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

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    School Daze 
  • Celestia telling Twilight that she's sure she has what it takes to run a school, since she was her star student for years.
  • When Ember is first seen dropping Smolder off at the school, she calls Spike over upon seeing him. When he hugs her again, instead of complaining as before, she has a weak smile and gently pats his head before introducing him to Smolder.
  • Silverstream, finally being able to see the world outside of Seaquestria, excitedly flies around the room fascinated by everything she sees.
  • Before Twilight starts to enforce the rules too much the Mane 6 and their students were actually having fun and getting along with each other. One highlight includes Sandbar giving Gallus a quill to write with when his breaks.
  • All the students bonding and becoming quick friends once they decide to skip class and have some fun together.
    • This leads to all of them running away from their kingdoms because they don't want to stop seeing all their new friends.
    • And the one to hide them? Sandbar. The one pony of the new group of friends offered to have them hang out in the Castle of the Two Sisters so they could stay friends.
      • The fact that the Castle of the Two Sisters, once an abandoned monument to how the sisters' friendship broke, becomes the getaway for a group of friends' budding friendship.
    • When Twilight learns from the other leaders that how the students left because they didn't want to end their friendship (a friendship they had forged at Twilight's School before it was closed down), it reignites her faith in her cause. Sure it's not the right time or place to say so, but it may be what further convinces Twilight that she doesn't need to go "by the book" to make a good school.
  • When the school is first shut down, most of the leaders angrily take their subjects back. Throax makes it clear that he doesn't hold anything against the Mane 6, since Changelings are used to others being scared of them and he knows that's not how they feel.
  • Angel giving Twilight a genuine, sincere hug (at Fluttershy's behest) to cheer her up. Just like his counter-part did with Sci-Twi.
    • Oddly enough, even his being sad when hugging Twilight doesn't cheer her up shows that for all his tendency to be short-tempered and spoiled, he really does have feelings.
  • Starlight encouraging Twilight to not give up on the school just because the first attempt didn't work out, even comparing it to how she was when Twilight first met her.
  • Thorax showing a lot of maturity in his position as leader. While all the other leaders are threatening to go to war with Equestria and each other unless their students are found, Thorax doesn't blame anyone and wants to avoid a war.
    • Even when Ember momentarily forgets their friendship and accuses Thorax of kidnapping Smolder, he doesn't let pride cloud his judgment and reminds her (if feebly) that they're friends.
    • The fact that Ember, Rutherford, Grampa Gruff, and General Seaspray are that worried about their respective students is genuine Anger Born of Worry.
  • When faced with certain death, Yona decides that it's okay, so long as she's with her friends. Thankfully, the Mane 6 come to the rescue, allowing their friendship to literally live on.
  • Seeing the montage during the song at the end of the episode. These include Rarity giving Yona a new hairstyle so she won't keep tripping over it and Yona hugging her and classes being taught the way they previously were with everyone having fun and making friends.
  • When Neighsay said the students were "Dangerous and Unpredictable", the leaders are rightfully upset and look ready to pound him. This is especially telling of Ember (Who is still getting used to friendship), Thorax (Who is still rather unsure of himself), Rutherford (who is a bit of a arrogant blowhart) and Grampa Gruff (Who is a cranky old bird) got this upset over those kids getting insulted in their faces. If it wasn't for Celestia, a new sort of international incident coulda occurred from Overprotectiveness.
    • Looking deeper into the issue, this is more than just a bunch of leaders who got fed up with Neighsay's bigotry. It was because, contrary to the chancellor's claims that the creature students are "dangerous", they're just children. And the leaders recognize they didn't mean any harm.
  • Once all the students are found, their leaders all agree to let them stay at the school and keep learning about friendship. Thorax even tells Ocellus he knows she'll make the Changelings proud while giving her an Affectionate Gesture to the Head.
    • Grampa Gruff is initially reluctant to let Gallus attend school. Gallus then gives him the Puppy-Dog Eyes, and he rescinds his statement. Turns out even a grumpy, old griffon like him has a soft spot deep down.
      • Fridge Heartwarming: Griffons pride themselves on, well, their pride. Gallus sacrificed that pride by begging Grandpa Gruff to let him stay with his friends.
  • It's only a very small moment, and not explicitly stated, but when Applejack is teaching, she has a vase of flowers on her desk. The flowers in that vase? Pear blossoms. Applejack is getting in touch with the pear side of her family and learning more about her mother.
  • There are busts of the Pillars in the school, which makes sense; the Pillars are important figures and allies of the Mane Six after the Pony of Shadows incident. Even if they might have trouble adjusting to the new world, their legacy is strong enough to help them get through it.
  • The subtle character development of Rainbow Dash, who has finally decided to own the "egghead" moniker she teased Twilight with for so long; dubbing herself "Professor Egghead" to her students.
  • The song "Friendship Always Wins". The Mane Six, Spike, Starlight and the students singing about how the School of Friendship is a place where everycreature is welcome to learn about friendship, and that the students will one day share what they've learned all across lands beyond Equestria.
    This school of friendship is for all of us
    A place where we belong
    Where we all learn to share and trust
    The only rule here is to find your way
    And friendship always wins at the end of the day!

