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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S1 E5 "Griffon the Brush Off"

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Pinkie Pie: Don't you worry your pretty little head about mean old Gilda! Your auntie Pinkie Pie has it all taken care of!
Fluttershy: [annoyed] I'm a year older than you.

Written by Cindy Morrow

With some effort (and a lot of chasing), Pinkie Pie convinces Rainbow Dash to hang out with her, and the two bond playing some harmless pranks on their friends. While Spike, Twilight, Applejack, and Rarity are all fair game, Pinkie is reluctant to do anything to Fluttershy, knowing how sensitive the pony is. She turns a prank on Dash instead, who accepts it with good cheer.

The next day, Pinkie goes to meet up with Dash, only to find that Dash is hanging with an old friend of hers from Junior Speedsters Camp, a griffon named Gilda. Pinkie keeps trying to interject into whatever the two are doing, but Gilda keeps rudely brushing Pinkie off, insisting that Dash doesn't need to hang with any "lame-o" ponies now that she's here. Pinkie is dejected and angry, but when she talks to Twilight about it, Twilight misinterprets it as Pinkie being jealous that Dash is spending less time with her.

After seeing Gilda give the other citizens of Ponyville the same shabby treatment, however, Pinkie is certain Gilda really is a "meanie-pants". It's bad enough seeing Gilda playing a mean-spirited prank on Granny Smith, then stealing from an apple cart, but the last straw is when Pinkie sees Gilda roar at Fluttershy for bumping into her. The poor, meek pegasus runs off crying.

Pinkie Pie: She's a grump, and a thief, and a bully! The meanest kind of mean meanie-pants there is! I can take it, but nobody treats Fluttershy like that... no one! This calls for extreme measures... Pinkie Pie-style!

Later, Pinkie Pie throws a big party to officially welcome Gilda to Ponyville. Gilda tries to play it cool, especially since her friend Rainbow Dash is there, but after falling victim to a series of pranks she starts to lose her temper and becomes suspicious of Pinkie's intentions.

Gilda: I'm watching you, like a hawk.
Pinkie Pie: Why? Can't you watch me like a griffon?

After one prank too many, Gilda finally flips out and snaps at the other ponies, especially Pinkie and her silly practical jokes... except it turns out Rainbow Dash was behind all the pranks (which were meant for any guest to stumble into, not Gilda specifically), and Pinkie says she threw the party to get Gilda to lighten up by being nice to her. Rainbow Dash calls Gilda out on bad-mouthing her other friends, but Gilda mocks Dash for being a "flip-flop" and walks out in a huff. Once Dash apologizes for Gilda's behavior, the mood quickly brightens up and all the ponies enjoy the party again.

Later, Celestia receives Twilight's friendship report on being a good friend in the face of bad friends... as well as a pot of disappearing ink.


