Wait, does that mean that Pinkie Pie is a racist?
      • Perhaps, but you may also recall that she was willing, without evidence one way or the other, to assume that other griffons aren't necessarily as bad as Gilda herself. At least, after experiencing only the brush-offs, before Gilda went into active jerk mode...
  • The eaters of the cake being Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity makes a lot of sense if you think of all three just obsessed with the cake Pinkie hyperbole described, RD and Rarity would most likely be aggressively pursuing the goal while Fluttershy, being close friends with the other two, would automatically choose to join them.
    • Except there's nothing to suggest that the three acted together.
    • Also, it seems a bit unfair to presume that Fluttershy was just an innocent who was sucked in by RD and Rarity's antics. After all, she has flaws just like the others, and a cake would probably be especially delicious if you spent time feeding animals things like leaves and bugs and so on...
  • At first it doesn't make sense that the Cakes would let Pinkie take the MMMM to Canterlot for them when they know how off the wall she is, but they also know that she can be responsible too.
    • Also, staying at home would let them spend time with their kids.
  • Why did Big Macintosh have a difficult time hauling the MMMM to the train, despite being capable of pulling extremely heavy loads with ease? Simple. He didn't want the cake to fall over!
  • What the Hell Pinkie, you let Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity get off without even a scolding?! Oh well, you would have probably take a bite too (maybe more than one), if you weren't so occupied in protecting it from the contenders, and you knew it.
    • Besides, what better compliment can you get about your work than that? And at that point the other entries were wrecked anyways, so there would be less reason to get upset.
  • Doughnut Joe's motivation for entering the contest is that he wants his restaurant to be famous. You might say he wants ponies to...(wait for it)...Eat At Joe's.
  • Much has been said about how much longer it takes in this very episode to get from Ponyville to Canterlot. Many just chalk it up to Traveling at the Speed of Plot and call it a day. But what needs to be realized is that the Friendship Express is hauling some pretty fragile cargo on this excursion. Therefore, time had to be taken to ensure that the desserts would arrive in one piecenote . The fact that it's an uphill trip only serves to compound this.
  • The episode is a whole-plot reference to Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express". This includes the closed-loop mystery, the main character noticing certain events and clues surrounding the crime, the multiple different wounds/bites made at the crime scene, deliberate falsification of evidence, and how the ending is a reveal that more than one suspect was responsible for the crime headed by a hammy drama queen.

     A Canterlot Wedding, Parts 1 & 2 
  • Twilight showed the ability to conjure an identical force field in Return of Harmony Part 2 and Ponyville Confidential. It seems to be quite a powerful ability, as casting it even seemed to dispel some of Discord's magic, returning a section of ground to normal. Many of Twilight's spells are copied from other unicorns, and her special talent for magic allows her to imitate them. But of the unicorns we've seen, most have far less impressive skills than something as useful as force fields, so you'd think a talent like that would be worth mentioning. This episode reveals that it's Shining Armor's special ability, which both explains how Twilight was able to learn it (he taught her), and that it is indeed rather impressive compared to most spells (it's probably what landed him such a prestigious position).
  • When it was revealed that Shining Armor was Twilight's brother, there were a lot of questions about where he was and what he was doing during the incidents with Nightmare Moon and Discord. His special power provides a good answer. While he isn't as versatile as his sister, he could provide near perfect protection to whatever he could cover with his shield. During the Summer Sun Celebration he was probably holding a shield over Canterlot, and during Discord's escape he was likely keeping watch over whatever ponies he could.
  • The red bird Twilight nuzzles right before she sings her "B.B.B.F Forever" song is the same bird seen at the beginning and end of "Sisterhooves Social," an episode about sibling friendships. What's better, the bigger purple bird also seen at the beginning of "Sisterhooves Social" is flying away from the other bird as Twilight nuzzles it. The red bird is (probably) the younger of the two birds (just as Twilight is with Shining Armor), and here Twilight receives a little comfort from it as the (probably older) bird flies away without a backward glance, much as what Twilight fears has happened in regards to Shining Armor's relationship with her.
  • During Twilight's flashbacks in the "B.B.B.F.F." song, there is a scene where Shining Armor is waving off his sister as she departs in a chariot with spike. This is actually a reference to the very first episode, hinting that Twilight was still very close with her brother up until the point when she moved to Ponyville. This also shows how strong a connection she must have felt with her new friends when she chose to stay in Ponyville as opposed to returning to her home in Canterlot where she could be with her older brother - the only one she had cared to call a friend throughout her life.
