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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S2 E19 "Putting Your Hoof Down"

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When life becomes a thorn, GRAB IT BY THE HORNS.

Iron Will: Don't be sorry, be assertive! Never apologize when you can criticize!

Story by Charlotte Fullerton
Written by Merriwether Williams

Fluttershy's having a rough morning. Angel Bunny angrily refuses to eat his breakfast, and insists Fluttershy make a big, fancy salad instead. She goes grocery shopping for the ingredients, only to repeatedly get cut off by other ponies in line. Pinkie Pie and Rarity try to help by teaching her to be assertive, but Fluttershy's attempts to emulate their techniques backfire, and she eventually leaves without the last ingredient — the cherry on top. She makes the salad anyway, but since it wasn't completely perfect, Angel throws a tantrum... and throws Fluttershy out the front door!

As Fluttershy laments just how much of a doormat she is, she finds a flyer from Iron Will, a motivational speaker who's holding a seminar to teach ponies to stand up for themselves. Iron Will turns out to be a hulking, boisterous minotaur who advises his audience to be aggressive and pushy, and lures them in with his show-boating and a 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee. Will demonstrates the effectiveness of his techniques with the meekest pony in the audience as a "volunteer" — and, naturally, that pony is Fluttershy. True to his word, Iron Will quickly gets Fluttershy to stand up for herself against his assistants, and she's pleasantly surprised at how good it feels to be assertive.

Back home, Fluttershy puts her lessons to good use, to the delight of her friends. But it isn't long before "New Fluttershy" grows more and more aggressive and take her assertiveness a little too far, eventually lashing out at ponies for slights big, small, or imagined. Pinkie Pie and Rarity try to talk some sense into her, but New Fluttershy thinks they just want the push-over "Old Fluttershy" back. She lashes out at them with personal insults, then dismisses their interests as shallow and frivolous, driving them off in tears.

Finally ashamed at how monstrous she's become, Fluttershy boards up her house and hides inside, for fear of hurting anypony else ever again. Concerned about her, Pinkie Pie and Rarity come by, then try to coax her out by saying she doesn't have to be a bully to be assertive. Midway through their discussion, Iron Will and his crew show up as well, to collect Fluttershy's payment for the seminar. Frightened of what he might do to their friend, Rarity and Pinkie stall him, but Fluttershy accidentally gives herself away with an Ill-Timed Sneeze, whereupon Iron Will threatens to tear her door down (he knocks gently after tearing off the boards) if he doesn't get paid. Fluttershy finally comes out... and tells Iron Will that she refuses to pay. Calmly but firmly, she explains that he had promised 100% satisfaction... and she's not satisfied with the seminar at all because it drove everypony away from her. Knowing that he can't go back on his word, Iron Will agrees and leaves without a fuss.

As Pinkie Pie and Rarity celebrate the return of the Old Fluttershy, Fluttershy dictates a letter to Princess Celestia about how you don't have to change who you are to stand up for yourself. Of course, it helps that she uses "The Stare" on Angel to stop his fussy eating habits.

When somepony denies these tropes, you show them the ropes!

