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Headscratchers / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 7

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     7.01 Celestial Advice 
  • In season 1, we're told Twilight has no friends. In season 2, we learn she grew up with a brother and a foalsitter she adores, giving her at least two friendships. In season 5, we learn she did have friends in Canterlot that she unintentionally left behind. Now, in season 7, we hear again Twilight didn't have friends, and Celestia was so desperate for her to socialize, she was willing to shut down the library to force her into it. Okay, writers, which is it? Because there's a difference between never having friends and having old friends that get left behind (which, ironically, was the fault of the pony trying to force her to make friends).
    • They weren't close enough friends for Twilight to really see them as such (given she completely forgot about them being friends in "Amending Fences", and her brother and foalsitter were family, which is a different enough thing).
      • That doesn't explain why Celestia speaks as if Twilight was completely anti-social, which the series show us she clearly wasn't. Twilight had some kind of relationship with them and it seemed they were also students of Celestia's school. Why have Twilight foster those friendships instead of send her off to a completely new place. Or are we suggesting Celestia had no idea Twilight already had some budding friendships?
      • Because Twilight WAS that anti-social. Twilight never returned the interest the other students had in her. They spoke to each other in class, that's inevitable, but she wasn't being social with them and didn't hang out with them outside school. The whole reason she forgot about them entirely is because she didn't care about them on a personal level. Twilight was guilty because she realised they wanted to be her friends and now that she understands what that means she understands how harsh her blowing them off was.

     7.02 All Bottled Up 
  • Starlight points out that making things disappear isn't possible with Equestrian magic — you have to teleport it. But how hard would it be to magically bend light around an object to make it invisible, thus "making it disappear"?
    • We know an invisibility spell exists as Starlight used one on herself and Trixie in the previous season finale. Course using it on an object on stage runs the risk of accidentally bumping into it later in the act.
    • Also, stage magicians typically wave a hand or wand through the empty space to establish to the audience that your eyes aren't fooling you! The object truly has disappeared from existence! Now imagine how that'd go if the object were just made invisible and Trixie forgot that and did the gesture out of habit.
    • Starlight certainly means the technical definition, making something 'not exist' anymore. An invisible thing still exists.

     7.03 A Flurry of Emotions 
  • Princess Cadance and Shining Armor gave Sunburst the responsibility of being Flurry Heart's foalsitter and mentor when they made him Crystaller for the Crystal Empire. Was he simply unavailable or incapable of taking the job at the time? Or did Cadance and Shining forget about him when they turned to Twilight for help?
    • The latter is certainly possible; considering how frazzled, hurried, and scatterbrained they are when they arrive it's not impossible for that alternate option to slip their minds in the heat of the moment.
    • Given that Sunburst is Flurry Heart's mentor, whose to say he isn't just as frazzled as her parents? Unlike them, he isn't an alicorn or even moderately powerful as a unicorn. He would have more trouble than either Cadance, Shining or Twilight keeping up with Flurry.
    • Since they were already going to Ponyville for an art gallery they might just have figured that Twilight would enjoy some quality time with her niece and Cadance and Sinning Armor were just frazzled enough to forget that Twilight is a very schedule oriented individual without much free time as of late.

     7.04 Rock Solid Friendship 
  • When Maud stays at Pinkie's, she's seen wearing curlers in her mane and tail. A normal thing for slumber parties, but then you realize Maud has perfectly straight hair. Perhaps her mane is naturally curly and she has to de-curl it every night?
    • Perhaps Pinkie convinced her to try a new style.

     7.05 Fluttershy Leans In 
  • Is it entirely possible that Hard Hat, Dandy, and Wrangler really are competent workers but don’t have any idea how to build in a town like Ponyville?
    • Moreover, the real issue is that Fluttershy's plan that she presented to them, is less of a plan and more like 10% of one. It's barely a concept.
    • The other issue being that Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Applejack suggested people workers that are in the needed field but of the wrong specializations. Hardhat is a building construction work not infrastructure, which is what the sanctuary is closer too (Still a bit of a mispick but its closer.) Dandy and any designer shouldn't be touching this project with a ten-foot pole unless its for designing the interior of something like a Ranger station (and even then Dandy is more of a chic/posh/modern designer.) Wrangler is well what she does works more for protecting farm animals then an animal sanctuary.

     7.06 Forever Filly 
  • How can the wings shown in the page image be the same wings that Rarity wore in the Best Young Flyers Competition? Didn't those other wings just go poof?
    • Sweetie is dressed as a caterpillar, so Rarity wearing a butterfly costume, wings and all, makes perfect sense(the whole sequence as a young/old theme going on with their respective costumes). Either it's pure coincidence that the wings look the same, or Rarity made the costumes and decided to recreate her old wings because she still thought they were pretty.
    • Smart idea not to attempt another flight, too.

     7.07 Parental Glideance 
  • In "The Cart Before the Ponies", Scootaloo got to Rainbow Dash's house with a hot air ballon. Why didn't they think to do so (until too late) here?
  • Flashbacks show that Rainbow Dash beat future Wonderbolts Spitfire, Soarin, and Fleetfoot in flying. So why would it take as long as they did recognize her given that athletic achievement. And Lightening Dust has always placed better or equal to them, so why did she and Rainbow not become Wonderbolt candidates before then? How did Spitfire, Soarin, and Fleetfoot (implied to be around their same age) become Wonderbolts before them?
    • Given their actual track record, their talent scouting process may simply leave something to be desired.
    • Rainbow said she was the youngest member of the Senior flyers. There might be a minimum age limit that Spitfire and company hit before Rainbow did.
    • Because (as Dash had to learn the hard way), there is a LOT more to being a Wonderbolt than being the fastest and winning competitions. You also have to be a good team player, and most importantly *do what the team leader tells you*. The Wonderbolts are more or less a military organization that not everyone is suited for, regardless of raw talent.
    • In addition to the above we also see that there is a process to becoming a Wonderbolt. First you apply to the Academy, then if you get accepted you have to complete the training then if they're impressed you get picked as a reserve and then you have to both wait for a spot to open up and be picked to fill it by the rest of the team. Rainbow Dash early on seemed to be hoping to impress the Bolts so much they'd skip the process and make her one of them right away. We also don't know if that was the first time she'd applied to the Academy or just the first time she'd been accepted.
  • It's stated that Scootaloo wanted to go to Cloudsdale for her report, but she clearly wasn't expecting to meet Dash's parents, so what was she looking for in the first place?
  • During the flashback, Derpy is seen on the podium in first place at first. Then as time goes on, she goes down in the ranks as her eyes are seen shifting into the iconic derp look. What happened to Derpy?
    • What we see in Derpy is a sadly realistic depiction of strabismus, a medical condition in which the eyes are unaligned. There isn't always a concrete reason for it in children, but it could be caused by trauma (perhaps while flying) or a genetic condition affecting the brain and/or tendons that control the eyes. It usually starts at an early age—around age three—and lack of treatment can cause it to worsen over time, often resulting in poor vision in one eye and severe loss of depth perception. It shouldn't be hard to see how those would lead to poor performance in flying competitions.