  • Shining Armor's name isn't just a reference to Knight in Shining Armor; 'Shining' comes from his relation to Twilight Sparkle, and 'Armor' refers to his talent as a Barrier Warrior.
  • Why is Applejack the one who consistently shows the most concern over Twilight's anxiety over her brother's marriage? Because she's the only other one of the Mane 6 (so far at least) to also have an older brother, and so she is the one who is probably most empathetic to Twilight's hurt.
  • Watch closely as Cadence checks on the wedding preparations the first time, and watch her horn. Notice how it glows green, while the real Cadence's horn glow is blue.
    • Also, the glow around her horn is different than that of the unicorns, being straight-sided (rather than amoebic) and with a base-to-tip shine rather than sparkles.
  • Why was Celestia as angry at Twilight Sparkle as we've ever seen her? This is the second time a pony close to Celestia lashed out at their (de-facto) elder sibling out of (seeming) jealousy, the first was Nightmare Moon.
    • Add to that the fact that, from Celestia's POV, Twilight was accusing her beloved niece of being evil. She loves Twilight, yes, but she loves Cadence, too, and has known her for longer than Twilight. She most likely saw Cadence's birth and feels a mixture of motherly, "aunt-like," and big-sisterly love for Cadence, and knows very well that Cadence could no more be evil than Twilight herself could. Also—she knows Twilight is fully capable of over-reacting, sometimes quite egregiously, to minor things. Normally she has great patience with this, but this time Twilight is deliberately attacking someone else she loves. Given all that, it's not surprising that Celestia reacted with anger rather than her usual vast understanding.
    • Celestia's anger towards Twilight at the end becomes more understandable if one interprets Cadence as an orphan. Think about it. Cadence was stated to have been born a pegasus, but became an alicorn after discovering her ability to spread love. Of course, gaining alicorn status also means gaining immortality, which means that Cadence ended up outliving every single member of her blood family, including her parents and ended up being adopted by Celestia. She's the only family besides Luna that Cadence has left.
  • Cadence's Unicorn magic is spreading love. Changelings eat love. No wonder she was captured so easily.
    • No wonder she was a target in the first place. She can manufacture food for them.
  • So... The Changelings are really Parasitic horse-insects? As in Horse Flies?
  • The Changelings can be seen as having been there from the start, after all, do identical background ponies sound familiar?
  • It seems like Queen Chrysalis sending that threat would make things a lot harder for her, as Canterlot ramps up security in response. However, it probably worked to her advantage: With Shining Armor expending all his energy on the force field, he was probably much more vulnerable to Chrysalis' magic.
  • The design for Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings is pretty clever. The black and dark green color schemes make them look diseased and wrong, as does the fact their bodies are riddled with small holes. More importantly, the holes symbolize that the Changelings are somehow "incomplete", quite fitting for creatures that steal the identities of others and feed off their loved ones like parasites.
  • The Changelings feed off of love. When the mane six are confronted by an army of them, the Changelings become doppelgangers of the mane six.
  • Why didn't Queen Chrysalis kill Cadence or Twilight? She and her kind feed off love, and a corpse can't love.
  • Cadence acted like a Control Freak in Part 1. The makes perfect sense with The Reveal that she's actually the Hive Queen of the Changelings.
  • Why is Queen Chrysalis so powerful? She's been feeding off The Power of Love. If The Power of Friendship can One-Hit KO gods, it makes perfect sense someone powered by it would be this powerful! This is also why the real Cadence and Shining Armor's combined spell was able to defeat her, her own power source was turned against her.
    • Here's another, going off the above: Cadance's magic rekindles love that already exists between ponies. And it has to be love that already exists for best results. note  The real reason it was so potent when used on Shining Armor is because introducing herself and her love for him into the equation created a Power of Love feedback loop.
    • Just to point up, most people are complaining that Celestia lost, but take a closer look. Even with that massive power up, Chrysalis was still visibly straining against Celestia's attack. Her power up let her win, but not by the amount that people think she did.
