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Headscratchers / My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Season 2 Episodes 1 To 13

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    2.01 & 2.02 The Return of Harmony 
  • The Dark God of Chaos (aka Discord) will break free of his prison every time the Elements of Harmony change hands- er, hooves. So what happens when Twilight dies of old age? (I wanted to put this in Fridge Horror, but that page is locked.)
    • Discord was only sealed once before, and that was by Celestia and Luna. Luna's corruption broke the Harmony that allowed Celestia to use the Elements, hence why the spell weakened. Presumably, once Twilight and co deal with this, they'll either affect a more permanent solution (they properly embody the Elements while Luna and Celestia evidently took several at once), or be smart enough not to leave the statue in the middle of the palace garden where just anyone can walk up and break the spell by accident.
      • But the presence of chaos isn't what breaks the spell... Princess Celestia directly said that the spell weakens and breaks when the Elements are wielded by somepony else. If, for whatever reason the Mane Cast can no longer wield the Elements, (whether they die or something else happens to them) the Elements would probably fall into the hooves of some other group of ponies.
    • Discord had only been imprisoned once before the episode began, so it's possible Celestia didn't realize that when the Elements changed hands the spell would be weakened. Now that they know, as soon as the Elements change hands again, the new wielders can go and reinforce the spell before Discord breaks free.
    • Or perhaps it will be Fridge Brilliance on par with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - so long as the mane cast live out their lives without the Elements changing hooves, then when they die, the Elements technically won't have changed hooves, so Discord will never be freed again.
    • Its quite possible Twilight won't die of old age..... but if she does, the elements would be passed onto a new generation of ponies, as it was done with her. So basically, they'll kick his rear again.
    • As of "Keep Calm and Flutter On," there is no longer any need to fear of Discord breaking free, so this concern is now moot.
  • Following up on this, why do so many people assume that the CMC's argument is what caused Discord to break free? Celestia explicitly says that the spell broke due to the elements changing hooves, and Discord is always shown as creating chaos, not feeding off of it. If anything, the CMC fought because the seal on Discord was weakening and the proximity affected them, not vice versa.
    • Because that's the most obvious way to interpret the scene. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are the best of friends but that fight wasn't really out of character for them. They are nothing if not petty. As for Celestia she has a habit of telling the Mane Six what she thinks they need to know and while we don't know WHEN Discord was defeated by the sisters it was at least a thousand years ago. So Celestia either a) lied, b) was mistaken, c) it took Discord a thousand years to escape even though nothing was holding him in place or d) it wasn't the sisters becoming disconnected from the Elements, it was more accurately the Mane Six taking possession of them that did. Which is EXACTLY the kind of information Celestia would hide which effectively makes a & d the same.
  • Discord's control is supposed to be inverting the Element component of each pony's personality: Applejack lying, Fluttershy being cruel, etc. But Rainbow was convinced that Cloudsdale was in danger, and thus headed off there to help. This is supposedly against loyalty, since she's leaving the mane cast behind, but she's going because of her loyalty to Cloudsdale. So… huh?
    • Add to this the fact that when Discord first confronts them, it's implied that he knows their STRENGTHS, that he's going to attack their WEAKNESSES. But he doesn't, he just hits them with an alignment reversal. Except... Rainbow Dash, who actually gets her weakness attacked. Rainbow Dash's weakness is overconfidence, and her element's weakness is having her loyalties divided.
      Rarity's personal weakness is vanity; her element's weakness is her tendency to be so generous it hurts her. ("Suited for Success".)
      Fluttershy's personal weakness is fearfulness; her element's weakness is that her kindness makes her a doormat. (ANY episode.)
      Applejack's personal flaw is stubbornness; her element's is insensitivity to other's feelings and opinions ("Look Before You Sleep", "Over a Barrel".)
      Pinky Pie's personal flaw is gluttony (big time!); her element's flaw is an inability to take anything seriously.
      And Twilight's personal flaw is being a bit of a control freak; her element's flaw is that she can't handle mundane things (friendship, sleepovers) and if her magic fails, she freaks.
      Any of those points would have been a better angle for the writers to have Discord exploit... heck, by all rights Twilight should have been the FIRST to fold, when Discord took her horn away. Alas, for opportunities at greatness lost...
      • I don't think he ever explicitly said he would attack their weaknesses. He just said he knows them all, what he would do with this knowledge was up to him alone.
      • It's highly likely that Discord was so confident that he'd succeed that he didn't do more to stop them.
      • Discord isn't nearly as clever as he likes to think he is.
      • On the other hand, it kinda makes sense for him to break their strengths; it makes them even less of a threat to him. If he attacks their weaknesses, it means their strengths are still intact and they could still sync with the elements. Appealing to Rarity's vanity wouldn't help much because what he needs to do is remove her generosity; appealing to Pinkie's gluttony isn't as useful to him as ruining her ability to make other ponies laugh; etc. By taking out their strengths, he basically ruins their connections to the elements, which effectively neutralizes his only weakness. In regard to Rainbow Dash specifically, he did attack her loyalty by forcing her to choose between her hometown and her friends, so either way she'd be betraying somepony. If anything you could argue that she made the wrong choice because she knows that leaving the maze causes her and her friends to "lose" the game, and she does so anyway. Granted, it's under Discord's influence, but even so she effectively sold out her friends for the chance to save Cloudsdale.
    • I'd see it this way: Discord tricked Rainbow Dash to attempt to save Cloudsdale from a non-existent danger, thus abandoning her friends in real need.
    • Discord's manipulation works by getting them to expose a moment of weakness, then using his powers to turn them against themselves. In Rainbow's case, he presents a situation in which she is forced to choose between two loyalties, knowing that either one will mean betraying the other. Then Discord turns her against her Element. We don't know for sure (yet) that Rainbow actually intends to go back to Cloudsdale.
      • I saw that too, at least with everyone but Fluttershy. He attacks Applejack with an uncomfortable "truth", he attacks Pinkie Pie by turning laughter into a negative, he hits Rarity with something she really adores to turn her into a selfish jerk, and he divides Rainbow Dash's loyalty to her town and to her friends. But with Fluttershy, he tries again and again (and fails) to get her to be unkind to her friends (talk about them behind their backs) but she NEVER DOES. And then he just hypnotizes her into being cruel. What gives? I feel like it was either an Ass Pull or a Deus ex Machina. If the writers had gotten her to admit, even once, that her friends might not be perfect little angels, then I could see him abusing that chink in her armor... I dunno, I just feel it wasn't handled as well as it could have been.
      • I think the fact that Discord couldn't harm Fluttershy in that subtle way and had to be forced to rewire her directly is a testament to her strengths as a character and why most people love her as one; think about it. Twilight wasn't attacked, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash were corrupted quick by the double-edged sword they both have of taking things quickly and at face-value. Pinkie Pie resisted it because she's Pinkie and likes at least the humor that Discord brings, and Rarity resisted Discord's corruption at first because she was staying true to her element and the task at hand. Fluttershy? She was outright immune to his subtle magics and social advances. He had to STOP PLAYING in order to corrupt her. Its probably why they Fluttercruel needed to be tied down in order to be uncorrupted; she was too strong in the ways in both Kindness and Cruelty.
      • That's because you've got it wrong. Discord's manipulation works by zapping ponies in the head with magic. He does the "getting them to expose a moment of weakness" thing because it's fun.
      • I have another view on that: Discord hopes for a more complete corruption instead of a quick but incomplete corruption. That's why Discord wants to gets them to expose a moment of weakness before he uses magic to zap. But, it doesn't work well on Fluttershy, and so Discord gets impatient.
      • It may also be that exposing a pony's weakness simply makes it easier for the corruption spell to operate effectively. Keep in mind that while Discord is just a few shades shy of a Physical God, he still got out of a thousand-year imprisonment just several hours prior; it's not unlikely, therefore, that some of his powers might have atrophied in the meantime. Using a brunt-force attack as he did on Fluttershy against the entire Mane Six might've been beyond his comfortable power limit at the time.
      • My theory is that the writers couldn't think of a way for Discord to "corrupt" her. In past episodes, we've seen that the other five ponies don't perfectly embody their elements and can be tempted towards the other side. Applejack, despite being honest, isn't above lying to avoid an uncomfortable situation (see "Party of One"). Pinkie Pie, despite her cheerful nature, is horribly insecure and will start to suspect her friends of turning against her if she's not constantly reassured otherwise (again, "Party of One"). Rarity, despite being generous, still loves collecting diamonds ("A Dog and Pony Show") and can be quite protective of her possessions. Rainbow Dash, despite being loyal to the main cast, isn't completely devoted to them, since she still shows some signs of loyalty towards her hometown of Cloudsdale. The problem is that Fluttershy has never shown any tendency towards unkindness. We've seen her get angry or frustrated, but not outwardly mean or spiteful. If Discord persuaded Fluttershy towards cruelty with his words alone, it probably would have felt overly contrived and out of character for her.
      • Never shown any tendency towards unkindness? What about when she haughtily told Rarity that her sewing skills sucked and that the dress she made for her free of charge was "prêt-à-porter" ("off-the-rack")? What about her treatment of the Princess' animals when they didn't love her?
      • Rarity basically forced her to tell her what she thought, it wasn't her first move, and she specifically asked for "honesty". The one of the animals was more desperation than outright cruelty.
      • Rarity forced her to tell her what she thought in the rudest, most patronizing way imaginable? (That's not even including her actions in the song reprise.) But really, Discord would have had a better shot appealing to her real biggest flaw which is her arrogance in her own abilities, both in her sewing and with animals. She's already proven that's she'll break psychologically to the point of tormenting small harmless creatures if her high self-perception is threatened.
      • Assuming Discord knew about the thing with the Princess' animals, she went mad when the animals rejected her kindness. Discord tried to get a similar effect by trying to convince her that her friends also disliked her kindness, but it took longer than he expected, so he just went to Reality Warping to get it over with.
      • Or to put it in a clearer way, Fluttershy has done unkind things, but she's never been shown as instinctively unkind. In both of the instances you provide, she was initially trying to be nice, and overcompensated when it didn't get the desired effect. Discord tried to convince her that her friends didn't like her kindness, but it took longer than he expected, so he just went to Reality Warp.
    • Also, the conflicting loyalities, as mentioned, means no matter which she chooses, she's betraying someone. She chooses her friends, she leaves Cloudsdale to be destroyed. She chooses her home, she betrays her friends. In reality, it's the most cunning of them all.
    • Not to mention that Celestia all but said that Discord's release put all of Equestria in danger. Getting Rainbow Dash to go save one town when her help is needed to save the entire kingdom is a good way of turning her loyalty against her.
    • In regards to Twilight; Discord is actually even more devious about breaking her. Her element is magic. In this context friendship = magic. What better way for him to destroy her friendship than by making her think all of her friends have turned against her? There's no indication that she's aware that Discord corrupted everyone else (the grayness can be chalked up to Rule of Perception), so as far as she knows, Rainbow Dash deliberately broke the rules of the game, and her friends are acting like jerks of their own free will. This could cause her to doubt her friendship, which results in the elements of harmony being rendered unusable, especially if Twilight rejects her friends without being under Discord's influence. Not to mention that it has the bonus of sticking it to Celestia. Discord is just the type of guy to rub in her face: "Oh, look at that. Your best student hates her friends now! And the best part? I didn't have to use my mind control to get her to do it!"
      • Spike actively calls attention to the grayness. Twilight had to have known something was wrong, she just couldn't fix it.
      • And what do Spike and Pinkie Pie have in common? They are the only two characters confirmed to be aware of the dull coloring. Twilight makes no mention of it, despite being aware that something weird is happening to her friends; and of course, she fails to consider that maybe the guy called Discord has something to do with it.
      • Spike could've been using "grey" metaphorically - strange, not quite themselves, off colour. Pinkie is Pinkie.
      • Hay, even Discord himself fails to notice that the tell-tale sign of his influence is gone. Clearly, the fact that Spike and Pinkie Pie notice the color change at all is the exception, not the rule.
      • Actually Twilight gets Discorded twice. Her element is magic, right? And Discord took away her horn before the game, which she needs in order to perform magic. Then when the game's over, he re-Discords her by taking away all her friends.
    • Remember, though, that Discord is an embodiment of chaos. It would not be out of character for him to deviate from his strategy when it suits him. Given his extensive knowledge of each of the characters' many exploitable weaknesses, he probably chose his mode of attack (possibly based on the quickest, easiest, or simply whichever way he enjoyed most) for each character as an individual.
      • Two of the ponies have been corrupted by turning their elements into something to be shunned in their mind (Applejack and Pinkie Pie). Rarity has been corrupted by using her weakness (pretty things). Rainbow Dash got hit with an impossible choice. Fluttershy got brainwashed by force, and Twilight was completely severed from her element (magic/friendship) by turning her friends into enemies. So yeah, there doesn't really seem to be a definite pattern to Discord's madness. Fridge Brilliance, maybe?
    • Discord did prey on one of Pinkie Pie's weaknesses — her insecurity. People don't acknowledge it enough, but it was hinted at in "Green Isn't Your Color" with her outright paranoia about secret-keeping and the potential to lose friends over it, and took center stage in "Party of One." For all her cheerfulness and unashamed weirdness, Pinkie Pie is actually terribly insecure about herself. She's afraid her friends will leave her, afraid people are laughing at her, afraid they're just humoring her and really think she's an annoyance. This is also why Gilda's bullying got to her so badly.
    • Considering her personality in the scene where her friends found her and the comparison that Applejack made between her situation and Rarity's, Discord turned Rainbow rebellious, not disloyal.
  • How is there room for that giant hedge maze near Canterlot? As far as we see, it's just one giant castle attached to the side of a mountain.
    • Maybe the maze is partially behind the castle (we only ever see it from one side) and it veers behind that mountain the castle is perched on. Or the castle itself stretches beyond the front side we always see and the tower the maze was visible form was in a different place.
    • Its size under Discord's influence likely is independent of its normal size. At any other time a much smaller maze would fit just fine.
  • If the seal holding Discord in prison was greatly weakened by the Elements passing to a new user, such that being in the presence of chaos was enough to free him, why was his stone body left in a public location and, if it couldn't be moved, why was the public still let into the statue garden?
    • The way Celestia said it, it seemed even she didn't realize it had weakened until it Discord had already been revived. She said she'd believed the seal was eternal, considering it'd held for over 1000 years, it makes sense she'd believe that.
      • Here's hoping they encase the statue in concrete or something this time around. Or shatter it (provided that doesn't free him, of course).
  • Why didn't Celestia have Discord's prison destroyed if he was a statue?
    • Because he was sealed inside the statue. Breaking it would have freed him.
      • OK, sorry. I thought he was turned into the statue.
      • Why not send the statue TO THE MOON?
      • What, and risk having Nightmare Moon (who was imprisoned there at the time) break the statue and free him?
      • Plus, she can't actually send things to the moon on a whim. It took the Elements of Harmony to do it to Nightmare Moon. He may simply be too powerful to do anything on that scale to him, even with the elements — the statue prison is as good as it gets
    • Given the abilities and power level that Discord displayed, he could likely survive being shattered or otherwise chopped to pieces. Smashing his statue would just result in having to keep watch over multiple fragments instead of just one.
  • Just how many Ancient Evils has Celestia imprisoned in such a fashion that they could break free at the worst possible moment? We've seen two so far, which means there could very well be more. Really, Twilight Sparkle should buttonhole her at the earliest possible opportunity and demand an accounting. After all, as the lead Element of Harmony, she's very likely going to end up having to deal with all of them sooner or later.
    • Well Nightmare Moon was probably intentionally not imprisoned for good. As for Discord, she honestly thought he'd been done away with for good and was surprised as everyone else when he returned.
    • She had good reasons for not killing either of them. Nightmare Moon is her sister, and it's unsure if Discord can be killed, especially since Celestia was still young when she fought him.
    • This troper was under the impression that a Big Bad is going to be pulling the strings and unleashing ancient evils over the course of the season. Tirek possibly? It would also be a good way to introduce a new character for one of the ancient evils to have simply mellowed out during their imprisonment.
      • I think that's Word of God right there. Something corrupted Luna and weakened Discord's prison. I can't remember the details.
      • If the Big Bad turns out to be those witches from that movie and TV series (the one with the smooze, remember?) I think I'll roll on the floor laughing.
      • I hope they bring their ship that looks remarkably like boobs with them.
      • The WMG making a STARTLINGLY good case that who's been running around weakening Discord's prison, corrupting characters and unleashing chaos on Ponyville is none other than Cheerilee.
      • It's not clear if Celestia personally is responsible for imprisoning all of them, but there's apparently enough that there's an entire realm (Tartaros — they distinctly pronounce it with the Greek "os", not the Latin "us") dedicated to holding them, and they can potentially get out any time Cerberus decides to wander off.
  • So Applejack was taught by Discord that lying is okay because the truth is harsh. After which, the one time she told the truth after the spell was to tell Twilight that Rainbow Dash was leaving them?
    • She lies to others. In that instance, she was just making an observation out loud.
  • After Applejack got all "discorded", she seemed to lie in response to any question that she's asked, and the only time she tells the truth it's a random statement about what she's seeing rather than a direct question. Thus, why didn't Twilight ever think to start asking questions to Applejack as double negatives like "So what didn't you see in the hedge maze before I found you?" Since she has to lie all the time, she'd end up saying what she saw. Granted, there probably wouldn't have been time to do something that complicated to undo the brainwashing for all the others, but still it would have been cool!
    • Remember the way Applejack talks, though. The deeper you go into the South, the more likely you are to run into double/triple/quadruple negatives. Twilight would probably have just ended up with a splitting headache if she'd tried this on her.
      • Um, gross generalizations about the South aside, Applejack doesn't actually use a lot of double negatives, as far as I can recall. Her grammar may not always be perfect, but it's not so bad that you can't understand what she's trying to say, or that she doesn't understand what others are trying to say. Twilight might get a headache from trying to penetrate her constant lies, but grammar shouldn't be an issue.
    • The question is, why would Twilight do this? As far as Twilight knew, Applejack didn't have any vital information anyway, and there was no indication that tricking Applejack into saying one thing that was true would have broken Discord's spell. Playing word games with her wouldn't accomplish anything.
  • Did anyone else think that when Twilight Sparkle got corrupted, that she would become a techhead instead? After all, the obvious offense against Magic is...but my real Headscratcher comes from the lesson of this story; Friendship is hard, but if you work at it you will persevere. This is all well and good, but the problem rears its head when we look at the circumstances that their friendship is threatened. It was totally from an outside force for which they had no control over their actions and weren't acting in their frame of mind. If they had been led into those corruptions from a sense of need to lie or be cruel or be greedy or grumpy in their own personalities, then one could argue that it was their personality and they could be held responsible, but not in this case.
    • Twilight was corrupted because she gave up. That's why fighting for their friendship is the lesson. Twilight didn't try to fix them, she just pressed ahead on her own.
    • Regarding the first part, science is not the opposite of magic in this world; indeed, the complex laboratory and equipment that Twilight possesses in Feeling Pinkie Keen seems to indicate that the two are one and the same (or at least, that unicorn magic functions as a scientific discipline with predictable and testable outcomes). And in any event, Twilight's Element of Harmony is not merely "Magic" as a generality but literally the Magic of Friendship, the spark or "X-factor" that is needed to forge enduring friendships between compatible ponies. So it makes perfect sense that giving up on her friends would trigger her corruption, and that it would turn her into the essence of friendship's true opposites: despondency and solitude.
    • Fair enough. Which leads me to wonder why her strength of enduring friendships would be something to attack. For the longest time, if we are being fair, she resisted. Also, being as smart as she is, you would think she would realize her friends were being manipulated...which goes back to the second question, really. They were being manipulated.
      • She definitely knew something was wrong, and that it was Discord's fault, but she pegged all her hopes on being able to befriend the crap out of him with the Element Cannon. When that failed, she just gave up until Celestia spammed her with her own letters. To more directly answer the opening 'scratcher, for all of Discord's Mind Rape, he was taking a trait that already existed and turning it up to about fifteen. As one WMG on the Mane Characters page put it, each of them (except possibly Rainbow Dash) had already acted against their Element at least once - all Discord did was let that part out to play for more than a CMFIS (Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome, in case you aren't in the know)-induced breakdown (OK, Applejack's lies were mainly to keep a surprise party secret). Meaning that yes, they were lead into those corruptions from their own flaws, just aggravated by Discord.
      • That also assumes that the opposite was there to begin with. I would feel bad if the girls were brought low because of this apparent weakness. I will certainly agree with Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and (sorry 'bout this, cutie) Fluttershy though I would call her more psychotic and desperate more than cruel. They certainly showed the opposite traits. Twilight hadn't before Season 2, and I don't think Pinkie did. She was paranoid and schizophrenic Played for Laughs, but I'm not sure I'd call her grumpy, would you?
      • Perhaps not the grumpiness per se, but certainly the Hair-Trigger Temper and the obstinacy in assuming the worst in others' motivations were certainly established quite thoroughly by "Party of One". The stimulus is different (i.e. she becomes obsessively paranoid that everyone is laughing at her and don't really consider her a friend), but the symptoms are similar.
      • And as for Twilight, she absolutely did demonstrate her "Discorded" traits in Season 1...way back in the pilot. Meeting the other members of the Mane Six allowed her to get past that mindset, but with them all having abandoned her, there was nothing left to keep her from reverting to the introverted loner with no time for or interest in making friends. The additional signs of depression can be attributed to the old aphorism "you never know what you've got until you lose it."
  • Discord takes away horns and wings. However, in no way are the Earth Ponies disadvantaged- they possess great strength and stamina. Applejack is big and strong. Pinkie Pie is agile and flexible- thus making her very cartoony. Wouldn't Applejack and Pinkie Pie have an advantage over the other four if they kept their strength and flexibility while the others lost their flight and magic abilities?
    • You're ignoring the context. A maze is not a physical challenge, it's a mental one. Wings allow one to bypass the maze, and magic would let Twilight or Rarity do the same by just removing the walls. Strength and flexibility mean nothing in a maze.
      • Also, because we have yet to see Earth Ponies with any form of supernatural advantage that Pegasi or Unicorns have, it only makes sense for Discord to use that lack of current advantage to prove his point. What got to me in that episode was why Rainbow Dash wasn't freaking out because her wings were gone? A huge part of her character goals hinge directly on the fact that she is a Pegasus.
      • She did freak out and give a Girly Scream. She probably tried to pull herself together for the sake of her friends, but once she was alone and Discord offered her her wings back, she crumbled.
      • It would make sense indeed, but remember that Rainbow Dash's true freak outs over losing her wings (or even just one) have mainly occurred in fanfiction, and you may be letting that influence your opinion. It's even considered cliche, right up there with "Celestia turns, or turns out to be, evil." Yes, fanfiction has no place in a canon discussion, but it's fair to point this out because Cupcakes did a similar thing to Pinkie Pie.
      • Simple, he made them weaker. End of story.
  • Couldn't the girls have walked through the hedge walls? They're literally just tall bushes...
    • It likely wouldn't even matter, as they go through the maze, it gradually becomes apparent that Discord is remodeling the whole place as they go. The shot leading to Rarity's discovery of the 'Gems' shows that parts of the maze are sideways or even upside down, completely defying logic. While it's somewhat possible that the maze was designed as such, it still doesn't matter. We're shown by Fluttershy's Mind Rape that Discord is always in control anyways, the point of the maze isn't even to save some time, but really just to have fun breaking the girls. Even when they were literally right next to each other, trying to go through the hedge to regroup would likely just have sent them elsewhere.
    • Plus, if you've ever been to an actual hedge maze, you'll see that it would actually take quite some time to get through the hedge - time that should be spent finding the Elements of Harmony...
  • Does anyone else think it's strange that the prison was broken when the Elements of Harmony changed hands, not when they'd been abandoned and turned to stone in the Everfree Forest?
    • I got the impression that Celestia's link to them was broken, and the spell binding Discord, did start eroding when Night Mare Moon was sealed away. It just took that long for said binds to erode enough.
  • Why do people automatically assume that Discord was the former ruler of Equstria? I mean, sure, something about it was mentioned when Celestia was telling the Mane Six about him, but she still left it incredibly vague as to what she meant by "ruling Equestria". "To rule" does NOT automatically mean a position in power, you know. And yes, she did say "before Luna and I stood up to him," but again, it's left incredibly vague. Celestia and Luna could've been the rulers the whole time, but they were just unable to deal with Discord properly until they had the right means to stop his little anarchy trip. And besides, I don't picture Celestia and Luna as being usurpers AT ALL.