  • Accidental Public Confession: Gilda's outburst at her Humiliation Conga causes Rainbow Dash to realize her old friend is a much bigger jerk than she thought she was.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Gilda, who's voiced by Marÿke Hendrikse, is what Revy would be if she were in a G-rated setting and you can hear it in her voice a few times. The irony is that Revy (the one from an adult show) has more redeeming qualities and a Freudian Excuse for her actions whereas Gilda (the one from a kid's show), wouldn't be redeemed until four years later.
    • Gilda's friendship with Rainbow Dash also counts, considering Maryke Hendrikse and Ashleigh Ball played sisters Susan and Mary on Johnny Test.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: All of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash's victims make at least a small begrudged smirk or titter to their prank. Even the pair themselves are in hysterics whenever they're pranked by each other.
  • An Aesop:
    • It's important to know the difference between a False Friend and one who’s true: that the latter really cares for you.
    • In the case of Pinkie Pie and Gilda, true friends don't try to influence who you shouldn't be friends with, they just stick around to be your friend.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: When Pinkie Pie reassures Fluttershy that her "auntie" has everything under control. The year-older Pegasus isn't amused.
  • Alma Mater Song:
    Junior Speedsters are our lives
    Sky-bound soars and daring dives
    Junior Speedsters it's our quest
    To some day be the very best!
  • Alpha Bitch: Gilda has elements of this trope since she is a bitch and met Dash in a school-like setting.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Inverted. Pinkie assumes that most griffons are not as nasty as Gilda.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: While the show regularly fluctuates with this, this episode has one of the very few instances where a pony is shown running on their hind legs (Applejack, who is throwing apples at the two pranksters with her front legs).
  • Artistic License – Biology: Though it's a little hard to see in some scenes, Gilda has teeth despite the fact that real avians don't have them. Rule of Funny is in effect here, as is the fact that teeth are needed for most of our language capabilities.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • We're led to believe that Pinkie set up the pranks to get back at Gilda. Turns out, Rainbow Dash set them up and not even for anyone in particular; it's purely bad luck that Gilda stumbled into all of them. Pinkie had no notions about getting back at Gilda at all, she just thought that a party might warm her up to the others and cause her to behave a little more nicely. What else would "Pinkie Pie style" mean?
    • Played with in regards to the plot of the episode itself. When Pinkie and Rainbow go on a pranking spree, the episode seems to be setting up for an Aesop on taking pranks too far (a popular one for these sorts of edutainment shows though this wouldn’t happen until five seasons later ), only for the girls to show that they've already learned this lesson by realizing that Fluttershy is too sensitive to prank. Then it briefly seems to be setting up a different one about Pinkie learning that you can't constantly seek to be the center of your friend's attention, when she has other friends who deserve some attention as well (Twilight calld Pinkie out on this a little), only for that to be avoided as well by the revelation that Gilda really is a jerk. The final Aesop is real friends don't treat your other friends like dirt.
  • Balloonacy: Invoked by Pinkie on herself. Gilda pops them.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Pinkie Pie sets up a fake prank on Fluttershy (naturally aborted) in order to prank her real target, Rainbow Dash (with the old inked eyepiece gag).
    • Pinkie may have pulled this off in such a way as to predict exactly how both Rainbow Dash and Gilda would act.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Pinky doesn't have the heart to pull pranks on Fluttershy given how sensitive and fragile she is. And while she tries her best to tolerate Gilda's attitude, she completely loses it when Gilda yells at Fluttershy to the point of tears. The irony is that Fluttershy is a year older than her.
    Pinkie Pie: I can take it, but nobody treats Fluttershy like that!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Gilda acts good-natured and easy going to the ponies whenever Rainbow Dash is around, and then bullies them mercilessly when her back is turned. Gilda's temper and hatred of Pinkie eventually leads her to snap in front of Rainbow Dash and at all of her Ponyville friends at that.
  • Brick Joke: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash pull a prank on Twilight involving invisible ink. At the end of the episode, Twilight recycles the prank on Princess Celestia by sending the (disguised) invisible ink bottle with her letter.
  • Buffy Speak:
    Pinkie Pie: Maybe Gilda isn't a big meanie grumpy mean-meanie-pants. Maybe I'm just a big jealous judgmental jealous-jealousy-pants.