      • Hell, even Chrysalis wasn't sure if she was going to win that Beam-O-War with Celestia. This is evidenced by the brief look of sheer surprise on her face, as if she was thinking "Holy crap, I actually won?"
  • She probably preferred the name "Mi Amore Cadenza" because "Cadence" sounds similar enough to "Chrysalis" that it might cause a reactionary slip-up on her part, destroying her facade prematurely.
    • Or she preferred the name for a different reason.
    • As noted in the thread, that also explains her distaste for the wedding food, it wasn't her actual diet.
  • How Queen Chrysalis is beaten may seem like a Deus ex Machina, but remember back to "Hearth's Warming Eve", which established that, while the Elements are needed for acts of power like sealing Discord and Nightmare Moon away, the bond between ponies is powerful enough to defeat extremely powerful beings without them. How Cadence and Shining Armor defeated her was essentially exactly how the Windigos were beaten, except replace The Power of Friendship with The Power of Love. Also, it was mentioned earlier that Shining Armor's love for Princess Cadence was incredibly powerful.
  • A very subtle one, but when changeling!Cadence throws Applejack's treats to the trash, it at first seems just her being a jerk some more. But as a changeling, she most likely doesn't need to eat, and so had no more use for the food.
  • Spike's remark about a "Bachelor party" is played as a joke since Shining Armor and the real Princess Candace had already tied the knot just before this. He was really talking about his dream bachelor party before his dream wedding with Rarity.
  • Speaking of Spike, notice how he just stood there, doing nothing, while Chrysalis revealed herself, and during the Changeling invasion. Which makes sense: he's keeping his distance so they don't feed off his love for Rarity and get even stronger.
  • Suddenly I realize exactly why ponies in general appear to be so paranoid and panicky. YOU COULD BE ONE OF THEM.
    • "Ya know, that Pie kid down at Sugarcube seems to get a lot out of other ponies being happy and loving her, every second of the day if possible. Ya don't think...?"
    • Real Life horses act rather like this, though: anything they're not familiar with is likely to make them worried it'll eat them. Training a horse to be "bomb proof" is incredibly hard, which is also why generals loved good horses sometimes better than their own men.
  • You'd think that Chrysalis would return at some point thanks to the fridge horror, but recall the fact that she was gathering food for her minions. Meaning they'll probably starve to death after they get sent the far reaches of Equestria. Couple that with the injuries mentioned below, and this might be a fitting end for the queen.
  • One fan pointed out that one of the songs, "This Day Aria", contains a musical quirk that doubles as a Stealth Pun. One of the lines is expected to end on what is referred to as an Authentic Cadence, but instead ends on a Deceptive Cadence. This makes the musical style of the song a spoiler for the finale, and was confirmed as an inside joke by the song-writer, who expressed surprise at being found out so soon.
    • See here for a full explanation.
  • Remember when Lauren said that she was forced to make Celestia a princess instead of a queen, because the target demographic (apparently) associates queens with evil? Well, the Big Bad of this episode, Chrysalis, is queen of the changelings!
    • Which could also translate that into an in-universe reason. Why do Celestia and Luna insist on using the title "princess"? Because most of their worst enemies are ruled over by kings and queens, who only ever enforce the above stereotype in their dealings with Equestria.
  • The reason Celestia was beaten so easily is because changelings feed on love. When Celestia rose furiously to defend her people, Chrysalis simply took the love Celestia had for her people and used it to fuel her own power. Celestia was defeated because she cares so much about the ponies of Equestria that it's genuine love. Fridge Brilliance coupled with Heartwarming.
  • In a bit of meta brilliance and amusement, Changelings need love, right? The Queen and her minions must be quite full due to the love they are getting.
  • Celestia is in charge of the day and Luna is in charge of the night, so what was Cadance in charge of? Twilight!
    • Does that mean that her child could take care of the dawn?
  • The Changeling Queen is an evil enchantress, she does evil dances, if you look into her eye, she will put you in trances!
  • Why did the ponies not put the shield back up after Chrysalis' defeat? Chrysalis was at the epicenter of a massive blast that flung her clear out of Equestria, while the others Changelings were too, Chrysalis took it full force at point blank. On top of that, the momentum she probably had when thrown, being carried all the way out by the blast probably threw her much further than her minions. Also, the swarm was scattered in all directions and very far by the blast, meaning even if Chrysalis did survive what happened to her, her army is gone. Even considering her regrouping it, it'd take a very long time to do so, and she'd probably never find all of them. For all intents and purposes, Chrysalis may have suffered the most crippling defeat of any Big Bad period! At least Discord is still around, and Luna turned good.
