Zach: In case you didn't like the tickets. All girls like ponies.
In reality, some girls like ponies. In TV Land, all girls (tomboy and girly girl alike) like ponies. Especially the Spoiled Brats. This especially applies to girls who are young enough to be in the Princess Phase.
Of course, the trope is parodied when it's a boy who likes ponies, and is an easy opportunity for creators to slip in My Little Phony jokes. Even a Cool Horse isn't immune to this, because both boys and girls want Cool Horses.
This trope is mostly confined to North America and Western Europe, and relatively recent times. Back before the automobile, and in many parts of the world down to the present day (especially the Middle East, home of the world's best horses), there's nothing particularly feminine about liking horses (although many European countries and the USA have now significantly more female practitioners and champions in Equestrian Sports than males). Nor even about liking ponies; Genghis Khan rode a pony.
Compare Pony Tale (a specific kind of book where the pony love is central to the plot), Girls Love Stuffed Animals, Pink Means Feminine, Men Like Dogs, Women Like Cats. The Distaff Counterpart to Boys Like Creepy Critters.
- One of those odious car commercials that came out in the US Christmas 2008 had a little girl berating her adult self for thinking a new car was a better present than the pony she got when she was seven, that made her scream so loud the neighbors came over, and made the girl next door sickly jealous.
- A Verizon commercial where three older girls are suggested to have each got what they actually wanted for Christmas, and one of them asked for a pony (the others? Cell phones). Turns out it wasn't such a great gift after all.
- A radio ad tells the tale of a father who couldn't afford a new car for his daughter's Sweet Sixteen — so he got her a pony to ride everywhere instead.
- I love horses, they're my friends!
- When Cracker Jack introduced a bigger size bag for their product, the advertising played up the size of the bag to mythic proportions: A guy bringing home a bag tied to the roof of his car can't fit it in his garage, a guy buying Cracker Jack at a baseball game gets crushed by a flying bag, etc. The prize inside also got scaled up; guess what a young girl gets inside her Cracker Jack bag? That's right:
"Mommy! Mommy! I got a pony!"
- An advertisement about spending money to earn reward points for NFL swag has a father going on a shopping spree for his daughter; at the end of the commercial, she is seen riding on a pony.
- The current wave of TV and virally-generated adverts for the Three mobile phone network, in which a shetland pony is animated to look as if it is dancing in various styles. A typical example. There are more... the craze has spawned eight or nine spin-offs and shows no signs of abating yet.
- This commercial for Ally bank, invoking You Didn't Ask.
- A commercial for Pedialyte has a man drinking a bottle of it late at night, when his daughter comes out and whines that it was hers. He offers to make it up to her by buying her a pony.
- Beauty in the dub of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
- Marcille from Delicious in Dungeon is usually appropriately wary around monsters but she gets very excited at the thought of riding a kelpie.
- Aki from Silver Spoon was practically raised on horseback, though the trope is played with since she doesn't like ponies so much as she likes massive draught horses.
- Louis C.K., no stranger to deconstructing "adorable animal" cliches, recounts a story of him showing his daughter a large gathering of Italian wild ponies. She was elated right up until one of them reached down and bit her on the leg. CK and his kid looked it up later and discovered that, in fact, "ponies are assholes; they bite all the time!"
- Calvin and Hobbes: Susie ends a list of wishful thinking about improvements/politeness from Calvin with "and as long as I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony."
- Footrot Flats: The Dog hopes that Pongo will grow into the pony stage soon, so she will leave him alone.
- Phoebe of Phoebe and Her Unicorn watches the Pastel Unicorns TV show and owns the toys, despite having a real talking unicorn for a best friend.
- Modesty Blaise: Street Urchin Samantha 'Sam' Brown falls in love with horses the first she encounters some on Modesty's farm, and has a natural affinity with them. Her love of horse becomes a major plot point in "Ivory Dancer".
- One Peanuts strip has Sally wishing on a star for a pony, then yelling "You stupid star!" when a pony fails to instantly appear.
- A line in Frozen Moonlight reads "Misao had the gleeful shock of a child who'd suddenly gotten everything they'd ever wanted for Christmas, plus a pony."
- In the Discworld fanfic The Ace of Swords by A.A. Pessimal, Zoo director Johanna Smith-Rhodes drops everything to capture the unicorn she covets for the zoo. In her overwhelming desire to get a unicorn, she forgets everything her Assassin training taught her, including making sure there's an escape route if it all goes pear-shaped. She is rescued, ingloriously, by the City Watch and her more level-headed colleague Miss Alice Band.