    • That's a fair bit of logical trickery to get around the obvious interpretation. More likely is that they did overthrow him... but we have other words for "usurpers" who overthrow vile rulers who enjoy tormenting their subjects for the heck of it — words like "revolutionaries" or "heroes."
    • That doesn't matter. I still refuse to believe that Discord was the former ruler, as he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would want dominance over an entire country, but rather just a manipulative, anarchistic trickster whose idea of fun is screwing with others. Besides, he's the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony before anything else.
    • Why wouldn't he want dominance over a country? He might not be much of a politician, but he simply enjoys making others act as he wills. Good material for a tyrant. Ruling a country just means he can pass laws like "no flying, no magic and you no sneezing on Saturday" to a whole lot of people. Plus, he did make himself a throne in the despoiled Ponyville.
    • I'm assuming he didn't so much actually govern as he made himself a throne, shouted "I am the God King, goo goo g'joob!" and got rid of anyone else trying to claim a position of authority. After all, what better way to spread anarchy than from the top?
    • In this case, "rule" just means that he was in control through power. He clearly enjoyed himself while manipulating the Mane Cast and twisting Ponyville. Why wouldn't he want to do that on a country-wide scale? He only "ruled" because nobody was powerful enough to stop him, governing has nothing to do with it. After all, if a god-like being decides to use your home nation as his personal playground, do you honestly think that nation could just say "no"?
  • Why does Spike suddenly know all about the situation with Discord after Twilight finds the Elements of Harmony? He was totally clueless before.
    • A letter sent from Celestia to him personally, perhaps? After all, while he may not wield an Element of Harmony, he's still part of the friendship circle Twilight and the others make.
  • Maybe I'm just dense, but why was Applejack winking during the ceremony? She might have been trying to tell Twilight that Spike was there, but that body language doesn't really convey that information. Seriously, I assumed at first that she was flirting with Twilight or Celestia.
    • That whole sequence was a reference to the ending of Star Wars: A New Hope. Of course, the fact that Applejack stands in for Han Solo and Princess Celestia stands in for Princess Leia does lead to some weird implications.
  • Why couldn't the ponies try to befriend Discord or the Elements Of Harmony turn him good? That was really mean.
    • Discord is called "a spirit of chaos and disharmony". He might be unredeemable simply because he's like an elemental and has no free will to, you know, stop spreading discord. And the ponies didn't exactly try to befriend Nightmare Moon too, they just fired the Elements and observed the results. Maybe they don't control what effect the Elements have on their target.
    • So he doesn't have free will and is stuck acting like this even if it's not really want he wants against his will if he has one and the Elements can't free him? Why does a TV-Y show about colorful ponies with a friendship lesson in each episode have so much Fridge Horror and frightening implications?
      • You're reading WAY too much into this: He's an anthropomorphic representation of disharmony... he's made of chaos. He can't be rehabilitated, if they try to "purify" him from chaos, like they did with Nightmare Moon, nothing will be left. And more importantly: He's not a victim.
    • Nightmare Moon was corrupted by evil magic, heck, according to some Fanon Discord's magic. The Elements freed her from it and brought her back to her senses. Discord actually is evil, nothing is forcing him to do what he does. Being Chaos doesn't make him evil, Pinkie Pie is a good example that chaos can be good, Discord just gets sadistic kicks out of making ponies suffer. The fact is that Discord really was evil, the only way the Elements could've turned him good is a Heel-Face Mind Screw, which would be no different than what he was running around doing to everypony. So in short, Nightmare Moon wasn't really evil to begin with, just corruption. Discord was truly evil and not corrupted by an outside force, there's nothing making him be evil the Elements can remove, so Discord gets Taken for Granite.
    • Nightmare Moon wasn't corrupted by an outside force either, but in any case Discord is the spirit of "let's not be friends." He isn't just bad, he's basically Made of Evil.
      • Although there are the provisos that God Does Not Own This World and said God no longer being directly in charge of the series, Word of God disagrees with you. According to Lauren Faust, she was corrupted by something. Her own jealousy and resentment allowed it to corrupt her, but there was an outside force that catalyzed the change from "jealous, resentful Luna" to "Nightmare Moon." It's not clear what did it, and given the direction the series has been taking, it might never be revealed. Popular guesses include Discord (though the timeline doesn't seem quite right for that), or Tirek or whatever his G4 equivalent is. (With the caveat there that there's no indication that there is a G4 Tirek or anything equivalent, although turning a pony into a "Wicked Mare of Darkness" is certainly his style.)
      • Luna was only corrupted by an outside force after she'd been banished. She tried to bring about eternal night of her own accord.
      • As of the Season 4 Finale there is a G4 Tirek but he was imprisoned before Luna and only recently freed. No specific dates are given but 1000 years ago seems to have been a frighteningly dangerous time in Equestria.
    • As of "Keep Calm and Flutter On," Discord has been shown to have a genuine good side to him. Also, the IDW comics reveal that the Nightmare Forces were the catalysts.
      • Claiming Discord has a genuine good side seems to be a bit of a stretch. "Keep Calm and Flutter On" merely proved that he's not above being manipulated. The S4 finale suggests he's at least a little aware of the fact that Fluttershy is keeping him in check by threatening not to hang out with him. It works because he genuinely likes her but the fact that his Morality Pet keeps him on a short leash doesn't make him good.
      • So being manipulated means you're not a good person? I guess nobody is, right? Fluttershy didn't manipulate him. The friendship they have IS genuine. It isn't wrong to say we only saw redeemable qualities after season 3, but if Discord doesn't have a genuine good side, then the whole "reformation" was meaningless.
  • So assuming they really couldn't at least try to befriend him because the ponies like the much more important element of acceptance, answer me this: Why couldn't Discord and Celestia have learned long ago to rule side by side? After all, she's "Harmony" and he is Chaos, and you really need chaos to create true harmony. Is the show trying to teach kids to judge others and not be friends with people who aren't at all like you?
    • Why are you so bent on putting leather pants on Discord? If you want a Family Friendly Explanation, then Celestia is wrong and Discord isn't Chaos incarnate: As his name indicates, he is DISCORD incarnate, AKA the OPPOSITE of harmony. One of the elements of harmony is friendship, so he befriending anyone would be against his own nature (That is, true friendship, not the playful destruction he caused).
      • I think I phrased that wrong because I was tired. I meant why couldn't they have ruled Equestria even if they aren't best friends/a couple, they could have done it like a president and vice president.
      • Discord already had a chance to show what life would be like under his rule, and it was horrible and caused great suffering to all of ponykind (assuming Celestia was telling the truth, which we have no reason to doubt) He had already proved himself unworthy of being a benevolent ruler. It is also doubtful that he would even consider sharing power with anyone else.
      • Hey, the jerk deserved his punishment. After what he did to the Mane 5, as well as screwing up the laws of physics and nature in Equestria, I'd say he gains no sympathy whatsoever.
      • That's sounds like shinto/taoistic philosophy, that good can't exist without evil. Don't think the writers want to bring forth such a controversial message to the children.
  • Why weren't Twilight's parents at the ceremony at the end? They live in Canterlot, their daughter is basically getting the Medal of Honor for saving the world from the pony equivalent of the Devil. So where are they?
    • We never do see them again outside of that flashback. It's entirely possible that they're dead. Or maybe (assuming they were in their 40s or 50s in the flashback) they've reached the pony equivalent of retirement age and moved to pony Florida and couldn't go since the ceremony was last-minute (or at least I thought it was...).
      • Besides, they could've been in the crowd.
  • So fairly early in the episode, Celestia seems to bestow the accolade to Twilight. Does this mean Twilight is now a knight? Is her formal title now Dame Twilight Sparkle? I'm sure it will never come up, but I'm curious.
  • Was Discord freed by the Elements of Harmony changing users, or by the Cutie Mark Crusaders fighting (i.e. creating discord) in front of the statue? I've heard both mentioned. If the first, how come he took so long to break free between last season and this one?
    • It's likely a combination of the two. The seal was weakened by the elements changing hands, but being in the presence of discord was what allowed him to break out of the weakened seal.
    • I'm pretty sure it's almost entirely the former. Celestia explicitly states that the seal weakened due to the elements changing hands, and it's never even implied anywhere in the episode that Discord absorbs chaos. He makes it. If anything he caused the CMC to fight. The evil laugh wasn't due to his seal weakening, but due to the fact that he realized he could start spreading his influence again.
  • Both Celestia and Discord himself make it abundantly clear that the latter is a Reality Warper who twists and destroys everything he touches in the name of sowing chaos. So why did Applejack grab a great big Idiot Ball and/or Conflict Ball and take the vision Discord gave of her friends talking smack about her at face value? I can see some doubt and worry coming about from that, but you'd think Applejack would have known better by then.
    • She didn't know that it was actually from Discord. Pay attention to the scene — Discord doesn't actually make a direct appearance or make his involvement known, and tries to pass off the apple trolls as some sort of unrelated magical creatures. On top of that, the incident with Fluttershy shows it wouldn't have made a difference if she had doubted it.
    • Twists, yes. But destroys? The only thing I remember him destroying is friendships, harmony, mental stability, and the roads around Ponyville. Oh, and a hedge maze. By that count, Rainbow Dash and Applejack have destroyed more than he has (temporarily, in the case of the mental and harmonic stuff) over the first season alone, not even counting the other ponies and the second season.
      • Yep. He destroyed all that already and was only getting started. Now imagine how bad things might have gotten if he had had an entire season to work with...
  • Why do people keep making out that Discord is so much worse than a Card-Carrying Villain, presumably one with a similar scale of power since otherwise it would be an unfair comparison? I would much rather prefer to have Discord around than a sadist or glutton for control with similar powers, and that's even after accounting for one of my worst phobias being to lose myself. He would eventually get around to doing mean things t you, but odds are that he would also do a few nice things, and plenty of entertaining (not necessarily for you) but relatively neutral things. I'm quite sure he wouldn't outright kill anyone who didn't go out of their way to prove that they're less interesting and more annoying alive than dead, although even if he did decide to go on a killing spree, it would probably be almost completely unexpected and statistically less than the average childrens' show villain would do without media content restrictions. Is this an empathy thing, or possibly something to do with my upbringing or philosophies that I'm too close to see (and, I will admit, something others might not notice from a simple paragraph like this)? I'm not saying Discord is nice (A Draconequus in Leather Pants, one might say), just that it seems incredibly common to consider Discord worse because of his Blue and Orange Morality, and I really don't understand why.
    • It's not completely clear to me what you're asking, but I'll try to answer.
      Discord is very much shown to be a sadist and glutton for control. For most of the two episodes he basically stages an elaborate ploy to break Twilight emotionally, and celebrates when it succeeds. As for controlling people — if the puppeteer symbolism around him shown in the episodes is not enough — remember the scene where Fluttershy resist his manipulation and how angry it makes him. He seems to enjoy playing with ponies as long as they act along his expectations. And heck, you could also argue that he's a Card-Carrying Villain too — he never really stops to gloat how evil he is, but at one point he acknowledges that his name is Discord, and well, that's what he's gonna do.
      His goals may be Blue and Orange Morality, his methods are almost unanimously Black.
      There's also the fact that we don't really know the extent of what he was going to do. In the episodes he was just starting up and merely managed to neutralize the Elements of Harmony. We were, however, told that he once ruled Equestria, keeping everyone in unhappiness. And that Celestia is for some reason very afraid of him. We don't know the details, which feeds imagination. Plus, YMMV, but the whole "chaotic being of godlike powers" may be reminding some of the fans of something else (those are just two examples, there are more in Order Versus Chaos).
      • I see, now. ...I think. I always thought of him acting the way he did toward the Mane Six (especially Twilight) as a pragmatic way to break the elements, not being mean for the lulz (and therefore, For the Evulz) while breaking the elements. I guess it is an empathy thing. Although I do disagree with the specific point of him stating his name being Discord, and that's what he's going to do, being evidence for evil and not just chaos/strife.
      • The pragmatic way would be to brainwash the whole six with a spell, something he's shown to be more than capable of, all at once. Instead, he did it gradually, purposefully omitting Twilight up until she tried to use the Elements against him, the more to drive home how hard they failed — and to Twilight specifically. Call it WMG, but it may have something to do with Twilight being Celestia's student, thus making this a revenge against the princess by proxy, after all those years — Discord specifically wanted to see the Elements being used and failing.
        As for stating his name — I was merely pointing out that he was fully aware of what he was causing. And I'd say that causing strife and disharmony, with no other goal than causing strife and disharmony, qualifies as evil.
  • Where was Princess Celestia while the gals faced Discord, and why didn't she help out more? In the first episode, she explains how serious the threat is to the Mane Six, and she freaks out when the Elements are gone...but she stays in the palace while the friends run out to check the hedge maze. We don't hear from her again until after the first, failed attempt to banish Discord with the elements, when she starts sending Twilight the letters. If she really thought Discord was that big a problem, shouldn't she have joined in the search?
    • What could she have done? She was no longer connected to the Elements, without which she wouldn't have had a chance against Discord anyway if his backstory and the ease with which we see him playing around with day and night all by himself is any indication. And joining the Mane Six in person would have run the risk of distracting them from their mission at a crucial moment, at least in part by giving Discord simply another nice target of opportunity (that they all conveniently happen to care about) to torment. So, all of a sudden staying behind in hopes of perhaps coming up with some last desperate gambit or other while Discord is busy in turn doesn't sound like such a bad call anymore...and that's without even going into the common fan explanations that Discord had already imprisoned or otherwise incapacitated her offscreen.
  • Why did the ponies not try to run away from Discords illusions? If i was one of them that would be my incentive.
    • Sometimes, they don't immediately make the connection between the strange things happening in front of them and Discord's machinations. Their curiosity is piqued, and few were overtly hostile, and most of the time they don't realize it in time for Discord to discord them. Even if they are scared, have you ever heard the term "Paralyzed in fear?" Besides, running won't help. If Discord wants to mess with you, it doesn't matter if your 5 feet away or 50 feet away.
  • So, Twilight and the Discorded girls go to the library...and finds Spike asleep? What? Time, space and reality are being raped outside of his window and he thinks now is a good moment to take a nap? He seriously didn't notice everything that was happening? Furthermore, why was he still normal? Everybody else in town was under Discord's influence (except Twilight, but that was because he was having so much fun trolling her). What, are dragons simply immune to his powers?
    • It seems quite likely that Discord put Spike into longer slumber.
    • Except he wakes up immediately after Twilight enters. And why would Discord just put him to sleep instead of using his power to "discord" him like everybody else?
      • It is possible that Spike took a nap before this all began and has been sleeping through it all.
    • What?There was Flying houses, dancing buffaloes and rabbits with deer legs doing stampedes. And I'm supposed to believe there wasn't a mass panic attack from the residents of Ponyville for all that before Discord corrupted them? How can you sleep through that? And anyway this doesn't explain why Discord doesn't corrupt him:why of all Ponyville he was the only one spared?
      • Spike was unaffected because he was in the same room as the Elements of Harmony.
  • When Twilight got her horn back, why didn't she just use her magic right away to try to fix her discorded friends (which she does in the third act, so why not use it in either the first or second act)? We've seen her use her magic to move objects (i.e. The Elements of Harmony and Rarity's "diamond" (which is actually a boulder)) but never to restore her friends to normal. If she did, it would've saved her all this trouble!
    • She didn't realized there was anything wrong with them until much MUCH later (likely, when she read the letters she herself had written) and didn't know how to "fix" them either. Reading the letters gave her the idea of a memory spell. Moving them around like boulders would have accomplished little.
    • I didn't necessarily say that she would use her magic to move them like boulders! Wasn't she ever taught memory spells when she was originally part of Princess Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns? If that was the case, she could've remembered that as a solution if her friends were not behaving the way she was used to them before reading the letters!
      • Joking with the moving them like boulders thng. But, As I have already said, reading the letters is what made her puto two and two togheter and realize her friends needed a memory jog. She *could* have made them read the letter too, or make another thing to make them remember, the spell just was the faster route.
  • Why didn't Discord take notice about Spike burping out all the Friendship Reports, and used his power of Chaos to stop the burping so that the letters wouldn't get to Twilight? Even if he wasn't able to stop the burping, Discord could've at least destroyed the letters, so that Twilight wouldn't be able to read them, and would've been able to rule Equestria in chaos forever.
    • We don't know *why* Spike was burping the letters, it could have been Celestia, it could have been Luna, or it could have been a random(or direct) effect of Discords magic. If it was Discord, it was because he was sure he had win, so he basically wanted to rub it in Twilight's nose and it backfired.
  • Why didn't Applejack ask the giant apple monsters where the elements were hidden? It wouldn't have guaranteed that she wouldn't have been discorded, but at least she could have known.
    • I doubt Discord would have told her where they were. Or if he did it would have been with another riddle.
  • Why is Pinkie Pie's mane still poofy after she's corrupted?
    • Because Pinkie was angry, not sad.
  • Why didn't Twilight Sparkle just use her spell to walk on clouds to get the ponies high enough to catch Discorded!Rainbow Dash?
    • They were in a terrible hurry to stop Discord.
    • If they lost Rainbow Dash now, they might not find her again.
    • The spell took some prep time and, like other more difficult spells, was draining on Twilight.
    • Not to mention that Twilight had just cast four de-brainwashing spells in rapid succession, and needed to conserve enough energy to lay the fifth one on Rainbow Dash once they caught her.
    • There weren't enough clouds around for them to use to chase Rainbow Dash.
    • Rainbow Dash could just dissipate the clouds and Fluttershy would be too busy trying to catch the falling ponies, allowing Rainbow Dash to escape.

    2.03 Lesson Zero 
  • Wouldn't Rainbow Dash have hit the ground at mach 1 and potentially killed her self, after doing a sonic rainboom that close to ground?
    • Rainbow Dash has shown the ability to make impossibly tight turns at that speed. She'd be fine.
    • She can also impact things at high speeds without any lasting damage. She likely has incredibly high durability, which comes with super speed anyway. (Look at how often Sonic the Hedgehog crashes into things, sometimes destroying them outright, without even a scratch.)
    • Cartoon physics. Pinkie isn't the only one who they apply to, we've seen them affect pretty much every character.
  • Was that thing Rainbow Dash did actually a sonic rainboom? If so, why did it produce a mushroom cloud when it never has before?
    • Probably because we didn't know what would happen if she hit something whilst doing it I guess.
    • From the looks of it, she broke the sound barrier just before doing the same extreme turn she did in 'Sonic Rainboom' to get away from the blast. The shockwave caused the explosion due to being so close to the ground, shortly followed by the actual rainboom. In reality, breaking the sound barrier shouldn't cause mushroom clouds, but hey, Rule of Cool. As for whenever she hit the ground or not, it's not that important to know.
    • Rainbow Dash has a lot of flying moves that cause impressive physical and visual effects other than the Sonic Rainboom, such as the Buccaneer Blaze. It could be a new move she developed over the summer. It doesn't look much like a Sonic Rainboom, really.
  • Even though it was in Twilight's imagination, why was there an Alicorn filly in Magic Kindegarten? No, seriously, go check in that scene. The yellow filly with purple hair closest to Twilight's right has wings and a horn.
    • Not to sound redundant but... it's her imagination, really. If anything, it shows none of these are real.
    • Also, it's an animation error.
      • Also? Possible Celestia's Dream Offspring?
      • Could say a lot about Twilight's subconscious, that.
  • Wait just a tick-tock. Twilight couldn't have sent a letter to Celestia every Tuesday afternoon since she's been in Ponyville. We clearly see her sending letters in the evening in other episodes, Look Before You Sleep for instance. Also this implies that each of the season one episodes takes place one week apart, when some of the episodes take place for what seem to be a longer period of time (Green Isn't Your Color, Show Stoppers, and maybe Over a Barrel). Additionally it's a bit hard to believe that all the "one day plots" happen on a Monday or Tuesday. I assume studious a student Twilight is she writes each lesson as soon as she learns it or maybe the next day at the latest, that can't always fall on a Tuesday.
    • We don't see every single letter she sends. Presumably she sends more offscreen.
      • More proof of this, look at how many letters Celestia sends back in The Return of Harmony part 2, while I haven't counted them, there seem to be more than there have been episodes. If they're all weekly letters (clearly some won't be, as demonstrated in a few episodes), this sort of proves that there's been some weeks we haven't been shown.
      • Not to mention that just because she sends one letter per week, it doesn't mean that she necessarily learned the lessons at a rate of one per week. She could easily learn two or three lessons a week and only send the reports in one at time, so she'd have a buffer. Then when it runs out, she freaks out.
    • She sends them every WEEK not every seven days, there's a bit of a difference. As in, she sends it within those seven days, just primarily on Tuesday. If she learns a lesson on say, Friday, she sends the letter then. She wouldn't have had to ask "When did we send the last one?" if it was always Tuesday. She'd know, being Twilight. It's sporadically sent throughout every week. She's probably sent more than one a week before.
  • Why does Twilight Sparkle know a mind altering spell at all? Isn't that a tad unethical? Did Celestia make her learn it or teach her it? If so, then that dives right into Iron Hooves territory. Did Twilight learn it on her own? If so, then are mind-altering spells just available for anyone to learn? Then there is the little matter of her having tested it before...this girl needs to take another course in Magical Ethics, pronto.
    • Considering she was able to polymorph her parents and supersize Spike, an unnatural attraction spell hardly seems out of the ordinary. It probably has some ethical use (could use it to lure off a monster or something), but Twilight obviously isn't being reasonable here.
      • The Spike super sizing and parent polymorphing was the result of a burst of raw magic.
      • Irrelevant. If she can do it unintentionally then it can be done purposefully. Magic is magic, and if she can do things like that, it only makes sense that she'd be to alter minds. There's no reason Celestia wouldn't teach it to her. Such a spell could have infinite practical uses.
      • Exactly, not to mention that by technical terms, this wasn't even a mind-altering spell. It was pure suggestion at the very least, and not a very powerful one if all it takse to remove it it initially is to remove it from sight. They were simply influenced into appreciating the item more. A very powerful Charm Person would be my understanding.
      • I had figured that she picked it up on a book she found, and this is her first time trying it. She's shown to have a memory so keen that she only needs to read or see something once to instantly recall it. As for why she even knows it in the first place, an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I'd also figure she would attempt to learn as many spells as she can regardless of what they are, just in case.
  • Probably missing a joke here, but when Twilight saw Fluttershy apparently beating up a bear, why is her reaction 'she's finally grown a spine' rather than questioning why her meek and patient friend is choosing violence over her usual kind-but-firm approach. Moreover, why didn't she try to help if she thought Fluttershy was in a fight? Fluttershy is the Silk Hiding Steel type to be sure, but that kind of violence - from Twilight's perspective - is wildly OOC, and one wonders why Twilight wasn't more concerned for her friend. Unless Twilight would be if she were in her right mind, and brushing it off as a missed opportunity for a 'lesson' was down to her frustration at the time.
    • While she hadn't gone completely off the deep end, Twilight had just pretty much announced her intent to take advantage of Fluttershy's meek nature ("Fluttershy always has some fear she's trying to get over, as a good friend I should be able to help her") which kinda implies the crazy had already started to take hold. Plus out of character or not, would you really want to confront a friend who'd just "killed" something several times her size and was probably still angry? I also imagine being hit by the debris from the Tactical Rain Nuke probably didn't help any. Maybe it wasn't madness, more severe concussion...
      • Concussion is actually quite a good suggestion. Both Twilight and Applejack has debris fall on them, but Applejack was wearing a helmet, while Twilight wasn't.
  • Everyone knows Princess Celestia would never take Twilight away from her friends but considering the circumstances, Celestia almost definitely was going to punish Twilight if the rest of the Mane Six hadn't appealed to her. This probably doesn't need to be answered but this leaves the question of what was gonna happen to Twilight?
    • See, the way that sounded to me, well before the rest of the Mane Six came in was that Celestia was never going to punish Twilight-a stern but informative lecture, yeah, but something that Twilight would have been positively reinforced by. As a ruler and the strongest magical practioner in the world as a God Among Mortals, she has to realize that taking an apprentice as dutiful as Twilight was going to lead to this eventuality. After all, after Spike informed her, she was the FIRST person to come to the aid of her freak-out. If that isn't a good mentor and friend, I don't know what is.
