Fluttershy: Yes. Because they're not dragons.
Rainbow: Oh, come on! We've seen you walk up to a horrible manticore like it was nothing!
Fluttershy: Yes. Because he wasn't a dragon.
Pinkie Pie: Spike is a dragon! You're not scared of him!
Fluttershy: Yes. Because he's not a huge, gigantic, terrifying, enormous, teeth-gnashing, sharp-scale-having, horn-wearing, smoke-snoring, could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite, totally-all-grown-up dragon.
A sleeping dragon's smoke is disrupting the skies of Equestria, and Princess Celestia gives Twilight Sparkle the task of getting it to move on. Most of her friends are eager to help, save for Fluttershy, who keeps trying to tell Twilight she's too scared to face a dragon (to be honest, she's scared of a lot of things — heights, falling leaves, her own shadow...) Twilight ignores Fluttershy's reluctance, insisting that she has to come along because of her unique talent with animals.
The Mane Six set out, but once they reach the mountain the dragon's taken up residence in, Fluttershy's wings lock up in fear, leaving Applejack to literally drag her up. As they continue making their way up, Fluttershy continues to be a burden, slowing the group down and accidentally causing a rockslide which further delays their progress.
The ponies finally reach the dragon's cave, ready to confront the sleeping beast. Well, almost ready; Fluttershy refuses to go any closer, finally blurting out that she's afraid of dragons. Even when her friends point out that she's faced a manticore and that she's not scared of Spike (granted, he's a baby dragon), she knows what she's afraid of and won't change her mind. Twilight gives up and decides to proceed without Fluttershy's help. She tries being diplomatic with the dragon, asking him nicely to leave, but it doesn't work. Rarity tries charming him, but her tactic fails when she looks a bit too longingly at the dragon's hoard of gems. Pinkie tries laughter and...well...you can see where this is going. Things take a turn for the worse when Rainbow Dash tries to settle the issue head-on; the dragon gets angry and knocks everypony to the ground, save for Fluttershy, who's been hiding.
As it turns out, that was a bad idea.
The meek little pegasus gets so angry at the dragon that she completely forgets her fear and flies up to face it, speaking to it sternly and letting him know once and for all that you do NOT hurt her friends. Fluttershy gets so intimidating that the dragon actually breaks down and cries. Returning back to her calm and nurturing self, Fluttershy comforts the dragon, and tells him nicely that he has to leave. As the dragon flies off to find somewhere else to nap and the clouds of smoke get cleared up, Twilight writes to the Princess about what she's learned that day. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash gets spooked by Pinkie imitating a dragon's roar and Fluttershy reassures her that "not everypony can be as brave as me"... right before a leaf lands on Fluttershy, scaring the daylights out of her.
- An Aesop: Don't lose faith in yourself or others.
- All Animals Are Dogs: The dragon whimpers like a puppy after Fluttershy stands up to him. No wonder; it certainly seems like the natural reaction in the circumstances.
- Answer Cut: The dragon gives a loud roar immediately after Fluttershy's lines at the top of this page, sending her into further timidity.
- Appeal to Force: After Pinkie and Rarity fail to persuade the dragon to leave, Rainbow Dash flies into the cave and kicks him in the snout. That doesn't work, either.
- Aside Glance: Rainbow Dash after Fluttershy apologizes to the dragon for the former's kicking him.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: When Fluttershy is trying to get the attention of the other Ponyville ponies.Fluttershy: Please, this is an emergency! I need everypony to...
Twilight Sparkle: Listen up!
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Spike is left behind to tend to Fluttershy's animals. Angel the bunny proves especially difficult.
- Best Out of Infinity: Rarity plays Tic-Tac-Toe with Pinkie Pie while waiting for Twilight and Fluttershy. Either Rarity is really bad at the game, or Pinkie Pie is really good at it.Rarity: That's thirty-five games in a row! (beat) Best of seventy-one?
- Berserk Button: Because you do NOT, we repeat you do NOT. HURT. FLUTTERSHY'S FRIENDS!
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Fluttershy's friends are hurt by the dragon, she becomes absolutely terrifying!
- Big "NO!": Twilight when Rainbow Dash charges into the cave.
- Bowled Over: After Rainbow Dash kicks the dragon, its roar curls her into a ball sends her flying out of the cave. She knocks over Twilight, Rarity, Applejack and Pinkie Pie who happen to be standing by the cave entrance, complete with bowling pin sound effects.
- Bullying a Dragon:
- A literal example. Rainbow Dash learns the hard way that telling a dragon that is several orders of magnitude bigger than her to get lost and then kicking him in the face is never a good idea.
- Fluttershy defied the trope by pointing out that just because the dragon could kill the Mane Six doesn't give him the right to, and that he could have handled being kicked by Dash (which barely annoyed him) better.
- Captain Obvious: Lampshaded by Rainbow Dash:Fluttershy: It's so— so— high!
Rainbow Dash: Well, it is a mountain!