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: A non-videogame version. The cost of tomatoes seems to increase every week. And one pony deliberately raises the price of a single cherry because Fluttershy was so desperate to buy one. She allowed the seller to gain a huge advantage in bargaining. The free market is not kind to the likes of the -shy. And then, apparently just to be a Jerkass (or possibly because he thinks Fluttershy has confused herself to the point where she wouldn't be able to actually pay his ridiculously inflated price) he sells the cherry for 2 bits to some other pony.
  • An Aesop: Being assertive and standing up for yourself is good, but you can do so without taking your assertiveness too far.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Despite what Fluttershy was able to do in Season 1 (where she showed genuine moments of assertiveness), for some reason all of it was thrown away for the sake of this episode. Justified in that those instances were to protect those she cares for or to put disorderly animals in line (while Angel was one of the latter here, he seems more intelligent than her chickens). Some fans speculate that, with Twilight missing from the episode, there's nothing to conclusively prove that it doesn't occur before the first episode, meaning that it's not necessarily a case of Fluttershy being handed the Aesop Amnesia Ball. For example, Angel is much more bratty and mean to Fluttershy here than he ever is anywhere else. Other fans speculate that it happened after "Lesson Zero", since Fluttershy is narrating a letter to Princess Celestia at the end.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: In-universe. Iron Will's courses on how to be assertive and stand up for yourself are misunderstood by Fluttershy, and she takes it to the extent of being a bully that intimidates others into doing what she wants.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: After kicking the other pony out of the taxi, Fluttershy gives an Angry Hoof Shake to her unlucky victim.
  • Appeal to Flattery: Rarity's tactic for getting the last bundle of asparagus from the nerdy teenage colt is to flirt with him.
  • Artistic License Biology:
    • Angel acts like he's going to vomit when he tries the salad at the start of the episode. Lagomorphs (i.e. rabbits) can't vomit.
    • Fluttershy's ferrets are eating vegetables, even though they should be carnivorous.
  • Audience? What Audience?: When Pinkie Pie and Rarity first confront Iron Will, he gives the viewers a thumbs up. Rarity and Pinkie Pie both glance around in the audience's direction, visibly confused.
  • Background Body Part: When Fluttershy looks in the mirror and calls herself a monster, the position of the torn Iron Will poster on the mirror makes it look like she has horns.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Angel may have been difficult for most of the episode, but he ties Fluttershy up when she asks.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Rarity has to clamp her hoof in Pinkie's mouth, or nudge her a few times so she doesn't make things worse by talking.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Thanks to Iron Will's assertive training, Fluttershy turns Flutterbitch.
  • Big Ball of Violence: When Fluttershy beats up the hapless pony who tried to get in the cab she'd hailed.
  • Book Ends: The episode starts and ends with Fluttershy feeding her animals.
  • Bound and Gagged: When Fluttershy decides to hide in her house, she has Angel tie her to a chair.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Rarity and Pinkie Pie run away in tears after enduring several insults from Fluttershy, including personal attacks and calling their lives' purpose "frivolous".
    • Fluttershy herself shortly thereafter; looking into a puddle and seeing that she's gone too far with her 'assertiveness' the breakage leads her to seal herself in her home and vow to never leave again. Lest she keep hurting people.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Iron Will gives the audience a thumbs up. Even Pinkie Pie is caught off-guard.
  • Break Them by Talking: Fluttershy driving her friends to tears with personal attacks.
  • The Cameo:
    • This episode's Derpy cameo is just her at market and at Iron Will's seminar. Don't worry folks, she's got her derp eyes back. And a muffin bag!
    • The notable cameo is Pipsqueak, who appears for the first time since "Luna Eclipsed", and without his costume. He's in a blink and you miss it moment when Fluttershy is checking her shopping list.