- In a Continuation Fic set quite a few years later, Johanna's daughter is learning to be a witch. Rebecka Smith-Rhodes assists at a very unique foaling. And discovers she has been adopted by a very rare Pegasus - a winged horse, who bond almost at birth to a witch of their choosing. Bekki is delighted and overjoyed. she considers the downside of this - riding/flying for the City Watch and in the service of Lord Vetinari - is the pineapple in this particular fruit basket.
- Oops! I'm Equine Again: Human!Fluttershy immediately starts gushing over Sunset's pony form.
- Not Completely, Altogether Here: It's mentioned that at age seven Glinda had wanted a pony for Lurlinemas. Her father instead drew her a picture of a pony.
- Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus has Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak Chloe Cerise having once gush over ponies in the Nightmares Car...specifically, they're horses but have macabre paint jobs and Chloe herself is a Nightmare Fetishist. She also was said to have gone on the haunted carousel a few times.
- Jessie's previous owner Emily in Toy Story 2. At least until she grows older...
- Cruel Intentions 2 uses a racy version of this trope where proper horse-riding technique is used as a metaphor for sex.
- In Serenity, Mal dresses as a woman to get into the temple where Inara is being held. His first words to her are:
Mal: Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony, and a plastic rocket—
- Discussed in George of the Jungle. The girls are all watching George frolicking with the horses, when one of the male guests at the party (who, of course, cannot see the King of the Jungle) comments "What is it with chicks and horses, huh?"
- From Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Veruca obtains her golden ticket, smiles and says: "Daddy, I want another pony."
- Lampshaded in Batman Returns:
The Penguin: Hey...why should I trust some cat-broad anyway? Maybe you're just some screwed-up sorority chick, who's getting back at her daddy for not buying her that pony when she turned sweet sixteen!
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story: There's a close equivalent where Peter finds out through Kate's home decorating that she's obsessed about unicorns.
- Prey for Rock & Roll: Jacki always wanted a pony as a little kid, even pretending her bike was a pony and naming it Lucky.
- In The Ultimate Gift, Jason was told by a dying girl that her wish is to ride a horse. He takes her horseback riding and comes to find out it is her mother who is the one who likes horses so the trope is still being used but this one girl might be one of the few in fiction to ever says that she doesn't like horses.
- In Taken, Bryan Mills wants to build a closer relationship with his teenage daughter Kim. She lives with her mother, Lenore, and her wealthy stepfather, Stuart. During Kim's 17th Birthday, he buys her an expensive karaoke machine because she wants to become a singer, only to be upstaged by Stuart, who surprises her with a horse which makes her so happy she forgets all about the karaoke machine.
- Jeepers Creepers 3: Addy is a teenaged girl who is introduced while riding her horse and showing sadness upon learning that her grandmother has to sell that horse.
- Discussed in Lost in Translation (2003). Charlotte mentions all girls go through a horse phase and a photography phase.
- In Logan, Laura demonstrates a fascination with horses. At one point she can be seen clutching a toy horse while she sleeps, and later in the film is drawn to the Munson family's herd. She also has a unicorn on the shirt she wears throughout the second half of the film.
- Piers Anthony beats this trope to death, resurrects it, and then beats it to death again, and keeps on beating it in just about all his writing. ...maybe because he actually is the father of a horse-crazy girl.
- In the American Girls Collection, colonial era girl Felicity Merriman is a horse lover and one of her books' main plot lines involves her befriending and rescuing an abused horse. Along with her princess-y clothes, this is probably one of the main reasons for her popularity.
- In Soul Music, there's a bit about how a certain type of girl who will refuse to clean her bedroom, even at gunpoint, will fight for the privilege of mucking out a stable. Susan, however, is very much an exception, until she meets Binky.
- Adora Belle Dearheart (aka Spike) averts this, mentioning that she had a pony when she was younger but didn't like it very much. But she used to watch it run around or whatever you're supposed to do with the things.
- In Hogfather, Death, posing as the Santa Expy, promises to deliver a pony to a little girl, complete with jodhpurs. Cue said girl's mother trying to explain they live in an apartment.
- One Ross O'Carroll-Kelly novel claims that girls who grew up owning a horse end up mentally messed up, as their first love never showed any affection (horses not being the kindest of pets).
- At least some of the adaptations of Black Beauty, which may have even started the whole trend.
- George R. R. Martin has somebody theorize in his A Song of Ice and Fire that women like horses because they rub them the right way. Although there are a few women who dislike horses, namely Sansa.
- Vorkosigan Saga:
- While a shrewd merchant/scholar, Laisa is immediately taken with the idea of riding a horse when she visits Barrayar. This is justified though; her home planet, Komarr, is two notches up from being a lifeless rock, and so her wanting to ride a horse outside is kind of like someone from Arizona wanting to ski.
