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Fridge Brilliance / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 4

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     Princess Twilight Sparkle, Parts 1 & 2 
  • Discord insists he "could not possibly take responsibility" for the vines encroaching from the Everfree Forest... except that he was responsible, as seen in a flashback in part 2 of the episode. Of course, given Discord's love of trickery with words, there's a way to consider this Metaphorically True: the plunder seeds were planted by the old Discord, a tyrannical sociopath who saw Equestria and its denizens as his playthings and had yet to discover the magic of friendship. If the Mane Six had called him out on lying, I could totally see him trying to weasel out of it in this fashion.
    • He's also not going to 'take responsibility' for what he did because doing so could see him turned back to stone.
  • At first, the idea of Discord being summoned by the Elements Of Harmony may not make sense. But, then you realize that chaos is a part of harmony. After all, harmony is chaos and order working in balance.
  • When Discord is teasing Twilight Sparkle for abandoning her friends because she's a princess, he shrinks down and appears inside one of her ears. He's doing so that she will get annoyed and go to help her friends. In other words, he's a "Q-tip".
  • In the episode(s), Discord proceeds to troll the ponies as well as not reveal he was technically the one behind the whole thing (Since it was before his reformation). Now, this may seem like he's not really reformed, until you remember that Fluttershy befriended Discord by letting him be himself and him learning empathy by realizing going to far hurts those he cares about. Plus, while he does still toy with them for his own amusement, he no longer tries to cruelly manipulate them and his trolling seems more like semi-harmless teasing rather than being outright malicious towards them.
    • Even more brilliant is that his trolling actually serves to help the ponies rather than harm them. First he sarcastically tells them to ask Zecora if she knows anything, then he taunts Twilight for abandoning her friends instead of helping them, and finally he casually mentions he was the one who planted the seeds but didn't tell anyone so Twilight could learn a lesson about being a princess. He even remarks "What kind of friend do you think I am?" when Twilight calls him out on it. In other words, he was still willing to help his friends, but in his own jerkish way. Not to mention that he is the God Of Chaos. Of course he's gonna help in the most frustrating, confusing, and least straightforward way possible.
  • The Tree of Harmony being underneath the old Royal Castle does a lot to explain why the castle would be located in the Everfree Forest of all places.
  • The main symbol on the Tree of Harmony from the start is a 6-pointed star, alongside Celestia's and Luna's cutie marks. Consider that Celestia would remain knowledgeable about this tree, this may imply that Celestia had been looking for a unicorn/alicorn with a similar 6-pointed star for their cutie mark. Obviously, in the end this was Twilight, but before this, there was at least one other unicorn that Celestia took on as her personal prodigy that also has a 6-point cutie mark (even if not the same configuration), and that was Sunset Shimmer.
  • At the end, Twilight performs what looks like her own version of the Sonic Rainboom (though it seems considerably less powerful). Keep in mind Rainbow Dash was her teacher. It's entirely possible Rainbow TAUGHT IT TO HER.
    • Though Meghan McCarthy has clarified that Twilight's star-effect wasn't the same as Rainbow's - it was just a magic effect played out at the right time, as opposed to breaking the sound barrier as in Rainbow's Rainboom.
    • Another theory: Rainbow Dash didn't teach her that. Rarity did. Rarity knows spells that allow her to conjure illusions and fireworks displays to add flair to fashion shows, as seen in "Suited For Success". Surely it'd take no effort at all for a magic savant like Twilight to scale it up and personalize it.
  • When Celestia and Luna take out the Elements of Harmony to defeat Discord, look closely to see which sister is holding which Element. Celestia has generosity, kindness, and magic, while Luna has loyalty, honesty, and laughter. They represented those elements at the time. But when Luna became Nightmare Moon, she stopped being loyal to her sister. The two sisters were no longer connected to the Elements of Harmony because of that.
  • When the Mane 6 give up the elements, Twilight lifts them all up and magically swirls them all around her. However, she's not really firing a laser beam like Celestia did in the flashback, so why did she even do so? Well, that's what she saw Celestia doing, so she was probably trying to copy her mentor in the handling of the elements, regardless of exactly what they were trying to do.

     Castle Mane-ia 
  • Some Fridge Humor: One of the secret passages triggered by the Organ to the Outside is located on Luna's throne.
    • Um, this may sound weird, but I don't get it.
      • Imagine Princess Luna, sitting on her throne, going about her business, when all of a sudden the Organ to the Outside activates and tosses her outside.
    • In a nutshell, Princess Trollestia strikes again.
      • Not necessarily. If The Journal Of The Two Sisters is anything to go by, most of the amusement stuff has been designed by Luna herself. Hence, if Celestia had anything to do with this, she likely just went to town on building her sister's contraptions (or having them built).
  • Until she was discovered Pinkie Pie was playing the organ ominously because she thought they were having a "Everypony Come to the Scary Old Castle and Hide From Each Other While I Play the Organ" party. After she was discovered she got more playful with it. She was creating atmosphere, so once the party was over she didn't have to keep it up anymore.
  • At first it seems that Pinkie Pie being able to play the organ so well even when she didn't know she could just seems like her being well...Pinkie but when one considers her being able to play so many instruments at several different points throughout the series, generally being well versed in performing with musical instruments; it very much seems to imply that Pinkie is a musical prodigy, able to play practically any instrument by ear
  • It makes a lot of sense that Rarity would bring Fluttershy along to help restore ancient tapestries, seeing as Fluttershy has a "freaky knowledge of sewing".
    • It also helps that Fluttershy can fly which would be helpful in getting the tapestries down.
  • The Two Sisters' Castle has all those trapdoors and sliding walls because it used to be a "fun" castle, as Twilight discovers when reading about its history. The brilliance here is that means that, when it was new, the Two Sisters' Castle would have looked just like a child's castle playset! This is a show inspired by a toyline, after all!
  • Look carefully at Pinkie's 'scoreboard' covered in doodles instead of numbers. Assuming the two hearts on the upper left are one symbol (and why would identical symbols be used for two items anyway?), there are exactly eight symbols for Rainbow Dash and Applejack, meaning they really have a tied score of eight-all!
  • When they hear the organ playing for the last time Twilight's friends all jump on her, and she carries them a short distance. In past episodes such as "Winter Wrap-Up" and "Fall Weather Friends" she was stated to not be particularly strong or athletic. However, now that she has transformed, it is reasonable to assume that in addition to pegasus wings she also gained Earth pony strength.
    • Except that Twilight Sparkle was able to carry Tom, an even heavier weight, back when she was a unicorn pony. Twilight isn't all that strong by pony standards, but the series has repeatedly shown that ponies are very, very strong. Except when the show requires otherwise, that is. So far, no proof of any power boost. Also, Rarity and Fluttershy kept their hooves on the ground rather than jumping on Twilight, so she was only holding Rainbow and Applejack.
  • It's been known since the first half of season one that the Everfree Forest manages to take care of itself, unlike the rest of Equestria which has magically controlled weather, plant growth, and animal life. Now it seems that part of Nightmare Moon still lives in the abandoned castle inside the forest, in other words the Everfree forest exists because that small part has been resisting Celestia for one thousand years.
    • Except that the Everfree forest predated Nightmare Moon, meaning that she had nothing to do sustaining it...
  • Thinking back on it, Applejack and Rainbow Dash's plan to see who can stay in the castle the longest was doomed to failure. For one of them to win, the other would have to flee the scary castle while leaving the first one behind in the scary castle. Neither Applejack nor Rainbow Loyalty Dash would do that - they'd stick together despite their fears, or at least try to drag the other out of the castle with them.
    • Well, if they hadn't been separated, they would have just stuck together until one of them finally said "Okay, you win! I'm ready to get out of here now!" and then they would have presumably left together.
  • A pipe organ is a massive, intricate, and delicate piece of musical machinery...yet it was one of the few parts of the castle that wasn't falling apart? Also, the fact that the pipes were in tune and clean enough to produce strong, clear tones suggests somepony had been maintaining the organ.
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     Daring Don't 
  • The Travel Montage map shown is the same as pre-Season 3 Equestria map. This places Yearling's house somewhat near Vanhoover, the Expy for Vancouver and the real-world home of DHX Studios.
    • This also means there'a apparently Aztec temples in the Great White North. At least one film considered this possibility.
  • All of the Mane 6 seem to be okay with invading Yearling's privacy... except Twilight who, despite being as big a fan of the Daring Do books as RD (possibly bigger), is the voice of reason in this episode. Why? Well, if the toyline is telling the truth her mother is an author meaning Twi's family may very well have been on the receiving end of Loony Fan shenanigans, so of course she'd be well acquainted with how bad of an idea they are.
    • Judging from the season premiere she's getting plenty of that treatment just for being a princess.
  • One bothersome part of Daring Do's character is that she doesn't trust anyone because her work always involves secrets, yet she writes about all her adventures without changing the names. This doesn't make much sense for an adventurer, but that bit of information takes on a whole new meaning if Daring was actually talking about her work as an author. Writing is a job that heavily involves secrets. You sign non-disclosure agreements to keep what you're working on a secret, and if you're writing a big storyline, you keep certain elements a secret from readers and revealing them at the right time. It's hard to trust people when you're a creator too, because even your relatives and close friends could betray you and leak crucial plot information. You also can't trust your superiors, all because of pesky Executive Meddling. If the Daring Do books were considered to be an analogue for the show, then the real Daring Do is an analogue for the show's writing team.