    • In the same shot you can also see Lyra Heartstrings sitting in yet another atypical fashion, reaching for something to drink, almost as if she were wishing that she had hands. Bon Bon sitting down and talking to Lyra.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The last bit of advice Rarity gives Fluttershy on assertive negotiation is to simply "refuse to give him your business and just walk away" when a vendor tries to take advantage of Fluttershy's poor negotiating skills. When Iron Will comes to collect payment later, this is exactly how Fluttershy handles the situation.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Not intentionally, but Iron Will turns Fluttershy into a bitch.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The cherry vendor could have sold the cherry to Fluttershy for anywhere between three and twelve bits, after Fluttershy's haggling failure, but instead sold it to somepony else for two bits.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This is the first Fluttershy-centered episode since "A Bird in the Hoof", and the first one of season 2.
  • Destination Defenestration: Angel does this to Fluttershy, over a salad, no less. He also throws the salad out.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Iron Will all try to teach Fluttershy how to be more assertive. None of them ever stop to consider the possibility of her starting to stand up to them as well. All three were pushing for her to change while still expecting their respective relationships with her to remain exactly the same as before.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • New Fluttershy's behavior is understandable during the first few times; ponies were pushing her around, but freaking out at someone for accidentally mixing up your mail and making you drop your letter in a puddle?
    • Angel Bunny tosses Fluttershy out of a window because she didn't include the cherry in a salad. Which Angel only noticed because Fluttershy had to apologize for it.
  • The Dog Bites Back: This episode shows what would happen if a nice pegasus snaps.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Pinkie Pie tricks the pony selling tomatoes into giving her the tomato for one bit instead of two bits with this trope. She does it again with Iron Will, but Fluttershy accidentally ruins it.
  • Exact Words:
    • Iron Will's workshop guaranteed 100% satisfaction, or no payment. Fluttershy uses this to avoid having to pay Iron Will, because she wasn't satisfied.
    • Pinkie Pie relies on this to enforce her haggling techniques.
  • Extreme Doormat: Fluttershy in the beginning of the episode lets everypony walk over her. Lampshaded by both Rarity and Pinkie Pie.
  • Extreme Omnigoat: Iron Will's goats can be seen munching on each other's neckties and, at one point, Pinkie's tail.
  • Face Palm: Rarity when Fluttershy offers to pay the cherry vendor more than his asking price of ten bits.
  • Fantastic Racism: Averted. Rarity and Pinkie were blaming Iron Will for what happened to Fluttershy (she calls them out on this, by the way) and by the end, they accepted that is was Fluttershy's own doing as much as she did. They never show any dislike for minotaurs in general.
  • Feather Fingers: In one scene, Fluttershy uses a wing like a hand to open her saddlebags.
  • Fisher King: When Fluttershy isolates herself due to realizing her recent horrid behavior, her normally pleasant little cottage becomes completely gloomy: The flowers and foliage disappears, the stream turns to a mud wallow, all the entrances including the bird houses and a burrow are all boarded up. This all happens in the space of a few hours, even though the cottage looks like it's been abandoned for years.
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: The nerdy pony tries this when Rarity is charming him for the asparagus.
  • Foil: Iron Will could be seen as one to Trixie, Gilda, and the Flim Flam brothers, as he combines elements of all of them and still comes across much more sympathetically. He also leaves more gracefully and even learned something from his venture in Ponyville compared to the other three.
  • Food Slap: The first sign that Fluttershy is becoming a jerk? She throws the bowl of pink punch at Pinkie when she thinks the party pony is laughing at her.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Right after the scene at the market, a goat with a certain basket in its mouth can be seen leaving Fluttershy's place.