    • you're probably right. and a lecture is probably punishment enough considering how much Twilight wants to please Celestia. but on the other hoof, just a lecture does seem like to light a consequence. and Celestia's dialog does suggest that she would have punished Twilight somehow if the others hadn't convinced her that they actually leaned something from the incident.
    • Am I the only one who never thought Celestia was going to punish Twilight at all, and she was simply letting the others plead in their friend's defence so that they would learn and admit the lesson? That sounds like something Celestia would do, rather than spoon-feed them with "Ssh, it's okay." Either that or she was just letting them sweat, in a subtle nod to Trollestia.
    • Think back to how Twlight's mild scolding of Spike was so devastating to him that he ran away from home. A lecture from Celestia would be at least as devastating to Twilight, if not even moreso. I agree that would be punishment enough.
    • I'm just saying that wile there are valid reasons to think Celestia was always going to let Twilight off the hook, Twilight had never screwed up this bad before and the consequences may have been a bit more harsh if the rest of the Mane Six hadn't shown up. it also should be noted that Celestia usually makes a point that she is not going to punish anypony who thought it was coming. but this time she says she'll let it slide on the condition that they all write the friendship reports now. being tough on Twilight wouldn't automatically make her Tyrant Celestia. plus I saw a Fan Fic that wile technically (soft) Rule 34,(a Kinky Spanking premise) shows a great deal of respect for the show and cannon characterizations and is a pretty heartwarming What If? that wile unlikely, isn't beyond the realm of possibility in my mind.
      • Which fic is this? PM Aurabolt if you don't mind, and I can't really see Tyrant Celestia as a proper characterization considering that theirwhole society is based off the enduring values of the Elements of Harmony.
    • I may have misread what you said but I said that Celestia punishing Twilight would not make her her tyrant interpretation.
    • I'd say that Celestia went light on her punishment because she knew Twilight wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders at the time (it's possible past incidents have made her well aware of Twilight's inclination towards panic). Now that Twilight's in a more rational state of mind, she knows what she did was wrong and regrets having disappointed Celestia. Also, Twilight's obviously stressed out, so Celestia might be going easy on her in order to calm Twilight down enough so that the two work out a plan to move forward. Celestia knows Twilight didn't mean to start a riot and just wants to make sure that Twilight's not going to freak out again.
    • I'm also of the opinion that Twilight would have gotten off the hook; while causing a riot could have had terrible consequences, no one actually got hurt, Twilight's obviously never going to do anything like that again, and in any case she wasn't quite herself at the time. All said, there were probably enough mitigating factors to earn a bit of leniency. But... I find contemplating the ways Celestia might have punished her to be funny as heck. Twenty seconds on the clock!
      • "Bang! Zoom! Straight to the moon, Twilight!" Incidentally, this is the same punishment Celestia doles out for littering, jaywalking, and "looking weird".
      • She was going to decree that for her crimes, Twilight must atone by facing the Tomb of Horrors! The scene cuts to a table in a basement where Twilight is forced to play D&D with Snips, Snails, and Twist. Just to make sure she doesn't have any unintended fun, the Great and Powerful Trixie will be DMing. Twilight has a long night of re-rolling characters ahead of her.
      • She actually was going to send Twilight back to Magic Kindergarden in Canterlot. However, to Twilight's surprise, it quickly grows on her. She's getting three juice boxes a day, a comfy mat on the floor to nap on, and her classmates look on her in awe as the genius she always knew she was. Upon seeing that her punishment isn't working, Celestia will announce that Twilight is being exiled, to serve out the duration of her sentence in a small town in the middle of nowhere that was founded by escaped mental patients, and is also surrounded on all sides by dangerous, carnivorous monsters... The next day Pinky will throw her a "Welcome Back" party throughout which Twilight is noticeably quiet.
      • She was going to pull out all of Mrs. Smartypants's stuffing, fill her full of sliced bread, and say "There! Mrs. Smartypants isn't real!" Then she'd make Twilight write a three hundred page essay explaining what that proved, and Twilight WOULDN'T KNOW!
      • "M-O-O-N. That spells criminal justice!"
      • She was going to inform Twilight that she wasn't going to be punished then, but in the afterlife; that she'd be held accountable for the days event's after she died. Celestia would then ask Twilight what day it was. Upon being told it was Tuesday, Celestia would say "Already? Oooh, doesn't leave you much time to repent." She'd then leave the room chuckling as Twilight enjoyed a fear induced BSOD.
      • She would ask Twilight if she likes bananas....
      • Celestia begins to give Twilight her punishment, but before she can fully say what it is, she's quickly called away. She says she'll be back later to finish giving Twilight her sentence, and takes her leave. Twilight drives herself mad with the anticipation, not knowing that that is the punishment.
  • Why does Twilight make such a big deal about sending friendship reports to Celestia every week? Looking back on the pilot, it was never actually specified that the reports were supposed to be sent weekly; all signs point to Twilight imposing the weekly-report writing on herself.
    • And this surprises you? This is Twilight Sparkle we're talking about here; the pony who makes checklists to make checklists on her schedule for the day. It's entirely in character for her to impose pointless, arbitrary deadlines on herself to add more structure to her life.
    • Also, Twilight doesn't have the option of rewatching past episodes like we do. It's possible she simply got into a routine of sending the letters weekly and gradually came to suppose that Celestia had asked her to do this.
    • It also has to do with the fact that her mentor is the Ruler of all Equestria; who would want to screw up?
  • Granted Twilight is in the middle of a nervous breakdown, but if she willing to cheat by causing a problem to solve, then couldn't she have just cheated by making up a letter? Possibly because she's such a bookworm she doesn't have the imagination to come up with something, but it's entirely possible Celestia would never know if she did.
    • Turns out she does—she had been quietly observing Twilight as is revealed in "Magial Mystery Cure."
    • From Twilight's perspective, "causing a problem to solve" isn't cheating. The goal is to show that she is capable of solving a friendship problem and reporting on it. The source of the friendship problem is immaterial.
  • Am I the only one who thinks that Twilight could have written the letter about some friendship problems she could have found out in her way to looking for them? For instance, when she found out that Rainbow Dash and Applejack were not upset with each other she could have written something like "Today I learned not to judge situations so quickly". Or when she gave Smarty Pants to the Cutie Mark Crusaders she could have written something like "I learned that it's OK to grant something to your friends, but we must learn to be agree with the order and you and your friends will have fun together" which by the way could have saver her necessity to apply the "want it, need it" spell. Why didn't Twilight think about that before causing all that chaos?
    • She probably viewed it as insufficiently awesome to be what she learned. Assuming Twilight never writes letters to Princess Celestia that don't get made into episodes all of her lessons are fairly big deals. She may also have been suffering from a bit of tunnel vision by that point. I'm sure we've all had a situation or two where we knew the answer to the problem we and were so focused on the solution we had already decided on that only in hindsight or when pointed out by someone who has a little more perspective on the situation that there were other much simpler solutions than the one we had settled on.
  • Silly headscratcher but... Why did Twilight not check if Pinkie Pie had a problem?
    • Maybe she forgot to, or maybe she thought that Pinkie Pie couldn't possibly have a problem relating to friendship because she's friends with everypony.
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    2.04 Luna Eclipsed 
  • I don't know, but am I the only one who thinks that it's kind of a stupid idea if you want to show that your beloved sister has redeemed herself, to have a ceremony in your kingdom where you paint his/her alter ego as the ultimate boogeyman? And even if the whole thing was a tradition ever since Luna was exiled 1000 years ago, in Celestia's place, I still wouldn't have allowed them to tarnish Luna's reputation like that. I dunno about the aesop of the story, but I don't quite believe that being scary is a good quality to get people to like you.
    • Celestia is kind of a troll, maybe she didn't realize that her sister wouldn't take it in good fun like she would. Or maybe it was part of her "master plan" to not only teach Twilight a lesson about friendship, but to show her sister how to have fun.
    • Could easily be simply a tradition the ponies themselves started, at first starting as an actual appeasement. Later simply a tradition. Luna might have simply heard of it and went 'oh, I need to FIX this'.
    • It's highly unlikely Celestia is the origin of Nightmare Night; Luna's original transformation into Nightmare Moon 1000 years ago was probably a big scary event, and after Celestia fixed the problem the ponies of the world probably continued to tell or dramatize the story. One millennium later and it's a festival.
      • Yeah, she probably didn't start the ceremony. But she also didn't forbid it or gave the townsfolk a lecture about the implications of the whole thing.
      • Because ponies feared and shunned the night, Celestia singled out one night to focus their fears and anguish, leaving them with peace the rest of the year. It also got them out of their homes on that night, so they would realize the night isn't that bad.
    • They weren't quite saying that being scary was a good trait to have, but more like it was a good thing on that particular holiday, it being modeled after Halloween and everything. A good thing, too, since Luna's demeanor would have scared everyone on any other day. So it's good timing that she decided to show up on the day on which scares are expected, increasing the chances that misunderstandings can be cleared up/she can play it off as part of the celebration, and the townsfolk can see her for who she is under the Traditional Royal Voice.
    • There could also be the small chance that Nightmare Night was established long before Luna became Nightmare Moon and she took the title of Nightmare Moon to make the ponies more scared of her.
    • Another theory: lesser of two evils. On the one hoof, cannibal pony who can be appeased by offering candy. On the other hoof, Omnicidal Maniac. Pick one!
      • Besides, having this weird, clearly nonsensical story go around is a lot better than telling the truth about her sister.
    • Consider that hermit and non-pony Zecora is the one explaining the story behind the holiday. It's possible that Nightmare Night wasn't originally an Equestrian holiday at all, but rather a zebra holiday that the ponies adopted.
    • Let's not forget, this isn't a holiday meant to insult Luna but to have fun with the fearful stories brought on by her alter-ego which by all respects was a different entity entirely. Even Luna admits that Nightmare Moon should be feared and even makes remarks that separates her and her alter-ego as two different ponies. Let's be honest, if you had a Halloween styled holiday based on an alter-ego you once lived and today you absolutely despise, but while everyone around you equally feared it, they respect you entirely, would you really hold any malice or sadness towards them? It was just unfortunate misunderstandings and being 1000 years behind every other pony that caused Luna to feel out of place and depressed.
  • We see that tales of Nightmare Moon are the basis of a well-established holiday tradition. Why, then, did no one recognize her way back in Episode 1?
    • They might have recognized her if they had a minute to think about it. It's one thing to hear a fairy tale of a shadowy, villainous figure that eats children and completely another for said figure to appear in front of you as real as ever. Most ponies would probably think "Is this even real?" if NMM weren't so terrifying.
      • Exactly, it's like seeing a man in a cape and fake fangs. Almost everyone would notice the resemblance to Dracula, but only a nut job would assume it was really Dracula.
    • Does anyone else find it odd that the mane six would be scared of Nightmare Moon knowing full well they defeated her and freed Luna?
      • It seems that they were scared of her loud voice and mannerisms (It sounded like she was angry). Twilight was the first to approach her. Applejack took a little convincing to accept her. Pinkie Pie was pretending. Rainbow Dash didn't care. Fluttershy is scared of anyone who raises her voice (as we saw with Gilda) and Rarity was not in the episode. It seemed that most ponies were scared of her being angry, or of her portrayal as Nightmare Moon, but NOT of her still being Nightmare Moon.
      • that could also explain AJ's reaction. She wasn't scared of Nightmare Moon, she was scared of Luna's reaction to a festival that's basically mocking her to her face. Angering royalty, especially magic powered royalty, especially in what appears to be an absolute monarchy, is not a good idea.
      • But Fluttershy was scared the minute she saw Luna, and even called her Nightmare Moon. She actually seemed to be afraid of Nightmare Moon.
      • Fluttershy was already a terrified nervous wreck just on account of it being Nightmare Night, so it wouldn't take much to make her even more frightened.
      • Ok, grasping at straws here: Last time the mane characters saw Luna (That we know of) she was timid, smaller and had "normal" hair. In Nightmare night, it was at night(duh) so her coat looked darker, and her hair resembled more Nightmare Moon, plus, she has grew some, and was showing WAY more confidence, resembling more the Nightmare Moon they knew than the Luna that they briefly glimpsed. Add to that the TRADITIONAL CANTERLOT ROYAL VOICE. Twilight, being studious and learning under Princess Celestia herself, probably knew about the voice, either from a book, or from the princess (Hell, there is nothing to say that Celestia doesn't use the voice every now and then). Fluttershy, and everypony else assumed that Luna had been repossessed due to her exterior changes.
      • Celestia used on Twilight one episode beforehand, at the end of Lesson Zero.
      Celestia: TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!!
    • Perhaps it's all for fun but why is Nightmare Night even happening anymore? It's based on an old legend that was brought full circle by the appearance of Nightmare Moon herself and her subsequent defeat, which I'm sure everypony is already well aware of. To This Troper, that suggests that Nightmare Night no longer has meaning (she CAN'T come back and haunt your family because...well...she's vanquished, though Luna can turn into her form at will).
      • You get to dress up, get candy, play games and have fun. Why would anyone stop that just because the one central character of the event supposedly doesn't exist anymore? (How many people who party during halloween actually believe in witches and ghosts?)
  • No one knows who Nightmare Moon is, even though she is the pony boogyman and the is a HUGE STATUE OF HER NEARBY?!?!?!
    • That's... actually a very good point, it implies that Nightmare Moon's likeness was effectively forgotten before the events of the first episodes. Since the statue is in the Everfree Forest, it wouldn't be a wild guess to assume only Zecora knew of its existence (though its origins are still unknown). Another possibility might be that Nightmare Night changed over time to exclude Nightmare Moon, and that the whole 'Nightmare Moon boogeyman' stories were effectively invented by Zecora.
    • The statue can't be in the Everfree Forest, since (a) it was never stated to be there, and (b) there's a tradition of the kids leaving appeasement candy there every year. The discrepancy with the first episode might be explained as the difference between Nightmare Moon as an abstract bogeypony and Nightmare Moon as a living, breathing creature right in front of your face — imagine how most folks would respond if The Great Pumpkin were to suddenly appear outside of Halloween.
    • As bizarre as that explanation may seem, maybe they only started the tradition of Nightmare Night after she was defeated by the Mane Six?
    • in the pilot, everypony gasps when Twilight says the name "Nightmare Moon". this suggests that they knew very well who she was even if they didn't recognize her at first. Plus, Nightmare Moon's story was stated to be a "pony tale". meaning it probably got reasonable far spread and Nightmare Moon became something of a bogyman(pony).
    • Although it's obviously a Retcon, it's logical to assume the ponies knew very well who Nightmare Moon appeared to be. They just didn't believe it was actually her, at least until Twilight finally said her name out loud. Most ponies considered her to be completely fictional. Nightmare Moon was acting as a "bad guy" but not consistently with her myth (i.e. flying around eating ponies and candy). For a modern-human equivalent, imagine someone who looked like Freddy Krueger taking hostages in a bank. The recognition is there, but no one would actually believe it's him, instead assuming it's just a disguise.
    • Also, how old is the statue? They might have gotten out of the habit of going to visit it in recent generations, especially considering that prior to Zecora's becoming accepted by the townsfolk almost nopony in town would willingly go anywhere near the Everfree Forest.
  • Why does Pinkie never get called out on her actions in the episode?
  • Is Pinkie Pie just so far gone now she was blind to the trouble she was causing, or was she just selfishly ignoring it for her own amusement?
    • Pinkie Pie likes to have fun and thought acting scared was fun. She might've assumed that the other scared ponies were playing along (the foals were, at least) and didn't realize how much trouble she caused.
      • The adults were also playing along, except Fluttershy, but she wasn't supposed to be there anyways. Zecora was herself also scaring foals until they were screaming with the story that she made up, Applejeck stopped pretending to be afraid when Twilight asked her, and the Mayor was playing along with Zecora, even at the end.
      • The adults were most certainly afraid, not merely playing. They wouldn't have destroyed half their celebration in their frantic attempts to get away if they thought it was all a game.
    • Neither. She was always away whenever Luna did stuff, only showing up at the end of a scene to scream and run off again. Think about it. Luna first showed up at the tail end of Zecora's little show. Pinkie probably thought that Luna was getting into the spirit of the holiday. After all, she made an amazing entrance and had an evil chariot and everything. She was playing along with Luna, or so she thought. She wasn't around for any of Twilight's lecture-sessions with the princess, not until Twilight jumped her.
    • Don't forget, Pinkie Pie was dressed as a chicken. She's being in-character.
    • For all her gregariousness, Pinkie Pie isn't all that socially aware. She missed all of Dash and Gilda's hints that they wanted to hang out alone, she misread all of her friends' intentions in "Party of One", and she completely misjudged the Grand Galloping Gala's atmosphere even once she was there. She probably had no idea she was upsetting Luna so much.
      • It actually makes sense; her element is Laughter, she wants to have fun regardless of the situation, the downside to it is that she doesn't know when to stop.
      • I'm going to second "Lack of social awareness" and site the Swarm of the Century, Over a Barrel and Best Night Ever as further examples.
    • Look at the way Luna entered the celebrations. She did it riding a spooky looking carriage, pulled by scary looking ponies amid thunder and lightning - and speaking in the booming voice. Pinkie perhaps thought Luna was roleplaying or doing some kind of game based off that - and so played along for fun. Off screen perhaps if any of the children were legitimately scared, she was reassuring them that Luna was just playing a game. Pipsqueak seemed to know Luna wasn't being serious, judging by how he went up to her after she scared them.
  • Does Pipsqueak prove once and for all that ponies do not age like us? He was walking and talking at less then a year old.
    • Possibly. Or he's never celebrated Nightmare Night in Trottingham. Or maybe Trottingham doesn't celebrate Nightmare Night. Or Pipsqueak was too young to enjoy the holiday until this year.
      • I read it as this year being Pipsqueak's first Nightmare Night when he was old enough to go trick-or-treating and otherwise participate in the festivities. He probably heard all about it from the older colts at school and loved the sound of it.
    • This could be a real world reference to how Halloween is seen slightly differently each side of the Atlantic. Trottingham, apparently being a UK expy, might not do Nightmare Night to quite the same enthusiastic levels as Ponyville, much like how Britain doesn't treat Halloween as much of a big deal as our American cousins. Plus Nightmare Night could just be a Ponyville area thing that hasn't spread quite that far.
  • Why does Luna look so different? she's darker, she's bigger, she sounds older and her mane looks all Ethereal.
    • She could be growing up. Maybe it's just me, but it wouldn't make sense for Celestia to have the energy mane if Luna never got one.
    • Maybe the princesses work on similar principles to the gods on Discworld. Luna was trapped on the moon for 1000 years, so people stopped believing in her, making her smaller. Now she's back, belief has made her stronger again. She might end up as large as Celestia yet!
    • The darker part might have to do with Luna Eclipse taking place at night.
    • Word of Dante is that she's built up her magic reserves after being brought down close-to-normal by the Elements of Harmony.
    • Being the princess of the night, it might be that she's big, loud and powerful at night and small, timid and weak during the day. Celestia seems normal at night, but maybe it took time for her to reach that point.
    • Or maybe her powers - along with her appearance - are tied to the moon phases, changing in parallel.
  • So is Pip an example of a Token Minority character? He's a boy and British.
    • No. British people are hardly a minority no matter how you slice it. The show already has a male main character, and Pip (as far as we know) is a one-off. Read the trope.
      • Yeah…that main male character you speak of? How much exactly does he really do? Is he ever really involved in a main plot outside supporting? Even if Token Minority isn't with Pip, it is definitely with Spike.
      • Spike may count, but he's a borderline case.
    • Then again, he does have a different coat pattern so maybe he is a minority in-show.
  • Shouldn't it be Celestia's responsibility to educate Luna in the differences of etiquette and socializing in modern times as compared to 1000 years ago? She's had at least just over 6 months to do so going by the fact that up till last episode the friendship reports were weekly. Or is Celetia just being Trollestia again?
    • Whenever we see Celestia, she's busy. (Royal duties, scolding an irresponsible student, etc.) Maybe she hasn't had time to teach Luna etiquette. Or, Wild Mass Guessing, Luna insisted that she catch up on everything by herself.
    • Think about this, if she had just told her about it, then she'd just be going through the motions. She'd have been told how to behave, not learned. And even more important, she'd not have bonded with her subjects in the process. Celestia is the older and more intelligent sister, but she's also a Trickster Mentor, just telling someone how to act isn't her style if learning themselves will work a lot better.
      • There's a difference between telling someone how to behave and explaining that "oh, this is the way everyone speaks now." The explanation is that Celestia, whether troll or Trickster Mentor, has a policy of never explaining anything.
    • Rainbow's wearing a Shadowbolt costume. Which means that the idea's fresh in her mind… from when she met them in episode 2. Assuming the Summer Sun Celebration is around 21 June, and Nightmare Night is 31 October… that's barely over 4 months to get caught up on one thousand years of culture and changes.
    • Would Celestia even remember how they behaved a thousand years ago, and did she even know Luna would act that way in public? The only other time we see her she acts completely differently. Either it was Characterization Marches On, or she simply doesn't act that hammy around her sister.
      • The second one is almost certainly true. She explicitly says that the Royal Canterlot Voice (shouting and using the Royal "We") is for speaking to her subjects. Around Celestia, she's likely just quirkily archaic in her speech.
    • Luna's clearly put a fair bit of effort into making a suitably spooky grand entrance, so she can't have been wholly ignorant of this whole "Nightmare Night" business. And interestingly enough, the "Halloween" episode where everypony dresses up and at least mock-pretends not to be the pony they usually are is actually the only one in which we see her use "the voice", or Flowery Elizabethan English for that matter... Food for thought, perhaps.
  • Was the white foal in the devil costume that Luna tried to approach Twist?
    • No, her eyes aren't pink and her nose isn't the same.
  • So, why is it that Nightmare Moon spoke in modern form, if grandiose, while Luna's speech is extremely archaic (and she seems to think that it's still normal)?
    • Celestia has taken The Slow Path and experienced the changes in culture and custom.
      • I wasn't talking about Celestia, I was talking about Nightmare Moon, who didn't have Luna's problem with Antiquated Linguistics.
      • Villains Blend in Better.
      • Possibly whatever had corrupted her was doing the speech-writing.
      • It's not so hard to handwave it if you keep in mind that "thou" is singular, while "you" is plural, and most of Nightmare Moon's lines were addressed to multiple ponies. The lack of the Royal "We" could send a message that she doesn't consider her subjects worth speaking for; she doesn't speak for the nation, she is the nation. Or…or something.
      • Alternatively, the Royal "We" entered Equestrian lexicon not because the speaker represented the country or her subjects, but because she represented the Dual Monarchy and spoke for both sister-princesses. Celestia let the usage fall out of favor because she doesn't represent the sister she sent rocketing to the moon, while Nightmare Moon would consider it sharing power with someone else. Or, more alternatively, Nightmare Moon was able to observe pony culture progress to some degree, but Luna either didn't experience or didn't remember the full run of a thousand years.
    • This lends some credence to the theory that Nightmare Moon was a completely separate entity that was possessing Luna.
      • I'm not sure this counts as a "theory", given that Lauren Faust said something to this effect — that although her jealousy and resentment provided the opening for something to do so, the transformation was due to some outside force.
      • except that Faust never communicated any such thing.
    • I can only conclude that Nightmare Moon was awake, aware and using magic to keep track what happening on the planet all those thousand years...but Luna's real personality didn't experience that passage of time because she wasn't conscious. So all she remembers is the initial quarrel with Celestia but she only knows that Twilight and co cured her because Celestia told her so.
    • Another possibility: Nightmare Moon really couldn't have cared less, but when Luna paid Ponyville her first major return visit she wanted to make the best impression she could and so took pains to be on her very best royal behavior — formal speech as she remembered it from happier times and all. That is, she doesn't actually still talk like that all the time (she certainly doesn't in any of the later episodes in which she finally shows up again), but she dusted off her old lessons on proper princessly protocol specifically for this occasion.
  • Shouldn't Zecora of all ponies know better than to be telling scary stories about someone else like that? After being the victim of such stories for who knows how long before Bridle Gossip.
    • There's a difference, I think. Nightmare Moon no longer exists and is still but a myth for the most part. AND there is legitimate reason to fear her.
