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Headscratchers / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 8

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     8.01 & 8.02 School Daze 
  • Of all the ways to teach friendship, why a school? Wouldn't it be less efficient, as it can only teach a few at a time, as opposed to them going to their lands and teaching everyone?
    • They have responsibilities at home that make extended travel abroad prohibitive.
    • While going to their lands will be a more efficient way of teaching friendship, the problem is that sooner or later the other races will run into each other and without ponies acting as a third party mediator, they will be more likely to start a dispute. (For example, see Wings Over Yakyakistan.) So the school's true purpose is to not just foster ties between ponies and the other races, it is to foster relations between other races as well unless the map starts being more multiracial in it's choices. The downside is that they have to tend to everyone at once instead of one race at a time like the map missions.
  • Where is the Mane Six finding the time to be teachers on top of all their other jobs and obligations? Applejack has her farm, Fluttershy her animal sanctuary, Rarity her business, Rainbow Dash the Wonderbolts, Pinkie Pie her job at Sugarcube Corner, and Twilight Sparkle her duties as Princess of Friendship. That's not getting into all the times they get called upon to by the Cutie Map or to save Equestria.
    • Rarity has enough employees to run the business in her absence. And the school, effectively a major diplomatic effort, ties enough to Twilight's responsibilities she can get away with focusing on that. And as for the save Equestria thing, attendance should be the least of anyones worries at the time.
      • Rarity has employees to look after two of her three stores, but no indication has been given that she has anyone to look after her boutique in Ponyville. Besides that, she still needs to manage the chain as a whole.
    • It could be like the college system. As stated in another page, most of the students seem old enough to have likely completed basic education. If the friendship school was more like a college where basic education was completed before entering, each of the Mane 6 would only need to show up during one or two timeslots two to three times a week to teach their respective classes and spend the rest of the time as the equivalent of "lab" work: doing their other jobs.
    • Applejack has Big Macintosh and possibly Applebloom to help Granny Smith on the farm and Fluttershy's previously been shown getting Harry the bear to help her with certain tasks. It's not a complete solution but enough of one they could get away for a little while to teach.
    • The School was built next to the Friendship Castle which reduces the issue of commuting for the faculty to (hopefully) a minimum.
  • Twilight Sparkle, Alicorn Princess of Magic, Leader of the Council of Harmony, Holder of the Element of Magic, Sister-in-law to the Alicorn Princess of the Crystal Empire, Defender of the Realm of Equestria Multiple Times Over Including The Defeats of Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis, Tirek and the Storm King and the Personal Student of Princess Celestia AKA the country's ruler, starts Season 8 off by starting a friendship school for all creatures...and is told that she can't. By someone who, based on the synopsis, either thinks the school is useless because it's not teaching an academic subject or is a raging bigot who thinks the school shouldn't exist because it's not restricted to ponies. HOW IN THE NAME OF CELESTIA'S FLYING FARTS IS THIS EVEN A REMOTE POSSIBILITY? Twilight is a Princess who are heavily implied to be final authority in Equestria and yet she's being told she can't have a school to spread harmony, not only a cornerstone of Equestrian culture but the only reason Equestria isn't Discord's playground or enslaved by Chrysalis or Tirek. Not to mention if it's shut down because of Fantastic Racism, Naysayer could be risking war with at minimum 3 entire races (griffins, hippogriffs and yaks) and could provoke dragons like Garble into saying "Well, they're a bunch of hypocrites who hate our guts. Let's return in kind." Did Not Think This Through doesn't begin to cover how stupid Naysayer comes off.
    • When even the heads of state respect the rule of law, and hold themselves accountable to the duly established processes and institutions of their nation, whether it's personally convenient for them or not, that's a weird and uncommon situation called "good government".
    • The episode clarifies that EEA does not give special privileges, even to royalty and heroes of Equestria. Neighsay even acknowledges Twilight's accomplishments but says that the rules are the rules.
    • Further, we learn that while the EEA does hold a lot of authority, if the subject of the school is something a Princess holds domain over, they can be overruled. We see this as once Twilight creates her own rulebook to give the school credibility, Neighsay can do nothing but express his condemnation and then leave her to do what she wants. As for how he can hold such a viewpoint, Twilight and friends accomplishments alone are not going to change a pony's mind about non-pony creatures. Him being thankful for what Twilight has done for Equestria doesn't necessarily equal him trusting that she is right about letting in other creatures.
      • Though it does still beg the question of why Celestia is employing a raging bigot who openly insults their allies.
      • Well to the above, its never been indicated that Celestia chooses who runs all or even most of the governing offices. Plus we've long known that quite a fair number of ponies are suspicious or outright antagonistic toward a number of the other sapient species (even some of the Mane 6 were initially). Neighsay likely has quite a few that share his views.
      • Another factor to all this is that Celestia likely simply had no idea he was a bigot. She implies Neighsay may be a by the books type, but he's actually generally good at his job otherwise. It's likely he simply never faced this situation until now for it to be revealed and kept it mostly to himself and is generally competent in other areas.
    • Then there is the issue of when Starlight, Trixie, Discord AND Thorax saved everyone in Equestria and that would have been a highly public event where the Changelings were considered heroes and allies of Equestria yet (if I am remembering right) Neighsay still was racist to Thorax.
      • On that note Thorax basically answers this himself when he tells Twilight he knows not everypony is accepting of changelings. A few heroics that were only personally witnessed by a few ponies aren't going to change everyone's minds after centuries of antagonism (Thorax mentions offhandedly in a earlier episode that changelings had lived by attacking others for love for hundreds of years), and even the endorsement of the princesses only goes so far. Even a species as incredibly forgiving as ponies doesn't seem completely immune to this fact. There are going to be some stubborn holdouts, some of them may be in places of power, and you can't simply get rid of them without risking various consequences.
  • During Neighsay's tirade about the (former) enemy races of Equestria, he seems to include the Hippogriffs alongside all the other races. Weren't they Equestria's allies? Celestia tasked the mane six with finding the Hippogriffs because they were supposed to be help them.
    • Not exactly allies; after all the hippogriffs did refuse to help (though whether Neighsay knows this or not is unknown), and while Celestia and Novo did know each other, it doesn't seem their nations were true allies given how little contact they seemed to have (Novo never sought help from Equestria either). Plus the yaks and griffons were never really enemies of Equestria, just not allies. Even the dragons largely kept to themselves thanks to Torch making sure there was no coordinated antagonism toward the ponies. All in all Neighsay isn't against the other species because they are former enemies, but rather because they are not ponies, have very different ways of life, and they are indeed potentially dangerous.
  • Can someone please explain to me how someone who touts that his race is the only one capable of showing and learning friendship believes that diplomacy, the art of treating other cultures and races in a friendly matter to preserve stability and communication, is a load of bunk? Seriously; he could have at least phrased it as "We at the EEA worry that, given past interactions between ponies and members of other races such as those seen here (cites examples), any attempts to spread friendship could lead to dangerous conflict and there has yet to be consistent evidence that any of this will change." Yes the other races' leaders would likely have been annoyed but they wouldn't have been on "I will invade and destroy your hypocritical nation" levels upset...and it would have been an actual Villain Has a Point moment rather than the Stupid Evil fake Well-Intentioned Extremist we got.
    • Actually it should be noted they were threatening violence toward each other's nations as well. Neither hypocrisy on Equestria's part nor Neighsay's attitude prompted the threats, it was the belief that other nations had conspired to hide their ambassadors/students, and a fair amount of prejudice toward the other species on several sides (which more or less did show that Neighsay did have a bit of a point, note Twilight never disagrees with his argument that the other species are dangerous, she only argues that her means of spreading friendship will protect Equestria and that the other species deserve to benefit from friendship).
    • As for diplomacy, many ponies are probably not as good at it as they'd like to believe (at least with other species), since for the past thousand years their general approach to most of the other species has been "stay away from us and we stay away from you." Even those like bison, donkeys and cattle that live in Equestria seem to be rare and while accepted don't seem to play any major role in society or government (whether by choice or not is unclear). Plus they are regular hoofed creatures and thus may be seen as "safer." Celestia doesn't think like that (beyond acknowledging that the dragon lands and such are not safe for ponies), but she could only do so much on her own.
  • On a different note, it's all well and good that the school is open now but... the entire staff consists of 7 ponies... most of whom already have full time jobs. Twilight and Starlight are the only two without any prior engagements. Pinkie works for the Cakes as a party planner (and probably needs to help pick up the slack while they take care of the kids), Rainbow Dash is on-call for the Wonderbolts, Fluttershy has animals to care for, and Applejack and Rarity have both been shown to work themselves to exhaustion before taking on the additional responsibility of being teachers. Not to mention that teaching itself isn't exactly a job that can be done part-time and none of them have experience doing so. Are they all just going to drop their previous callings in life so that they can work for Twilight?
    • It's fiction. They'll be able to juggle their previous responsibilities, saving Equestria, and new teaching jobs as long as the plot lets them.
    • It's my understanding that how they juggle their careers and teach will be addressed, but I've tried to avoid many spoilers. We already know from the first episode that they will leave whenever they have an adventure/map quest. Since the students live at the school, they can just go back to the dorms whenever classes get canceled or postponed.
    • And it's possible that other ponies who have been helped by the Mane 6 and their allies will come in and assist as needed once the school is more firmly settled.
    • Well for now there's only one year's worth of students at the school, so it's not likely the students will have all six classes in one day. Perhaps there will be a rota where the students have three or four classes a day - and the members of the Mane Six who aren't teaching that day can do their other jobs.
  • When Twilight decides to reopen the school, why then does she and Starlight create their own rulebook outside of the EEA's jurisdiction instead of go straight to the EEA and demand a change to the EEA's rulebook? The EEA rulebook is the cause of the whole conflict. Because of it's strict standards, Twilight had to follow it exactly, forcing the classes to be so boring, that the students end up not learning anything. Then some of them ditch the class and the following incident led to Neighsayer shutting the school down. Then said students run away and would've accidently started a race war between all of the species. Can't the EEA's guidelines be amended. Is there a law saying that the EEA rules and regulations can't be redone? While It's good that Neighsayer got called out for his racism and stubbornness, nobody even tries to tell him that his own organization's by-the-book standards almost caused the very conflict that he claims to want to avoid nor does anyone bother to negotiate with him about how to change the EEA standards in order to prevent this from happening again. Why make up your own rules when you can change any of the existing rules that do more harm than good?