  • If Chrysalis does not take her revenge in Season Three, there is already another (meta) reason for it - Fan-love for her is so immense, she has already gotten numerous pieces of fanart and even multiple Tumblr blogs! She'll have more than enough love for her to feast on from the fans so she won't need to launch another feeding invasion. (Thought up by Ace Of Scarabs)
    • As it turns out, it took 4 seasons for her to strike again. Guess it wasn't enough to overcome her megalomaniacal tendencies, and why should it? Fan-love is never good for keeping characters away, but it's excellent at making them return.
  • I'm pretty sure no one brought this up yet, but Miamore Cadenza means "My Love Cadence." A pretty appropriate name for a pony with The Power of Love.
  • I'm surprised no pony's brought this up: Notice how the Changelings all resemble Alicorns? and then take into account that Cadence is and Alicorn herself? Now count how many Alicorn OCs are all over the internet and how many Changelings showed up. Notice anything?
  • Remember how the Mane Six deal with Nightmare Moon and Discord using The Power of Friendship? So of course Shining Armor and Cadence are able to send the Changelings packing with The Power of Love! Friendship and romantic love are respectively Phileo and Eros - Two of The Four Loves!
  • It's stated several times that maintaining the shield protecting Canterlot was putting considerable strain on Shining Armor. Which falls apart when you realize that he has a gifted little sister coming to town who is more powerful than he is and can cast the exact same spell he's using. Plus, he works directly under Princess Celestia herself, who could also provide him with a temporary power boost to ease the burden. Shouldn't he have thought to ask one of them to back him up? Of course! Which is why Queen Chrysalis is giving him severe migraines as part of her spell over him. He can't think clearly, so it never occurs to him to ask for help.
    • Twi would also have cottoned on to the fact that there's something wrong with him and his magic more easily if she had helped.
      • Chrysalis didn't factor on that. She barely knew Twilight. The plan was to avoid contact with Celestia, who was closer to Cadance and posed the greater threat. This was the other prong in Chrysalis' Batman Gambit; by sending the threat that triggered the security lockdown, Chrysalis forced Celestia to juggle her duties as the Royal Guard's commander-in-chief, Equestria's senior ruler, and the minister over her niece's wedding. That would keep Celestia distracted until after the wedding, when Chrysalis was ready to spring the trap. Twilight was just the Spanner in the Works.
    • Twilight explicitly says that only Shining Armor can conjure that shield. The reasons aren't explored, but neither his sister nor his boss could take over for him. Celestia has vast power and more than a thousand years of experience with magic, but she doesn't have the ability to learn any spell like Twilight. And in her case there could have been a limit to how well Twilight can copy spells, or perhaps a simple lack of experience with that one. Ultimately, it was unimportant to the plot.
      • And ultimately, unimportant to the point. Twilight was there. She could've offered him some support with any of the spells she knew. All he had to do was ask. POINT: Queen Chrysalis was keeping Shining Armor under enough stress, pain, and magic to cloud his judgement so she could maintain her cover as his bride-to-be. END POINT
      • You can even argue here that A.) While the Queen was keeping him too busy and stressed to realize she was an imposter, she didn't seem to be using magic to do that. B.) She never displayed the ability to use subtle mind control, and Twilight has never demonstrated the ability to support or increase another unicorn's abilities, so it wouldn't occur to her to keep Shining from asking for her help. C.) And here's some real Fridge Brilliance: Shining Armor was asking for help. It's just that his first choice of ponies ask to treat his headaches was his live-in girlfriend, princess Cadance. Chrysalis didn't have to stop him from asking for help because he was going to ask her for it. However, while it may be possible that she had actually been getting rid of his headaches, it's most likely that she was either A.) kissing up to him or B.) messing with him to hide the fact that, as stated above, she is responsible for his migraines, or, most likely of all, the healing was a side effect of the brainwashing put on him; in any of those ways, it even furthers his blindness. Furthermore, Twilight was able to tell she was evil by the way her magic stood out when she used it on Shining Armor, aside from the possibility that Twilight remembered Cadence's magic having a bluish glow from fillyhood, even indicating that she might know a little bit more about magic than her brother does.