     Flight to the Finish 
  • I realized something about Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo's relationship after this episode. Everybody focuses on Rainbow Dash as the flyer, so I think they think that Scootaloo wants to emulate that part of Rainbow Dash and have the same goal of becoming a Wonderbolt as her. But I think she admires Dash for her attitude and personality and showmanship in general. She doesn't need to fly to be like Rainbow Dash - she just needs to be confident in herself and her abilities and loyal to her friends. And Dash seems to think the same way, as she acknowledges that Scoot might never be able to fly but obviously doesn't think any less of her for it. Crowning Fridge Brilliance of Heartwarming?
  • While the episode leaves ambiguous whether or not Scootaloo will be able to fly eventually, and granted, to complain about getting no solid conclusion on that issue would be missing the point of the episode entirely, however, if you look at the episode's title; "Flight to the Finish" one can make the argument that the title has a double-meaning behind it; if Scootaloo will be able to fly, we may not know for certain until the show nears it's end.
  • Snowflake is seemingly scared of butterflies. It may simply be an irrational fear played Just For Laughs, but also consider that at one point, at least temporarily, the rest of Ponyville was scared of somebody connected with butterflies. Perhaps there was a cut scene of Fluttershy going all New Fluttershy on the poor guy.
  • Once again, the CMC neglect to tell the adult in charge about Diamond Tiara's bullying, thereby allowing her to go unpunished. Except this time around, the adult in charge is Rainbow Dash. Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle all know adults that can handle the situation with Diamond Tiara rationally and without causing further collateral damage to those around them. Rainbow Dash, still notorious for her bad habit of leaping into action without thinking things through, is not one of those adults.
  • This episode is similar to "Somepony To Watch Over Me" and "For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils", in that it implies why the respective crusaders are so eager to get their cutie marks. Scootaloo, who is deeply insecure about her inability to fly like other pegasai, wants to know what she is meant to do if she is not meant to fly.

     Power Ponies 
  • The first thing Rarity summons with her power? A tea set. Why? Well, why were they looking for Spike in the first place? They took a break for tea and crumpets! And since Radiance' gems grant her the ability to create energy constructs by imagining them, it was likely she was still hungry and this was the first thing that came to mind, regardless of their current situation (i.e. stuck inside a tornado).
  • The Mane Six's powers are facets of their own personalities and abilities.
    • Rainbow Dash can manipulate the weather. Zapp uses the weather as a weapon.
    • Twilight can shoot beams from her horn. Same ability as Masked Matter-Horn.
    • Applejack is amazing at the rope. Mistress Mare-velous uses a magic rope.
    • Rarity's all about the intricate details of things, say nothing of creativity and imagination. Which is the perfect personality for Radiance's "attack constructs".
    • Pinkie already has freaky super-speed. It gets cranked Up to Eleven when she becomes Fili-Second.
    • Fluttershy is usually kind and meek, but turns terrifying when she DOES lose it. Like Zapp, being Saddle Rager just weaponizes it.
  • The Mane-iac doesn't paralyze Spike/Humdrum on the excuse he's not worth the effort, but the real reason might be that the paralyzer is a special hair spray, and Spike's a hairless dragon, so it would be useless against him!! That's why the villainess prefers to demoralize him instead of trying to use a weapon that, when failing, would convince him that he's not as useless as he thought.
  • In the Mane-iac's hideout, almost all the henchmen look exactly the same. This seems like lazy animating at first glance. But when you think about it, how many real superhero comics are there where every nameless Mook has unique looks?
  • Pinkie constantly using her Super Speed to get food is due to the fact that her powers likely use up a lot of calories and energy.
  • As pointed out in the Fridge Horror page, the Mane-iac seems to actively try to get the ponies to finish the story the right way, not unlike a dungeon master in a roleplaying game. This makes sense when it's shown the comics are sold in a store: they're likely more akin to virtual reality games or roleplaying games.
    • It also makes sense when you realize that this episode is NOT a reference to superhero comic books. It is a reference to superhero comic-book MMORPGs. Because early in this season's production cycle, there was a bit of an uproar across the internet about City of Heroes' abrupt cancellation and looming shutdown deadline. From the looks of it, DHX just took that game's premise and adapted it into an MLP episode.
    • That would also explain why someone sold Spike, a character analogous to a young child, such a powerful magical artifact in the first place. Because there isn't any real danger, he can't really be hurt by it. Nobody can. The entire magic world inside the comic is nothing more than a fantasy/escapist entertainment device that lets you play the role of Super Hero. It's stated you have to defeat the villain to leave the story, but it's never stated or shown that failure means you really can die or end up trapped inside forever. It's possible Mane-iac will always perform Bond Villain Stupidity, monologue for hours on end if needed, be Genre Blind about ignoring the plucky sidekick, etc, just to ensure the user always has a way to "win". Also, the entire city of Maretropolis seems to have nobody in it aside from the heroes and the villain and her henchponies, so there's no way to accidentally hurt any bystanders either.
    • Fluttershy's difficulty Hulking Out as Saddle Rager is similar to a new player having trouble roleplaying her character. The Mane-iac swatting a firefly is a variation of a classic Dungeon Master Enforced Method Acting technique: killing an NPC to trick the new player into roleplaying her character's response.
      • Also, she's really not mad, even when her friends are captured and threatened. She knows this is a comic book and, as she says in her rage after Mane-iac swats the fly, comic book villains are supposed to be jerks and relentlessly attack the heroes. The fly, on the other hand, was not something Fluttershy would tolerate in a fictional character.
  • Why would Mane-iac assume Spike is useless? Because he's Humdrum, and as far as the world of Power Ponies is concerned, Humdrum is useless and Mane-iac has no reason to question this dynamic, especially after he helped her get the orb, which is something that the "real" Humdrum would have done.
  • Of course the Power Pony that Applejack becomes would be the one based on Wonder Woman. Yes, there's the lasso, but more important is that Wonder Woman is the Spirit of Truth and Applejack represents the Element of Honesty.