- Subverted by Cordelia Vorkosigan. When confronted with horseback as the only option for escape from assassins, she's not happy about it. Her home planet, like Laisa's, isn't known for its animals, and she's never been on one before. Afterward, she still doesn't care for horses, possibly because they remind her of her possibly-homicidal father-in-law.
- In The Mountains of Mourning, you have this: "God, thought Miles jealously, if I had half the sex-appeal of that bloody horse I'd have more girlfriends than my cousin Ivan." Ivan being well known for his bed hopping.
- In Komarr, Ekaterin admits to having gone through this phase.
- At the beginning of And Another Thing..., four of the main characters experience a Lotus-Eater Machine in which each of them are saved from the cliffhanger of Mostly Harmless in different ways. Fourteen year old Random Dent thinks they were rescued by unicorns.
- This trope is the reason Pony Tales exist, including The Saddle Club, Pony Pals and Thoroughbred books.
- Shel Silverstein's poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" is about a girl who withers away and dies when her foolish parents refuse to buy her a pony; the poem ends with the suggestion that the young reader use it to get stuff from his/her parents.
- Averted in The Secret Country books by Pamela Dean. Of the three female main characters, Ruth and Ellen are competent riders, but not terribly interested in horses. Laura, however, hates horses with a passion and tends to fall off of them as soon as she's put in the saddle. This is inconvenient for her, since the person she pretends to be for two books plays this trope straight.
- Subverted in The God of Animals by sisters Alice and Nona, who, having grown up in depressing circumstances on a struggling horse farm, have no illusions about horses, particularly in regards to the show circuit. Played more or less straight with Sheila, though she's viewed as a silly Spoiled Brat by the protagonist.
- Exaggerated in Winni Allfours. The girl of the title loves ponies, but her parents won't buy her one. In a whimsical twist, Winni eats all her vegetables to turn into a pony herself!
- In the third Codex Alera book, double-agent Rook has her daughter held hostage as leverage, and said daughter is very intent on getting away and going somewhere with ponies.
- Parodied in Our Dumb World, where the map of Zimbabwe points out a little girl soldier who wants to blow up an pony for her birthday.
- In Harry Potter, Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown go into fits of delight whenever they get shown horse-like magical creatures such as Hippogriffs, centaurs and unicorns. With regards to the unicorns, Alpha Bitch Pansy Parkinson is described as having to "work hard to conceal how much she liked them."
- Jessi and Mallory in The Baby-Sitters Club books.
- A Brother's Price features a broad inversion of most gender roles. The two most prominent young men in the book, Jerin and Cullen, both adore horses, Cullen moreso than Jerin. Cullen's sisters don't let him near them because he had some "great-great-grandfart that got kicked in the head and died". His cousin sometimes takes him to the stables to pet them over a low wall, but won't let him get closer. He's deeply envious of Jerin, whose family raises horses and lets him ride the older, gentler mares.
- Both invoked and averted in The Pinhoe Egg when Julia and Janet fall passionately in love with the idea of owning a horse, but one is terrified of the actual animal and the other dislikes riding.
- A male example is Zandakar - a prince - and his pony Didijik being extremely close in Karen Miller's Empress. Hekat, his mother and effective queen of Et-Raklion, uses Didijik's death in a fall to accuse the warlord's right-hand-man Hanochek of dereliction of duty and has him expelled from the city and sold into slavery. She punishes her son as well, making him wear leggings made from the pony's hide.
- It's implied in Equoid that there's a sinister reason for girls' love of ponies... Shub-Niggurath, (which is a bizarre equine creature, at least in part of its life-cycle) uses them to spread (as its female young resemble My Little Ponies) and... other things
- Inverted in the Junie B. Jones books. Junie B. is scared to death of ponies because her babysitter let her watch a reality show on TV called When Ponies Attack.
- Several Lurlene McDaniel books feature the heroines riding or having an affinity for horses, most notably A Horse for Mandy and When Happily Ever After Ends. Anne Wingate of Sixteen and Dying uses her One Last Wish money to visit a dude ranch and do some riding, as well.
- In the Star Trek novel Enterprise: The First Adventure, Athene the Equiraptor works with Amelinda in the Warp-Speed Classic Vaudeville Company.
- Hetty, the Duke of Taunton's young-teen niece in the Village Tales series, has two interests in life. One is horses. The other is boy bands (notably One Direction). Her mother is much less appalled by the former. (Her uncle the Duke mutters about Thelwell cartoons, but buys her shares in National Hunt racehorses for Christmases and birthdays; and Professor the Baroness Lacy uses Hetty's enthusiasms to lure her into an interest in archaeology, by casually mentioning horse cults and Epona in connection with the local chalk horses all over Wildest Wiltshire.)
