Spike and Twilight are getting ready for the meteor shower which happens every 100 years, and when Twilight asks Spike for an astronomy book, Spike goes to get it, only to accidentally burn the pages away due to him sneezing from the dust. Rather than tell Twilight the truth, he tells Twilight someone else must have checked out the book. They arrive at the spot where they meet with their friends, including the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and Spike enjoys being admired as "Twilight's #1 assistant". He eventually falls asleep during the party in the punch bowl, leading Pinkie Pie to comment that "the punch has been... Spiked!" Twilight eventually takes him home. After getting Spike to bed, Twilight begins to write about meteors and a gust of wind blows away the paper. An owl grabs it for her, but when it's about to fly away, Twilight asks him to accompany her during the night.
When Spike wakes up the next morning, he notices the owl, now named Owlowiscious, now is helping him with the daily chores as the junior assistant. While Twilight leaves, she asks him to introduce himself to the owl. However, Spike gets suspicious and starts to get jealous at the possibility of being replaced, as Twilight shows off Owlowiscious to her friends and basically having most of his chores done by the owl, leaving Spike with little to do. Eventually, Twilight finds the book Spike burned by accident, and is angry and disappointed in him for lying to her. In response, Spike steals Opalescence's toy mouse, then tries to use ketchup and feathers to frame Owlowiscious as a mouse-killer. Twilight catches him in the act, and expresses her deepening disappointment by saying "This is not the Spike I know and love!". Spike is distraught at the notion that Twilight doesn't love him anymore.
Spike runs away to the Everfree Forest and takes refuge in a cave when it rains. He sees a lot of gemstones, only to later find the cave is occupied by a full grown dragon. Spike tries to have a friendly chat, but the dragon is more interested in frying him to a crisp. However, Owlowiscious shows up and distracts the dragon, and Spike is overjoyed when Twilight comes to rescue him. They escape with Owlowiscious taking point so they can see their way through the dark forest.
After everyone is safe, they discuss their issues. Twilight was worried about Spike running away; she tells him he'll always be her #1 assistant and friend, and that Owlowiscious is to help her at nighttime (so Spike can sleep)...not to be Spike's replacement. They both apologize, Spike for being jealous, and Twilight for not being more sensitive. Spike then apologizes to Owlowiscious for his jealousy, and learn that the two followed him to the cave because Owlowiscious noticed his ketchup-smeared footprints.
Spike decides to write the weekly letter to Princess Celestia, learning that telling lies and being jealous gets you nowhere, and there's a lot of love for everyone to go around. During the writing, he falls asleep.
- Acrophobic Bird: Despite the dragon having what are by all appearances two perfectly normal wings, he pursues Spike only by running on the ground. This is especially notable when the main characters escape him by crossing through vegetation too thick for him to pass through and he simply stays back, roaring in frustration, instead of trying to climb or fly over the obstacle — the only thing he uses his wings for is to spread them dramatically while roaring as the main characters flee to safety.
- Added Alliterative Appeal:
- The Astronomical Astronomer's Almanac to All Things Astronomy.
- Pinkie's reaction to meeting Owlowiscious: "Oh, what a fantastical, fluffalicious, feathery little friend!"
- An Aesop: Lying and jealousy can affect your friendship; it's important to share your love instead.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Pinkie Pie gives "little Spikey-wikey" a tousle while all the ponies are congratulating him for being so amazing at the picnic. And Twilight gives him one when telling him she loves him even when he's being a jealous numbskull.
- Balloon Belly: Spike gets one after finding the other dragon's cave and pigging out on a stash of gems.
- Big Ball of Violence: Spike gets in a fight with a chicken. Spike winds up hitting himself as the chicken just walks away.
- Bindle Stick: Spike uses one when he leaves Ponyvile's Library.
- A Bloody Mess: Spike invokes this with ketchup in order to frame Owlowiscious. Twilight catches him in the act.
- Chekhov's Gun: The ketchup Spike walks on when trying to set up Owlowiscious later becomes handy when Twilight uses the footprints to find him.
- Continuity Nod: While looking for a quill Spike looks into a daisy sandwich, similar to the one that Twilight ordered in "The Ticket Master".
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Spike is so jealous of Owlowiscious that it temporarily makes him a villain.
- Cue the Rain:
- Dastardly Whiplash: Spike, as seen above, carries out his plan to set up Owlowiscious dressed as one of these. He even twirls his mustache.
- A Day in the Limelight: The first episode with a plot centered around Spike.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The Astronomical Astronomer's Almanac to All Things Astronomy
- Disappointed in You: Twilight to Spike after catching him in the act seen in the A Bloody Mess entry above.
- Do Wrong, Right: Twilight comments that she doesn't know whether it's worse that Spike tried to frame Owlowiscious or that he expected that the extremely poor setup would work.
- Dragon Hoard: Spike angers a full-grown dragon by stealing from its hoard.
- Evil Laugh: Spike gets one, complete with a Dastardly Whiplash getup.
