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My Little Phony

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At least Raven sounds like a magical pony...

From the height of The '80s fad days to The New '10s, My Little Pony has been etched in popular culture as a saccharine toy line for young girls who love horses.

Parodies and homages typically are shows within a show featuring Always Female pastel ponies (or other pastel animals) who can talk and have cutesy names. Flank/Rear Insignias are common but not a requirement. Occasionally, elements from other cutesy franchises like Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, or Rainbow Brite will get mixed in.

With the popularity of Friendship Is Magic with older audiences — partly because the series appeals to both children and adults — parodies have begun taking after it and are often more positive than previous depictions (or just poking fun at the fact that there even is an older audience in the first place, sometimes to Subculture of the Week levels).

Subtrope of Bland-Name Product. Not to be confused with cheap knockoffs of the show or toys, or with iPhony... Well, ok, maybe just this once.


    open/close all folders 

  • Nissan's 2011 Pôneis Malditos ("damned ponies") campaign in Brazil.
  • A Sega commercial circa Christmas 1994 had a dad go into a department store after his son asked for "Sega Genesis or Game Gear", repeating the names out loud to himself but accidentally confusing the words as he passes other displays. At the end, he stops and asks, "Mega Pegasus for Reindeer?" while standing in front of a display for "My Precious Pegasus". Watch it here.
  • "My Little Puppy" is a Public Service Announcement parodying the "My Little Pony" toyline about how dogs should not be treated like toys.

    Comic Books 
  • This Belch Dimension Comics cover. Notably, it preceded the actual MLP:FIM comic book by three months and had Spike portrayed by a dog a good year before the release of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • Inside the MLP:FIM universe itself, there's a franchise aimed at little fillies called "My Tiny Gecko".
    • The Annual 2014 issue features a unique example of a show within a comic book within a show. The issues centers around the Power Ponies, a superhero team. They were initially introduced in the show when the Mane 6 and Spike take thier roles in a story via Spike's magic comic book. Unlike the Mane 6, the Power Ponies barely tolerate one another with Humdrum (a small colt that Spike took the role of) being the one that tries to keep order. After their Rogues Gallery team up to beat them and steal their powers, Humdrum chastises the mares for their bickering and teaches them to work together and use the magic of friendship (along with turning the foes against oen another). Where does Humdrum learn this? From his favorite TV Show, "My Little Donkey", featuring donkey versions of the Mane 6. The Power Ponies even watch the show together with Humdrum after saving the day.
  • The Annoying Orange comics have an example of this with "My Little Baloney", to go with the food puns the series is known for. Equestria Daily featured this comic for some reason.
  • An issue of MAD magazine featured a parody actually titled "My Little Phony" featuring Hillary Clinton as a pony.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Logan Lucky, mobile clinic doctor Sylvia Harrison puts a My Little Pony band aid on the arm of Jimmy Logan after giving him a free tetanus vaccine shot. Following the heist, there's a Brick Joke with Jimmy anonymously offering Sylvia an envelope of money that he closed with another My Little Pony band aid.
  • CarousHELL has 'My Tiny Uni'', which apparently features Princess Molestia and has fans named bronicorns. The theme song plays during the credits.

  • In 2013, it turned out that several European meat products included undeclared meats, including horse. In Germany, one pun was "My Lidl Pony" note .

  • Discworld
    • Susan, Death's granddaughter in Soul Music, gets a "My Little Binky" toy for her third birthday from her grandfather, modeled after his pale horse, Binky. Her parents return it, fearing that it will make her a less "normal" child.
    • In Hogfather, when Death is acting as the Disc's Santa-counterpart, he's suspicious of the toy horses he's handing out:
      Horses, Death felt, shouldn't grin. Any horse that was grinning was planning something.