- Firestarter: Discussed by Rainbird after the Shop has managed to capture Charlie and her father. Rainbird predicts that Charlie would love horses, since all little girls like horses, and that allowing her to visit the stables, or better, ride the horses, would be a good way to bribe her into cooprerating. He's right.
- In the horror novel Jago, one of the characters mentally regresses to childhood as a result of her experiences; in the epilogue, she has the personality of an eight-year-old and is going through a major pony phase. (Although it's noted, in defiance of the trope name, that she actually never had a pony phase the first time she was eight years old.)
- Zilpha Keatley Snyder takes this to a mysterious dark level in her second book, Season of Ponies. Here the ponies are more like Arabian horses, and they are mostly soft grey with unusually colored manes and tails.
- In Heralds of Valdemar, Companions (intellectual spirit beings who look like the coolest of Cool Horses) occasionally suffer being cooed over by horse-crazy girls.
- In a picture book's Adaptation Expansion of Sleeping Beauty, Princess Rose is delighted with the gift of her own horse as a young girl. However, her overprotective parents won't let her ride it because any physical pain will activate her curse, not just pricking a finger. This causes a realization of how stifled she really is, inspiring her to be more rebellious.
- Princess Ponies has an interesting take on it: young female ponies like Princess Stardust and Cinder on Chevalia have the same perspective on little girls as little girls typically have towards ponies, with both wanting one as a pet. Though Stardust doesn't actually treat Pippa like this, and comments upon learning Pippa had the same perspective on ponies that 'they're each other's pet.' Pippa suggests they just consider one another friends instead, which Stardust agrees too...but needs repeatedly reminded of.
- Gender-inverted with Prince Jalan of The Red Queen's War trilogy. Jalan is a Dirty Coward, but one of his redeeming qualities is his genuine love of horses, and his vocal distaste for when people mistreat their mounts. He makes a point to name every horse he rides through the trilogy, and jokes that he and horses get along so well because they both like to run away from danger.
- In 2 Broke Girls, both Caroline and Max adore Caroline's horse Chestnut.
- Ruthie rides a horse on Sunday in an episode of 7th Heaven.
- Cordelia on Angel has a bracelet made of hair from the tail of her former pony, Keanu. (They actually manage to turn that into a plot point.)
- As a vampire, Harmony's passion for unicorn figurines has not diminished.
- On Castle:
- Castle offers to buy Beckett a pony to make up for having poked into her mother's murder when she asked him not to. She's distinctly unimpressed.
- Beckett herself explains that every girl goes through a phase of wanting a Moped "when we realize we're never going to get a pony".
- Cheers: Rebecca Howe at one point recounts how she used to have a pony when she was younger, but trails off as she starts recalling how she eventually had to stop riding it for... no particular reason. Eventually, Carla reduces her to tears by taunting her about this.
- This goes through three generations of women in The Crown (2016). Queen Elizabeth, her mother, and daughter Princess Anne are all accomplished equestrians and Elizabeth's sister calls her horses her "one real passion". This is Truth in Television too.
- In the Everwood pilot, Andy bribes Delia into moving to Colorado by telling her she can get her own pony.
- Rachel on Friends mentions playing with pony dolls as a girl. And that she learned to sail as a teenager because "my pony was sick".
- In the later seasons of Full House, Michelle rides horses at a barn, and one of the other girls there races her and causes her to fall off the horse and get amnesia. In an earlier season, DJ and Kimmy try to buy a horse with hilarious results, and Becky mentions a love of horseback riding a few times.
- Game of Thrones:
- The first hint of the ice breaking between Dany and Drogo is when the latter presents his new wife with a White Stallion.
- And lampshaded in the Snark-to-Snark Combat between Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane (which becomes a Brick Joke when Arya ends up with her own White Stallion by the end of the episode).
Arya: When am I going to get my own horse?
Sandor: The little lady wants a pony.
Arya: The little lady wants away from your stench.
- Jenny from Hey Dad..! was obsessed with getting a pony.
- Hilariously averted in Leverage: Parker is absolutely terrified of horses, stemming from a traumatic childhood incident in which a man in a horse suit beat up a clown during a birthday party. However, she does end up warming to the champion racehorse the team has to steal, remarking that "Horses are much less murderous than I originally thought."
- From Merlin, Tomboy Princess Elena tells Arthur that horse-riding is the only thing she's really good at.
- Young Olive from Pushing Daisies wanted one after her first riding lesson. When her parents refuse she tries to go to Arabia, by taking the shortest possible route. About ten feet down she finds a T. Rex skeleton that an Arabian Shaw trades her a horse for the skeleton.