    The Maud Couple 
  • The new opening intro.
    • It introduces so many characters the first two intros did not. We see Ember and Thorax flying together as friends, Big Mac having a picnic with Sugar Belle, Vinyl Scratch trotting and listening to her headphones, and much more.
    • Rainbow Dash is shown as a Wonder Bolt, being saluted by Spitfire, Soarin' and Fleetfoot, highlighting how she's living out her life's dream which she's trained for since the very beginning of the series.
    • Sassy Saddles makes a cameo in the intro, showing how she's become an integral business partner to Rarity, as opposed to the overbearing boss she was in "Canterlot Boutique".
    • The photo shot towards the end of the intro now shows Twilight and her friends with their new students, every single one note  from "School Daze"!
    • Starlight is sitting right beside Twilight, showing how close the former teacher and student are.
    • And the ponies reading the letter? The entire royal family, which now includes the Alicorn sisters, Princess Cadence, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart.
    • Fridge Heartwarming: this helps us realize that all of the mane ponies has achieved their lifetime goals (Rainbow Dash is a Wonderbolt, Rarity's business is expanding, Fluttershy has a safe place for her animal friends and Twilight became a respected scholar). Meanwhile, Pinkie Pie and Applejack are shown teaching at the school. Then you realize those two never had a big goal to pursue; they are already satisfied with their lives as they are.
      • The cutie mark crusaders' appearance also counts as this, continuing to show that like their Mane 3 sisters, they too have accomplished their goal since season 1: earning a cutie mark and finding their purpose.
  • When Pinkie discovers that the annoying stallion she just met is the boyfriend Maud had been talking about — although a little put out — she does her best to be friendly. She even respects his dislike of 'stick abuse' and puts the pinata away.
  • While discussing how they met, Maud and Mudbriar look at each other and smile for about fifteen seconds — Maud hasn't even smiled that long for Pinkie before. Even her tone of voice, which otherwise is her default deadpan, just sounds so happy while they have a friendly bicker over whether it was a rock show or a stick show.
  • Maud fussing over how Boulder and Twiggy are playing together. Even in her monotone voice, you can't deny there's an affectionate inflection in her tone.
  • The abrasive Limestone, of all ponies, helps Pinkie better understand why Maud may like Mudbriar using a gorgeous geode as a beautiful metaphor for how people can appreciate traits in their loved ones that other people can't see.
    Limestone: You see Mudbriar as a rock, but Maud sees him as a gem. Even if you never see past his dullness, you can see how happy he makes Maud. And to a sister, that's all that matters.
  • After Pinkie runs off in tears declaring that she'll never like Mudbriar, he calls after her, "See you later," after making clear earlier he only says this when he expects to see the person again soon.
  • When Pinkie and Mudbriar meet again, they quickly make peace and become friends. While Pinkie still finds his manners and the use of the word "technically" irritating, she attempts to rein it in for the sake of getting along. And despite Pinkie's hostile attitude throughout the episode, Mudbriar gladly embraces and accepts her "olive branch" — even though it's technically a quercus. Because he loves a good quercus. note 
  • Pinkie Pie listening to Mudbriar's suggestion for what Maud would really like for her birthday: a surprise party she herself doesn't have to attend. And the topper? She's not watching it from afar all by herself: she's watching it with her two favorite ponies (her sister and her boyfriend).
  • Despite Maud's claim that she and Mudbriar are technically "in like" at the moment, the two clearly adore each other.
    • Mudbriar's "mind palace" has an entire room dedicated to information about Maud.
    • They both have nothing but good things to say about each other, with Mudbriar calling Maud "very caring" and Maud telling Pinkie that everything about Mudbriar makes her happy.
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    Fake It 'Til You Make It 
  • The raccoon family not holding anything against Fluttershy for insulting them and running to Ponyville to tell her friends she needs help instead of abandoning her.
  • As soon as Rarity learns what has happened to Fluttershy and how she called her raccoon friends rodents she immediately forgets the fashion show and rushes back to the store.
  • Despite being overall mean to her customers, the animals and her friends, Harsh!Fluttershy still holds Rarity in the highest regards as her boss and gives her a kiss to acknowledge her as her "equal", as she puts it.