Fluttershy: It's so— so— steep!
Rainbow Dash: Well, it is a cliff!
- Characterization Marches On: While Rainbow Dash's irritability with Fluttershy's meekness has popped up many times afterward, her disinterest and practically naked contempt in keeping her around seems somewhat out of place compared to later episodes; the most jarring example is when Dash says "Not your fault" to Rarity while fixing the dirtiest look at Fluttershy, as if she's really saying "We know who's to blame here." Nowadays, Rainbow is often shown enthusiastically trying to bulk Fluttershy up, and at least is respectful to her and knows when to back off if Fluttershy genuinely is too scared to do something. Fluttershy also is less of a coward in future episodes, including never being afraid of her own shadow again.
- Compressed Vice: Fluttershy's fainting goat tic, especially when we've seen her take several scares in the second season without it ever popping up again.
- Continuity Nod: The first in the series as a whole. Fluttershy's face-off with the Manticore in the second episode is mentioned. It's one of the only nods to the pilot episodes given, at least in Season 1.
- Death Glare: Fluttershy cows the dragon with one. This is the first time we see "The Stare".
- Don't Look Down: Spoken unwisely to Fluttershy as she's jumping over a chasm, although since she's not using her wings one would think she was surely going to fail the leap anyway if she did now. Fortunately, the distance between the cliffs, which had hitherto never been shown both at the same time, is then revealed to be short enough that she just ends up balanced with back and front hooves on different sides.
- Dragon Hoard: Rarity mentions that the only thing shinier than a dragon's scales are the jewels they use to make their nest.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Twilight brings along Fluttershy because her ability to speak to animals will be key in talking to the full-grown dragon, and in this circumstance is what works. In "Dragon Quest" and "Gauntlet of Fire", this doesn't prove a hindrance for Twilight or Rarity, nor later when Ember starts visiting Ponyville.
- Eyedscreen: The Letterbox format during the Mane Six's Lock-and-Load Montage.
- Face Palm:
- Rainbow Dash shows her impatience for Fluttershy's fussing by facehoofing three times, the first being a double facehoof.
- Angel does a facepaw when he just can't get through to Fluttershy.
- Face Your Fears: The episode's moral. When her friends are threatened, Fluttershy's Mama Bear instinct kicks in and forces her to confront her near-paralyzing fear of the dragon.
- Funny Background Event: When Pinkie Pie is counting ponies to see how many balloons she'll need for her latest party, we see Lyra Heartstrings sitting with Shoeshine on a bench... except while Shoeshine is laid out across it, Lyra's slouched down sitting on it in a way that is decidedly un-pony-like. This one scene has launched the entire fandom's "Lyra desire to be human" attributes to the character.
- Good Is Not Nice: Rainbow Dash is focused on her mission rather than on diplomatic affairs, so one should not expect her to be courteous towards Fluttershy.
- Grumpy Bear: Rainbow Dash acts this way around Fluttershy, constantly calling her The Load and being rude.
- Hair-Trigger Avalanche: Accomplished with a rockslide instead of snow.
- Hammerspace: Pinkie's saddlebags; not only is she ready with an "invitation" for Fluttershy to climb the mountain, but she's managed to fit her entire "package" disguise within it.
- Hint Dropping:(Angel Bunny coughs)
Fluttershy: Are you okay?
(Angel coughs again)
Fluttershy: Are you coughing because you have a carrot stuck in your throat?
(Angel coughs again, now clearly annoyed)
Fluttershy: Do you need some water?
(Angel lets out a cough that a 20-pack-a-day smoker would be envious of, and points Fluttershy's head skywards)
Fluttershy: Is it because of that giant cloud of scary black smoke?!
(Angel throws a carrot at the back of Fluttershy's head, and glares at her)
Fluttershy: I'll take that as a yes.
- Hypocritical Humor: The ending. Rainbow Dash gets scared by Pinkie, causing Fluttershy to note how brave she is, only to get scared when a leaf falls on her back.
- Lazy Dragon: The dragon spends most of the episode asleep on its hoard, and it's implied he will keep sleeping for a century if left undisturbed. The biggest reaction he has to the ponies before Rainbow Dash kicks him in the snout is at most to stretch and go right back to sleep. He only poses a passive threat due to the clouds of smoke he breaths out while snoring.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Rainbow Dash's entire "plan" boils down to rushing into the cave and kicking the dragon in the face.
- The Load: Fluttershy until the end. This is Lampshaded by Twilight at the beginning, as she acknowledges that, with her phobia towards everything, she'll be a nuisance along the way, but in the end Fluttershy is the only one who can speak with the dragon, making her presence a necessity.
- Lock-and-Load Montage: Which is simultaneously a Shout-Out to both The A-Team and Charlie's Angels.
- Long List: "A huge, gigantic, terrifying, enormous, teeth-gnashing, sharp-scale-having, horn-wearing, smoke-snoring, could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite, totally-all-grown-up dragon."