- Robin Hood: After a fight with Marian, Guy of Gisborne tries to appease her by...bringing her a pony! And it works. Of course in the Middle Ages getting a horse was rather like getting a car; a pretty palfrey was the equivalent of a classic convertible.
- On the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Gypsy stated she want a pony for Christmas.
- JD's love for ponies and unicorns should be noted as detrimental to his image in Dr Cox's eyes.
- Prior to one episode, Elliot Reid's "best moment" of working in medicine was being able to ride a horse to work.
- Season 9 has Lucy (JD's Suspiciously Similar Substitute with a bit of Elliot thrown in) who is completely obsessed with horses. she even has a funeral for one of her stuffed horses after it gets destroyed.
- In the Seinfeld episode "The Pony Remark", Jerry talks about how anyone who had a pony when they were a kid is a Spoiled Brat and he hates them, only to accidentally offend a Polish immigrant who had come from a country where having a pony was very common.
- Daisy in Spaced, while arguing with Marsha about mothers (Series 1 Episode 6). According to the DVD commentary, Daisy had originally wanted a Tacchini jacket, but that was felt to be too obscure:
Marsha: All she wanted to do was show you somebody cared about you.
Daisy: If she'd wanted to do that, then she could have bought me that pony!
- In the The Golden Girls episode "Stand by Your Man", Dorothy explains just how badly she wanted a pony when she was six:
Rose: I really wish you'd try to get along with Bingo. I mean, maybe you don't know the fun you can have with a pet. Have you ever actually had one?
Dorothy: Well, of course I had a pet. Remember, Ma? I was six years old and I wanted a pony?
Sophia: Not the pony thing again.
Dorothy: She promised me a pony. She swore I'd get a pony. She brings me a little paper bird on a stick from the circus. You know, the kind that you have to twirl around your head to get them to tweet?
Rose: And that was your pet?
Sophia: They're very clean.
Dorothy: Then she tells me if I'm a good girl, a really good girl, God will turn the paper bird into a real one. Which I believe, because why would a mother lie? So every day I'm being very good, and praying, and looking for any sign of life. And becoming very attached to that ridiculous paper bird. So you can imagine my heartbreak when one morning I find it dead.
Rose: How does a paper bird die?
Dorothy: Good question. Someone used it to restart the pilot light.
- In one episode of The L Word, the titular lesbians have a party, and one of them speculates that straight girls wanted ponies, while lesbians wanted monkeys, and they ask around the table. The bisexual ones say ponies, and one says "Racecar".
- Amanda from The Latest Buzz even goes so far as attempting to hide her pony in the office when she thinks her father is going to take it away.
- Similarly, on The Mentalist, when Patrick Jane misses Teresa Lisbon's birthday (or at least turns up without a present,) she gets upset. Rather annoyed, he says, "What? Upset you didn't get your pony?" At the end of the episode, her absent present comes. It is, of course, a pony.
- Summer from The O.C. Also, Marissa's little sister Caitlin, before she got Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. And non-little-girl Seth, of course.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Molly O'Brien draws a pony in "Accession", and has a favorite pony in a holoprogram in the novel The Tempest.
- Veronica Mars must have used the pony joke at least five times.
- Vice Principals: Neal gives his daughter a horse and pays out the nose for its stabling fees as a means of buying his daughter's affections, but she's not really interested in horses and insists that she'd rather ride motorbikes like her mother's current boyfriend. Neal refuses to believe this for a while.
- Tom Petty's "Free Falling".
"She's a good girl; she's crazy about Elvis, loves horses, and her boyfriend too..."
- Jonathan Coulton's "Skullcrusher Mountain"
I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don't like it
What's with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don't like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?
- Bleak Expectations:
- One of the few things Victorian gentlewomen are allowed to do is liking horses "a bit too much".
- When Ripley is forced to get a job, talking cockney for money, she insists on being paid in ponies for the whole rhyming slang. And no, that's not a euphemism.
- Bella Sara is a trading card game that banks on this trope.
- Breyer horse models are popular with girls and women, though they're technically unisex.
- My Little Pony is made of this trope, though it was supposed to be unisex aimed until Executive Meddling began advertising it only for girls. The first generation featured humans prominently - most famously Megan - but all other gens scrapped them.
- Filly, a Chinese My Little Pony Alternate Company Equivalentnote
- Lisa Frank. Bonus points for Tastes Like Diabetes.
- There have been a number of Barbie toys over the years involving ponies and horses.
- The box cover art for pretty much every horse-caring/raising/racing game will be aimed towards girls.
