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Fridge Brilliance / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 3

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     The Crystal Empire, Parts 1 & 2 
  • Some people were complaining that King Sombra didn't do much. The thing is, he DID, one thousand years ago. Unlike Discord and Nightmare Moon, he had no magical relic to deal with that would be capable of stopping him, because he already did a pretty dang thorough job of it a thousand years ago. He emotionally broke the Crystal Ponies into near depression (meaning they COULDN'T power the Crystal Heart unless they were cheered up) and hid it in his castle in a way that could only be accessed by someone capable of using his magic, protected by a door that not only moved by itself but trapped whoever entered it in their worst fear. And on top of that, finding it would allow him to trigger a trap that not only traps the one going after it but would let him spread his corruption inside the castle without him even having to get through. And the only one keeping him out anyway was slowly weakening and would eventually give out. Whereas the other villains needed to disable their Achilles' Heel themselves, Sombra already did. And because of it, he only lost because Spike decided to tag along with Twilight. There was no need for him to actively attack and try to make Cadance's spell give out sooner, because no matter what the heroes did, it'd ultimately benefit him.
    • The layers of traps are even more impressive when you realize that all the Crystal ponies are Earth ponies, and getting by his traps all but requires the use of magic. A non-unicorn couldn't get through the passageway in the first place, and if they did they'd have to be able to get through the enchanted door (which would delay most ponies long enough for Sombra to notice the intrusion and lay down some whoopass), or up the stairs. And even then the heart is warded against magic anyway. He basically had the foresight to hide the heart in a location that none of the Crystal ponies could get to, and then cover the thing in spells that even one of the most powerful unicorns in Equestria couldn't figure her way out of. And that's just the stuff that's still working a thousand years later; who knows how much security he'd have had up if he were still actually living in the castle.
      • Furthermore, the traps are deliberately designed to prevent unpowered Earth Ponies from bypassing them, as they require magic and flight.
  • Why did Sombra go out of his way to crush the Crystal Ponies' spirits? At first it might seem like he's just evil (which he is), but look at how thorough he was in preventing the Crystal Heart from being found. As Twilight said, if the Crystal Ponies spirits aren't high, they can't power the Crystal Heart. Crushing their spirits was another part of disabling the one thing capable of beating him!
    • It was said that the Empire is a source of powerful magic, for good or ill. If love and hope could power the heart like it did, it probably works the other way too - it is quite possible that Sombra evolved from a unicorn into borderline Eldritch Abomination by purposefully traumatizing his subjects.
      • Probably? It was shown that dark magic works by corrupting the crystals of the Crystal Empire. Actually, that was all it was shown to do, so it is likely that Sombra developed that magic for the sole purpose of using the crystals like that.
  • A kind of meta example, but one I realised foreshadows who the real hero of the episode ended up being. In the Failure Song early in the episode, Spike sings for the first time in the show. So, naturally, the story ended with Spike saving Equestria from a major threat for the first time in the show! So in this episode the writers went out of their way to show he's officially moved beyond being merely a Sixth Ranger and is now on equal footing with the Mane Cast.
  • It might seem a bit stupid to turn King Sombra into a Living Shadow, given how strong he is, but look at the magic its implied he's capable of that he never demonstrates in his shadow form. He has the power to trap somepony in their their worst nightmare and is apparently powerful enough to curse an entire country to vanish for a thousand years. We never see him do any of this in his Living Shadow form, so it's likely being turned to living shadow weakened him, even if it had some bonuses.
    • As a shadow, he was a mostly mindless monster, acting seemingly on instinct. The transformation seemed to have damaged his mind.
    • Also note that Sombra's behavior is very similar to that of a virus: he does what he does for the sole purpose of spreading his corruption. And Nightmare Moon was a being just a few levels down from him. Whatever corrupted Sombra's magic is contagious, and the antidote is love and friendship. This is why Twilight and Cadance were called in to restore the Crystal Kingdom; one is the embodiment of The Power of Love, the other is the Element of Friendship. They both have a higher resistance to Sombra's corruptive magic.
  • Another major complaint some fans have about King Sombra is the fact that he barely talks or says anything to anybody. What he DOES do though is continuously act to reclaim the Crystal Empire. King Sombra was already established to be savvy enough to hide the one thing that could defeat him, and then demoralize and eliminate the very power-source for that object. Him barely talking and instead acting shows that he knows the less time his enemies have to think when fighting him, the less chance they have of defeating him.
    • Given Faust's allusions to Lord of the Rings in the show already, it's not a far cry to think of King Sombra as an allusion to the Dark Lord Sauron. They both have done unspeakable evils, nearly dominated their respective domains and suffered an extended period of absence and resurfaced many years later. However, unlike Sauron, Sombra still had the key to his ruination within his own domain. In fact, if it weren't for Twilight's incredible deductive reasoning skills, the Crystal Heart probably would've stayed hidden forever. Sombra, like Sauron, didn't need to do much of anything upon their return, as their past deeds are still so fresh in the minds of the public that they are paralyzed by the very mention of their names out loud. Sombra probably did this on purpose, after all, what's more terrifying than somepony doing unspeakable evils for seemingly no reason at all? And as a bonus, the top of the Crystal Castle had a simple eye-like design near its top. Does that remind you of any other "eyes" at the top of the largest structure at the center of an overlord's domain? It might be a stretch, but I see it.
  • King Sombra is a child-accessible depiction of depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • The crystal ponies could remember nothing of their lives before Sombra took over. It was only when they were happy that they could recall their pasts.
    • The crystal ponies lost their crystal coloration (and even had a washed-out color palette), when they were afraid or under stress.
    • Sombra's dark magic door trapped Twilight and Spike in visions where they were forced to experience their worst fears, which left their actual selves alive but helpless, lethargic, and constantly crying.
    • His first on-screen victim is Shining Armor. After what Chrysalis did to him in the previous two-parter, Shining would be a very plausible victim of PTSD.
  • Why is it so fitting that King Sombra's last moments were spent vainly ordering the ponies who were absolutely terrified of him from pulling the trigger and blowing him into oblivion? Sombra's entire character revolves around fear. He's practically defined by it. His most dangerous spell we see traps its victim in their worst nightmare, he relied on it to keep the Crystal Ponies from finding the Crystal Heart. In the end, the tables have turned, and they're in the one position where they can defy him and break free of their fear by destroying the source of it. Once they could leave their fear behind, Sombra was powerless.
  • Is Pinkie yelling into the flugelhorn just 'cos it's Pinkie - or because that's actually the way you blow a kazoo?
    • It's likely that she had no idea how to play the flugelhorn. Later on, assumedly, as she figures it out, she plays it normally.
  • Why is King Sombra so desperate to get into the Crystal Empire? It isn't just because he wants to take the kingdom back, it's because he's stranded in a frozen wasteland, and the Empire is the only place for what could possibly be hundreds of miles with any warmth. If he changed back to flesh and blood before he managed to gain entry, he'd probably freeze to death.
  • Why is the Crystal Empire located in an icy wasteland? It shouldn't make sense for a prosperous kingdom to be located there. Well, Windigos are creatures that feed off of hatred, and Sombra had basically turned the Crystal Empire into a region filled with fear and despair. And obviously, every crystal pony would hate him for that. Even after being trapped in the ice, he'd be radiating enough hatred of the Princesses and the Crystal Ponies to keep them well fed.
    • Even better, King Sombra's magic runs off of fear and hatred, so he'd be basically an all you can eat buffet for windigos.
      • That creates terrifying new levels of evil for his character. Think about it. He intentionally created an isolated kingdom in the middle of a barren, freezing wasteland infested with Windigos. The kingdom itself is warm and even prosperous... because of his magic. Because he makes it that way, and if you don't keep your head down and do what he says, he can take that away in a heartbeat and leave you to freeze, starve and/or be eaten. If you so much as step foot outside, you're dead. You are alive because of his "protection", because of his momentary whims. The Crystal Ponies couldn't leave, because stepping beyond Sombra's magical borders was an instant death sentence, and they couldn't rebel because he would drop the magical shields (though he'd probably keep his own palace locked up tight and magically protected) and let the cold and the Windigos kill them off until they begged him to rule them again. There's no way that was accidental.
      • Holy shit.
    • Notice at the end and in all subsequent depictions of the Crystal Empire showed that it was indeed in the middle of a relatively nice, green place? The ice almost instantly disappeared as soon as Sombra died...
    • Alternatively, the Crystal Empire pre-dated Sombra, and was once much larger. It was specifially created as an extension of Equestria Proper in the frozen Northern wastes to act as a shield generator, based around the crystal heart, that covers all of Equestria in love and positive emotions, something we know Windigoes can't stand. Sombra mat have found a way to corrupt it, or leverage it to increase his own power, which may have destroyed most of the Empire, leaving only the central city and a small ring of habitable land.
    • Aleternatively alternatively, the Crystal Empire might be a remnant of the Unicorn pony civilisation from the era of the three tribes. It would have been abandoned during the migration, and possibly reclaimed by earth-ponies as a base to put the love shield generator.
  • Cadance and Twilight greet each other with their "Sunshine, Sunshine, Ladybugs Awake" dance both here and later on in Games Ponies Play. While it's a cute little personalized greeting for each other, it would also serve as an excellent way to make sure that neither of them has been replaced by a changeling.
  • Here's one that will keep you up at night: Princess Celestia did not send the Mane 6 out with the Elements of Harmony. Now, why would that be? They worked so well against Nightmare Moon and Discord, and could have turned the tide during the Changeling invasion. Why not bring them? Here's why: The Elements of Harmony are Order embodied, so they are effective against things that disrupt the rightful order of the world. But King Sombra is Lawful Evil (as all evil overlords are), so they wouldn't work. In fact, since Sombra is on the Lawful side of the alignment scale, he might have been able to use them. After all, if King Sombra ruled the entire world, then everything would be so terribly, terribly peaceful. Everyone would live in a dark and wretched harmony, with King Sombra on top, and everyone who isn't King Sombra at the bottom. Everyone in their "rightful" place: Under. His. Hoof.