     7.10 A Royal Problem 
  • Why are Celestia and Luna feuding like they are? Did they not learn their lesson after Nightmare Moon? And why is this suddenly a problem seven seasons in?
    • Even if they reconciled after Nightmare Moon, the issues that caused the falling out didn't go away. They tried to avoid fighting, but tensions grew ("Slice of Life" shows they had such tensions Beneath the Mask) and this was the breaking point.
    • This very episode shows how their problems developed: they're on opposite work shifts so most of their interactions are while one of them is tired and cranky and neither has any real idea what they other deals with and assumes their job is harder and the other has it easy (Celestia clearly had no idea what dealing with nightmares was actually like and Luna underestimates how much of a microscope Celestia is under all the time and assumes she's genuinely having fun all day) which makes them completely unsympathetic to each other's stress. And then add in the expectations that come with their positions on top of that and it's no wonder their relationship is so rocky.
  • How did Luna, who was already bags-under-eyes, barely-talking exhausted after a long night, immediately find the strength to take over for Celestia during the day? She wasn't shown resting at all, and even assuming she did get a quick nap in, it could've only been a couple of hours at the very most. While she was overwhelmed by Celestia's tasks, she didn't appear tired until the end of the day. How'd she essetially manage a 24-hour shift when her ordinary 12-hour one was already taking a toll on her?
    • Maybe Celestia's magic had something to do with it?
    • It's certainly plausible that Celestia is solar powered, and that her energy waxes and wains with the sun. With the switch in their cutie marks, Luna might have gained the same ability.
    • Well maybe Luna got a second wind from the excitement of the spell. She gets through the day but she also gets exhausted quite quickly - like the photoshoot and the meeting about the Timber Wolves. Perhaps if she'd gotten more sleep, she might have been more alert.
    • It's possible to go twentyfour hours without sleep.
  • Where did Daybreaker come from? She showed up in Starlight's dream with a backstory and reason for her personality existence is Starlight fear of what will happen, but how does Starlight's psyche know about Princess Celestia's fear of holding back? Starlight should have no knowledge of Princess Celestia's fears or that a Daybreak personality existed. Based on Celestia's dialogue with Daybreaker It should if she really did exist and was something cooked up by Starlight's dream. This is all Starlight's dream how does she know about daybreaker?
    • I like the idea that Celestia is letting her own fears leak into Starlight's dream, and is actively making the situation worse. It's not specifically stated but then, why would it? Celestia likely didn't realize, and Luna wasn't about to make her sister feel even more guilty about the situation.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death...Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu...I think what Starlight did to Celestia and Luna would have far more disastrous consequences for Equestria. The Sun and the Moon would spiral out of control (meaning devasting floods all over Equestria, and several Equestrian races being utterly massacred because of the Sun getting to close), the Dream Realm is momentarily without a guardian (Ponies driven to insanity due to being unable to dream, widespread nightmares), and all the clocks would be thrown out of whack.
    • She switched their powers, but both had similar powers to begin with. Princess Celestia had raised both sun and moon while Princess Luna was in the moon and since she was in the moon that means dreams were without a guardian for along time. Also Princess Twilight did the control the sun and moon with no disastrous effects—she had some difficulty raising the sun, but the only visible consequence of that was Shining Armor being confused.
    • Both Celestia and Luna were completely disabled in "Princess Twilight Sparkle". The world didn't immediately collapse into extreme disaster.
    • And Celestia spent 1000 years raising both herself. So she could be counted on to raise the moon fine. Starlight's spell only switches the cutie marks for just one day, so things could hardly get that bad in only twenty four hours.
    • And the sun was already up when the spell happened, so Luna didn't have to worry about raising it.

     7.12 Discordant Harmony 
  • So if Discord is so dependent on his Chaos magic/powers that he ceases to exist if he suppresses them for too long, how come Tirek didn't actually destroy him by stealing his Chaos magic?
    • Tirek only stole Discord's magic; Tirek didn't 180 Discord's nature itself (it's possible to be "chaotic" even when Brought Down to Normal — as Discord showed in To Where and Back Again). Also, note that Discord's "health" problem didn't begin until after he tweaked his Pocket Dimension too much (must've been some Fisher King/Fisher Kingdom stuff going on).
  • If Discord avoiding being chaotic literallly kills him, then he's not really reformed, nor can he ever be reformed.
    • He is "reformed" in the sense that he's not villainous anymore. He can still have his chaos without hurting anyone, since Fluttershy obviously enjoys Discord's chaotic tea party. Chaos can be fun, or it can be used to hurt others; Discord moved from the latter to the former (Well, mostly).
    • It isn't so much "avoiding being chaotic" as "altering the very fabric of his Eldritch Location home."

     7.14 Fame and Misfortune 
  • Amounts Applejack fans/"honorary family" is Candy Apples, who was shown to be an actual Apple family member in "Apple Family Reunion". So what was she doing there?
    • She must be visiting Applejack now that she's famous, which isn't surprising.
  • The old mare says "Twilight was better before she had wings" yet the journal only dates back to season 4, which is after she became a princess.
    • If she's a Ponyville resident, like many of them appear to be, she might have already known Twilight before she was a princess.
    • Apparently, the moral from "The Return of Harmony" — "Friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for." — was in the journal as well. So Twilight recorded the old lessons, as well as the new.
    • Other lines in the episode indicate that those interested in the book include many who already knew about the Mane Six and got the book to learn more about them (the couple Starlight and Twilight listened in on referred to the book showing sides of the six that they hadn't known about before). It stands to reason many who got the book would use it as a motivation to talk about things things they already felt about them, in this case about Twilight.
    • The Friendship Journal, as published, may have included the past Friendship Lessons that Twilight and her friends wrote prior to Season 4 (particularly considering the complaints towards Fluttershy's repeated lessons), so that it covered everything since Twilight's move to Ponyville.
    • Celestia may also have had the letters the others sent her on record somewhere. So when Twilight wanted to publish the journal, she might have asked for copies of their old lessons.
  • Why did Daisy, or Flower Wishes, change that drastically in personality? She used to be a sweet, if not dramatic, flower girl. Yet in this episode and this episode alone, she's portrayed as stuck-up and antagonistic. And in the very next episode, she's back to normal. Does it have something to do with her stallionfriend in the episode? Did they break up shortly after the incident had receded?
    • A theory I like to think up is that her stallionfriend (named Diamond Cutter by fans) is actually some form of corrupter spirit and that Daisy's personality started taking a turn for the worst as a result of hanging around him. I'm also willing to blame him specifically for how everypony acted; it makes the episode better by a slight degree. Keyword being "slight".
  • So, all of the Mane Six's secrets are laid bare for everyone to see...and THIS is the worst that happens? in "Tower of Babel", Ra's Al Ghul getting a hold of Batman's personal journal led to the Justice League almost dying. In The Winter Soldier, Black Widow leaking S.H.I.E.L.D.'s personal files led to the entire organization being severely crippled. But here, publishing the deepest, darkest secrets of the Mane Six leads to nothing more than petty bickering.
    • Deepest darkest secrets? That wasn't what the friendship journal was about at all. All we know is that all their entries ended with the morals we saw in their respective episodes, but we don't know how many details were given beyond that, so there's no reason to believe they'd reveal anything that personal. If they did, they probably wouldn't have unanimously agreed to publish it, or they would have at least asked that it be revised.
    • Y'know Darker and Edgier does not equal "more realistic".
    • Right here, in Real Life, we have past world leaders, high-ranking military officials, and intelligence agency operatives publishing their memoirs. The consequences don't seem that bad, despite occasional criticisms that they might compromise national security. Publishing the Friendship Journal led to some mild harassment from Loony Fans, which quickly blew over. Yes, THIS is the worst that happened. And that's not any more unrealistic than what the likes of DC or Marvel pump out.
    • What kind of secrets do you think the Mane Six even have? The worst they've done was Twilight accidently driving the town mad in Lesson Zero, which everyone already knows about since they were all there when it happened, and Rainbow Dash sabotaging the weather factory, where nopony was hurt and the damage has been long fixed. Need I remind you that one of the reigning Princesses of the land once tried to trap Equestria in eternal night and then transformed into an evil, cackling tyrant? Or the spirit of Chaos that plunged Ponyville into madness in recent memory that pops in and out of town all the time with no reaction from anypony? Or how the local pincesses' pupil is a former dictator who brainwashed and enslaved a town, including stealing their cutie marks, and then nearly destroyed all of Equestria out of spite. If the citizens are fine with those then nothing the Mane Six have done is going to shock anyone.

     7.15 Triple Threat 
  • As the recently appointed and sole leaders of their respective species and kingdoms, it's potentially dangerous for Ember and Thorax to be away from their homelands for any amount of time as it runs the risk of allowing potential enemies to try and make their moves against them. One must wonder who they have that they can absolutely trust to manage local affairs in their absence during their visits to Equestria.
    • No answer for Thorax but it's possible that Ember's father, as former Dragon Lord, is watching over her subjects in her absence. It's not like that's new for him.
    • Also worth noting is that dragons seems to be loyal to the Dragon Lord, whoever that dragon might be. Garble became entirely loyal to Spike the moment he became the dragon lord for a few minutes, even though up to that point he was willing to kill Spike. So even if the dragons at home were screwing around, the moment Ember comes back it would all be back to regular affairs.
    • Likewise, the changelings aren't really the backstabbing type. They're a Hive, they move and live as a whole, the idea of overthrowing Thorax likely wouldn't even occur to them. Heck, the only reason the former Queen was overthrown was because she absolutely refused to do what was best for the Hive and join them in their new way of life. Yes, there are those reluctant to change but there's never an indication they're a danger to the Hive or even to Thorax.

