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Headscratchers / My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Forgotten Friendship

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  • When Sunset Shimmer views her friends' memories, we see how she's removed from them while in the novelization, she's just gone. If they actually remember her vanishing before her eyes, they should have realized something was amiss. So was Sunset actually seeing abstract personifications of their memories being tampered with or what? Why didn't they just depict her as missing from their memories like in the novel?
    • It's possible that part of her memories are leaking into the flashbacks or something.
    • Probably done for the sake of viewers who didn't remember or see those scenes from past movies. Yes they could and do just say it, but for younger viewers showing how the memory was supposed to be makes it all the clearer.
      • OK, but we were shown unaltered memories before that, so the point still stands.
    • Maybe because there's a time limit on the Memory Stone's magic? As Sunset has three days to restore the memories before they're gone forever, that's why she still sees herself in them. They do still technically exist at the time. Maybe if she checked after the three days were up, she wouldn't see herself in them.
  • Given that Sunset Shimmer singlehandedly saved the day against Midnight Sparkle, who no-one could have fought against otherwise, how would erasing her from those memories work? Would that not leave such a obvious gap in their memories that everyone should have realized something was up? Why didn't Sunset consider pointing this out to prove her case? The novelization, despite recounting all the other moments where Sunset is erased from memory, conspicuously doesn't reference that.
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    • The modified memory seen has Twilight returning to normal and beginning to apologise of her own accord. It's possible that the influence of Spike was what made her stand down in the altered memory since the sight of him did cause a moment of clarity that gave Sunset an opportunity.
    • When Rarity tries to remember the events at the beginning of the special she actually notes to herself that they're strangely vague and make little sense. It's likely none of the other events would make much sense if dwelled upon, but slightly fuzzy memories of events long past wouldn't be immediately obvious.
    • When we forget something, our mind tends to fill in the blanks for us. The girls may not remember exactly how it happened, but they do remember that Twilight transformed, was defeated and forgiven. If they think about it, their minds may try to fill in the blanks for them. Or maybe they did realize something was wrong? In the climax they don't doubt Wallflower at all when she says she erased the memories - perhaps that was brought on by three days where they think about these memories they supposedly have that don't add up.
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    • Yeah I think if it wasn't for the unpleasant emotions and later Sunset being on a strict times table then she might have been able to exploit those gaps to at least sway the six into hearing her out and helping with finding the stone. Plus as suggested further down on the page, had she thought to do so, Sunset could have suggested that they look on their own cellphone pictures for proof that they're friends. Now if there's anything I'm wondering, Sci-Twi's only memory of Sunset is the latter yelling at her, but if she was to try recalling at the time would she remember what was said or would she only remember the yelling?
    • Maybe it's a Required Secondary Power that it blocked them from questioning the gaps in their memory. If one realized their gaps it defeats the purpose to hide something.
  • Why didn't they consider the possibility of their memories being tapered with? That seems like Arbitrary Skepticism given all the magic, including mind-altering ones, they've dealt with before and memories were otherwise intact of.
  • They dismiss the photos Sunset shows to prove their memories were erased as fakes, but what about all the other photos they must have taken post redemption, social media, school newspapers, people? Shouldn't they have stumbled upon something that would substantiate Sunset's claim within the three days the story covers?
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    • Perhaps they simply didn't check in the three days because they were having fun at the beach. And maybe by pure coincidence it happened to be one of those weeks or so where they didn't upload any pictures of Sunset. With Instagram and Snapchat, the stories vanish after twenty four hours and Facebook's algorithm is pretty random, so it's just about possible.
    • The selfie-taking drone seemed afraid of Sunset. So maybe it can effect electronic memories (it kept the recording of Wallflower because she didn't think/know to erase it)?
  • Why didn't Sunset Shimmer revert to her old Alpha Bitch personality after having all her memories from the human world erased? Celestia's dialog in the first film and "The Fall of Sunset Shimmer" comic establish Sunset was like this by the time she fled to the human world. Said comic shows Sunset had enough idea what to expect it's why she fled there, nor was she surprised at her new form. This is the state she should have been reduced to, so what gives?
    • The personality thing, at least, could be explained by assuming only her memories were removed, but her Character Development was unaffected.
    • Maybe taking a blast meant to erase all the high school years of memories from six people resulted in far more extensive memory loss to the point it effected her memories before leaving Equestria, possibly to the point before she became as bad as she was.