    • We don't know how much of the Shining Armor's strain/headache was the result of the spell; it's not unlikely that Chrysalis's feeding and mind magics were partially (or wholly) to blame for his pain.
  • More proof (as if it was necessary) that princess Cadence and Shining Armor are perfect for one another: A Military Cadence is a tool used by armed forces to build solidarity and cohesion, and what is Shining Armor's job? Captain of the royal guard. So in other words, she will help keep the force together so it can protect the royalty of Canterlot.
  • I feel rather silly for taking this long to realize that this episode ended with the locked away princess rescuing her knight in Shining Armor.
  • Another reason for the Queen to keep Cadance and Twilight alive: hostages. At some point in her plan, Chrysalis would have to face Celestia, and having her niece and favorite student would provide the leverage needed to disable her.
    • At least, according to her plan. Chrysalis wasn't that great a spy, and Celestia didn't earn her Magnificent Bastard badge for getting shot in the head by mutant bug-ponies.
    • She also didn't get it for finding changelings. The Queen had complete surprise, and was making good use of it until Twilight brought back the Authentic Cadance.
  • In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment when Twilight and co. get off the train, Twilight passes a grey unicorn with a white mane and tail who smiles at her when she walks past, but has a disappointed look when she ignores him. He's the same stallion from It's About Time that was happy to see Twilight in the library to the point that he'd open a sealed room for her. It looks like Twilight's idea of not having very many friends before Ponyville isn't held by the ponies she would see on a regular basis.
  • Why do changelings look like ponies? Well, think about all the monsters in our mythologies that are shaped like humans. In a world of ponies, it's only natural that there would be pony-shaped monsters.
  • Cadance's specialty is love magic? So that's where Twilight learned the "want it, need it" spell...
  • When the Mane Six step off the train in part one, there's a sight gag where Pinkie sneezes confetti. As adorable as the shot is, recall back to the Season 1 episode Feeling Pinkie Keen, in which one of Pinkie's Precognitive Pinkie Senses is an itchy nose. What does that warn of? Incoming Bugs.
  • When Chrysalis tells AJ "I love love love it," she's telling the truth: She loves love, loves it.
  • Look at the size and power of the shield Shining Armor can produce. Pretty impressive for a single unicorn to pull off, right? Then you remember that Shining Armor is Twilight's brother - he's kin to the Element of Magic, which means his own potential for magic has to be ENORMOUS!
  • If Chrysalis didn't care about the wedding preparations, why would she care whether or not Shining Armor wore favorite his uncle's clothes? Simple - she had told him not to wear them, so his insistence on doing so let her know that her mind-control spell was weakening, and needed to be renewed. Which also hints that one of the reasons for his migraines was his struggle against the mind control, not just creating the shield.
    • It's also possible that Chrysalis cared about the wedding preparations for pretty much the same reason. If ponies start noticing when things don't add up, Chrysalis knows her cover is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, this system assumes that none of the ponies involved in the preparations would have Super OCD, least of all any ponies close enough to the real Cadance to know any better.
  • A minor one, but when Pinkie uses Twilight as an Equippable Ally during the fight with the changelings, this actually makes sense. To do any spell (except basic telekinesis), Twilight has to aim, then close her eyes and concentrate. When shooting at multiple, moving targets, this would not be very accurate nor fast. But if Pinkie aims Twilight and Twilight can concentrate on casting the spell over and over, she would shoot faster and hit more Changelings. Pinkie using Twilight's tail as a crank is still pure Rule of Funny though.
    • Indeed, in season 8, without the benefit of another pony taking care of her aim, Twilight struggles to hit the roc with her magic beams.
    • Alternatively, the crank-tail gag could have been a tactile indicator for Twilight—once Pinkie stopped twisting her tail, Twilight knew to stop firing.
  • Shining Armor and Cadence are married by Princess Celestia. In the real world, you get married 'in the eyes of God'. Since Celestia is pretty much God in Equestria, theirs' was quite a literal case.
  • Crossover with Brick Joke. Cadance's talent, her unique spell is the ability to remind ponies of who they love and why they love them. Twilight has the ability to copy spells she's seen. In Return of Harmony Part 2, she uses a spell to remind her friends of why they care about each other to break Discord's control. Where did she learn it? Cadance, obviously.
