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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) Holidays 2014

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Story by Ted Anderson, Art by Tony Fleecs

As the holidays approach at Canterlot High, Sunset is reminded that she is far too distant from her family. AJ hatches a plan with the rest of her friends to help warm Sunset up with a series of slumber parties. The first one at Pinkie's goes fine, until AJ gets a call from Apple Bloom to check in on AJ for Granny, calling her by her childhood nickname "Piggly Wiggly" when hanging up. AJ is embarrassed by the nickname but gladly explains it to their friends. As they drift to sleep, Sunset writes to Twilight Sparkle via her book explaining how their friends are helping out.

The next day at school, AJ is shocked to find that some person going by "Anon-a-Miss" has posted about AJ's "Piggly Wiggly" name to a social media site, and the school is already teasing her. They think nothing of it until after the next slumber party at Rarity's, where a bunch of candid photos of the friends dressing in some of Rarity's spare clothes get sent out by Anon-a-Miss the next day. The others all suspect that Sunset is the one responsible for this, as she was the only other person at these events. Sunset finds her friends and the whole school suddenly against her, even as more secrets of other students from the school get publicized by Anon-a-Miss. Even the more mischievous students of the school like Trixie would like to take credit for Anon-a-Miss but they can't.

Sunset writes back to Twilight and asks for her help. Twilight recounts the situation sounds similar to the legend of the Windegos that attempt to foster hatred between friends, and reminds her the importance of family. As she shows this dialog to her friends the next day, the mention of "family" leads the group to realize who Anon-a-Miss might be, just as Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo appear and admit to being Anon-a-Miss, started as a joke by Apple Bloom to get back at AJ having fun at the slumber parties but soon got out of hand. With their identity known, they quickly delete the Anon-a-Miss profile, and the school soon forgets about the incident, and Sunset's friends apologize to her for doubting her. The group meets up for a final holiday get-together, making sure Sunset is fully welcoming into their group.

This issue provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The difference between this story and "Ponyville Confidential" is that in the episode, the CMC kept writing Gabby Gums columns because Diamond Tiara was blackmailing them, and they weren't trying to frame someone else. Here, they're motivated purely by jealousy for Sunset Shimmer.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: After all the drama everyone went through, and making a point of what happened can never be fully taken back, the final panel still shows Sunset Shimmer getting a happy ending with her friends over the holidays.
  • Apple of Discord: The secrets spread over Anon-A-Miss posts start causing lots of arguments and infighting in Canterlot High School.
  • The Cameo: The humanized Cloud Gremlins reappear.
  • Christmas Episode: This story takes place around Christmas, though Sunset admits to having little idea about Christmas traditions, because they have Hearth's Warming Eve where she's from, and she was mostly alone for the holidays.
  • Clueless Aesop: The Aesop that posting secrets online has serious, lasting consequences is undermined by everything being Easily Forgiven per series norm, with said consequences being an Informed Attribute that's at odds with the Happy Ending nor followed up on. It also has nothing to do with the holidays.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The issue takes place after My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks as Sunset communicates with Twilight via their linked books.
    • The plot calls back to "Ponyville Confidential" in that the CMC become rumor-mongers, though for different reasons this time.
    • The tale of Hearth's Warming Eve and the Windigos is brought up by Twilight.
  • Continuity Snarl: Despite the story having to be set after Rainbow Rocks, it treats the sleepover as Sunset's first despite her having one in Rainbow Rocks.
  • Cyberbullying: The subject of the issue is an online entity named Anon-A-Miss posting personal secrets about students at Canterlot High School, spreading a lot of anger and distrust among the student populace.
  • Easily Condemned: Sunset is accused of being Anon-a-Miss when embarrassing secrets about her friends are posted online. As a result, her friends turn against her and abandon her.
  • Easily Forgiven: Zig-Zagged. The CMC are seemingly given full apologies on the spot by the Equestria Girls when they admit to being Anon-a-Miss. However, it's later shown they have to serve six months detention and live with the fact some of the secrets revealed cannot be taken back.
  • Embarrassing Nick Name: "Piggly Wiggly" for AJ, as revealed by Anon-A-Miss.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Apple Bloom originally started Anon-a-Miss because she was jealous that Applejack was spending time with Sunset, and not with her. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo eventually joined in for the same reason.
  • Happy Ending Override: After everything she had to go through in "Rainbow Rocks" to earn her redemption, Sunset Shimmer looks set for a well deserved happy holiday. It's not that easy.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sunset actually bursts into tears at one point because of everyone believing that she's Anon-a-Miss.
  • Hypocrite: As in "Ponyville Confidential", everyone decries Anon-a-Miss for revealing secrets despite continuing to read them and demanding more, such that Anon-a-Miss was forced to continue.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The plot lasts because no one points out that Sunset Shimmer has no reason for her alleged actions and everything to lose. It takes Sunset (who had the excuse of being emotionally distraught) the rest of the comic to somewhat cite this, at which point everything gets wrapped up shorty.
  • Motive Decay: The Crusaders start with a selfish yet understandable motive for framing Sunset Shimmer. After achieving that goal, they continued to do so for no clear reason for days before their collective conscience got the better of them.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: One of the reasons the CMC give for continuing to post secrets even after their goal had been achieved was that their peers were encouraging them to continue. So the secret posting went on until everyone in the school got involved, which caused the whole situation to spiral out of control.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Even after Anon-a-Miss is exposed, the things that were posted online don't just magically vanish. Rarity even tells Sweetie Belle that what was posted will be up forever.
    • Even though Sunset Shimmer forgave the CMC for what they did, they still have to serve six months of detention for what they did to sow discord throughout the school.