- This includes the online game Star Stablenote .
- Maria Luna of Backyard Sports almost perfectly fits this trope. She has a huge collection of pony dolls and wants a real one. This is subverted, however, when she goes to the circus; she hates the ponies there.
- Referenced in a rather dark manner in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND during the true ending of Slight Hope. After being told that asking Tsubaki about Noel caused his plans to implode, Makoto demands Hazama explain himself. He retorts that she might as well ask for a pony if she's going to wish for unlikely things. The reason it's dark is that [A] Hazama is not known for being politically correct and [B] his tone of voice and facial expression at the time are meant to tell the viewer that his patience with her has finally expired.
- In DeathSpank , while performing fetch quests for Orphan Annie, DeathSpank tells her "If the next words out of your mouth are I Want a Pony..." to which Annie answers "Really?!". Quest Update: Buy a pony for Annie.
- Referenced in Mass Effect 3 when Liara's "father" (another asari) buys her a commando unit. When Liara questions why a commando unit, her father tells her that she's too old for a damn pony. (Liara is barely 100 years old, which still is very young for Asari).
- In MySims Kingdom, "a new pony or two" is the standard gift for placating Princess Butter, though special cases — like not being made Wandolier — call for something rarer, like a unicorn.
- In the final chapter of Portal 2, the Big Bad tries to lure you into a Bottomless Pit by claiming there's a Pony Farm down there, among other things.
- Robot Unicorn Attack is this trope exaggerated. Although honestly, who wouldn't want a robot rainbow unicorn?
- Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure features the eponymous ponycorns, which are sort of like Unicorns, but smaller. Pony-sized, you might say.
- "Ghostcrawler promised me a pony!" is a World of Warcraft meme, referenced in-game by the 2010 addition of the Celestial Steed.
- Mortal Kombat X references this when Cassie Cage first encounters Ferra/Torr, the dimunitive Ferra riding on the shoulders of the brutish Torr.
Cassie: You couldn't ask for a pony like every other girl?
- A really bizarre character beat in League of Legends sees Senna, the Redeemer, a dour, half-living half-wraith hunter of monsters practically Squee! the first time she encounters fellow champion Hecarim. Hecarim, by the way, is a monstrous undead centaurine Animated Armor filled with spectral flames who revels in slaughter and, in life, was an evil treacherous butcher heavily responsible for the creation of the Shadow Isles themselves, so Senna's reaction is even more bizarre.
- In Darths & Droids, Sally "invents" Jar Jar Binks, giving him a pony face, then later describes the Gungan army as having dinosaur ponies.
- Millie from Ozy and Millie likes ponies. (On the other hand, so does the Dread Pirate Locke, so in that universe it might be a species thing instead of a gender thing. Or even a hereditary thing.) Word of God wonders just what exactly Millie would do with a pony. "Make it do her homework?"
- Amber from Shortpacked! collects My Little Pony figurines. Ethan got her started because he wanted to comfort her and give her something to do. The fact that this also turned her into a willing accomplice for his own toy collecting obsessions must have been purely coincidental, in no way at all. She was rather annoyed when a Brony showed up and claimed that nobody liked brushable My Little Ponies. She also nearly has a Squeesplosion when Robin brings a pony into the house as a gift for another person.
- One story arc of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! involves the characters encountering unicorns, and both Jean and Molly are totally smitten with the creatures. Molly, in particular, had requested a pony for her first birthday, and assumes she has gotten her wish when she meets the giant unicorn Unigar the Vast Unicorn.
- Molly's sister Golly is the same way. Faced with a vastly powerful cosmic being, her two wishes are immortality and a flying pony; and honestly, she seems more fixated on getting the pony. She receives neither.
- Joyce Brown from It's Walky!, to the point where her battle mech only responds to commands with the word "pony" in them.
- Also played with, in that by that time she has changed a lot and is actually annoyed that the mech's programmer made those assumptions about her.
- Homestuck, is a subversion in that Rose's mom presents a pony to her in (what Rose views as) a passive-aggressive attempt to smother her, and really doesn't want the pony (named MAPLEHOOF). Somewhat double-subverted in that in spite of herself, Rose still seems to like the pony fine.
- In one chapter of Eerie Cuties, Nina is hit by a gender-reversal orb and becomes a boy. Later, when she is changed back, she says: "Hey! I like ponies again!"
- Averted in The Legend of Maxx. During interviews with the characters, it is revealed that Hannah doesn't even know what a pony is, despite being the Team Mom and arguably the most feminine character of the cast. Deadpan Snarker June, on the other hand, has very strong opinions on the subject.
"Fluttershy wins forever, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise."