     7.16 "Campfire Tales" 
  • Rarity casually discovers flecks of gold in a dingy cave near Winsome Falls and apparently doesn't commit the location to memory for a potential prospecting trip in the future. Was that actual gold or just worthless pyrite? Did she not want the cave to be spoiled by gold mining or was she simply too focused on the Camping Trip?
    • There's nothing in canon suggesting gold or silver has much value in Equestria; maybe they're just Worthless Yellow Rocks used in fiat currency? On the other hoof, maybe Rarity is referring to the color and not to the specific metal (maybe pyrite as suggested above, but lots of other minerals fit the bill).
  • We see mares served in Cloudsdale army in Flash Magnus' story, so why aren't there any in the Canterlot Royal guard at present?
    • They're too smart or capable to want anything to do with the Guard?
    • There are, we just usually don't see them to save on the animation budget, it's also why most of the royal guard appear to be identical.

     7.17 Daring Done? 
  • How is Daring Do even able to maintain her secret identity anymore? As it stands, there seems to be "mainstream" Equestrian society, where everyone thinks that Daring Do is a fictional character and A. K. Yearling is just a talented author, and that same nation's more adventure-prone outskirts and frontier, where everyone knows that Daring Do is real and nobody seems to know who A. K. Yearling is. Daring Do's secret identity seems to rely entirely on people from different areas of the country never interacting — all it would take to blow her cover is someone taking an exotic vacation and taking a popular book along, or someone from the areas she adventures in going somewhere else in Equestria for whatever reason and happening to see or hear about one of her books, or a newspaper reporting on her adventures and their side effects (in other words, exactly like the ones in this episode did, just with a slightly wider circulation). I mean, it's one thing to suspend disbelief for characters maintaining their secret identities despite some improbabilities, but this is ridiculous.
    • While that is all true, it does seem that overall Equestria has a serious communication issue when it comes to how information is spread. Just look at how long it took for Twilight's princess status to start getting much attention outside of Canterlot and Ponyville, and she isn't trying to hide her identity. Then we have Starlight not knowing who the Wonderbolts are, Pharynx not knowing who Twilight is, etc. Even the Mane 6's accomplishments seem to only recently be getting widespread recognition, despite all the celebrations and events held in their honor in earlier seasons its like the knowledge didn't spread much beyond those present at the celebrations. Still, Daring Do has been active as an adventurer for longer than the Mane 6, so it still stretches disbelief. We know tourist/travelling ponies exist, so them not selling her books in a region shouldn't equal complete anonymity for years on end unless said tourists never go there.
    • For that matter, Caballeron must be fully aware of her secret. Why doesn't he spill it?
    • The season 9 episode Daring Doubt reveals that Caballeron actually never knew her secret.
    • One possible reason Daring Do could maintain her secret is because her exploits considered fiction by northern ponies while being kind of greatest stories never told for southern. So even if someone tried to tell everyone that Daring Do's heroics are a real deal, they'd have a hard time actually proving it, since locals would only tell about destruction Do leaves behind, but not actual stories.

     7.18 A Health of Information 
  • In "The Cutie Map", Starlight Glimmer Claims the Staff of Sameness was "one of the great Mage Meadowbrook's nine enchanted items." Twilight Sparkle later says "I haven't studied Eastern unicorns as much as I should have, but I'm pretty sure Meadowbrook only had eight magical items, not nine." Now it's shown that Mage Meadowbrook is an earth pony, not an "Eastern unicorn". We know Starlight was lying, but how would Twilight get the race of a famous magical historic figure wrong? Even generously assuming that Twilight wasn't referring to Meadowbrook as an "Eastern unicorn", why bring them up? From "The Cutie Map", was supposed to have been "Jasmine Flower", a completely separate character, but the name was changed. Does that effect anything?
    • Legends can have many different interpretations so maybe one of those interpretations claims Meadowbrook was a unicorn when she was in fact an Earth pony.
    • Maybe someone made a fusion myth of Mistmane (who is an Eastern Unicorn) with Meadowbrook. That or a descendant who was one?
    • Maybe Meadowbrook was adopted by Eastern unicorns and therefore her story gets told with theirs?
    • Remember, Twilight's Cutie Mark was taken away when she said that. And she didn't have much sleep either. Maybe she just mixed up Mistmane and Meadowbrook.
    • Or her 'enchanted items' were her healer's gear, and superstitious ponies simply assumed they were magic. Her mask is likely one, her dress another. Her torc and bracelet might be two more.
    • Among the ponies we know, we have Sugar Belle, Sweetie Belle, and Sweetie Drops. Perhaps there happens to be two ponies with "Meadowbrook" in their name, one a unicorn and the other an earth pony, and Starlight got them mixed up(since her story about the Staff of Sameness was horseapples anyway) and Twilight, assuming Starlight was referring to the unicorn, truncated the name when she mentioned her later.
  • Why didn't Meadowbrook write in her book the part explaining how exactly she got the honey?
    • It seemed to be a personal journal, so she probably didn't expect it to ever be used as reference for how to do what she did. The real question may be why the cure was not recorded elsewhere if it was discovered so long ago? Yes Swamp Fever is stated to be very rare, but why would the disease and its symptoms still be known and not the cure? Did Meadowbrook just never bother to record all the cures she found before she mysteriously vanished?
      • In Real Life, it's not uncommon for records and documents to go missing or be destroyed, especially if those records are ancient. So the place where the information needed to cure Swamp Fever was simply lost. Another possibility is that the information was lost before it was even recorded, like say when it was being taken to Canterlot.
    • Perhaps she took her actual medical textbooks with her when she disappeared.
    • It's never shown she realized why her successful attempt actually worked, as she was single-mindedly trying to get the cure to think about anything else.
  • Why was the the village in Hayseed Swamp abandoned? It couldn't have been because of the Swamp Fever outbreak since Meadowbrook managed to cure everypony.
    • Perhaps that was partially to blame; Yes, everyone was cured, but then they knew that there was a highly contagious and dangerous illness, a pandemic of which could be started by the local flora, and could only be cured by taking the honey of a very dangerous type of bee. Even if having it once rendered the previous victims immune, no-one new is gonna want to move in, and anypony that had foals would likely prefer to move away for their sake. This goes double after Meadowbrook disappeared with no record of how she managed to get the honey, since then no-one would be able to obtain the cure in time. It could simply be that the "Swamp Fever" generation of ponies died out without a new generation, by birth or by immigration, able or willing to fill the space.
  • If the idea behind using a mask to get the Flash Bee honey was to imitate the Queen Bee, then why does the actual Queen Bee fall for it?
    • Narcissism?
  • Even though an outbreak happened way back when, it's well known that one contracts Swamp Fever from a flower and that it's very easy to do so, then why couldn't anypony have just wiped out that species of flower in the years after that? It's not like a magic spell to safely disintegrate them from a distance or something would be implausible in this universe, not to mention that HAZMAT suits do exist in Equestria (Rarity wore a suit once, mind you).
    • Mage Meadowbrook's story about Swamp Fever was probably written around the times when Rockhoof, Mistmane, and Flash Magnus were still around which is long before the Wonderbolts even existed so HAZMAT suits or modern medicine weren't even a concept.
    • Also, the Swamp Fever Tress still exist because the Flash Bees are symbiotically dependent on them for their pollen. So if the Swamp Fever Trees became extinct, then the Flash Bees would probably become extinct as well unless there were other plants in the swamp that could provide pollen.
    • Just the thought of trying to organize and launch a campaign to destroy Swamp Fever Tress would've simply been impractical and had the potential to backfire: The cost in Bits and personnel would've been high, swampland is not very safe and easy to navigate, the ponies involved in trying to destroy the trees would've been at risk of being infected, and to ensure that every Swamp Fever Tree has been accounted for you would have to comb through and probably devastate several hundreds of acres of swampland. The costs of Time (several weeks, months, and probably years), Resources (hundreds and thousands of bits, ponies, and tools), and Morality (unilateral aggression against nature) were simply inconducive towards this idea.
  • When Fluttershy realizes she's caught swamp fever, she grabs her saddlebags, some potion bottles, and two masks. She puts the masks on Twilight and Cattail, and she's seen wearing the saddlebags in the next scene, but what were the bottles for?
    • Perhaps ointments and cures for diseases besides Swamp Fever (e.g., malaria) - swamp areas are going to be prime breeding grounds for mosquitos and all kinds of illnesses besides Swamp Fever, and when time is of the essence you wouldn't want to waste it backtracking to Meadowbrook's house to retrieve a cure for something you had good reason to believe you'd encounter in the swamp.
    • I just assumed she took the bottles to put the honey in. They could just dump the contents outside on the way.