  • The Damsel in Distress rescues the brave knight.... and you don't even realize the trope's been reversed till you have it pointed out. THAT'S good writing.
  • Why are the royal guards a Redshirt Army again? They may have received a proper military training but otherwise are stuck Bodyguarding a Badass - the mane six on the other hand may be civillians but they are also the closest Equestria has to an adventuring party.
  • Queen Chrysalis is the only Changeling to really act like Cadance describes them (basically a shape shifting succubus); the rest just capture their prey straight up to feed and don't seem to be able to maintain their illusion enough to be effective long enough to succeed (getting knocked out shatters it). This makes sense if you think about where Cadance probably got the information: Chrysalis herself. Chrysalis could have described her own feeding method to taunt Cadance with the knowledge of what she's doing and Cadance is unable to do a thing about it, and Cadance attributed Chrysalis' because she was the only one she knew.
  • If Cadance was a Physical God like the other Winged Unicorn sisters, then it's possible that she could be a sort of avatar of Equestria, living a cycle of rebirth as opposed to immortality. The Sun and the Moon are forever watching, but Love, while eternal, is fleeting.
  • A lot of people bring up how the villain was defeated. They view it as strange that Chrysalis so easily dismissed the idea that Cadance and Shining Armor could overpower her with love when she had just used the power of love to defeat everyone. This makes more sense when you realize that the changelings would only view love as a source of food for them, and otherwise being useless for everyone else. The idea of someone besides a changeling claiming to be able to defeat her using love would be like walking up to someone and claiming you can beat him with a sandwich.
    • Additionally, her getting hit by the huge shock wave of love magic and not makes sense when you realize there's a major difference between eating or drinking something and being blasted with it. We can drink water just fine. But getting hit full on by a tidal wave? Yeah, good luck drinking that. If the impact doesn't get you, you'll drown from swallowing more than you can handle.
      • So you're basically saying that Chrysalis got to drink from... THE FIRE HOSE!
    • Essentially the idea is that while a steak can't do anything to hurt you, the cow can still trample your ass. Or, the difference between being able to eat a pile of steaks at your own pace, and somebody throwing a three-hundred-pound side of beef at you via catapult.
  • If the Changelings feed off The Power of Love, why was their attack seemingly focused on causing fear and panic? Because in those kinds of situations, one's thoughts often turn to their loved ones... a parent wishing to protect their child, someone hoping their lover or family is okay, and so forth.
  • The Changelings manage to ram through a magical shield and make their arrival by slamming into the ground at high speeds, but get easily knocked out by the Mane Cast during the fight. Why? It's possible to brace yourself for a headbutt, and build up tolerance to it, but that doesn't mean getting punched anywhere else on your head isn't going to hurt, or can't knock you out. And for the latter, they form a cone of energy around their bodies, starting with their horns, that probably protects them from the impact.
    • Or because Changelings are Fair Folk who are normally weak against iron—which is often used to make horse shoes.
  • In "It's About Time" Twilight is sneaking around in the dark and is let into a restricted section of the castle without question. Likely this is a combination of being a national hero, Princess Celestia's personal protege and the sister of the captain of the guard. All of the soldiers either know her or know of her well enough to let her go wherever she wants. However when she runs up the palace in full view and in broad daylight they all point spears at her. Its a subtle hint that nopony can be trusted by their appearance because there are shape shifters lurking in Canterlot.
  • Chrysalis was powered up enough feeding off Shining Armor's love to defeat Celestia. In the end, she's defeated by the love Shining Armor and Cadance have for each other. She was hit with probably twice as much love based magic as she had obtained!
  • The fact the shield isn't put back up after the Changeling's defeat makes a lot more sense when you think about just what happened to them. The Changelings just suffered a major defeat, and on top of that, if you watch after they're thrown out of Canterlot at what was probably supersonic speeds, they're hurled in all directions, spreading out as they go, with Queen Chrysalis having been hit the hardest thanks to being right in front of the blast. Even if they survived, the Changeling swarm has been scattered to the winds. Even if Chrysalis could regroup her swarm again to that size, there's no way she'd be able to do it quickly. Considering all this, Chrysalis was hit a lot harder than it seems and the ponies have good reason to consider her defeated.