  • Carnivore Confusion: In classical lore, griffons (or whichever of the many spellings one favors) traditionally ate horses. There's a hint that Gilda's omnivorous but she sticks to standard pony fare while in Ponyville (about the only considerate thing she does).
  • The Cat Came Back: Pinkie Pie does this in her pursuit of Rainbow Dash. Even flying high up into the air doesn't deter the earth pony.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Rainbow Dash sees Gilda as this. She soon realizes how wrong she is, and leans herself into the trope by defending Pinkie from her.
    • Comically subverted as well; Pinkie Pie tries playing this to Fluttershy, but Fluttershy is apparently one year older than Pinkie.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Spike burrows into a cake, and when Twilight sternly says his name (after all, the cake was for everyone, not a playground for a little dragon), he simply tells her that the cake is amazing.
  • Determinator: Pinkie Pie is this with regards to Rainbow Dash; beating a pegasus to places that she shouldn't have been able to get to in the first place.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: While gathering up a bunch of scrolls, Spike can be heard humming the theme song to the show.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash go on a pranking spree until they spot their next target: Fluttershy. Pinkie quickly puts the brakes on what they had planned because she believes Fluttershy is too sensitive. They move on to something else.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While "evil" is too strong a word, Gilda is a mean-spirited bully who can't fathom Pinkie genuinely doing something nice for her (like throw her a party), both because she wouldn't do the same for her in her hooves, and because she figures Pinkie must be trying to get back at her for being mean to her earlier in the episode. Simultaneously, she can't comprehend Dash pulling off all the otherwise harmless pranks at the party.
  • Exact Words: Invoked by Pinkie Pie after Rainbow Dash tells her "we'll catch up with you later".
    Pinkie Pie: Hi! It's later! And I caught up!
  • Fantastic Racism: Gilda thinks of the ponies who live in Ponyville as "dweebs", especially Pinkie Pie whom she accuses of pranking her at the party.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: When Gilda eats one of the vanilla-lemon drops at Pinkie's party. Pinkie Pie immediately pull out a marshmallow on a stick to cook on the stream of flames.
  • Foreshadowing: Rainbow Dash and Gilda get into an argument about who won a race. It starts off good-natured, but is starting to turn sour by the time Pinkie Pie gets there. Rainbow Dash's line after Pinkie's entrance is just icing on the cake for the finale.
    Rainbow Dash: Good thing Pinkie's here to keep you honest, G.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Princess Celestia receives the first accidental letter from Spike, her eyes are crossed like Derpy's infamous stare.
    • After Dash and Pinky abort their prank on Fluttershy; as they walk away, you can see Fluttershy poking at the fake turtle they were going to use with a confused look on her face.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Pinkie Pie has invented a pedal (ungulal?)-powered flying machine.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Again, "evil" is too strong a word, but when Pinkie realizes that Gilda is a merciless bully, she decides to fix her attitude... by throwing her a party, figuring that a nice gesture and some fun would make Gilda happier, and thus nicer. She also can't imagine Gilda thinking she had any ulterior motives for the party until the Griffon spells it out for her.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Invoked by Gilda when she's convinced that Pinkie Pie set up the party pranks to humiliate her. The idea that Pinkie genuinely wants to make her happy and be friends is absolutely alien to Gilda.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Played with. Twilight thinks Pinkie is this when she starts bad-mouthing Gilda. She's right, but only to an extent; Pinkie does try getting over her jealousy but her suspicions of Gilda being mean and a bully are ultimately confirmed.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Pinkie Pie purposely has Rainbow Dash give Spike the hiccups by startling him with a thunder cloud. This has the hilarious aftereffect of Spike sending dozens of scrolls to Princess Celestia by accident.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Simultaneously Discussed and Double Subverted in the exchange below.
    Gilda: I'm watching you, like a hawk.
    Pinkie Pie: Why? Can't you watch me like a griffon?
  • Humiliation Conga: Gilda's experience at the Prank Party. Interestingly enough, it was accidental! The pranks were intended for everyone; Gilda's own attitude and desire to be the "star of the show" caused her to end up walking right into all of them.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Rainbow Dash, a pegasus, is friends with Gilda, a Griffon, at least until they have a falling out in the ending.
  • Irony: Gilda assumed that Pinkie Pie was the one who set up the humiliating pranks in order to make her look bad in front of her good friend Rainbow Dash. As it turns out, it was the other way around. Pinkie Pie's intentions were more benign (throw a party to help Gilda be less anti-social), and Rainbow Dash was the one who pulled all those pranks, and they were neither intended to be malicious nor targeted solely at Gilda.