     Bats! 
  • It may be a sign that Fluttershy's fruit vamprisim hasn't completely gone away, but the fact that she still has fangs isn't all that unusual. Normally, horses don't have canine teeth, but some horses actually do develop them. They are known as "wolf teeth" and while they aren't particularly harmful to the horse itself, they are often removed because it interferes with wearing bridles properly.
  • Some people may be confused by the fact that strict frugivores are referred to as vampire bats... but in Real Life, this confusion has actually happened multiple times. True vampire bats do exist, but several harmless species have been named "vampire bats" either just because they looked scary or because they looked similar to the real vampire bats. And since the episode's bats look terrifying, it's not surprising that some zoologist may have called them "vampires" out of shock. Basically, "vampire bats" is just their species name, not an indication that they drink blood.
    • Although, they're clearly based on the stereotypical vampire. Hiding behind cloaks/wings, sucking out a liquid using their fangs, and their general appearance... They might not be the equivalent of real world vampire bats, but they are vampire bats. Vampire fruit bats.
  • Several times it has been shown that the Apples grow more apples than they can actually sell or even harvest. This episode shows that they're using enhanced seeds from being attacked by vampire fruit bats previously. The orchard is larger than they can handle now because they planned it based on normal seeds.
    • When does it show that the Apples can't harvest all of the apples they sell? Actually, one year ago in universe, Applejack did have trouble harvesting them. But that was because she was trying to do it all by herself. Is there another time they mention the orchard being unable to be harvested?
      • Super Cider Squeezy 6000 and Apple Family Reunion both had areas that they didn't bother to work, in the first instance being full of apples that they weren't using for anything. They wrecked the south field in a contest where at least half the apples used were basically thrown away, and they still had a net gain because they made more cider than usual.
    • This may also suggest that worries about the vampire bats' habits being unsustainable are unfounded! It might be likely that Applejack was just annoyed that the bats were attacking the area she usually works in. Setting aside a sanctuary means that they can actually use the apples they didn't have time to harvest for something now.
      • Actually, that makes Applejack's concerns more valid. It means that Fluttershy's promised boost wouldn't materialize, and we saw in the episode that the vampire fruit bats were eating the apples faster than the orchard could supply them. The vampire fruit bats were eating somewhere around a field a day, and even Sweet Apple Acres can't ignore that kind of a hit.
      • It's possible that the vampire bats only start "feeding frenzies" at specific times. Alternately, since most Equestrian animals seem to be intelligent, they might have been eating too much on purpose due to being angry at the Apples "hoarding" anything. There's also the fact that Flutterbat can eat almost as much as the whole horde herself.
  • Rarity and Rainbow's support of Applejack to get rid of the bats makes sense. Rarity finds them disgusting and Rainbow is worried about the cider season. But why do Twilight and Pinkie look so angry in the "Stop the Bats" song? This isn't the first time the two have dealt with pests in Ponyville.
    • On top of that, Fluttershy's actions in that past instance only exacerbated the problem, which likely made the ponies less inclined to listen to her in a similar situation.
  • At first, there's Fridge Logic as to how the vampire fruit bats will survive if they don't have the urge to eat fruits. Wouldn't they starve? But then, the reveal that Fluttershy's been transformed into Flutterbat answers the question: she's eating for them.

     Rarity Takes Manehattan 
  • So you think Suri Polomare got away with everything because we didn't see an onscreen comeuppance? Her victory was short-lived thanks to Coco Pommel giving Rarity her trophy AND quitting! With her main workhorse gone and a limited amount of Rarity's exclusive fabric, there's no way she could recreate her "award winning" fashion line and will eventually be discovered as a fraud. This Karma Houdini actually set herself up for the perfect dose of Laser-Guided Karma.
    • Is that really a guarantee? I mean, Suri's plan was to keep Rarity away from the fashion show in hopes that it would be interpereted as a forfeit. For all we know, it worked, Rarity really WAS disqualified, and Suri is now presenting Rarity's original line in Prim's store and taking all the credit for it. Plus, Suri could probably hire a new assistant to replace Coco. All she has to do is play nice mare until she finds someone who was as talented and skilled as Coco.
    • Actually, if Rarity's name being on the trophy is any indication, Rarity wasn't forfeited from the contest. In fact, what really happened was that Coco quit and then claimed the trophy on Rarity's behalf. So Suri may have Rarity's exclusive fabric, and she may hire some pony to replace Coco soon enough, but it still stands: Coco Pommel quit on her own terms, and cheating and stealing will only get Suri so far before it catches up on her.
    • Besides, if you've seen "Equestria Girls: Friendship Games", it's also refreshing to see Suri lose during the cake-baking contest.
  • People seem to be pondering at Twilight's lack of respect in Manehatten and the Fridge Logic of why she doesn't use her status as Princess to get her way, though they may want to remember that while using your status to get your way is the most pragmatic way, it's not the honorable way, or at least not the way Celestia would want Twilight to use her Princess status. It actually makes sense if that's true, considering Celestia's own feelings towards her title.
    • Go to RL Manhattan. Nine times out of ten, if you appear to be someone famous, people will assume you're in costume.
  • It has been pointed out that it should have been fairly simple to prove Suri stole Rarity's fabric and copied her designs — the bellhop pony (and by proxy other hotel ponies) surely saw her wheeling them around the day before, Rarity has design sketches of her dresses, other colors of the fabric that she created herself, and only she knows how it was made. However, Suri could have lied saying that Rarity bribed those ponies to serve as false witnesses and that she stole the sketches and fabrics; it would very easy for Suri to lie about this since she has done this herself. Making Coco lie about Suri designing the clothing when Coco herself does all the work, for example. And we all know Suri stole the fabrics and ideas; in other words, accusing Rarity of doing the same kind of things she did. It would have turned into a 'my word against yours' scenario, and, in the worst case, both Suri and Rarity would be disqualified from the competition until the whole situation was finally cleared out.
    • On top of that, the episode implies Suri's an already-established designer while Rarity's still a relative unknown. If it did turn into a "My Word Against Hers" scenario, who is more likely to be believed?
      • The Element of Harmony who exemplifies generosity and is close personal friends with someone who is practically a deity to the ponies.
      • Most of the time, the Elements of Harmony don't get any special treatment from other ponies. In fact, considering Celestia's example, who doesn't take herself too seriously and actually enjoys having a more informal relationship with her subjects, it seems The Mane Six prefer to be treated without any special privilege and be judged by their actions rather than their titles or connections. Rarity would go the usual way and try to solve the problem as any other pony, following normal legal procedures. Plus, considering Suri's mentality and trickery, if Rarity invoked her position and connections, Suri would probably accuse Rarity of authority abuse.
      • One, Celestia being 'deity' is fanon. Two, you're assuming Celestia would actually intervene in such trivial matter (instead of chastising Rarity) or that this intervention would do anything. In fashion world image is everything, what image do you think a designer who seemingly relied on connections to win would have? It would have probably poisoned Rarity's name: "oh look, this was done by that uppity mare that can't even win legitimately!"
      • That aside, Rarity isn't exactly "unknown". Not world famous, per se, but Sapphire Shores, Hoity Toity, and Fancy Pants are fans of hers, and it would be fairly easy to prove that Suri was lying about the fabric by virtue of the fact that only Rarity actually knows how to produce it. Furthermore, Rarity already has an extensive client list (including Sapphire Shores) as well as successful fashion shows reviewed by people like Hoity Toity and Photo Finish so her reputation as a high-end fashion designer is solidly established in the industry, perhaps even more than Suri Polomare's. Not to mention that the rest of the Mane Six could bear witness to the fact that Rarity made her dresses before coming to Manehattan in the first place. Go ahead, accuse Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Elemental Harmony Gang of perjury in an Equestrian courtroom. There's a winning strategy for you.
  • When gems have been shown not to have much monetary value, Rarity tips in gems for the entire episode. Except that Just For Sidekicks shows that her gems do fetch a much higher price, likely because her signature spell allows her to find ones of higher quality. And it would be easier to carry a few of those around rather than their worth in bits.
    • When were gems shown to lack monetary value? The only person that slings gems around like mad is Rarity, who has the specific power to find them. For everyone else, they're a sign of wealth and status.
      • Not "much" monetary value. They still have them, but paid for things such as doughnuts and train tickets. Nothing to go particularly crazy over, or else the Cakes are a whole lot more generous than I thought considering they made Spike a sapphire cupcake.
    • Or, you know, the exact monetary value of gems depends on size, type, and quality, ranging from "cheap enough to use as a cake ingredient" to "extremely valuable". Presumably, Rarity, being someone who works with gems a lot, would know exactly how valuable the different types are.
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     Pinkie Apple Pie 
  • The conclusion of the episode is that, while it's possible Pinkie is a member of the Apple family by blood (and she's declared to officially be one regardless), it's not confirmed due to the only two sources she and the Apples know of being smudged. However, the possibility of her being an Apple is actually even bigger than you might notice on the first viewing - look around Goldie Delicious's house in some shots. Gingerbread house as her "lunch, a couple weeks ago"; a half-eaten doughnut in at least one Freeze-Frame Bonus... she seems to have quite a sweet tooth, doesn't she?
    • And furthering this theory: in the beginning of the episode, Pinkie takes a scroll from the bottom of a pile. Said pile wobbles, but somehow stays upright despite obviously lacking a bottom part; this seems to just be "Pinkie Pie magic". Goldie Delicious ends up doing the same thing with a pile of books.
    • Looking at their manes, there's also a small family resemblance between Pinkie and Goldie.
    • In the prologue, when Twilight yelps in surprise at seeing Pinkie behind one of her books, Pinkie says "AHHHH yourself!" Later, when Pinkie greets Goldie Delicious with a big "Hello!", Goldie responds with "Hello yourself!"
    • And then three weeks later we meet a complete stranger with a lot of Pinkie's mannerisms and abilities, and no one thinks that he's related at all. While Cheese Sandwich was revealed to have a connection to Pinkie, it was a minor one, and no one thought that their similarities indicated a relationship. Goldie's habits could very well be red herrings.
    • The Pies being Apples is not that surprising when one takes into account how enormous the Apple clan is. The chances of Pinkie having an Apple ancestor are not negligible.
  • In Apple Family Reunion we are told that (the curly maned) Auntie Applesauce had a different name before an incident involving her dentures and applesauce. She may very well be the missing link between the Apple and the Pie families.