    • Although we know she wasn't a nice pony memories before entering Canterlot High and much of her stay there until Rainbow Rocks, there's still very little we really know about what went on before the first movie (Of course, there's also the 2013 Annual, but continuity between the series and expanded material has always been debatable, such as the Humane Five meeting each other at Canterlot High for the first time despite the first movie heavily implying they've been friends for far longer). Perhaps, initially, when Sunset crossed into the other world, she might have actually regretted leaving Celestia. Sort of like how a young adult moves out thinking they're better on their own only to want to return back home when they get scared, lonely, or overwhelmed. It wasn't until the point before she started getting the hang of her new setting and perhaps a catalyst of some kind that eventually causes her to return to old habits.
    • It's actually simple, her confusion of where she was, and the suddenness of the climax didn’t give her time to revert.
    • What if "forgetting memories of High School" don't include absolutely every event in Equestria (depending on how the magic of the stone works)? It's possible that she remembers making up with Celestia after abandoning her studies, but can't remember anything that's directly tied to her fate and history at Canterlot High.
    • Recall from the first Equestria Girls movie that the photo of Sunset winning the first Fall Formal she entered showed her as actually looking rather kind, even meek. It's possible that when she first left Celestia, she still was in touch with her kind side (she even hung onto the book she used to communicate with Celestia, a part of her knowing she had made a huge mistake in leaving), and only became as hardened and cruel as she was in the first movie after that.
    • And of course, at this point, there are enough plot holes with that "Fall of Sunset" comic (such as Moondancer being nothing like she is in the series) that we can probably safely say it's no longer canon.
    • She still thinks she's Celestia's student, meaning she was reverted to before their falling out and her really falling into Alpha Bitch territory.
    • Just to do a summation of the speculation for convenience:
      • Comic tie ins (even if they fit seamlessly) still tend to not be canon unless the showrunners declare it so or unless certain events are acknowledged onscreen via flashbacks/exposition (such as say an episode of Justice League Unlimited making an allusion to an issue of Batman Gotham Adventures, then they're non-canon or at best psuedo-canon.
      • And as we see beforehand even when some memories are erased, some potential holes or elements can still remain (like Rarity recalling having to deal with Trixie in regards to the yearbook).
      • Even taking the story as canon, in the comic Sunset, I believe, mentally prepared herself for anything upon leaving Equestria. In the special, without her memories, she finds herself suddenly in a different world with a different body without recalling that she entered it willingly. And as mentioned above, a part of her had some regret at leaving Celestia. Rainbow Rocks even has her stating that she saved the book that she could use to contact her because in her own words "I guess I knew I was making a big mistake, and I wanted to still have a way to reach out to her."
  • Why in the name of Celestia's farts would they design the yearbook room so that you CAN'T UNLOCK THE DOOR FROM THE INSIDE?!
    • Maybe it's just a overall messed up door that nobody has bothered to repair yet? It didn't seem they could open it from the outside either.
      • Yeah. It's probably the same reason why there's a hallway with really bad lighting. No one bothered to fix and everyone just lived with it.
    • Wallflower could have locked the door, that way Sunset wouldn't be able to find out about the stone again. It wasn't a good plan given that she could have got in troubles if had some teacher found out about it but Wallflower has proven to be fairly short-sighted if her Saying Too Much moment is anything to go with.
    • I think it's safe to say that Wallflower had a key to the room - if she's on the Yearbook Committee it's plausible - and locked the door once she left the room.
    • The school maintenance worker was let go due to state budget cuts. I'm sure there's a work order for getting the lock fixed, as well as the light in the hallway...
      • I can forgive a badly lit hallway, but wouldn't a door so hard to open violate some kind of fire code? You'd think that'd be a high priority to fix even if it meant hiring a third party company to do the job.
  • In the library in Equestria when Twilight is having her freak out she mentions a book series called Canterlot Cannibals WHY IS THERE A BOOK SERIES CALLED CANTERLOT CANNIBALS
    • That's a misreading; it's Canterlot Cantabiles, a set of a specific type of poem that happens to have a name that's spelling could be confused with cannibals at brief glance.
    • It could be a horror/thriller novel series; clearly they have the same genres of fiction as we do in Real Life...but why would it be in the restricted section if it's a work of fiction? Since Equestria is Like Reality Unless Noted, it stands to reason they could have pony versions of Jeffrey Dahmer, Anthony Morley, Rudy Eugene, etc., in which case the fact that there are at least 31 volumes is troubling.