    Live-Action TV 
Power ponies from Jessie
  • One of the Once per Episode Parody Commercials on The Aquabats! Super Show! featured a toy like this called the Scruffy Scruff, except the toy was exceptionally ugly. The kids in the commercial played with and adored it as if it were just as pretty as its real-world counterpart.
  • One sketch in a fifth-season Horrible Histories episode included the Victorian My Little Pit Pony. This doll described what life was like for horses that worked in coal mines, including breathing coal dust and getting stuck in tunnels. They only came in one color: black.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had a fake advert for "Candy Tails", horse tail hair coated in candy and braided for children to attach to their hair and lick the candy coating off. A tie-in My Little Pony-esque Candy Tails animation was there too, showing happy colorful talking horses who can't wait to get their tails chopped off to be turned into Candy Tails. Unusually for this trope, it is an old male horse who gets the most lines in the segment.
  • Roland Rat: The Series had a Parody Commercial spot for "My Little Warthog", with the tagline: "To have, to hold, and to smell"
  • In Fresh Off the Boat, Jessica tells her sons about wanting a Sparkle Time Beauty Horse as a child and not getting one because of her strict household. She claims that even though they had brittle hair and burned to touch and every five toys had a human face, they were the hottest toy in her neighbourhood.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dead of Winter: One random event card lets a male character find a beloved "My Tiny Horsey" figurine during the Zombie Apocalypse. It disgusts a Grumpy Old Man back at the Colony but makes the character immune to Despair.
    Survivor: This is Princess Apple Twinkle and we're getting married.
    Old-Timer: So it's come to this.
  • Munchkin Apocalypse includes the card "Four Horsies of the Apocalypse", while Munchkin Grimm Tidings includes the Bad Unicorn. Both are colorful cartoon horses with cutie marks. One of the horsies even looks like Pinkie Pie.
  • Unstable Unicorns is full of colorful and cute unicorns and basically lives to parody this trope.

  • This 2004 Wacky Packages sticker, which is actually named "My Little Phony". There are also a variety of other My Little Pony-related parody stickers in the line, all based on other iterations of the toy brand.

    Video Games 
  • Maria collects "My Precious Pony" dolls in the Backyard Sports games.
  • In the first Endless Nightmare your character's daughter appears to be a fangirl of an In-universe MLP knockoff called "Unicorn". You can explore her bedroom and her bedsheets have a unicorn drawn in the same animation style as MLP.
  • In Red Faction: Armageddon, one of the many weapons a player can equip is "Mr. Toots", a cutesy, colorful unicorn about the size of a small dog who is wielded by being slung over the player's shoulder and having his belly squeezed to make him fart. Of course, since he farts super-destructive rainbow colored lasers, he classifies as a Lethal Joke Item.
  • Crystal's Pony Tale for the Sega Genesis is a whole game involving this.
  • Strangely enough, Dungeons of Dredmor's blacksmithing kit. "'My Little Anvil' Junior Smithing Kit. Smithing is magic!"
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The game added the Balloonicorn in the Pyromania update, along with goggles that make everything appear as a Candyland, and the Pyro's bubbleblower (flamethrower) sprays rainbows (napalm) over all the other characters.
    • There's also the Magical Mercenary, a cosmetic item in the shape of a unicorn hood. Complete with voice lines from most of the classes when you have it equipped.
      Engineer: Unicorn erectin' a dispenser!

      Heavy: Heavy is wearing pink pony costume, and you are still biggest idiot.

    Web Comics 
  • Pupster: Kevin watches "Pretty Pretty Horsey" on the laptop in the twentyfourth page of Egg Over Easy.
  • In Rhapsodies, Shilo's daughter, Bonnie, enjoys playing with her ''Pony Pals'' play set which includes the throne room of the Pony Ruler, the Pink Unicorn!
  • In Draconia Chronicles, we have My Little Dracony: Togetherness is Magical, which is immensely popular despite being intended for dragonlings; so much so that it's implied that even prisoners of war are allowed to watch it (although it's stated to be anti-tiger propaganda rather than a 30-minute toy commercial)—and they like it too(!).
  • Homestuck:
    • First is Maplehoof. Instead of buying pony toys for her daughter, Rose's mother went all the way to buying a live pony. Its name and a heart mark on the flank follow suit with the style of the show.
    • And then there is Dirk Strider, who watches the actual show without any phony-ness and has posters to show for it. He may or may not be a fan of the show itself (irony is a strange mistress) but he admits to loving Rainbow Dash. Like his creator, Dirk is obsessed with horses in general.
  • Paradox Space, a spin-off of Homestuck, features Sweet Bro playing with a magenta / rainbow colored unicorn in "Pones" (also known as "Ponie"). Hella Jeff thinks that this means Sweet Bro will want to be the back of his horse costume.
  • Tagger the Beaver from Nip and Tuck is a fan of "Bitty Pretty Pony"; this is used to settle a dispute with his rival via Mutually Assured Blackmail. Later, we see that Tagger is a hipster about it.
  • Flare has "Dolf and the Pretty Pony", supposedly written and illustrated by Flare and her sister when they were little girls.
  • PepsiaPhobia has a kingdom of civilized ponies who are clearly a parody of My Little Pony.
  • Erma, the titular ghost girl is a massive secret fangirl of Warrior Unicorn Princess, which is partially this along with elements of Steven Universe and Star Butterfly vs the Forces of Evil. She is embarassed of letting anyone but her parents find out (but she gains a best friend who also loves the show). Hilariously enough, while the show does have its merchandise, it is also darker (or can be dark) than many expected... much like MLP G4 or other inspiration, with Erma's babysitter lampshading it.
  • Alien Hand Syndrome: In an early scene, Mina visits Erin's room, and is surprised that it doesn't reflect her tough personality. Erin claims the decor was a joke by her dad. In the George Lucas Altered Version of Page 8 the artist has added a couple of FIM-style pony toys for good measure.