    • Necessity is the mother of invention. Yes, the EEA rulebook caused most of the problems. However, the EEA has existed for awhile now. We're not told how long, but long enough that they have considerable authority. And as a matter of point, it has never been easy historically for a new group to get an existing authority to change rules or make accommodations for those that they disagree with. Twilight could easily go to the EEA, plead her case as to why the current rules don't work, and ask for a redress. She might even sway a few members. But probably not the majority. And rather than waste time combating the EEA on their standards and practices, it's simply easier for Twilight, Princess of Friendship, to move on without the EEA's support, and write her own rules based on what she's learned from her friendship lessons and her adventures dealing with other races. That Twilight could write that doorstop edition overnight is hardly surprising, and we know that no one is more thorough than Twi.
    • Moreover if students are skipping class, because they are bored does that mean, that the rules are bad? This would be a very bad lesson to teach kids. Strict standards are there for a reason. It is true that the EEA rulebook caused some of the conflict, but the incompetence of the teacher who could not take care properly allowed the children to skip class, which caused the first problems. Moreover it does not mean that the EEA standards are bad for regular (Non-Friendship) Pony-schools, especially since even Celestia agrees with them. Twilight's school is a special one in every sense of the word therefore it is not possible to fit into EEA standards nor it is necessary to change said rules. Therefore it is better to write a new rule-book, which Celestia approves, highlighting its originality.
    • To add to the above, the episode showed the problem with the teaching wasn't the rules themselves but that the EEA guidelines simply were not made to teach the things the Mane 6 were trying to teach, the Elements of Harmony (the EEA standards seem to work fine for teaching magic, agriculture, weather control and such). Yes the Mane 6 were teaching some stuff about botany and biology, but that doesn't seem to really be the main point. As Pinkie notes during the song, there is no equation on how to have fun, so trying to teach it in such a way was doomed to fail. To teach concepts like laughter, kindness, etc. they may have had to change the EEA rules so much that there would effectively be little difference from simply making their own book.
  • Where did that mountain the school is at the base of come from? It wasn't there before.
  • Why are the only non-pony students a yak, a changeling, a dragon, a griffon and a hippogriff? It would've been better if they also had a Storm Creature, a cat, a Draconequus, a parrot, at least one of the assortment of species from Kludgetown, etc. For that matter, why do the non-pony leaders only bring one of each?
    • Storm Creature? Too soon after the Storm King's invasion, might not have sat well with the others, best wait until everything's cooled down before inviting any of them. Draconequus? How do they know others besides Discord exist? And how would they contact them? If you specifically mean Discord, there's gonna be an episode later in the season that demonstrates some points as to why involving him in this would be a bad idea. Parrot? They all seemed to be friends with each other just fine; their issue was having been whipped by the Storm King and that was shaken off with relative ease. Plus they seem to be naturally adventurous, so being stuck at school wouldn't appeal to them, even after the EEA book was ditched. Kludgetown residents? Most of the non-pony students were brought there by some kind of authority, reluctantly in some cases, which Kludgetown seemed to lack. It'd be very difficult to convince any one resident to attend, and this early in the school's lifespan they might have decided to focus on pre-established allies and branch out to harder species later. Only one I can really grant you is the cat, assuming you mean Capper, and even he might have a similar excuse to the parrots in that he's too reckless and unrestrained to enjoy school. As for why only one of each other species was brought; the ease with which the other leaders are willing to accuse ponies and each other of harboring the students in part 2 indicates that interspecies relations are still shaky at best. They might have only been willing to send one student to test the waters before deciding it was worth sending more. Thorax is a unique case in that he's not so quick to accuse, but he's well aware that changelings still aren't looked at favorably, so he would have wanted to make sure the changelings wouldn't be treated poorly before sending more than one.
      • What I meant by a Draconequus and a cat, I do mean that Discord and Capper would also have student ambassadors. (Discord and Capper are too old to be a students and the former would find it as boring as heck). It's a shame though. It would be nice to see another Draconequus. I mean we see more Q's than the Q that Discord is an expy of. In regards to the Storm Creature not having sat well with others, the ponies had no problem inviting them to the Friendship Festival, as seen in the movie's credits.
      • Considering Discord only needed one friend to reconsider his alignment, and his dimension is empty except for him, he might not even know if other Draconnequui exist to bring to the School of Friendship. As for Capper, no-one in Kludgetown seemed to care about anyone else, and Capper didn't until Rarity fixed up his cloak. He might not know any other cats to send just yet, since this episode is implied to take place very soon after the movie. As for the Storm Creatures, I could give you that one, but keep in mind that the canon status of the credits are somewhat debated; the eyes on the partially-rebuilt Storm King statue look different from what they did in the movie proper, and then there's Pinkie dancing with the actual Queen of the Hippos as a joke.
      • Additionally, Twilight's goal wasn't to get ambassadors of every species but rather representatives of the various surrounding kingdoms/nations. Klugetown doesn't seem to be a nation, more a merchant city, and we have no idea if the various species there have any kind of national identity/organization. Or if they do then said nations may just be too disorganized to have been considered for initial enrollment, or perhaps even too far away (the parrot creatures could come from another continent for all we know). Further, Celestia is stated to have been the one to reach out, and presumably could only do so with nations that Equestria has some form of diplomatic contact with.
      • Does that imply the Zebra and Buffalo don't have a nation or government of their own?
    • About the absent races. The Buffalo's episode was criticized for Unfortunate Implications given what culture they represented, and Zebras would risk the same thing. The Diamond Dogs weren't established as having civilization outside the comic which the show oft ignores and all the other civilizations are only shown in the comics.
  • Where the heck was Neighsayer during the events of the movie? Was he on vacation the whole time? If he was in Canterlot (let alone the Friendship Festival) and we just didn't see him, why would he dislike the idea of the School of Friendship and why would he be against other species when Tempest, Grubber, and the Storm Creatures reformed and were allowed to come to the Friendship Festival?
    • As noted above, its unclear how canon the ending credits are, but regardless the very fact that they reformed so quickly could easily be seen as extra reason to not trust them in Neighsay's eyes at least. Note he calls the other species "unpredictable." If they turned into allies seemingly just by having their leader beaten (no doubt helped by Storm King turning his storm on them as well but he may not be considering that), who's to say they couldn't quickly become enemies again if another such leader arose? He sees the other species as threats more due to the potential they have to be dangerous rather than just the things they have done, and fears the ways they could take advantage of ponies by acting like allies.
    • 1. He doesn't seem like the type interested in a Friendship Festival. 2. Other races were strangely absent from the Festival (which lends itself to xenophobic implications he'd support) so it's not like it would change his mind.
  • Where did Neighsayer get his mindset from anyway? He had to have been leader of the EEA for quite some time and no problems arose until now. Was it due to the Storm King's invasion? The changelings? If it was the Storm King's fault, then why does he not know about the Mane Six gaining non-pony allies, Capper, the pirates, and Skystar?
    • While there are plenty of neutral and friendly ones, the majority of non-pony sentient creatures are hostile and dangerous. That alone would be enough to be at least cautious. However of the school there is a changeling (a species that prior to a very recent change of heart was hostile and had successfully attacked Equestria twice), a dragon (a largely aloof but still very aggressive and dangerous species that will retaliate with lethal force over minor indiscretions and, according to Gauntlet of Fire, were largely in favor of pillaging and destroying Equestria just for kicks), a yak (a species that, during a diplomatic visit to Equestria destroyed whatever or whoever offended them and declared war because they didn't get thrown a party soon enough). To top it all off, Equestria's national security is at best laughably weak and while they've been successful at fending off attacks they suffer serious collateral damage each time and just barely manage to win in the end. Honestly, his attitude seems less like black and white "racism" and more like a fairly reasonable way for a person who lives in a country that is constantly in fear of and actually being threatened, attacked, invaded, and trashed by "non-ponies" to feel about "non-ponies". Or like how the French probably felt about the Germans in the late 1940's.
  • Where did the other movie characters go after this? Why was Tempest the only one who's absence is explained? Did the others go with her?
    • As seen on the map, the pirates got their ship rebuilt and returned to adventuring. Skystar presumably went home, she had no reason to stay in Equestria when her nation needed to restore their homeland. While it may not be canon, I recall Grubber in a comic joined Tempest on her journey. The storm creatures presumably went back to whatever land they originated from.
  • In the beginning of the episode, Celestia explains that Twilight needs the EEA's approval to open her school. Yet at the end she has no objection to Twilight opening the school without EEA accreditation. So, is the EEA's approval a requirement or not? Or did Celestia happen to change her mind?
    • Probably the latter; now that she saw how toxic the EEA was to diplomatic relations, she had more reason to pardon Twilight's refusal to follow the EEA standards in order to establish something that could only help those relations. Being one of Equestria's major rulers, she'd have every reason to value something like that.
  • Why aren't there diamond dog or zebra students?
    • As explained earlier, Twilight specifically got in touch with surrounding nations Equestria has diplomatic ties with. We don't know if the zebras or diamond dogs have a nation, let alone if Equestria has contact with them (and the zebras specifically may well originate too far away to have such relations, given Zecora is still the only one we've seen).
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     8.03 The Maud Couple 
  • Starlight becoming friends with Maud was the major plot of "Rock Solid Friendship". Shouldn't there be a photo with Maud on Starlight's Friendship Mirror?
    • Maybe it was too recent? Maybe they didn't connect as strongly as those she did have photos of.
    • Or maybe they simply didn't take a photo? It is possible to be close friends with someone without having a scrapbook photo of them. It's also not uncommon for more introverted individuals to be camera shy; if that's the case with Maud, it'd be one more thing she deliberately hides for Pinkie's sake.
  • Pinkie offhandedly mentions that she looked for Maud in Discord's dimension. If Pinkie could go there so casually, doesn't it shoots down the "no easy way to retrieve him" excuse as to why he was absent from the movie?
    • Pinkie's abilities tend to work on "Rule of Funny." If a situation is serious she's not able to go wherever she wants whenever she wants.
      • Discord was absent from the movie because he didn't feel like interfering. The girls managed fine without him so he had no reason to get involved. He's the Lord of Chaos, not a fix everything button to be pressed at their convenience.
  • I know it's the Character Establishing Moment for Mudbriar, but is there any other reason why Pinkie would go to a bakery for supplies? She lives at Sugarcube Corners.
    • Pinkie notes she is picking up "some very important ingredients," presumably ones that weren't available at Sugarcube Corner.
  • Mudbriar has been compared to Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory (his VA even speaks like Jim Parsons). Is he an expy and what are the differences between the two? While on topic, why have a voice actor do a Jim Parsons impression instead of bringing the real deal (Jim does good voice acting too, as seen in Home)?
    • Budget? Availability? Who knows? Maybe they actually offered him the gig and he turned it down.