     Rainbow Falls 
  • It would make sense that they would choose Derpy as Rainbow's replacement: Not only is she technically a recolor of Rainbow Dash, but she did happen to compete in the Young Fliers Competition way back in Sonic Rainboom.
    • Alternatively, it was because the other pegasi were competing in other events. There was literally no other pegasus that could fill the void Rainbow Dash left on the team.
  • It's amusing that the overly muscular Pegasus was given the official name of "Bulk Biceps". It wouldn't be out of place as one of the many names given to David Ryder in "Space Mutiny", which is the origin of one of his fan nicknames, Big Mc Largehooves.
  • Why don't we see Lightning Dust, who's as fast as RD on the Cloudsdale team? It's a relay race, she'll never be able to get the teamwork part of it!
    • Specially considering all the other Cloudsdale's competitors are Wonderbolts, and they definitely don't want Lightning Dust around.
    • Or she's just competing in a different event, for whatever her home town is. Given Spitfire and Fleetfoot's actions in this episode, Lightning Dust probably is closer to the Wonderbolt mindset than was previously thought.
  • Rainbow Dash's "loyalty failure." When confronted with a tough decision, she actually chooses not to decide. This is, in fact, a worse breach of loyalty than deciding to join the Cloudsdale team (where she would at least be showing loyalty to herself).
    • That isn't even it. The main reason why she wanted to join the Cloudsdale team in the first place wasn't for her own benefit. From her perspective, the Cloudsdale team was down a team member. She really couldn't decide between them because whoever she would choose, the other team would be let down and be unable to compete in the game.
      • This is also a Call-Back to how Discord messed up with her in his debut episode, or, before that, how Rainbow supported the buffalos' side in Appleloosa, which meant going against Applejack, one of her best friends. Rainbow will always side with her friends unless this decision affects others, so she feels conflicted because no matter what she decides, she'll be letting someone down.
  • Why is the Ponyville relay team so terrible? All the better pegasi must be actively avoiding it for the team to come down to Fluttershy and Bulk (with Rainbow Dash admitting she joined mostly to make up for the team's obvious weakness)... but of course the better pegasi would be avoiding it, because the Cloudsdale team is made of the Wonderbolts' most prominent members, pretty much the best flyers in Equestria. The chances of winning a medal are so much lower, just because the competition is so tough.
    • This also explains why Rainbow is competing in the relay race instead of an individual event, where she'd definitely dominate without problems; Rainbow's working with the team that needs her the most.
  • Rainbow lecturing the Wonderbolts in teamwork and loyalty fits this season's theme; the Mane Six aren't just learning new life and friendship lessons, but they're also becoming role models and teachers for other ponies; their journal is made precisely for new generations to learn from their experiences. Rainbow herself is becoming a very good teacher, as she had already helped Scootaloo and even Daring Do on previous episodes while she's also learning a lesson. This is why most episodes so far have a Double Aesop.
  • Why Rainbow's friends fell for her extremely bad acting when pretending to be injured? Because they know Rainbow is extremely competitive, and participating in the Equestria Games means the world to her, so she wouldn't quit unless something really bad happened to her; the only one who didn't fell for the trick was Twilight, and it was because she knew about Rainbow's moral dilemma.

     Three's a Crowd 
  • The giant sand worm, or Tatzlwurm (according to Word of God), appearing out of nowhere actually makes sense when it sneezes at Discord, infecting him for real. This worm was sick, and was looking for the magical flower itself. Many Real Life animals do this, searching for plants they know have healing properties when feeling ill. Of course, in this case, the worm would had been wrong because the flower's not a real cure for whatever disease the creature had, since Twilight and Cadance didn't use the flower's petals to heal Discord after he actually got sick.
  • Discord's List Song (sung while colored blue and causing wild and almost random things to pop up around himself) is a Dark Shout Out of the Genie's song Friend Like Me from Aladdin. What makes it "dark" is the intent: the genie was listing how he could help someone else, but Discord was listing everything he wanted to receive from his hosts.
  • Discord showed up when he knew Fluttershy would be gone. He didn't feel the need to "test" Fluttershy's friendship like he does with Twilight; he already knows she would go to great lengths to take care of him.
    • It could also be that he didn't want to inconvenience his actual friend. If he had shown up earlier acting sick, Fluttershy would almost certainly have canceled her trip to look after him and he didn't want to actually keep her from doing something she had been looking forward to for the sake of his tricks.
    • Discord also likely knew that Fluttershy would not stand any nonsense from him.
  • Discord testing Twilight could be another shout-out to Q, as that was often Q's purpose when he visited the Enterprise (although he usually had a more dramatic reason than "testing how much they like me"). Discord getting sick and getting the main character(s) to accommodate him also has some resemblance to the plot of Deja Q, where Q is turned human and the crew decides to look after him despite him being a pain in the ass about it.
  • Twilight Sparkle's choice to visit the Star-Swirl the Bearded travelling museum might come off as a little selfish and it's a bit surprising that Cadance seems to be as interested in the museum as Twilight Sparkle. But Cadance was Twilight's babysitter, and she probably passed her love of Star-Swirl to Twilight by reading her bedtime stories about him.
    • Pretty much confirmed because Cadance seems to know a lot about Star-Swirl as well, and the convention had a decent attendance; Star-Swirl, in-universe, must be a fan-favorite among unicorns.
  • Speaking of the traveling museum, none of Ponyville's residents recognised Twilight's Star Swirl costume or even seemed to know who he was in "Luna Eclipsed". Why would he be such a draw now? Perhaps Twilight really did "start up a pony group to teach ponies about history" as she suggested in that episode.
  • Rainbow Dash's behavior against Discord may seem to go against being the Element of Loyalty, but when you realize everyone else was going against their Element around him too (Rarity not giving him her fainting couch, Applejack telling half-truths to name a few) and remember what he did to them in his debut appearance, it turns out he can make the Element-bearers be the opposite of their Elements passively.
    • Additionally, if you look at Rainbow Dash's previous interactions with Discord, she has a track record of animosity; she's always the most vocal about how he can't be trusted, and she's the most convinced that Discord was trying to take advantage of Fluttershy in "Keep Calm and Flutter On". She turned out to be right about it, mostly. In short, even though Discord has technically reformed, as far as RD is concerned, he's still not a friend, and as such she feels no obligation to be loyal to him. The reason she bailed on the rest of her friends is because she didn't agree with their decision to humor (however unhappily) Discord.
  • Twilight and Cadance being able to stay in the air while towing Discord's huge throne makes sense when you factor in that they both have the Earth Pony strength.
  • The images toward the end of Discord's "big reprise" list of requests/demands all rhyme with the previous ones provided they're worded correctly:
    • Discord riding a giant ape="Chimpanzees".
    • Discord with a flea circus="Fleas".
    • Discord playing with a Twilight Sparkle squeak toy="Squeeze".