- Exorcist Head: Owlowiscious twists his head which scares Spike.
- Double subverted. When Spike is trying to set Owlowiscious up, you can see his ketchup pawprints on the floor. You'd expect that to be how Twilight finds out he did it, but instead she finds out by coming while he's still preparing. However, at the end of the episodes, the pawprints are what help Twilight and Owlowiscious find Spike.
- During the meteor shower, Pinkie comments on the fact that huge, ferocious dragons start out as small and cute as Spike, hinting that we'll see a full-grown dragon before the end of the episode.
- Forgot About His Powers: When her scroll gets blown out the window Twilight forgets that she has telekinesis that could grab it. Later, when fleeing in a dark cave, she forgets she can use her horn's magic to make light.
- Got Me Doing It: Twilight Sparkle hears Spike mishear Owlowiscious's hoots as "Who?" enough that she does it herself at the end of the episode.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Spike suffers from this when he thinks the owl will replace him. (For bonus Stealth Pun points, he's literally a green-eyed monster!)
- Harmless Villain: Spike stoops pretty low when he tries to make it look like Owlowiscious killed the mouse, but he gets caught way too quickly to cause any harm. (Except to himself, indirectly.)
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Spike's obviously in the wrong here, but you can't help but feel pity for him.
- Innocently Insensitive: Twilight never realizes how much her actions affect Spike (see the Ironic Echo Cut below). Instead, she thinks she's overworking him and Owlowiscious will make his workload manageable.
- Intentional Mess Making: This episode involves Spike being jealous of Twilight's pet owl Owlowicious. He brings a toy mouse in and pretends it's a real, dead mouse, hoping Twilight will scold Owlowicious for bringing his kills into the house, but she doesn't.
- Ironic Echo Cut:Twilight: Spike knows he can't be replaced.
Spike: They're trying to replace me!
- Mood Whiplash:
- The transition from Twilight gently praising Spike as he sleeps to angrily confronting him about the burnt astronomy book is very sudden and shocking.
- The sudden swerve from Spike's zany sitcom antics to the drama of being chased by an angry dragon.
- Never My Fault: When Twilight discovers the burnt book, Spike tries to pin the blame on Owlowiscious who discovers the ashes.
- Oh, Crap!: Two main ones from Spike. First is when Twilight catches him trying to frame Owlowiscious, second is when he notices the other dragon in the cave.
- Ominous Owl: Spike suspects this of Owlowiscious, but then again, he's biased.
- Owls Ask "Who?": The bulk of Spike's conversations of Owlowicious is this trope.
- Parrot Expo-WHAT?: Spike's "The Astro-nomo-lomo—what?"
- Poor Communication Kills: Goes both ways. If Twilight had told Spike earlier on that Owlowiscious was serving as her nighttime assistant, or if Spike had told Twilight that he felt that Owlowiscious was taking his place, he might not have gotten so jealous.
- Spike misheard Twilight saying "This is not the Spike I know and love" to "I don't love you anymore, Spike". Twilight telling him more clearly why she is not liking his attitude could have prevented him from running off.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: It took time before some Bronies realized Owlowiscious was based on the real name Aloysius. One of the Japanese speed-subbers didn't — Owlowiscious's name is transliterated as アロイシウス, or "Aroishiusu," the closest katakana equivalent to "Aloysius".
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Unlike the red dragon from "Dragonshy", the green dragon featured at the end here is very much awake, angry, and violent. Spike himself falls into this area due to his Temporarily a Villain status.
- Rock Bottom: The classic "Can it get any worse?" accompanied by a sudden downpour. "I guess that's a 'yes'."
- The Runaway: Spike after he hits rock bottom and leaves with a Bindle Stick.
- Severely Specialized Store: When Spike needs a new quill, he goes straight to Ponyville's quills and sofas store.Spike: But the store is called "Quills and Sofas". You only sell two things!
Store Owner: Sorry, Junior. All outta quills until Monday. [Beat] Need a sofa?
- Smash Cut: As Spike drifts off to sleep, Twilight says that he'll always come through. Then, it abruptly cuts to Twilight finding out about the burnt astronomy book which she slams near Spike, waking him up.
- Temporarily a Villain: Spike is normally good, but his envy in this episode at the attention Owlowicious is getting drives him to do some very morally objectionable things, such as planting a fake mouse corpse to try to make it look like Owlowicious killed the mouse.
- Twitchy Eye: Spike's first attempt to engage Owlowiscious in conversation gives him one.
- Unmoving Plaid: The quilt Pinkie tosses to Spike when he asked her for a quill has this property.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Spike leaves the door to Carousel Boutique wide open after he steals Opal's toy mouse. We don't even get to see the consequences of that.
- Who's on First?: Nearly every conversation Spike has with Owlowiscious ends up this way, since the latter only hoots.
- Wink "Ding!": Owlowiscious right before the Iris Out at the end.
- Would Hurt a Child: The green dragon is perfectly willing to try to kill Spike, an infant of his own species, to safeguard his hoard.