  • One could ask why Shining Armor couldn't "love charge" Cadance so the shield holds up more much like with the shield to get Chrysalis and the Changelings out of Canterlot. For starters, it's not that love alone that strengthens it, it's Love and Magic. Second, Shining Armor likely did do this with Cadance but that was before Sombra disabled his horn, preventing him.
  • King Sombra is supposedly a unicorn, but looks positively monstrous. He's powered by Hatred and Fear. Perhaps he altered his own appearance to make himself more terrifying so he'd have more power. Considering the guy is strong enough to make an empire vanish for a thousand years and challenge the Princesses, it's not a stretch he's capable of changing how he looks.
  • Celestia's Secret Test of Character may seem out of left field, especially considering that she was willing to put the fate of an entire empire in the hooves of one pony who has doubts, but consider this. Twilight was the pony who would rather put a town into chaos over a doll than disappoint her teacher. The test is simple: Either she accomplishes Celestia's command down to the letter, but risk the Empire falling due to her not wanting to fail her teacher (remember, she was told that, in the end, only she alone can help with safeguarding the empire) or allow other ponies/dragons to help her out and save the Empire at the risk of failing her teacher. In short, Celestia was just testing Twilight to see if she would do something like with the Smarty Pants incident where the livelihoods of ponies were put at risk in order to not disappoint her.
    • Also, Celestia mentions that Twilight will be closer to being ready for something if she succeeds, presumably her upcoming Alicornhood. But Celestia had to make sure first, because of things like the "Want-it-Need-it" incident. If Twilight could wreak that much havoc as a unicorn, what would happen if she went nuts as an alicorn?
  • Twilight doesn't know about the Crystal Heart because when Celestia activated the Data Crystal that displays a hologram of the Crystal Empire, the space under the castle where the Crystal Heart normally goes is occupied by the data crystal itself.
  • Sombra is perhaps the closest to absolute, pure evil this show has gotten to. Nightmare Moon did what she did out of envy. Chrysalis did what she did out of gluttony. Tirek did what he did out of greed. Sombra and Discord did what they did because of the sheer enjoyment of it, but the way they went about it is what makes Sombra more evil. Discord is like a child given the power of a god. He does what he does simply because he can and because he enjoys it; regardless of whether or not anypony gets hurt. The only time he becomes outright malicious is when his existence and fun are threatened. Sombra, however, does what he does because he actually enjoys other ponies getting hurt. Discord is played mostly for laughs. Sombra is not. His evil is played straight to the point that the Crystal Ponies nearly wet themselves in pure terror when he returns. Due to how dark the implications are, we'll never know really what Sombra did to these ponies and in all honesty, I don't think any of us want to know.

     Too Many Pinkie Pies 
  • Why were the copies of Pinkie so incomplete? Simple - They are but reflections of the original, so they would not capture the subtleties of the real Pinkie.
    • More specifically, they were reflections of Pinkie as of the moment she created them. At that point in time, the only thing on Pinkie's mind was having fun; she had to specify to the clones afterward that they were supposed to be having fun with her friends. She also didn't properly define what "fun" meant, leaving the clones to fill in the blanks with whatever struck their fancy.
    • Alternatively, they acted like that because they were only a few hours old and had yet to learn that they would have to do things that weren't fun, or that playing all the time would hurt ponies.
    • It's called a mirror, not a duplicator. All mirrors absorb some of the light; this absorbed some of Pinkie's character. And most of the reflections were made using reflections as templates.
    • Yeah, there's no real indication that the clones had any sort of sapience; the whole mirror theme implies that they were based solely off of Pinkie's surface personality (i.e. programmed for fun and nothing else), and let's face it, if there was a magic pool that could create life from nothing, there's no way that Celestia wouldn't be keeping tabs on it somehow.
      • No real indication besides the first dupe coming back to ask for advice instead of going on with her previously programmed order. And Twilight's deciding that talking to them wouldn't be useful even after reading the book is a strong implication that they had more than one personality trait. Heck, the simple fact that it took different amounts of time for the mass produced dupes to get distracted also shows that they had been growing different personalities even in the few hours that they had existed. If they had still been identical, then they would all have lost focus at the same time.
      • Even in that case, the clone was still acting purely off of the initial "fun fun fun" initiative. The only advice it asked for was how to have fun more effectively, which is right in line with its initial purpose in creation.
      • Why would Celestia know that the Mirror Pool existed? She isn't omniscient, and even Zecora, the full time inhabitant and researcher of the Everfree Forest, doesn't know all of it's secrets. If Celestia did know of it, she would have sealed it up like she tries with all the other dangerous stuff.
    • The pond only creating a reflection of the original would also explain why the first pinkie had some semblance of intelligence, the rest turned out to be lemmings screaming "fun" over and over again; those were clones of the clones. If you were just a shadow of another shadow, there'd be almost nothing left except basic instincts, which was "have fun".
  • Twilight probably already figured out the real Pinkie by the time they herd all the clones, so why would she make Pinkie join them? Well, she would want to punish Pinkie in some manner for causing the Incident of the Episode, and making her join in a deliberately unfun activity would be part of that punishment. This also explains why she was so confident and cavalier about banishing the clones, since she already knew who the real Pinkie was!
    • Another explanation: Pinkie Pie was the one that thought up this plan. Twilight knew it had to be the real Pinkie suggesting they do this. But, taking the lesson from "A Canterlot Wedding, Pt 1", she kept it to herself until she had confirmation..
    • She may also see the clones as little more than constructs born out of magic. Like any other magic, they only existed to do what they were originally conjured to do; have fun. They had no will or sentience beyond that.
      • Alternatively, the book she found may have explained this.
    • It is possible that Twilight came across as cavalier, because she had to steel herself to even risk what she had to attempt. Most anyone in her place would have to detach themselves from their feeling in order to do something that risks their friend in order to save them.
  • Why did Pinkie Pie start questioning her identity so easily? Pinkie takes great pride in making her friends happy, to the point where she uses that to help define herself. Her logic states that the real Pinkie would never do anything to make her friends unhappy. Thus, since she directly took an action that upset her friends, she might not be the real Pinkie Pie.
    • "Party of One" showed that Pinkie can be prone to rather extreme mood swings. It's less that she's perpetually happy and more that whenever she gets into a particular mood (which most of the time is happiness), she goes right to an extreme take on it. When Pinkie enjoys herself she really enjoys herself and when she has self doubt, she goes right to "Existential Crisis".
      • It's somewhat odd that Pinkie's hair doesn't go flat despite being obviously engulfed in a state of depression. It may be that this only happens when she's angry, but another theory would be that her hair only deflates when she completely snaps and loses her grip on reality. This would support the fan favorite interpretation that Pinkie Pie actually has a split personality disorder (as well as severe bi-polarism).
  • At one point Pinkie Pie says "The walls are closing in!" and Fluttershy points out that that can't be since they're outside. But if you think about it, the camera was closing in....otherwise known as the Fourth Wall.
  • At first Fancypants was a bit out of place in Ponyville just for a cameo and then I recalled that Rarity did a new dress at the beginning of the episode and then everything was clear: Fancypants was visiting Rarity
  • The Pinkie clones are all obsessed with fun because they came from Pinkie's reflection. They were what she was on the outside, namely her appearance and love for fun. They didn't have what was on the inside, which included her strong friendship with the rest of the Mane Six.
  • Twilight inadvertently gave Pinkie the idea to use the Mirror Pool. Granny Pie may have told her about the legend, but in "It's About Time" (one of the last episodes of Season 2) Twilight's paranoia over an impending disaster makes her decide to "Monitor. Everything." as she explained to Pinkie, that it was the only way to go about things. Pinkie responds "Makes sense to me." Now Pinkie create clones so she can literally "Monitor. Everything." so she won't miss out on fun.
  • The test Twilight came up with turns out to be a brilliant allegory for making a well-rounded character. The Pinkie Pies represent stock characters. Staring at paint drying is comparable to what watching TV basically is. Each Pinkie Pie reflects how long they can stay an interesting character. If they lose focus, that Pinkie Pie will lose the audience's attention. Why? Because that Pinkie Pie is just a clichéd, flanderized pollyanna, nothing new. But the real Pinkie Pie just keeps staring, representing how a well-made character is interesting and never loses your attention. Why? Because she proves she's more than just an airhead who lives for fun. Like any well-rounded character, she has thoughts, feeling, subtleties, and redeeming qualities to balance it out. It proves she's capable of overcoming her personal flaws, such as her attention deficit disorder.
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     One Bad Apple 
  • Throughout the episode, Babs has numerous small-but-subtle hints in her body language about not being entirely comfortable with turning on the Cutie Mark Crusaders:
    1. She regularly curls her tail to cover her flanks, as though to cover up the fact that she has yet to get her own cutie mark.
    2. When Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon enter the scene for the first time, Babs briefly has wide eyes and shrinking pupils, shifting background zoom, tail cover-up, dilated pupils and looking at the ground with a frowny face, staring daggers. All within the space of maybe two seconds. That pretty much says it all.
    3. The part where they do the sugar-lump-rump bit. And then Babs covers her flank again, but that's old news. But for a few frames after that, the first expression we see on her face. Not gloating, not mockery, but embarassment! (paraphrasing Kyler Thatch)
    • Adding to this, said body language makes it quite obvious that she's really self-conscious about her lack of a cutie mark, which explains a lot about why she's so reticent and awkward while the CMC are giving her their tour: Babs is very sensitive about her lack of a cutie mark, to the point that she's uncomfortable that the CMC literally define themselves by it. It's something she'd likely want to ignore completely, but the CMC refuse to shut up about it. It might very well have been a factor in why she was willing to turn on them later on.
  • Babs' bullying is portrayed as much more serious than Diamond and Silver's normally is. The episode was made to highlight the serious matter of bullying, it makes sense that Babs is portrayed as a more serious bully than DT and SS.
  • Babs' first act of bullying is simply kicking the wheel off the float, but she's clearly as surprised as everyone else that it wrecked the entire float. But Diamond and Silver are both impressed by this action. This helps explain why her bullying is so brutal; she accidentally set a high bar for herself she had to live up to for Diamond and Silver not to catch on.