    • In Sugarcube Corner, after asserting herself to the front of line Fluttershy begins talking to Pinkie Pie and Rarity. During this little chat, Pinkie cracks a joke regarding punch. Fluttershy mistakes the laughing as being directed at her so she pushes the punch on her. This will explain her behavior later in the episode where she takes Rarity saying they want the old Fluttershy back as a way of saying they want to her to be a doormat again.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: It would have defeated the purpose of the story, but Bon Bon and Cherry Berry weren't technically in Fluttershy's way since Fluttershy could have flown over the canal. Fluttershy probably just refused to take that option, since it would have defeated the purpose of being assertive. Also, Fluttershy doesn't like flying in the first place.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Pinkie Pie and Rarity appear together before they are insulted by Fluttershy. This is only the second time in the series where they've been seen alone together onscreen (the first being in "The Last Roundup") and the first time by choice.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During the market scene, we see Lyra Heartstrings sitting at a table, bored, reaching for a drink as if wishing she had hands. She is soon joined by Bon Bon, and they strike up a conversation.
    • Later, when Fluttershy tries to get the last cherry from the cherry stand, we see Derpy walk up to the asparagus stand, only to look disappointed when she finds they're out of stock.
    • During the seminar, we get a view of the confused audience after Iron Will tells them to shut up; Derpy is the only one in the crowd smiling.
  • Furry Confusion: Not from the Minotaur but from his assistants, the herd of goats. One was seen in "May the Best Pet Win!" as a pet Rainbow Dash could choose. None of the goats speak, so they may just be highly intelligent pets like Angel. Although Iron Will seems able to understand their bleating just fine.
  • Furry Reminder: The goats again. While they're smart enough to understand English and competent enough to use machinery and headsets, they talk in bleats and chew on things like the Extreme Omnivore goats they are. One even tries to eat Pinkie's tail. The goats' eyes even have horizontal pupils like real goats, which is very unusual in a cartoon.
  • Gale-Force Sound: Fluttershy does this three times; when she screams "NOPONY!!!" at the end of her rant before leaving town, again when she says to her little critters friends "Am I RIGHT??!!", and again when she exclaims to Rarity and Pinkie Pie that Old!Fluttershy is "GONE!!"
  • Garden-Hose Squirt Surprise: New Fluttershy to her gardener, when he refuses to admit he overwaters her flowers.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: Before New Fluttershy takes completely over in the third act, Fluttershy alternates between her old, kind self and her new assertive side within moments, whenever she's being treated unfairly. It's most noticeable when she leaves Sugarcube Corner.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Rarity and Pinkie Pie tell Fluttershy she needs to stop being a doormat, and so she does.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Fluttershy's "give a flying feather".
  • Graceful Loser: Iron Will not only keeps his word about "free without 100% satisfaction", but also considers it a learning experience he might integrate into his lessons.
  • Grew a Spine: Iron Will tries to help Fluttershy and other ponies do this. That's the point of his assertiveness training. It works a little too well.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: New Fluttershy will "blow her fuse" if you cross her/thinks you crossed her.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: When Pinkie tries to stall Iron Will, they get into a round of this.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: The stallion who makes Fluttershy drop her mail.
  • Hedge Maze: Appropriately enough for a minotaur, Iron Will holds his assertiveness workshop at the centre of one.
  • Huddle Power: Iron Will conspires with his goat assistants briefly, and one looks up at Fluttershy before being pulled down again.
  • I Am a Monster: Fluttershy says this when she realizes she hurt Pinkie Pie and Rarity.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Angel towards cucumber slices. He doesn't like them until he tries them. Then he devours the entire salad.
  • I Gave My Word: Iron Will keeps his promise, when Fluttershy states that she's not satified with his advice, he leaves without a fight.
  • Ill-Timed Sneeze: Pinkie Pie and Rarity try to convince Iron Will that Fluttershy isn't home but she gives herself away by sneezing.
  • Incoming Ham: Iron Will's entrance involves artificial smoke, dramatic spotlight, fireworks, a well-timed cape reveal, a theme music sounding like "Eye of the Tiger", him flexing his muscles before he's even started talking... The whole works.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Minotaur", not "monster".