  • When the villain finds the Memory Stone, they know what it is and how to use it due to it being buried with instructions. Three questions: 1. How did the instructions stay intact in all this time? Given they were only buried in soil a few inches deep it should have been exposed to rain damage if nothing else. 2. If the Stone was so dangerous they disposed of it, why include it with instructions for using it? 3. Given the insertions text and vague illustrations as shown here, how would they know what it meant? How was a random human able to read ancient Equestrian writing.
    • As for the time thing, the lack of clear differences in Twilight and Sunset's age implies time does not flow at the same rate between them. Wondercolts Forever: The Diary of Celestia and Luna has the counterpart of one of the ponies from that time (Hurricane) when to high school with human Celestia, implying the 1000+ Equestrian years translated to a few decades in human years, short enough to stay intact. And given humans and ponies already have the same languages, which is the same as ponies used 1000+ years back, is a common written language that unlikely. See here and here for proof EG humans use non-english text.
    • Maybe Wallflower found out how to use the stone through simple trial and error. She says that she erased a few awkward hellos. So maybe she brought the stone with her to school one day, had an awkward moment and went "I wish none of them remembered that" - and the stone did as she asked. We've seen that Equestrian magic tends to bend to the will of whoever it encounters - such as with Twilight, Gloriosa and Juniper - so Wallflower working out how to use it is plausible enough.
    • And as for instructions on how to use it, perhaps using the Memory Stone on Nightmare Moon could revert her back to Princess Luna. Perhaps using it on Discord could make him forget how to use his powers. The stone could be used to stop dangerous villains, so it's understandable why Clover the Clever wrote about how to use it in case Equestria faced a powerful threat that could only be stopped by erasing their memories. Which is why he went to such trouble to make sure only a sensible pony would be able to find it.
  • Here is a a picture from Sunset's freshman year. How are Sunset, Snips, and Snails the same age as present? Snips and Snails theoretically shouldn't even be there as they're too young to even be freshmen. The Humane Five are clearly younger in their freshman photo, the human Cutie Mark Crusaders are said to be freshman, and from the old Fall Formal photos, Sunset has been in school at least three years. (Here's Sunset's first Fall Formal photo, it's hard to tell if younger or not.) Sunset has always been subject to Vague Age, but not to the point it seemingly conflicted with continuity. What gives?
    • As for Sunset, Older Than She Looks may be in effect. She could have lied about her age when she got into school. Or maybe freshman only refers to years spent in school, and age isn't a factor unlike real life. That lax a system would explain how someone with no documentation and a huge rep of bullying managed to get into and stay in it.
  • Anybody can clear up the exact chronology of the special? As mentioned on Traveling at the Speed of Plot on the main page, Sunset's whole trip to Equestria seems to be happening on the same day since she returns to the beach to find the girls there. However, it is stated that the stolen memories can't be retrieved after three days, which the deadline being the sunset of the day Sunset and Trixie investigate, implying at least two nights went past over the special. Of course, it's also mentioned that the girls were first going to the beach on a Saturday, meaning a Sunday has to past by for the last day to be a school day... so maybe Sunset spent a full day and night in Equestria, and returned on a Sunday with the girls (along with Trixie) taking another day at the beach....
    • It's not made clear (time will tell if the unabridged 50-minute version will add those details) but I automatically interpreted the beach scenes as being two separate days.
    • Re-watching the beach scenes, however, Rarity points out that they already had a discussion with Trixie (about being voted "Greatest and Powerful-est") yesterday, thus clarifying that it is indeed the same day. Which increases the headscratcher to wondering what have happened to the Sunday.
    • My guess is absolutely nothing happened on that Sunday. The girls won't speak to Sunset, and outside of suspecting Trixie's behavior, Sunset has no concrete leads to follow the next day. If she couldn't confront Trixie outside of the school about it (maybe Sunset doesn't know where Trixie lives), then Sunset had to let that Sunday pass to confront Trixie directly on Monday (which is when Twilight found out about the deadline). Maybe she went back to Equestria to help Twilight some more. Maybe she just locked herself on her apartment and ate lots of ice cream while crying her eyes out.
  • Why do the stolen memories look like film strips? It's not like film existed when the Memory Stone was made.
    • They don't look that much like film strips if you look at them closely. It's just we tend to interpret them as such at it's the closest thing we know off, and there is a whole camera thematic in the special, enforcing the similarity. That the Stone is old Equestrian magic is irrelevant. What are memories stolen by magic supposed to look like, in the first place?
    • It's also a possibility that Wallflower herself influenced the visual interpretation.
  • Did they give a reason why pony Twilight didn't go back to the human world to try and help Sunset?
    • Presumably, it's the same as the previous movies have laid out. That having both Princess Twilight and Sci-Twi in the same world could cause unforeseen complications that risk worsening the issue.
    • Also, there's the risk that pony Twilight would have been subjected to the same memory erasure.
    • Twilight stays behind in Canterlot to look through the library, dividing the work up so Sunset can get things done in the human world. Twilight only figures out that Sunset has to restore the memories before the third day is up mere hours before said deadline. Maybe Twilight would have come if Sunset had said she needed help. But by the time she discovers the deadline, she also finds the culprit. And since Wallflower erases her memory of the meeting, she may have forgotten to ask Twilight for help.
  • It's revealed Sunset Shimmer was voted "Biggest Meanie" in her freshman year. But the first movie implies she at least hid her meanness and plotted behind everyones back. How else could she have remained in-power and tolerated as long as she was otherwise? It's not the most egregious Plot Hole from the movie (like how she's up-to-date on Equestria), but still.
    • She didn't hide her meanness. In the first movie Fluttershy is terrified of her, Applejack and Pinkie Pie are hostile to her and it's implied Rarity holds a grudge against her for the previous Fall Formal's events. It's just that everyone was afraid of her, and voting her Biggest Meanie was one of the only ways they could get back at her.
  • The special shows that only memories are stolen by the stone, writing about events, photographs and video remain the same. Sunset shows her own phone with pictures of the others, and they think they're fake picture. It's kind of hard to believe that none of them would have other pictures of Sunset on their own phones, or videos, which would be harder to explain as "fake", and wouldn't bother to check on the three days they lacked their memory. Rarity probably has sketches of clothes designed specifically for Sunset, not to mention videos/records of their songs, and if all that fails, it's weird that it never occurred to Sunset to show them her magical book.
    • Well Sunset might have resorted to that. But immediately after finding out the memories are gone, she talks to Princess Twilight, who suggests she return to Equestria for help. And by the time she's returned to the human world, she knows what she has to do to restore the memories, so she doesn't need to convince the others that she's their friend. And she probably avoids them because she doesn't want to be rebuffed by her best friends like she was at the beach.
  • I noticed a lack of acknowledgment of Magical Movie Night (except the new journal) despite even the comparatively minor shorts getting Continuity Nods. Any reason for that?
    • It had no bearing on this movie's plot.
    • Perhaps from a dramatic point of view, it gives more weight to Sunset's reunion with Celestia. If she mentions having taken a brief trip back to Equestria where she met Starlight, it dilutes the emotion of the scene.
  • The special takes places during the end of the school year, as they're making yearbooks and it's Summer, hence the Beach Episode. This shows it takes place after Fall Play from the Digital Series, which takes place after the Fall Formal from the first movie (they hav their geodes). Therefore, the special takes place two school years after the first movie, who's old Fall Formal photos show Sunset was there at least three years prior. The special establishes Sunset has been there since 9th grade. So is Sunset graduating from 13th grade and coming back for 14th? If this were her final school year, it would be mentioned. Does high school start at less than 9th grade here? Was she held back a few years? Floating Timeline?
    • Well, it's a mix of Alternate Universe (the grades don't have to follow the American system) and Comic-Book Time, likely. I doubt the girls will ever graduate from high school even if the series last several more years.
    • I don't remember if this was ever confirmed or jossed in any of the movies or shorts, but maybe it's a K-12 or 6-12 school. This would also explain why humans akin to younger ponies, such as Snips and Snails and the CMC, appear at the same school as clearly older students.
  • How did Wallflower find the time to make the entire school forget that Sunset Shimmer was nice? That would mean tracking down every single student and faculty member at CHS and zapping every single positive memory of her out of their heads all in one night.
    • It's shown that the Stone did it all at once regardless of distance. It's just that powerful.
    • She's been using the stone for a while, so she must have gotten used to making it do big jobs (maybe she's used it on the school before over something). She aimed one blast at the remaining Humane Six, intending to wipe all their memories at once, so she seems to be able to wipe loads of people in one go.
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