     Pinkie Pride 
  • Why Cheese Sandwich can actually out-goof Pinkie Pie? Because she's the one who inspired him to become a party planner in the first place! So, he uses Pinkie's gags and jokes as a base, and, from there, makes them bigger and more spectacular. That's why he has a bigger version of the party cannon.
    • If you think about it, Pinkie's parties are almost always in Ponyville and everypony there knows her, so she's able to throw them frequently and doesn't have to convince everypony that she's their Super Duper Party Pony. Cheese, on the other hand, is a wanderer whose only companion is Boneless. He's a stranger entering different towns claiming to be THE Super Duper Party Pony, so he probably has to ensure that his parties are as grand as possible to leave such an impact and dispel any doubts about his party planning skills.
      • To ensure this, he also recruits pretty much everypony in town to prepare the party, while Pinkie usually does most of the work alone.
  • While Cheese Sandwich isn't really the Shrinking Violet he once was as a colt, he's still pretty much an introvert at heart since his preferred lifestyle is traveling by himself (with only his rubber chicken as a Companion Cube) to different towns to host parties. This probably means that he doesn't have that many close friends, which is very unlike Pinkie who can't seem to function without hers.
    • Which might be another reason why he's such a good planner and goof-up; he spends so much time on the road, just by himself, that he has nothing but time to think about new gags and party ideas. By the time he arrives to any town, he has lots of energy and plans ready to use, while Pinkie is cheerful and active pretty much all the time; in other words, Cheese Sandwich reserves all his wackiness and enthusiasm for the parties and uses the time in-between to rest and get ready for the next one.
  • Cheese's interpretation of the 'doozy' at the start of the episode, in hindsight, probably went a little like this: "If it's something that big, that important, then it can only mean it's finally time. I'm ready to go back to Ponyville, to see Pinkie Pie again." —Anomaly
    • In relation to above, when Pinkie Pie challenges Cheese Sandwich to a goof-off. Being made aware of his past at the end of the episode inadvertently makes this challenge akin to an Old Master challenging his best disciple to show him what she's/he's got. Cheese realizes the significance of this. He may have been stoic and invoked a little Old Master himself by saying "You really think you can out-goof me?", but on the inside, he was squealing with fancolt joy.
  • Cheese giving Boneless to Pinkie, and then taking "Boneless 2" with him instead of an identical chicken. It's a conversation point: someone can ask how he ended up with a Boneless 2, and he can say, "Well, it all started one afternoon in Ponyville..." —Anomaly
  • Many viewers question why Cheese waited so long to tell Pinkie Pie about her effect on him when they were younger. As mentioned above, Cheese is still an introvert at heart which is something that you can't ever completely change. He was probably nervous and anxious about seeing Pinkie again and wanted to avoid having to directly confront her on the subject, which is very common in introverted individuals.
    • Just take a look at Fluttershy's behaviour during "Dragonshy".
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has created several style parodies of various artists, where he imitates their musical style in an otherwise original song. In this episode, he sang a song that emulates his polka medleys - something else he is known for - but he didn't actually write it. Weird Al basically sang a style parody of himself.
  • Cheese Sandwich's design is clearly based on a ponification of Weird Al himself with his trademark curls, but they also gave him a bouncy front forelock like Pinkie, and his animation style approaches the more toon-like movements of Pinkie. These all feel like probable traits of any party pony. The debut of Party Favor in Season 5 backs this up.
  • The episode's own title. Pinkie Pride is an obvious pun on Pinkie Pie, that adds the letters R and D to her name. Now, whose birth-iversary are they celebrating in this episode?
  • Even though Pinkie Pie forfeited the Goof-Off, she was actually winning the whole time. note 
    • That might be part of the reason why Cheese looks so surprised when she forfeits and declares him the winner. He never thought he was better than her.

     Simple Ways 
  • Of course Applejack is better at being Rarity than Rarity is at being Applejack: Rarity has no practice being a 'country pony', and all she has is the caricature. Applejack on the other hand has memories of her time with the Oranges when she was a kid, and thus practice of the posh lifestyle, making it more natural. She just doesn't LIKE it.
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     Filli Vanilli 
  • Why is Flutterguy's voice different? Because this was a brew, rather than raw poison joke.
  • Why wasn't Fluttershy on stage with the rest of the Mane 6 during the "Make A Wish" song at the end of "Pinkie Pride"? Her stage fright.
  • The lyrics of "Find the Music" lend some brilliance to Big Mac's stoicism: he wants to express his voice, but talk "doesn't seem like it's the answer" to him, so he expresses his voice by singing.
  • Pinkie Pie's characterization in this episode has been criticized for her insensitivity to Fluttershy's stage fright. However, while she had previously told Rainbow Dash that she shouldn't play pranks on Fluttershy because she's too sensitive, Pinkie can't relate to Fluttershy's stage fright because Pinkie has clearly never experienced stage fright herself. Pinkie probably learned firsthand not to play pranks on Fluttershy because she tried it before and it went badly.
  • Why does Pinkie act the way she does to Fluttershy? Brutal Honesty. Pinkie has decided that a generic “don’t worry about it/everything will be okay” speech wouldn’t be as helpful as telling Fluttershy about all the dangers of stage fright so that she knows what to expect and isn’t caught off-guard.

     Twilight Time 
  • Twilight was also a normal filly who was friends with a famous princess once. Maybe she figured out that the CMC really were sorry and really did want to learn from her because she had gone through the same thing, with getting attention and having other kids try to be friends with her just because she knew a princess?
  • With all the fillies and colts traipsing through the Golden Oak Library, it's a good thing Twilight was getting the castle in the Everfree Forest fixed up; she's going to need a more private place to live.
  • The challenge presented to the Cutie Mark Crusaders, other ponies offering favors in hope of special treatment, is very similar to what happened to Twilight in "The Ticket Master". They handled the situations very differently: Twilight rejected the favors while the Crusaders lapped up the attention. However, Twilight does know how difficult that situation can be to handle, which may be why she forgave the Crusaders so easily.
    • Furthermore, there are some underlying hints that Twi is more familiar with the situation than just that, as it would have been very likely she had been previously approached by her peers and maybe even some nobles seeking to curry favours from Princess Celestia by being nice to her.
      • Two princesses. Even before Twilight went to live in the palace full-time, she had Cadance as her foal-sitter and a close family friend. Twilight's been living in this situation for virtually her entire pre-Elements life.

     It Ain't Easy Being Breezies 
  • Rainbow Dash mentioning to Twilight that she's always wondered what it's like to be a griffon. Her BFF back in Junior Speedsters Camp was a griffon.
    • Given her changed attitude towards griffins in the next season, it could count as foreshadowing that, like Gilda, Rainbow still cares about their friendship and is only pretending she couldn't care less.
  • Seabreeze calls his group of breezies a bunch of slackers and losers, which seems harsh given that they were thrown off by a leaf... But they were at the tail end already. Seabreeze had been putting up with their slacking for the entire time, and their abusing Fluttershy's hospitality was just more of the same crap that he'd been dealing with the entire time. No wonder he was so fed up with them.
  • In the Fridge Horror section, it's mentioned that the Breezies are so fragile that the entire world of Equestria must seem like a deathworld to them. This might mean that a good number, if not all of the migrating ones, have (their equivalent of) military training, which could explain why Seabreeze has no problem snapping at them at a moment's notice; he's their drill sergeant.
  • You know what I realized? The Breezies needed the breeze to keep their magic working, which keeps the pollen their carrying from going bad during their glide home. That means if Twilight teleported them or say they were put in jars, they would've went through all that trouble for nothing.
  • Of course Doctor Whooves is wearing his 3D glasses; he's observing creatures from another world!
  • Why doesn't Zipzee appear, despity the Mythology Gag potential? Even if she could collect the pollen, her first sneeze would spill it all.

     Somepony to Watch Over Me 
  • Once again, Applejack's main enemy is revealed to be Equestria's wild areas and dangerous creatures, similarly to the Timber Wolves in 'Spike at your service', the Vampire Fruit Bats in 'Bats' and her repeated dislike of Everfree Forest. It makes sense since she's a farmer, and therefore her life is pretty much dedicated to the partial control of nature and fighting its negative forces on occasion.
  • Applejack is far more worried about Apple Bloom than either Granny Smith or Big Macintosh. The most likely reason is very simple: Big Mac has, more likely already gone through this when Applejack was a filly and Granny Smith has raised two generations of Apples. For Applejack, however, this is the first time having to leave a young un' alone for even just a day, so she's a lot more nervous than her elders who know Apple Bloom can handle it.
    • Perhaps the first time Applejack was left home alone at home was the day her parents passed away. All her protecting and pampering Apple Bloom could be her way of trying to comfort her baby sister. The problem is, she's going by what she would've wanted instead of listening to her sister.
  • This episode is similar to "Flight to the Finish" and "For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils", in that it implies why the respective crusaders are so eager to get their cutie marks. Apple Bloom, who grew up on a farm full of strong, hardworking ponies, is eager to prove herself an adult and capable of the same workload they can take on.