    • Tradition, plain and simple. Zecora isn't making up these stories, just retelling them with her own flair.
    • Plus the stories are about Nightmare Moon, not Luna herself. And Nightmare Moon definitely deserves the fear.
  • The demon-winged pegasi that brought Luna in, is that a costume? Or are there demon-winged pegasi?
    • There are no solid facts since we never got to see how Luna's return affected the palace, therefore we can only guess their origins. Makes you wonder where such a pony would find employment while Luna was exiled, but there again, we didn't see much of Equestria and beyond, so they may just be a foreign race. That or Luna simply cast an illusion/shapeshift spell on regular royal guards.
    • They could be demon-winged pegasi. They don't have to be a separate race or sub-breed; pegasus ponies like Dash and the Wonderbolts sometimes leave a unique contrail, maybe there are variant wing patterns. Bat wings might just be a very rare variant, or maybe just rare in the regions we've been shown, though actually the norm in the area where Luna recruits her servants (Pranceylvania, of course).
    • Just fake wings that are clipped onto the real wings. Fluttershy wears something like that when she pretends to be Flutterbat in Scare Master.
  • Rainbow Dash dressed as a Shadowbolt, a pony that only appeared in an illusion created by Nightmare Moon. Is there an acutal group called the Shadowbolts that are rivals to the Wonderbolts? How did anyone understand Rainbow's costume?
    • I think that it's one of those costumes that work if you don't know what exactly it is. It's basically the darker and edgier version of the Wonderbolts costume, that's something everypony should notice. Unless the Shadowbolts actually exist. Maybe, a millenium ago, they were Luna's group?
    • It makes sense for Rainbow Dash to wear a costume like that. She's after all only one of the biggest Wonderbolt fangirls in all of Equestria and the only pony who's seen the Shadowbolts up close for any length of time in the pilot. And while she'd never put on actual Wonderbolt colors as long as she hasn't earned them, dressing up as the next best 'evil' thing for Nightmare Night is right up her alley.
  • Why is the Traditional Royal Canterlot Voice named after Canterlot, if the princesses dwelt (and, thus presumably, the capital was at) Everfree Castle a thousand years prior?
    • It might have been a Traditional Royal Voice of ancient unicorns (who presumably founded Canterlot), before the princesses ruled. Also, the castle in the forest seems unlikely to have been a capital (you'd expect a city would develop around it), maybe it was just a fortress where the Elements were kept (and thus associated with their users).
  • Where was Rarity?
    • Her scene got cut for time. In story, Word of God is that she's such a perfectionist that she was at home still finishing her costume.
  • Why did Luna take Pipsqueak out from the apple bucket with her teeth instead of levitating him with her horn's magic? Wouldn't that have saved her a lot of misunderstandings from ponies who thought she wanted to eat him?
    • I'm sure that, too, would have been misinterpreted, and deliberately so.
    • Plus, Luna's reaction was instant and instinctive. She saw him fall and thought, "Grab him!" Typically, you can't really decide between options within the time span of a split second.
  • CHANGE OUR APPROACH? "Lower the volume...?" "...Oh. We have been locked away for a thousand years. We are... not sure we can." But you are! Do you really not notice that you're sometimes not speaking in a voice that causes things to be pushed away?
    • Very little is known about ancient Equestria, something as minor as Luna and Celestia traditionally addressing their subjects from a distance, perhaps the sky could quite easily make that a tradition when talking to "lesser" ponies. If it's protocol to her it might be something she doesn't consciously control. The same way many of us don't speak the same way to our parents and employers as we do our friends. I don't think for example Luna and Celestia spent however many months between the Pilot and Nightmare Night shouting at each other. Though being equally or more powerful Celestia may have simply ignored it if they had been.
  • Stated purpose for dressing up on Nightmare Night: So Nightmare Moon won't see you as a pony and eat you. Costumes that even make a token effort at hiding the fact that the wearer is a pony? Ummm... not nearly as many as you'd think, considering. I understand that the real Nightmare Moon's M.O. wasn't eating ponies, but if her doing so is your premise, shouldn't all the costumes follow logically from that idea?
    • It’s probably a nod to how our own reason for dressing up on Halloween has been lost to us over the years. Originally, you dressed up as some demon or monster to disguise yourself from all the actual ghouls and goblins and such that supposedly would appear on Halloween night. Nowadays, though, people dress up as all sorts of things, like firefighters and doctors and genies and gumball machines and giant packets of hot sauce, and we do it because it’s fun, rather than to keep hidden from monsters or anything. In short, how we celebrate Halloween has evolved over time, and so it seems that Nightmare Night did, as well.
  • Luna was shown able to transform back into her Nightmare Moon form easily, and had the same powers to boot without it. Does this suggest that 'Knightmare Moon' was just a form that Luna already had achieved at some point, and whatever evil force or possession took control of her, just coerced her into using permanently because the aesthetic simply 'worked out better?' And considering her 'original' form from her first appearance,whose to say Luna isn't altering herself now to come off prestigious? Or that Celestia isn't either for that matter. (Her younger form shown being of pink shorter hair)
    • I don't know about the powers, but it seemed that Luna had to possess the Nightmare Moon statue in order to take that form again.
    • It's probably easy for her to change her appearance with an illusion or transformation spell.
    • She still needed fake teeth though :)
      • Of course. Nightmare Moon had normal teeth.
    • You're assuming Luna was possessed to begin with. Why can't it just have been that Luna was so angry, so jealous, that she did everything she did of her own free will?
      • Word of God. While Luna had the feelings, she was being 'assisted' in expressing them.
      • I the IDW comics are aything to go by, it's confirmed that Nightmare Moon is the result of Luna getting posessed by the Nightmare Forces (briefly seen in the Season 4 opener as a black cloud)

    2.05 Sisterhooves Social 
  • So, Rarity and Sweetie Belle's dad wears a shirt, and their mom is fully dressed, but they themselves don't wear clothes. How on earth does that make any sense?
    • Well, they are both about to go on vacation. Perhaps whatever city they're traveling to simply has stricter social mores than Ponyville, so they're doing the pony equivalent of overdressing?
    • And Applejack is the only pony around wearing a hat all the time, and Rarity some times puts on dresses and so on. It's just a matter of habit or taste, apparently.
      • Applejack herself has the answer to this question in Best Night Ever: "Uh, beg pardon, Rarity, but, uh, we don't normally wear clothes." Some ponies might wear them regularly, but around Ponyville, at least, it's implied that clothes are generally for celebrities or special occasions.
  • Why did Apple Bloom keep saying "just for one day" threateningly, if she was in on the trick and knew Applejack was never going to run the race with Sweetie Belle at all?
    • Sure, she was in on it — but Sweetie wasn't. And after Sweetie had raved about wanting Applejack as her Cool Big Sis, she was probably more than a little worried she'd take the 'lending' too seriously.
    • Apple Bloom kept insisting on the "one day" thing in order to keep up the illusion that Applejack would be racing with Sweetie. Magician's hand, mental misdirection.
  • Maybe it's just me, but the portrayal of Applejack's and Apple Bloom's relationship in this episode didn't seem to fit with how they related to each other back in "Call of the Cutie". In that episode, Applejack seemed much more distant and out of touch with Apple Bloom's life, whereas Apple Bloom saw Applejack as a faraway idol who she wanted to grow up to be like (which is much like Sweetie Belle and Rarity in this episode). In other words, the two seemed much, much closer here than they did in "Call of the Cutie".
    • Well, it's not like Applejack could just give Apple Bloom her Cutie Mark. That might be why she seemed more distant. Or maybe they were distant and have simply gotten closer since "Call of the Cutie".
    • Considering that Apple Bloom was upset over a natural part of her development that simply cannot be rushed, AJ was fully justified in not rushing out for some hair-brained scheme to force something that simply can't be changed. Sibling relationships are never simple, as anybody with them could tell you. One day you love them to death, the next you're mostly indifferent to each other, the next you want to strangle them with their own intestines. It's entirely possible to be extremely close to your younger sibling, but have periods of being relatively distant.
    • The circumstances were different. In "Call of the Cutie", Apple Bloom and Applejack were at odds because Apple Bloom was obsessing over her cutie mark and causing trouble for the family business. "Sisterhooves Social" shows the two sisters in a situation much more like an average day on the farm. Also, the scene is shown from Sweetie Belle's perspective, and compared to her own rocky relationship with Rarity, Applejack and Apple Bloom might as well be the same pony.
    • There is also the fact that Sweetie Belle was there at the time. Family members tend to keep their internal quarrels out of the limelight when non-family company is visiting.
    • Plus, there was almost a full season between episodes. What's there to say they DIDN'T strengthen their bond some in all that time?
    • There's also the age difference. You can be close to siblings, but still have trouble relating simply because you're not THAT close in age to them. Obviously, this won't apply to everyone ever, but Apple Bloom's still really young, and AJ's pretty much an adult. She was a filly once, but she thinks like an adult NOW.
  • How did Rarity and Applejack last so long in the mud pit?
    • Using a piece of hay as a snorkel? Or maybe they secretly had scuba equipment at the bottom of the mudhole.
    • Maybe Applejack surfaced occasionally in order to take a breath, but never exited the mudhole completely because then Sweetie Belle might see her.
  • Why weren't Applejack and Rarity disqualified for switching places? Isn't that qualifiable as cheating?
    • Since they didn't win, the issue didn't come up. In fact, there should have been a query about having two non-sisters (Applejack and Sweetie Belle) competing in the first place. Either no one noticed, or no one thought of it as cheating, in both cases.
      • That, and the point of the race was to have fun. When fun is the goal, rules don't tend to be as strictly enforced.
      • As of "Brotherhooves Social", we learn that the actual relation doesn't matter, as long as the spirit is there. Hey, one of them can even be a stallion.
    • Maybe they let the ponies in charge know what was going on? That would explain why Rarity was able to hide in the mudhole in the first place.
      • Given that the only candidates we see for "the ponies in charge" are Big Macintosh and Granny Smith…
    • Either way I doubt it would matter one way or the other. The point of the deception was to get Sweetie Belle and Rarity close again. The race was just the setting and once the goal was accomplished winning or losing ceased to be relevant.
    • Given the points about the race intended just for fun and Big Macintosh and Granny Smith being the "ponies in charge", you could say that there are no rules in the race, except to stay on the marked course.
  • Do they seriously expect people to believe that Rarity, a FASHION DESIGNER, never once considered making a line of clothing where each outfit was a different color? That seems like something that would occur to someone who doesn't make clothes for a living. It's pretty basic stuff. The only thing I can think of is that Rarity focuses mostly on gems in her designs so she wouldn't think of something that simple, but since she's seen at one point adding gems to the new line she came up with that logic doesn't really seem to work. Especially since there are gems for pretty much any color of the rainbow and she's had to do something similar for a client in a previous episode.
    • It's not that hard to imagine that "each outfit is a different color of the rainbow" simply hadn't occurred to her before; she was always busy with her other ideas.
    • Its not unbelievable. She calls that room her "Inspiration Room", which means that it's the place where her ideas come to her. She also notes that it had never been so ordered before. Simply put, she'd never before had a rainbow arrangement in the special place she sets aside for inspiration, which is why the idea didn't occur to her before.
      • Alternatively, she'd had the idea before, but it had always been eclipsed by other ideas at the time, and she forgot about it.
    • It's also possible that she was trying to come up for a set of dresses to fulfill a specific order rather than trying to come up for a generic design. Like somepony put an order in and Rarity only just now realized that spectrum of dresses fit that particular order perfectly.
  • The Sisterhooves Social takes place at Sweet Apple Acres, is hosted by the Apple family...and all of the events are modeled after the chores that Applejack and Apple Bloom do every day. Does nopony see this as an unfair advantage to them?
    • Apparently not. Besides, the events could be traditional, established way back when. The Sisterhooves Social may even have existed longer than Ponyville, which would explain why it's on one of the surrounding farms, rather than in town.
    • Given that Rarity and Apple Bloom lost, even when Rarity was athletic enough to fool Apple Bloom into thinking she was Applejack, apparently Apple family members don't have that much of an unfair advantage in this contest.
      • Uh... that was Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Not an apple in the bunch.
  • If Sweetie Belle was really that much of a pain, couldn't Rarity have just asked Fluttershy to babysit for the day? Granted this would have negated the entire plot, but it would have saved Rarity a lot of headache.
    • Knowing her character, Rarity likely would've felt pretty guilty, and seemed to consider it her responsibility to look after and get along with Sweetie Belle. It also isn't that Sweetie Belle's that much trouble as much as too many bad incidents happened in one day and the stress built up and spilled over.
  • So what was with Rarity staring at the lilacs while lamenting over her guilt of disowning Sweetie Belle?

    2.06 The Cutie Pox 
  • When Apple Bloom starts speaking French, Applejack, horrified, screams, "She's speakin' fancy!". When Zecora conveniently appears when Apple Bloom's cutie pox gets worse, Applejack asks if her "Zebra Sense" brought her there. So is Applejack a kid-friendly racist now?
    • Everything Is Racist
    • I think it's kind of been established that the ponies really don't know much about zebras. It shouldn't be too surprising that they still have some weird misconceptions.
      • AJ has unfortunately proven herself to be kinda racist. Just look back at her reactions to Zecora in Bridle Gossip.
      • Uh, no. Prejudiced, definitely, but hardly "racist". And certainly not any more prejudiced than any other of the mane six in that episode. Is all this because of her accent, or what?
    • I don't really see that as racist for two reasons: First of all, the question doesn't really imply any dislike for zebras on Applejack's part, and second, it's a totally legitimate question: we know for a fact that different pony races have different abilities so it really isn't odd that she might think zebras have similar abilities. Not to mention that Zecora is always portrayed as a bit of a mystic whenever she shows up, having access to information that none of the rest of the cast does. As for her reaction to Zecora in "Bridle Gossip", she doesn't even realize that Zecora isn't a pony, so her suspicions can't be racially motivated. If anything she's freaked out because Zecora acts weird, dresses weird, and lives in an area that the ponies in general tend to be wary of. Not to mention that her reaction to Zecora wasn't really that much worse than everyone else's. She's just more outspoken about it because she's worried that her sister might be endangered.
    • As for the French thing, I didn't really take that as racist. AJ's horrified because her little sister's been rendered unable to speak any other language at random. I could imagine that being genuinely creepy in real life. The fancy talk comment could be either playing up the idea that French is archaically seen as a refined language when compared to rural American-English (which stems from French being the traditional court language in many European monarchies, such as Britain's) or trying to avoid naming France directly due to Equestria not being on Earth. And yes, I know Fluttershy name checked the french previously.
      • And from the "Cutie Mark Chronicles", we can guess Applejack associates French with the snotty upper class she dislikes.
      • It's also possible AJ doesn't exactly recognize the language she speaks as French, just that it reminds her of upper class speeches.
      • It could be that in the ponyverse, French is actually called "Fancy". It's not likely there's a country called France in this world, after all.
      • Explain this line then...
      Fluttershy: "French haute couture, please."
      • She doesn't know how to properly pronounce the name.
      • There could be a style called "French" even if there isn't a language called "French".
      • Alternate explanation: perhaps we misheard her line and she said "She's speakin' Francey!" As in Applejack just knows that's how they speak in France but doesn't actually know the name of the language? Or maybe she's mispronouncing "Français"? Well, okay, maybe not. But Gratuitous French words are used a lot by high society snobs, so I guess it could be "fancy" too…
      • It's worth pointing out that Apple Bloom does identify the language as French: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?! Je parle Français?!"
      • There have been too many indications that, while they may not have the countries and states they name in Equestria, they do know of them. Perhaps just as we know of long-gone civilizations.
    • As far as the "Zebra Sense", maybe Applejack thought Zecora had some precognitive ability simlar to Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense". (Or would that just make Applejack recist against Pinkie Pie?).
    • Applejack's uncouth. She's not so much offensive as just affably careless because she's so brutally honest all the time. Plus, Rule of Funny.
    • Maybe "Zebra Sense" actually is a thing, and we just haven't seen it in action yet.
  • So, let me get this straight: Trixie walks into town and shows off her special talent, and the ponies start hating her before she can finish introducing her. Apple Bloom walks into town and shows off her special talent, and gets showered with praise?
    • The only ponies that took issue with Trixie was the Mane Cast. The rest of the town didn't have any particularly negative reaction to her. Meanwhile Apple Bloom is AJ's sister and a little kid, so they'd be much more tolerant of her being over the top, especially given how important this was to her (Celestia knows, she's been at it for like a year now).
    • Trixie was very vocal and rude about her greatness on top of just showing off her talent. Also, Applejack remarks that she was acting "like a schoolfilly", which is precisely what Apple Bloom is. Besides, you only receive a cutie mark once, so Apple Bloom's reaction was palatable.
      • You mean you should only receive a cutie mark once...
    • Not to mention that Trixie was a total stranger, while Apple Bloom was a little kid who lived in town.
    • And that getting your cutie mark seems to be a cause for celebration, and its implied the townsponies knew that AB was a blank flank the previous day, so her display (with only 2 marks) wasn't out of the ordinary.
    • Plus, Trixie was all hat and no cattle. Apple Bloom was hat and cattle.
    • Also, keep in mind there's a very, very subtle distinction between bragging about how superior one's SKILLS are, and how superior YOU are. The first is acceptable, if you can actually back up your claim (for example, it's acceptable to say, "I got the best grades in my class" if you actually did get the best grades). The second is not acceptable, since it's unethical to separate humans into inferior and superior beings (for example, it's not acceptable to say that other people are worthless, and you are a god among men). Apple Bloom did the first, bragging about skills she was actually displaying. Trixie did the second, boasting that she was a superior pony to everyone she was putting on the show for (and she couldn't back herself up, either).
    • I think the main points everyone is missing here are attitude and motive. When Trixie brags, she talks down to an entire town full of ponies she's never even met before, declaring she's superior to all of them. She then, after Rainbow confronts her, proceeds to target Twilight, humiliates Applejack for standing up for Twilight, and goads Rarity into a fight when Rarity refused to get involved. She then challenges Twilight AGAIN and treats her actual fans rather rudely. Apple Bloom ONLY talked down to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who by the way, bullied Apple Bloom and made her feel inferior in various episodes. Apple Bloom getting back at them might not have been entirely appropriate, but it's understandable, and a FAR cry from what Trixie does. Plus, Apple Bloom never actually challenged them, they tried to outdue Apple Bloom on their own. Finally, Apple Bloom's motivation for getting a Cutie Mark is because she feels like an outcast without one, and finally getting one and receiving attention for it seemed to make her feel accepted as part of the community. This would make her far more comparable to Twilight during Winter Wrap Up then to Trixie. Finally, Apple Bloom never brags, only demonstrates for those who want to watch.
  • Was the Cutie-Pox outbreak that happened centuries ago caused by all the ponies eating Heart's Desire too?
    • It could be possible, but every single one of them would have had to eat it while wishing with all their hearts that they had cutie marks. Not to mention the fact that Apple Bloom brewed the Heart's Desire into a potion, though if she just ate the plant herself it might have had the same cutie pox effect. Although, if all the ponies who got it (or at least the first one if it is actually infectious), wouldn't they have noticed that it started after eating that flower? Not to mention it never says where the outbreak first happened - just to "a population of ponies in the Paleopony period".
    • The original sickness probably had nothing to do with Heart's Desire. The Heart's Desire potion seems to make the drinker's most dearly held wish come true magically. However, it's been shown a number of times that a real cutie mark cannot be conjured by magic. Since the spell couldn't do something impossible, it did something that was possible (if unlikely) and gave Apple Bloom the Cutie Pox instead.
    • Hearts desire, if improperly prepared, gives the eater Cutie Pox. Maybe their water supply was poisoned? Apple Bloom's wish was just a coincidence. It's rare (plus nopony goes into the everfree forest) so it only happened once.
    • Apple Bloom said that she used all the Heart's Desire that was left. Most likely, if she had only used a single Heart's Desire, then there would have only been a single Cutie Mark, at least until the potion wore off. Since she overdosed on Heart's Desire, it continually manifested cutie marks because of how much was in her system. Odds are that she didn't really have the Cutie Pox, just something that resembled it. The flower she ate at the end counteracted the Heart's Desire, acting as an antidote to the overdose and purging her system of all the false cutie marks.
  • Again with Twilight's hair gets snipped to match Rarity's. When Spike immediately falls in love with Twilight for a brief time (Well, only due to her mane), and he mostly loves Rarity.. Does Spike only love Rarity for her mane?
    • He liked the fact that Twilight looked kind of like Rarity.
      • Yet Spike plain forgets about Rarity when he sees Twilight with the same hairstyle, even though she's standing right there. While it's not surprising that a guy likes girls with a particular cute hairstyle, one may wonder why he chooses to fawn over Twilight a second she gets her mane done in same style. A while back he also ridiculed Rarity when her mane was ruined after the curse during Zecora's introduction.
      • Either it's a one-off gag you shouldn't overthink, or he simply likes the hairstyle, not suddenly fell in love with Twilight.
      • Or maybe it's Rarity's hairstyle that caught his attention, and then her generosity caught his heart.
  • Why was Apple Bloom so upset when she failed to get her bowling cutie mark? I can understand being a little disappointed, but it's not like this is her first failure. In fact, we've seen her (and the other two CMC) fail at dozens of different activities, and each time they just laughed it off and moved on to something else. What made bowling so special? Was it a secret passion of hers? Was she that sure that bowling was going to be her special talent?
    • Because right after she threw a ball and heard pins smash, someone immediately announced that she had gotten her cutie mark. It turns out that was a different person, but in those circumstances it was easy for her to get excited. It would be like getting the winning lottery ticket number wrong by the very last digit; you're going to feel that much more dissapointed after you came so close and were led on to believing you had won.
    • It wasn't the bowling that did it. It was just the accumulation of failure after failure after failure. The straw that broke the filly's back, if you will.
  • This may sound cliché but, in the scene where all the ponies were running away from Apple Bloom's cutie pox, why were all the pegasi running like mad instead of flying to a safer place? Wouldn't be better for them to take advantage of their ability that way?
    • They think it's contagious. Imagine being in mid-air when your second, disease-induced, cutie mark decides it's a good idea to make you do something that requires you to stop flying.
  • In "The Cutie Pox", why was Applejack the only one who went with Apple Bloom to Twilight's? I can understand Granny Smith not being there because they didn't want to worry her, but what about Big Macintosh? Did Applejack just whisk Apple Bloom away without telling her older brother? Can you imagine how it would have went if they hadn't of found a cure and he had to find out later? He probably would have kicked their house down in such a fit.
    • Or, alternatively:
    Applejack: Big Macintosh, I'm taking Apple Bloom to Twilight so we can find a cure! Can you stay here and look after Granny Smith and the farm?
    Big Macintosh: A-yup.

    2.07 May the Best Pet Win 
  • Right at the beginning of the song there is a vulture sitting on a fence in the background. Why didn't Fluttershy show that to Rainbow Dash? Vultures can fly and (in my opinion anyway) are incredibly cool so I'm sure Rainbow would have liked it.
    • You're right, it is in your opinion. Vultures tend to look like this, and also aren't held in high esteem outside those who recognize their ecological importance. If she was looking for coolness and flight ability, a clumsy, ugly vulture (in Dash's likely opinion) wouldn't make it past the first round (thoguh how Tank managed to do so is beyond me).
      • Tank managed to last as he did for two things: He was accepted in the first place to humor Fluttershy, and he never let the little fact that Rainbow Dash told him he had lost(several times) intimidate him.
      • Different person from the OP, here, but I object. Vultures are incredibly cool animals, and they do not, all look like the same either. You get tons of variation, from the fluffy-headed griffon vulturenote , to the striking lammergeier, to the frankly-awesome egyptian vulture. I don't even know where you got the misconception that they're clumsy, other than from watching too many cartoons about them. They are incredibly elegant while in flight, and the california condor in particular, has one of the largest wingspans of any bird in the world (beaten only by the wandering albatross, I believe), and can stay aloft for hours with hardly a beat of its wings. Awesome indeed. The one problem, though, is that they are rather lazy fliers, preferring to soar and glide rather than the fast-paced sorta stuff that Dash is fond of, but then again, Dash is kinda lazy too, so that might work out.
      • No, it wouldn't. The vulture shown in the episode isn't depicted as awesome at all, or at least, Dash didn't find it so.