  • Jaw Drop: Pinkie at Fluttershy's assertiveness towards Iron Will.
  • Jerkass:
    • Fluttershy temporarily becomes one because she takes the assertiveness training to mean intimidate and anger.
    • Surprisingly averted with Iron Will. Despite being portrayed in a role expected for a big douchebag who's in it only for the money, he's actually very reasonable and polite when not asserting himself. All indications are that his stated goal of helping ponies become more assertive is completely genuine.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Angel Bunny is particularly horrible to Fluttershy, to the point of slapping her when she doesn't make him the right food, and throwing her and his food out of her own cottage when he doesn't get it made the exact way he wanted it.
    • Ponyville as a whole seems to suddenly be filled with inconsiderate pricks, line cutters, and petty extortionists. All of which decide to take advantage of Fluttershy. Yes, it's to help Fluttershy stand up for herself, but they just come out of the blue all of a sudden - and right after the episode with the Smile Song! While the ponies in the market pushed Fluttershy around already, the rest of Ponyville appeared to follow suit after Iron Will's seminar.
    • Even Rarity's and Pinkie Pie's methods are somewhat jerkish.
  • Jerkass Realization: The "New Fluttershy" doesn't know how far she has gone until after she insults Rarity and Pinkie Pie.
    Fluttershy: Iron Will is not a monster! HE'S A MINOTAUR!!! (sees her angry reflection in a puddle) I'm the monster...
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Fluttershy goes from sticking up for herself against Ponyville's sudden infusion of total jerks to being a complete jerk as if the line weren't even there.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Most of the Jerkass ponies from the marketplace go unpunished.
    • Angel never suffers any consequences for the horrible way he treats Fluttershy. Though her Death Glare does bring him down a few pegs.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Fluttershy's assertiveness training works too well, and she begins acting like a jerk and treating even innocent ponies terribly. It isn't until her insults cause Rarity and Pinkie Pie to run away in tears that she realizes just how bad it's become.
  • Kind Restraints: Fluttershy boards up her home and has Angel tie her to a chair to ensure that her aggressive assertiveness doesn't hurt anypony else.
  • Knight Templar: Fluttershy thinks that being assertive towards everyone around her would solve her problems.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Iron Will hadn't really done anything to make himself look bad to the ponies in general, and decides to keep it that way.
  • Large Ham: Iron Will. He practically flexes in some way every time he talks.
    Iron Will: No! When somepony tries to block, show them that YOU ROCK!
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The song that sounds like "The Lonely Man" accompanies Fluttershy's walk home after she realizes that she's become a monster.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-universe. Iron Will acts tough for his seminar and to try and get his payment, but he doesn't mind too much about the money if Fluttershy isn't satisfied. He guaranteed after all.
  • Mirror Monologue: New Fluttershy gives herself a peptalk before leaving her cottage.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Twice. After Rarity and Pinkie Pie run off, Fluttershy sees her angry self in a puddle and realizes what she has become. The second time, she tells Rarity and Pinkie Pie that she's afraid of becoming a monster again if she were to attempt to assert herself. She then looks in the mirror and her reflection shows her with horns. It's actually just the horns from Iron Will's torn photo taped to the mirror.
  • Moving the Goalposts: The cherry sales-stallion jacks the price from 2 bits to 10, then from 10 to 20 when Fluttershy says she needs a cherry really, really badly.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After thoroughly chewing out Rarity and Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy realizes what she has done and feels tremendous guilt for hurting her friends.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Angel Bunny was willing to eat the salad until Fluttershy apologized for missing out the cherry, which only brought it to his attention.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Iron Will appears to be an Expy of motivational speaker Tony Robbins with elements of Mr. T, Hulk Hogan, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He even resembles Johnson's Brahma Bull logo.