     7.19 To Change a Changeling 
  • How did Thorax even learn to recognize his brother among all the other Changelings before the transformation? Wouldn't all Changelings technically be related to each other by virtue of appearance and genetics?
    • One imagines Changelings have some way of differentiating each other based on something other than sight. All humans are related to each other by virtue of appearance and genetics. Doesn't mean siblings aren't possible.
      • I suspect what was meant is that all changelings would be siblings since they appear to all be hatched from the same egg clutches. In that regard, it may just be that they all refer to each other as "brother" or "sister" by default.
    • Thorax says Pharynx is his "broodmate". It's not really clear what that means but it implies a closer relationship than just being from the same hive. Some possibilities:
      1. All changelings have the same genetic relationship, but those hatched from eggs laid in a single grouping or clutch and hatched at roughly the same time consider themselves broodmates. They may be more connected emotionally because they grow up together.
      2. "Broodmates" refers to changelings who have the same father i.e. full genetic siblings, as compared to others in the hive who only share a mother (Chrysalis) i.e. half-siblings. This may be in combination with the previous point.
      3. It may be that the hive has multiple egg-laying females or more simply, all females in the hive are fertile and lay their little ones in clutches. In that case the Changeling species is no longer Eusocial as was originally believed and the concept of siblings is basically the same as it is for ponies. This may be the most family-friendly route which the writers may be most comfortable going down.
  • Thorax and Pharynx are 'brood brothers', fine. That could easily be taken as changeling mother's having large clutches of eggs, or if the implication to take away from that is that Chrysalis is indeed the hive’s mother, fair enough. However, if it is the latter case, it still leaves one awkward question: Who is now reproducing the next generation of changelings? It can’t be Chrysalis, because she’s been toppled and fled the Hive. The only explanation I can come up with is that the great transformation has changed the species’ biology and they now reproduce more like mammals. But even then, that's gonna make things levels of awkward for at least the current generation...
    • One of the Changelings in the Feelings Forum did mention Changeling larvae (albeit implicitly) and that Pharynx was teaching them to hiss and be nasty and stuff. That must mean their eggs were either laid or hatched after Chrysalis was dethroned, since it was shown in Thorax's flashback that even as newly-hatched larvae, every changeling except him were nasty and unfriendly.
    • Nothing in canon suggests Chrysalis was the biological parent of all the hive, she was only Queen as the political ruler. The implication was the changelings reproduced normally but simply raised them communally like hive insects which changed under their new leadership.
  • If a Changeling can become any color of pony or other creature, shouldn't the "here I am, a green Changeling" (or any other Changeling) be able to choose to be blue, purple, or a mix of colors at whim?
    • Perhaps they consider the colors they got when they first shared love and transformed to be their "true" color and that just changing that on a whim would be like painting a green truck red: no matter what color they make themselves on the outside, underneath that they're still a green Changeling in their minds.
  • Why couldn't the Changelings not named Pharynx still fight without needing to be pushed towards it? Weren't at least most of them soldiers during Chrysalis's rule? Sure, the hive is much more kumbaya now but that combat training and experience wouldn't just up and vanish. Not to mention every single one of them can shapeshift, so far with no defined limits. It just seems rather strange that they would be afraid of something each of them can probably turn into.
    • Even if there is no psychological change on an individual level, the changelings probably rely very much on the group hive-mind. Their willingness to fight is probably less what we would consider bravery and more just conformity to every other changeling around them, and orders from the leader. Anyone not "brave" or obedient enough is quickly brought into line by his comrades. The same with fear; it's a self-reinforcing meme within the hive. If a changeling sees every changeling around him afraid of the maulwurf, then he gets scared too, which makes the others more scared, and so on. Controlling the attitude of the hive is up to the leader, and while Chrysalis demanded the changelings Attack! Attack! Attack! and not care too much for individual losses, Thorax encourages them to care about themselves and each other, which had some unfortunate side-effects. He's still working out a good balance.
    • Also, given how the other young changelings cowered when Pharynx took on his giant bug form (and no changeling aside from him and Thorax have been seen to take on forms much larger than their real body), it can be surmised most changelings cannot shapeshift to the same degree as Pharynx.
    • Further, even if a changeling could turn into the maulwurf, changelings have never gained the special abilities or inherent powers of anything they have turned into in the past. They may be stronger than their base form in such a transformation, but they wouldn't be near as tough or strong as a actual maulwurf, and getting hit hard enough would force them to change back (as happened to Pharynx).
  • Pharynx...isn't really clinging to "the old ways". An unreformed Changeling should be plotting ways to take over Equestria and kill the Mane Six. Instead, Pharynx just breaks stuff and is rude. When he first sees Starlight and Trixie, he doesn't even attack them!
    • This is a kid-friendly show, and dead ponies have no love to steal, so both out of and in universe, it doesn't make sense for changelings to kill. Their standard method involves capturing their prey, putting them in cocoons where presumably they can be fed on. That's perfectly in-line with that Pharynx did; he captured the ponies and brought them to the hive for "processing", but found that no one wanted to help with the next step. His using a big burlap bag to do it is just Rule of Funny. As for planning invasions, that's the leader's job, plus it's not like Pharynx could invade Equestria all on his own if the rest of hive doesn't support him. Pharynx may be stuck in the old ways, but that also means obedience to the hive leader. He's doing what he can to serve the hive: Capturing trespassers, removing hazards (like the vines and flowers), and trying to remind his comrades of their old spirit.
    • That was the entire point of the episode, that neither Thorax or Pharynx were really wrong or bad but just going too far in their own direction. Pharynx was just too set in the old ways, being aggressive, violent, and excluding of outsiders: his ways would keep them safe but would make it impossible for them to live peacefully among others. Thorax was too set in his new ways: being all loving, non-violent, and weak: his ways would make them live peacefully among others but left them at the mercy of creatures like the maulwurf. It's why the episode ends in a compromise, with the changelings standing up for themselves and relearning to fight and Pharynx (literally and figuratively) learning to lighten up and not be such a douche-nozzle all the time.
  • A group of shapeshifters choose to fight an extremely powerful, thick-skinned large colorful bugs? Not dragons or another maulwurf or anything more useful at that moment?
    • This is particularly odd in Thorax's case, as he turned into a huge bear just a few episodes ago when he was expecting a fight with Ember. Why then but not now?
      • Maybe said form is something of a native boosted form for Changelings, and as such is a "natural" state to them. Thus it's easier to maintain, easier to use, etc. While a Maulwurf or Dragon MIGHT be useful, they might also take more energy to maintain, familiarity with the form to really use it, and other such drawbacks.