- Played straight and parodied in this strip of Penny Arcade. All of the girls do love ponies, but then, so does Gabe.
- Graham offers Celeste a Pony in Wizard School to let him go back to the real world - although he wants to feed it "processed pony chow, made from other ponies. Or whatever it is neglected ponies eat."
- In Skin Horse, Unity's reaction when she ends up in an allegedly wish-granting grove is, "I'mo get a pony made out of bacon!"
- Sarah of lonelygirl15 thinks "ponies are awesome", as stated in "Getting Her Back".
- In reviewing the (original) My Little Pony, The Nostalgia Chick claims that all girls go through a "horsie" phase (not her, though), which Hasbro exploited and exploited well.
- Serenity in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, who opens an evil door on the promise of ponies. Twice.
- The door was trying to trick Tristan with the pony though, who is also really tempted by it, if not quite as enthusiastic.
- The Whitest Kids U' Know used this and abused it in a similar matter to Family Guy.
- Whateley Universe:
- Superchick has a dozen and a half plush unicorns each with their own name and story.
- As said in Boys of Summer: Part 2: Tansy "went through a really intense horse phase when [she] was ten."
- Possibly Light Ling, who enchanted her horse into a Pegasus, and gave it other abilities.
- This goes in a completely different direction in the Gen 2 stories, when Charger, a young mutant Horse Animannote attending Whateley in 2016, starts getting more female attention than even he can handle, initially due to how wearing swim trunks highlights his, ahem striking physique.
- Despite being a middle-aged woman with the personality of an adolescent boy, Lucahjin loves her some horses, to the point of them being her Animal Motif.
- DW in Arthur is obsessed with ponies. When Arthur is trying to invent a new holiday, she immediately blurts out "Pony Day!" without missing a beat. In another episode, her choice for where to go on vacation is — or rather, in a bit of a plot twist, isn't — the theme park Ponyland.
- Francine's dream in one episode was to be an Olympic horseback rider even though at the beginning she had never been on a horse.
- Ginger of As Told by Ginger likes horses enough that her room is decorated with a horse motif.
- Tina from Bob's Burgers likes horses almost as much as she likes zombies.
- An episode of Camp Lazlo had the Beanscout trio trick their Distaff Counterparts, the Squirrel Scouts, into taking their spitting llama (which they thought was a unicorn) by sticking an ice-cream cone on its head. In addition, the Scouts themselves felt lousy that they didn't have any horses.
- Craig of the Creek exaggerates this with the Horse Girls, who are obsessed with horses to the point of acting like them.
- Parodied in Dave the Barbarian with Twinkle the Marvel Horse (who sounds like Christopher Walken). After Princess Candy grows out of this stage she stops visiting and he doesn't cope very well with being abandoned...
Twinkle the Marvel Horse: I've been... so lonely... in here. Such terrible thoughts one has. Alone. In the dark.
Candy: Uh, like I said, I'm really sorry I haven't visited you in a while.
- Pictured above: Dee Dee from Dexter's Laboratory is a pony fancier, as are her cloney best friends. There was an episode where she asked Dexter to turn her into a pony because she liked the My Little Pony expy so much.
- Webby from DuckTales (2017) owns a book titled "So You Like Ponies?", and gets super-excited when she encounters colorful talking ponies (actually kelpies) in Moorshire. She also loves unicorns, but not for their cuteness or beauty, but their badassery, calling them "sword horses".
- In the episode "The Story on Page One" from Family Guy, Peter attempts to give Meg a pony that she has wanted since she was 6 years old. Except, "Oh. Oh God, that's right... ponies... ponies like food, don't they? Oh boy." No girls like dead ponies. Especially skeletal ones.
- Amy from Futurama. When Kif creates a holographic pony for her as a romantic gift, she comments that it looks exactly like the pony her parents wouldn't let her have, because she already had too many.
- God, the Devil and Bob: Bob mentions that he doesn't think he's ready to deal with his daughter dating. God suggests a pony. "What's a pony gonna do?" "I dunno, I thought girls liked ponies."
- Played with in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, when the cast goes to a backwards shadow dimension. Mandy meets an ultra-girly, feminine version of herself who of course loves ponies. Mandy psychologically BREAKS her, and turns her into an indistinguishably similar clone of herself. The pair then proceed to destroy all of the stuffed animals in the room with a chainsaw and a flamethrower.
- Another episode had Grim try to get money to renew a canceled series obviously parodying My Little Pony, called "My Troubled Pony," by turning the violent Schlubs in Billy's backyard (who are themselves parodies of The Smurfs) into gold.