    Grannies Gone Wild 
  • At the beginning of the episode, Rainbow has a casual conversation with several of the Wonderbolts, showing she has been with them long enough to really make friends with them. Also, the way Soarin casually leaves a foreleg around her during this shows how close the two of them are.
  • Granny Smith and her friends using their VIP passes to get Rainbow Dash on the roller coaster she's been wanting to ride all day.
  • The eldery ponies making Rainbow Dash a member of their club.
  • After the elder ponies confront Rainbow Dash for being such a spoilsport, Apple Rose simply asks her "is something wrong, dear?" Then, when Rainbow explains, they immediately understand and forgive her.
    • What's more, Rainbow Dash doesn't blame the elder ponies for her (almost) missing out on the "Wild Blue Yonder": she recognizes that although the roller coaster is her sole purpose for going to Las Pegasus, taking care of the grannies are her responsibility. If she promised to take care of Granny Smith and the Elder ponies, then by Celestia, she won't abandon them. That's the Element of Loyalty for you.

    Surf and/or Turf 
  • Everyone in Mount Aris and Seaquestria loves Princess Twilight and are overjoyed to see her, inviting her to do all kinds of activities with them. It’s good to see nobody holds a grudge against her for trying to steal their Pearl during the events of the movie.
  • Based on how proud the hippogriffs and seaponies are of their races and how Terramar feels he needs to pick where to live, we are led to believe the two species have a grudge of some kind against each other for picking one place over another. They don’t have any grudges at all. Both species still love each other and have family in both locations and are willing to have a big picnic together where they all partake in each other’s activities and even briefly change into the other species to swim or walk together.
    • Special mention goes to Terramar's parents. From the sound of it, one would believe they separated on bitter terms or something of similar nature. But if their interaction is any indication, they're relationship is just as loving as ever before, even though they live in separate parts of the Hippogriff Kingdom. Contrary to what Terramar believes, distance hasn't diminished them as a family.
    • Magnified at the end: Terramar has apparently been going back and forth for a while now, and neither of his parents have a problem with him continuing to do so if that's what makes him happy. Neither begrudges him for not choosing one side.
  • Terramar’s mom and dad telling him they never meant to put pressure on him and he doesn’t need to choose where to live. He is free to go back and forth between Mount Aris and Seaquestria and have the best of both worlds.
    • Terramar's parents - Sky Beak and Ocean Flow - are both shown to be Good Parents as well, shown to be loving, understanding, and caring even before his problem is known.
  • Scootaloo's utter unbridled glee at getting to feel like she's flying while swimming in Seaquestria is a joy to see.
  • Seeing Twilight being a perfect mentor to the girls, offering good general guidance, but letting them deal with the problem their own way. Then, when they get into trouble she immediately drops everything to help them get things back on track.
  • After coming up with an idea of how to solve Terramar's friendship problem, Scootaloo hugs both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, who doesn't shrink away from the hug. This is a good indication that Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo have made up for their earlier argument over which place in the Hippogriff Kingdom is 'better' to live in.
  • Minor moment, all the ponies on the train who smile as they listen to Apple Bloom tell the story of the Storm King's defeat.

    Horse Play 
  • There is something endearing of seeing Princess Celestia prancing around like a school filly with excitement. Shows she's Not So Above It All.
    • At the same time, she also shows humility throughout the episode, neither putting on airs about her talent nor letting the fame get to her head. She's even humble enough to be receptive to Twilight's suggestion for acting lessons.
  • Celestia reminiscing about the plays her friends used to put on when she was a filly. Even after over a thousand years, she still fondly holds onto those old childhood memories.
  • The reason Twilight wanted Celestia to take part in the play was because she wanted to finally give something back after all the years of guidance and advice Celestia has given her.
  • For the first time in the series, Twilight refers to Celestia as her friend, rather than simply her teacher or mentor. This shows just how much their relationship has grown since the series began.
  • After the last of the fireworks goes off, Starlight can be seen comforting a terrified Fluttershy.
  • Celestia and Twilight making up after Celestia overhears Twilight call her the worst actress in Equestria, with Twilight saying she didn’t tell her sooner because she wanted to try to do something good for her.