     7.20 It Isn't the Mane Thing About You 
  • How does a Magic Remover Potion have such an adversely harmful effect on Rarity's mane? It would need an acidic level that's well above what you would normally find in drain cleaners that can only be used by licensed plumbers. Or maybe a pony's magic is passively circulating through their hair for the Magic Remover to react violently with it?
    • That's making some assumptions about things in the show's setting working like they do in the real world, which may not necessarily be true. For instance, the magical remover probably isn't based on an acid or a similarly reactive chemical (if nothing else, such chemicals don't work the way the magical remover did — if it had dissolved Rarity's hair chemically, there would probably have been a lot more hissing, gas and screaming). Going by the way Zecora worded things in the preview clip, my impression was that the magical remover is just that — magical. More specifically, it looked liked it somehow responds to the thoughts of whoever is using it and makes whatever it is that is being thought about dissolve/disappear/whatever, provided that it is in contact with it.
    • Zecora warned Pinkie to focus on the string when using the remover, in order to remove it and only it. Thank Celestia that Rarity was so focused on her mane, and not, say, her skin!
  • So Equestrian magic can warp reality, cause World-Healing Waves, and even regenerate teeth; but can't regrow a mane?
    • It's possible that this is more of a focus issue; Rarity's mane is so painstakingly cared for and arranged to her exact specifications that Twilight and Starlight can't focus their magic enough to get exactly what she wants.
    • Plus the regenerating teeth thing is just fixing a gap in a tooth; fixing what is already there. To fix the mane, they would have to use a form of time acceleration to make it grow back faster and given that to make it precise enough to make the hair itself grow and not just make Rarity age super fast is something that's very tricky and can lead to problems.
    • It is a bit of an Ass Pull to make the plot work. However, it might have something to do with the fact that hair is actually thousands of smaller objects with an unusual shape and magic works better with "lumpy" things, or that magically stimulating hair follicles to grow faster might force then into the telogen phase, causing the hair to immediately fall out, or that hair is dead tissue of greatly varying age attached to living tissue, and so on. We don't really know how Equestrian magic works, but given that there are whole schools built to study it, it's not as simple as it looks.
    • Maybe it's because Rarity would need a more permanent mane-growing spell to get back to normal and all the other hair-related spells we've see thus far have been temporary? It's not like Spike still has the mustache.
    • By the way, Trixie managed to give Rarity a green rats' nest mane in "Boast Busters" with her rudimentary stage magic. Since Trixie's good now, maybe she should have been the pony to call? Perhaps a glamour so everypony would see Rarity's regular mane? Or would that lead to a Glamour Failure similar to Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's solutions?
      • The Great and Powerful Trixie merely altered what was already there into a different state.
    • In addition to us not knowing how long the mustache spell works, another theory is that it's not a matter of the mane being too physically complex, but rather there is a mystical aspect to it. That is that the mane is tied into a pony's magical "circuitry" if you will, that it's an innate thing that through magic can typically only be altered when something inherently changes about the pony themselves (i.e. the mane alterations the Mane 6 got when using the rainbow power, how Pinkie's mane deflates when severely depressed or her destiny altered by magic, and of course how manes often flow and move when a pony is filled with a huge amount of power). This would explain why Twilight can make the castle walls explode with hair and grow a mustache on a pony or dragon out of nothing, but repairing a real existing mane is about as hard as forcing a cutie mark. It's not normal hair. Its also why the characters are so insistent on their terminology, always saying that manes that can't be fixed with magic, not hair in general (and never even mentioning Rarity's tail hair being damaged, beyond the part about her cutting it off in the past).
  • When Rarity tries to use a wig of Solid Clouds, it doesn't stick to her since non-pegasi lack the Required Secondary Powers. So how was she able to manipulate it with her hooves just fine? Even if we hoof-wave it as due to the cloud walking spell, why would it not effect her head? Even if we assume the spell only effects hooves, this still leaves the question of what would happen if a pony using the spell striped or stumbled?
    • In Wonderbolt Academy we saw that even non-pegasi can interact with clouds (i.e. be supported by them) for a time if the cloud is made dense enough (Dash and others condense a cloud until the falling ponies can land on it). So the cloud wig Dash made was condensed enough from the shaping process for Rarity to briefly interact with it, but it soon became like a normal cloud and then dissipated.
  • Why go to Zecora to fix a mane with things stuck in it? Surely somepony who's job it is for stuff like that would be a better pick?
    • Pinkie was the one who got the sticky stuff and she seemed to have no idea how to remove it, so chances are normal stuff you can buy wouldn't work.
    • Technically, they did go to someone whose job it is to deal with stuff like that by visiting Zecora. Both Pinkie and Rarity needed very specialized cleaning products to remove a very sticky substance that seemed impossible to get rid of otherwise. They basically needed to go to someone who could, on short notice, create specialized and powerful magical substances/potions tailor-made to deal with a specific problem. Who better than Zecora?
    • It's a case of Necessary Fail combined with Similar Item Confusion. If Pinkie and Rarity hadn't gotten their potions mixed up, or if Zecora had labeled the bottles in the first place, the story wouldn't have happened.
  • Why not use a controlled dosage of Poison Joke? Fluttershy did the same thing way back when the Ponytones needed a baritone singer after Big Mac lost his voice, and the plant affects Rarity by giving her extreme mane growth.
    • They just didn't think about it. Or Rarity wasn't comfortable with the idea of using a poisonous plant anyway.
    • Is a controlled dose even possible? The effects of Poison Joke got treated as an all-or-nothing kind of thing as far as their effects went. Plus it did more than just make the mane grow, it made it look quite messy/strange too.
    • It didn't just affect Rarity's mane, it affected her whole coat. She found a way to make the patchy mohawk work, but I'm not sure even Rarity could make looking like a Puli non-embarrassing, let alone fashionable.
  • Maybe they could have asked Discord to help? Discord's magic is known to be, if not more potent than that of unicorns/alicorns, more versatile...
    • That it is, but it would have required a) a way to quickly contact Discord, and more importantly b) a way to make him understand what a desirable way to fix the problem would be. Knowing Discord's sense of aesthetics (think of his complaints to common products in "Discordant Harmony"), he would probably have made prehensile hair with a mind of its own, or singing hair, or transparent hair, or hair made out of flowers with pollen that makes ponies sneeze, or what have you, because he would genuinely find it more interesting to boring old hair that just sits on somepony's head. For all his goodwill post-reformation, Discord still doesn't really understand how ponies think. A way to contact Discord at short notice seems unlikely, as we have zero indications of it. We know Fluttershy writes him letters but that takes time. There was also a summoning spell that used the Elements of Harmony but that is no longer an option. And of course for all we know "fixing" a mane (rather than doing things we've seen him do like switching manes) could even be beyond Discord's abilities as well.
      • Contacting Discord isn't the hard part, both Twilight and Spike know a spell that sends mail instantly to whomever they choose. The problem is that asking the Lord of Chaos to warp reality to fix Rarity's mane is more likely to insult Discord than anything. He really doesn't like being invoked to perform mundane tasks and is more likely to make things worse out of spite for the disrespect than anything else.
  • Anyone care to guess at the timeline of the show now? At the start of the episode it's apparently been a year since the Cake twins first sneezed, which is likely to have been very early in their lives. In that year, did we get Twilight's coronation, the Friendship Journal, and the Forgetting of the Friendship Journal, which took "ages"?
    • Timelines get murky when one considers that aside from the season premieres and finales many of the episodes don't necessarily occur in a linear relation to each other. Still we know there have been three Hearthswarming Eve episodes, so we can say around three years have passed since the series started. With that considered, referring to things like not seeing the journal in "ages" can be taken as hyperbole. Also, the "first sneeze" may have been later than one might think, since it sounds like it wasn't so much the first sneeze as it was the first sneeze Pinkie happened to witness (and she isn't around the twins a lot of the time).
  • Here is a HUGE Question Mark on Crystal Pony Biology: Why are their manes literally made out of glass?
    • Because Crystal Ponies are composed of glass-like substance, like...crystal? They're normal ponies who become crystal because of the Crystal Empire's magic. They were normal when we first saw them, and other ponies like the mane six have been turned to crystal and back with no ill effects.
  • Why did Fluttershy not think to call in her brother, an actual hairdresser, to help with Rarity's mane problem? His initial mannequin head looked almost as bad if not worse than Rarity's post-removal mane and yet he managed to fix it just fine at the end. Even if he couldn't restore it back to what it was before, by the end Rarity just wanted something serviceable (heck, she was cool with a cloud wig until she realized it wasn't sticking to her head), which should have been well within his abilities.
    • He does "mane therapy" not mane repair. He probably needs a full mane to work with for best results. He could probably make what mane Rarity has look better, but he couldn't restore it. The thing with the mannequin is likely explained with other mannequins.
    • Perhaps he was too lazy or too unsure of himself to help. Just like Fluttershy needed to learn to be more assertive several times for it to stick, he's still struggling with his own character flaws.
    • Maybe....he finally decided to move out of his parent's house on his own and couldn't be found by Fluttershy.
  • Why is Rarity wearing a leather vest? Let's give Equestria the benefit of a doubt and assume that they don't have a natural leather industry. Does the necessary technology and industry even exist for artificial leather to be made in Equestria?
    • As Report Siht who made the Fridge Horror entry, I admit that just about any of the traditionally leather clothing in the whole series (including Braeburn's vest) could easily be canvas or denim, and the fleece on bomber jackets could likewise be made from cotton. (It's not like Flash allows enough detail to put texture in fabrics.) I prefer to see Rarity's vest as denim.
  • At the end, Rarity learns that she finally made the cover of Vanity Mare because after she gave her mane a Punk Rock look, the rest of the Mane Six got Photo Finish to secretly take pictures of her. This seems fine until you consider: what if Rarity hadn't liked the photos, or just the fact that they were taken without her knowledge or permission? Fortunately, Rarity treats the event as a pleasant surprise, but her friends were definitely taking a risk.
    • Also a little weird that Photo Finish would accept such a proposal. She's a professional fashion photographer, not a paparazzo.
      • Then again, she's friends with Rarity, and one of the ponies asking for this favor is an Equestrian Princess. Photo Finish would do it as a special favor, plus she probably enjoyed the challenge.
  • The Tear Jerker page points out that Spike would have been devastated to see Rarity like this...except we see him cleaning up all the Rapunzel Hair after the third failed attempt to restore Rarity's mane. Rarity's in the same room in the same distraught state, yet he doesn't bat an eyelid. He doesn't even glance at her.
    • Why would he be devastated? He's been around the Mane Six and their shenanigans for seven seasons, and he's lived with Twilight longer than that. He's used to ponies freaking out around him, and Twilight's got this one covered. Give Rarity about half an hour, and she'll be right as rain, like always.
      • Even if he knew she'd be alright eventually, you'd think someone with a crush on someone else would still show some concern when the object of their affections was that upset.
      • Spike doesn't have a crush on Rarity. It's evolved into a close relationship. Not quite romantic, but close. And Spike does show concern when a pony he's close to is upset over something, just not by bursting into tears and crying his little dragon eyes out. Instead, he responds by trying to help them resolve the problem that's making them upset. If it turns out they're getting worked up over nothing, he'll call them on it and try to get them to snap out of it. Rarity went to Twilight and Starlight for help, and they're already doing both the former and the latter when dealing with her. The only thing Spike can do to help anything is stand by for cleanup in case things get messy (as they often do). No further action or input on his part was necessary.
  • Given that Starlight's and Twilight's third attempt at regrowing Rarity's mane filled the castle with several metric tons of hair, why didn't anybody try to use all that hair to make a wig or two for Rarity to wear? It wouldn't have had the issues of the improvised hay, leaf and cloud wigs, and it would likely have looked a lot more natural as well.
    • It's the same reason for why Rarity rejected all her friends' attempts to make wigs for her. They weren't real/authentic. Also, all the other wigs fell apart rather easily, and while Rarity did try putting some of the magicked hair on her head, it too fell apart. Chances are that all that hair was was too brittle and delicate to be made into a wig as well.