- Subverted with Mandy in yet another episode where they go to Costmo (the Bland-Name Product version of Costco) and buys a gigantic box filled with porcelain unicorns, prompting Grim to wonder out loud why unicorns are such a big deal to little girls. Becomes a Brick Joke at the end where the unicorns are used as baseballs for Mindy to smash with her baseball bat.
- Played straight with Annie from It's Pony, she owns a talking pony literally named Pony, who she adores, and goes on adventures with. Even her bedroom is decorated with horse-related items and posters, downright to one side of her room having a horse-motif to it.
- Kaeloo: This trope was an important plot driver in the episode "What if We Played at Riding Ponies?", where Kaeloo and Pretty get into a fight over a pony. The same episode also suggests that in the show's universe, literally all girls like ponies.
Stumpy: Is that supposed to be cool? Must be a girl thing.
- Les Sisters: Marine, Nath and Loulou, who are all seven year old girls, love ponies. Subverted with Wendy, since she's a teenager and too old.
- Downplayed on My Friends Tigger & Pooh. Darby likes reading about ponies and imagining having one, but admits she wouldn't actually want to have a real pony.
- My Little Pony is built off this trope.
- In Generation 1, Megan, the main human character, has a pony of her own (that can't talk). She also takes Firefly's appearance out of nowhere and being whisked off to a land of talking ponies quite well.
- Ironically, this trope has no in-universe presence in most adaptations of the toyline, since there are no humans. The girls are the ponies themselves. The first series was the only one with humans in it.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, in spite of its Periphery Demographic (adults ranging from 18-25), is very much aimed at little girls, and the diverse personalities of the characters were made specifically to appeal to various little girls. As Lauren Faust says, "There's no wrong way to be a girl." That said, Friendship Is Magic seems to prove that a good number of men like ponies. Being able to stare down dragons, smash titans into the ground, and snark with the best of them doesn't hurt.
- Phineas and Ferb:
- While not touched upon directly in the show, Isabella has ridden her share of horses in the show: a real, feminine-looking one in "The Magnificent Few," a mechanical one in "Ain't No Kiddie Ride," and...Phineas as a centaur in "Isabella and the Temple of Sap." (Thankfully that was just a daydream though.)
- Also, when Candace is having a weird dream and her brothers try to lure her off the straight and narrow with pastel unicorns. Dream-Phineas comments on how uncharacteristically girly that is and dream-Ferb reminds him that they ARE inside Candace's dream.
- Played with and (double?) subverted in the first Christmas Episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Mr. Krabs wishes for a pony... with saddlebags full of money.
- On The Boondocks, Jasmine is so desperate to get a pony (which she wants to name "Sammy Davis, Jr. the Pony") that she buys one on credit from the local Corrupt Corporate Executive, Ed Wuncler. She promises to pay him back with proceeds from her lemonade stand. But she ends up so deeply in debt to him that she's forced to work day and night just to keep up with the payments, and it's never really clear if her pony even exists (all she ever sees is a photo.)
- Margo Sherman from The Critic (mostly horses, though).
- Penny from The Mighty B! really wanted a pony for her birthday.
- P.C. Pinkerton: Joanna Beatty went off from her mother and went missing for a brief period of time in "Calling All Units" because she got distracted by a horse a policeman was riding.
- Riley from The Replacements. Her obsession with Rainbow Jumper from the movie The Majestic Horse takes on epic proportions.
- Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons. On her Christmas list, she listed "a pony" over and over again. She finally got one in Season 3, "Lisa's Pony".
- Not to mention the time she's at a country club, complaining about the snobs, when she sees someone riding a horse. The predictable happens.
- In "She of Little Faith", her family attempted to bribe her into converting back from Buddhism to Christianity by presenting her with a gift shaped like a pony (it was really Milhouse and Ralph inside).
- Subverted in Ugly Americans when male demon Twayne is instructed to think of his favorite thing to counter stage fright, he whispers "ponies, ponies, ponies" to himself.
- Becky occasionally mentions liking ponies in WordGirl. In the episode where her birthday takes place, her parents rent out a pony so she can ride it around her yard. Becky and several other girls, including villains Leslie and Lady Redundant Woman, have been seen watching a My Little Pony expy.
- Yin from Yin Yang Yo! prefers Twonicorns, horses with two horns, but they're erudite and speak in tough guy voices.
- Raven on Teen Titans Go! is obsessed with the show Pretty Pretty Pegasus. Also an Actor Allusion to Tara Strong, who voices Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- All of the Color Kids, male and female, in Rainbow Brite have horse friends. Rainbow's is a talking rainbow-maned stallion named Starlite.
- This trope is translated the world of BoJack Horseman in the form of dolls that are otherwise normal princess dolls as seen in the Christmas Special.