    The Parent Map 
  • In the end, Firelight comes to the realization that a father-daughter relationship is some form of friendship. He realizes he wants him and his daughter to have that friendship very much.
  • Firelight and Stellar Flare's respective reasons for smothering their respective children:
    • Firelight treats Starlight like a little filly because, after her reformation, he wanted her to always have a safe, familiar place whenever she came home.
      • If Firelight even had an inkling of what Starlight did during her time as a crazed cult leader, he likely had forgiven her immediately upon finding out about the reformation. As much as he coddles her, Firelight really loves his daughter if he's quicker than almost anyone except the Princess of Friendship to forgive her like that.
    • Stellar Flare makes plans for Sunburst so her son won't ever have to feel lost again after he previously failed out of magic school.
  • Sunburst's apology to Stellar Flare. It starts out with him saying he's not going to apologize for saying he didn't need her help (because they did figure out the friendship problem without her help. When she points out that's a terrible apology, Sunburst genuinely follows it up by offering that if she comes with him, he'll give her a better apology.
  • When the relationships are mended, the rest of the towns ponies all just watch with smiles, with the Baker just crying his eyes out because of how 'beautiful' it was.
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    Non-Compete Clause 
  • Fluttershy has been voted "Teacher of the Month" nine times in a row. As Twilight points out, the students must really like her classes.
  • When Yona is nervous over canoeing, her friends all support her; Ocellus teaches her a coping technique (whistling), the others help her into the canoe, and Gallus (the most outwardly abrasive member of the group) tells her "We've got you, Yona" in the kindest way possible.
  • When Rainbow callously tosses oars to the Student 6, everyone catches their oars with ease except Ocellus who fumbles and then cringes only to perk up with a happy smile when Smolder, who caught both her oar and Ocellus', kindly hands it to her without any judging or comments.
  • Despite that their teachers have done nothing but argue (and agree passive aggressively), the New 6 still find it in their hearts to work together and save Applejack and Rainbow Dash. They may not be as likable as Fluttershy, but they still see good in all their teachers.
    • What's more, it's likely they see a bit of themselves in the two ponies. It wasn't so long ago that the New 6 went and did something dangerous (like hide out in the Everfree Forest), and the Mane 6 saved them. Now that Applejack and Rainbow Dash did something just as stupid (get themselves trapped whilst competing), it's their turn to help.
  • As they are trapped at the bottom, Applejack and Rainbow Dash for once agree that their competitive "team work" may have gotten them in trouble, and decide to work as a team for once.
  • At the end of the episode, the students nominate Applejack and Rainbow Dash for the next "Teacher of the Month" award, as their competitiveness really did teach them about teamwork.

    The Break Up Breakdown 
  • Discord saying that the pie Big Mac baked smells "palatable". In the past, he would have mocked the effort, or made a veiled insult. But here, he's at least trying to say something good about it.
  • Throughout the episode, Spike talks about how beautiful and important love is. The little guy's a true romantic.
  • Although it's a sad montage of Big Mac after he breaks up with Sugar Belle, we see a few couples so happy together.
    • Lyra and Bon Bon exchanging gifts.
    • Cranky and Matilda sharing spaghetti together.
    • Maud and Mudbriar are still together! And their pets are all dressed up for Hearts and Hooves day!
  • Discord's entire character arc throughout the episode.
    • After he tempts Big Mac to break up with Sugar Belle, and Big Mac later yells at Sweetie Belle out of misplaced anger, Discord looks around and has a look of subtle sadness at seeing his advice has unwittingly caused unhappiness. This shows a great deal of how much he's learning to be more aware of consequences to his actions.
      • He also looks just as horrified as everyone else when Big Mac yells at Sweetie Belle.
      • Later, he makes things right by using his magic to break Sugar Belle's cart so Big Mac can catch up to her and reconcile with her.
    • In a way, Discord deliberately lost the bet with Spike about proving whether or not love exists.
      • When Spike sadly suggests that he may have been right about love not being real, Discord doesn't start gloating or rubbing it in Spike's face. Instead, after seeing how bad Big Mac feels, he decides to take it upon himself to help save Big Mac and Sugar Belle's relationship.
    • Generally, he goes from being cynical about love existing to having a (slightly better) understanding that everybody needs love.
  • Sweetie Belle, after learning the pie wasn't for her, realizes that although she doesn't have a secret admirer, she already has two good friends.
  • Earlier, Sweetie Belle forgives Big Mac for yelling at her.
    • Big Mac coming to his senses that yelling at Sweetie Belle was wrong, especially when she did nothing wrong.
  • Sugar Belle forgives Big Mac for breaking up with her once he explains why he acted the way he did.
    • Then, she reveals that she was never going to break up with him, but rather she meant to announce that she's moving to Ponyville to be Mrs. Cake's apprentice.
    • Since Sugar Belle doesn't know about the surprise, it gives Big Mac a wonderful opportunity to surprise her.
    • Before that, Big Mac's Anguished Declaration of Love, when he still thinks she wanted to break up with him, saying that, though it hurts him, he respects her wishes and will always love her.