     Maud Pie 
  • The fact that Pinkie loves her extremely stoic older sister so much sheds some light on why she would have a pet as stoic and unemotional as Gummy: he reminds her of Maud.
  • Maud's strength, brutal honesty and stoic nature, while still caring a lot about her family, is another hint of the Pies and Apples being related. In 'Pinkie Apple Pie', we all saw how Pinkie and Goldie Delicious share some physical traits and abilities; likewise, Maud would be female, rock-oriented Big Macintosh. They both built up their strength by doing hard, demanding physical work from an early age in a farm, and their calm, quiet nature serves as a foil to their more enthusiastic siblings.
  • Pinkie Pie's attempt to incorporate Twilight's interests into her obstacle course involves running through stacks of books. In other words, she's "hitting the books."
  • Despite both being polar opposites in terms of personality (or possibly ponyality or equinality) there is one thing Pinkie and Maud both share... the two are both VERY literal-minded.
    • Oh, it isn't just that: It really isn't difficult to imagine Pinkie pulling a rock from a pocket and proclaiming "This is my pet rock, his name is Boulder" (plus she already did something similar with "Rocky" in "Party Of One"). It's also extremely easy to see Pinkie Pie saying "Oh, it doesn't talk, silly! It's a dress!" While Maud lacks Pinkie's exuberance, they are both Strange Girls.
    • According "Pinkie Pie And The Rockin Ponypalooza Party", Pinkie also used to have a pet rock. Her other family members find that weird.
    • Seriously, most of the stuff that Maud does in this episode would be very in-character for Pinkie. The only difference is the the delivery. Pinkie would be melodramatic and over the top, while Maud goes to the other end of the spectrum of extreme understatement.
  • Considering that Maud is Pinkie's older sister, a lot of her actions during the plot actually make a lot of sense. For one thing, would you want to get involved with your younger sister's friends? Depending on the age of your sister and her friends, the answer would likely be a no. Also the game of camouflage seems to be specifically designed to occupy an ADHD-rattled sibling for a few hours while you're left in peace. It might be possible that from Maud's perspective, one pony like Pinkie Pie is already a hoof-full, imagine having to deal with five other ponies like her! No wonder she didn't feel like making friends with them...
  • When Pinkie learns that her sister and her friends have nothing in common, she tries to combine their interests in a weird contraption. When Maud was a filly, she combined her own interest in rocks with Pinkie's fondness for candies and created the tradition of trading rock candy necklaces. They both did pretty much the same thing.
  • Maud likes to express herself through her wardrobe, but clothes don't speak. Her wardrobe is as expressive as she is.

     Trade Ya 
  • Stellar Eclipse's wheel"chair" shows a gear located at the base of each wheel. There's no apparent connection for it, but a reason for the gear may be part of a locking mechanism so that when he wants to stand still, the gear helps prevent the wheels from turning unless the pony puts force to go forward or back.

     For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils 
  • Luna showing Sweetie such a dark future may be extreme, but her jealousy created Nightmare Moon and almost caused an eternal night. She could have done it on purpose to really nail in how much damage jealousy can do.
  • How did Luna know Sweetie Belle's jealousy? Twilight keeps correspondence, and had observed Sweetie Belle's emotional state.
  • It seems weird that Luna would go to such lengths as to actually track Sweetie Belle down during the day to help her. This make perfect sense though since it's essentially the same story as when Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon. Given the guilt she must have felt after her redemption it's clear why she was so keen to see Sweetie Belle, not making the same mistake.
    • Also, as we find out in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" Luna does consider Rarity and the other Mane 6 to be her friends. She would likely go to great lengths to help her friends (and by extension their little sisters).
      • And by being there she would be in a position to fix things for Rarity even if Sweetie Belle didn't show up in time.
  • While Sapphire Shores is a perfectionist, she doesn't seem like the type to publicly humiliate someone so that entire sequence seems a little strange until you realize that what Luna is showing isn't exactly the future. She's showing Rarity's nightmares.
  • How was Luna able to show events from Rarity's viewpoint when Sweetie Belle couldn't have known them? Rarity was asleep, too, so Luna took Sweetie Belle through Rarity's memory of the event.
  • This episode is similar to "Flight to the Finish" and "Somepony To Watch Over Me", in that it implies why the respective crusaders are so eager to get their cutie marks. Sweetie Belle is deeply affected by Rarity's perceived hogging of the spotlight her whole life, and wants something to distinguish herself and finally get out of her sister's shadow.
  • In "Sisterhooves Social," we have Rarity learning to consider Sweetie Belle's perspective; this episode is the inverse of that. Sweetie Belle's judgement is clouded by a moment of raging jealousy.
  • In this episode, Princess Luna shows Sweetie Belle images of both the past, present and future in her dreams. In "Hearth's Warming Tail", Princess Luna plays the role of the Spirit of Hearth's Warming Future in Snowfall Frost's dreams. Depending on whether it is just a fairy tale or a recounting of a real event involving a real pony, Princess Luna may actually have been one of these Spirits or all three, with the other two spirits being later additions.

     Leap of Faith 
  • At first it seems a bit odd that Granny Smith would be so quick to believe Flim and Flam's claims, given the Apples' previous encounter with them in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", but looking back on that episode, remember that Granny was pretty much the only pony who actually got to taste the brothers' untainted cider. And judging by her expression, it was apparently quite good. So it actually does make sense that she would be more willing believe them capable of delivering on their promises than the rest of the Apples.
    • This may also be why Granny Smith was so susceptible to the tonic's placebo effect.
    • It's also worth noting that in their previous appearance, Flim and Flam did not do anything illegal, nor did they lie about anything. Their dispute with the Apples stemmed from business negotiations, not a faulty product.

     Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 
  • In the play the animals put on, Opal plays Princess Luna and Angel Bunny plays Princess Celestia. These might seem like strange choices at first, but later on when the whole town gets in on the act it's Rarity that plays Luna and Fluttershy that plays Celestia. It was foreshadowing! Kind of.
    • Rarity playing Luna not only references the fact that they have the same voice actor, but also that in the second IDW comics arc she gets possessed by the same forces that took over Luna and becomes Nightmare Rarity for a time.
  • Rainbow's difficulty in studying was referenced way back in season 1, when the Cloudsdale pegasi mentioned that she was kicked out of flight school.
  • When Rainbow's faced with each one of her friends' different studying methods, she understandably freaks out. But looking at how she does learn actually brings together several of the others' ideas. She can pick small details up visually by being very aware of her surroundings (the CMC's cakes, Rarity's costumes), follow the actions of others mid-flight (Big Mac, Fluttershy's plays), and has acquired these skills through years of focusing on flying, the thing she loves (as per Applejack's knowledge of apples). I'm not sure where Pinkie's raps come into this, but you could also say that Rainbow's personal method of learning can be translated back into Twilight's original idea; academic application when having to complete the test. And, of course, Rainbow gets 100%.
  • Spike and Owlowiscious doing their little music with Rainbow may seem like a random joke, but remember that they live with Twilight. They're used to her going off on long lecture/rants and find ways to amuse themselves like Rainbow was trying to do.
  • It seems a little odd that Rainbow didn't study, but it's never said she didn't. In fact, later she said she read a lot of history books and they simply didn't stick. She never left that cloud she settled down on, it's highly possible she was meaning before and she thought it stuck but it didn't.
  • Rainbow Dash suggests watching a movie about the history of the Wonderbolts. This is actually her preferred method of teaching, since she showed a movie about tornado power in "Hurricane Fluttershy".
  • Twilight saying "I am not that tall!" is an example of the self-conciousness she feels about having been transformed into an alicorn, which also made her taller than the rest of the Mane Six.

     Inspiration Manifestation 
  • Spike's plan to get the book away from Rarity might have worked if he had just found an excuse to walk away after eating the book. By eating the book and still sticking by Rarity, he was still fulfilling the condition of keeping the book close to maintain the spell.
    "From in the head to out in the world, every thought to action. Hold close this book and through its spell, you'll start a chain reaction. Projecting forth whatever beauty you see. Only when true words are spoken will you finally be set free."
    — The "Inspiration Manifestation" incantation
    • It looks to me like you need the book close to cast the spell, but after that it isn't necessary. 'only when true words are spoken' will it break.
  • Looking back at it with the context Twilight gives in the finale, you could see this as Spike's Key episode, even though he doesn't actually get one. Like the others, Spike had to do something that wasn't easy, but that he knew was for the best. (In this case telling Rarity her changes weren't for the better. As for what element he represents, either Love or Courage seems to work here.) Despite the fact he wasn't physically involved in that story arc, he still ended up going through the same ordeal.
    • Now that you mention it... Spike's ordeal involves basically all the elements: He gave the book to Rarity without expecting anything in return (Generosity). Later, he had to tell Rarity how he really felt (Honesty) when he realized it was best for her (Kindness) even when he believed that would've made Rarity mad at him (Loyalty). Magic can be shoehorned in the fact it was a spell... Laughter, I got nothing.
      • Well, he got the book in the first place to help Rarity overcome her depression and make her happy again; that's something very Pinkie-like to do, therefore, Laughter is involved.
      • It's Pinkie-like right down to how Spike acquires the book: completely oblivious to all the traps guarding it.
  • Why wasn't Celestia helping the other Princesses clean up at the end of the episode? Because it's not her turn. She took care of it last time, after all.
    • Plus, while Cadance can leave the Crystal Empire to Shining Armor for a few days, and Luna does the night shift anyway, Celestia is the only Canterlot princess to work during the day. Thus, she probably can't leave the city on such short notice until the sunset when Luna takes over.
  • Twilight would have had plenty of reason to be irritated at Spike just from how big the cleanup was, but a potential additional reason comes to light when she mentions she had to enlist Luna in it. Princess Luna is nocturnal which means that not only did Twilight have to call for backup in the end, she had to wake Luna up to do so. That would have been irritating for Luna and unpleasant for Twilight.
  • In a way, this can be the reversed version of 'Secret of my Excess', with Rarity being the one to become greedy/power hungry and go out of control, and Spike is the one who reminds her that that's not who she is.