      • I had figured that either the vulture was eliminated offscreen in one of the events or wasn't interested in being Rainbow Dash's pet and thus chose not to participate.
  • Fluttershy taking care of otters and seals. Okay, its probably a river otter. But a seal? How is she taking care of it that far from the ocean?
    • We don't know how far they are from the ocean. Also consider the possibility of her having a tank or small pool for it.
  • How's Tank going to live with Rainbow Dash in Cloudsdale despite being a turtle (thus, can't walk on clouds), or is it going to stay the night with Fluttershy?
    • Twilight can probably just cast that cloudwalking spell on it, and it has the helicopter to get from cloud to cloud.
    • Rainbow Dash doesn't live in Cloudsdale, she lives in a cloud castle thingy that isn't very far off the ground. Tank could probably just live right underneath it.
    • Umm... Shellicopter, anyone?
  • How did Gummy appear in Rainbow Dash's dream? All the other pets were making noises but Gummy can't make any kind of sound so he shouldn't have appeared. It's a pretty silly and pointless question, but this troper was just wondering.
    • I guess she subconsciously figured "hey, all the other pets had cameos in my dream, why not?" [besides, note that Gummy does make noises, just very rarely (his sneeze in "Party of One" is an example)].
      • And that weird little sound he makes when Pinkie first introduces Gummy in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
    • Gummy has the same reality warping powers as Pinkie, and consciously inserted himself into the dream world.
    • Not all dreams have rational explanations. It could just be a random occurrence.
  • Exactly why did Rainbow Dash not just kick the darn rock off her wing with her hind legs? She was clearly shown being in an excellent position to do so. heck, if Tank could lift it with his freaking neck, Dash could easily have kicked or pushed it with her strong pony legs.
    • So far I've been assuming she got a little caught up in her own drama. If no help actually came for a couple of hours, she would probably get tired of it and either pound on the rock until it cracked, dig at the ground until she could free her wing, lure over a Quarray Eel and have tricked it into slamming into the rock, make a cloud from ambient water vapor and have it hit the rock with lightning a couple of times, or something.
    • There's no reason to believe she could do that. I think Tank lifting the rock with his head was an indication of his great strength, not Rainbow's weakness. Still, if that was the idea, then they should have shown her trying to kick the rock away and failing, rather than leaving us to rely on an assumption.
    • Remember that Earth Ponies are the strong ones, not Pegasi. (Demonstrated in Mare Do Well with Applejack in the costume.) And Tank, apparently, is stronger than Dash.
      • AJ isn't just any Earth Pony. She's a farm hand. Rainbow Dash is a weather pony. However in Fairweather Friends she puts up a physical competition, ending with a hoof race that clearly could have gone either way. In The Last Round Up Dash and Fluttershy are able to keep up with four Earth Ponies. Word of God is that Earth Ponies are stronger and not vanilla but demonstrable cannon shows that if they are stronger it's not by some huge margin.
    • Not to mention, as a pegasus, she may possibly be hollow-boned. At the very least, she might not have much mass and/or physical strength (her ability to reach incredible speeds probably makes up for it through velocity), and consider the fact that she tends to spend a great deal of time OFF of her feet. Her legs might simply not be strong enough, either way.
  • Apparently, those feathers on pegasi wings are actually NOT feathers? If they were, Dash would have harmlessly pulled one out to go free, since only the very tip of one of her "feathers" got stuck under the rock.
    • The part trapped was a pinion feather. Those take years to reach full size and do not readily grow back. Pulling it off would be like a world-class sprinter chopping off her toes on one foot. Sure, she'd be able to walk afterward, but she wouldn't be able to perform any great athletic feats.
    • It was stretched out to a ridiculous length (I thought it was her tail or leg when I first saw the episode), so if it was supposed to be a feather, they clearly don't work the way they do in real life.
    • It could be that a part of her wing support (the wing skeleton in a bird's wings) was caught as well.
  • Why didn't Rainbow Dash have two pets? That falcon looked devastated when he (she?) found out that the winner was the one who crossed the finish line with Dash.
    • Because Captain Annabelleisa needs an owner 20% cooler than Rainbow Dash.
    • Rainbow, loyal though she may be, is not the most responsible of ponies. She probably couldn't handle the providing for two animals, especially if one of them is a something as high maintenance as a bird of prey. Given how relatively little a tortoise needs in terms of care, Tank and his little helicopter rig is probably all she's ready to commit to. Personally I like to think that Fluttershy managed to find the falcon an owner with one of the many background ponies after the episode.
      • Considering that Fluttershy already cares for all those creatures as pets (as opposed to livestock or zoo creatures), I'd think the falcon and all the other competitors are in good caring hooves under her care. Now if we get to see them again, that's another story....
      • Actually, one could argue on the contrary, in other words, that a falcon could perfectly well take care of himself (especially given how well it passed even the most difficult tests) and would therefore require little to no maintenance. Would a falcon like this suddenly forget how to survive when it becomes a pet?
    • Because Rainbow Dash didn't want to be the only pony with more than one pet.
    • Dash had never had a pet before, apparently. Even with a low-maintenance creature like a tortoise, caring for one is probably enough for her for now. Starting off her pet-ownership by caring for TWO at once... probably not the best of ideas.
  • Whose magic is powering the Shellicopter? Going by color-scheme, as seems appropriate in the second season, it seems to be Princess Celestia's doing.
    • Or it may be some unicorn we've never seen on screen. There doesn't seem to be a rule saying that everypony's magic auras must have a different color.
    • Or it's solar powered.
      • What's the difference from being Princess Celestia's doing, beg pardon?
    • Considering that Pegasi's flight is mostly magical and we know that magic is used to power technology, my guess is that RD is powering the Shellicopter herself. (unicorn magic tends to be used for technology simply because it's the most flexible, I would imagine. Earth ponies can probably imbue objects with extra strength, pegasi can make flying objects, unicorns can do everything else. )
  • Dash mentions bullets during the song, and she names her pet "Tank". Does this mean that ponies have modern weaponry, even though we haven't seen it onscreen?
    • WMG: Every firearm/weapon mentioned is actually "party" firearm in the genre of Pinkie's Party Cannon. So there are Party Guns, Party Tanks, Party Bullets, maybe a few Party Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, etc.. They're all perfectly harmless and are only used for throwing parties.
      • A Canterlot Wedding suggests that Party Cannons are not perfectly harmless if aimed at somepony. I imagine they are similar to real life T-Shirt Cannons. Harmless because you're normally sending light and fluffy things. However changing the ammo would be simple.
    • Bullets are not just gun ammo. The term can also apply to the ammunition used in mundane slingshots or other sling-type weapons. That sort of weaponry is much more common in medieval settings, even pseudo-medieval settings like this one.
    • I remember that Hasbro owns the rights to the Dungeons & Dragons monster manual, and the show has used hydras and dragons and manticores, so why not bulettes (Land Sharks)?
    • Some apparently self-powered vehicles are in evidence in Equestria, so while they may not precisely have an equivalent of the M1 Abrams or even "just" the M4 Sherman, some counterpart to the earliest tank designs of WWI (basically a slow metal box on tracks carrying a few unicorn "gunners") actually wouldn't be that much of a stretch.
    • If we are really nitpicky, "tank" can also mean "a large container or reservoir for the storage of liquids or gases."
      • She doesn't say he's built like a tank. She says he's unstoppable like one. Water tanks aren't really known for being unstoppable.
      • There are two possibilities here. First is that tank refers to the kind of tank they'd actually have (but likely never use), which was essentially like a moveable miniature fortress. The second is that tank, in Equestria, means the same thing as it does in RPGs: Heavily armored warriors that are difficult to take down.
  • Since when is Owlowliscious a pet? Sure he can't talk, but Twilight had referred to him as an assistant in Owl's Well That Ends Well, on about the same level as Spike. So why is she suddenly treating him like an uncivilized animal when he actually does jobs for her?
    • Same reason Angel Bunny is considered a pet.
  • Why was there a seal in a forest??
    • It wasn't a forest, it was a pet shop. Granted it's still kind of weird but if Fluttershy has a pool/ water tank for it it isn't out of the question.
  • How can Owlowliscious sit on Twilight's back without hurting her? Don't you kinda need a leather glove to hold a raptor?
    • I'm sure a pony's fur coat does provide a little more protection than bare skin. But compared to leather, you got me there.
  • So, Rainbow Dash was abusing animals and putting them in dangerous situations...and Fluttershy was okay with this?

    2.08 The Mysterious Mare Do Well 
  • A lot of people seem to complain that the mane 5 bragged about their own accomplishments as Mare Do Well, because it seems hypocritical. To me it seems closer to Fridge Brilliance. If they really WEREN'T Mare Do Well then the conversation wouldn't have been any different at all. Everything they praise is in character for their own personal interests. Rarity the fashion designer would praise the costumes. Twilight the book nerd always studying new magic would talk about the spell needed to fix the dam. Applejack talking about being humble and modest fits with episodes like "The last roundup" where Applejack decided to donate whatever she won to Ponyville and hates letting others down. As the Element of Kindness Fluttershy would be the one to talk about valuing everyone's safety. The goal is not to clue Rainbow in, so it would odd if they began gushing about things they normally don't care about.
  • My actualy complaint to their actions isn't the self-bragging, but that she showed up to a parade thrown in her honor. As I just said above their talking about their own actions is done in an in-character way, but hearing about a parade being thrown for you and showing up to bask in the praise of others seems like the true hypocritical part of their actions. No, they're not doing it when others are in danger, but if the goal is to show modesty then that's not really doing it for me.
  • Actually, a better question would be: how much of what happened did the Mane Cast intend? In retrospect it seems the plan wasn't meant to make Rainbow Dash start heroically opening jars or end up on her own Personal Raincloud, anymore than throwing a surprise party for Pinkie was meant to drive her to talk to rocks. Was any of that their intention, or was it just an unforeseen consequence?
    • True, the episode could had ended with a catastrophe akin to 'Lesson Zero', with Rainbow Dash completely losing it and literally nuking Ponyville 'You shall remember me no matter what'-style or causing a major disaster only she could solve, but from what we saw so far, it's quite hard to cause lasting damage to Ponyville and it's denizens due to Cartoon Physics. They probably assumed she would try to upstage MDW, then try to unmask her if it failed, and acted accordingly. If she slipped into depression instead (which would be very out-of-character anyways), they'd likely abandon the whole thing before it went too far.
    • You also bring up an interesting point mentioning Party of One, you'd think Pinkie of all ponies would realize locking someone out from what they like doing could have a massive adverse effect on them. If she'd witnessed Dash's " Then why am I all alone" speech I'd imagine she'd change her tact pretty fast.
      • I imagine pretty much any of the Mane Cast coming across Rainbow Dash in that condition would trigger a huge What Have We Done moment. They love her; of course they don't want her to feel that way. The problem is that the way the episode is set up, it can be hard to remember that. It makes it look as if the girls meant for Rainbow Dash to end up like that, which seems to be the source of many of the complaints about it. I know it was the source of mine.
    • Even if they fully knew what Rainbow Dash would go through, it was still necessary for them to do so. Pinkie Pie being 'locked' out of her element makes sense, Rainbow Dash being 'locked' out of her freakishly overblown ego does not, as it isn't a situation she's normally in, yet is troublesome for the rest of the cast. Heck, even if they acted out of malice (which is definitely not the case), their actions would still be justified as Rainbow Dash was clearly going way overboard. They even gave her a chance to realize how wrong she was, yet didn't get the hint. If anything, it makes sense for them to passively watch her afterwards to make sure she does not try something that would mirror Twilight in 'Lesson Zero'. Then, after allowing her to cool off a little, provoke retaliation with a public appearance. It was brilliantly done, how else could they get the message through?
      • Basically, there are two ways to interpret the events of the episode. In the first, the Mane Five thought that showing up as a masked hero would get Rainbow Dash to reconsider her actions, realize other ponies can be heroes too, and tone down her bragging. It didn’t – it just made her freak out – but once they revealed themselves and explained what they were trying to do, she got the point anyway. That makes this a normal episode about five of the ponies trying to do something good for their friend and underestimating her capacity for freakouts. In the second, they anticipated all of her reactions correctly, and so apparently thought that the best way to teach Rainbow Dash to be humble was to get her to humiliate herself and then leave her alone and depressed. That’s not the sort of thing friends should ever do to each other and makes the Mane Five look like a bunch of Jerkasses.
    • Sure, it was a lesson Rainbow Dash needed to learn. The problem is, it's hard to see how the Mare Do Well was supposed to be teaching it. Its appearances weren't making Dash any more humble or any more effective, so it's a little hard to see what the endgame was supposed to be.
    • The point of Mare Do Well was to show RD that one can be a beloved hero without being a braggart. Mare Do Well would save lives and leave right after, yet ponies still loved her because of what she did. Ponies loved Rainbow Dash until the fame went to her head and she put showboating over saving lives. She was not only getting obnoxious, but she would do her showboating while other ponies were in serious danger. The Mane Five used Mare Do Well to teach RD a lesson in humility: Mare Do Well was loved for her actions, but she didn't rub it in anyone's face.
    • You are free to prove me otherwise, but Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie aren't as smart and clever as the show makes them out to be. I don't think it's too out of character for them and Twilight not to think their plan through and realize that it might cause Rainbow to freak out. As for why they didn't just talk to her... well, again, they're not super bright, it's possible that they didn't think of that.
  • This is a relatively minor issue, but I've noticed that Fluttershy's flying ability seems to fluctuate over the course of the season. She's canonically described as a poor flyer, but while disguised as MDW we see her whiz past Rainbow Dash at a speed so great it makes her (briefly) dizzy. Combine this with the fact that she was able to keep up with Rainbow Dash while towing a 500+ pound hot air balloon just earlier in the season; it seems like she can magically turn into a competent flyer whenever it's convenient to the plot.
    • Pretty much. Fluttershy is Beware of the Nice Ones personified, so the writers will always come up with new ways for her to impress. Maybe she can match Dash in speed, but she still can't pull of a Sonic Rainboom or Dash's advanced flying tricks. So maybe she's not really better at being Dash than Dash herself. Though yeah, that bugged me too.
      • I assumed RD wasn't going at full speed, but was flying fast enough that she assumed Fluttershy would never catch up to her.
    • Fluttershy does not like to show off or bring about attention to herself (e.g. the perfect antithesis of RD in this episode). The only time we've ever seen her fly badly was in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and that was because she was a lanky filly then. (Her inability to fly in "Dragonshy" due to fear doesn't count). Thus to anyone else, a pegasus pony that stays close to the ground and rarely shows off her flying abilities is likely to be seen as a "poor flyer". But give her an outfit that completely disguises who she is, and she's probably all ~yay~ and ready to speed off to do what it takes for her friends.
    • Fluttershy described herself as a poor flyer back when she was a filly. As an adult, she seems to be a perfectly competent flyer. Nothing amazing (normally) but still able to handle herself in the air. She just prefers sticking close to the ground for all the animals and plants.
    • Basically, her poor flying ability is an Informed Flaw, nothing more.
      • Until she flies as fast as she can, having gotten over her stage fright, trained her very hardest, and ignored her fears... and barely registers on the flying scale in Hurricane Fluttershy.
      • After what couldn't have been more than a few days of training against woodland animals in cut-out pony masks. Fluttershy made remarkable progress in overcoming her insecurities, but it's unfair to expect her to defeat them completely in such a short time, especially if her moment of truth is in front of real pegasi who have done nothing but train their flying strength in the meanwhile.
      • Her poor results in Hurricane Fluttershy weren't just because she was a bad flier. It was because her nerves got the better of her, causing her to "seize up" (basically a mild form of what happened in Dragonshy).
  • Just how humble were they expecting Rainbow Dash to be about this whole thing? I get that she crossed the line eventually, but some of the behavior that gets treated as 'wrong' includes doing flying tricks to get her admirers to cheer louder and having her autobiography ghostwritten - never mind that the former is something she does all the time anyway and the latter is basically how autobiographies get written now. Not being a jerk about being good at something is one thing, but are we supposed to take away that trying to use your achievements to get more famous is inherently wrong?
    • It wasn't really about her bragging, it's just that it became problematic when the bragging was getting in the way of her saving lives. She was too busy signing autographs that a pony behind her was falling to her death in a busted hot air balloon. It got to the point where the fame was going to her head, she didn't care about her accomplishments, she just cared that she was popular.
    • There's also a case of severe Values Dissonance here. We are all partially products of our times and the countries in which we grew up, unless we really take the time to notice that. Well, the problem in this case is that most of the people who watch this show are American...and mainstream American culture in our day and age teaches that bragging and flaunting your talents is acceptable. Here's the real problem: the lesson that The Mysterious Mare Do Well tried to get across is an entirely valid one, but as modern Americans, the lesson clashes horribly with what our culture has told us is an acceptable way to act. This episode is trying to teach us an ethical lesson that sometimes contradicts how Americans are "expected" to act. It's this contradiction that's getting fans so upset at this episode: Rainbow Dash's behavior is unacceptable because it causes her to be inconsiderate to other people, to put them in danger, and to demand praise she has not fairly earned...but to modern Americans, Mare Do Well's behavior is inconsiderate because it interferes with Rainbow Dash's God-given right to "get ahead" and become a famous celebrity.
      • The real problem is that Twilight, Fluttershy and Pinkie also bragged about their accomplishments as the Mare Do Well yet are not treated as in the wrong. Then there's the whole plan was unnecessary and devious, talking to her would've worked just as well.
      • The mane six bragged about themselves, true, but Rainbow Dash actually put people in danger. Thus, it's not really equivalent; Rainbow Dash's behavior was objectively worse because she almost caused physical harm to others, while all the mane six did was bruise her ego. Furthermore, even if their sins had been equivalent, that still doesn't make Rainbow Dash's behavior acceptable. Let me make an analogy: In this Troper's childhood, this Troper had problems with controlling his temper, and would frequently blow up at people over little things. How did his father decide to correct it? By yelling at him over it. So, this Troper correctly pointed out that this Troper's father was ignoring his own advice. His father acknowledged his hypocrisy, but also pointed out that whether he was being hypocritical about it or not, it's still wrong to lose your temper at people over little things!
      • Also, I think the bragging on the rest of the Mane 6's part was to show Rainbow Dash how irritating it is something is when it's done to them. It's sort of like chewing loudly with your mouth open infront of someone who also does it infront of you, while direct attempts to show your annoyance has failed and/or gone unnoticed.
      • The Mane 6 (minus Rainbow Dash) discussing how great Mare Do Well was isn't really that hypocritical when you think about it. Rainbow Dash spent the whole episode bragging about her own awesomeness, and eventually let her showing off take priority over helping others. The other five were only ever talking about Mare Do Well, who actually got the job done properly and without showboating. Part of it may have been to show Rainbow how irritating it was to brag, as suggested above, but even if that wasn't the case, we don't know if any of the five were ever planning to reveal the Mare Do Well's identity at that point. During this scene, nopony else even knew who she was. Bragging isn't really bragging if you don't admit to being the pony who did the thing you're bragging about.
    • But even if it all were true it does not make that any more right. Punishing her for feeling "arrogant" about skills she spent her entire life to build up, skills she probably put a huge amount of time in, as much or more as Twilight puts into magic and learning, is simply not fair. And in fact, it's bullying, plain and simple. It's one of the reasons why the stereotypical portrayal of jocks in media is so lopsided: yeah, the star quarterback is arrogant about his skills...skills he trains constantly to maintain and took years to build up and even then he had to be born with most of the speed and hand-eye coordination to do well with. See the problem? By that very logic, smart people should be ashamed of being smart, or attractive people ashamed of their appearance. NO ONE lives up to standards of "humility" that are that self-righteous.
    • Arrogance and being proud of your accomplishments aren't the same, and it's more of an attitude. "I'm the fastest thing alive" depends heavily on the tone and circumstance is said: after performing good in a race, and with a happy voice? it's ok. Blurting it out of nowhere and with people who you know can't challenge you? Bragging, arrogant AND obnoxious.
  • What I don't get is why is the Mysterious Mare thing, the first thing the mane 5 try? I mean they don't actually try to talk to RD about the ego problem at all. They lady to each other on the side lines a bit and then jump in their big trick. They don't actually try a direct intervention at all.
    • As some episodes (past and future) show us ("Read Them and Weep") Rainbow Dash responds a lot better to practical lessons rather than verbal, intentional or not. RD isn't wise enough to just listen to what the other Mane Six say and will only get it through her skull once she faced what follows. Perhaps Twilight, as observant she is and devoted to learning about friendship, picked up on this and drew a fairly reasonable conclusion that just talking to her was the inferior alternative.
  • Why do they even have lawn mowers in Equestria? Don't ponies eat grass like most other equines?
    • To harvest the grass? My guess would be that while most ponies can eat directly from the ground, there are also ones that prefer to wash them first, or to prepare salads or different dishes with them, rather thn eat them directly.
      • Seems reasonable, but if the mower were a grass combine, I'd expect it to have a bagger/catcher to collect the clippings.
  • So how come the one Mare-Do-Well Pinkie Sense became the one pony Rainbow Dash got the drop on successfully?
    • Same reason she wasn't all twitching in the Everfree Forest: she didn't sense danger or other Pinkie-sense related premonitions. Or maybe the Mare-Do-Well just decided to let Dash get the drop on her and end the whole thing.
      • The second of these. They all led her to the alley and were all present at that location (even Fluttershy, Rarity and Spike), suggesting that they planned to stage their reveal there. So, most likely Pinkie let Rainbow Dash get the drop on her.
      • Although Pinkie still looked a little shocked, so it's likely they were planning to pull the reveal, just not quite at that exact moment. I like to think they were planning to lead her straight into a "soften the blow" surprise party.
    • Probably she just doesn't have/doesn't recognize a specific signal for "a friend you've been playing an elaborate trick on is about to pin you down and rip off your disguise".
    • I thought she looked more sheepish than shocked. As in "Yeah, it's me. Surprise?" She was reacting to Rainbow's utter loss of words with an apologetic smile.
  • Now that Rainbow has learned her lesson, will Twilight, Pinkie and AJ stop helping the citizens of Ponyville? It's been proven that the three of them working in tandem are more effective at superheroing than Rainbow Dash alone. Will they suffer guilty consciences now whenever they hear of accidents that they could have prevented?
    • That's what they do as the main characters anyway, but now that they've taught Dash her lesson, there's not need to do so as Mare Do Well.
  • Which Mare Do Well was the one that rescued the pony in the falling balloon, we know it isn't Twilight since she's in the crowd immediately after the rescue.
  • When Rainbow's trying to unmask Mare-Do-Well, she acts like she's expecting her to be someone she'll recognize. But considering that she didn't seem to expect Mare-Do-Well to be multiple people, she must have thought she was an alicorn as. Since both of those seem to be vanishingly rare, with none living in Ponyville, who exactly did Rainbow think Mare-Do-Well might be?
    • We don't know Rainbow Dash actually thought this through or even cared by this point.
  • How did no one recognize the three powers beforehand? A particularly strong unicorn (like Rarity) could have done any of the acts, but the fly-by after using magic to fix the dam - two clearly distinct races in a land of three - doesn't cause anyone to think twice about it not being a normal pony? And why does this not cause Rainbow Dash to gravitate towards the Princesses as a possibility?
    • The Princesses are way too big the be Mare Do Well.
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    2.09 Sweet and Elite 
  • Why did Rarity claim that Rainbow Dash was the Wonderbolts' trainer, when she could have said that Rainbow Dash was the pony who did the Sonic Rainboom a year (or so) ago? Given that Rainbow Dash is the only pony to have performed one, she should be at least a minor celebrity among flying enthusiasts, and this also has the benefit of being true. Admittedly, it could be chalked up to Rarity trying to spruce her connections up a bit and panicking.
    • Keep in mind the commonly-held belief of the Sonic Rainboom is that it's a myth; if Rarity had mentioned RD had performed it, it's likely no one would have believed her. It's not likely the Canterlot ponies would have kept up with an event like the Best Young Fliers' competition anyway, since they had no idea who Rainbow was in the first place.
      • But the Best Young Flier's competition was a huge thing, even Celestia watched it every year. The entire crowd AND the Wonderbolts saw the Sonic Rainboom, not only that, but the Wonderbolts had their lives saved. It's highly unlikely that those events weren't big news across Equestria. Even if the upper class ponies didn't immediately recognize the name "Rainbow Dash", hearing about how Rarity was friends with the only known pony to do the Sonic Rainboom, and also happened to save the Wonderbolts lives, should've gotten her points like being friends with the Wonderbolt's trainer would've. My guess is that Rarity was nervous and couldn't immediately think up the real accomplishments her friends did.