    Molt Down 
  • Peewee returns after being absent for several seasons. Not only is he all grown up now, he remembers Spike and gives his old owner a hug after seeing him.
    • Peewee also foreshadows the lesson of the episode. He was flying toward another nest not far away from where his parents were, showing that even if he is grown up he is still living close to his family.
  • Fridge Heartwarming: Despite Spike harassing them the last time they met, and leading to the (temporary) loss of their child, Peewee's parents don't show any hostility towards Spike.
  • Smolder checking on Spike after realizing he is going through "the molt" and explaining it to him, even if her explanation doesn't really help calm him down.
  • After Spike grows wings and explains how this means he needs to leave home, Twilight refuses and tells him that even if he's growing up he's staying home with his family.
    • In fact, a foreshadowing of how much the ponies care about Spike is when Zecora helpfully agrees to help cook up some remedies for Spike to help him through his molt.
    • Also, during a dramatic scene with the Roc, Rarity isn't the least bit disgusted when she sees Spike all covered in break-outs, contrary to what Spike feared. And although she admittedly doesn't find the scent pleasant, neither she nor Twilight are too repelled by his molt smell either.
  • In a meta sense, after the mixed opinions and controversy after Twilight got her wings, it's nice to see the generally positive reception of Spike getting his.

    Marks for Effort 
  • The lesson Pinkie Pie is teaching at the beginning. She gives her students cupcakes with the intention being for them to exchange said cupcakes along with compliments with each other.
  • Even considering her true nature, Cozy Glow's scenes with the Crusaders are still nice to watch. They have a lot of fun spending time together, and Cozy helps a lot of ponies with their assistance. A particular moment is when she goes all-out to save Pipsqueak's kite, even flying headfirst into a bush to bring it back safely.
    • Cozy Glow celebrating with the Crusaders when she gets an A on her homework. They're really happy for her, and tell her that they've been having so much fun helping her, that they don't feel as bad about not getting into the school. Say what you will about her, but she did help them out of their depression.
  • When Cozy Glow goes to see Starlight in her office, Starlight offers her a pillow, a blanket and hot cocoa. Starlight clearly takes her job as guidance counselor seriously and goes the extra mile to make sure any troubled students can feel comfortable and safe.
  • While it didn't work out as planned, Cozy Glow deliberately bombed the test in hopes that it would get the CMC into the school. After so much time and effort studying, she was willing to throw it all away just for her new friends.
  • The CMC receiving diplomas in Friendship, as a gesture of apology from Twilight.

    The Mean 6 
  • The mane ponies forgiving each other in the end. Keep in mind they never find out what happened, they all think their friends got mad and acted mean out of nowhere, and yet they still trust each other completely.
    • When everypony is yelling at each other, Twilight suddenly shouts for them to be quiet then says she doesn't care who's right or wrong, or whether they appreciate her work: she just wants them all to stop fighting.
    • What she says at the beginning of her speech really solidifies what friendship truly is: accepting every facet of being a friend, the rough as well as the smooth.
    Twilight: Listen we know each other really well; the great stuff, and how to get on each other's nerves too.
    • Before that, Rainbow Dash trying to calm everyone down by reminding them that they're all friends.
    • When Fluttershy timidly asks if everypony likes her again, her friends respond by tackling her with one big Group Hug, leading to them all lying on the ground, laughing happily.
  • When Pinkie Pie finds Fluttershy crying to herself, she drops her funny demeanor and genuinely comforts her friend.
    • When Mean Twilight says they have to keep going, Pinkie Pie insists they have to make sure Fluttershy is okay.
    • Seeing Fluttershy upset after getting caught in an argument between Pinkie and the real Twilight may be tearjerking, but it's good to see her try to calm her friends down.
  • In the end, the real Pinkie Pie joyously claiming "This is the worst day ever!" can lift one's spirit. Because, even though their camping trip was indeed ruined, it doesn't matter so long as the Mane 7 have each other.
  • Though it did so in a creepy manner, the Tree of Harmony protecting the Elements by destroying the Mean Six. The Elements know who their true masters are and won't take orders from anypony else.
  • When you think about it, Starlight being included in the "friendship retreat". The camp site is right by the Tree of Harmony, and the Elements that first brought the Mane Six together. And they're all perfectly fine with Starlight being a part of things, showing that, while she may not have been there from the beginning, they fully consider her one of the True Companions.
    • What's more, it's one more milestone that shows just how much the Mane 6 have come to trust Starlight as a good pony. Back in "The Cutie Map", fans and the Mane 6 alike wouldn't have trusted her to so much as hold a glass of water. But that the old Starlight's in the past, and the Mane 6 are wholeheartedly bringing Starlight along.
    • In a sense, she's going to "meet" the Tree of Harmony, Equestria's source of Harmony, Magic and Friendship.
  • While Applejack's attempts to assist Starlight with her first campout hindered more than helped, it was still nice of her to try and help Starlight to enjoy the great outdoors (to the point of giving her "the full Apple family camping experience").
  • After Mean Applejack's comments drive Starlight away, Rarity tells Mean Applejack that she's going to make sure Starlight doesn't hurt herself in the forest, then she's going to have a "serious talk" with Mean Applejack about her cruel remarks.
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    A Matter of Principals 
  • Starlight is Twilight's first choice as her substitute and she is determined to not let her friend down.
  • When Yona can't keep running from the Bugbear and falls over, her friends quickly turn around and run to help her up. Luckily they are all saved when Starlight blasts the Bugbear.
  • Although it is played for laughs, Yona says how glad she is to have the Mane Six back and hugs Applejack. The students are probably relieved to not have to deal with Discord anymore, but they seem to appreciate their professors a little more now too.
  • Starlight and Discord making amends at the end of the episode, especially since it's because Starlight realizes that Discord's been acting like such a jerk to her because he did value their friendship and felt hurt and betrayed that she didn't want him to help out at the school.
  • When Silverstream realizes Gallus actually paid attention in class, there is a distinct note of pride for her friend in her voice.
  • When Smolder and Ocellus bump fists/hooves together in joy, Ocellus falls down and Smolder immediately helps her up. Starlight's "aww" just afterwards makes it all the more adorable.