     8.04 Fake It 'Til You Make It 
  • Why in the blazes would Rarity come to Fluttershy almost dead last?! She seriously trusts the CMC and uber-tomboy Rainbow Dash with her livelihood more than her? And Applejack in particular is a horrible choice, given that she has nearly ruined Rarity's business on two separate occasions!
    • Because it's all about people skills... er pony sklls. The CMC have experience with helping others out because of their Cutie Marks showing they are meant to help others with what they want, which are good sales skills. Plus, they are matruing enough to where it won't be as big an issue. As for Rainbow Dash, she has a cool demeanor and her time with the Wonderbolts would give in a bit of fame and appeal, plus she would also know what people would want. Also good sales qualities. As for Applejack, my guess is experience. All of Apple family's livelihood come from selling apples and apple-based products and she has operated a stand before. The MMC thing was with the actual creation of the stuff (plus the fact their magics were clashing.
  • I'm certain that Discord would not like that his first and best friend to split into three mean personalities. Why didn't they bring Discord to try and help snap Fluttershy out of it?
    • Discord, of all creatures, probably would've found it hilarious. Fluttershy, after all, wasn't suffering in any way. Insulting snooty Saddle Row ponies and tanking Rarity's business sound like things he'd enjoy. Even if he didn't, what, outside of mind-control, could he have done? And would any of the Mane Six even trust him to deal with a problem like this?
  • How exactly did Fluttershy change both her clothes and personalities so quickly?
    • Linking directly to the previous question, Discord did it. Or, to be more specific, he gifted Fluttershy some of his chaos powers, and she decided to use them right then.
    • Maybe being in Discord's dimension left some side effects.
    • Rule of Funny abilities are mainly the domain of Party Ponies, but other ponies do make use of them at times. One could presume the pressure Fluttershy was under and her getting so into the roles enabled the quick changes.
  • How come Rarity never asked Coco Pommel to look after the shop? We saw that all 3 of the sales associates from the Manehattan boutique as well as Sassy Saddles were helping Rarity out with fashion week. We never saw Coco there. So what was she up to during the episode?
    • Maybe she was the one running Canterlot Carousel while Sassy Saddles was helping Rarity.
      • Then wouldn't it make more sense to have Coco look after Rarity For You since both she and the boutique are in Manehattan and then have Fluttershy look after the Canterlot Carousel since it would be easier the check in on Fluttershy seeing how Fashion Week was being held in Canterlot?
      • Maybe the Royal Fashion Show meant a lot of additional publicity for Canterlot Carousel, leaving it even busier than Rarity For You, so Rarity decided she'd be better off putting the more experienced fashion pony in the busier shop.
    • She probably had other work to do elsewhere. She doesn't seem to only work for/with Rarity. Especially since "Honest Apple" implies she's running her own clothing line.
    • Another possibility is that she's planning another charity event in her district from earlier. Who says she wasn't the first one to be asked. If I were Rarity, I would try to find somepony in Manehattan before desperately going through all of Ponyville.
    • Considering this is a fashion show and Coco is a fashion designer herself, maybe she was also competing and was therefore unavailable.

     8.05 Grannies Gone Wild 
  • The episode never explains why the coaster was closing down aside from being a plot point. Are they beginning construction on something and thus needed to be gone? Moved to another location? Unpopularity? Low finances? The first two are possible, but the last two are not because for three it had to have been popular enough for every Wonderbolt to ride and for four, there in the freaking parody of Las Vegas.
    • If I had to guess, I'd say perhaps it was simply too expensive to maintain. Just a guess, though.
    • I figured it was your first guess—they planned for something else to be built, maybe a new roller coaster with a different theme (as is not unheard of in other amusement parks), and decided they could afford to ax the Wild Blue Yonder.
  • What is the appeal of a roller coaster to the Wonderbolts, given that they are the equivalent of living fighter jets and could preform comparable speeds and maneuvers at will? Rainbow Dash I can see doing it because everyone else did, but where would the tradition start?
    • Maybe the lack of control a pegasus, Wonderbolt or no, has on a roller coaster compared to actual flight adds an additional thrill.
  • The front doors and the two statues indicate that the Flim Flam Brothers still run the casino that used to belong to Gladmane. Why aren't they seen in this episode and why would Applejack (Or whoever got them booked there) book them up in the hotel / casino of the Apple Family's nemesis'?
    • Since the Golden Horseshoe Girls have prior membership at that hotel/casino, they must have stayed there previous years when it was owned by Gladmane. The fact that ownership now belongs to the Flim Flam Brothers isn't going to stop the group from continuing to book rooms there, especially when they get all sorts of perks from maintaining their Golden Horseshoe membership.