  • Why did Chrysalis reveal her true form as soon as she was called out by the real Cadance? Obviously, the deception is now pointless and it makes sense to drop the illusion. Why take her true form, though? Maybe maintaining another form would use up energy Chrysalis would have needed is she was to have any chance of defeating Celestia. The fact that the changelings revert to their true form when knocked out suggests that maintaining a form might require the active expenditure of energy.
  • One might wonder why the changelings copied the forms of the Mane 6 during the battle in Canterlot. Remember that the changelings' forte is shapeshifting into someone their target loves and draining their love for them; not physical combat. They probably shapeshifted because it was what they were comfortable doing, rather than for a tactical advantage. They didn't try to get into character because this wasn't a situation for deception and weren't sure how to handle the fight.
    • Or, they did know how to handle the fight, and began attempting to go for tactical advantage from the get-go. As stated, the Changelings' forte is indeed shifting into a form their target loves. Their targets for the fight were the Mane Six. The Changelings morphed into multiple copies of the Mane Six, meaning that each of the Mane Six actually loves the other five, most likely as family.
      • Meanwhile, the first Changeling to think of it goes nose to nose against Rainbow Dash...AS Rainbow Dash.. Spot on. Others would try to gang up on their originals, with much less success. The one that changes forms against Pinkie can't seem to read her, and is duly confused when asked to take on Pinkie's form. This also fits, as Pinkie is known to need the love and appreciation of others for her own mental stability.
    • Another strength of the shapeshifting ability is isolation. Don't want to risk hurting an ally? Better stick to fighting the ones that look like you, rather than try to analyze who's the focus of an attack while fending off attacks in your direction.
  • Where has Pinkie seen a better copy of herself? Right here.
  • Using the Mane Cast to handle wedding preparations was just a quick way to get them involved in the plot, right? Well, no. Shining Armor hasn't had the chance to talk with his sister much since she moved to Ponyville, and he certainly hasn't had the chance to meet her friends. Celestia's decision to have them help with the wedding not only gave Shining Armor and Cadance a chance to get to know them, but they also got to see the Mane Cast at their best. Parading their talents like that isn't something that Twilight would think of, which is why Celestia set that up.
    • That and The Elements might've been needed for any attack.
  • As lampshaded in part 2, if Twilight's friends had taken her concerns seriously, all the chaos that occurred would have been prevented. Of course, you could argue that the real Cadance would still be imprisoned underground, but when you think about it, there's always a chance that they would find a way of locating her. Thus, if the fake Cadance had managed to reveal herself beforehand, the Mane Six would more than likely have a chance to retrieve the Elements of Harmony and use them to drive her away and the Changelings away.
    • They actually had a very easy way to find the real Cadance: Luna. Luna could find Cadance as she slept and learned where she was.
  • While Chrysalis could've attacked Canterlot flat-out, it's likely that when she gathered information for what was going on at the time, she learned about Cadence and her love magic as well as Shining Armor's shield magic. Cadence's love magic would act as excellent provisions for the Changelings (as a Troper stated above) and as the climax showed, Shining Armor's shield at full force would've foiled their plans straight out. With this in mind, she found it best to weaken Shining Armor and detain Cadence for the whole wedding...
  • Twilight has at least a near-eidetic memory if not total recall. Twilight also visibly had no bucking clue that "Mi Amore Cadenza" is Cadance's full name. If Cadance has been a friend of the family since Twi was a wee little filly and she still has never once heard Cadance's formal name used in her hearing, that says a lot about just what kind of social space Twilight's family is moving in.
    • Or it could just be that Cadance really, really thinks her full name sounds silly. She never uses it even when appearing as Governor of the Crystal Empire on formal occasions. Of course, if we go with this then we're left wondering 'So how did nopony wonder about something wrong with Fake!Cadance when she insisted on putting that name on all the wedding invitations?'
  • This video, which talks a little more about the Fridge Brilliance of Chrysalis' plan.
  • Remember the letter Spike burped up but got taken by Garble and then thrown into the lava without even bothering to read the rest of it? It's most likely an earlier informal letter from Celestia telling Twilight about Shining Armor and Cadence's proposal and/or marriage before the formal invitation in the beginning of the episode. Which probably why Shining Armor seemed so casual and/or confused when Twilight is calling him out for not informing her about such a big decision.

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