      • I think you just answered your own question. If RD was that known for the Sonic Rainboom, then everyone familliar with the achievement will probably know the one performing it was from Ponyville. Rarity was lucky (well so she thought at least) that nobody present (except maybe Fancypants) recognized the name. Going into the details might have jogged everyone's memories, so she said the first thing that came to her mind.
    • Also your focusing on the wrong word, your focusing on "best flyer" and forgetting the young part. Rarity was surrounded by older, middle age-ish ponies, she wouldn't want to draw attention to how much younger she is. It's like you trying to impress a group of 50-ish year old high society types, by saying your best freind just won a national college championship.
    • And if she reminds them the contest, she will remind them her failure there, anyway.
  • Why didn't Rarity bring up any of her or her friends' genuine accomplishments? Twilight Sparkle is Celestia's personal student and prize pupil — there's very few other ponies in the series who are even possibly closer to the Princess than her — and she's defeated an Ursa Minor. Rainbow Dash is a likely candidate for the Wonderbolts — as seen in "Sonic Rainboom" and "The Best Night Ever", they distinctly have their eye on her and are impressed with her abilities. Although the Apple family isn't upper-class, it surely has some influence (not to mention their famous zap apple jam). Fluttershy single-handedly stopped a dragon and is a former famous model thanks to Photo Finish. Pinkie Pie stopped the first major Parasprite infestation in so long that even Princess Celestia didn't seem to know what they were. Rarity herself has had Hoity Toity and Sapphire Shores as clients. All of them have saved Equestria twice. And that's just going into the accomplishments the upper-class ponies may have heard of or care about. They may not know their names, but it's hard to believe they don't at least know their reputations. If nothing else, several of those ponies were at the Grand Galloping Gala, and were in the receiving line to pay their obeisances to Princess Celestia, where they shook hooves with Twilight Sparkle. Wouldn't the fact that Twilight was standing at Princess Celestia's side throughout the premier social event of Equestrian society, while Celestia was receiving her subjects' homage, have already marked Twilight Sparkle as "a pony everypony should know?"
    • It probably didn't come up. The only reason she even mentioned Rainbow Dash is that she was answering how she knew who would win the race. If it could have come as a natural outflow of the conversation, she might well have.
    • She is the Element of Generosity, after all. It would make sense she wouldn't brag. While Rarity does a bit of bragging during her song, she's clearly only singing it to herself. You'll notice she doesn't do much direct bragging of "I'm so great, I'm so marvelous, I make such wonderful things" to the others... in fact she generally tries to be modest to some extent. "Hey guys, I saved your ass from a possessed night-goddess and a chaos demon.", though true, would put her squarely in the braggart column. Not only does it not fit for Rarity too well, blatant bragging often doesn't go over too well at winning affection.
    • This whole show has a problem with characters' popularity. Both seasons start with the Mane 6 saving the world, but they're not treated as celebrities in the other episodes. Fluttershy became briefly famous as a model, and afterwards no one ever refers to her modeling career, etc.
      • Not quite. Most episodic television shows will, without exception, have the main characters accomplish a number of noteworthy deeds (for better or for worse) but remain completely unknown. The only consistent exceptions are if the characters are already famous in-universe from the moment the series begins (such as Batman or Scrooge McDuck). You'd think that Mysteries Incorporated would have nationwide renown for debunking ghost story after ghost story, for example, but people keep challenging Scooby-Doo and the rest of the team anyway. Or how much crap Mario gets put through in Super Mario Sunshine even though the townsfolk all recognize him and know he's saved the Mushroom Kingdom numerous times prior. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an episodic series and is thus subject to this rule as well. (There is a deliberate reason for this, which is in case the channel the show is on airs reruns in random order. The Hub does not do this, but Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and The Disney Channel all do.)
    • I have thought of a theory as to why Rarity never mentions Twilight Sparkle being Celestia's student. It's possible Twilight Sparkle simply does not want that fact advertised, and there are many good reasons why she wouldn't: it could come off as bragging. It could bring her the kind of attention she doesn't want, or cause people to perceive her in a light she doesn't agree with. There's so many other possible reasons as well. As for everything else, I have no idea.
    • This wasn't about achievements. Rarity assumed Fancypants would be prejudiced against countryside ponies, regardless of their achievements, and didn't want to lose his support. Remember how two upperclass ponies who have previously made positive remarks about her reacted when they found out she's from Ponyville.
  • Why was Rarity so desperate to go to every high-society event she was invited to? Anyone who's ever tried to make it in high society knows that if you just go to everything, you cease to be seen as being in any way exclusive or desirable as a guest. You want to be a catch. You want to always have something more important, and more exclusive, to be going to. Why didn't Rarity just say, 'Oh, you know, I would love to, but Princess Celestia's personal apprentice is having her birthday party—it's very exclusive, only five ponies got invitations—and I simply have to put in an appearance. You know how it is.'?
    • First, you gotta understand how you form an image for yourself in these things; you go to as many events as you can until you're a common feature in all the high profile functions, once the invites are really coming thick and fast, you start being picky on where you go from now on. Second, no matter what you do, no matter how world changing the effects of your actions are, it's all about how stylish you are with the kind of people you see Rarity deal with in Canterlot, and Rarity is painfully aware that her own inner circle is nowhere near the definition of the word as her new connections understand it.
    • Also, the Garden party was hosted by those two snob ponies. If Rarity turned them down, they'd take it as a spurning of their generosity and never send her another invite again. Seeing how popular they seem to be, that'd put quite a dent in Rarity's potential to be 'the pony everypony should know'.
    • Rarity's dreamed of becoming part of high society her entire life. So much so that the very thought of having an actual chance of achieving it excites her into bouncing and screaming like a schoolfilly. She's loving every second of the attention she's getting and terrified of failing here, not unreasonably given how it all happened over the course of a week or so. As far as she knows, one blemish on her record (like a quintet of less-than-classy ponies showing up as her friends) might cause her to lose all her newfound favor. If she were thinking straight, she would probably be more discerning in her appearances. When she's this emotional, not a chance.
    • Not to mention she needed to be on Fancypants' good side. Remember: popularity is popularity, but business is still business.
  • What were Twilight and the others snorting on the way to Canterlot? They see a posh, upperclass gathering going on and decide to gatecrash it, then seem to just lose it and act like obnoxious bums. I would probably shrivel up and die if I had to admit to knowing them if it had been a college movie fratboy party they had interrupted, let alone the high-society soiree that it was. Pinkie... well, I've lost all hope of Pinkie ever learning a lesson in manners in the show, but the other four have no excuse for the way the behaved. Where was Fluttershy's inhibitions, where was Twilight's having grown up knowing all the expected ettiquette, where was Applejack and Rainbow Dash's having seen what was expected of them from the Gala.
    • It's supposed to be over-the-top, but it's more justifiable than you make it out to be. Rainbow Dash wasn't actually in a position to learn how to actually behave from the Gala — she spent nearly the entire event in a cordoned off VIP section, trying to get the Wonderbolts to notice her. Pinkie Pie is used to having her behavior written off as just what Pinkie Pie does. Applejack seemed to earnestly believe that you're supposed to garden at a Garden Party — and again, she wasn't really in a position to learn from the Gala, spending nearly the entire event outside trying to sell her food. Twilight didn't really do anything worse than simply dancing enthusiastically and poorly — and she certainly did not know the proper protocol; she was raised in Canterlot, but devoted herself fully to studying while entirely eschewing social interaction. Fluttershy simply did what Fluttershy does — ignore ponies, befriend animals. To top it all off, the lesson they learned from the Gala was explicitly not how to blend in at an upper-class social gathering, or even that this was desirable. It was to stick together and have a good time anyway, which is exactly what they do.
      • I apologize for overblowing it, it's just that their behavior was so jarring in that scene. The problem with most Aesops that tell you to "Take pride in who your friends are and what they're like" and others similar in concept is that the friends in most of these cases are either loud, odious, and difficult to respect in most cases, or become that way when it's time to deliver the Aesop. (I'm also referring, in part, to the glaringly stereotypical redneck pony that showed up just to set up the drama Rarity put herself through in this episode. Nopony else in Ponyville is anything like that.) It's not just high class expectations that they don't know being trampled on, it was also common decency; they intruded on a private party and wreaked havoc on most of the guests, seemingly on a whim.
      • This sort of Aesop requires that the friends be unambiguously embarrassing to work — as it's about staying with your friends, even when they're embarrassing. If it comes across that the other people are being unreasonable, you instead get an Aesop about standing up for your friends even when it's not popular — not a bad Aesop, but not the intended one.
      • Here's a much simpler explanation: Twilight and Pinkie Pie are socially unaware, AJ and RD do not know how they're supposed to act in high society events, and Fluttershy has spent lots of time alone or with animals. Even if Twilight spent most of her life in Canterlot, and under Celestia's tutelage, no less, she was so dedicated to studying that she had practically no social life; even hanging around with her classmates was out of question. This is probably why they were all described as rustic.
      • You also have to keep in mind that all the ponies were already in full "party mode" when they decided to crash the garden party. Twilight and Fluttershy got into party mode while they were hanging around friends that they were comfortable with, and that enthusiasm spilled over. It's not like they went straight to the garden party and acted like that; they were acting appropriately for their own party, and they failed to adjust when they changed venues. And given that when the only thing on your mind is "party party party" you aren't really thinking clearly.
    • I think you're completely correct in your initial assessment. That scene, and to a lesser extent the Grand Galloping Gala, really bugged me. My first thought on watching that scene was, "Were every one of the Mane cast raised by wolves?" Pinkie Pie actually started redecorating. Step back from the show for a second and think about how assholish you'd have to be to go to somebody else's party and start changing the decorations. That's beyond mere obliviousness, and bordering on needing to get some professional help. Can you imagine rolling into your hypothetical college fratboy movie night, redecorating, and changing the music? You probably wouldn't admit to knowing them, not because you'd feel like shriveling up, but because you'd be afraid of getting your bum kicked. Every one of them displayed a complete lack of etiquette, and (in Dennis Miller's words) I don't mean the kind of psychotic Emily Post lunacy where they don't know how to use the 85 Goddarn forks arrayed around their dinner plate. I mean like basic courtesy, and acknowledging the existance of others as separate beings with their own desires.
      • Regarding all of the above, maybe Twilight Sparkle was, er, trolling, having figured out what Rarity was really up to. Sparkle seems (it's a tone of voice thing) to think she could have had the Garden Party cancelled to make room for her birthday party, after all...and she thinks this because the Princess offered the use of the Palace to Sparkle on basically no notice for her birthday party.
      • If Twilight Sparkle was trolling, that actually makes it worse. Trolling implies that it was deliberate, i.e., that she actually knew that she was being rude to the other guests and embarrassing to Rarity. (This leaves aside that trolls, at least as the internet uses the term nowadays, are just bullies that take advantage of anonymity to avoid retribution, rather than the jocks in high school who used muscle and reputation to escape the same. It's not an attractive character trait.) Remember, the only reason this had a happy ending is that it happened that Fancy Pants was cool about it. Rarity is trying to make it in the world of high fashion. I don't understand aesthetics or the appeal of fashion, but even I know that it's a highly reputational business. If Fancy Pants hadn't intervened—and Twilight had no way of knowing that he would—Rarity would be ruined. The only thing she could have done with Carousel Boutique would have been to burn the place down and collect the insurance money. That doesn't make Twilight Sparkle a good understanding friend (the point of the episode), it makes her a passive-aggressive lady. As far as being able to kick out the Garden Party, I doubt it. The Princess letting Twilight make use of an unused room in the palace isn't the same as being willing to kick out somebody who probably had a room reserved. Aside from the pure rudeness of throwing somebody's plans into disarray, it'd make the Princess look like a petty jerk, and I doubt she's ruled for 1000 years by yanking around important people for little to no reason.
      • Why do you think she'd be "ruined"? At the absolute worst, Rarity would just go back to relying on Ponyville business, which was clearly enough to keep her afloat for however long she ran her boutique before she started getting famous clients.
    • My theory: though its not explicitly stated, Twilight's birthday party probably included the pony equivalent of alcoholic beverages. Or, to put it bluntly: they were drunk off their flanks and not thinking straight.
      • Alcohol? In a children's cartoon? AHAHAHAHA!
      • One word: cider.
      • I think we found the answer right here. They were drunk. That pretty much explains everything, especially since A—we know they drink "cider", and B—Twilight was basically doing what I call the "Standard Drunk Sorority Girl Dance". It's that special combination of a girl almost falling over while also trying to look cool for her friends that only happens after a girl knocks back a few too many..."ciders"...for her own good. It's cute, but always embarrassing in retrospect. I'm sure the next morning included a lot of "Oh Celestia, I did what? With who? W-wait was (insert boy here) there? He was? Nooooo!"
  • Why were the garden animals, who had seen the very same pony chase and scream at them the night of the Grand Galloping Gala, suddenly so friendly towards her?
    • If you go by the theory that the GGG animals were just trying to sleep at nightime without being interrupted by a frantic yellow mare, Fluttershy just found them today at a good time. And this time, it didn't seem like those were the special animals found in the garden, and were instead just a few common songbirds that Fluttershy befriended, as she usually does.
    • Another possibility is notice she was being calm and peaceful this time. Last time she went running towards them and tried to MAKE them be friends. This time she set in a tree calmly and let them come to her, so it also has to do with her taking a more reasonable approach this time.
  • Why didn't Spike go to the birthday party? It was a party for his closest friend/boss. She had to travel out of town to attend it, leaving him alone. It was held in Canterlot, his original home, and he was very enthusiastic about visiting during "The Best Night Ever". And, of course, all the ponies went to Canterlot rather than holding it at home because that was the only way they could include Raaaaaarity. With all of that in mind, his absence seems odd.
    • It's pretty commonly noticed, and an interesting point. I suppose someone needed to watch over her library in her absence? Maybe Twilight had a private birthday party with Spike first before leaving for Canterlot?
    • Maybe she just wanted a girls night out, or you could go with one of the above guesses that this was one of those parties where ponies got drunk and got crazy, and after all Spike's only a baby dragon.
  • Anyone else find it odd that two ponies that Rarity has bad history with, Blueblood and Photo Finish, were seen in prominent cameos, but weren't confronted or even focused on? The former at least, has every reason to want to start an argument or undermine her newfound celebrity, but no. I don't know why they bothered if nothing came of it; if you don't have time to do something with a character, don't throw him in when it wouldn't make sense for him to be anywhere near that scene looking so pleased.
    • I'm guessing Blueblood and Fancypants are friends and as such is willing to tolerate her presence for his sake. Heck, given how much Fancypant's companion looks like a young, wingless Celestia, she might actually be a member of the royal family the same way he is, and is doing it for her.
    • Rarity didn't really have any bad history with Photo Finish. Blueblood, she definitely did, but perhaps Celestia set her nephew straight after the events of the GGG. Alternatively, he's so self-absorbed that he simply didn't recognize her. He didn't pay her much attention at the Gala, despite accompanying her the whole evening. And he doesn't seem particularly intelligent either.
      • He may also not have as many issues with Rarity as she would with him, since it seemed that the only thing he seemed to care about when Rarity was chewing him out was that she was covered in cake. Maybe because of that it never sank in that she was saying some seriously awful things about him, even much later.
    • Since she's been in town for about a week, I know Rarity wouldn't want to make a scene at any of the big events she was invited to even if she wanted to have another go at some of the people that have been jerks to her. And maybe among the upper crust of Canterlot it's considered very rude to get into an argument at a party, to the point that anyone doing it would fall out of favor pretty pretty quickly.
    • There is no reason for Rarity to go out of her way to confront anybody. Not only would it be totally out of the blue, both in-universe and for viewers, but it would've undermined Rarity's efforts to get recognition in Canterlot. As for why Blueblood and Photo Finish are there, it's a garden party meant for all high society in Canterlot, or at least anyone Fancypants wants to invite—they're almost certainly there for a totally non-Rarity-related reason. Rarity isn't the center of the party, after all. (Or wasn't intended to be anyway.)
  • One explanation for a good half the Fridge Logic here is that the show has an anachronic order and the Gala simply hasn't happened yet. It's even said that the Gala was still coming up, and the mane cast probably wouldn't be that excited to go after what happened last time. But the fact that the pillars in the Ballroom are quite clearly cracked means that this story takes place after "The Best Night Ever", so does it still stand.
    • It's easily explainable: they're talking about the next Gala. It's said to be an annual event. Twilight also wasn't so much excited for the next one as she figured that Rarity was making connections so she could get clients for it, and the garden party being the second most important event next to the gala was a logical place to do so, even if Twilight didn't realize Rarity planned to abandon her party for the garden party. As for why any of them would be excited, they ended up having a good time with Celestia and this time would have realistic expectations for it and at the very list get to hang out with the princess and each other and have a good time again.
  • There's a god-darned pair of stain-glass windows in the palace celebrating Luna's salvation and Discord's stoning, I just can't wrap my head around how EVERY SINGLE HIGH-CLASS SOCIALITE IN CANTERLOT could have missed the newspaper that was sure to follow the random Day/Night cycles from Discord, or the 17 hour night from Nightmare Moon. It can't be a government secret when the government decorates the freaking halls with it! For that matter, this obviously takes place AFTER the Gala in TBNE, where most likely everyone at the garden party MET Twilight firsthand. I don't expect them to know everypony by name, but at the very least I'd expect a "Oh horseapples, it's THEM again." facehoof from one of the Socialites.
    • There's one pony that may have known, but played it close to the vest... Fancy Pants. I don't care how Cool Old Rich Guy he is, you don't see a bunch of teenagers (potentially inebriated on mass amounts of hard cider) gatecrash your party and make every single guest HIGHLY uncomfortable and then take up for them that quickly unless their some kind of national treasure.
    • Bear in mind that this is from the same people as The Powerpuff Girls, where half of the episodes involve the girls getting mistreated despite regularly saving the town (albeit destroying it a lot too).
  • Would it been easier for the bellhop to use his magic to carry Rarity's luggage?
    • For that matter, why does Rarity even need him? She seems to be able to carry quite a lot of stuff with her magic without much effort later in the episode.
      • Because it's funny?
      • That assumes that he is that powerful, which we don't know. Magic varies in strength from unicorn to unicorn, and he seems to be rather young, a teenage colt at best. Young ponies who aren't Twilight "Jean Grey" Sparkle seems to be rather weak.
  • Why did Rarity think she could get away with lying to somepony who Speaks Fluent Animal that her cat is sick?

    2.10 Secret of My Excess 
  • Why does Twilight always give Spike nothing but a book for his birthday? If she really loves and cares about him, you'd think she'd put in more thought and effort to get him something different and much better.
  • Why did Cheerilee have a pimp hat?
    • Roleplay fetish.
      • Random Troper had better keep in mind that there is a difference between fetish and unusual nonsexual interest. Maybe Cheerilee just likes roleplaying. Full stop.
    • She is fan of pony Michael Jackson.
    • I think the better question is, why doesn't everyone have a pimp hat?
    • I think what you should be asking is "Why do pimps wear Cheerilee hats?" And the answer is, "'cause Cheerilee be pimpin', rollin' up and down the streets of Ponyville teachin' a filly a lesson and not takin' horseapples from nopony." Also, it was clearly a garden hat that merely looked like a pimp hat because of how Spike was wearing it.
  • Hasn't Spike already shown his greediness in previous episodes? Why hasn't he grown then?
    • When? I don't remember him showing greed anywhere near this level before. He showed intense jealousy in a previous episode, but those aren't the same thing.
    • He's always had a tendency for excess, but nothing that I'd really call greed before. Stuffing his face with gems is more along the lines of gluttony than greed.
    • Perhaps the greed transformation only kicks in at a certain age, and Spike had only just reached that age.
  • If Twilight can teleport, then why didn't she do that when she and Applejack were tied up?
    • You just answered your own question. She was tied up, she couldn't cast any spells.
      • Gee, I must have never noticed when she performed an interpretive dance every time before she cast any of her other spells. Oh wait, she didn't, because she just has to think hard enough to cast a spell. And maybe she did use a spell during the scene cut, it just didn't occur to her until 20 seconds later.
    • And it isn't the first time either.
    • Perhaps she automatically teleports anything she's touching, so she'd just teleport the tree and rope with her as well.
      • Forgot I Could Fly. There, I just explained this and every single instance similar to it that has or will happen in the series.
    • It's probably a fair assumption that Twilight was under a lot of stress at that point, what with her oldest friend turning into a giant kleptomaniac. Logic and Rational thought are often the first things out the window when normal folk get stressy. Now look at how Twilight freaks out over minor things. Is it that surprising she forgot she had the ability?
    • We don't know the details of how magic works. Maybe the teleport spell doesn't work without the proper conditions in place. Maybe Twilight has to prepare Teleports in advance, and she's all out at the moment. Or whatever.
  • Spike and his hoard-induced growth spurts raise so many questions: Is there a point when adding more to the treasure pile won't cause additional growth? Is there an age when the compulsive hoarding and magical growing start? When they end? Does normal physical and mental growth happen alongside the unnatural spurts? Why are his mental functions deteriorated in this state? Does actual material value of the hoard affect anything? What is the purpose of them, a defense mechanism for fresh out of the nest dragons or what? Is that his "true" adult form, or just another distorted resize of his infantile form, like in Twilight's cutie mark story? You see the condition the implications have left me in.
    • I think this is probably his true adult form. He's likely a different species from the two winged dragons seen before, a wingless wurm of sorts. As for the rest, I think that every dragon probably feels an initial urge to collect (during which they grow to an enormous size) followed by a lifetime in which they mostly just protect their hoard. Regarding Spike collecting random mundane objects whereas the other dragons usually have hoards of gold and jewels, it could be any of three - Spike's species is less picky, or maybe the other two were from a time where gold and jewels were more readily found lying around, or maybe later on in life a dragon develops a special affection for precious metals and stones and starts replacing its hoard with them, presumably without any additional growth. As for mental functions, all adult dragons besides sea serpents seem to exhibit low intelligence, it's probable that it's normal for a dragon to lose sentience when its hoarding tendencies develop fully.
      • Both dragons were sentient enough to hold conversations and Basil (the red one) even had enough self-awareness to even feel bad after Fluttershy scolded him.
    • It's entirely possible that Spike's loss of intelligence is due to his growth being unnaturally accelerated. If he had grown up the normal way, he'd probably have more control over himself. At least enough to limit his hoarding to items he'd actually have use for like gems.
    • His intelligence seems to come back once he finally reaches his "adult" form as he starts to regain his snarky demeanor with his "blah blah blah" gestures when Rarity chews him out.
    • Perhaps in normal cases a baby dragon's mother would stop it from indulging the hoarding instinct and getting large before it's ready. His immaturity is also why he was hoarding worthless objects, a grown up dragon has enough self control to only pick the best for it's hoard.
    • As for the purpose of hoarding, remember that dragons eat gems. (Or Spike does, anyway.) Maybe they eat gold etc. too. If so, a dragon's horde is simply a large supply of food for itself. (Maybe dragons spend long periods of time in their caves, during which time they have only their hordes to feed on.) As for why Spike was also collecting non-edible objects, see the above points.
  • Why didn't someone - Celestia for e.g - tell Twilight how Spike would grow up? He turned into Giant!Spike purely because he was put in a situation which provoked and allowed him to indulge in greed, with ponies who had absolutely no idea of what he was doing. He's treated essentially like a baby pony, and the innocent acts of generosity and friendship turn out badly. It's possibly significant that this happened when he had his birthday with more people and gifts than he was used to. If Twilight had any idea that being in that sort of environment could bring out the worst in Spike, she would have learnt to manage it, or at least attempt to - Twilight being how she is - long before it became an issue. Sounds like an awful lot of grief that could have been avoided. Fortunately, Status Quois God and we'll presumably see no backlash against Spike, but somepony would surely jump to nasty conclusions about having a baby dragon around.
    • Given we have yet to see another domesticated dragon, it's likely that nopony even knows that much about a dragon's life cycle. The vet they went to, at least, didn't even recognize what were apparently the normal effects of him growing up.