     7.21 Once Upon a Zeppelin 
  • Why was Twilight so familiar with Iron Will? She never made an appearance in "Putting Your Hoof Down." Did Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie tell Twilight about him in such detail that she instantly recognized him and knew about his ways?
    • His flier for Assertiveness Training was mailed to Fluttershy. If it was one of those advertisements that just gets sent to every mailbox, Twilight might have gotten one too and heard of him there.
    • There's not that many minotaurs in Equestria, Fluttershy and the others must have told Twilight about their experience, and if it counts Twilight's met him twice in the comics... once as a villain bringing about the return of King Sombra no less.
      • Which begets the question why she doesn't arrest him on the spot, much less trust him as far as she does, afterward.
      • Are the comic canon and the show canon that tightly knit?
      • Loose Canon — unless the show explicitly contradicts an issue, you can still call it canon if you want. That said, the secondary Villain Team-Up was so pointless and throwaway that I wouldn't be surprised if everypony just forgot they were even there (in fact, the arc itself did halfway through).
    • Most likely Fluttershy simply told her about him. Note Twilight doesn't show any recognition until after Iron Will tells her his name. If she had met him before she probably would have recognized his very distinctive voice.
  • Iron Will was the designated Captain of the luxury cruise and he jumps out at the first sign of hostility. Wait... so who was piloting the airship afterwards!?
  • Twilight has Spike subbing in for her duties while she goes on vacation. So who runs the Crystal Empire when both members of the royal couple are on vacation?
    • Sunburst?

     7.22 Marks And Recreation 
  • How exactly does Rumble's philosophy make sense to him? He lives in Ponyville, where Applejack (apple farmer who also performs in rodeos regularly and usually does well), Fluttershy (whose Cutie Mark indicates butterflies but can and does work with animals while taking care of every aspect of their care) and Pinkie Pie (who literally is a category unto herself) not only all live but are well-known celebrities. Not to mention that the rest of the Mane 6 are clearly capable of doing more than magic (Twilight), speed flight (Dash) and gem mining (Rarity, who for added confusion over Rumble actively decided how she wanted to exercise her talent). He should know perfectly well ponies have the freedom to do what they like and what they're good at.
    • He seems to have a very messed up perspective on cutie marks, as he is just a kid.
    • He's got a very valid point on how cutie marks can apparently mess up a pony's life. Case in point: Trouble Shoes, who wanted to be a rodeo star and got shafted into the position of a rodeo clown — after spending years thinking of himself as a jinx due to his cutie mark "talent" being to get into constant "hilarious" accidents.
      • And who's to say that Trouble Shoes' issue wasn't that he hadn't trained himself out of clumsiness? It's entirely possible that once he had some more training and got his body under his control, he was able to do more than pratfalls. In real life, rodeo clowns are perfectly capable of doing other kinds of performances.
      • Cutie marks are nothing more but a reflection of how a pony is. You can wish and dream to be a singer all you like, but that doesn't mean you'll be any good at it. Furthermore, what you do in life with what you're good at is all up to you. The CMC seem to be counselors in helping ponies in that direction. Trouble Shoes thought he was doomed to be a klutz, but he has turned it around to be part of the rodeo he so loves and is playing an important part to boot. Cutie marks are ultimately symbolic; they don't make anyone do anything. Granted, whenever they are manipulated, ponies tend to go wonky, but that itself could be the further use of cutie marks being symbolic. When you lose the cutie mark, you also lose a part of yourself with it.
      • If you dream of being a singer but can't sing for beans, you can absolutely make it happen — just be prepared to either work your tail off or get creative and/or flexible in how you ultimately reach your goal. Trouble Shoes is a part of the rodeo he loves, but you can't look me in the eye and say he wouldn't be happier playing a part that didn't involve people laughing at his pants falling down. Cutie marks are vague, mysterious, and inconsistent things, and sometimes they seem to be purely symbolic (Zephyr Breeze) while other times they directly contradict what a pony wants to do in life (Trouble Shoes). And, as you said, they get wonky when manipulated. "Yeah, I'm not comfortable having one of these on me" is a perfectly reasonable sentiment for a pony to make.
      • Yeah, but it's a biological and cultural thing. While we can accept it as strange from the perspective as outsiders, it'd be like someone saying they were uncomfortable with having say, arms, for example.
      • Like was suggested above, it's entirely possible that once Trouble Shoes got to be part of the rodeo, he got some help in learning other ways of participating. And Rumble's argument kinda boils down to "Oh; so your Cutie Mark means you're a baker. Well, that means you can't do anything else ever again." Not even the princesses, who are in charge of celestial bodies, have lives that narrowly focused.
    • He was probably another victim of Diamond Tiara's bullying in the past, and after hearing about Starlight Glimmer hating cutie marks, he decided to do the same thing.
    • He's a kid. They're not exactly the best at thinking things through. He got an idea in his mind (and it's not hard to see how it got there), and to him, that idea is right. Therefore, he'll believe it completely, regardless of whatever evidence there may be to the contrary.
    • Applejack still farms apples for her livelihood, Fluttershy's cutie mark represents her love of animals, Pinkie's parties are frequent, Rainbow is a Wonderbolt for Pete's sake, Twilight does work with magic all the time. Rarity is the only ambiguous case, depending on what exactly you take her cutie mark to mean—while it's typically assumed to have to do with gems, she didn't actually get it until she showed off her bedazzled costumes, as opposed to when she found the giant geode. When Apple Bloom tries to explain that she still likes making potions, Rumble asks when the last time was that she did that. Rumble isn't so unreasonable. It's not that he thinks ponies are literally incapable of doing things outside their cutie mark; he thinks that what a cutie mark represents inevitably becomes the largest part of a pony's life, to the detriment of other interests.
  • Rumble's trying to argue that a cutie mark boxes in a pony into their destiny with no room for alternate interests or paths... while talking to the three ponies in town that each have a slightly different cutie mark that has something completely unrelated to how they earned it? Apple Bloom has shown skill in carpentry but hasn't made even a hobby of it, Sweetie Belle sings but probably hasn't even gotten over her fear of doing so publicly, and while Scootaloo has voiced her passion for it she's never made a big deal over her scooting ability.
  • If Rumble got a cutie mark of a pony with a blank flank, indicating that his special talent was having a blank flank despite the fact that he's no longer a blank flank, would the ensuing paradox destroy Equestria?
  • Why are we still clinging to the whole "Cutie Marks are a representation of your destiny" thing? The Manehattan Delegate has a pizza Cutie Mark. Derpy has bubbles in her Cutie Mark. Jeff Letrotski has a rug Cutie Mark. Hondo Flanks has a football Cutie Mark. None of that ties into their professions or personalities.
    • That we know of, sometimes the cutie mark's symbolic meaning isn't apparent until we are told what it is. For instance, most thought Diamond Tiara's special talent was being a spoiled brat, until we learned it was actually an ability to influence/lead others.
    • Calling it one's destiny can be seen as a bit of hyperbole. As Luna once said, ultimately all a cutie mark is is a symbol of who the pony is that helps them further show who they are. Even when a mark is changed (as in Magical Mystery Cure) it doesn't truly change their destiny or who they are so much as produce a disastrous conflict between who they are and what the mark is telling them to be. Rejecting one's real cutie mark thus causes unhappiness because it means the pony is denying who they are (and ponies aren't born with cutie marks because it takes a fair number of years for them to figure out who they are).