- Loud Gulp: Fluttershy before the Mane Six leave for the mountain.
- Nervous Wreck: Fluttershy becomes one, which causes all the issues that slow down the entire group.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Twilight delivers one to Rarity after her plan to lure the dragon out of the cave fails.
- Ocular Gushers: The dragon's tears are about average sized to him, but for the ponies below it might as well be raining heavily.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Rainbow Dash before the dragon blows her out of the cave.
- A bigger version is done when the dragon starts coming out of the cave itself.
- One-Word Title: "Dragonshy"
- Overly Long Gag: The camera backs out 8 times during Fluttershy's quote at the top of the page for emphasis, starting with just Fluttershy and Twilight and backing out to view the whole mountain by the time it's done.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: Spelled out by Twilight when they are about to face the dragon as to why they are all there.
- Properly Paranoid: Exaggerated moments notwithstanding, you really can't blame Fluttershy for (initially) being afraid of the Kaiju-sized Dragon. Sure, he's Not Evil, Just Misunderstood, but he's still very dangerous if you press his Berserk Button.
- Pun-Based Title: Concerning the dragon and Fluttershy's importance to the plot.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:Fluttershy: You do NOT! HURT! MY! FRIENDS!
- Rage Breaking Point:
- The dragon reaches this after Rainbow Dash kicks him.
- From the heroes' perspective, Fluttershy reaches this when the dragon threatens her friends, filling her with enough rage to stand up to the dragon.
- Reflective Eyes: Fluttershy's eyes reflect Pinkie hop-skip-and-jumping over the chasm.
- Reveal Shot: Only one side of the chasm Pinkie sings her song at is onscreen at one time until Fluttershy accidentally looks down while jumping across it, to avoid revealing that it's actually not wide at all.
- Running Gag: Apparently, pegasi are part fainting goat.
- Scooby Stack: Done by Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity and Pinkie Pie around the cave entrance after Twilight enters.
- Security Cling: The Mane Six, save for Fluttershy after Rainbow Dash angers the dragon and it approaches them.
- Spike and Angel don't get along.
- A red dragon laying on a hoard of treasure in a tall skinny mountain, snoring out a stream of smoke. Rarity's strategy is to win it over with flattery and makes him angry when she tries to take jewels.
- Skewed Priorities: Rarity, upon realizing the fabulous trove of gems the dragon's sleeping on.Rarity: I was this close to getting that diamond!
Twilight: You mean "getting rid of that dragon"?
Rarity: ...Oh, yeah, that too.
- Space Whale Aesop: Talking sternly to a beast 300 times your size will make it listen to you.
- Staggered Zoom:
- As Fluttershy explains her fear of adult dragons, the camera pulls back from the cave in steps, eventually showing the whole mountain, each step punctuating her list of objections.
- Later while Fluttershy is punishing the dragon, her Punctuated! For! Emphasis! line above is accompanied by four jumping zoom-ins on her eyes.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: In one of the most badass examples ever, a small yellow-pink pony, who is usually a Shrinking Violet, stares down a creature whose eye is bigger than she is and makes him cry.
- Team Mom: Applejack's tendencies toward this really shine in this episode, such as comforting and encouraging Fluttershy.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Twilight asks the others to help Fluttershy across a crevasse, leading to Pinkie instantly bursting into a (very silly) song about jumping across crevasses. This only serves to shorten Twilight's rapidly fraying temper.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: See The Load; Twilight knows Fluttershy will be a nuisance climbing up the mountain, but acknowledges she's the one to go to regarding animal communication.
- This Means Warpaint: Rainbow Dash prepares to face a dragon by dipping her hooves into a puddle of liquid rainbow and applying it beneath her eyes.
- Verbal Judo: Fluttershy stops the dragon from attacking by talking to him.
- Violence Discretion Shot: We never see what happened to Pinkie Pie and her party gear.
- Visual Pun: When Pinkie tries to convince the dragon to leave, she dresses up in an odd costume centered around a birthday present. Her birthday suit, if you will.
- Vocal Dissonance: The dragon to some extent. His roars are certainly fitting, but after being berated by Fluttershy, his "But that rainbow one kicked me!" and crying are juuuust a bit on the dopey side.
- Wasn't That Fun?: Pinkie Pie's reaction to the rockslide that nearly kills them: "Woohoo! Let's do it again!"
- Would Hit a Girl: The dragon beats up Pinkie Pie off-screen and blows Rainbow Dash out of his cave. He very likely would have done further damage had Fluttershy not intervened.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Fluttershy may be afraid of a lot of things, but non-pony creatures are not usually among them with adult dragons being a huge exception. By the end, Rainbow Dash has temporarily acquired some of the same fear after catching a glimpse of what happens when you charge one.
- "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Between Fluttershy and Angel:Fluttershy: *gasp* Because of that giant cloud of scary black smoke?
(Angel throws a carrot at her head, looking annoyed)
Fluttershy: I'll take that as a "yes".