     8.06 Surf and/or Turf 
  • While the rules of the Cutie Map haven't been spelled out in absolute terms, it's consistently been the case in previous episodes that it chooses who to send based on whose talents or personality will make them most suited to solve the problem (except when it's a big enough problem to warrant sending all of the Mane Six). However, the CMC don't seem to bring anything unique to the table that anyone else couldn't have done in this episode – Twilight is the one who points out the solution, and the CMC just take advantage of a serendipitous meeting of the hippogriffs and seaponies to prove the point to Terramar.
    • The Map seems to be diversifying its subject matter along with its targets. Much like with Spike it could be that the Friendship Problem to be solved didn't so much require the Crusaders as much as the Crusaders themselves benefited from being involved. That is it was as much about helping them mature as it was about helping Terramar.
    • The CMC dealing with this actually make sense. They deal with Cutie Marks, but what does that mean? A Cutie Mark in some way links to your identity. So while Hippogriffs don't have Cutie Marks, the CMC were still called to solve an identity crisis.
  • In the beginning, Apple Bloom says that Applejack defeated the Storm King. Now we know Applejack did not tell her that she did it alone. That was all Apple Bloom saying that. But neither did any of the Mane Six. Why doesn't Twilight correct her by saying that Tempest was the one who defeated him?
    • It was more a team effort than anything else. The Mane 5 got the staff away from Storm King, Twilight calmed the storm he had created, and Tempest sacrificed herself in a move that also turned him to stone. Explaining all that was unnecessary though given the focus was on noting Applejack didn't do it all alone.
  • The land residents on Mount Aris make their homes in large trees, with doors at the bases, living quarters inside, and windows all around the trunk. Could a point have focused on Twilight remembering the old Golden Oaks Library upon seeing a town filled with homes like what she used to have?
    • It could have, but this was a Cutie Mark Crusaders episode, not a Twilight one. Any overly-emotional subjects like that would have taken the focus away from where it needed to be, which was on the friendship problem.
    • It's still strange no acknowledgement was even made. It didn't need to be a long scene or the main focus of the episode, but it's still strange Twilight doesn't even make a passing mention of it. A nostalgic "Oh, they're all just like my old library!" would have made the point without trailing too far to focus on Twilight instead of the CMC.
      • Twilight did allude to her tree home back when she visited Mage Meadowbrook's home, and perhaps she did it offscreen here as well, but it makes as much sense at this point for her to not immediately mention it as it does for her to. That all happened quite a while ago at this point after all.
  • Shouldn't Ocean Flow and Sky Beak, as sister and in-law respectively of Queen Novo, be royalty? Because they showed nothing to suggest that stature. Modest Royalty? And as seemingly normal hippogriffs, why are they royals, given they lack the qualifications of other established royals?
    • We don't really know how royalty is defined for the Hippogriffs, why Novo is the Queen, etc. It may well be that only the Queen, her husband (if she has one) and her children live like royalty.
    • It does seem as though Sky Beak was some kind of leader, or had some authority amongst the other Hippogriffs. If he's the one to talk to the princess directly when she arrives, then maybe he does have some kind of authority. We don't see enough of Ocean Flow to know if she has a title or authority though.
    • And maybe since the whole kingdom has suddenly been split into Hippogriffs and Seaponies, they're still working out that sort of thing.
  • Ocean Flow offers to make her guests some fish oil tea while they're visiting her underwater. How would making and drinking beverages underwater even work? Do aquatic creatures even get thirsty?

     8.07 Horse Play 
  • Celestia revealed in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" revealed she hid her true feelings every Summer Sun Celebration for 1000 years, and "A Royal Problem" shows this is part of her daily job. So HOW was she unable to act effectively in this episode?
    • I wouldn't place it above her to fake her inability to act for whatever reason.
    • Maybe the excitement of living her dream of being in a play made her excessively eccentric. Maybe she's only able to act under The Chains of Commanding. Or some of both.
    • There's a difference — a purely psychological one, but still — between acting to hide your feelings in your daily life, and acting in a theatrical performance. Celestia can act (as she herself proved at the end of the episode) but she clearly has some kind of mental block that prevents her from applying that skill in a formal theatre setting. It happens in real life: A life-of-the-party jokester who constantly makes everyone laugh can completely choke when asked to do stand-up comedy in front of a microphone.
    • Maybe she's good at being a Stepford Smiler, but nothing else.
    • Considering how she was able to advise the others on using the tricks the other actors tried to teach her despite her earlier failings, as well as her hustle at the very end, perhaps she's bad at following others' directions, but performs well when given 100% free reign on what to do.
    • It should be pointed out that while acting sounds similar to Celestia's day job on paper, it's actually very different in practice. Celestia being a Stepford Smiler can be thought of as a form of acting, but it mainly involves putting up a facade of cheer and pleasantness no matter what she's actually feeling. To act in a theatrical production requires a lot more than just being able to put on a smile. Celestia would have to memorize lines and choreography, express a variety of emotions as well as convincingly play a character (one based on her, but still a character). If anything, it can be said that Celestia has a Crippling Overspecialization when it comes to acting: she can put on a facade of kindness and cheer, but when it comes to actually putting on a full fledged performance she's woefully inadequate.
    • Celestia's problems with acting on a stage could stem from the fact that here, in a play, everybody knows that she is acting and that this is not what she really thinks, the point of her normal acting in politics and diplomacy is to prevent people from finding out exactly this. That people do actually know that what she does in the act is not how she is but only an act makes her nervous, which leads to her bad acting.
  • Regarding the backstory of how the sun was raised before Celestia took up the role on her own: It took Starswirl and five other unicorns to do so, and the latter five lost their magic forever due to the strain. Why not bring in more unicorns every morning to spread out the load enough that no one unicorn overstrained themselves enough for that to happen?
    • Five unicorns plus Star Swirl could be the minimum needed to raise the sun. To find out how many unicorns would be needed to raise the sun without losing their powers, they'd have to test it and there's no telling what the number would be. It could be ten, twenty, fifty, or even a 100. And who knows how many unicorns would be left with magic before they find out. Better just stick with five so they can conserve resources.
  • How did the sun raise before the unicorns took up the job? Given that they had a small enough population to run out of those capable, they couldn't have kept it up for relatively long, right?
    • While the Journal of the Two Sisters is clearly not fully canon, it does have one line that could give an answer to this. Namely Starswirl implies that in another age there were other alicorns that raised the sun and moon. Nothing is said about why this stopped.
    • Because by the time Starswirl came around there were none left?
  • Why does Ocellus need a costume when they can shapeshift?
    • If you recall the season premier, Thorax admonished Ocellus when she was assuming different forms because of her shyness. It's possible that the reformed changelings may consider it rude to change forms without being asked or told to do so.
    • Also, shapeshifting is the lazy option and Thorax might want his subjects to use those powers more responsibly and fairly. Under Chrysalis's rule, the changelings probably weren't allowed to have plays (let alone wear costumes) instead having shapeshifting for manipulation and sneak attacks. All part of changing changeling culture for the better.
    • Maybe she or somepony else thought that she would look too out-of-place among the other actors as being the only one without a proper costume. Maybe that would have been fine if she was cast as Starswirl, but not as one of the other nameless unicorns.
  • During the movie, Celestia and Luna both chastise Twilight Sparkle when she asks them to use their powers over the sun and moon as special effects for Songbird Serenade's concert, yet Celestia does just that herself in this episode.
    • Given that Season 8 is established to take place after the movie, it's not hard to imagine that at least Celestia is a little bit more lax about arbitrarily moving the Sun, or at the very least was willing to do so because it was literally the only thing they could get at the last minute (for what it's worth Luna did not appear to be amused at Celestia's raising of the Sun).
    • Technically, it was Luna who chastised Twilight's request, Celestia simply argued that Twilight already had everything she needed.
    • Also, it was Celestia who caused the prop sun to be broken (although not on purpose), so she might have wanted to compensate the best she could.
  • Why would Pinkie buy fireworks from Trixie even though she took her mouth (and didn’t undo it even when she undid all the other spells)?
    • Pinkie's long since forgiven her, especially since she wasn't herself at the time. As for not fixing it afterward, they fixed is as soon as Pinkie asked after Trixie was dealt with, which involved a fourth-wall break showing it wasn't meant to be taken seriously anyway.
    • But Trixie not undoing it along with the other spells (Rainbow Dash’s wing, Spike being shaped into a ball) can’t be explained by the Amulet’s corruption. You’d expect that personal thing against Pinkie to go somewhere.
    • Trixie was still under the Amulet's insanity, so it's still not something to be held against them anymore than her other acts. And Pinkie is the last of the Mane Six to be a grudge holder (tied with Fluttershy, who's the one Trixie didn't harass).
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     8.08 The Parent Map 
  • Why is the Cutie Map sending Starlight Glimmer and Sunburst to deal with their parental issues now as opposed to sooner?
    • The Map often calls for missions to address problems that have been around for a long time, and there isn't usually any given reason for why it waits. One could theorize both the ponies it is calling and those in trouble need to be "ready" before it calls them. In this case perhaps first Sunburst and Starlight needed to address the issues in their friendship with each other first (which they started to do last season) before they were ready to partner together to address the issues with their parents. And while the problems in the town were not the only or even the main thing that needed fixing, perhaps those problems still had to become severe enough before the situation got the map's attention.
  • Sunburst helped stop a magically-induced blizzard by reforming the Crystal Heart and becoming the Crystaller, the titular Empire's equivalent of a grand wizard, by his immense and intricate knowledge of spells alone even without the ability to cast them. He also participated in releasing the Pillars from magically-induced limbo, and helped banish the Pony of Shadows. These should have been newsworthy, but Stellar Flare never seems to take this into account either when accounting how Sunburst felt lost or in her constant babying of him and presuming he can't live without her.
    • Ponies acting like life is normal and not giving the heroes any additional recognition for their deeds is par for the course. And after the events of "Fame and Misfortune", they probably wouldn't want it any differently. Considering both the release of the Pillars and the banishment of the Pony of Shadows happened in relatively isolated areas, the news of his involvement might not have spread that easily.
    • Given we later learn that Neighsay thought that Starswirl's return was merely a "rumor" and didn't believe it, it seems likely indeed that many ponies don't yet know about the events surrounding the previous season finale, or at least don't know many details from it. Recall how many seasons it took for most ponies to even recognize who Twilight was, and even her friends still sometimes go unrecognized. A lot of news travels very slowly in Equestria, and Sunburst obviously didn't tell his mother about it as he tries to avoid communicating with her.
  • So how does Starlight's villainous motivation work now? She claimed that she never saw Sunburst again, but both their families still live in their hometown and judging from Starlight's room, she also lived there well into her Edgy Teenager phase. Did Sunburst just never come home from boarding school until years later? Did he hate his mother so much that he refused to leave Canterlot even for the holiday breaks? Or did he flunk out of Magic School during his first year and then ran away from home out of shame as a little colt?
    • Sunburst indeed makes it pretty clear he hasn't been home in a long time, possibly not at all (depending on how literal he was when he remarked near the end that he would from now on tell his mother she was being overbearing instead of "never" coming home), only ever seeing his mother if she was able to arrange a visit with him wherever it was he lived before he moved to the Crystal Empire. Also its likely he stayed in magic school for quite a few years (long enough at least for Celestia to remember him well), his knack for book learning making him able to stay for quite some time until his inability to actually do any advanced spells became a non-negotiable issue.