     Equestria Games 
  • This episode helps show why Spike had not previously been invited to the Crystal Empire, despite having a major role in saving it. Cadance wanted to make sure he received a proper hero's welcome. With all the activity surrounding the games and getting the empire back on it's hooves, it was probably only now that she could provide Spike with that kind of hospitality.
  • In 'Rainbow Falls', Derpy was chosen as Rainbow's replacement, being a Ponyville pegasus that wasn't participating in any other competition. In this episode, Derpy is still part of Ponyville's delegation; basically, Derpy is an emergency replacement.
  • Spike's belief that he lit the Equestria Games torch with his mind might seem like Insane Troll Logic, but the previous episode had him dealing with magic that allowed the user to perform magic just by thinking about it.
    • And he did eat the book that gave Rarity that power in the first place.
  • When Spike freaks out at the stadium, rather then being intimidated by the sheer mass of ponies he seems to actually count them, something that seems a bit weird (and very difficult). Then you remember he was able to count all the blades of grass in Sweet Apple Acres and did that impossibly quickly too. It is a dragon trait, that comes with being compulsive hoarders (if you read the Hobbit, you will find Smaug freaking out when he notices that Bilbo took a single cup from his enormous treasure pile)
    • I'm pretty sure Spike wasn't counting the audience members, at least not initially. He mentioned to the CMC not too long ago that his method of calming his nerves was counting to ten, which is a common relaxation technique. When the stage fright kicked in, that's what he tried to do, only to be too overwhelmed to think straight.