    The Hearth's Warming Club 
  • Seeing the reformed Changelings celebrate Hearth's Warming Eve, albeit in a very literal way.
    • In addition, the audience gets to see what younger reformed Changeling looks like.
  • When Yona discusses her holiday and the first time her hair was braided. It's obvious this is a big deal for her, and a big milestone for yaks. Notably, this is the only Yak tradition that doesn't comically involve smashing, making it all the more heartwarming.
  • One of Queen Novo's duties around the Hippogriff/Sea Pony holidays is to hand out presents to her subjects. It seems she gets the honor of experiencing the old saying "Giving is better than getting".
  • When all the students volunteered to stay at the school with Gallus.
    • In addition, the students are invited to join Twilight and the Mane 6 for a Hearthswarming Feast.
  • Yona offers to braid Gallus' feathers. He turns down the offer, but note that this is the first time we've heard Yona use someone's name other than her own.

    Friendship University 
  • Despite that his trust in Flim and Flam lead to him being used to scam other ponies out of all their money, Star Swirl's sense of friendship hasn't become embittered. He just has a wiser sense to be more careful who he trusts next time. Guess Twilight really rubbed off on the once abrasive wizard after all.
  • Star Swirl's Character Development in general. He really has taken what Twilight taught him about friendship to heart, and become a kinder, more humble fellow. A far cry from the Grumpy Old Man he was originally shown to be.
  • While Flim and Flam are bad guys, it's still heartwarming to see them in good terms with each other, given that the last time they almost stopped being friends.

    The End In Friend 
  • Rarity and Rainbow are bonding again when they search for the Amulet of Aurora. When they finally find it their friendship is restored.
    • The fact that their friends staged the theft in order to help them to reconcile.

    Yakity-Sax 
  • Her yovidaphone makes Pinkie really happy.
    • "You mean the thing I love more than anything else in Equestria? My sun, my moon, my stars, my everything?"
  • When Pinkie plays the yovidaphone at the end of the episode and regains her happiness and her color.
    • Before playing she warns the Yaks she is probably less than perfect, given how Yaks usually get mad and smash anything that is less than perfect. When Pinkie finishes playing they all cheer, despite Pinkie's terrible music. As one Yak explains, the yovidaphone is an instrument of happiness, so as long as Pinkie is happy playing it anything she plays is perfect.

    On the Road to Friendship 
  • Cadance and Flurry Heart coming to Ponyville to watch Trixie and Starlight's magic show.
  • After Trixie and Starlight's show, Twilight congratulates Trixie, and earnestly commends her friendship with Starlight. In return, Trixie doesn't take the opportunity to brag about or rub her friendship with Starlight in Twilight's face. It seems those two have well and truly buried the hatchet.
  • Starlight and Trixie's adorable "road trip" song!
  • Despite the stress of traveling together, Starlight and Trixie remain close friends and realize they just weren't prepared to go on a long road trip together.
    • When trying to prove their friendship to get Trixie's wagon back they remember Twilight and Cadance's sunshine chant and try to make up their own friendship chant, despite showing disinterest in such a thing earlier. Although the result is not so impressive and obviously made up, it is said that only true friends would embarrass themselves like that for each other.
  • Also counts as Funny, but when confronted about her very loud snoring, Starlight joked "Yeah, I do that. I had my Village convinced they were being attacked by bears every night!" That she could make a joke about her dark past without a hint of hurtful self-deprecation is quite an improvement to her characterization.

