- Written by Jeremy Whitley, Art by Tony Fleecs, Coloring by Lauren Perry
The CMC try to plan how they will try to get their cutie marks but find they have exhausted their own list of ideas. They hear Discord singing outside, where he claims he had been given permission by Applejack, as part of his amended ways, to try to help with creating flavored apples in the orchard. The CMC realize that Discord might have some novel ideas for them to try to get their cutie mark and get him to help them. Discord uses his magic to warp reality to put the CMC in a number of different scenarios, including one case which temporarily involves Spike and Angel Bunny. When Discord shifts to another reality, Spike and Angel find themselves ejected back into Sweet Apple Acres, where a reality bubble has formed around where the CMC and Discord are. They race back to town to warn the others.
Meanwhile, while the CMC try in earnest at each new reality to get their cutie mark, they fail. Discord, slowly becoming annoyed with the trio, continues to invent new scenarios for them to try, unaware that the reality bubble is growing larger on the outside and starting to consume parts of Ponyville, with the Mane 6 trying to stop it. As the scenarios continue to get more contrived and Discord's patience with the CMC wears thin, the CMC comment to Discord that despite not being successful at getting their cutie marks, they really appreciate the help he's been given them and offer to make him an honorary member of the CMC. Discord is touched by their offer, dispelling the reality bubble and returning everything to normal, apologizing to the Mane 6 as being unaware of the effect of his magic. As the ponies return to their normal life, Celestia appears and reminds Discord how good it can feel to help others.
This issue provides examples of:
- Advancing Wall of Doom: The more desperate Discord gets to help the Crusaders earn their Marks, the more his reality bubble spreads out of control — to the point where Twilight can barely even slow it down.
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Asked by Apple Bloom to the others, with Scootaloo giving the non-sequitur reply and Sweetie Belle putting her own spin on it.Apple Bloom: Are you girls thinking what I'm thinking?
Scootaloo: You bet! But do you really think I could hang glide onto my scooter?
Sweetie Belle: I didn't know we were supposed to be thinking. Can you stop so I can catch up?
- Batman Gambit: Discord knows exactly what strings to pull to bring the CMC into his trickery.
- Continuity Nod: Per this interview, post-"Keep Calm and Flutter On" reformed Discord from season 3.
- During the football game attempt, the CMC compete against a surprised Spike and Angel as well as Fluttershy's bear and one of the Cloud Gremlins from the Rainbow Dash microseries comic.
- As part of a The Lord of the Rings nod, Star Swirl the Bearded is used in place of Gandalf.
- One scenario puts the CMC into playing "Oubliettes and Ogres", the Dungeons & Dragons game played by Shining Armor and friends in Issues #11-12 of the main comic series.
- Freudian Excuse: Implied for Discord—when Sweetie Belle points out that not having her cutie mark makes her (and the other Crusaders, for that matter) feel like they don't belong anywhere, and no one really understands them; the chaos spirit admits that he knows what that feels like. This seems to add more to the little that's known about him. Him never having a friend before was probably due to him standing out like this. It also seems to imply that Discord hasn't been around other draconequui.
- Good Feels Good: Discord admits he's never been part of a club before at the issue's end and he enjoys it. Even if he doesn't admit it around Celestia.
- Hidden Depths: Near the end of the issue, Sweetie Belle gives a rather mature explanation for why she and her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders are so desperate to find their special talent—they feel like they're alienated from everyone else, and no one understands them.
- Licked by the Dog: Discord. Despite the mayhem caused during his efforts to help the CMC find their cutie marks, Sweetie Belle genuinely thanks him for trying, and Scootaloo gives him a hug. Both times, he's visibly moved by the displays of gratitude and friendship.
- Noodle Incident: Implied by the number of different attempts the CMC have made for getting their cutie marks, but include specifically previous attempts at lion taming and firefighting.
- Pet the Dog: Even if he had mischievous intentions, Discord genuinely used his powers to try and help the Cutie Mark Crusaders find their cutie marks. The backlash of his reality bubble raising havoc in Ponyville was just a side-effect. He even apologizes to Twilight for that!
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Discord is confident he'll be able to think outside the box enough to let the CMC try something they've never thought of to get their cutie marks. Cue his mounting frustration when it turns out that they've already tried many of the scenarios that he comes up with.