    • Also, the only character who could tell Twilight what was going on was from either a different country or continent, and has very frequently been the only character to recognize the nature of various plants and animals. One can assume that residents of Equestria don't put much consideration into the study of plants and animals, or that it's a bit of a lost art there. (I'm leaning towards them just not caring too much, since Celestia would probably be aware of it and warned Twilight if it was a lost art given that she's over a thousand years old.) Combine that with the fact that dragons seem to be at least somewhat rare, and they'd probably see no reason to study them.
    • With the new teaser for the upcoming episode, it's been outright stated now that ponies know next to nothing about dragons because they're too terrifying and dangerous to research. Since Celestia has better things to do (like running her nation) than study dragons, it makes sense that she wouldn't know much of anything either. If she doesn't have the time to do research first-hand, and nopony else can do it for her, then there's not much she could know.
  • Regarding the Wonderbolts attempt to 'save the day' here: What exactly was their plan from the beginning when they arrived? They really didn't seem capable of doing much more than irritating Spike. Were they just content with driving him away to minimize the destruction to the town? Trying to annoy him into leaving (even if it did sort of work) doesn't seem like a smart idea while he has a hostage.
    • He has the hostage either way, at least with Mega-Spike outside the town the only civilian in danger is the hostage as opposed to everyone.
    • Well, they were able to clip away his spikes. Death of a Thousand Cuts, perhaps?
      • Alternatively, death of one big bum cut. If those spikes were either weaponry or armor, they were probably the toughest, most durable parts of his body, and the Wonderbolts cut through them like a hot knife through butter. If he hadn't ducked at the last second, he might have lost his head.
      • Given their placement, they seemed to be decoration. His neck was also a lot thicker, so even if they were as tough as the rest of him, the Wonderbolts might not have been able to get enough penetration in a single cut. His neck also would have had bones and muscles in it, which would contribute significantly to durability.
  • Exactly how did Spike "age" his fire ruby? Unless he's using some high-powered solvents or a time machine we don't know about, there's no way a few months will make any difference to a gem.
  • It seems weird that Twilight has no knowledge of dragon anatomy or history despite being a pony who loves to learn and read books and for someone who has a dragon for an assistant.
    • Maybe she thought she didn't have to, given that Spike never showed any concerning signs of turning into a monster before.
      • Maybe she was afraid to, she loves Spike like a son or younger brother, and she didn't want to think of him having to leave her, or fear him turning into a monster.
      • A simpler explanation is that Twilight has researched dragon life cycles in the past, but her books had no information about overnight growth spurts driven by excessive greed because it's not part of normal dragon development. So when Twilight sees Spike has suddenly tripled in size, she realizes it's something not covered by her earlier research and has to seek advice from others.
      • Dragons are very anti-social, and can potentially grow to adult size as soon as they can get grabby. That makes researching them tricky, to say the least. Twilight probably doesn't have any good resources on dragon behavior or life cycles, which was why she tried all the doctors in Ponyville. Might or might be used by the current show runners, but Faust said that Celestia was raising Spike because ponies don't know much about dragons, and had never seen a baby dragon before.
  • If Ponyville/Equestria is threatened by a physical monster too powerful for their combined efforts to stop, would Spike or the Mane Cast allow for him to become greedy and grow huge again to defeat the monster?
    • Probably not, because then they'd have to deal with two monsters.
      • Well, it's a standard procedure in many Godzilla movies; use a monster to defeat another. At least with Spike they already have somepony (Rarity) who can return him to normal once the emergency is over.
  • This is only Fridge Logic if combined with what Lauren Faust said about Spike being raised by Celestia, which may not be canon with the current crew, but if he was, why did he get just one present a year (obviously from Twilight) and not two? It feels a little weird that Celestia, the Trollestia meme aside, would raise a kid and not give him a single birthday present in all his life. You could say she somehow knew and wanted to avoid this scenario, but then you wonder why she never instructed Twilight to never feed him birthday cake after midnight, so to speak.
    • Maybe his present from Celestia was a big dinner with lots of rare gems to eat; it would satisfy the obligation for a gift while not indulging his inherent greed (since he effectively eats his gift) and since he gets to eat it he might not consider it a "gift" in the traditional sense.
    • Spike got that fire ruby from somewhere. Maybe Celestia gives him a flashy bonus sometime before his birthday? Not an actual gift, but still a sign of her appreciation.

    2.11 Family Appreciation Day 
  • I can accept that the magical Zap Apples want specific things to grow to their tastiest potential. My question is; how did Granny Smith figure those specific things out? Some of them make perfect sense. It's good to be friends with the bees so the honey is the best. Yelling at jars like they're people is odd, but if the glass is breaking from the vibrations of just a loud voice it wouldn't be good as a container. The one about pink polka dots is odd, but I mean maybe one day they painted their house with polka dots and made a connection that it made the Zap Apples taste better that year. However, I can't think of ANY conceivable, reasonable way that dressing up in a bunny suit and playing leapfrog with watering cans singing the ABC's could have happened. Where the heck would you even get the idea to do such a thing? The best I can come up with is either one of their family members was crazy, or it was a young child.
  • In Granny Smith's flashback, it shows Timber Wolves howling in front of a moon. Did anybody else notice that there was no Mare in the Moon?
    • Rather easily explained by it being a flashback-story as told by Granny Smith. Given that she herself says that she tends to forget things sometimes, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for her to not remember a background detail like what the craters dotting the moon looked like.
    • Or possibly the shape of the Mare in the Moon faded over time, and only when the time for her to be freed was close enough did the shape reappear.
  • If Granny Smith's farm was famous for its Zap Apples and Zap Apple jam and was instrumental in the founding of Ponyville, then why wasn't the farm called Zap Apple Acres instead of Sweet Apple Acres?
    • Probably because regular apples/sweet apples are their main source of income, it's what they know best. Perhaps they're best known for growing regular apples, because Zap Apples come around once a year, once a DAY.
    • Who's to say the Zap Apples aren't sweet?
    • Maybe Sweet Apple Acres belonged to Granny Smith's husband and after they got married, Zap Apple Acres was included.
  • Judging by the look of surprise on Apple Bloom's face after Granny Smith's story was over, I think it's pretty safe to assume that Granny hadn't told her the story before. Now, here's my question; why not? You'd think that the Apple family's instrumental role in the founding of Ponyville would be common knowledge (as well as a huge source of pride) among Apple family members. I have to imagine that Granny, or Applejack, or Big Macintosh, or somepony should have taken some time to educate Apple Bloom about her family's history.
    • Showing off pride doesn't seem to be a big part of the Apple family, besides, being young, Granny Smith's odd behavior might have changed Apple Bloom's view on the story over time, and she simply stuck to 'Zap Apples are a big source of income, and we gather them every year' instead of remembering the rest of the story.
      • Maybe she was told the story before. Now, she was worrying because Granny would likely tell another nonsense story to the whole class as she often does, embarassing her horribly. Her happiness stems from how now the rest of the class knows and is delighted, along with dodging a huge bullet there. Also, two words about Apple Family pride; Applebuck Season.
      • Applebuck Season was about Applejack's personal pride, not the pride of her family in general. In fact, bragging at all seems to be a thing quite frowned upon among them. As for the above question, I can see Apple Bloom asking Granny Smith exactly that, and her replying with either You Never Asked, or that she honestly didn't feel it was worth mentioning, that it was just the way things played out as opposed to something boast-worthy. Given how absent-minded Granny Smith can be, it seems quite in-character for her to regard something monumentous as natural or unremarkable.
      • Maybe Granny Smith has told the story before, but Apple Bloom tuned out.
  • Seeing a young Granny Smith got me wondering something. What was Granny Smith's name before she became a Granny? I mean, I know that Granny Smith is a type of apple, and just about everypony in the Apple family has an apple-themed name. But who in their right mind would name their foal Granny?
    • Someone named their child Filthy and another child was named Stinkin'. Some ponies just aren't good namers. Besides, maybe Granny Smith just went as Smith? Or Smith Apple? Or some other apple reference I don't know.
    • I've seen the name "Anny Smith" floating around, which I guess would be most reasonable, considering that it still works as a reference to the apples.
    • When Granny Smith was talking about how Ponyville was founded, she called her family "the Smith family" and that her Pa was a seed collector. Maybe Granny Smith's real name has something to do with seed collecting?
    • Franny Smith?
      • Granny Smith is a type of apple. Just like Applejack Applebloom and Big Macintosh, it's following a naming pattern in the family.
      • She's a grandmother so it would make sense that she was married at one point and changed her last name. Maybe she had another apple-related name first but there was a Smith family that she married into and it's just a coincidence that she ended up with an apple related pun-name again when she became a grandmother. Alternately it's entirely possible that in this universe, Granny Smith apples were named after HER. She seems to be an expert in the field and has been around for quite some time.
    • In her flashback, Granny Smith refers to her family as the Smith Family, not the Apple Family. It seems more likely that the apple pun was intentional on her part and why it started in the first place. Could be another part of the Zap Apple ritual.
  • In Winter Wrap Up, Twilight Sparkle says that Ponyville was founded by earth ponies and they've been doing winter wrap up for hundreds of years without magic. So does that mean Granny Smith is several hundred years old? The line in Winter Wrap Up is this btw: "No Spike, Ponyville was started by Earth ponies, so for hundreds of years they've never used magic to clean up winter." Do ponies have a ridiculously long lifespan (contradicting Lauren Faust's statement that they have lifespans comparable to real horses). Since we don't see a whole lot of younger ponies (the only school in Ponyville is a small one-house affair), perhaps this is typical; they live long and rarely reproduce.
    • If I'm not mistaken Lauren Faust's statement was more of a Shrug of God to explain their Manchild behavior at times.
    • Ponyville was destroyed and abandoned in the past, and Granny helped found the latest incarnation?
    • Earth Ponies had been doing Winter Wrap up without magic for hundreds of years beforehand, and when Ponyville was established the founders (who were Earth Ponies) simply continued with their traditional methods.
      • Consider how many Earth Ponies were in line for filly Granny to buy the Zap Apple Jam. If we consider how the American settler expansion went, small towns would be developed after families settled in around areas. The analogy to Equestria: for hundreds of years, Earth Ponies all had their own farms to tend the land and celebrating Winter Wrap Up as part of their farming ritual without magical help; Celestia gave the Apples their own plot of land; as a result of the Zap Apples and Stinkin' Rich's foresight, the area because a town, still celebrating WWU and as Unicorns and Pegasi moved into the area, they too participated without performing any of their own special magic to keep the same tradition alive but expanding to the weather, snow-clearing and animal duties that we see. In other words, Earth Ponies did found both WWU and Ponyville but WWU was already in place before Ponyville was founded.
    • Maybe she meant that Ponyville was founded by earth ponies and that earth ponies have been doing Winter Wrap up without magic for that long. As far as I remember she didn't say Ponyville ponies in particular were doing it.
      • But in Winter Wrap Up, Spike asks why the ponies of Ponyville don't just change the seasons with magic like they do in Canterlot.
      • My impression is that Winter Wrap Up is only done without magic in Ponyville (and possibly other Earth Pony settlements). Unicorn-dominated settlements like Canterlot simply perform WWU using magic.
      • Another consideration: Recall the fallout of Hearth's Warming Eve where (hopefully) each species of pony learned not to gloat their special talents and resent the special talents of other species. Keeping this in mind, it can be easy to see WWU created where everyone would use more physical labor together to complete the task of changing seasons simply to avoid repeating the past.
    • Just because Ponyville was founded within living memory, it doesn't mean that Earth Ponies have only been there that long. There may have been villages, communities and the like in the area prior to the town being founded that had the tradition, and Ponyville simply continues it. This happens a lot with some of the larger, newer towns in Europe that absorbed smaller villages as they grew.
    • It's also possible she actually is hundreds of years old. The only reference we have with regards to pony lifespans or how they age is that the Mane Six were surprised that Princess Celestia is over a thousand years old. Being a few hundred years old may be the pony equivalent of living to one hundred for a human — quite an achievement, but not unheard of.
    • She might just be overestimating the time that has passed since Ponyville's founding.
  • Granny Smith is shown in this episode to have false teeth... but when they're removed, she has perfectly normal teeth underneath. Why does she need false ones?
    • Reinforcement?
  • Doesn't it seem rather trollish of Celestia to give a family in such poverty a homestead next to one of the most dangerous regions in Equestria?
    • No; it's giving them a challenge. The Earth Ponies are the hardest workers and giving them the toughest place to live makes sense that way.
  • If Pegasus ponies have been controlling the weather around Ponyville for years, how do the weather signs that come around Zap Apple season get through? Are the pegasus aware not to mess with magical weather?
    • Given the magical nature of the trees and the fact that the trees came from the Everfree Forest (which has been stated to have its own naturally occurring weather), it's likely that the trees themselves are actually the source of the Zap Apple weather signs.
    • Pegasi can't mess with magical weather. Otherwise, the problem of the Windigos would have been solved in about five seconds.
    • I forget ... weren't the signs generally from the Everfree? You know, the forest that lies outside of pony control?
  • How, exactly, can the Apple family in Granny Smith's flashback starve? They're ponies living in the middle of a great big field of grass. The equines in this show have explicitly been referred to as hay-eaters, so obviously they can eat grass, too.
    • Just because you can eat something doesn't mean it's filling and will give you all the nutrients you need, and "starving" is easier to say that "underfed and malnourished" on a show that's ultimately aimed at children.
  • Why didn't Diamond Tiara knew about her familys connection with the Apple Family? Her family visits them every year when the Zap Apples are appearing and her father probably mentioned them in his story.
    • Later on in the series, we find out Spoiled Rich, Diamond Tiara's mother, is responsible for Diamond Tiara's bad attitude. Maybe they didn't tell her about Granny Smith in order to keep up the fancy façade.

    2.12 Baby Cakes 
  • What was with the stubble Mr. Cake had at the beginning?
    • He wasn't able to shave at the hospital, clearly.
    • Horses actually do have whiskers that can get fairly long if they aren't trimmed once in a while. It may be that all the equines in the show need regular shaves, not just stallions.
    • Actually, there have been quite a few ponies with facial hair.
    • Maybe his wife went into labor late at night, and without getting himself ready, had to get her to the hospital to deliver.
  • Okay, even a baby unicorn can levitate herself using magic. Why does this not occur to either of our mane unicorns when it might come in handy? One example that immediately comes to mind is when Twilight has to jump that gap when she's being chased by that hydra. Of course, she could also have just teleported or something. ARGH
    • Babies don't weigh that much. And I'm guessing targeting yourself to telekinetically lift yourself if harder for non-babies to do.
    • My personal theory about this whole episode is that pony abilities are akin to the abilities in the Young Wizards series. The youngsters are exceedingly powerful to make up for their lack of experience, and as they get older and more knowledgeable, their abilities get dialed down. In the Ponyverse it would make sense for a young pony's magic to be reigned in once their special talent is discovered.
      • Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle all say that baby unicorns and pegasi go through stages where their abilities are unusually strong randomly before fading. The babies will probably reach a more even level as they grow and learn to deliberately develop their powers. I wouldn't be surprised if baby earth ponies have periods where their innate strength and toughness can cause problems, but on a much lesser scale than the other two races.
      • Err, no. Rainbow Dash doesn't say anything of that, they only say the part about the unicorns not the pegasi.
      • I had the impression that Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake were just prodigies and that they'll have tremendous magical strength later on.
    • It doesn't occur with older unicorns because babies' magic happens at random.
  • So what was the problem with Pumpkin chewing on stuff animals and the rubber chicken? I can get it with things like the tablecloth and bottle where she could either choke or damage her teeth, but the animals and chicken were too soft to hurt her teeth and to big to choke on.
    • Maybe because they weren't clean?
    • Plus Pinkie probably didn't want her/the Cake's stuff covered in baby drool. It's not really a pleasant thing to coat your possessions in.
    • Speaking from my experience taking care of my infant sister, most parents try to break their child's habit of chewing on random objects as soon as possible both to protect them (don't want them to stuff something dirty or dangerous in their mouths the second you take your eyes off them) and to protect your possessions (anybody living with a baby knows that they can be little forces of destruction if you let them).
      • Sucking on things as a baby can deform the shape of the mouth. It's another reason to prevent a baby from sucking on things.
  • Rarity and Twilight are quick to point out that baby unicorns can have spurts of magic. This raises questions about Sweetie Belle's proficiency in magic, which so far hasn't been demonstrated even in, for example, places where Rarity would use telekinetic magic frequently.
    • Besides Pumpkin Cake and the flashbacks in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, none of the immature unicorns we've seen have ever used magic. Judging from what we've seen and heard from Twilight, learning to use magic aside from one's innate skill requires a lot of study and effort. Sweetie Belle probably just hasn't taken the time to learn how to use her powers yet, being more focused on getting a Cutie Mark than anything else.
      • Snails does use a (very weak) lighting spell in Boast Busters. On the other hand, he has a LOT of trouble even getting it to work to a passable degree.
    • Twilight and Rarity explained that baby unicorns could have sudden random bursts of magical power. Pumpkin must've just been having one of those bursts at that time, where she can suddenly do a lot of stuff. Sweetie Belle is older and probably doesn't have those random bursts anymore.
  • Carrot Cake's great-great-great-great grandfather was a unicorn and Cup Cake's great aunt's second cousin twice removed was a pegasus. Both these facts raise questions about how the genetics of the three pony breeds would work.
    • What's so complicated about it? If a pegasus and a unicorn have a child, it could be either one of their races, or, depending on if one of them has Earth Pony blood, it could be an Earth Pony. Doesn't seem hard to follow.
      • Exactly how much DNA do you share with your great aunt's second cousin? If this troper's estimates are correct, roughly 1.56%, generously. It's very unlikely Pound is a pegasus because of a very distant relative.
      • But it's not 0%. That's the important part.
    • It's never stated, but it could be a rarity in the pony universe, though still possible. In Real Life, there have been instances (though rare) where two white people who each have at least one black ancestor end up having a black baby. Even the inverse of that has happened. And in another case, a black woman and a white man had twins, one was black and one was white and yes, both the babies were biologically theirs. It was explained that the black woman likely had a white ancestor and the white man possibly had a black ancestor. Genetics can be weird.
    • The show doesn't necessarily have to use real life genetics. This would only be Fridge Logic if it went against already established rules of how genetics work in the show. We already have a possible previous occurrence in Rarity' and Sweetie Belle's father, assuming his hat conceals lack of a horn.
    • If the genes for Pegasus and Unicorns are recessive it can make sense. But for this to work the babies would have had to inherit Pegasus (for Pound Cake) or Unicorn (Pumpkin Cake) genes from both parents. But seeing as recessive genes can stay hidden for many many generations it might not show up on their family tree at all. The chances of the twins being one of each race is unlikely but not impossible.
    • Pretty much every fan that has a biology education has postulated theories on pony genetics even before this episode, based on a hefty dose of real-world knowledge, and a hint of magic coming from Equestria being a land of magic, such as this one. Someone else did a video version.
    • Plus, this raises the issue of just how old Ponyville is. If Granny Smith saw the founding of Ponyville when she was around Twi's age, would there be enough years for Carrot Cake's great-great-great-great grandfather to exist? Granted, ponies existed way before Ponyville was founded, so the Cakes may be an extremely old lineage.
      • Who says they all lived in Ponyville?
    • Too many people are applying high-school level Mendelian genetics to the problem. Most real-world physical traits are a result of many genes working together, with some genes' expression being conditional on other genes, and some genes acting to suppress others. Then you have dominant, recessive, semi-dominant, and co-dominant alleles, and that's not even getting into sex-linked inheritance. The whole thing can be summed up as: "It's complicated."
    • Alternatively, we only have Carrot's word to go on, and since he'd been out of Panicky Expectant Father mode for five minutes, if that, perhaps he simply remembered his family tree wrong.
  • Why aren't the bursts of power more random? When Twilight had that one incident during her exam, she did end up hatching Spike's egg, but she also turned her parents into plants, made her examiners float in the air, and caused Spike to grow to the size of some Kaiju monster. Rarity got dragged halfway across Equestria by a spell that she didn't even know the purpose of. When Pumpkin Cake used her magic, it did exactly what she wanted it to (bring the toys over to her, effortlessly break the locks on the box, walk through walls) and nothing else happened.
    • Different ponies, different magical bursts.
    • Twilight is said to be exceptionally powerful, and she totally lost control because she got spooked. Rarity's own magic activated without her intent (or subconsciously). Pumpkin knew exactly what she was doing, and merely had enough power at the time to will it into happening.
      • This is Twilight Sparkle, an exceptionally powerful unicorn whose talent is magic itself. As a filly she struggles to flip the page of a book after studying everything she could about magic. How could a one-month old baby know exactly what she was doing, and exactly how to do it in a way that completely trumps the best magic user on the show? (Personally I am going with Pinkie Pie's Reality Warper powers super-empowering the twins. Baby pegasus flying better than Fluttershy, baby unicorn doing magic better than Twilight Sparkle? Rule of Funny!)
      • They make it clear foals can do this then grow out of it, as Twilight did. Pumpkin has not, hence she had the power to whatever she wanted at the time and didn't lose control because she never had to force it.
    • Like human babies can swim, maybe ponies have a similar reflex for magic and flying. As for why, it's so the little defenseless foals won't get eaten by the next dragon who comes along (ponies live in a dangerous world). They can't sustain this magic, as they age it fades, and they have to develop their abilities the old fashioned way. Twilight is also extremely powerful, to the extent that she has trouble controlling it as an adult.
    • Hmm... If this is the case, would it be possible to neutralize a dangerous situation by encasing it in a magic-impenetrable barrier and then trapping a bunch of unicorn foals inside?
      • If you could rely on them not to freak out on the spot and actually know what to do. They're powerful, not focused or intelligent.
      • AND if you're prepared to take responsibility in case they fail and the dangerous situation devours them messily.
      • Not to mention, presupposes the existence and convenient availability of said "magic-impenetrable barrier" in the first place. The existence of any sort of "anti-magic" in Canon!Equestria has not been established, and any spell powerful enough to contain a bunch of foals in this fashion would probably have to be cast by somebody powerful enough to handle the situation on their own in the first place.
      • So far the only faction with anti-magic are the Changelings, whose entire kingdom is anti-magic protected, allowing only Changeling magic to be used within.
  • Pumpkin Cake's magic can be handwaved, but I just can't buy Pound Cake's flying. Not only does he fly, he can lift a pony ten times his size. That should be like physically impossible even in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic universe, no matter what kind of special powers pegasi may have there. (While I don't remember it ever being explicitly stated, it's heavily implied that young pegasi are unable to fly until they become older. Most prominently, Scootaloo cannot fly (even though she can propel herself while riding her scooter.) It makes sense, because young pegasi wings are very small. A baby pegasus flying, much less carrying a grownup pony, goes well beyond any willing suspension of disbelief.)
    • Do you have a problem with Bam Bam too? This is still a cartoon, and cartoon physics apply. No, things that happen aren't always physically possible in the real world, but that's why animation exists.
    • That huge white steroids pony can fly, and no one complains about him.
    • It's flat out stated that infant Pegasai and Unicorns are prone to fits of incredible power that should pass as they get older so Pumpkin Cake makes sense within the rules as presented. If you look at real flying animals (birds, bats, anything but bees to be honest) and you'll notice that Pegasus wings are too small even in full grown adults to fly properly, don't beat nearly fast enough to hover which all of them seem to be able to do without effort. Much like Superman Pegasai don't so much fly as they reject falling if that makes it easier to grasp. Finally it's largely accepted that Scootaloo is in someway handicapped making her a poor example of anything.
    • I can think of two explanations: Either having unicorn blood had something to do with it, or Pegasi flying happens in random bursts as an infant the same as unicorn magic. Also pegasi are shown to be usually quite strong. Look at Rainbow Dash and Bulk Biceps.
    • Scootaloo simply hasn't learned to fly due to being too short-sighted to take the time for it.]
    • Pegasi have their own magic that lets them stand on cloud and helps them fly so a baby Pegasus might be able to fly, but as they grow older they lose their bursts of magic and learn how to fly properly. Either that, or Pegasus wings don't grow to keep proportion with foals until puberty.
    • Baby venomous snakes have a habit of being more dangerous than older ones because they're too young to conserve their venom when they bite, so they inject their entire load on the first chomp. As they grow older though they get more of a handle on things. One can assume the various pony breeds work sort of the same way. Kinda. Maybe.