    The Washouts 
  • Lightning Dust founded the Washouts to give her and other ponies who failed to become Wonderbolts a second chance to live their dream.
  • Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust are starting to reconcile and warm up to each other again. They talk fondly about their time at the academy and even laugh together. For a short time it seems that they will manage to rekindle their friendship.
  • Despite that Scootaloo was no longer her fan, Rainbow Dash still came to her rescue and saved her from a potentially dangerous stunt. Scootaloo is in turn very grateful.
    • Fridge-Heartwarming: True to the episode's theme about being someone worth looking up to, the rescue is potentially what reminds Scootaloo of why she looked up to Rainbow Dash in the first place: because she's loyal.
  • When Lightning Dust is carried away by the rocket Rolling Thunder and Short Fuse immediately come to her rescue.
  • In the end, Rainbow Dash addresses that she never intended for poor Scootaloo to feel she has to be like Rainbow Dash (flying in the Wonderbolts) when she can't. How does Rainbow Dash make up for it? By starting a club that celebrates Scootaloo!
    • Rainbow's parents are seen attending the Scootaloo fan club meeting. Guess the lessons from Parental Glideance have stuck.

    A Rockhoof and a Hard Place 
  • Yona adores Rockhoof due to his yak-like qualities. When she hears that Rockhoof wants to be turned into a statue, she goes to convince him otherwise by reading him an essay she wrote in class about how she wants to be like Rockhoof when she grows up. Yona even goes to the trouble of getting herself a trowel to match Rockhoof's shovel.
  • During his brief time among the Hippogriff navy, Rockhoof finds common ground with General Seaspray, who sympathizes with Rockhoof's feelings that the world has moved on without him. Even when Rockhoof accidentally causes the ship to suffer damage, Seaspray doesn't get angry at him, simply telling him It Has Been an Honor.
  • Just the fact that Spike and Smolder have "fire-breathing contests" (and often, according to Twilight). While Smolder isn't the first dragon friend Spike made, her closer proximity means they can actually hang out together on a regular basis, and Spike can learn and enjoy some dragon activities with her.
  • The utter delight in Rockhoof's voice as he tells stories of his heroics.
    • Everyone in the school sitting around and happily listening to Rockhoof's story in the end, genuinely invested.
  • The following line says it all:
    Yona: Rockhoof Yona's friend. So Rockhoof belongs!

    What Lies Beneath 
  • Smolder and Gallus comforting Ocellus and Silverstream respectively about their fears. Silverstream even hugs Gallus once she frightened off the illusions of the Storm King, and Smolder invites Ocellus to a "secret" tea party.
    Gallus: [as Silverstream clings to him] Okay. Heh. Hug time later. W-We still have to get back to the library...
    • The look Gallus and Smolder share when they realize the others are still lost, before they sacrifice their own safety to keep searching.
    Gallus: [groans] Any other dragon or griffon would save themselves and get out of this crazy cave.
    Smolder: Guess we aren't just any dragon or griffon anymore.
  • Yona befriending all the spiders, and them helping the group in return.
  • Sandbar standing up to his lifelong idols to protect his friends.
  • The Young Six's Sleep Cute at the end of the episode.

    Sounds of Silence 
  • Even after the other Kirin nearly sent her new-found friends into the Stream of Silence, Autumn Blaze is forgiving enough to try and help her village regain their speech.
  • Despite that they only met a while ago, Autumn Blaze considers Applejack such a close friend that she saves her and Fluttershy from being dunked in the Stream of Silence.
  • Autumn Blaze is this when she's not being funny or nutty. She's a sweetheart with a deep, spiritual appreciation for beautiful views and conversation.
  • Applejack and Fluttershy may tend to argue, but they make up very quickly, proving arguments shouldn't get in the way of friendship.
    • Throughout the adventure, Fluttershy is her typical skittish self, clinging to Applejack and hiding behind her. Applejack doesn't get annoyed by it once.
    • When Applejack realizes Fluttershy isn't with her, she doesn't hesitate to go all the way back to find her.
    • Despite everything, they happily hoofbump when they get the 'Mission accomplished' sign at the end.
  • Rain Shine commending Autumn Blaze for helping her and the other Kirin realize the error of their ways and inviting her to return to the village.
    • She even says she and the village missed Autumn Blaze's "beautiful voice". This speaks volumes that, even though they seemingly did not care for her speaking, they really do care about her.