  • Old, Dark House: Fluttershy's home becomes one, complete with boarded up windows and an unseen wolf howling in the distance.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Subverted. When trying to collect his fee, Iron Will rips the boards off Fluttershy's front door, visibly winds himself up, then politely knocks on it.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Iron Will is the first minotaur introduced in Friendship Is Magic. He has human-like torso and arms, but a bull's head, hindlegs and tail, and his entire body is covered in blue fur (which gets darker around the legs, looking like he's wearing blue jeans).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: When New Fluttershy is getting angry with Pinkie and Rarity, she hovers around them, while she's normally the most earth-bound pony around. It looks like her self-confidence also reinforced her confidence in her flight capacities.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: More like Pay Jerkassery unto the Jerkasses. Although the citizens of Ponyville might had been unfair to her earlier on, her eagerness to fight back with others who push her around is portrayed as alarming nonetheless. Also, fans are expected to understand that Fluttershy's Unstoppable Rage is considered extremely disproportionate. Her sticking up against Mr. Greenhooves is considered understandable while the sticking of the mailpony in the mailbox is not.
  • Picky Eater: Angel will only eat his salad with whipped cream and a cherry on top. He also dislikes cucumbers until Fluttershy uses The Stare and he eats them... and soon devours his whole salad!
  • Power Echoes: New Fluttershy seems to have taken a leaf from Luna's book when she gets angry.
    Fluttershy: You've got this, New Fluttershy! This day is yours, and nopony's going to take it away from you... am I RIGHT?!
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The tune that plays when Fluttershy gets assertive is taken from Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Played with, and ultimately defied. While Pinkie Pie and Rarity try to blame Iron Will for Fluttershy's wrongdoings in an attempt at making her feel better, Iron Will at no point acts like a real villain (ignoring a bluff or two) and Fluttershy takes responsibility for taking Iron Will's teachings too far.
  • Rack Focus: While the show has used altering focus of foreground and background through numerous episodes, the one shot of Fluttershy, tied to a chair, looking back to her boarded up door, has been highlighted by several animation fans as one of the most impressive uses of the technique.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Iron Will is carrying an adorable shopping basket.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "New Fluttershy" gives a brutal one to Pinkie Pie and Rarity about how their passions are pointless and they're wasting their lives
    Rarity: Fluttershy! What are you doing?! That's no way to behave!
    Fluttershy: Didn't you see what he did to new Fluttershy? And he thought new Fluttershy was a pushover!
    Rarity: No, sweetie, he didn't. We saw the whole thing. We think that you've taken your assertiveness training a little too far.
    Fluttershy: What?! You just want new Fluttershy to be a doormat like old Fluttershy! But old Fluttershy is gone!
    Pinkie Pie: New Fluttershy? Old Fluttershy!?
    Rarity: What happened to nice Fluttershy? We want that Fluttershy back.
    Fluttershy: No, you want wimp Fluttershy. You want pushover Fluttershy. You want do-anything-to-her-and-she-won't-complain Fluttershy!
    Pinkie Pie: Nyaaaaah! Too many Fluttershys to keep track of! Make it stop!
    Fluttershy: Things getting too complicated for your simple little brain, Pinkie Pie?
    Rarity: Now, stop right there! Let's not let things descend into petty insults!
    Fluttershy: Why not? I thought 'petty' was what you're all about, Rarity. With your 'petty' concerns about fashion.
    Rarity: [gasps]
    Pinkie Pie: Hey, leave her alone! Fashion is her passion!
    Fluttershy: Oh, and what are you passionate about? Birthday cake? Party hats? I can't believe that the two most frivolous ponies in Ponyville are trying to tell new Fluttershy how to live her life when they are throwing their own lives away on pointless pursuits that nopony else gives a flying feather about!
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • Iron Will's catchphrases.
      Iron Will: When somepony tries to block, show them that YOU ROCK!