      • Extend this to why filly Fluttershy wasn't great at flying when she was at flight school; during her teenage growth spurt, her wings likely trailed her heavier body, while the other ponies (just starting their growth) has light body masses their young wings could easily support.
      • However this leads to the question of whether or not this is true of all pegasi or not. Canonically, we know Fluttershy is a year older than Pinkie. But we don't know how old the others in the mane cast are. If they're only a year apart in age, or if Pinkie is the youngest in the group, this means that Pound's flight capabilities may be unnatural. Pinkie certainly seemed shocked to see him already flight capable, implying that he shouldn't have been capable of this at that age. This may also invalidate the idea that Scoots is just unwilling to take the time to learn how. She's basically a younger version of Dash with a near identical tomboy attitude. Scootaloo is shown looking to be about the same age as Dash was when we see her as a filly in Cutie Mark Chronicles. Dash was already flying at that age and her attitude, as said, is almost a dead ringer for Scootaloo's even years later, and she seemed MORESO at Scoots's age, even when standing up for Fluttershy. Scoots hasn't actually flown at all yet. Instead she's only made wing assisted jumps. Pound can not only fly, he does so in a way that makes him capable of imitating Spider-Man by walking along the ceiling while flapping his wings to defy gravity. There was never any indication that Pound would be able to do this kind of stunt flying until he was older, but he's doing it at a month old. Either Pound is a prodigy, his ability is unnatural, or there may be something seriously wrong with Scootaloo.
    • Newborn human babies can swim by instinct. Once past a certain age, they lose that ability.
    • It's more likely that Pound is simply a prodigy of sorts. Just look at the Mane Cast. Twilight had a burst of magic so powerful that the ponies testing her- who were probably very experienced in magic themselves, being officials of a school for gifted unicorns- were awestruck at her power. Rainbow Dash performed a Sonic Rainboom as a filly, while there has been no other mention of even an adult pony doing the same. These two could fall into the same category of 'child prodigies'. That's two separate ponies within a group of six! Perhaps brilliant children are a common thing in Equestria. With odds like that, Pound could very well be one himself already- or maybe just a keen combination between prodigy and luck, coupled with the aforementioned newborn ability to be absolutely zany despite the laws of adult pony physics.
    • In the same line of thought, maybe there's nothing wrong with Scootaloo. Rainbow Dash was shown at flight camp, in Cloudsdale, where a pegasus her age probably belongs if they want to get a head start on flying. Scootaloo, on the other hand, is a pegasus living on the ground, around earthbound ponies. She's not surrounded with pegasi, and likely doesn't have a tenth of the pressure or influence on her to fly as Dash did- Scootaloo would be accepted by her society of mixed ponies, because flight isn't an absolute requirement at that age. Up in the sky would have been completely different for Dash, whose society would not have been as accepting of a flightless pegasi at her age because they are IN THE SKY. They would have to make sure that everyone is flying by a certain age, or else some poor filly could suffer a fate similar to Fluttershy, without being as lucky.
      • Scootaloo could just be slacking off to a crippling degree. She is shown traveling with a miniature scooter, a land-based vehicle, so she has even less reason to really worry about flying right now, as wings aren't necessary to operate a scooter. For someone that is such a big fan of Rainbow Dash, she doesn't seem to be placing a lot of priority on actually flying yet.
    • Guys one month old babies are very light and if you noticed pound cake was using the same motions with his wings as scootaloo does, when a baby pegasus is that old, simply flapping their wings that fast is enough to let them fly due to the lack of weight, when a pegasus grows older they get heavier and therefore have to learn how to fly differently, like using thermals, or the magic that pegasi seem to have.
  • Was it just me, or was there a serious Broken Aesop at the end of "Baby Cakes"? Pinkie wrote a letter to Princess Celestia about babysitting isn't just about playing with children, and that a babysitter has to be responsible. But Pinkie was responsible! Her problem was that the babies she was caring for suddenly manifested extremely powerful and unpredictable magical and avionic abilities, and she was one earth pony handling them by herself. If she made a mistake, maybe it was not accepting Twilight's help, regardless of how condescendingly it was offered. It seems to me that a better Aesop would have been that sometimes you need to swallow your pride, or even your proper self-respect, and accept help you need even if it is offered condescendingly and insultingly. That might be something of a Family-Unfriendly Aesop for a kids' show, though.
    • Another good alternative: Be careful how you take offense. Twilight didn't realize she was being condescending, which happens a lot to socially-awkward individuals. From Twilight's perspective, she was thrown out of her best friend's house for offering to help her babysit. Which, given her sensitivity toward her friendships, would have sent Twilight crying back to the library...
      • ...which probably would have resulted in a letter being sent to Princess Celestia, in the hope that she wasn't too busy to lend some comfort. And who could theoretically activate a pony's full power potential at one month old. Suddenly that third act sounds more like a case of divine interference.
      • ...Or maybe just an answering letter back of the Princess gently explaining to Twilight how what she said was insensitive.
      • ...assuming Twilight Sparkle even noticed she'd been thrown out. She didn't even seem to realize Pinkie Pie was angry at her, let alone was throwing her out. Twilight just assumed Pinkie Pie was more confident than she'd initially expected.
      • Twilight already understands her mistake. She'd be upset because of her mistake. She would be writing to the Princess in hopes of getting some comfort, and maybe some guidance on making up for her mistake. Trying to explain it to her at that point would only piss her off and complicate things further. By activating the Cake twins' powers early, Celestia bumps the task of babysitting them up a few notches to break Pinkie as well, placing both ponies on equal terms for when they make up later.
      • Guys, Celestia doesn't need to involve herself in everything.
      • Pinkie Pie's lesson was more in accepting that being responsible was hard and that she couldn't always be the fun person. She wanted to be responsible and she acted it, but she didn't know how hard it would be.

    2.13 Hearth's Warming Eve 
  • The start of the show we see the mane 6 inside a locomotive (similar to the Opening of the second season), unlike the train seen in Applebucking season, This one was self-powered, unlike the pony-powered train. Could it be because coal was sacred or cultural preservation?
    • It may be rather because coal is rare and hard to excavate (ponies are probably poor suited for deep mining operations). You know, to compensate for those polished gems you can dig out with a shovel. And when diamond dogs aren't kidnapping ponies, they're demanding holdup prices for their services.
    • One of the theories of the train in Applebucking was that it was powered by Earth Pony Magic(Hence the ponies in front). If the theory is correct, the reason why this one was seemingly self-powered could be because the trip was shorter from Ponyville to Canterlot, hence not needing a "recharge" of earth Magic, or the ambient magic from Ponyville is able to reach Canterlot.
      • Expanding upon this, it's likely that the train to Canterlot is powered by unicorn magic, and thus doesn't need to be pulled manually. Appleoosa is an earth pony settlement, after all, and based on "Sweet and Elite", the population of Canterlot seems to be primarily unicorns, so this seems like a reasonable assumption.
    • It could be that the self-powered trains are a recent thing, and as such aren't widespread yet.
    • Maybe the train in the Appleoosa episode was just broken, and they were pulling it around with Earth Ponies until they found time to repair it.
    • Alternativly, all trains use a mix of pony power and the engine, while on long flat stretches they use pony power, but when dealing with large slopes, like the kind needed to go from Ponyville to Canterlot, they use the engine becuase pulling the train up a mountain side is just to much effort.
  • The final scene with the Equestrian flag. Why are Celestia and Luna on it? It's pretty clear they aren't in control of crap or are even a part of these ponies lives from the three independently governed tribe structure and the fact that the unicorns were in control of the day and night cycle.
    • Quite possibly it was the earliest known flag that could be found?
    • Ponies are not historically aware. It used to be the same with humans. Shakespeare's plays, as originally performed, showed the army of Julius Ceasar using firearms and everyone walking around in Elizabethan costumes.
They used the Equestrian flag as they knew it. Not whatever flag may, or may not, have been used in what may, or may not, have been real events.
  • It's possible this was the condensed version. Perhaps Discord arrived before Equestria was founded, after the Unicorn's defeat, and the princesses eventually defeated him. Or maybe Discord arrived while the ponies were frozen in the cave and dealt with offscreen. Or maybe they were elected leaders of the united tribes because they represent all three and we didn't see the part were they appeared. There are a number of plausable explainations.
  • They just didn't expect the audience to recognize the historical flag that the three tribes actually used, so they just used a modern one instead.
  • Maybe the original flag has simply been lost to history; no one knows what it looked like. So they used the modern one in the play.
  • I just remembered this: Clover the Clever mentioned that she was mentored by Starswirl the Bearded, and Luna says she knew him personally, so the princesses must have been around during this time. I have no idea about Discord.
  • Maybe the alicorns on the flag weren't a depiction of Celestia and Luna (at least not at first). Perhaps alicorns didn't even exist at that point, and the flag simply used the imagery of ponies that had the combined traits of the three pony races to represent unity. Later, when Celestia and Luna ascended to godhood, they became alicorns and their coat colors changed to match their land's famous symbol of unity and friendship.
  • But... they're not. Noticeably, though the colours are similar those two ponies are not Luna and Celestia. They have the wrong coloured manes, and slightly off bodies as well.
    • Not every artist's depiction of the same subject looks exactly the same. It's definitely meant to depict the two princesses, since the symbol on the flag is very similar to the symbol as seen in the cold opening of the pilot: Two alicorns, one light, one dark, forming a circle around the sun and the moon, with the background covered in stars. They have to stylize the picture as well, which accounts for the slightly off bodies. A real life example is the different depictions of Christ in Christian art.
  • At the beginning, Spike told the audience that the story took place long before Princess Celestia's rule. So it's likely that these were either different alicorns, or just symbolic images.
    • Why are so many tropers so dead set on insisting that the alicorns depicted on the flag cannot be Celestia and Luna? If anyone were to present a play based on the founding of their own country, and wanted to use a flag as a prop, they would use a modern flag for the purpose. The same has most likely happened here. The simplest answer that explains all the facts is usually the correct one. Assuming "different alicorns" or "symbolic images" leads to the conclusion that someone prophesied Celestia and Luna's eventual rule, and so far, there is no evidence of any such prophecy.
    • I'm not denying that the flag isn't a modern one depicting Celestia and Luna, but if one were to do a play or movie based on the founding of the US, they wouldn't use the modern flag.
    • Not for a movie, perhaps, but almost certainly for a play, unless the person in charge is a history buff. Most people wouldn't see the need to recreate the original flag if a modern one was readily available. Even assuming the ponies in charge did wish for historical accuracy, who in Equestria would know what the flag even looked like? The events the play is based on all took place a millenium prior to the present, not just a few hundred as in the case of the US. And the Princesses wouldn't have been around at the time to see the flag, since the founding predates both Discord's and the Princesses' reign. The only plausible conclusion is that they are using a modern flag of Equestria.
    • I find your lack of respect for history disturbing. "History buff", my, my...
  • So . . . what was the significance of the Christmas tree in their holiday's history? I was expecting the tree to be a Tree of Peace or something.
    • Probably just a hint to the audience that this is the obligatory "Christmas Episode." At least they kept it totally in line with the setting and didn't have Pony Santa or anything like that.
    • The tree could be a later tradition that was introduced years, or even centuries, after the events depicted in the play.
    • The holiday was founded to celebrate ponies who endured a bitter winter (by embracing friendship). The evergreen tree stays green during the winter, so it seemed like a fitting symbol.
    • Pines and firs don't really have much to do with the Nativity, either, but they made their way into our Christmas celebrations. Their tree probably got incorporated through a similar route.
  • It seems that Equestria was founded on the very premise of friendship between disparate groups directly preventing the land from being destroyed by malevolent forces. There's even an annual celebration devoted to this fact. Doesn't that make scholarly Twilight Sparkle sound more unreasonable than she should have in the first episode when she claimed that the fate of Equestria didn't rest on making friends?
    • It's possible she just passed it off as "an old mare's tale" and not something that actually happened. Remember, nobody believed in the Mare in the Moon...
    • Just because Friendship saved Equestria in one crisis doesn't mean it'll save Equestria in every crisis. (Though in practice that's how it usually turns out.)
    • There were two lessons in the play: "don't fight" and "be friends". Twilight could easily have absorbed the first part of the lesson and neglected the bit about friendship. She's a loner in the pilot, but she doesn't seem to have anything against non-unicorns, so in her own mind she probably figured that she was doing okay as long as she wasn't contributing to the problem. As far as she was concerned she was all good because she wasn't contributing to any conflicts.
    • Twilight didn't seem to have anything against friendships in general, either, just making friends for herself. It's entirely possible that she'd heard about the story before and simply thought, "Well, friendships may be good for most people, but that doesn't mean they're good for me. I'm different."
  • So if the three pony states were only in trouble because of the Windigos, and the Windigos were banished with the union of the three pony races and the founding of Equestria - what happens to the three pony states? Wouldn't they be habitable again with the Windigos gone?
    • Equestria was apparently richer than the original homelands, and I believe they were seriously damaged by the Windigos.
  • The Hearth's Warming Eve Pageant is both an annual production and one that is performed all over Equestria. So why is it shocking when the narrator 'reveals' to the in-show audience that the three flavors of pony were once at odds with each other?
    • Audience Participation?
    • Are we ever told that this story is the only one that Hearth's Warming Eve pageants are allowed to be about? Maybe other pageants involve other stories, parodying such classics like A Christmas Story or Miracle on 34th Street.
  • Why would the Windigoes envelope the entire land in an endless blizzard? Wouldn't that kill everything and deprive them of nourishing hatred?
    • I'd say either because they can't not do that (they're doing it involuntarily), they need the cold to survive, or they like the cold and don't know that hypothermia exists.
  • Was Commander Hurricane a mare or a stallion? They're played by Rainbow Dash, who's a mare, but Fluttershy's character keeps calling them "sir".
  • So where were the Alicorns; did they exist prior to these events?
    • Considering Equestria isn't ruled by Discord when the ponies find it, it's possible the Princesses had already dealt with Discord and simply hadn't established their rule over what would become Equestria yet meaning the play is set between Discord's downfall and the establishment of Celestia and Luna's rule.
      • That creates a different problem however; the Pegasi, Unicorns and Earth Ponies founded Equestria on their own without the help of Alicorns; then Alicorns came out of nowhere and are now the rulers.
      • According to one of the books, Celestia and Luna were asked to become the rulers of Equestria because alicorns represent all three types of ponies. They have the wing and flying magic of the pegasi, they have the heartiness and earth magic of the earth ponies, and the horns with magical abilities like unicorns.
      • However if Celestia and Luna are really goddesses, then it's possible they started out as symbols of pony unity and then became Physical Gods due to the ponies' belief in them.
      • OR Alicorns are an odd interbreeding. Faust has claimed that Alicorns are a mix of all three. (LEGO Genetics may be to blame.)
      • OR Discord turned two ponies into alicorns because he though the ideal of him enslaving the ponies' sybloms of unity was funny.
      • Alternatively Discord appeared after they founded Equestria. Still no explanation of the Alicorn race.
      • It's possible that there is no such thing as an "Alicorn race." Possibly Celestia and Luna are just very special ponies.
      • It is stated by Spike at the beginning of the play that it took place long before the Rule of Celestia.
      • Which gives a bit of Fridge Horror as it means after all this, Discord just showed up and conquered Equestria.
      • Just because the three races of ponies worked together to found Equestria doesn't mean years of disdain for each other suddenly evaporates. Makes perfect sense that Discord would be able to take advantage of that later.
      • Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the problem here. The Alicorns are clearly considered deities in Equestria. The three tribes formed Equestria and their harmonious nature attracted Discord. He conquered the land and ruled over it until the Alicorns appeared (possibly from the heavens) and defeated him with the Elements of Harmony. Out of gratitude, the three pony tribes made the Alicorns their leaders. What's the issue?
      • "Clearly," nothing. There is nothing whatsoever in the show to support the alicorns being gods, except MAYBE a few rare oaths taken in Celestia's name (which could easily be seen as oath's taken in royalty's name).
      • Perhaps before there was no interbreeding between the pony tribes (they did not get along). But once they started working together, mixing of the lines likely happened, and lo and behold, the first alicorn was born.
  • If the Unicorns were dealing with the whole day/night thing before Celestia and Luna came along, where did they even get the idea?
    • It's possible that it's been forgotten among the Unicorns since Princess Celestia and Luna have been doing it themselves for over 1000 years.
    • From the opening scene of Friendship is Magic's very first episode, Princess Celestia uses "Unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn." The Hearth's Warming Eve play implies that the pre-Princess Unicorns split the effort of the task amongst themselves.
    • The Unicorn's sun-raising magic might have been "divine magic" as they say in roleplaying games; they were a priest-class as well as a mage-class (social class...not character class) who invoked the Princesses to move the sun and moon. Priests, warriors and farmers also happen to be an old stereotypical division of society…Later, when Discord turned up, Luna and Celestia took physical form, descended to Dirtville and defeated him.
    • Considering that Luna knew Star Swirl the Bearded, Clover's mentor, it's possible that day/night powers originated with the princesses and passed to the historical Unicorns through Luna and Star Swirl's friendship.
  • In the intro, Twilight points out an "8 foot tall candy cane" which is the first real measurement (outside of time) on the show and of course this has sent a few fans to figure out the heights of the various ponies now that we have this measurement. But a larger question to ask is: where did they get this word/measurement? Historically we had "foot" based on the measure of that part of a human body but of course ponies lack this. (Of course one has to recognize that it makes no sense for the writers to introduce a fact measurement term and try to force the young audience to understand that; "8 foot" is a easy measurement to understand.)
    • The Diamond Dogs?
    • Translation Convention.
    • They know what feet are despite not having them; I mean, in "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Twilight explicitly mentions "[Spike's] ketchup-covered feet" as to how Owlowiscious and she were able to find Spike after he ran away. So possibly they used another creature's feet as reference for their measurements?
    • Horses have feet. They've got one big toe which we call a hoof. Their definition of a foot (the measurement of length) would probably be different to ours though.
    • A common Fan Fiction trope is to refer to 'hooves' or 'trots'. Or just junk it all and go with 'metres'.
  • Princess Platinum seems to be wearing an ermine cape. Wonder what it is actually made of…
    • Magic-made synthetics? Course they might've not been so nice to animals back then…
    • Or they are pragmatic enough to for instance skin ermine that have died of natural causes, take whatever else is of utility to ponies from the body and feed the rest to the buzzing buzzards and other scavengers.
    • Or being a ruler, an elitist enough to ride one of her subjects (and thus willing to have lots of magic wasted on her appearance) and an Unicorn, the cape may be made of living ermine in much the same way as Luna wore a cloak made out of bats.
    • May also be simple the prop that has it (and made by modern pony day synthetic fur) and thus that's how we see it in the "historical" parts.
    • It could simply be actual ermine. Not all herbivores are friendly (no offense, Fluttershy).
  • Considering the play depicts the events more than a thousand years before Twilight and her friends were born you'd expect the characters in it to speak a bit differently, using words like "thou" and "thee". It has already been established in Luna Eclipsed that the language ponies use wasn't always like modern English.
    • Perhaps for the audience's sake?
      • Could be true for the pony audience who just watch the actors playing on stage. However for us most of the play appears in some form of flashback meaning that using at least some of Old/Middle English words would seem logical.
      • The fan chronology suggests that Discord will rule sometime after the founding of Equestria followed by Celestia and Luna defeating him. The Royal Canterlot Voice-style may not have actually existed until the point that the sisters take over and formalize a monarchy-like system.
      • While it's true that The Royal Canterlot Voice may not have existed during the time of events depicted in play, the language could still be (and most likely was) very different. By logic it should have even more old words than the language Luna was speaking with in Luna Eclipsed.
      • By logic the language should be completely incomprehensible to anyone who isn't an English major. Both the show's writers and the Mane Six probably decided to use modern English to make it easier to follow for their respective audiences.
      • Exactly. In fact, one could also argue that three separate pony tribes would each have their own language...yet what language is used in Jesus Christ Superstar? 'Israel 4 BC had no mass communication ... '
  • Hang on; Pinkie Pie openly calls attention to the fact that the world is round. So...how do the Unicorns (and later the Princesses) make the sun and moon "rise" and "set"?
    • She says it's round. That doesn't mean it orbits the Sun.
      • It's not the Earth orbiting the Sun that creates day and night. It's the spinning of the Earth.
    • Perhaps they raise the sun by rotating the planet.
    • You do remember that we're talking about somepony who was wearing a hole-riddled map on her face, right? And who constantly breaks and leans on the fourth wall?
  • So when Princess Platinum (Rarity) rides Clover the Clever (Twilight Sparkle) across the stream, why the hell was Clover wearing a bridle? Besides, bridles are pretty modern (Applejack hitches one up on Rainbow in 'Bridle Gossip'). Call it a little anachronism in the play that a modern bridle would be shown in ancient times.
  • Although possible, it seems odd that all three of the leaders at the time and all three of their assistants would be female. Might there have been some Cross Casting going on? 'Princess' Platinum is the only character who's explicitly female; the others are all variously gender-neutral. Commander Hurricane in particular seems mighty militaristic and aggressive, although perhaps no more so than Rainbow herself. And some of the interactions between Platinum and Clover take on a slightly different tone if you suppose Star Swirl the Bearded's apprentice may have been male.
    • Private pansy refers to Commander Hurricane as "her".
    • Fans have speculated that Equestria is a matriarchy by tradition. If that's true, then it would make sense for all the significant historical figures to be mares. If there was a real-world historical story with three political leaders and their immediate assistants and all of them were men, you wouldn't question it too much, would you? That's just how things were. Though I don't disagree that any of them could also be crossplaying, but there's no reason to assume.
    • As pointed out above, it could also be that the characters in the play didn't represent just one person, but rather groups within the tribes. "Princess Platinum" could be short hand for the unicorn nobility, "Commander Hurricane" for the Pegasus Military Brass, and "Chancelor Puddinghead" as the Earth Pony Government, while Clever Clover, Smart Cookie, and Private Pansy were stand ins for the scholars, farmers, and soldiers respectively. Since they're just ideas, even if they're named after real people(as Clever Clover probably was), it doesn't exactly matter who was cast as them. The play wouldn't have been largely affected if Princess Platinum had been Prince Platinum.
      • I think it varies throughout the play, actually. I don't doubt that when the ponies first meet up to try to solve the problem, the characters are representing individual ponies, but when they set out to Equestria? I highly doubt 6 ponies are the ancestors of every single pony in Equestria. ( for one thing, assuming Starswirl was still around, I doubt Clover the Clever would have left him behind)
  • Wait one cotton-pickin' minute. Wendigos feed on hostility and hatred, right? Then what good is a frozen pony to them? Why would they neutralize their only source of food? Further this just teaches the ponies to avoid hostility in future which is counterproductive for the Wendigos!
    • Their goal like they did with the three leaders was to freeze them in a state of hatred, never dying but constantly providing them with a limitless food supply. This is why not explaining their motives in detail makes them much scarier.
    • Alternatively the Wendigos could simply move on to other ponies once they've "finished" this meal. They might not expect to feed on the same one group's hatred forever any more than we expect to feed on the same one chicken forever.
      • The difference is that we literally can't feed on the same chicken forever while the Wendigos have the choice. Why wouldn't they just take the easiest path? Surely it's much easier to feed off the same group of ponies than to move around looking for fresh meat all the time.
    • The Wendigos seem to be a force of nature. They don't plan for the future; they just freeze everything because that is what their instincts tell them to do. Even if it would end up harming them in the end, they are either not sentient enough to care or don't have enough free will to stop.
  • Where did Celestia and Luna come from if not in this story?
    • Well...it's not like we had any idea before this episode either. We know they exist and that they are literally the union of all three races thus deities. That's all.
    • The unified Equestria banner seen at the end indicates that they already existed at that time and were at least known of by the ponies even if they didn't live among them then. It's possible that they date back to before pony history began.
      • The flag itself might just be a modern prop for use in the play (i.e. a modern Equestrian flag to make it clear to the audience that Equestria was founded) rather than a historically accurate version of the flag that was actually planted. Note that in that scene, the backdrop is clearly painted. That whole scene is a part of the play...not a part of the history.
      • Luna and Celestia could have been there for this and similarly, Discord could have already been in charge of Equestria. Not knowing the time frame doesn't help, but it should be pointed out that the ponies seemed to be saved by unicorn magic acting out of order.
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