     8.10 The Break Up Breakdown 
  • So Spike was able to contact Discord for help just by shouting his name? Again, WHY did they not try to contact Discord in the movie, as this seemingly disproves any theory about him being unreachable?
    • Maybe Spike only found out after the events of the movie. Also, Twilight heard Celestia say to go to the Queen of the Hippo(gryffs), so Spike just went along with it.
    • Also, Discord states he's been waiting all week to play the game, implying he was only listening in because they were scheduled to have the game that day. In other words under normal circumstances he would not have heard them (and even here may have only heard them because they used certain specific words).
    • This very episode shows Discord hates being summoned to deal with mundane things. Asking the Lord of Chaos to fight someone as beneath him as the Storm King? Not going to happen unless Twilight and the girls are literally going to die otherwise.
  • When they send the package to Sweetie Belle, why did they send it to the Apple family barn? How did the mail ponies know Sweetie was there at the time? Why didn't they just leave it at her house?
    • Maybe there was a return address somewhere we didn't see, so when Derpy smudged the destination address, they just sent it back to the original sender(as is normal for mail that can't be sent to the written destination for whatever reason), and it was coincidence that the CMC happened to be there to receive it and make the "secret admirer" assumption.
  • Sugar Belle has her own self-run bakery in the village. Why would she want to apprentice under Mrs. Cake?
    • Unless Big Mac and Sugar Belle have a May–December Romance going on, Mrs. Cake is likely quite a bit older and has been doing this for quite a bit longer. Even ignoring the time that Sugar Belle was stripped of her talent and therefore couldn't make any progress skill-wise, Mrs. Cake is likely more experienced and could therefore know several tips and tricks that Sugar Belle doesn't just from having more time to practice.

     8.11 Molt Down 
  • If phoenix feathers can cause deafness, why would they want them in a dress? Why is such an averse effect not more widely known? Why would Celestia have one as a pet?
    • Maybe Alicorns are immune to it?
    • The effect may be fairly rare, and may not happen at all if the feathers are altered/preserved for a dress. And as for the one Celestia keeps, perhaps she uses a spell to prevent the effect? Or it may just not be close enough to ponies for long enough for the effect to happen. There is too much unknown about the malady to say for sure.
    • Maybe the feathers have to be detached, and the unfortunate pony exposed to them for a sufficient amount of time; if Celestia(or somepony hired for the task) cleaned up after Philomena quickly enough, it would prevent Celestia from being affected(though someone on the Fridge Brilliance page mentioned that her being affected at some point might explain why the Royal Canterlot Voice is a thing). As for why they'd want them in a dress, considering Zecora had also treated this phenomenon for years, it might not be outside her skill level to be able to whip up something Rarity could use to treat the feathers so they would no longer carry that risk. Finally, when it comes to why the effect isn't more widely known, we know a grand total of one pet phoenix, and Rarity could have only known where to find them because Spike was able to lead her since he'd been to their nesting grounds before; maybe too few ponies are exposed to phoenix feathers nowadaysnote  for it to be remembered.
    • It should also be kept in mind that this seems to be a magical condition that Rarity caught from using Peewee's feathers, who happens to be a wild animal. It's possible that not all phoenixes feathers' cause the condition, and Philomena's feathers possibly don't carry any risk, since she's been Celestia's pet for a long time and is clearly domesticated.
  • Though this brings up another question: Why didn't Rarity ask Celestia if she could spare some of Philomena's shed feathers? Might have been quicker and easier than going to find Peewee's family.
    • Just up and asking the Princess for her pet's sheddings would be... uncouth.
  • Phoenix feathers cause hearing loss in ponies. Zecora mentions having treated this ailment for a long time. We're not shown how far it was to where PeeWee's parents were nesting. The only phoenix confirmed to live near Ponyville is Princess Celestia's pet Philomena, but she lives up in Canterlot, where Celestia has access to facilities to keep up with her. So...who in the hell has Zecora been treating for phoenix-feather-induced hearing loss?
    • Maybe pet phoenixes used to be more common (let's face it, wouldn't we all want a pet that we wouldn't outlive?), but fell out of style after too many cases of owners going deaf.
    • Two possibilities - there are phoenixes in Zecora's homeland, or Twilight told Celestia about this brilliant zebra chemist in Everfree, and since Celestia trusts Twilight's judgement for the most part, she's been asking for Zecora's help from time to time.

     8.12 Marks for Effort 
  • How do they have a photo of Chancellor Puddinghead, who lived over 1000 years ago? If it were supposed to be a depiction, wouldn't it be different from the shows art so we could see it? And why is it's background identical to Ponyville Town Hall's interior, which wouldn't exist until the better part of 1000 years later?
    • Wouldn't be surprising if it were just a recreation like the Hearth's Warming play.

     8.13 The Mean Six 
  • The Episode brings into question an apparent Continuity Error: Chrysalis had at least 12 changelings still on her side that weren't accounted for and definitely weren't around to see Thorax's example and thus be persuaded to switch sides. You know? Those changelings that had successfully infiltrated the Friendship Castle, Canterlot, and the Crystal Castle? Will there ever be any disclosure as to what really happened to them or is the fact that Chrysalis is implied to be completely alone just a lazy confirmation of that issue being swept under the rug for the sake of convenience?
    • One fan theory is, while those changelings had no interest in joining Thorax's new kingdom, they still realized serving Chrysalis was bullshit and just bailed on her. Assuming "Kevin" was anything more than just a sight gag, it seems "neutral" changelings that don't share love but don't antagonize or invade ponies are a thing: they probably just became like that. Just a fan theory, yes, but it's plausible given what little we actually know.
    • Maybe they were the rebel changelings Thorax had managed to convince in season seven.
    • When everyone went home at the end of the episode the changelings impersonating likely ran back to the hive where they joined the rest. Whether they converted right away or maintained their original forms is unkown but there's no reason for them to not stay with the rest of the Hive.
  • Was this episode setting up the Tree of Harmony to be more than just a MacGuffin of goodness of sorts? It's not like the tree seemed to care about good or evil, but rather either defending itself or wiping out the "disharmony" of the clones, as it made no move to attack or even threaten Chrysalis. The show's already established that chaos, harmony's opposite, isn't inherently evil and one could consider Starlight Glimmer's cult and cutie mark removal spell to be an evil form of harmony. Could this be foreshadowing that the tree is Above Good and Evil, or at least oblivious to it, and that someone could come along and utilize it's power for evil in the same way the ponies have used it for good?
    • It seemed pretty simple to me; the Tree of Harmony has recognized the Mane Six by this point as simply being its elements, so "opposite clones" it would see as its own opposites, thus reacting by returning them to their state of, well, not being opposites.
  • Why exactly DID the tree kill the Mean Six, but not Chrysalis, thus giving the latter a chance to attack again?
    • Because they were directly attacking it but Chrysalis wasn't. Maybe it only attacks in self-defense, or still lacks the intelligence to think that long term.
  • Somehow, not a single one of the Mane Six suspects that their pals supposedly misbehaving is the work of some sort of negative magic despite the fact they have encountered Changelings before and even been mind-inverted by Discord. How could they not notice obvious differences from how their long-time friends behave (including slight visual cues that they aren't the actual Mane Six) and why couldn't they go and investigate the cause of it?
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     8.14 A Matter Of Principals 
  • Considering friendship problems are never front-and-center, what made the Mane 6 realize the summons was fake and prompt them to stop looking?
    • Maybe the place they wound up was uninhabited. It is the most remote part of the map we've seen.
    • Remember, when they entered the school at the end of the episode not only they already knew there was a glamour spell on their cutie marks but that it was Discord who'd done it. So it's likely Twilight somehow noticed that spell, and they turned back before they even reached their destination. It also explains why they've returned so quickly even though the mere journey was supposed to take months.
  • If Spitfire was called in as a substitute teacher, who's running the Wonderbolts Academy?
    • Soarin maybe? Like when she left to see her sick mother in season 5.
  • This is presumably a portrait of Clover the Clevernote , but weren't they established as male in "Forgotten Friendship"?
    • Look at Chancellor Puddinghead, androgyny was apparently in style back then.
      • The prairie dog trainer ponies were also males with eyelashes, and the Royal Sisters are females with more angular snouts. With that in mind, a male with eyelashes and a rounded snout wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

     8:15 The Hearth’s Warming Club 
  • If Twilight and Rainbow Dash knew that Gallus pulled that prank all along, then why did they declare all of the Young Six guilty? Wouldn't it have just been easier to confront Gallus directly and leave the others out of it?
    • They figured it out when they interviewed him and wanted to be fair by doing so with everyone and give him a chance to confess. If Gallus is willing to ruin all his friends' holiday plans then it means he needs extra lessons in loyalty.
    • Also, if they singled out Gallus, they'd just be doing what Twilight did back in Marks for Effort: jumping to conclusions and accusing a student with no proof. And even if they did have proof, he still would've initially denied it anyway.