      Iron Will: Never apologize when you can criticize!
    • Fluttershy when she repeats Iron Will's lessons:
      Fluttershy: Maybes are for babies!

      Fluttershy: You cut in line, I take what's mine!

      Fluttershy: You make me lose, and I blow my fuse!
    • Pinkie Pie:
      Pinkie: Fashion is her passion!
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A non-lethal example. After getting her assertiveness from Iron Will, Fluttershy goes around to fight back against the Jerkass ponies who even dared to take advantage of her. However, it becomes a misguided Disproportionate Retribution and she ends up yelling at Rarity and Pinkie Pie, reducing them to tears.
  • Running Gag: Bon Bon has yet another, different voice. And so does Shoeshine!
  • Sanity Slippage: Fluttershy becomes more of a complete bitch every hour. The first time she learns how to be assertive by telling off the goat on stage in an imaginary scenario, and after she splashes Mr. Greenhooves who flooded her garden, her actions becomes increasingly aggressive and her interactions more insane. It's made particularly obvious in that Fluttershy knows without it, everyone would be seeing her as an easy pushover and target again, and she decides to throw caution to the wind and at least earn back her approval from Rarity and Pinkie Pie again.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The cutie mark for the nerd trying to buy asparagus is a robot.
    • Iron Will and his henchgoats all sport headsets and microphones, and their seminar stage has large loudspeakers.
  • Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable: With the emphasis in "Unavoidable" with how Fluttershy became a raging jerkass herself, all the while dealing with the jerkasses in Ponyville who were unfair to her.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silk Hiding Steel: This is the Aesop; one does not have to be a super aggressive jerkass to stand up for oneself.
  • Skyward Scream: Fluttershy does this after she gets in a taxi.
    Fluttershy: Nopony pushes New Fluttershy around, NOPONY!
  • Spooky Animal Sounds: When Rarity and Pinkie visit Fluttershy's home to find that it has become an Old, Dark House with boarded-up windows, an unseen wolf is heard howling in the distance.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The maze Iron Will's seminar takes place in is grown from corn. A maze of maize.note 
    • Also, Iron Will himself, a minotaur who espouses a philosophy that one should be aggressive, take what they want, and push people around before they can be pushed around. He is a bull bully.
  • Teach Her Anger: Iron Will teaches assertiveness by teaching anger, passion, and aggressive rhymes.
  • Tears of Joy: Rarity and Pinkie shed these when Fluttershy returns to her old self.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Iron Will is a tall, muscular, aggressive motivational speaker. It's hard not to smile.
  • That Man Is Dead: New Fluttershy insists Old Fluttershy isn't coming back.
  • Third-Person Person:
    • Iron Will this way during his seminar; branding perhaps?
    • Fluttershy does this too when she begins to assert herself.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fluttershy keeps taking multiple levels in badassery throughout the episode and subsequently, temporarily one in jerkass.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Fluttershy flies off the handle in this episode especially towards the pony who hops unto her intended taxi.
  • Valley Girl: A couple of rude ponies would like you to move back; cuz, you're like... in their personal space.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: When Fluttershy is feeding her animals, the ferrets are shown munching on bowls of chopped celery alongside all the other animals.
  • Visual Pun: After Fluttershy gets kicked out by Angel, landing flat on her stomach in front of her doorstep, she laments that she really is a doormat.
  • Volumetric Mouth: "Nopony pushes New Fluttershy around! NOPONY!"
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: Fluttershy, the Shrinking Violet, takes a spell at being Assertishy.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Inverted. Whereas a typical WWOJB plot involves teaching a Jerkass to be nice and having that lesson go too far and making the friends lament the change, here an attempt to teach Fluttershy to assert herself go so far that she's a raging Jerkass, causing her friends to lament the change.
  • What Have I Become?: Fluttershy realizes what a jerk she's been after she hurts Rarity's and Pinkie Pie's feelings.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Fluttershy relishes her payback on everyone who walked over her before and tries to after Iron Will's seminar.
  • Wingding Eyes: Happens to Iron Will, with bits (currency used in Equestria).
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Downplayed with Iron Will. He's clearly holding back when pushing Pinkie and Rarity out of his way (the most he'll do is toss them into the mud). Against Fluttershy he made direct, personal threats but didn't lay a hoof on her.
    • Angel smacks Fluttershy at the beginning of the episode while demanding a fancy salad.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Iron Will's business plan is one of these, when you think about it. He promises that no one who isn't helped by his assertiveness seminar will have to pay for it, but of course anyone who has failed to become assertive will be too timid to say no when he comes by to demand his money. In the end, though, Fluttershy manages to get out of paying by becoming just assertive enough to tell him that she never wanted to become as assertive as he tried to make her.
  • Zeerust: The design of the robot on the nerd pony's cutie mark reminds strongly of the old science-fiction style.


Video Example(s):


New Fluttershy

Fluttershy takes Iron Will's advice too well and becomes a rude and spiteful jerk.

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TookALevelInJerkass

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