    Web Original 
  • Moshi Monsters has the "My Little Mutant" toys that can be bought as decorations for rooms. They look like the classic ponies... with six legs.
  • The inevitable Fun T-Shirt versions such as "My Little Zenomorph".
  • Midnight Mares was apparently created by a fan of MLP and the characters wouldn't look out of place in the show. Terra Steed is Equestria, Daybreak is Celestia, Nightfall Nod is Nightmare Moon etc.
  • One episode of The Bedfellows has Fatigue watching a cartoon called "My Little Donkey", and even playing with donkey figures as they do so.

    Web Videos 
  • Nella's Epic Poney Soap Opera from The Nostalgia Chick. It contains an Anti-Villain Domestic Abuser, an inevitable saintly wife who is The High Queen and a Love Martyr to boot, a naive innocent woobish son with a few schoolfriends with disabilities, and a schoolteacher who is also "sometimes a whore, one with a heart of gold".
  • The Welcome to... web series frequently mentions MLP and its fandom by name. However, one gag from "Welcome to Tumblr" involves a large number of humorously misnamed fandoms, and MLP is mentioned as My Last Prognosis, a pony-themed medical drama.
  • One of the short films on We The Economy is "The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas", a My Little Pony parody that teaches about economic inequality.

    Western Animation 
  • In the episode of Bluey called "The Quiet Game", Bluey, Bingo, and their dad Bandit have to get a Moonlight Unicorn toy for their cousin's birthday. In two other episodes, "Duck Cake" and "Mr. Monkeyjocks", they mention the Star Pony and the Starlight Unicorse respectively.
  • An episode of Recess has the tomboyish Spinelli being forced to watch "My Furry Unicorns".
  • In Teen Titans Go!, Raven and Robin have been shown to enjoy "Pretty Pretty Pegasus". These are Actor Allusions; The former is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voices Twilight Sparkle, while the latter is voiced by Scott Menville, who voiced Danny. For bonus points, one of the ponies in Pretty Pretty Pegasus is named Sparkleface, probably alluding to Twilight Sparkle, and another is named Butterbean, probably referring to Fluttershy and/or Butterscotch. A playful jab is even taken at the show's older fanbase. At one point, we see a chubby adult male background extra wearing a Pretty Pretty Pegasus T-shirt.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has a Cutaway Gag involving a show called "My Small Squirrel" in "Blythe's Pet Project". Like the Teen Titans Go! example above, this one is also an Actor Allusion; Blythe Baxter's voice actress is Ashleigh Ball, who voices both Applejack and Rainbow Dash. One of the squirrels with rainbow hair and tail is named Multicolor Stripe, likely alluding to Rainbow Dash. This joke is also a bigger reference to the fact that a large amount of the show's cast (and some of its crew) also worked on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the show that preceded LPS during its entire run.
  • D.W. from Arthur has been shown to enjoy "My Fluffy Unicorn". She owns a doll she calls Uni, which even has what appears to be a cutie mark of three stars. Despite the name, the only characters shown are winged unicorns, not standard ones.
    • Early episodes also had her constantly wanting to go to "Ponyland" for family vacations, much to Arthur's dread.
  • Martha Speaks has an Imagine Spot called "My Fluffy Puppy". It's used to give an aesop against Merchandise-Driven products. It's also another Actor Allusion, this time for Tabitha St. Germain, who voices the titular Martha (Tabitha voices Rarity, Princess Luna, and many others in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She has also voiced other pony characters in past incarnations of My Little Pony).
  • An episode of Time Squad has a cute-looking pony, with hearts for a Cutie Mark, attacking Buck.
  • Pony Puff Princess is a recurring gag in Dexter's Laboratory, and the ponies were actually Anti Villains in one of the sillier episodes. They despise boy stuff like Action Hank, an expy of Mr. T, Shaft, and G.I. Joe (also another Hasbro franchise). The titular Princess was voiced by Kath Soucie, who voiced Princess Tiffany in My Little Pony 'n Friends. The franchise also appears in The Powerpuff Girls (1998).
  • Speaking of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), in the Christmas Special "The Fight Before Christmas", the Mayor asks Santa for a "My Little Horsie" doll, the joke being that he's a grown man. What makes this even funnier is that Friendship is Magic creator Lauren Faust worked on this episode.
  • MAD has several:
    • My Little War Horse: Pinkie Pie in a crossover with War Horse.
    • ThunderLOLcats: Lion-O vs. memes, Ponies included.