  • "Babs Seed" is a Homage to the songs from classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The episode was meant to deal with the very serious issue of bullying. While it averts A Very Special Episode, they were at their most common back in the 70s and 80s. Perhaps they were trying to recognize that by having a song that's a throwback to that time period.
  • In the CMC's song Babs Seed, fans have noted how Scootaloo's vocals are noticeably Autotuned. Makes sense, considering her poor singing voice. It's more likely that her voice actor (who has absolute pitch) is allowed to finally show her talent.
  • Note that no one identifies Babs as being an Apple. "Cutie Mark Chronicles" established that not everyone in the Apple clan is necessarily an Apple by name: in that episode, we met the Ponyville Apples' Aunt and Uncle Orange. The name "Babs Seed" is neutral in this regard, because seeds (even bad ones) are natural parts of any fruit represented within the clan. This and her living in a big city might explain why she's having such a hard time with her Cutie Mark.
    • In Season 5's "Made in Manehattan" briefly in the background you can see Babs walking with Aunt Orange, implying that Aunt Orange is likely her mother (which makes sense, they're both in Manehattan).
  • Also not helping: her initials are "B.S." No wonder Babs got it hard.
  • Two seasons later, we later find out why Diamond Tiara is so terrified when Babs threatens to rat her out and it makes perfect sense. She's afraid of her mother, not because of being found out as a bully but because of her own mother's pushy attitude. At this point, Babs only amplified Diamond's fear of her mother through a mere mention.

     Magic Duel 
  • Back in "Boast Busters," Trixie is shown to be a skillful showpony who is ultimately outdone by Twilight Sparkle's "real" magic. In this episode, Trixie uses the Alicorn Amulet to overpower Twilight in "real" magic—so how does Twilight respond? By an amazing display of illusion, misdirection, and sleight-of-hoof. She uses stage magic and beats Trixie at her own game.
  • After thinking over Trixie's tirade about how her life and career, something clicked. "Boast Busters" was the point at which Trixie Jumped the Shark as an entertainer. What do most entertainers do when they lose their audience? Try to win the audience back. This may have been what Trixie intended when she bought the amulet; stage a comeback show using actual magic. That leaves the question: did Trixie's comeback attempt bomb, or was showing up Twilight in a magic duel supposed to be the comeback show?
    • It's also very likely that Trixie's original intent wasn't anywhere close to what she finally did, it may simply have been 'beat the mare who upstaged me to show everyone I'm as strong as I said and get my life back', but by the time she got to Ponyville, the Alicorn Amulet had corrupted her mind, and that intention, into what we saw.
  • It's stated that the Alicorn Amulet corrupts its wearer. Why is that? Because it grants the wearer absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • In Trixie's flashback, we see Carrot Top and Bon Bon in several crowd shots, laughing at Trixie. This may explain how everypony knew of the Ursa incident: These two traveling around merely to humiliate Trixie.
    • Or maybe they simply told friends and family about the incident when they were visiting, and Trixie happened to be in town. Alternatively, since it's from Trixie's point of view, she's simply seeing the same faces.
  • Despite the tons of Body Horror she committed, Trixie never actually seriously hurts anyone and, despite her power, doesn't seem to sadistically torture ponies For the Evulz (she even performs Tickle Torture on Applejack rather than something more severe) like Discord does. This makes sense when it's revealed she's not a genuinely bad pony, she's being corrupted by the Alicorn Amulet. There was enough good still left in her to hold her back from actually harming anyone, which was slowly being worn away by the Amulet as the episode went on.
  • During the second duel, was Big Mac's reaction staged? Or was that his actual response to being in public dressed like his sister?
    • It can also be interpreted that he's wearing girl's make-up.
  • Why do the representatives from Saddle Arabia look like bigger, leaner ponies? Because they're Arab horses.
  • Throughout the episode, Trixie is especially cruel to Snips and Snails. Why is that? Because it's their fault she ended up a laughingstock!
  • Trixie isn't punished for her actions in the episode. This makes perfect sense when you look at just how rapidly the Amulet was corrupting her. Her original intentions for buying it and going to Ponyville in the first place were probably already corrupted by the time she got to Ponyville. Punishing her for her actions would be like punishing the Discorded Mane Six for what they did under Discord's control. On top of that, she already had her life ruined once when she didn't deserve it, the Mane Six probably felt she'd suffered for things she wasn't responsible for enough as it was without it happening AGAIN.
  • Fluttershy wasn't chosen at random to fetch Twilight. As the only one that hadn't angered Trixie previously, she was the only member of the Mane Cast that she wouldn't miss.
    • That and she's the quietest of the group, so she was the one least likely to be detected.
    • The plan was to use the animals to help hide the pony to get out. Fluttershy is the only one who can communicate with them, and the one they'd most likely be willing to stick their necks out for.
  • The spell Twilight cast to restore Pinkie's mouth at the end? "Undo." The last action performed by the Flash GUI was Trixie deleting Pinkie's mouth earlier in the episode.
  • A bit of a meta example, but the "Alicorn" of the Alicorn Amulet is a red and black alicorn, which is considered a cliche and over the top design for fan characters intended to be evil.

     Sleepless In Ponyville 
  • The fact that Scootaloo is the most scared of the stories seems at first like a device to drive the plot, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom are both spending the trip with their sisters, who they know well and are very close to. They're much more inclined to allow themselves to be comforted by their sisters. Scootaloo, on the other hand, is rooming with a pony who she admires very much, but isn't particularly close to. When night falls, she's the only CMC who isn't in the company of a family member or close friend. Add in the fact that she's already nervous about making a good impression on Rainbow Dash, and it's clear that she probably feels very alone in addition to being scared by RD's stories.
  • The reason AJ deliberately riffs Rainbow Dash's retelling of the Headless Horse is that she's heard it before from Twilight and it was told more convincingly that time. On top of that, she's had plenty of time to see all the Fridge Logic inherent in the story.
    • It is also a clear example of the Vitriolic Best Buds nature of their friendship. She's clearly doing it out of humor rather than disdain for the story.
  • Why does Sweetie sing the "Buckets of Oats on the Wall" song so badly? She thinks it's meant to be deliberately badly sung!
    • Alternatively she's just tired and the exhaustion got to her singing.
    • Speaking of Sweetie, the real reason why Rarity deliberately brought so much stuff and made her haul the cart partway was to passively-aggressively punish her for being too trigger-happy with the guilt-tripping based on a previous incident.
      • Not only that, but remember that during said incident episode, Sweetie was no slouch in the "over-prepared" department when it came to packing. There's a pretty high likelihood that a good chunk of that luggage belongs to her as well.
  • While it was awesome to see Luna again in top form and to find out that she has the power to enter ponies' dreams, it seemed a little Deus ex Machina. But it makes more sense and adds more depth when you realize that Luna is reaching out to Scootaloo, who is struggling with her fear and her longing for Rainbow Dash's approval. Why? Because Luna—in part— became Nightmare Moon when she couldn't let go of her own longing for her subject's approval and admiration and her fear that she would never gain it. Add in the idea that Scootaloo, at the time Luna confronted her in her nightmare, really had hoped that Rainbow Dash could be like an older sister to her and Luna has Celestia as an older sister, and it makes her presence and interference even more logical and heartwarming: Luna can really empathize and doesn't want Scootaloo to make the same kind of mistake she did in giving into the fear and also not talking to her sister/sister-figure.
    • Not only that, when she's seen walking through the nightmare earlier, that was likely the point she first saw Scootaloo was having Nightmares and likely came back the next night to check on her, like she did at the end of the episode.
  • Why is Applejack the one who reaches out to Scootaloo when she's scared? Because she has Applebloom and she's sensitive to the moods of her friends. Granted, Scootaloo was broadcasting her fear but Applejack is the only older pony who could pick up on it and would know how to properly respond. It's also why she started pointing out the fridgelogic in the second story, so it would give Scootaloo something to hold onto in the future!
    • When running from the 'Headless Horse' (just Rainbow snoring), Scootaloo actually does try to think through why it would be whinnying with no head. Unfortunately, she concludes that just means it's "not a horsey-pony kind of horse" (and so more monstrous?), which only serves to make her more afraid.
  • While The Aesop of this episode seems to be something only children can understand, Luna's suggestions to Scootaloo applies as much to adults suffering nightmares as it is to kids. Basic psychology states that there are always root causes for nightmares and that the cause needs to be addressed in order for the nightmares to stop.
    • Not only that, but the fact Luna doesn't simply end the nightmares, but has to actively help Scootaloo conquer them is a much more realistic resolution.
  • "Luna Eclipsed" established Princess Luna as a Friend to All Children and a Mama Bear. This episode reveals that Luna's duties include patrolling the dream world to protect her subjects from Nightmares. Children are a good bit more likely to have nightmares than adults, so it makes perfect sense Luna would be protective of them.
  • Luna's capacity to patrol and influence the ponies' dreams is also a Call-Back on the traps she, as Nightmare Moon, used to try stopping the Mane Six; all based on a common dream. Many common dreams include creepified mundane objects (the trees), falling (as in, over a cliff), battling/fleeing an unstoppable monster (the manticore), bypassing an insurmountable obstacle (the raging river in Steven Magnet's scene), and meeting/becoming someone famous (the Shadowbolts).
    • For another Call-Back, take a look at the scenery in Scootaloo's nightmare. This actually helps explain why the Mane Six found the trees so frightening back then; the trees in question are literally the stuff of nightmares!
  • Rainbow Dash was sound asleep and wearing earplugs. No one else in the camp woke up to Scootaloo's panic. How did Rainbow Dash know Scoots was in danger and wake up in time to rescue her? Answer: She could hear just fine in her dreams, and we just saw Luna in Scootaloo's. As for how Dash woke up in time to save Scoots, remember that Scootaloo began waking up the moment Luna revealed that she was dreaming. Plus, it is possible for someone to be woken up by sounds and images from their dreams; a fact that Luna would know well enough to exploit if the situation called for it.
  • The Headless Horse in Scootaloo's nightmares resembles the Princesses in body shape. This makes sense when you remember they're probably the only horses that most Equestrian ponies are familiar with (Saddle Arabia being a completely different country and all). It makes sense Scootaloo would imagine the Headless Horse as resembling them since they're the image that would most likely come to mind when she thinks of a horse for that reason.
    • No, she wouldn't. Because her first appearance on the show was her Early-Bird Cameo in "Friendship Is Magic, Pt. 1", where she's seen cowering in fright from Nightmare Moon, who also has a horse-like body type. Remove her head, and you have Scootaloo's vision of the Headless Horse.
  • When the dream ends, Luna gets sucked into the moon, which must be one of her nightmares.
    • Alternatively it is a reflection of her consciousness, which is being withdrawn to be projected into somepony else's dreamworld.
      • Kind of like how it appears in the sky at all by reflecting sunlight...
  • During the dream sequence when Scootaloo is explaining her fear of being unable to impress Rainbow Dash, she's rubbing her left foreleg in pain. This is from earlier in the episode, right before they go to camp the first night, where Rainbow Dash gives a teasing punch in the left foreleg, and calls her "tough, like me", which Scootaloo rubs a bit in embarrassment. Her rubbing during the dream sequence calls back to her embarrassment and fear of letting Rainbow Dash down.

     Wonderbolts Academy 
  • While the Wonderbolts are known for their stunt flying and racing, they have been called upon in emergency situations that required their talents. However, the two known emergency situations the Wonderbolts have been involved in ended in failure; one had them knocked out by the pony they were trying to rescue and the other ended with them captured by a dragon. In light of this, it makes sense that Spitfire is a strict Drill Sergeant Nasty; the Wonderbolts have been too lax and Spitfire is looking to make sure that the new up-and-coming Wonderbolts are not just capable flyers but are able to react to any situation in case of another emergency.
  • It initially seems rather odd that Rainbow Dash would end up being made a wingpony, when she's easily one of the best, if not the best in the class. It might be because Lightning Dust pushed herself harder, like Spitfire said, but when you remember that the setup is a test there's another underlying reason: Spitfire already knows that Rainbow Dash can be a capable leader because she oversaw the cyclone in Hurricane Fluttershy. Since she knows that Rainbow Dash has leadership abilities, Spitfire deliberately puts her in a secondary role to test Rainbow's ability to be a team player when not in the lead.
    • It was also one for Lightning Dust. Lightning liked to push her limits. Making her a lead pony put her in a position where she would have to be considerate of other ponies' limits in addition to her own. She failed to pick up on that lesson.
  • Why is Lightning Dust punished severely while Rainbow is promoted to leader despite both having made the tornado? Rainbow instantly rushed to her friend's aid and was willing to outright quit if becoming that reckless is what it takes to be a Wonderbolt while Lightning Dust has a pronounced Lack of Empathy and didn't care one bit about it. The Wonderbolts, as mentioned above, do rescue work, Rainbow Dash may have made a mistake, but her gut instinct was still to rescue those in danger while Lightning Dust only cared about winning. It wasn't just about the tornado, it was Rainbow Dash showing exactly the kind of personality trait the Wonderbolts need to have while Lightning Dust completely lacked it.
    • As a stunt-flying organization, the Wonderbolts also have to value safety above all else during their performances, because one minor miscalculation can get a lot of innocent ponies killed. Lightning Dust did not, and came very close to killing herself and everypony around her, including five civilians.
  • Just before leaving for the Academy, Dash says "See you in a week!" The next episode premiers in a week.
    • The above line also suggests that Wonderbolt training takes a week. This could be because flight school is already a fundamental part of the pegasus education system. If a pegasus passed prescreening for the Academy, they should already know everything they need to to fly as a Wonderbolt. The Academy is only there to weed out the ones that don't.
      • Or, it means that cadets get enough free time on weekends for RD to go from the Academy to Ponyville and back.
  • Looking at last season, the sheer number of accidents and injuries Rainbow Dash suffers goes a long way towards explaining why she's much more careful in flight training than Lightning Dust. Between things like nearly getting flattened by a boulder in May The Best Pet Win, her broken wing in Read Em and Weep, the near-accident she had when Pinkie's cymbals got sucked into her Parasprite-trap mini-tornado in Swarm of the Century, and the disastrous first attempt at a waterspout in Hurricane Fluttershy, not to mention her many, many little spills and tumbles throughout the first two seasons, it's not surprising that she'd be much more careful about things than Lightning Dust.
    • This also explains why, despite being an Element of Harmony (pretty much a national hero), and the confirmed fastest flyer in all Equestria, Rainbow Dash didn't send an application for the Wonderbolts until this season; she was training until getting the skill level (she considered) she'd need to do well at the Academy. After performing the Sonic Rainboom at will at the Canterlot Wedding, Rainbow finally felt confident enough to apply, and, considering how well she did with the first tests, it's obvious all that hard work was worth the effort.
  • Lightning Dust was stripped of her leadership commission because she lacks loyalty. What's Rainbow Dash's Element again?
  • As a result of Pinkie's insane worrying she was in just the right place and time to show Rainbow Dash how dangerous Lightning Dust's behavior was and stand up to her, not so insane after all.
  • As demonstrated in a previous episode, creating a tornado is the ultimate exercise in teamwork. If even one pegasus screws up, the entire thing falls apart. It's no place for a showboat like Lightning Dust.
  • Arguably, Spitfire's voice change. Drill Sergeants sometimes sound totally different when in drill sergeant mode over their normal speaking voice, even when they are talking at a normal level.
  • Spitfire was quite friendly in prior appearances, especially to Rainbow Dash. So why is she giving her as well as the other cadets a hard time? Well first off, to test their resolve. Notice Spitfire's satisfied smile at Rainbow Dash's response to her insult, an indication of approval. Plus, she's a drill sergeant on duty. You can make friends in your own time, but when your job includes weeding out the weak from your renowned military air force, friends and the like get no special privileges. This is boot camp, you earn your wings.
    • It's unlikely Rainbow Dash expected anything less. She did the same thing herself, for pretty much the same reasons.
    • In a related note, Spitfire's expression when looking at Snowflake/Roid Rage's wings size; she is probably thinking if she should even give him a chance due to how underdeveloped they seem to be, and her stern look on him actually makes him pretty nervous. Still, she allows him to give it a try out of fairness (as it wouldn't be fair to kick him out based solely on appearances) and also because she probably considered the wings, even if small, must be insanely powerful if they can move such a muscular and big guy at least a bit faster than the average pegasus.
  • Spitfire could have said, "You know what? You're right. Lightning Dust really shouldn't be a lead pony. Congratulations, you've been promoted." Instead, she said, "What are you saying, newbie?" Why? It was yet another test: Will Rainbow Dash stand up for what's right even when the pony who decides whether or not she gets to fulfill her dream seems to approve?
  • Rainbow Dash is made second in command to Lightning Dust. In real life, a rainbow comes after a thunderstorm.
  • Why did the mane 6 bounce on the cloud instead of fall through it if only Pegasus ponies can touch clouds? Well one, Fluttershy is already a Pegasus and two, we know Twilight can cast a walking on clouds spell. She probably cast it before heading out. And before anyone points out the academy is on a plateau, and thus solid ground, it still is high up and is centered around flight. Cloud walking would be useful for ground based ponies in such an environment.
    • Either that or it's possible for non-pegasi to temporarily walk on clouds if the clouds are compressed tightly enough. It would explain why RD sucked a bunch of clouds in and jammed them together into a spring rather than just catching them all on a single cloud. This image sums it up pretty nicely.
    • It's probably not the cloud-walking spell for one simple reason: even if Twilight had cast it before liftoff, Rainbow Dash would have had no way of knowing that (at least, not for certain). And yet she zipped down and started putting that cloud together right away. That rather suggests that she did in fact have at least some faith that that trick would work...

     Just for Sidekicks 
  • The photos from the cold open show Spike trying to feed Peewee ice cream, and Peewee doesn't like it. Makes sense, since phoenixes are creatures of fire.
  • At first glance it seems like Rarity is being stingy by giving Spike a really tiny gem. However, later in the episode, the CMC use that same gem to purchase an enormous industrial hair dryer that couldn't possibly have come cheap. The gem was of little use to Spike because he wanted to eat it, but it's monetary value must have been pretty high, which means that Rarity actually paid him quite well.
    • Maybe Rarity tried to be careful about how much he gave him considering how he got last time he received a large quantity of gifts.
    • Notably, 2 of the larger gems were considered payments for...a box of donuts and train tickets.
    • Also note that it was a gem from the saddle she made, and not just any gem. It was the centerpiece, the most unique and the most important gem on the saddle and she gave that to Spike. Doesn't sound so stingy now, does it?
  • One of the things that most bugged me about this episode was Spike's characterization. I've never seen him this self-centered about something before, what with taking in the pets just to get some gems for a cake. It really turned me off when all of a sudden, it hit me like a love-struck Cheerilee. The beginning of the episode has Spike upset that he wouldn't be going to the Crystal Empire to meet the game inspector (which stirs up more questions about Spike's absence last season, but that's a discussion for another page.). You can say that he was jealous or even envious of the others. It's likely that Spike's lust for the jewels may have been drawn from the envy he had of the others excluding him (again.) And it's also that same envy that prevents Spike from exhibiting the responsibility we've come to expect of him. To quote Zecora (who we know to be an expert on this sort of thing):
    Zecora: You think jewels are what you need, but there's no worse mojo than dragon greed.
    • Not to mention, the last time Spike got greedy, he looted her entire house and rampaged across Ponyville. More than enough reason to nip this one in the bud.
    • I'm gotta disagree on that. I think its just because he's a kid. Children are a little selfish at times, it's just a part of childhood.
    • Yeah, the entire point of the episode was Spike maturing a bit in that he realized he needed to actually take care of the pets rather than pawn them off so he could do his own thing.
    • Also notice Spike's character is at it's most callous the more gems he has. As he gives away more and more gems, he reverts to being more desperate and less arrogant and eventually open to a Jerkass Realization. His selfishness was a more subtle case of his greed taking over the more possessions he gained, and then slowly fading as he lost them one by one.
  • The series of pictures in the Cold Open showing Spike giving Peewee away to be raised by phoenixes seemed to me like just a rushed way for the show to avert What Happened to the Mouse? and explain Peewee's absence, since it didn't have much - if anything - to do with the show. Then I realized it was actually Foreshadowing; Spike gave Peewee away because he couldn't raise him on his own. The main story of the episode was about Spike being unable to care for the other pets on his own.
    • Somewhat related. Remember how when "Dragon Quest" aired, everyone freaked out about Spike had kidnapped a baby phoenix? Maybe Spike and/or his friends felt that way In-Universe, which is why Spike went to return Peewee to his parents.
    • Not to mention the potential danger of having two fire creatures (a dragon and a phoenix) living in A LIBRARY. Spike is careful enough with his flames and yet he sometimes has accidents, unwillingly sending books or notes to Princess Celestia in the best case, and destroying them in the worst.
    • The difficulty of having a Phoenix had been foreshadowed in an earlier season, where Fluttershy herself couldn't deal with the task.
  • If you look carefully at the image of him returning Peewee he seemed really happy returning the little creature back to its family. Too bad the same won't happen for him. Just like Peewee Spike was torn from the family he never knew when he was an egg and was raised by others, the only difference was that Peewee was reunited with its real parents, Spike's returning Peewee shows he definitely has grown to be more mature.
  • With a focus on all the pets, all but Angel easily fit why they are matched with their respective owners:
    • Owlowicious is the wise and sane one.
    • Winona is loyal and trustworthy to a fault - she was the first in Spike's lineup, coming at command.
    • Tank is headstrong and often out of control.
    • Opal is high-maintenance.
    • Gummy's interjections are absurd and have little context to the on-going events.
    • As for Angel, he's actually more like his owner in the sense that to the rest of their respective friends, they represent The Load (compare, for example, the pets' gathered reaction to Angel jumping the train, to the Mane Six less Fluttershy when she offers to take off her Element for Discord).
      • He also showed kindness to Spike at the end of the episode, once Spike showed kindness to him.
  • It's easy to feel for Spike when you find out that he hasn't been invited to help welcome the inspector, but consider this observation: it's an inspection for a possible location for the games, not the actual games. As is evident in "Games Ponies Play", the Games Inspector is just scouting out the new Crystal Empire stadium to see if it's good enough, with possibly a few games played for demonstration purposes. It's the same reason only you and some close personal friends would look at a venue for an upcoming birthday party instead of taking every friend you have to look around. All things considered, Spike would probably be bored just sitting around while adults do stuff, so it's safe to say that Cadance assumed he'd find more fun things to do at home.
    • On the other hoof, it is no more apparent than the fact that the Mane 6 were mainly invited to convince the inspector to have the Crystal Empire host the games at the Crystal Empire. In light of what ensues, Cadance not inviting Spike seems already justified.
  • Cadance isn't being ungrateful by not inviting Spike, she's being smart. The whole point of this visit is to show the Crystal Empire in perfect condition, misunderstandings notwithstanding. This same episode shows that Spike has abysmal self-control when it comes to tasty gems available, and the Crystal Empire literally paves their streets with tasty, tasty gems. Cadance, being aware of Spike's gluttony from Twilight Sparkle, knows that it's not worth it for Spike to come along and need to be kept on a tight leash, which would probably fail at some point and Cadance would need to explain to the inspector why so many benches have bite-marks where the corners should be. This is a serious overture, which Spike would unintentionally but assuredly sabotage, so she's very justified in keeping Spike from coming.
  • When Spike's stomach growls, Applejack is the only one to suspect that something's amiss and she asks the others if they're hearing things as well. She's faced with a Cassandra Truth which makes sense considering she's the Element of Honesty.
  • The Schizo Tech industrial-strength hair dryer may have been a good visual gag, but in a land where the bulk of the population lacks fingers to grip towels easily, and have fur coats, a hair dryer of that size may actually be practical. It's not the pampering one would get at a spa but it would certainly get a pony dry.
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     Apple Family Reunion 
  • Granny Smith is showing the photo album, we see the second photo is Granny Smith as a young adult, and the next one shows Applejack and Big Mac but no sight of their parents. If you think about it, the photos they were showing are in one corner, so there could be atleast one picture in between that we didn't see, an effective way to avoid showing AJ's parents.
  • The fruit bats resemble the fruits they eat. While this looks like a visual pun, it also makes sense as a form of natural camouflage.
  • To get on the Brilliance we have to look at a bit of Horror, it was confirmed that the two shooting stars in the episode were a representation of AJ's deceased parents. But with this info past incidents make much more sense. In Cutie Mark Chronicles AJ left home (as well as her grandmother and older brother both very upset) she very well may have left in an attempt to escape the depression of her now gone parents. At the same time Big Mac was left physically upset during both this episode and during her disappearance in Last Round Up, so much so that fans tend to mock his overly emotional states. Being the age he was in Cutie Mark Chronicles he would have been the oldest and therefore most attached of the Apple children to their parents. The thought of losing another member of his family could explain why he was so upset both times.
    • It also explains Applejack's Team Mom personality and Undying Loyalty towards her family and friends, she lost her parents when she was young, she's afraid to lose anyone else she cares about and probably had to be a maternal figure for Applebloom since Granny Smith was so old it was likely difficult for her to keep up with a young filly.
    • Another look at Applejack's decision to leave the family: she chose to leave the Apple Family Farms during Cutie Mark Chronicles to see if she can make it in the city. Take a look at how old Applebloom is. Since Applebloom is Applejack's sister, this means that their parents died sometime after giving birth to Applebloom, but before Applejack left for the city. Applejack might have left because they just lost the two providers for the family, forcing Big Mac to take care of the farm alone since she was too young and Granny was too old. They also had another mouth to feed, baby Applebloom. AJ might have chosen to leave so that she can bring money back home, or at least be less of a burden on her immediate family.

     Spike At Your Service 
  • The use of CGI for the Timberwolves make a whole lot of sense once you realize that they are the most unnatural creatures in the show. With their entire body made up of wood and with glowing green eyes and being able to combine into a giant version of themselves.
  • Spike seems to be more clumsy than usual when he starts helping Applejack than Twilight. But he's been Twilight's assistant ever since he was a baby, so they would know which tasks he would be good or bad at. However, he's just recently started serving Applejack and is faced with tasks different from what he usually does. Therefore he wouldn't know how well he would do on them.
    • Plus, of course, trying your hand at some new and unfamiliar task for the first time is always difficult simply because you literally don't know what you're doing yet. And Spike let his enthusiasm get the better of him instead of taking his time and asking for help in turn (as kids are often wont to do — he's a baby dragon, after all), so it's no surprise that he'd cause his share of unwitting disasters.
    • My problem with the former is that said tasks are things like typical chores and baking, things he has been shown to be decent at in various episodes. What's particularly jarring is his inability to wash dishes in Rarity's house without causing trouble when he goes over Rarity's place on regular basis to help her out. As for the latter, he manages to do anything Rarity says while head over heels in love with her. Maybe you could say it's different from being grateful for having your life saved, but Spike has shown that when he's devoted to someone, he's very proficient at whatever tasks he's given.
    • What if Spike feels so awful about leaving Twilight that he's unconsciously sabotaging himself?
  • Applejack's Damsel in Distress act is rightly panned by Rarity; she's quite unconvincing. Naturally. She's the embodiment of Honesty, and what they're trying to do is straight up Deception.
    • Wait, she participated in the deception against Darth Trixie and the Crystal Ponies without totally bombing it. What happened to "she's the embodiment of Honesty" those times?
      • In the case of the former, all she had to do was stand there and follow Twilight's lead, then play along with the illusion performance. And in the second, she dealt with the curious Crystal Ponies by distracting them with the fair. Note that at neither point did she actually LIE.
      • She still acted to deceive. Also, she did lie ("It's on its way", which Applejack had no way to know that for sure, not to mention, it hadn't yet been recovered at that point).
      • She said that trusting Twilight would bring it, and had no clue if it was or wasn't arriving so she isn't technically lying just giving her opinion. As a result all she is doing is passing the buck on to Twilight (this is a devious action but doesn't go against her Element of Honesty).
  • Spike refers to the code as "my dragon code", implying he made it up. Why would he want to make up his own noble code? So he doesn't act like those dragons from the episode Dragon Quest.
  • When in desperate need of information Twilight has been known to process the information contained within a book at insane rates, literally taking glances at books with her magic and tossing them aside realizing that it doesn't contain what she needs. In this episode Spike counts all the blades of grass on the Apple family farm, estimating them out to be over 24 million. Counting that high would take an average human being days, and Spike does it in less than a day. Looks like Spike learned how to process information just as quickly as Twilight.
  • Timber wolves are made of plant matter, so why would they be carnivorous? Simple, they're not connected to the soil, so they have to find other ways to get the nutrients they need.
  • At first, Spike not using his fire breath against woody monsters might seem strange, but one should remember that he was in the Everfree forest, and if he started a forest fire, hundreds of monsters might start running towards Ponyville.
    • Also, it's possible that Spike can be severely injured or even killed by magical creatures, despite him being too tough even by dragon standards. For example, Spike have stated he's fireproof, and, in 'Dragon's Quest' it's shown that Spike can swim in lava without ill effects, but phoenix's fire can blind or hurt dragons, and back in season one, in "Owl's Well That Ends Well", he is injured by an adult's dragon's fire. This shows that magic can hurt him, and since Timberwolves are obviously supernatural beings, he has good reason to fear them.
    • More importantly, if Spike breathed fire on the Timberwolves, they would undoubtedly die from it. Spike is not a killer (if you remember, he refused to smash the Phoenix Egg in Dragon Quest), so of course he would not use his fire to attack the Timberwolves, since he was a trespasser in their domain. When they left the forest and attacked his friend, however, the gloves came off, and he had no problem attacking, even if with just a rock.
      • Even more importantly, there's the chance that the Timberwolves wouldn't die right away from being set on fire. Which goes back to the problem of potentially starting a forest fire; whether the Timberwolves get pissed off and keep attacking or run away in terror, they're still burning Timberwolves running through a dense forest.
  • When did Spike come up with the idea of a "Noble Dragon's Code"? Perhaps after realizing that all the dragons he'd met so far were Jerks, he decided to set better standards for himself.
  • Some people have complained about the Mane Six not fighting the Timberwolves and opting to run since they've fought more dangerous monsters before. However, every time they've actually FOUGHT a predator or enemy, it was something that HAD to be fought (the Manticore to get to the Elements, the Hydra to buy time, the Cockatrice to save the CMC, ect.) and when Spike's life is on the line, AJ DOES fight. However, for the most part, there was no REASON for the mane six to stand their ground and risk injury fighting against dangerous predators when running was a perfectly valuable option.
    • Better yet: Predators that are very persistent and can basically regenerate very fast. It could be a battle of attrition at best. The moment one of the members of the group gets hurt or tired, things will only go downhill.
      • Except that the time it takes for them to regenerate is somewhat long, their forms are very fragile, and time spent regenerating is time they can put more distance between them and the Timberwolves. And there's a difference between running for a tactical withdrawal, and running because you're in bowel-loosening terror. They were in less fear when King Sombra was chasing them.
      • It's possible that the ponies in general have a Primal Fear on Timberwolves. That would make them try to escape them at sight even if knowing they can defeat them; this happens in Real Life with several animals that react in fear when seeing their natural predator for the first time, even if it's a situation where the predator isn't that dangerous at the moment. For example, all the primates have instinctive fear of snakes; a large gorilla will react with fear, or at least extreme caution, the first time he sees the tiniest snake.
  • This episode actually takes place after Just for Sidekicks. In that episode, Spike was greedy and uncaring, and knew that he was int he wrong. With that in mind, his overeagerness to please in this episode makes perfect sense. He's trying to atone for his actions with the pets by living up to the Noble Dragon Code. In fact, he probably didn't make the Code until after Sidekicks, just so he could keep track of how he should be acting, to keep himself from taking advantage of his friends again.

     Keep Calm And Flutter On 
  • Why was Discord so shocked to discover Fluttershy considered him her friend? Throughout the entire episode up until that point he probably thought she was only being nice to him because Celestia told her to. Then he finds out she was completely genuine and wanted him as her friend, something that by his own admission never happened before.
    • Something that Discord didn't expect? Maybe that's why he becomes friends with Fluttershy: it's just chaotic enough to both surprise and endear him.
  • During the dinner scene, Discord politely gives Pinkie some gravy when she asks for some, albeit by bringing the gravy boat to life and making it act like a dog. But then he proceeds to dump gravy all over Rainbow Dash and be rude to the other guests. Why was he nice to Pinkie for that brief moment? She was starting to see the good in him, unlike everypony else, who were still acting suspicious.
    • Not to mention the Element of Laughter is his favorite.
    • Also, it's possible that Discord gave the boat, candles and other stuff at the table some sort of conscience completely independent of his direct control. That way, the boat acts friendly towards Pinkie, who was acting nicely, and later the boat (and candles) act aggressively towards Rainbow Dash, who was being harsh and unfriendly at the moment. Knowing Discord, he probably expected this to happen, so he can indirectly give ponies a hard time and still behave properly himself in front of Fluttershy.
  • The strategy Fluttershy used was laced with brilliance: she spends the entire episode showing Discord the freedom he never experienced in 1000 years, all the while taking his actions with a grain of salt, and showing him kindness (unlike the other ponies that referred to him in a derogatory way while he was consciously imprisoned for the past 1000 years). In the end when Discord preforms an extreme action of chaos she retracts her friendship leaving him in the same state he was in when he was imprisoned, with no one at his side. This forces him to undo his actions if he doesn't want to end up as a lonely statue forever.
    • This is kind of like when a little kid gets a new toy for the first time, then when the kid misbehave parents threaten to take it away; this forces them to bend to the parents will. This seems a bit cynical for Fluttershy.
      • This troper viewed the whole "revoking friendship" thing to be a little out of character for Fluttershy too... Except, she wasn't trying to force him to reform. She genuinely thought of Discord as her friend and that he would reform once he learned how good having friends was. She asked him to do something which he then refused, then he mocked her and her friends. This was when she, essentially, gave up on being his friend. The surprise shown on her face after he returns Sweet Apple Acres to normal is due to her (briefly) thinking that maybe Discord could not be reformed.
      • It wasn't just being a statue. Discord spent however long he ruled Equestria treating ponies like toys, never actually getting to know one. After being forced to spend time with one and finding she was actually genuinely kind and friendly towards him, using ponies as toys was no longer as appealing as having one for a friend.
  • Fluttershy's success at reforming (most of the time) Discord is even more brilliant when you remember that this is the same pony that keeps a stubborn, bad-tempered, grumpy yet cares for her deep down rabbit named "Angel" as a pet.
    • After seeing Angel's behavior in "Just for Sidekicks" and considering everything else about the bunny, it's not too hard to imagine that Fluttershy's idea for reforming Discord - by sticking to being his friend no matter what - was probably based on her own experience of having to "tame" Angel with the same ploy and why she continues to let herself be a doormat at times to his actions.
    • Not just that, but Fluttershy's main talent consists on handling wild animals from several species, understanding each creature's particular needs and instincts... and, magical powers aside, what's Discord but a creature composed of several different animals? Fluttershy doesn't try to change his inner nature the same way she (usually) doesn't try to force the animals under her charge to act against their instincts, except stopping them from attacking each other; in other words, controlling their most destructive impulses. She basically tries to stop seeing Discord as a villain and treats him like a very impressive, unique creature that has several special talents and hard-to-handle-instincts that has to learn to live in society.
  • At the end of the episode, Discord realizes Fluttershy DOES matter to him and he doesn't want to lose her as his friend, but also note that he's actually civil with the rest of the mane six and by the time Celestia comes to get him they seem to have accepted his Heel–Face Turn. This makes sense when you realize Fluttershy is the first pony Discord has EVER seen as anything more than a toy and he's realized that he can and should care about them. His reaction to realizing this at Sweet Apple Acres makes a lot more sense.
    • It also might be a side effect of the fact that Fluttershy is, as far as we know, the first pony that actually treated him with a degree of dignity rather than as an enemy. It's entirely possible that Discord soured his initial interactions with the ponies due to his insanity, which prompted them to brand him an enemy. Fluttershy is first pony to actually try to be nice to him solely for his own sake rather than doing so to appease him or gain some sort of benefit. That's why he reacted so strongly when Fluttershy walked away. He realized that he had precisely nothing to gain from driving her away and that he could gain something from being nice in return. In short, he realized that a world of chaos without Fluttershy as a friend wasn't worth it.
  • Fluttershy promises not to use her element against Discord any longer. Mere minutes after she makes that promise, she stops being nice to him, basically rescinding their friendship. What's her element? Kindness. She decided to stop being kind to him, and that was what ultimately convinced Discord that the friendship was worth preserving. Fluttershy basically got Discord to flip by demonstrating that he benefited from her being in her element. Discord was Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Celestia doesn't stay to see The Mane Six liberating Discord. This was very wise of her, since obviously, she'd be one of the ponies (besides Luna) Discord has the most personal problems with, and he would probably start arguing and maybe even try to fight her directly the moment he was out of his rocky prison, so it would be necessary to use the Elements against him almost instantly, ruining Celestia's plan of reforming him.
  • Many people believe that Fluttershy was selected by Celestia to aid in Discord's reform either because she'd shown remarkable resistance to his Breaking Speeches in the past, or because of the very nature of her Element. While these may have a good deal to do with it, perhaps Celestia felt Fluttershy might be able to empathize more with Discord's fate should he fail to reform, seeing as how Fluttershy herself was once nearly turned to stone.
    • Going by that logic, Twilight is a good choice to make the call to re-imprison him since she actually was turned to stone.
  • Discord saying "Friendship is magic" is fridge brilliance in and of itself. Rather than using a spell or the Elements of Harmony to forcefully change Discord into good, Fluttershy single-hoofedly convinces him to change his ways (mostly) just by genuinely wanting to be his friend. This is the same Discord that brainwashed, tormented, and utterly emotionally destroyed ponies just for his own amusement. He learns the Power of Friendship through the simple act of someone being nice to him.
    • Likewise, Fluttershy not forcing him into being good but rather having him realize on his own that he's overstepped his bounds when he learns he'd rather be friends with her than return to his evil ways. What is Discord the god of, again? Chaos. Chaos cannot be controlled. Fluttershy knew this and instead helped Discord realize he could be Chaotic Good (or Chaotic Neutral) instead of Chaotic Evil by befriending him.
  • Here's a bit of meta-fridge brilliance. This episode was a very divisive one; some fans loved the idea of Discord being redeemed and others hated it, some fans felt the episode felt rushed, that it contradicted a lot of fanfics and fanworks. In other words, by turning to the side of good, Discord has created chaos. Discord, you Magnificent Bastard.
    • Another meta-fridge brilliant moment: Discord sees the ponies as nothing more than cheap playthings. But by the end of the episode, he's forced to admit that "Friendship is Magic." Now imagine all those people watching the show who started out thinking that My Little Pony was just a dumb show built around a line of girls' toys...
  • Discord previously had no problems with splitting up friendships and encouraging distrust among them, as we saw him demonstrate before on the Mane Six. But then in this episode he states that he never had a friend before himself. While it's easy to hate him for breaking up Twilight's friends back during his first appearance and laughing about it, it might be reasonable to assume that he held no guilt over his actions because he never actually had a friend before and therefore could never have understood just how much it would hurt to lose one until now.
    • This makes his My God, What Have I Done? moment make all the more sense; in that moment of realizing he'd jeopardized the one REAL friendship he'd ever had, he finally understood what it'd felt like to Twilight and the others.