     8.17 The End In Friend 
  • Not two minutes into the episode I remembered how both Rainbow Dash and Rarity enjoyed spa days as shown in "Applejack's Day Off". Neither of them thought of that?
    • Most likely, Yes they did. Why is another story.
      • The spa days that Rainbow wanted kept secret to maintain her image? She'd never admit to that in front of the students.
  • The Amulet of Aurora leaves a trail of sparkles. How were they able to hide it for the spellvenger hunt? It would be the easiest one to find.
    • The sparkles can be cleaned up. The "thief" just didn't bother.
    • Or maybe the Amulet doesn't really leave sparkles and they were just placed there to aid in Rarity and Rainbow's quest.

     8.18 Yakity-Sax 
  • Why didn't the Mane 5 just tell Pinkie Pie that she was causing problems for everypony with her terrible yovidaphone playing? It couldn't have been that hard to just ask her to be more considerate and seek music lessons instead of forbidding her from playing just because she's bad at it.
    • For the same reason Pinkie gives up and moves away without even speaking to her friends: the episode is poorly written. Clearly something got twisted between the idea pitch and the writing of the episode.
  • Like the above, why didn't they just go and ask Yona for lessons about the yovidaphone? After all, she's a yak and surely she would have knowledge about it. Maybe not as much knowledge as the yaks back in Yakyakistan, but it would still have been better than telling Pinkie that she sucks at the instrument.

     8.19 On the Road to Friendship 
  • Aside from being a short pun, what's with the line outside Starlight's office? Hasn't she been complaining about not having much guidence counseling to do?
    • The longer she's there the more comfortable the students will be around her and the more likely they'll be to come to her.
  • Trixie was completely broken when Starlight traded away her wagon proclaiming it was her best friend and was willing to lie in the middle of a dirt road for hours to get it back, but what made it more important than the last two wagons she had? In Boast Busters when her first wagon got destroyed she got over it pretty quickly and had no problems replacing it. In Magic Duel when it was revealed her second wagon had gotten vandalized she seemed morose upset about being reminded of her most humiliating moment and being mocked about it.
    • There's no point getting worked up over something that's already ruined beyond the point of repair, plus we have no idea how long she'd had her first wagon, it could have been brand new. Also she and Starlight had been stressing each other out so she was more emotional than she ordinarily would have been, and Starlight doing that without even thinking of her feelings likely hurt her even more.

     8.21 A Rockhoof and a Hard Place 
  • For the love of Celestia and all that is holy, why doesn't Mistmane get herself some new clothes already?
    • Nopony else did.
      • The other Pillars' clothing is outdated in style, but thanks to their time travel it's still in decent condition. Mistmane's clothes are in tatters.
    • I can't give a Watsonian explanation, but a Doylist one would likely be that she kept it for the same reason her beauty spell gave her an aged appearance in her legend—continuing the metaphor of inner beauty vs outer.
  • Since the scene with the Hippogriffs showed that Rockhoof was willing to try his hand at mingling with other species, why didn't anyone think to send him to Yakyakistan? Big, strong, good at smashing stuff, even a similar smell according to Gallus. Not to mention Yona could put in a good word about him. He'd be given Honorary Yak status in no time.
    • The yaks tend to be very particular about things being done perfectly, even smashing stuff (the Hearthswarming special has Rutherford correcting the angle an item to be smashed is placed at) and Rockhoof's lack of control thus could have caused issues (yaks break things a lot, but typically only when they intend to break something).
  • Spike and Smolder have fire-breathing contests inside the School of Friendship, and Twilight is apparently okay with that. Isn't that unsafe?
    • Given they apparently do it "all the time" and the school is still standing, one can surmise that they have a safe way of doing it. Perhaps nothing in the room is flammable, or Twilight has given the room some protective enchantments.

     8.22 What Lies Beneath 
  • If the Young Six are being tested for their friendship, why do Gallus and Silverstream's tests more about psychical bravery than anything to do with friendship?
    • Because by facing their fears (Gallus) they were able to prove/improve their bonds with another (Silverstream). As the Tree of Harmony noted, being strong when a friend was weak and being there for them is part of friendship. The fear aspects of the tests were more a means to an end rather than the actual point of the test.

     8.23 Sounds of Silence 
  • Why don't the kirin use written communication? They have trouble with charades if Autumn Blaze's discussion with them is any clue, but no writing as a way to circumvent that?
    • Perhaps they felt that written communication would make circumventing their vow of silence too easy and in doing so defeat the whole point of it?
  • Autumn Blaze didn't think about using the train station to find someone else to help? It might have meant leaving for a bit, but she could have easily left to find a botanist - or even Twilight, who could have read something about it at some point - who would know about the Foal's Breath and thus could have had a supply on-hoof.
    • Its implied the kirin, for one reason or another, never leave the Peaks of Peril (which basically form a wall around their forest and village), Applejack even noting Autumn Blaze would never have found more of the flowers because they were outside the walls of the peaks. Perhaps they are very poor at climbing, and thus don't leave because they don't know about the shortcut that Fluttershy found out about?
  • Autumn Blaze says the Kirin haven't spoken for years. But the Nirik problem existed long before that. How did they go as long as they did without incident enough to warrant this? And if it existed before, how did they not know they could control it?
    • They had incidents before, but none as bad as this. Sometimes it just takes a particularly bad event to spur a solution to a long-standing problem. London in the 1800s had major issues with disposal of sewage and pollution in the Thames river, but nothing was done until the Great Stink of 1858, where the stench became so bad that Parliament finally provided funds to build a completely new sewer system in London.
    • As for why they didn't know they could control it, the stigma toward the Nirik form may have been so great that once in the form the thought of controlling and using the power may have been the last thing on their minds.
  • Why don't the Kirin make their homes and village out of something fireproof? Or have a sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, any form of fire suppressant? They have fountains and elaborate theaters, so it doesn't seem that beyond their abilities.
    • It may be that culturally/spiritually they feel they have to live in forests. And perhaps they do have fire suppressants, but they were inadequate when the whole town got enraged. And while they do seem to be able to build a lot of things, making actual fireproof structures may be beyond their ability. They are very isolated and few in number after all, they may just lack the required resources.
  • When Twilight said at the beginning that flanks don't lie, did she forget that Discord made the Mane Six's flanks lie in A Matter of Principals?
    • Her meaning was obvious enough even if she didn't include the proviso "map calls don't lie, except of course if a powerful spell is used to fake them and glamour the cutie mark."
  • So how exactly did the Kirin manage to put on a full musical play when all of them, save Autumn, were mute?
    • Maybe this happened before the vow of silence was implemented.

     8.24 Father Knows Beast 
  • Why would Smolder insist dragons wouldn't take advantage of others like Sludge did given she told the story about a dragon doing that in "The Hearth's Warming Club" and said dragons enjoyed that sort of thing?
    • Maybe family's a line they don't cross?
    • She said dragons enjoyed stories of "weak, kind creatures getting defeated," she never said how they felt about taking advantage of others.
    • There's a difference between defeating someone (even in a sneak attack) and claiming their things, versus lazing about while lying to someone to get them to give you stuff. One is an honorable show of dominance, the other is basically an admission that you're too weak to fend for yourself. Makes perfect sense in dragon culture.