     7.23 Secrets and Pies 
  • The tube Rainbow Dash discards the pie through in her house, it has a brown background, like earth. It's in a cloud, in the sky. Can anyone explain that?
    • Dash had her house modified so her land-based friends and her mundane tortoise pet don't have to constantly get cloud walking spells cast on them?
  • Minor nitpick, but why didn't Pinkie get a twitchy tail right before the last pie she tried to give Rainbow fell on her?
    • She probably didn't notice it, because her EVERYTHING was twitchy at the time.
  • Rainbow Dash hates pies, and will go to extreme lengths to avoid eating one. Okay. Yet, in "Brotherhooves Social", the race Rainbow and Scootaloo participated in involved eating a pie. While this was not shown on-screen, we must conclude that either Rainbow did eat that pie (which may be Heartwarming in Hindsight) or... Rainbow cheated during the race.
    • Or Scootaloo ate the whole pie. Ponies do have big appetites.
      • Each sister had her own pie. If Scootaloo ate both, that'd probably still be cheating.
    • Maybe Rainbow Dash can stomach eating a single pie once in a blue moon if she has to, just not the sheer quantity Pinkie Pie was trying to foist on her. Heck, maybe that's how this mess got started; Rainbow choked down the first pie, told Pinkie she liked it, and realized only too late how many more times she'd be expected to eat them as a result, forcing her to come up with another plan to get rid of them all.
  • So Rainbow Dash is in the wrong because she lied to Pinkie Pie about liking her pies, which is fair enough, but why does everyone overlook Pinkie's inappropriate stalking and harassment? You would think Twilight of all ponies would have at least talked to Pinkie about not going crazy over something so trivial.
    • Hell, it's entirely plausible that Rainbow Dash liked pies at first, but with how obsessive Pinkie was, she grew to hate them.
    • She wasn't stalking for any inappropriate reason, though.
    • Considering the events of "28 Pranks Later", she might have seen it as comeuppance for Rainbow deceiving Pinkie for so long. Pies might be a minor thing to get so upset over on the surface, but the fact remains that Rainbow had been dishonest and unappreciative to one of her best friends for years. We even see Twilight's disapproval firsthand.
  • Regarding Rainbow's obviously fake attempts to eat the pies, why didn't Pinkie ever think to question where all the pie tins went? Unless she somehow made the tins edible?

     7.24 Uncommon Bond 
  • It seems a bit too convenient for Sunburst, a recently introduced supporting character who has made three minor appearances and two appearances in the secondary role, to quickly bond with the mane six during this visit to Ponyville. Has Sunburst actually been studying friendship and making some friends in the Crystal Empire?
    • It can actually be a bit of Fridge Brilliance if one thinks about it. Sunburst doesn't bond with the Mane 6 but with Twilight, Trixie and Maud, all ponies who have bonded with Starlight AND have had various troubles forming bonds with others in the past. His getting along with them so easily is actually something he has in common with Starlight!
  • Did Starlight and Sunburst genuinely travel back in time, or was it all just an illusion?