    • There is almost a slight pivot to this in Return of Harmony, similar to this episode with Fluttershy, Discord attempts to convince a depressed Twilight to enjoy the chaos, but is brushed off. He actually seems visibly dejected by this, before pulling a Big "YES!" and continuing merrily with his fun. Discord for a brief moment actually knew what it was like to get rejected as a friend for his cruelty, just until Fluttershy took him in, he couldn't make the connection so very quickly shrugged it off.
    • Maybe. But it is completely within Discord's character to laugh when something tragic happens to someone else and cry foul when the same happens to him. He didn't reform for any moral reason, he just has someone that can make him behave.
  • In Return of Harmony Discord makes Twilight lose faith in her friends by using magic to warp their personalities. Here, Twilight seeks magic to alter Discord's personality, demonstrating a complete lack of faith in Fluttershy from the start. In a twisted way, if she'd succeeded, he'd have won.
  • It was odd to see Rainbow Dash act like a total bitch towards Discord, always on his case and the like. It could be because out of all the ponies, Rainbow Dash was hit the hardest, heck, even harder than Twilight. For one, Discord took away her wings, which to her are like her pride and joy. And unlike the others, who were either Mind Raped by Discord, forced into being discorded, or crossed the Despair Event Horizon to get discorded, Rainbow Dash had to make a Sadistic Choice, in which either situation betrayed her very element. Needless to say, you'd be pissed at Discord if he pulled that kind of shit on you.
  • Another piece of fridge brilliance is the subtle yet very effective form of Character Development for Fluttershy. Compare how she responds to seeing the reformed Princess Luna in Nightmare Night to how she responds to the reformed Discord here. In Nightmare Night Fluttershy still sees Luna as Nightmare Moon and is terrified when she shows up wanting help to fit in with the other ponies. In Keep Calm And Flutter On she's more than willing to help Discord since she believes there is some good in him and even says that he's a sweetheart once you get to know him. In other words, Fluttershy has learned since helping Princess Luna that a person shouldn't be judged on their past alone. That anyone should have the chance for redemption.
    • I thought her increased fear of Luna (Nightmare Moon) was a result of her fear of other ponies in general. The reason she was more willing to accept Discord was because he was a Draconequis and not a pony. Her Sociaphobia was probably attributed to how much she was bullied by other ponies as a filly that she lost faith in them and is more willing to accept other creatures as friends (she has a fear of dragons, but was more willing to talk to Spike over Twilight when she first met them). Aside from her few pony friends she doesn't accept other ponies well (but she seems to be getting better at it as the series progresses.)
      • You make some good points, but that's not what I was getting at. I was pointing out that, in Luna Eclipsed, Fluttershy (like many other ponies in the episode) still saw Luna as "Nightmare Moon" and was unwilling to believe she had been reformed and wanted help on making friends. In Keep Calm And Flutter On, however, she's one of the few ponies (apart from Celestia) who believes that Discord can be reformed and is willing to help him understand the importance of friendship. It has nothing to do with her shyness or her being bullied or whatnot. Nor does it have to do with her fear of ponies in general. The fridge brilliance comes from her realizing that just because someone is/was evil in the past that doesn't mean they are incapable of changing their ways.
      • But that doesn't entirely make sense that means that Twilight all of a sudden feels it's not worth reforming villains. In Luna Eclipsed she was the only one that wanted to reform Luna (as time when on most of the others agreed to help her as well), now all of a sudden Twilight is the first to turn to using magic to force him to be good. It does make sense why they all dislike him, after everything he did to the Mane 6 his actions were far worse than anything Luna did, but now Fluttershy who was least willing to help Nightmare Moon (all she did was get held down by Twilight, yelled at by Luna, and then passed out when Luna hugged her in her frightened state) wants to help Discord, by this logic every pony except Fluttershy declined as a character.
      • I think I see what you are getting at, Fluttershy didn't improve as a character, because she has always been the same kind sympathizing Fluttershy. Every time they faced an enemy the others were unable to sympathize with because they couldn't understand them (eg. Cerberus, the Manticore, the dragon) she had always been the best judge of character for organisms that were of a different species. This is one of those cases where the enemy is a Draconicus, because of her special talent she understands his intentions better than the others and is able to sympathize with him better. This was something she couldn't do with Luna (or other ponies for that matter) and as a result is forced to understand them at face value, but she is terrified of them because of her childhood.
  • Celestia giving Twilight the Elements for keeps might not entirely have to do with Discord, but rather having to do to ensuring the times where they needed them, but couldn't get to them don't happen.
  • While it was obviously intended as a prank on Discord's part to flood Sweet Apple Arches, and then turn it into a frozen lakebed, the ice serves as a fitting form of symbolism. By forming an ice pond Discord is intentionally putting distance between himself and the ponies that are trying to be his friends, or at least tolerate him, and is thus figuratively forming a barrier of ice around his heart. It is only when Fluttershy points out that she doesn't have to be his friend if Discord is going to act like this that he realizes that his wild use of chaos will make him lose his only true friend. By returning things back to normal Discord has chosen friendship over his heart of ice.
  • When you stop to think about it, Fluttershy is not only the best choice to make an attempt at reforming Discord, but is also the one that is the least likely to abuse her friendship with him.
  • Given who Discord is considered an Expy of, it makes sense he could be redeemed Q started off as a flat out antagonist prosecuting the human race but in the end softened up, teaching 'lessons' and in the finale actually become their advocate, stealthily at least.

     Games Ponies Play 
  • During Rainbow Dash's flashback, why wasn't The Equestrian Games hosted in Cloudsdale? This was mainly because Cloudsdale is in the clouds and only pegasi can walk on them. Since the event would take days with visitors all over Equestria (specifically non-pegasi) its not gonna end well.
  • While it is a tiny moment the scene where Twilight stands together with Princess Cadance and does a breathing exercise says a lot about her character. Normally Twilight has some very serious mental breakdowns when things aren't orderly, but here she learns to calm her mind and just breath the stress right out of her system. This shows that Twilight has learned that freaking out does not make her situation better. Furthermore it shows how close Twilight is to Cadance that she can be so calm around her, Cadance truly is Twilight's older sister figure where she doesn't have to put on any pretense of being a leader but just be herself.
  • Shining Armor being the coach for the players that are going to participate in the upcoming sports event is a fitting callback to what his job was before he was a Prince. He used to be the Captain of the Canterlot Guards, and the job of a Captain is to make sure that his troops are trained and prepared for their duties. Even as a Prince, Shining Armor can't let go of his military instincts and feels natural being the coach in such a setting.
  • It might seem strange that the tourist pony has such a bad case of claustrophobia, but towards the end of the episode she says that she's a wild Mustang. She's probably spent all her life outdoors on a wide open plain. In the castle she couldn't see the sky or horizon that's been there all her life, and being cooped up in a train car for however long probably didn't help either. It makes sense that she goes wild after finally being let outside.
    • Maybe that's why her luggage bag was damaged, she did it herself!
  • Studio B is based in Vancouver, the host city of the 2010 Olympic Games. The motto of those games was "With Glowing Hearts." Is it any coincidence that this episode is set in a place with an actual glowing Crystal heart?
  • Some might think that the real inspector was pushed around the entire time, but note her complaint that she received no welcome, meaning that she was expecting a proper welcome from those who were assigned to do it and really didn't care about some of the hell she suffered, which is no more apparent than the fact that, as stated in the "Just For Sidekicks" entry, she also wanted to see if the place is good enough—something she eventually confirmed thanks to a satisfied tourist.
  • Rainbow Dash rather vigorously taking full blame for mistaking another pony for the inspector makes even sense when you consider Twilight was just on the verge of doing the same. She has already saw first hand how much disappointing peer pressure affects Twilight, and even in this case, where she is actually capable of admitting her error, Twilight's meek and crushed disposition is evident (even her breathing exercises had stopped working), probably spearheading Rainbow's guilt on the matter.
  • When the ponies line up at the train station, their order is different than in the same scene in Just for Sidekicks. Maybe Pinkie thought it would be boring to do the same lineup again?

     Magical Mystery Cure 
  • There's a store in Ponyville that sells quills and sofas. Rarity consumes enough of those items to justify a such a store.
    • Wait, what? Why Rarity? Quills are more of Twilight's domain, and Rarity is only even shown having one sofa...
    • That store is also a Continuity Nod to "Owl's Well That Ends Well". But, yes, Rarity may well be one of their main customers. (Of course, at least for the "quills" part, so's probably Twilight. No wonder Spike would be familiar with it!)
    • A personal WMG is that he started selling quills after Twilight moved to Ponyville and he saw a business opportunity.
      • Or as this troper interprets, all of the couches that are sold at that store are stuffed with feathers. The owner just sells the quality quills that he picks out from the rest at a higher mark-up so that he always has business.
  • The destiny switched manes failing completely seems kinda weird on the face of it. Pinkie has helped with farmwork, Fluttershy has arranged parties for her animals, Rarity was able to push the clouds around just fine, Rainbow does have some experience with animals, and even sewing some fabric together is within Applejack's skill set. But that's part of the problem, they are being forced to live each other's destinies, and are trying to approach their new duties the same way that the pony that they were swapped with would approach it. Pinkie Pie is throwing herself into all the farm work as hard as possible, taking every job deathly seriously. Fluttershy has to make people laugh all the time, even perfect strangers. Rarity is handling the weather as quickly as possible with little foresight and planning, while she wants to focus on her actual desire. Rainbow Dash is trying to take care of all the animals around her by pleading with them. Applejack can't just make a serviceable dress, she has to make a style statement that will turn heads from Canterlot to Manehattan. They were doing so badly at their new jobs because they weren't allowed to approach them in a way that would play to their strengths, and would have done better if they were capable of using their preferred strategies.
    • Also, Pinkie Pie is a former farm girl, but she's a rock farmer. It takes nothing at all to see how drastically different rock farming and apple orchard tending would be.