     Twilight's Kingdom, Parts 1 & 2 
  • We now finally have the reason why Celestia wanted Discord reformed in Keep Calm and Flutter On. She likely knew about Tirek's escape by then, and had realised Discord was the only one powerful enough to stop him. Unfortunately he happened to be both evil and Taken for Granite at the time. Had Tirek reached full power under these conditions, Equestria would stand little chance, so she took measures ahead of time.
    • That doesn't make any sense. If Celestia knew that Tirek had escaped that long ago, why would she wait so long before doing anything to capture him?
      • Tirek wasn't strong enough to use his magic-draining abilities until the time of the finale, and Discord tracked him via the magical imbalance he caused when he did so. Without Tirek using his abilities, how was Celestia expected to find him?
  • Tirek returns as the season finale villain, having escaped from Tartarus. The original Tirek was a demon but also, he was one of the only MLP villains to ever be Killed Off for Real. Tartarus is a Hell analogue in mythology, where do evil people go when they die?
  • The amulet Discord gives to Twilight that becomes her key has dual meanings. Scorpan wanted to rule over Equestria with his brother, but had a change of heart and befriended Starswirl. Then, when Discord got betrayed he gave the amulet to Twilight to cement their friendship. The parallels is that Scorpan and Discord were evil, but once they realized the magic of friendship they left their evil ways behind!
  • Certainly, Discord's friendship with Fluttershy is strong, but when it comes to everypony else, they mistrust him and are annoyed by his presence. While Discord hasn't give them a reason to not act that way, he really isn't wanted by his "friends". Being "reformed" but not being accepted, if you really think about it, is kind of a prison which is why he gave in to Lord Tirek.
  • Discord soldifies his Heel Realization after Tirek stabs him in the back. Why? Tirek had been his False Friend the entire time. He genuinely believed Tirek was his friend, only to be stabbed in the back and played like a fiddle emotionally... just like he'd done to Fluttershy moments before and done to many others throughout his life. For the first time in his life, someone had treated Discord how he'd treated others, causing him to finally see what he looked like from the outside.
  • The order in which Tirek goes after his victims. He drains the unicorns, the most obvious ones with magic, Pegasi, the middle-ground, and then Earth ponies, the ones with least obvious type of magic.
    • On top of that, the first bits of magic Tirek absorbs is being actively used. It isn't until he gets Discord's help in maintaining a captive audience that he manages to drain unicorns of magic they aren't actively using.
    • It has also been noted that Tirek's first two victims (if you count what was really a Disguise) were both stallions, and he's not seen draining mares until he's got enough strength to do entire crowds of both stallions and mares at once. How odd in a mare-dominated show, right? No, this is script-writing brilliance. Scene. A shadowy, raspy, ugly figure corners a victim in a dark alley, with intent of taking by force the victim's inherent virtues, perhaps even leaving them a catatonic and traumatized wreck - he doesn't care so long as he's gotten what he wanted. Now, if the victim is a man, we culturally recognize this as a mugging. If the victim is a woman... did your minds go to rape? Correct.
      • You may now consider how Discord really felt when he first handed the Mane Six, including his beloved Fluttershy, over to Tirek - and then got a one-on-one personal session with Tirek himself shortly thereafter.
  • The Mane Six forgiving Discord makes a lot more sense when you realize Discord giving Twilight the last key wouldn't have worked if he were lying.
    • Building on that, Fluttershy, the Element of Kindness, is the first to forgive Discord and goes so far as to hug him. Part of being kind is forgiving your friends for their mistakes.
    • Also note that when Tirek betrays him he is upset less about losing his powers, but that he thought they were friends and was heartbroken Tirek didn't really care about him. He even had what he thought was his own friendship trinket, clutching it in tears. The other ponies even feel sorry for him after this display as it shows his betrayal had some selfless motive and that some of their teachings had stuck. He still valued friendship most importantly.
  • Not necessarily intentional, but interesting to note: there's a stained glass of Discord dangling three circles containing a pegasus, unicorn and earth pony over a fiery pit - he even draws attention to it during this episode. In the same episode, we see Tirek also conjure three circles with a pegasus, unicorn and earth pony - then he slams them between his fists, crushing them. It serves as a subtle reminder that while Discord is a nasty piece of work, Tirek is far, far worse.
    • Look closely at those circles that Discord is playing with. They are no longer the Unicorn, Earth Pony, and Pegasus but Celestia, Luna, and Cadance. The implication being that Discord is toying not with the pony races in general but the princesses in particular.
  • The Power Glow of the Mane Six's new Rainbow Powers, and the rainbow colored Wave Motion Gun it comes with, are now each closer to their coat colors than their original Element colors. Why? The mane six have essentially fused with the Elements.
  • Twilight's forgiveness of Discord, making it a point to save him too, and calling him a friend at first glance seems odd, given the Mane Six minus Fluttershy's distrust and his betrayal. Especially since she wasn't present to see any of the signs he was genuinely remorseful. Easily Forgiven? Not entirely. Discord did something well before Tirek made himself known that may have made all the difference: he gave the Mane Six the hint about their keys; something Twilight acknowledged as him sincerely trying to be helpful. Twilight recognized that he had, indeed, been trying to be a friend and because of that was willing to later forgive his backslide, which is the act that gained Twilight her key.
  • A minor one, but look closely at Discord's pony disguise. His cutie mark is a tornado. A perfect match for someone whose talent is chaos.
  • To a degree, Celestia's presumption of Discord not telling Tirek of Twilight wasn't too far off. If one recalls, Discord tends to play the "but you never asked" card. Tirek would demand info directly and Discord did so.
  • Many are keen to decry Celestia's plan here but if one were to think about how this plan could work rather than how it can't, you start to realize things: Considering how Twilight managed to go toe-to-toe with Tirek, I think that it's possible that Celestia's backup plan was for Twilight to overpower Tirek should he likely discover her. She didn't want to tell Twilight since it'd make her more nervous and it went without saying that her former student would rise to the occasion once Tirek reared his ugly head (perhaps Celestia wanted to give Twilight her chance to shine without making it seem like she was involved). Twilight would've managed to... if her friends weren't used in a hostage situation.
    • It's also keen to note how if all four Princess took on Tirek, chances are that he'd pick them off one by one to take their magic. Putting it all inside Twilight would make it harder for him to consume it all and help her overpower him... unless he makes her give it all to him willingly.
  • Remember Twilight's worries and fears about being banished and then imprisoned while banished from earlier episodes? Well, guess what happens to Tirek once the Mane Six get the force of Rainbow Power. Honestly though, he had it coming to him.
  • Tirek escaped Tartarus at least a few months before anyone realized that he was missing. Given his state at the beginning of the finale, he probably couldn't have broken out on his own, and we saw that at least one of the other cells was empty. How many other creatures managed to escape from Tartarus like he did? Did any stay in there?
  • If Tirek escaped when Cerberus left his post at Tartarus, then a great disaster did happen before "next Tuesday" in It's About Time. They just didn't realize it for quite some time.
  • If one looks at it, the Elements evolving into the Rainbow Powers makes perfect sense: when they were originally taken from the tree, they were huge gem stones, which had to be carried in saddle bags (in "Princess Twilight Sparkle", Twilight even brings attention to the fact they've changed form). When the mane six became the bearers, the Elements became five necklaces and a crown, which are far more practical as they can simply be worn. Then, when they return them to the tree, they become the Rainbow Powers, which essentially seem to fuse the Mane Six with their Elements (allowing them to use a similar ability without the physical Elements), on top of apparently becoming far stronger (being able to curbstomp a nearly all powerful Tirek, as well as being able to create a barrier to block his power, an ability not seen before). The Elements have evolved from one form to another, with Rainbow Power being their thus far ultimate form. This makes sense when you remember each key was obtained by spreading their respective Element, as well as obtaining a fuller understanding of it.
  • Twilight is disappointed that she doesn't have a royal role; but she does have one — it just isn't acknowledged in the form of an official title. Celestia raises the sun; Luna raises the moon; Cadence rules the Crystal Empire; and Twilight (and by extension the rest of the main six) defends Equestria from monsters and villains. She's basically Defender of the Realm, which is a real historical title often given to royalty. When you think about this, it makes sense that her friends get thrones too, because they have a share of and are integral to her exercise of royal power - namely to spread friendship and also weaponize it in a pinch.
  • At the throne room, Discord offers Celestia a bouquet of flowers and winks at her. If you believe that Discord was able to make the flowers appear out of thin air, it means his magic was restored by the Rainbow Power along with the ponies. Apparently, the Tree Of Harmony has determined that his Heel–Face Turn is genuine.
  • How did Tirek find Twilight so easily? He had just absorbed Discord's magic; Discord could sense magical imbalances, so Tirek likely gained the same ability to sense Twilight's power fluctuating when her teleport went south.
  • Celestia's ability to see certain things in her dreams, potentially involving the future (unconfirmed, but given her general actions not impossible), not only explains a lot about why she does what she does, but ties into her domain. The sun is used in divination (so are the stars... but how many stars are suns with stars orbiting them?). Also, given her sister also possesses a psychic power, it's logical Celestia has a corresponding ability.
  • Why is Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Castle made of crystal-like materials? Yes that's its real name. During the song, we see the Rainbow Power fly out from behind the castle. Presumably, the Rainbow is being stored inside the castle itself, and so far in the show, gems, and specifically crystals, have been the only materials shown to be able to store and channel magic, besides living beings. The Elements of Harmony are gems (even when they were originally rocks in the show pilot, they're shown to be crystal inside when Nightmare Moon destroys them), the Alicorn Amulet has a gem, the Crystal Heart is a crystal, the Crystal Castle (which shoots the Heart's magic out as an aurora) is made of crystal, the sirens' pendants were gems, the Tree of Harmony is made of crystal, and now Twilight's Castle is made of crystals.
  • At first glance, Twilight seems to have completely avoided all the trials that the rest of the mane six had to go through to get their keys. However, Twilight did go through the same trials they did. Part 1 summed it up nicely: the mane six all had trouble adhering to their Elements, their natural virtues. However, through catharsis, they were able to stick to their virtues and inspire someone else to do the same; being rewarded with a meaningful gift that later became their key. Now, keep in mind that the Element of Magic has often been synonymous with Friendship itself, as a kind of glue that holds the rest of them together. Twilight was given the task of holding all the Alicorn magic in Equestria to keep Tirek from getting it, Celestia explicitly instructed her to keep that fact from her friends to keep them safe. Adhering to that, Twilight faced Tirek alone. Applejack stated in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2 that they are lost without Twilight, the same holds true in opposite form: Twilight is lost without her friends. She faced Tirek alone; even with the power of three essential Goddesses on her side, she still fought Tirek to a stalemate. She was not adhering to her natural virtue of Friendship and thus was doomed to fail. When Tirek tried to barter her friends for the Alicorn magic, Twilight had a moment of catharsis and chose her friends over magic. She even held fast to her virtue by considering Discord her friend and demanding his release as well. That show of compassion as well as his regret inspired Discord to truly hold Friendship in his heart and he gave the medallion to Twilight, the meaningful gift that became her key.
  • Building on the above Fridge Brilliance, this whole season may be like Discord's Maze all over again, only it's meant to enhance their elements, not make them unworthy of them. Part of the season's theme could also be that it's never too late to overcome your personal flaws.
    • Rainbow Dash was once faced with a choice between staying in Ponyville and saving Cloudsdale. Under Discord's influence and temptation, she chose Cloudsdale. In "Rainbow Falls", she was faced with a choice between staying with the team from Ponyville or filling in for the Wonderbolts. She tries to pick a neutral choice, but even Twilight lampshades that not choosing either doesn't count as a sound choice. So she ultimately overcomes her conflict and head-on chooses Ponyville.
    • Rarity previously fell for Discord's trick that she had found a large diamond. She tried to resist, but ultimately gave in to her avarice. In "Rarity takes Manehatten", she allows herself to fall for the same trappings when not only is she faced with ambition, but with the opposition of the unscrupulous Suri Polomare. She sacrificed her generosity towards her friends to get ahead of her rival. But when she recognized her greed and ingratitude potentially chased away her friends, she still went back to them to apologize and made it up to them.
    • Pinkie Pie may be cheery, but is still capable of assuming the worst sometimes, as demonstrated in "Party of One". In Discord's maze, he exploited that flaw to make her believe her friends laugh at her instead of with her. In "Pinkie Pride", even without the influence of Discord, Pinkie starts to assume the worst in her old friends (replacing her) and her new friend Cheese Sandwich (trying to replace her). But once she recognizes her jealousy may be getting in the way of her element, she admits she has a problem and steps back. In turn, her friends assure her they would never replace their one and only Pinkie Pie.
    • It may seem like cheating on Discord's part, but he managed to corrupt Fluttershy. Why? Because, granted he was telling lies, Fluttershy would've been a doormat to her friends, no matter how wrong it would be. She was too much a doormat to be "cruel" on her own accord. In "It ain't easy being Breezies", we see Fluttershy being a doormat to the point where she allows the Breezies what they want. But once she hears out Sea Breeze's urgings that they must return home, she recognizes that being assertive isn't cruelty, but tough love.
    • Applejack fell for Discord's trick when he showed her a vision of her friends breaking up. He convinced her that a lie hurts less than the truth. In "Leap of Faith", Applejack goes through the same trial, learning the truth about the tonic, only to be convinced by the Flim Flam brothers that telling the truth would only hurt Granny Smith's new-found confidence. Only this test falls into a grey area where, even though she doesn't directly say it works, it's still lying on her part. But once she recognizes lying nearly hurt Granny more than the truth, she tells the truth, regardless it will hurt her reputation.
    • And last but not least, Twilight Sparkle. In "The Return of Harmony", it was justified that Twilight lost hope when all her friends were corrupted. The fate of Equestria depended on both magic and friendships. Without the latter, the former was ineffective against Discord. Now, the two are separated, and she has to choose which she values. This time, she put her faith in the one thing she loves above all else: friendship.
    • Even Discord is a call-back as an amalgamation of all her friends corrupted. Unkind? Check. Dishonest? Check. Caused unhappiness? Check. Disloyal? Greedy? Well, as long as you count joining Tyrek for power, double check. There was a time when Twilight would've given up on such a 'friend'. Yet, she still saved Discord, because "friendship isn't easy, but it's worth fighting for".
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