    Father Knows Beast 
  • Smolder states that dragon parents are usually the ones to teach their kids how to fly. This means that the offspring getting kicked out during the molt isn't a permanent thing, and the parents still care for them and welcome them back afterwards (at least long enough to teach them what they need to know).
  • Spike thanking Smolder with a pillow for giving him flying lessons.
    • Later, when she realizes Spike hasn't actually been learning about real dragon culture, Smolder sits him down to explain and volunteers to help him of her own volition.
    • Two episodes ago, we learned that Smoulder actually likes cute things. As much as she acts aloof about the pillow Spike gives her, it's not hard to imagine that she does appreciate it.
  • Even though it blows up in their faces, the Mane 6 are nothing if not benevolent. If there's a strange dragon who crash lands in Ponyville who insists he doesn't need help, do they turn him away? Nope, they help him recuperate and heal until he's back on his feet.
  • Granted it was just a ruse to get on Spike's good side, Sludge indulges Spike by doing everything the young dragon has ever wanted to do with his father.
  • The framed photo of Twilight and Starlight (Twilight hugging her close with a wing) practically oozes happiness. Its night and day from the bitter, lonely, unrepentant unicorn Starlight started out in the series as.
  • Spike admitting that Twilight is more like his real family than his "father".
    • Just the context of it: After 8 seasons of dancing around it, Spike finally acknowledges Twilight as his family! Not his boss, not just a friend, his family!
  • Not for the first time — and not the last one for sure — Smolder proves that there is a kind heart beneath her rough exterior. When she notices how battered Spike is, she is immediately concerned and wants to know what happened to him. And when she gets a hint that Sludge is manipulating his "son" and treating him like his personal slave, she decides to help Spike and expose his "father's" lies. It was established throughout the series that concern with well-being of others is not in dragons' nature, but apparently, Smolder is just better than that. On top of all it, after Sludge departs, Smolder comforts Spike, placing a hand on his shoulder in a supportive way.
  • Twilight's actions throughout the episode count as one big CMoH. From the beginning to the end, she is nothing but caring and supportive towards Spike — even after he literally breaks her heart with his insensitive remark about "real parent". When they meet again in the final scene, one would expect Twilight to be at least a tiny bit resentful towards him. But what does she do instead? Her main concern is still his well-being, not her own hurt feelings. When she learns that Sludge isn't Spike's father and had been lying to him all that time, she is genuinely sorry and comes closer to comfort him. Not only that, but she expresses her understanding if Spike still would like to find his biological parents.

    School Raze 
  • After Sandbar seemingly turns against his friends, both Yona and Silverstream hold onto hope that he didn't really mean anything he said. In fact, the latter is the one who suggests that Sandbar is a Fake Defector to figure out what going on, which turns out to be true when he sneaks himself and the CMC back into the dorms.
    Yona: (exclaims happily and glomps Sandbar) Yona knew Sandbar was still our friend!
  • Neighsay's change of heart at the end. Deep down, he is a good pony and had Equestria's best intentions at heart, he just had the wrong idea about non-ponies. Seeing him warmly accept Twilight as head-mare of the Friendship School and saying there's no better pony for the job is very sweet.
    • Earlier, after being freed from his chains by the students he considered 'dangerous creatures', he summons the last of his medallion's powers to open a portal to Canterlot. Just before he walks through he looks back briefly at the Young Six with a solemn look on his face that clearly says without words, "I'm sorry. Thank you." He almost looks like he wants to say it out loud, but can't risk the portal spell running out.
  • A small moment, but when first encountering the cockatrice, when the Mane 7 close their eyes, Twilight immediately shields Spike with one of her wings.
  • Another small one, but when Smolder gets extra homework by Cozy Glow, her friends immediately step in to help. Well, Gallus takes a little more convincing but it's still a sweet gesture.
  • When Twilight says she's sorry she wasn't able to teach Cozy that power isn't the reason for friendship the Young Six say that Twilight did teach them and that she shouldn't let one bad apple make her feel like a failure and that without Twilight's lessons they wouldn't have been able to stop Cozy.
  • What ultimately saves the Young Six from Cozy's bubble trap is when the Tree of Harmony fishes them out, and they begin to glow like the respective Elements of Harmony.
    • Just the fact that Gallus appears to be the Tree of Harmony's candidate for the Element of Magic/Friendship among the Young Six. Shows a lot of character growth on his part.
    • Fridge-Heartwarming: the Tree of Harmony saved the Young Six, not just because they displayed friendship, but because it considers the Young Six its friends.
  • When the Young Six are trapped in the magic-draining orb, one student notes that they sacrificed themselves to try and help Gallus (in keeping with Rainbow's loyalty classes), and suggests that they try to save them. When Cozy dismisses the suggestion (claiming they "brought it on themselves"), another student points out that this goes against their generosity and kindness lessons. The students may have been tricked by Cozy Glow into thinking the Young Six were the villains, but they had learned enough from their classes to at least want to save them.
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