     8.25 & 8.26 School Raze 
  • Now that Cozy Glow's Evil Plan is revealed, her actions leading up to it don't seem to make sense.
  1. "Marks for Effort": Why would Cozy risk being expelled to get the CMC exonerated of her actions? It's not like they had any further role in her schemes.
    • I'm fairly certain she was trying to fake a friendship lesson, in order to gain Twilight and Starlight's trust.
  2. "Friendship University": It's implied Cozy was the one who leaked the schools lesson plan. Why? Wouldn't enabling a rival friendship school be detrimental to her goal of controlling friendship?
    • It is implied Cozy was the one who released them, but that could likely have been a Red Herring, just like it was implied she was working with Chancellor Neighsay, even though she was working with Tirek. Since she didn't state she did it, we have no reason to believe she actually did.
      • Then how would it get leaked? She's the only character with the deviousness and opportunity to do so. Even if it's a Red Herring, it should still should be explained through.
    • Cozy has been called a Chessmaster before. Perhaps she was planning to have another school established, only to take it over later, because a second school would mean more "friends".
    • Maybe she wanted to temporary remove Twilight from school so she can do research without having Twilight over her head?
    • It's also possible that Cozy anticipated that Flim and Flam would make their school into one big con, leading to it eventually being exposed and shut down. This would lead to all of their students transferring to Twilight's school, thereby giving Cozy more "friends" to manipulate.
  3. "What Lies Beneath": Why was Cozy interested in the Tree of Harmony? It wound up being a Spanner in the Works so it's not like she incorporated it (or how to deal with it) into her plan.
    • I always interpreted it as part of getting her spell to activate properly required placing the magic circle and artifacts in a location centered around the greatest source of magic in Equestria (i.e. the Tree). Once she learned of the roots growing underneath the school, it became a much more convenient location to trigger the spell (it's right under where she lives, and minimizes anyone stumbling upon it like they would if she did it in front of the Tree itself).
    • It's likely she planned to get the Elements for herself, them being basically the 'weapons' of Friendship.
    • Maybe she wasn't so interested in the tree as the previously-unknown area underneath the school, which struck her as a convenient place to trap anyone who got in her way.
    • Assuming she wanted to be sent to Tartarus, maybe she was counting on it to foil her plan at the last second?
    • The Tree/Elements of Harmony were going do be destroyed this episode before they moved that to the Season 9 opener. Maybe that was was a leftover from that planned arc.
  4. "School Raze": Why would she try to put the blame on Tirek, essentially sending the Mane Six after him, risking that he would tell them everything like he did?
    • That's pretty explicitly stated to be because she wanted the Mane Six to be trapped in Tartarus forever (once all magic was gone there would be no way to open the door). It wouldn't matter that they found out the truth if they couldn't tell anyone. Hence she gave them a key to make sure they could get in but not get out.
  • How were Cozy Glow and Tirek able write each other? Does Tartarus get mail? And if so, how would they get it without arousing suspicion?
  • The Student 6 are surprised when Cozy Glow is revealed as a devious, semi-psychopathic mastermind. She was rather overtly racist/specist in "What Lies Beneath" towards all of them (Sandbar included, looking down on him because he was friends with non-ponies), why does this come off as surprising?
    • That wasn't extremely evil, could've been done by anypony, and she apologized. Sure, it wasn't sincere, but they believed it and left it at that.
    • There's a huge difference between being specist and being a powerhungry manipulator.
  • After they save the day, the Young Six expect to graduate for it, but Twilight Sparkle says that there's more to learn about friendship than that. But did't she graduate Starlight Glimmer for that in "Celestial Advice"?
    • To be fair, Starlight didn't just defeat the villain, she also befriended an entire race.
  • Why was everyone OK with imprisoning Cozy Glow in Tartarus? Did contacting her parents, whomever was in charge of her or sending her to juvenile detention not cross anyone's mind because that seems a little harsh considering she's just a kid and they've shown more lenience towards Starlight and Discord even though they've done just as bad if not worse things then Cozy. The latter of two has also been given a second, third and fourth chance and still messes with everyone with his latest act being terrorizing children because of petty jealousy?
    • Given how easily the Royal Guard teleports into Tartarus to drop her off, it's possible that throwing her in there is a stop-gap measure until they can figure out a more appropriate way to deal with her.
    • Discord and Starlight are trying to learn about friendship for the better, even if they're not yet perfect. Cozy learned all about friendship and ultimately used it for her own ends. Already the usual redemption method is useless.
      • More to the point, while Discord can and does still cause trouble with sometimes-dangerous schemes, he can actually be reasoned with (in fact, that's usually the only way to get him to stop). Twilight tried to explain to Cozy the real reason you make friends, but she wouldn't listen.
  • If they thought Cozy Glow deserved imprisonment, why did they let Chrysalis, who was just as unrepentant and more dangerous given they have powers, flee when they had the chance to arrest her?
    • Watching the episode again, Chrysalis was offered the chance at redemption and kind of fled very quickly. Maybe in that case everyone's magic was a bit rusty from being imprisoned, and they needed to get their strength back. So all they could do was make preparations to defend Equestria in case she attacked again. They just got lucky that they were able to surround Cozy and stop her from escaping.
    • There is also Celestia's line about leaving the Changeling Kingdom to the changelings, lending to the theory that Celestia at least would have considered it a better diplomatic move to let the changelings decide what to do regarding Chrysalis, rather than having the ponies imprison someone many of the changelings were loyal to only a few minutes ago. Still leaves the question of the others all knowing and readily agreeing to this plan, especially Discord (who could certainly have stopped her escape if he wanted to).
  • How does Rainbow Dash avoid getting her flight magic drained? It may not have been affected as quickly (Tirek's Mana Drain was only able to effect non-unicorns after regaining sufficient strength), but by the end the Princesses and Royal Guard are unable to fly until restore, but Rainbow was still flying when that happened.
    • Maybe Tartarus was insulated from the effects, as it's inhabitants still held on to some magic until they willfully gave it up.
    • Didn't Starswirl's letter just say that unicorn magic would drain? Maybe Cozy's spell was only able to drain that magic and didn't affect pegasi or earth ponies.
    • Or maybe they still had some flight but it wasn't as powerful - since other beings like changelings, griffins and hippogriffs were able to fly just fine.
      • Ditto this; Maybe pegasi were left with just enough power to carry themselves, but themselves plus heavy armor and weapons was out of the question. Note that Cozy Glow and Rainbow Dash were unburdened. The Princesses, even if not weighed down by their regalia, wouldn't want to fly ahead of their armed guard to face a criminal they'd likely be powerless against on their own by that point.
  • Giving that fully losing their magic caused the magical creatures to split into non-magical ones (Cerberus becomes three normal dogs, the Mix-and-Match Critters become their component critters), why didn't Tirek's cause pegasi to split into ponies and birds, and Discord into a small zoo? I'd say sapience but one of the split creature was a chimera, which "Somepony to Watch Over Me" showed were intelligent enough to speak.
    • Pegasi we know are born that way, but we have no idea how the other creatures came about. Maybe they only exist because of magic. This is supported in that Tirek doesn't split into a monkey and horse, he was born a centaur.
    • Bon-Bon/Sweetie Drops does say that the Bugbear was created using experiments, so magic was definitely responsible there.
  • Judging by the colors of the Young Six when saved by the Tree of Harmony, Yona bears Honesty, Sandbar is Kindness, Smolder is Loyalty, Silverstream is Laughter, Ocellus is Generosity, and Gallus Magic/Friendship. How do they fit? "What Lies Beneath" suggests Sandbar is Loyalty (refusing to abandon his friends), Smolder Honesty (admitting to liking embarrassing things) and Yona Kindness (befriending the spiders), the others not clearly correlating with anything. What give.
    • Given the Princesses wielded multiple Elements, maybe nothing prevents worthy Element bearers from being limited to one Element. (The Mane Six didn't do well when swapped in "Magical Mystery Cure" because they were unique with personalities that didn't fit what they swapped with.)
    • Silverstream is the best match for Pinkie Pie (Laughter, and her test is similar to "Giggle at the Ghostly"). Smolder is similar to Rainbow Dash (Loyalty), as she was willing to admit to her secret liking for "cute silly stuff" in order to help her friends.
    • Gallus is similar to Twilight and Star Swirl, the somewhat grumpy leader who has trouble making friends, but ends up truly valuing them in the end. Yona is straightforward, blunt and proud, like Applejack and Rockhoof.
    • Ocellus represents Generosity as the most studious of them and has given what she learned to others, including bringing the changelings Hearth's Warming. Sandbar represents Kindness as the generic Nice Guy and Team Dad.
    • You can be the bearer of more than one element, Celestia and Luna both wielded three each, and the kids are still young so trying to guess which elements they'd embody is a bit pointless at the moment.
  • I get that Cozy Glow was clever and manipulative enough to convince the other students to turn against Neighsay and the the Student 6 (the former for shutting down Twilight's school initially, and the latter for being blamed for the loss of all magic in Equestria), but were the students really prepared to just let their guidance councelor, Starlight, to her fate, even with Cozy Glow's manipulation? From their perspective, she did nothing wrong.
    • The other students were displaying quite a herd mentality, basically relying on Cozy for guidance. Stll quite jarring to have them seemingly forget that Starlight was being sent through a portal as well.
      • They were probably too panicked or angry to think about that detail. Starlight being unable to verbally communicate meant she couldn't convince them otherwise.
    • They just witnessed what would happen if they tried, and with the portal opening up, they were out of time to try anything else. Even if they wanted to save Starlight, there was really nothing they could have done.
  • Doesn't it still seem odd that Neighsay would have such a complete turn around? He was completely right about the negligence and inexperience of the teachers, and he was Right for the Wrong Reasons about the school ultimately endangering ponykind. Not to mention Cozy Glow was in-league with Tirek, a non-pony: you'd think Neighsay would take that as a twisted form of validation that non-ponies were a threat to ponykind and were using The Power of Friendship against them.
    • He didn't know about Tirek, the teachers only failed at following the EEA rules, they were good at doing things Twilight's way, which he now admits is working, and even though the danger did come from the school, it didn't come the way he expected. Still no excuse for racism, but villains were forgiven for worse.