  • Kick the Dog: Gilda does this whenever Rainbow Dash is away. It was her roaring at Fluttershy and making her run away crying that made her cross the line in Pinkie Pie's eyes.
  • Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Gilda.
    Twilight Sparkle: In the end, the difference between a False Friend and one who is true will surely come to light.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Gilda says "You're dorkin' up the skies, Stinkie Pie!" before telling Pinkie to "buzz off".
    • In the Japanese dub, Gilda mocks Pinkie by calling her Inchiki Pai ("Phony Pie").
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode begins with a fun and comical chase scene between Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, which is almost immediately followed by lighthearted pranks that the other ponies can appreciate. Then Gilda arrives, and while hardly the same type of malicious villain as Chrysalis, Sombra, Tirek, the Storm King, and Cozy Glow, she is a mean-spirited bully who is horrible to both Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy and makes the episode much less lighthearted, to the point that in Canada, the Treehouse channel rarely aired it, feeling Gilda's actions are too harsh for the younger viewers that form all or most of the audience of every other show on that channel.
  • Morality Chain: Pinkie acts as this to Rainbow Dash in their pranking spree, insisting to avoid pranks that wouldn't be funny for the victim. As shown later on, Rainbow Dash's good-natured friends in Ponyville have much stronger influence on her personality than Gilda.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Rainbow Dash is literally the only pony whom Gilda showed any amount of civility towards during her stay in Ponyville. She was even willing to be a little self-sacrificing around her too, as she agreed to sing the Junior Speedsters chant despite obviously hating it (and finding it embarrassing), purely because Rainbow Dash wanted to sing it.
    • In the midst of their pranking escapades, both Pinkie and Rainbow Dash acknowledge that, despite pranking everypony else in town, Fluttershy, with her low self-esteem, wouldn't react well to getting pranked.
  • Mythology Gag: to the G3 theme song. We "plan a party with Pinkie Pie" and "watch her balloons lift her up to the sky."
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Although their pranks are generally harmless, Pinkie stops Rainbow Dash from pulling a prank on Fluttershy because she's far too sensitive. Similarly, Pinkie shows a great deal of concern towards Spike after they prank him into a fit of hiccups. It's only when Spike laughs it off that she and Rainbow Dash give themselves the okay to laugh back. This is important to Pinkie's pranking philosophy: You don't prank someone who won't get the joke. Dash is a little more liberal about it than Pinkie, but agrees that Fluttershy is off-limits.
  • Never My Fault: Lampshaded. When Gilda has had enough pranks throughout the party, she lashes out at every pony there for laughing before accusing Pinkie Pie of setting up the pranks to embarrass her. Once it's revealed Rainbow Dash was behind the pranks, she points out that she has nobody to blame for making her look bad but herself.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: In a non-villainous example, Pinkie's idea of dealing with a bully "Pinkie Pie style" is to throw a party in her honor, to "turn that frown upside down".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Subverted. Gilda and the audience are led to believe that the party is a ruse by Pinkie Pie to get back at Gilda with a series of pranks, but it turns out her intentions were exactly what she said they were and all the pranks were from Dash.
  • Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: Some of the pranks set up by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash veer into this. For instance, painting over so many apples in Applejack's orchard — it must have taken hours.
  • Pet the Dog: For all the crap she pulls, it's easy to overlook the fact that Gilda obviously cares about Rainbow Dash.
  • Pranking Montage: Rainbow and Pinkie pulling pranks on the Mane Six in the beginning. They stop when they get to Fluttershy.
  • The Prankster:
    • Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. They also have a good sense of humor about becoming the victims themselves.
    • Celestia if "wrong ink" is interpreted to mean she owns a bottle of disappearing ink herself (though the one she uses clearly pops in with the scroll).
  • Put on a Bus: This was Gilda's first and last appearance in Season 1 as she doesn't appear again until after four whole seasons.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Pinkie Pie tries to follow Gilda and Rainbow by tying a bunch of balloons to herself, the griffon, fed up with the party pony trying to follow them, verbally lays it onto her before popping enough of the balloons with her claws to send Pinkie plummeting.