      • Except Pinkie managed to help Applejack just fine in the past when she was using her own skills. It was farming like Applejack, instead of like herself, that gave her trouble. She was trying to run a farm like Applejack, instead of how she herself would run it that was tripping her up. On a similar note, if Rarity had been in her right mind she would have organized the clouds properly instead of just throwing it out like Rainbow does. They all actually would have been more successful in the jobs of their friends if they had been acting like themselves.
      • Fun Fact: Pinkie Pie usually knocks down fruit by shaking the tree with her front legs, rather than kicking with her hind legs the way Applejack does.
    • Another problem is that they were all effectively doing those jobs for the first time, and trying to do them as well as the extremely talented originals did. They all jumped in well over their heads.
    • Not only that, but they were beginning to act like each other. Rainbow Dash meekly poked her head out and was pleading with the animals as Fluttershy would. Fluttershy was sad when nobody thought she was making them happy a la Pinkie Pie during Party of One. Pinkie Pie had adopted Applejack's accent and was stubbornly trying to fix the broken water pipe. Applejack was starting to act dramatic like Rarity would when she put her hoof on her forehead, and Rarity said she wanted to keep on trying, thereby remaining loyal to her job.
  • Rarity tried to make her weather fashionable, something that Rainbow never did, and an overt display of her true nature that the others were denied. But Rainbow did the weather as quickly as possible, because that allowed her to incorporate her real desire for speed and excitement into it. Rarity was treating her weather job the same way as Rainbow, putting her desire outside of her job into how she handled it.
  • Putting this here for lack of a better location: The burn left in the floor when Twilight vanishes is a copy of her cutie mark.
  • Probably obvious, but worth noting: Celestia tells Twilight that her knowledge of friendship was what allowed her to complete Star Swirl's spell. Recalling what Twilight was like in the very beginning, it appears that Star Swirl was the type of pony Twilight would have become without the influence of her friends: an accomplished unicorn with massive magical talent, but lacking the understanding that 'friendship is magic' and all that came with it. Perhaps she would have been content with her books and original conviction that she didn't 'need' friends. Then again...
    • Twilight's entire education being a gambit by Celestia. She recognized Twilight's potential to become an alicorn from her first (spectacular) audition for the academy, and set out to make sure that the angsty, bookish loner became the Power of Friendship ... instead, of, say, the Power of Ambition, the Power of Solitude, or something else potentially dangerous. Celestia guided Twilight along this entire path, making her a better person and one worthy of the power she would inevitably discover.
  • Look at the order the characters appear in in 'What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me' and 'A True, True Friend.' In the first, the order goes from a character, to the character the first 'took' the cutie mark from - Rainbow Dash took Fluttershy's mark, so it goes Dash to Fluttershy. In 'A True, True Friend,' it goes from one character, to that character's proper cutie mark - Rainbow Dash going to take back the weather from Rarity, Rarity going to Applejack. It's the opposite of the first song, undoing the damage done there!
  • The end of Twilight's story arc wasn't becoming a princess, it was going from being student to being a teacher. Having learned so much about friendship, it is now her duty to teach others about it. The Student Twilight arc has just ended, and the Princess Twilight arc has just started.
  • Why would Twilight be granted Alicorn-hood simply by completing an ancient spell? Because, if you think about it, Star Swirl's spell switches ponies' places in life, e.g., it makes them understand each other, something that would be paramount in a world where friendship is so heavily relevant. It's rather fascinating to think about.
  • Star Swirl the Bearded's spell reads: "From one to another, another to one. A mark of one's destiny singled out alone, fulfilled." Twilight didn't cast it on the Elements by accident; she cast it on herself, causing her destiny to be jump-started through the chain of events resulting from her friends' switched cutie marks.
  • The very first song we were introduced to in this season was Twilight singing about that, despite her copious and clear talents, she isn't prepared for the duty ahead of her. And then the very last song in the third season we hear is how everything is going to be fine. It seems practically as though the last episode was basically an answer to the first. No, Twilight was certainly not prepared for the responsibility that was suddenly thrust upon her...but just like in real life, just because you aren't prepared for something that lands in your lap, it doesn't mean you don't have the talents to make it through with flying colors anyway. It's more like a Fridge Heartwarming, a way of saying "just because something huge and unexpected gets put on your shoulders, it doesn't mean you can't make it work"...which could also apply to the show itself! "No, you fans weren't prepared for this big change, but you know we're talented and we can make it happen." Frankly, an awesome message in my opinion!
  • By helping her friends save their destinies, Twilight fulfilled her own destiny.
  • The Manes were able to restore their cutie marks without Twilight casting any more spells. Why? Because as was said in the first season, no spell can make a cutie mark appear. The swapped marks were every bit as fake as the ones that Twilight made appear on Apple Bloom's rear two seasons ago.
    • Alternatively, Twilight didn't do any obvious spells, but once again the friendship was the required magic.
  • Twilight's friends aren't acting like their normal selves, so Twilight has to restore their memories to get them back to normal, resulting in a huge burst of magic. Gee, does that sound familiar?
  • Near the end, notice that the magic that transformed Twilight into an alicorn didn't come from her horn, but from her heart.
  • When the mane six's destinies were switched, Rarity wound up with Rainbow Dash's cutie mark and was in charge of the weather- except Dash earned her cutie mark by flying fast enough to perform a Sonic Rainboom, not by weather control. Well, Rarity can't fly, therefore she would be physically unable to act out having Dash's actual destiny.
    • This also applies to Applejack, who has no horn and therefore can not find gems through magic, which is Rarity's special talent. That explains why she's making dresses.
    • Maybe Destiny and personality are different and their destiny more or less complements their personalities; Rainbow has always been competitive her special ability (her destined skill) is to fly fast that complements her personality, Rarity has always been a lovable over dramtic fashion designer her special ability allows her designs to sparkle and stand out, Fluttershy is shy gentle and quiet (already a good skill to have around animals) is made better with her ability to understand ( even if its not word for word) and communicate with them, Pinkie Pie is a little different she grew up on a dull grey rock farm she's (its implied) never even seen anyone smile Rainbow's SRB made her happy her ability to spread that happiness make her the Pinkie Pie we all know and love.
  • Twilight was said to know friendship in a way that Star Swirl did not. Star Swirl lived in an age of institutionalized racism. He would have looked upon pegasi and earth ponies as unimportant peons, at best. Of course Twilight, who has friends of all three races, would understand friendship better.
  • Some fans were asking, 'Why is Twilight being rewarded for screwing up?' Well, this troper realized while watching it that Twilight isn't being rewarded- not, at least, for making mistakes as she's done the entire series. The thing that made MMC different from episodes like Lesson Zero was that this time, Twilight fixed her own mistake and solved the problem without outside assistance. That's what adults everywhere have to do, and it symbolizes the beginning of Twilight's maturity that she did. That's what she was rewarded for- why Celestia crowned her a princess then. She's becoming independent and genuinely responsible on her own.
  • One of the most common complaints is that Celestia doesn't uplift the rest of the Mane Six. Why is Twilight being singled out for immortality? And then it hit me. The other protagonists all have something important to them that being uplifted would take away. Applejack would have to spend less time with her family if she were a princess. Hell, she might not even be allowed to work the farm she loves! Fluttershy would be the center of attention all the time and would have to retreat even further into herself (as she did in the model episode), crippling her relationships, just to get any time alone. A princess' schedule would wreak havoc with Rarity's career, and she'd never be sure if ponies liked her work or just wanted to curry favour with her. Pinkie Pie would not enjoy the solemn, reserved royal court, and neither would Rainbow Dash. Uplifting them would eventually ruin their lives and take time away from the hobbies they love. In comparison, look at Twilight. She's a little shy, but not awkward enough to be bad at a social job, like princesshood. Her family, and at least some of her friends, are part of Equestria's aristocracy, so she wouldn't have to leave them. Sorcery takes time to practise, but not so much time that it would cut into royal work- and it's something that alicorns/unicorns are expected to do. She's courteous enough to work well with other heads of state, and can easily adapt to new social situations. She can blend the life and habits and personality she already has into a monarch's schedule and responsibilities. That's why she was uplifted.
    • This crosses a bit into Wild Mass Guessing, but following along with the above, specifically how sorcery takes time to learn: Unless something specifically says otherwise, there's a legitimate chance that being uplifted into an Alicorn also confers, if not immortality, then a longer lifespan from a normal pony, giving Twilight the time she needs to master her art.
    • Somewhat Jossed, as a major theme of Season 4 was Twilight coping with the interruptions to her life caused by becoming a princess.
  • Meghan McCarthy has stated that while Twilight, even though she's an Alicorn princess, actually will still live in Ponyville with her friends and actually won't outlive them (suggesting that being an Alicorn alone doesn't make a pony immortal and Celestia and Luna's 1000+ year lifespan was caused by something else). But it actually makes sense for Twilight's princesshood to be portrayed in such a downplayed matter, since the Elements of Harmony require the entire Mane 6 to maintain their friendship with each other, it would be wiser for Twilight, even as a princess, to not be overly burdened with anything that may distance her from her friends in anyway. Otherwise, if there is gonna be another villain that seeks to invade Equestria, the mane 6 might not be in any shape to defend Equestria without Twilight.
    • Knowing the staff's love of Exact Words, it could also suggest that her friends will somehow end up with extended lifespans.
    • All of the Mane Six ending up imbued with the power of the Rainbow of Light in the season 4 finale makes it even more likely this will be the case.
    • This could very well be a case of over-analyzing. Meghan McCarthy's statement could simply mean that they would never show Twilight outliving her friends in a show like this. Celestia and Luna are over a thousand years old and have very realistically outlived everypony they have ever known many times over; of course, this has never been addressed or even hinted at. The same could go for Twilight; she could very well outlive all her friends in the distant future, but that will never be addressed in the show.
    • What if the reason why she doesn't outlive her friends is that she DIES FROM EXTERNAL MEANS. Shes royalty, and therefore a target.
  • Linked to the very second episode: while the other Elements took the form of necklaces, Twilight's is a crown. Seems it was planned from the start...

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