    • It was never in question that non-ponies could be threats, but Neighsay has now directly experienced how ponies can be just as big a danger, and that it was only thanks to bonds forged with other creatures that the magic in Equestria was saved. Note that what he specifically repents of is his belief that friendship should only be shared with ponies.
    • And the non-ponies helped him when they had no reason to after he had tied them up and nearly expelled them. They didn't know about his medallion, so they could have tried to come up with another way to contact the princesses. Despite all he had done to them, they helped him because the needs of Equestria mattered more.
  • So it occurs to me that as far as I can tell, the end goal of Cozy's plan had no chance of succeeding. Am I missing something? That is sure, she could have gotten rid of Equestrian magic, but that would not have granted her any kind of power or authority (she wasn't even going to use the magic she was siphoning, only send it to another dimension). Celestia and Luna would still have arrested her (there is no way the students would or could have opposed them and the soldiers even if they took Cozy's side), and the Mane Six would still have eventually gotten back and revealed the whole story (and even if they had remained trapped, the only legitimacy Cozy would have toward being headmare would be a forged letter). Cozy almost acts like the lack of other magic would somehow have given her magic, but never actually says this, instead acting like gathering a certain number of friends would automatically grant her power and authority. To the episode's credit the other characters never act like there is any chance of Cozy really attaining any great power, their concern is mainly the loss of magic. So does this mean Cozy's endgame was entirely a case of Insane Troll Logic or was there more to it? Did she think that new magic would form as a result of her having tons of friends, despite how she should have known that creating actual new magic is considered a rare and extraordinary event (one of the few times being when Twilight perfected Starswirl's spell), and that the magic would go to her?
    • She may be a chessmaster, but she's still a child. It's possible she was so obsessed with the idea of becoming the "Empress of Friendship" that she didn't stop to think about the broader implications of draining all the current magic in order to get others out of the way. Also, in this world friendship = magic so it's possible she thought that gaining a lot of "friends" would actually grant her some sort of new magic after all the current magic had been drained or that usurping Twilight would mean that she was better than her and would have the talent to create new magic like she did. Also also she was getting advice from Tirek so he may have manipulated her into using the risky magic-draining plan instead of a safer one so he could get revenge on his enemies.
  • Why lock Cozy in a cell right next to Tirek's. Did they really think it wouldn't backfire spectacularly?
    • Tirek spent over a thousand years stuck in Tartarus and only got out through random coincidence (Cerberus somehow getting the door open). Sure Cozy can scheme, but as far as anyone knows she has no way to escape, and Tirek certainly couldn't help her plan given he never figured out how to escape himself. No idea why they would put her right next to him, but to be fair they'd probably be within shouting distance of each other pretty much regardless of where they put her. Perhaps she was allowed one request, that being someone to talk to?
  • If all Unicorn magic was gone by the day one's sunset, how were the sun and moon still being raised and lowered?
    • Its implied that the magic Celestia and Luna use for this is deeper or more potent in some way than regular pony magic. That is even after all unicorn magic (including things like Celestia's telekinesis, as Spike has to hold Star Swirl's note for her, so apparently it counts as unicorn magic even when a unicorn isn't using it) is gone, Luna remarks that raising the moon has merely become "difficult." Presumably, like the magic that makes up the mystical creatures and artifacts, some of it remained in Luna and Celestia until the last sunset (at which point we briefly see that their manes have ceased moving, indicating their magic is gone). Another implication that the magic is different from normal is from an earlier episode where we learn how when unicorn mages used to raise and lower the sun and moon, it caused their magic to drain away, yet this doesn't happen for Celestia.
  • Screw being locked up in Tartaurus. How did Cozy Glow become evil at such a young age? Was she raised by a friendship is power cult? Is it just a facade or a Darla Dimple complex?
    • According to Word of God, she literally was just born evil. Or to be more precise, she was born without a sense of empathy, so it's impossible for her to understand what friendship really means on an emotional level. The most she can do is logically put the pieces together that in Equestria friendship = magic = power. Her Cutie Mark being a rook symbolizes that she's gifted at strategy and manipulation, a talent which combined with her sociopathy led her to eventually deciding that in order to obtain power, she simply had to make "friends" with more people than anyone else.
    • It's too early to tell (maybe it'll be expanded upon in Season 9), but her descent into evil could contributed to a number of factors, such as bad parenting, jealousy, or ambition. Much like how Thorax wanted genuine love and friendship when he first encountered it during the wedding battle, Cozy Glow probably saw how powerful friendship could be, and sought to gain and use it for her own ends. Maybe she had parents that didn't discipline her when necessary, and she became spoiled and evil.
  • Why are there so many monsters locked within Tartarus? Yes, they have antagonized the ponies on multiple occasions, but they don't appear to be world-ending threats like Tirek, and most of them seem to fulfill the same role as predators trying to hunt and survive. The obvious explanation was that the crew most likely didn't have the time and/or budget to cook up decent demons, but in-universe, it certainly paints the Princesses as being all too willing to do whatever it takes to make a fully pony-friendly world.
    • Possible answer that's a bit WMG: We know from "Slice of Life" that the Bugbear, at the very least, was created using magical experiments, and when its inherent magic is taken by Twilight, it splits into its component animals. Contrast with Tirek who remains a centaur. It's possible that every other creature that was split by Twilight's stunt is likewise artificial, and therefore there is no safe habitat to release them in where they wouldn't wreck havoc on either Ponies or the natural environment. There's really no place else to put them where they wouldn't cause problems.
    • They might just be criminal baddies that are far more villainous than the standards of their species.
  • Since the magic drain had yet to effect pegasus flight, why didn't they take a pegasus-driven chariot to Tartarus for expediencies sake (time was of the essence)?
    • Similar to my guess as to why Rainbow and Cozy could both still fly but the Royal Guards couldn't; perhaps the drain to pegasi had already happened but left pegasi with enough flight to carry themselves and only themselves. The Royal Guard was too weighed down by their armor and weapons and no pegasus was left with the strength to carry both themselves and a chariot, even if multiple pegasi pitched in.
  • So since Cozy Glow was imprisoned in Tartaurus without being killed first, does this mean that it's not the mlp version of Hell? If it's just a normal prison, then how did Tirek live for a thousand and some years in there? He was not an Alicorn, chaos spirit, or dark force but a Centaur. And he wasn't in limbo either.
    • Its not Hell in the sense of death being involved, but it doesn't seem to be a regular prison either. In season nine Chrysalis notes it would take incredible power to use magic to pull a prisoner out of Tartarus, implying there is something about it that separates it from the regular world and resists that type of teleportation. And when the Mane Six are in Tartarus, repeated mentions are made of how if they can't get out they will be there "forever/eternity". So perhaps it is a "living" form of eternal punishment, a prison that somehow (perhaps as a consequence of it not being part of the normal world) keeps those inside from aging (though like Tirek you can still weaken) and enables them to live without needing food or drink (hence why none seem to be provided). That said, aside from the door it still looks like a regular cave, so we don't really have any clear answers. Plus there is the whole pen pal thing...
    • Another possibility is that even drained of most of his magic Tirek is still a naturally long-lived being. He's the only centaur we've seen so we don't have any idea what a normal lifespan for them is, and even if they aren't long lived then Tirek could be an exception for one reason or another.
  • So... when Cozy Glow falsely indicts Neighsay and the Young Six, literally everyone else in the school immediately takes her at her word even though she's clearly a foal, yet in episodes centered around the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Adults Are Useless and Not Now, Kiddo are played straight more often than not and generally exacerbate any situation the three are already in. What gives?
    • Cozy has spent months winning people over and helping Twilight run the school, she's built up a reputation where holding great responsibilities within the school is plausible, especially with the suggestion that it's just until the others get back. It helps that everyone else in the school aren't much older than her anyway.
  • Season 9 Jossed the theory Cozy Glow allowed herself to be thrown into Tartarus for some plan. So why didn't someone as accomplished and manipulative as her attempt to fake remorse once confronted? Every villain in the series who showed remorse was Easily Forgiven (Starlight was just as accomplished at manipulation but the took her remorse at face) which she should be studied up on, so why wouldn't she try that?
    • Because drawing attention to such a flaw in something fundamental to the series as forgiveness would cause the whole series to fall apart?
    • Because she's just a kid, she's immature and lost control of her emotions and instead of thinking clearly got angry over being foiled and threw a temper tantrum. Also her scheme was very deliberately set up, with it clear she knew exactly what she was doing each step of the way, that's not exactly a situation where you suddenly realise you were wrong. For every other reformed villain there was some fundamental change to the status quo that instigated the realisation that they were wrong and deserved a second chance (Discord learned that friendship was what he wanted, Trixie realised her jealousy had caused her to do horrible things with the amulet, Starlight realised the consequences of her actions and that her whole philosophy was flawed, and the changelings found a new way to live that didn't require them to feed off the love of others).
    • Cozy allowed herself to be imprisoned for "some" reason. She wouldn't have calmly accepted her fate and given Tirek a Slasher Smile to him at the end if she didn't. Grogar just teleported them out of there before they could come up with a plan, not helped by Tirek's dislike of having Cozy as a cellmate.
      • This is nothing more than an assumption, one that all evidence since that episode points against. Cozy had no back up plan, that's why she had a break down when her draining magic plan was ruined. Tirek himself points out all she did when she got there was try to manipulate him, like she does with everyone she meets.

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