    Gilda: Don't you know how to take get lost for an answer? Dash doesn't need to hang with a dweeb like you now that I'm around. You're dorkin' up the skies, Stinkie Pie, so make like a bee and BUZZ OFF!!
    • See also the caption for the page pic, which is from the moment when Gilda lashes out at the party-goers near the end after being humiliated by all the pranks Rainbow set up at the party.
  • Red Herring: Pinkie Pie uses a Joy Buzzer when introducing Gilda at the party, setting herself up as a likely suspect for all the other pranks.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The pranking spree is one of the very rare occasions where Pinkie is the blue (to Dashie's red).
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Rainbow Dash about Gilda in the end. Freaking out at the party is the least of Gilda's sins, and Rainbow might not judge her so harshly for it if she knew her thought process (Humiliation Conga orchestrated by an antagonistic Pinkie Pie). However, if she knew the actual reason, she'd also have had an inkling about what a jerk Gilda was being behind her back. In the end, Rainbow's uncharitable interpretation about Gilda's talk about being "cool" and "lame" is right even though calling all the pranks lame could have had the opposite meaning that it's lame to be mean to people.
    • Twilight is this about Pinkie at one point. Twilight is right that Pinkie may be jealous of Dash hanging out with Gilda, but her saying that Pinkie bad-mouthing Gilda isn't the right reason for it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stalker without a Crush: This episode has Pinkie Pie following Rainbow Dash around in a fairly cheerful way. Dash finds this slightly annoying at worst, but also amusing.
  • Stock Femur Bone: When Gilda falls for Pinkie's hand buzzer prank, the X-Ray Sparks show that her entire skeleton, save for her skull, ribcage, and spine, is made up of these — her finger, claw and feather bones are all cartoon femurs of various sizes.
  • Subverted Suspicion Aesop:
    • Gilda's true character is pretty obvious, but between Twilight and Rainbow avoiding all the flying dogs she'd been kicking, there is a conflicting view. Pinkie doesn't have to go far down the path of potentially unfair suspicion once the possibility is pointed out.
    • Gilda suspects Pinkie of victimizing her with a Humiliation Conga of pranks that were all set up by Rainbow Dash for various guests. Gilda was just unlucky activating every single one.
  • Teleport Spam: In the most stealth punny way possible. Spike + dragonfire-hiccups - scrolls = tons of junk mail for Celestia!
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Pinkie Pie's "crazy contraption".
  • Toothy Bird: Gilda is depicted as having teeth, something real avains don't have.
  • Totally Radical: Gilda talks like she stepped out of a 90s anti-bullying PSA.
    • After Gilda storms out from the party, one of the guests murmuring in the background says simply "Word".
  • Tranquil Fury: Unusually Rainbow Dash, who deals with Gilda's true colors solely with collected, stern words.
  • Unintentionally Karmic: Pinkie witnesses Gilda verbally attacking Fluttershy to tears, and vows to do something. We soon see that Pinkie has decided to throw a party for Gilda, always directing her to something that ends in a practical joke. Reaching her Rage Breaking Point, Gilda believes and accuses Pinkie of being behind the jokes and setting up the party to embarrass her, while insulting the other ponies. That’s when Rainbow Dash reveals that she was the one who set up all the pranks, not intending for Gilda to set them all off, and Pinkie was only trying to throw the party to soften her up, and directed her towards all the awaiting pranks with no knowledge of them, as she was only trying to get Gilda involved in the fun.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: As Dash is flying away from a running and shouting Pinkie.
    Rainbow Dash: I’m in the middle of something.
    Pinkie Pie: But...
    Rainbow Dash: I said, not now! (THUD)
    Pinkie Pie: I was going to tell you to look out for that mountain.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Gilda and Rainbow Dash at the end. Now...they're enemies.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Twilight suspects Pinkie of being jealous of Gilda. See Bait-and-Switch above.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: A Played for Laughs variant. Some of Dash's pranks at the party likely weren't set up too far in advance of Gilda setting them off. To do it behind Pinkie's back when Pinkie is right next to every one of them is also impressive given Pinkie's later habit of finding out everything about everything.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Pinkie Pie uses a joy buzzer on Gilda, her griffon skeleton flashes into view.


Video Example(s):


Pinkie Le Pew

Pinkie Pie's tradition of moving from place to place by hopping is based off of a recurring gag with Looney Tunes star Pepe Le Pew, wherein he chases Penelope Pussycat around by hopping. This is especially made noticeable in "Griffon the Brush Off", where Pinkie chases Rainbow Dash around Ponyville with her bounces set to a waltz, as Pepe's cartoons had him do.

How well does it match the trope?

4.36 (14 votes)

Example of:

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