     7.25 & 7.26 Shadow Play 
  • We see in the recording of the final battle with the Pony of Shadows that each Pillar's respective artifact landed on each section of Ponehenge. How'd they become so widely scattered? I can forgive Rockhoof's, Mistmane's, and Meadowbrook's, whose items are at least somewhere I can believe someone who knew them would take them later (Rockhoof's shovel was hidden on his home island in a cavern that seemed specifically designed to honor him, Mistmane's flower was in her old garden, and Meadowbrook's mask was at her old home), and I'm willing to overlook Star Swirl's journal because we don't know where it was hiding before it was found by the antique shop, but Somnambula's blindfold was stuck in the drain of the green slime pool in the pyramid near her old village, and Flash Magnus's shield was seemingly discarded in the dragon lands.
    • If memory serves, Somnambula probably would have discarded the blindfold after the whole "rescue the prince" thing, and Garble claimed to have found Netitus in the desert; it's possible he found it in Equestria and took it home with him.
      • I'll give you Netitus since, similar to Star Swirl's journal, we don't know enough about what it was doing there before Garble found it(for all we know they could have been intentionally hidden away similar to Rockhoof's shovel), but Somnambula is seen holding up the blindfold during the projected flashback of their final stand, so we know she didn't discard it.
      • It's a mystery for the ages, no doubt, but a lot of things could have happened with artifacts over a thousand years. They've probably changed hands... ahem, hooves a lot of time during this period. For the blindfold ending in the slime pool drain, I can't help having the feeling it was an attempt to destroy it or at least makes it disappear. Maybe by an enemy like the Sphinx — the Legends helped many people, but they could have also some remaining foes too.
    • It seems clear that most of the artifacts made it back to their owners' homelands. It's possible that one of the Pillars informed someone of what they were doing and made a last request to ensure those items were given back and not just left to rot at Ponehenge. Rockhoof's shovel, Mistmane's flower, and Meadowbrook's mask made it back and were given a place of honor (well, relatively speaking for the mask), where they remained till the present day. Somnambula's blindfold and (probably) Starswirl's journal made it back, but were somehow later misplaced. Flash's shield ended up lost in the desert. Either it was lost during its return journey, or it made it back and was given to another soldier to use, then lost.
    • My rationalization is that the Pillars, knowing that once they got sent to limbo would leave behind powerful artifacts in a place with great magic, and thus a potential threat, enchanted them so they'd be transported to chosen places for safekeeping once the spell was over. When in the magical recording the items hit the rock and vanish in a blip of light, that is actually what happened. The recording stops when the magical item is no longer physically near the rocks to imprint magic on them. Some of these remained hidden in the chosen locations to modern times, others were found and misplaced in the millennia that followed.
  • It's a bit puzzling that in this episode, the Healer's Mask glows like all the other artifacts when Fluttershy touches it... but it didn't in the previous episode, "A Health of Information", where she'd already worn the same mask.
    • Probably because the map had not yet activated them as beacons. Note Starswirl's book doesn't glow either.
  • Why does the Cutie Map only summoning the Mane Six? It aways summons exactly who's needed, so why didn't it similarly summon the Pillars, who the point was to reconcile, or Starlight Glimmer, who was necessary to convince them to give reconciliation a chance? The Map was noted to leave out those who would be counterproductive to its goals, and while I can see the Pillars dismissing that, why does Starlight, who should have known such, tag along? Relatedly, why is Sunburst tagging along? He's average at magic at best and his knowledge wasn't necessary at this point as they had the spell and historical facts they needed.
  • The Season 4 finale implies that the Mane Six are able to use the Super Mode of the Elements of Harmony without physically carrying the gems. Why, then, do they and the Pillars believe they need the gems for the banishing spell? Does it demand some kind of physical sacrifice to contain the banished in limbo — something of a Sealed Evil in Phlebotinum? (Of course banishing the darkness without the pony inside doesn't require such a sacrifice, but still, sacrificing either the Elements or the Pillars to banish one villain is a rather hefty price.)
    • Was there anything to imply said Super Mode wasn't just a one time thing (remember they never used it since)?
    • Even if the rainbow power-up wasn't a one time thing, it seems likely the Mane 6 don't know how to use it at will. Or perhaps there is a lengthy recharge time, as these episodes indicate that the element's powers can run out if overused.
    • Considering even Twilight's version of the banishing spell was implied to require one pony to go with the Pony of Shadows, a physical sacrifice is probably necessary.
    • The "Let the Rainbow Remind You" sequence at the end of Twilight's Kingdom suggests that the Mane Six can summon the Rainbow Power at will. Why they haven't used it since could be easily handwaved as a confluence of opportunity and need; the one time it could have come in handy was when the Mane Six were captured by the changeling hive, but the hive had an Anti-Magic effect against all Equestrian magic, including that of Discord.
    • Where in that song did it say that?
    • It didn't say it, but during the line "See it now!" they appear to be charging it up and subsequently releasing a minor form of it.
    • Key word *minor*. Plus, this was a song sequence so...
  • How did Stygian get his name? Was he an orphan who chose that name for himself? Or did his parents choose it for him? If it was his parents, then they would undoubtedly be ashamed of themselves to have unknowingly picked a self-fulfilling prophecy of a name like that after seeing him become the Pony of Shadows.
    • It's still not clear how "Somnambula" is an apt name for this pony, in contrast to her villainous predecessor.
      • Presumably a combination of As Long as It Sounds Foreign and the fact that she technically did "sleepwalk" (i.e., somnambulism) when the Sphinx forced her to walk blindfolded toward Prince Hisan in Daring Done?.
  • Why does Sunburst in the previous episode refer to the mystery as a "thousands year old" one when every other character makes it clear that it was simply some number over a thousand years and likely not that much over a thousand given Star Swirl himself simplifies it as him having been gone for a single millennia? Does Sunburst just like using hyperbole? After all in this episode he refers to the Hollow Shades as having been abandoned "eons" ago, when its doubtful pony history even goes back that far, let alone the history of the Apple family.
    • The term "eons" is sometimes just a generalization for "a crapload of time." So yes, just hyperbole.
  • The ending has everyone climb out of a giant hole in the ground. For some, why climb? Why doesn't Twilight Sparkle fly out, since the pegasus are able to do so just fine? What about teleportation or telekinesis (ditto for Starlight and Star Swirl)? If they were too exhausted to do so, how did they still have the strength for rock climbing? Even assuming they were only magically exhausted due to using the Elements of Harmony, shouldn't Starlight, who didn't use them, be unaffected?
  • The reunion between Star Swirl and Celestia was uncharacteristically cold. From both dialogue and IDW, it's clear that Star Swirl was a father figure to Celestia. Yet, after several thousand years have passed, when surrogate father meets surrogate daughter...they act formal, as if they are complete strangers. Shouldn't there be a lot more emotion from both sides?
    • Actually IDW and other works hint that Star Swirl and Celestia eventually became somewhat distant and their friendship faded. Celestia's comment about him not understanding friendship as Twilight does is rather harsh for instance. Plus the fact that for Celestia it's been more than a thousand years and thus he's a rather distant memory, and for Star Swirl it's likely not been more than a month and he's merely got the novelty of seeing her as an adult.
    • Its also a YMMV thing since to others the reunion can be seen as fairly heartwarming or at least not all that formal. Star Swirl happily marvels at how tall Celestia has become, Celestia notes with mirth how long it has been, and she and Luna reminisce on their fond memories of his teachings. Plus their relationship seems to have been teacher and student, not surrogate father and daughter.
  • Why was there ever a moral dilemma at all? Every single time a villain gets hit with the Elements of Harmony, said villain gets "purified" and all evil is purged from said villain. Nightmare Moon was turned back into Princess Luna, Demon Shimmer was turned back into Sunset Shimmer (and turned into a heroine), Gaia Everfree was turned back into Gloriosa Daisy (who in turn regained her sanity). It's not some laser weapon, it's like the Moon Healing Escalation, or the Penance Stare, or the Memetic Snickers Bar. Yet Star Swirl acts like getting hit with the Elements would kill Stygian, when really all it would do is purge Stygian from the Pony of Shadows' influence.
    • Actually its not that simple. It depends on how effectively the elements are used for instance (Celestia was not able to bring out their full power on her own, and hence had to use them to seal rather than free Luna). It depends too on the nature of the target. Discord was imprisoned both times he was hit, not purified (he wasn't possessed by evil forces or driven mad by magic he couldn't control so there was nothing to purify). Also, the rainbow powers are technically the same as the Elements of Harmony (they have the same source), and they clearly did not purify Tirek, but depowered and imprisoned him. And Star Swirl never indicated Stygian would be destroyed by the Elements of Harmony, the intent was to imprison him in Limbo because destroying the Pony of Shadows was deemed impossible (purifying was not seen as an option because Starswirl believed there was nothing left of the good Stygian).
  • This episode went out of the way to paint the Pillars of Old Equestria as in the wrong to banishing Stygian and jumping to conclusions but Stygian took their artifacts in the dead of night without their permission (which technically is stealing) instead of just telling them about his troubles and didn't bother to explain himself when caught giving them good reason to think he was up to no good. Why did everyone gloss over this?
    • While the first point is true, they didn't let him explain himself, instead expelling him right away, no questions asked, assuming the worst. The lack of communication was a flaw on both sides of the argument. On that note it could be said that its not like they gagged Stygian and kept him from speaking, he chose not to when they told him to leave and chose to believe none of them cared about him anymore. It's also worth mentioning that they did say they hoped he would return seeking reconciliation.
    • Plus, they didn't entirely gloss over it. Twilight doesn't condemn the Pillars when talking to Stygian, only emphasizing that the situation was a misunderstanding on both sides. It is Star Swirl whose guilt has him place most of the blame on himself, which is in character for him admittedly given his deep sense of responsibility. Also, his main source of self condemnation wasn't misunderstanding the theft but rather not realizing that Stygian needed help.
  • Did all these ancient threats really happened exactly a thousand years ago? They said this about Nightmare Moon, they said this about Discord's first attack, they said this about the disappearance of the Crystal Empire, they said this about Tirek, and now the Pony of Shadows? Of course these likely didn't happen at once, and I can probably assemble the order, but thinking that all this happened in a year...
    • The thousand year references are generalized most likely, perhaps covering a period of several decades (though then again we see in the main series that a lot of major events can happen in a period of a few years), much as how in the real world we tend to round numbers to nice-sounding even numbers when speaking of general time periods. And actually in these specific episodes they tend to refer to the Pony of Shadows events as "over" a thousand years ago, separating them from the "thousand years ago" events to some degree.
  • Why didn't Mistmane speak out against Star Swirl's "once a villain, always a villain" statement? In her own backstory, she reformed her old friend Sable Spirit after she had turned villainous, so she would know from experience that Star Swirl's beliefs weren't entirely correct.
    • Perhaps in her mind, she didn't correlate the two. One was a friend simply succumbing to jealousy, and lashing out while (as far as she knew), Stygian had wormed his way into their confidence, only to betray the and attempt to steal their powers for himself. One was a mistake, the other was a perceived betrayal.
    • Because it was Star Swirl saying it. The point of the episode was everyone looked up to him so highly they followed him and were unwilling to speak against him even if they should have known he was wrong.


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