    • Cowboys & Alien Force: An Applejack ersatz in a Mind Screwy crossover that also involves Ben 10: Alien Force, stretchy bands and multiple title cards.
    • Rainbow Dash & Bernstein: Rainbow Dash replaces the titular puppet of Crash & Bernstein.
    • My Little PWNY: The most direct parody. A Parody Commercial of ponies causing nothing but trouble (especially of the "painful to humans" variety).
    • Adjustment Burro: Twilight Sparkle starts dating Eeyore, in a mashup of Winnie the Pooh and The Adjustment Bureau.
    • Exaggerated online, where someone made a fan episode called MAD Ponies, which consisted of every single pony and horse-related skit or joke that was in the show at the time.
  • Robot Chicken had a sketch advertising "My Little Pony: Apocalypse Ponies", a toy line modeled after the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
    ♪"My Little Pony, Apocalypse ponies, punish mankind for their sins..."♪
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has "My Troubled Pony", combining colorful ponies with an over-the-top Soap Opera. It is Grim's favorite show (second to Dora the Explorer) but, unfortunately for him, it was Cut Short. Considering the fandom of grown men that the My Little Pony franchise has since attracted, this also could count as a case of Hilarious in Hindsight.
  • The Show Within a Show "Lunacorns" in The Penguins of Madagascar is Private's favorite TV program.
  • Transformers: Animated features the villain Professor Princess, who flies on a toy unicorn.
  • Metalocalypse does this too:
    Nathan (to Toki): Do you have your 'My Little Disemboweled Pony'?
  • Bob's Burgers: "The Equestranauts" has Tina as a fan of the eponymous cartoon horse show (which combines the cutesy ambiance of the original My Little Pony 'n' Friends with the action-packed adventures of She-Ra: Princess of Power). The show pokes fun at "bronies" when Tina is surprised to find that all the other attendees at Equestra-Con are middle-aged men obsessed with The Equestranauts. Then one of these "Equest-icles" cheats Tina out of a rare toy, so her father Bob has to "go undercover".
  • Gravity Falls:
    • One of the "Mabel's Scrapbook" shorts features the gang from the Mystery Shack sneaking into a theater showing the movie "Pony Heist".
    • "The Last Mabelcorn" features Celestebellabethabelle the unicorn, who lives in a glade of eye-blindingly bright colors and can see into a person's heart using her magical horn. Except that last part's not actually true, it's something she made up to get rid of meddling humans bugging her for a lock of her magical hair.
  • An episode of The Amazing World of Gumball featured a DVD called "A Pony's Tail". It is depicted as being so terrible unearthly forces try to stop people from seeing it. Ironically, Carrie watches it by mistake and actually likes it.
    Carrie: Is it wrong for a punk-rock chick who lives in a haunted malevolent mansion to be touched by the magical friendship of a pony?
  • A gag in the beginning of an episode of The Simpsons had a video camera with the words "My Little Sony" on it, complete with the rainbow that forms the G1 My Little Pony logo.
  • The 2015 reboot Danger Mouse episode "Pink Dawn" contains the titular evil princess riding a giant pony who looks suspiciously like Twilight Sparkle.
  • Smoove Move from Turbo F.A.S.T. has a nerdy little brother named Buster, who rides on one of these. Same goes for his friends.
  • In WordGirl, the hero and several other female characters, including several female villains, are shown to enjoy a show called "The Pretty Princess and Magic Pony Power Hour".
  • An episode of The Loud House featured the toilet being clogged up by a "Princess Pony" comic book which turns out to be owned by Lucy.
  • DuckTales (2017) has Briar and Bramble, a pair of talking pink and purple ponies who are clearly meant to reference My Little Pony (Generation 4) (they're even voiced by Tara Strong and Andrea Libman), but they actually turn out to be Kelpies, Scottish water spirits who resemble horses and try to drown whoever they convince to ride on their backs.
  • Unicorns in Summer Camp Island are pastel and have marks on their flanks. Although their appearance is based off the unicorns from Fantasia.
  • On The Fairly OddParents!, two issues of "Pretty Pony" are offered as a prize at a comic book convention.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The Rainbow Monkeys fit the general spirit of the trope, though they're more directly a parody of the Care Bears. Apart from the general cutesy motif (a constant annoyance of team tough-guy Numbuh 4), the show mines a lot of humor from how many bizarrely specific variants there are.


Video Example(s):


The Equestranauts

The "Bob's Burgers" version of "My Little Pony" is "The Equestranaut".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MyLittlePhony

Media sources: