Continued from "The Return of Harmony Part 1".
Written by M.A. Larson
When we last left our heroes, Twilight's friends had all fallen under the influence of Discord and become their opposite selves: the honest Applejack is a compulsive (and transparent) liar, the generous Rarity is greedily obsessing over a boulder she thinks is a giant diamond, the fun-loving Pinkie Pie is a grump, the kindly Fluttershy is a Jerkass, and the loyal Rainbow Dash has run out on her friends. Equestria is doomed!
Twilight, the only one of the group who was not corrupted, starts to call out Discord on not playing fair in his little "game" by removing the labyrinth prematurely; Discord points out that he never said the Elements of Harmony were in the hedge maze, and that Twilight misinterpreted his riddle and fell into his trap as a result. He stays around just long enough to mock Twilight and "the magic of friendship" before leaving to cause more chaos.
Twilight finally has an epiphany about the meaning of Discord's riddle, and concludes that the Elements of Harmony are hidden where her first adventure with her friends began: Ponyville. She drags the others back to Ponyville, which is showing Discord's influence: among other weirdness, buildings are randomly floating, the dirt roads are turned into soap, and day and night cycle seemingly at random. The attitude of Twilight's friends (which is getting progressively worse) isn't helping things at all, especially when they decide to play keep-away with her copy of The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide.
Twilight, her patience with her "friends" wearing thin, finally gets her hooves on the book, and finds the Elements hidden inside. She forces the Elements onto the others (with Spike acting as a hasty stand-in for Rainbow Dash) and heads out to confront Discord, who seems resigned to give the ponies a shot at defeating him. Twilight powers up the elements, there's a familiar glow of power, and...
Without the bonds of friendship, and because Rainbow's power has no effect with Spike, the Elements are powerless, and Twilight's former companions leave in a huff. Twilight, utterly dejected, finally falls under Discord's corruption; she despondently walks home through the surreal madhouse that is now Ponyville, convinced that her friends (and any hope of defeating Discord) are lost for good.
When Twilight gets home, however, she finds Spike in quite a state, nauseated from burping up countless letters from Princess Celestia. They're copies of all the friendship reports she's sent to the princess during her stay in Ponyville. Reading over them, Twilight is reminded of her lessons of friendship, which breaks Discord's corruption and realizes Discord was trying to distract them from what's important, as he knew they were after the Elements and did whatever he could to stop them from using them, and upon learning how it was wrong to not focus on making friends from the day she first came to Ponyville, is inspired to redouble her fight. Tracking down Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie, she frees them from Discord's influence by using a memory spell to remind them of all their good times. When they find Rainbow Dash clinging to a cloud that she thinks is Cloudsdale, the five endure a harrowing aerial chase before finally returning her to normal.
Once again, Twilight Sparkle and her friends are set to take on Discord, who fails to realize that they've broken free of his influence.
Twilight Sparkle: I'll tell you what we've learned, Discord! We've learned that friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for!
Discord remains smugly confident that the Elements of Harmony are still powerless, only to learn otherwise when they hit him head-on, trapping him in stone once more. Back in Canterlot, the bearers of the Elements receive much-deserved congratulations from Princess Celestia... as well as a new stained-glass window commemorating their defeat of Discord.
This was the final episode to have direct creative input from season 1 showrunner Lauren Faust. She would serve as an executive producer for the rest of season 2 before leaving the show entirely by season 3.
- 10-Minute Retirement: When the Elements fail to work on Discord and her friends seem to be irrevocably corrupted, Twilight Sparkle is ready to throw in the towel. Thankfully, once Celestia sends Twilight her previous friendship lessons, she's back in the game.
- An Aesop: Friendship isn’t easy, but it’s worth fighting for.
- Alone in a Crowd: When Discord breaks Twilight, we see her dejectedly walking through town, surrounded by townsponies, but unable to turn to a single one for help, as they've all been Driven to Madness by Discord's spell and her True Companions have all turned on her due to Discord's brainwashing.
- All Animals Are Dogs:
- When Twilight hears Discord insult Celestia and when Pinkie Pie gets in formation, she snarls like a dog.
- Discorded Big Macintosh acts like a dog/cartoon gopher hybrid.
- When Discorded Fluttershy wakes Spike up by dumping a bucket of water on him, he shakes himself dry in a very dog-like manner.
- And I Must Scream:
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Becomes a plot point twice. First when Celestia uses all the Aesops Twilight had sent her to break Twilight out of her Heroic BSoD and inspire her to fight back. Twilight turns the Aesop of this episode into a Shut Up, Hannibal!/Kirk Summation.
- Anti-Magic: The protective force field Twilight creates against Discord's telekinesis also turns the portion of the ground it lands on back to normal. Her own telekinesis still works inside it, allowing her to lower everyone, herself included, down to the ground.
- Ass Kicking Pose: Subverted twice. Once with the apathetic corrupted ponies, and another when Pinkie decides to have one last sip of chocolate milk rain.
- Astral Checkerboard Decor: Creepy checkerboard ground in the scenes where the Mane Cast confront Discord on his throne.
- Ax-Crazy: Corrupted Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, of the Jerkass variety, have their moments.
- Badass Boast: Parodied.Pinkie Pie: You better THINK before you laugh at the PINK! (pause)...ie Pie!
- The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted. Discord's belief this is true is ultimately what leads to his downfall. Discussed by Twilight, who uses the threat of this to trigger a Let's Get Dangerous! moment in Fluttershy.
- Bad Liar: Corrupted Applejack starts as this, but she becomes a better liar as Discord's corruption gets worse, until she's casually lying about fighting Discord single-hooved. Corrupted Pinkie Pie becomes this as she gets worse — she tries very hard to be taken seriously, and as such denies when she's having fun.Pinkie Pie: This may look like it's fun, but it's not!
- Batman Gambit: In a stunning display of foresight and contingency planning, Princess Celestia pulls one of these off again: It turns out that Twilight's letters to the Princess about friendship were not simply an attempt to get Twilight to loosen up, but that for the whole previous season the Princess anticipated that Discord might try to render the Elements of Harmony useless by breaking the bonds of friendship between the Mane 6. She then further anticipated that Twilight would be able to re-unite with her friends, if only given a push in the right direction. So when it became clear that Discord had not been stopped by the elements, Celestia sent all of Twilight's letters back to her, giving her the Heroic Resolve required to save her friends and defeat Discord.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: Discord's method of choice for breaking and corrupting the Mane Cast was by exploiting their flaws. In the end, it's by taking advantage of his flaws, his ego and inability to truly understand friendship, that he's defeated.
- Big Damn Heroes: When it seems like Discord has won and Twilight is about to leave, Princess Celestia sends back all her friendship reports, which in return revives her.
- Big "NO!": Discord lets out one when he realizes the Mane Cast has regained use of the Elements of Harmony, which are about to be used to blast him right in the face.
- Big "YES!": Discord's reaction to seeing Twilight broken.
- Big Ball of Violence: Happens briefly between Twilight and her friends when Twilight is trying to get the book on the Elements of Harmony.
- Black Comedy Burst: Discord turning Ponyville's dirt roads into soap. Most traditional soaps are made from rendered animal fat.
- Book Safe: The Elements of Harmony turn out to be hidden in a book in the Ponyville library.
- Bound and Gagged:
- Twilight has to physically restrain her friends before she can purify them. Fluttershy, for instance, has to be hogtied to make her hold still long enough.
- Rainbow Dash actually requires several ropes held by each of the Mane Six (save for Twilight) in order to hold her down, and even then she's still able to violently buck and thrash about.
- Break the Cutie: Twilight is fully broken after the first failed attempt at fighting Discord. Unlike the others' corruptions, she isn't hypnotized.
- Brick Joke:
- The "slenderbunnies" (including Angel) from Part 1 show up to stampede over Twilight.
- From the same episode, Pinkie Pie's love of the chocolate rain, enough to get one last mouthful before the Mane Six put an end to Discord's reign.
- Bring It: Discord does this twice, standing still and letting the Mane Six have a free shot at him because he knows they won't work with the group's friendship shattered and wants to use them failing to break Twilight's spirit. It works just as he planned the first time but results in his defeat the second time, as they've rekindled their friendship, something Discord doesn't realize until it's too late.
- Buffy Speak: Twilight descends into this... mostly due to frustration.Twilight Sparkle: Necklace, necklace, necklace, necklace, and... big crown thingy! Come on everypony, let's go!
- Twilight, as usual (and maybe even worse)...
- Also, Spike. Celestia decides to mail back every letter Twilight ever sent about friendship, which means he spends the better part of the day coughing up letters over and over.
- Bystander Syndrome: Corrupted Rainbow Dash's philosophy on chaotic Equestria in general and Discord in particular.
- Call-Back: Twilight recalls her attitude on friendship when she first arrived in Ponyville: "The fate of Equestria does not rest on me making friends." She, of course, realizes now how wrong she was the last time the world was in danger.
- Cassandra Truth: Happens again with Applejack when she tells Discord he couldn't break apart their friendship for very long, which ultimately leads to his downfall for not believing her. Deliciously, he doesn't believe her because he'd turned her into a liar before and doesn't realize she's turned back.
- Chekhov's Gag: In Part 1, after Discord recites his riddle about the location of the elements, Fluttershy asks "Can we go home now?" It is played as a throwaway Lovable Coward gag, until Part 2 reveals that the elements were in Ponyville all along.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Discord in Part 1 of the episode mentioned that the group were supposed to find the Elements "back where you began". As it turns out, the Elements weren't in the maze and instead, it was in Twilight's library. In fact, they were in the very same book that started the very first episode of MLP:FIM.
- Those Friendship Reports she keeps writing to Celestia? She sent them all back to Twilight, which inspires Twilight to shake off Discord's corruption and get her friends back.
- The Chew Toy: Twilight, though in this case, it's Played for Drama.
- Circling Birdies: Twilight sees lots of stars after slamming face-first into Tom the boulder.
- Closest Thing We Got: "Congratulations Spike, you're the new Rainbow Dash!"
- Cloudcuckooland: Discord renovates Equestria into a dystopian variant.
- Companion Cube: Rarity starts calling her "diamond" Tom.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: In "The Return of Harmony" Twilight is nearly ready to pack up and leave, but after reading through letters she had previously written, her heroic resolve returns.
- Conspicuously Light Patch: The Elements of Harmony book really stands out against the others on the shelf.
- Continuity Nod:
- Twilight's Exposition Beam contains flashbacks to numerous episodes.
- The buffalo from "Over a Barrel" dance across the foreground a few times.
- When Discord turns the roads into soap, Pinkie is able to "skate" along them easily, calling back to her job in the Winter Wrap-Up.
- When the mane characters use the Elements of Harmony, they release a Sonic Rainboom.
- Spike sending a hundred scrolls to Princess Celestia by accident was funny. Not so much the other way around.
- The first time the girls (and Spike) try to use the Elements, their poses are surly/apathetic versions of the way they posed when defeating Nightmare Moon.
- A subtle one in one of the old "friendship reports": "And like the path cut through the orchard, there'll always be a way through" isn't from any episode, but it still recalls "Over a Barrel", where the solution involved a literal path cut through an orchard, and where the actual report contained a close paraphrase of some lyrics from Pinkie Pie's song, the same song that ended with "and there'll always be a way through." It's presumably the end of that episode's report, considering Pinkie Pie interrupted it.
- Rainbow Dash lounging on a cloud and idly waving a hoof is a duplicate of her introduction in the premiere, except this time she doesn't care about anyone else.
- When Discorded Fluttershy makes Spike, the "new Rainbow Dash", trip with her tail and he crashes, she calls him "Rainbow Crash".
- Crapsaccharine World: Discord's reign turns Equestria into this. While it looks silly on the surface, everyone seems to have gone insane and it's getting progressively more chaotic by the moment.
- Cruel Mercy: She is on the receiving end of this in "The Return of Harmony". Discord breaks and Hate Plagues five of the mane cast, breaks apart their friendship, and plunges Equestria into a World Gone Mad, driving everyone insane... but never touches Twilight Sparkle. No, he merely lets the fact she's lost everything she cares about cause her to lose all hope. Thankfully, she finds a way to turn this around.
- Darkest Hour: Carried over from Part 1. Discord turns Equestria into a World Gone Mad that's getting progressively worse, the Mane Cast try and fail using the Elements of Harmony to stop him, causing them to break up for real, and Twilight crosses the Despair Event Horizon and gets ready to pack up her bags and leave. Thankfully, things start looking up from there when Princess Celestia sends Twilight back all her friendship reports.
- Deadpan Snarker: Twilight's frustration with her corrupted friends turns her into this even before she loses her color herself.Twilight Sparkle: We've got the liar, the grump, the hoarder and the brute. That just about covers it.
- Death by Irony: Discord exploited the group's personality flaws to break them and their friendship, in order to neutralize the Elements of Harmony. In the end, it's his own personality flaw — being too prideful to believe they're a threat to him — that blinds him to the fact that the group's friendship has been restored until it's too late.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Discord sarcastically tells the heroes to "friend me" with their Elements of Harmony. He knows as well as we do that that's not what they do.Twilight Sparkle: I'm going to fight for our friendship!
- Deliberately Monochrome: Played straight for the viewers, teased in-universe. Upon arriving back in Ponyville, Spike notes that the corrupted ponies appear gray, and Pinkie Pie has a good laugh about her odd coloring after she's been redeemed. Yet for some reason it never occurs to Discord that the mane cast are a serious threat when they show up fully-colored again, just as Twilight didn't notice anything physically odd about them earlier. It's worth nothing that those two are the resident fourth-wall breakers, so it may be them breaking the fourth wall per Rule of Funny as usual. It's also worth noting that Discord's creeping corruption alters senses, so his magic may have kept the Mane 6 from seeing the physical changes.
- Despair Gambit: Discord doesn't break or Mind Rape Twilight himself and leaves her be... so that the crushing weight of the situation she's in can break her slowly and more completely than he did to the others.
- Didn't See That Coming: Discord had planned for just about everything... except Celestia sending back Twilight's letters to break her Heroic BSoD, and that it was possible for her to reunite her friends. It's likely the former was something he couldn't expect while the latter was something he simply didn't consider possible.
- Deus ex Machina: Princess Celestia sending back all the friendship reports Twilight wrote to her, which in turn breaks Discord's corruption on her and realizes everything, inspiring her to reunite her friends and defeat him.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Mane Cast takes down the embodiment of chaos!
- Disapproving Look: Twilight gives one to Pinkie when she stops briefly to eat the chocolate rain before the Mane Six defeat Discord.
- Dramatic Irony: Played much more sweetly this time around in that it's Discord who doesn't know a key fact... in this case, that the heroines have broken free of his Mind Rape and can use the Elements of Harmony again... while the audience does. This makes his downfall due to that fact all the more satisfying.
- Driven to Madness: All of Equestria after Discord takes over; Big Machintosh thinks he's a gopher!
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Over the course of the two-part premiere, the Mane Cast has been broken and Mind Raped, Twilight driven into a HUGE Heroic BSoD, and had their homeland turned into a chaotic World Gone Mad around them. Twilight has to literally fight and physically subdue her friends to turn them back to normal. In the end, they manage to pull together and put Discord in his place. They saved all of Equestria and got their happy ending, but they really had to earn it!
- Eldritch Location: Discord turns Ponyville into this. He changes the dirt roads into soap, has several buildings floating in mid-air, the water is pink, the ground is painted like a checkerboard, and cotton candy clouds hover over the city yet only rain on half of it. The worst part? This is just the opening act.
- Embodiment of Vice: Each member of the "Mane Six" has been corrupted by Discord to represent the antithesis of their Element of Harmony:
- Applejack represents dishonesty and deceitfulness;
- Pinkie Pie represents anger and cynicism;
- Rarity represents greed and envy;
- Fluttershy represents spite and cruelty;
- Rainbow Dash represents betrayal and aloofness;
- Twilight Sparkle briefly represents severance and isolation.
- Et Tu, Brute?: The corrupted True Companions to Twilight. They play keep away with one of her books.
- "Eureka!" Moment: Twilight when she is restored after reading the reports she sent to Celestia, making her realize Discord was trying to stop her and her friends all along and vows to reunite them so they can defeat him.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Discord seriously underestimated the Power of Friendship, assuming he'd completely broken the Mane Cast's friendship beyond fixing. Because of this, he refuses to believe they did it until it was too late.
- Evil Is Petty: If Discorded Fluttershy sees the opportunity to be a jerk, she'll act on it in a heartbeat.
- Exact Words: Twilight protests when Discord removes the maze without giving them a chance to find the Elements of Harmony. Discord responds by pointing out that he never said they were in the maze. Meanwhile, the maze was certainly part of his master plan as he said.
- Exposition Beam: Twilight undoes her friends' brainwashing by reminding them of all the good times they'd had together.
- Eye Recall: Played with. Twilight casts her memory spell on her friends who have been turned into their opposite selves by Discord. The shot generates the dark tunnel, then comes back out to show the memories literally flashing at high speed through the pupils of the pony the spell has been cast on.
- Face Palm: Done by Twilight when Fluttershy asks Rainbow Dash if she can restrain her.Fluttershy: Um ... I'm just wondering if it's okay if I hold you down against your will for a little bit?
- Face Plant: Twilight plows face-first into "Tom" when trying to get her book back from the corrupted Fluttershy, Rarity, AJ, and Pinkie Pie.
- Failed a Spot Check: You would think Twilight would have initially noticed her friends acting weird and opposite of their usual selves.
- Final Exam Finale: Twilight is only able to overcome Discord's corruption thanks to being reminded of everything she's learned about the magic of friendship throughout the first season by her own letters to Princess Celestia.
- Flaw Exploitation: Discord exploits Twilight's love of her friends to break her by turning them against her. In the end, it's his flaws that enable them to defeat him.
- Floating Continent: Discord suspends several buildings in Ponyville, as well as all of Canterlot city, on top of floating islands in the air.
- Foreshadowing: It's brief, but when Discord's offer to just enjoy his chaos are snubbed by Twilight, he gives a rather dejected look. He very quickly celebrates when he realises that means he's won, however. The same occurrence happens next season, but only then will he be able to put it all together.
- For the Evulz: Not just Discord, but also Fluttershy under her new mandate to be cruel. Applejack gets a bit like this, too, but more like It Amused Me.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the Elements fail and the ponies thump to the ground, you can see Spike near them, who never left it.
- Gaslighting: As Twilight more-or-less lampshades in her "Eureka!" Moment, Discord mind rapes her friends into behaving in the opposite way of their Element so that she may lose faith in The Power of Friendship so that the Elements can't work against him.
- Genre Blindness: Discord mocks Twilight about The Power of Friendship, and even Twilight had forgotten just how powerful it could be.
- A Glass of Chianti: Kid-friendly variation: Discord enjoys a chocolate milk of glass while lounging on his throne. (He conjures a glass, fills it from top to bottom with chocolate milk, and drinks the glass. The milk remains as a perfectly intact cylinder and explodes when Discord throws it aside.) It's non-alcoholic, but his mannerisms give it the same effect as it was.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Rather than just Twilight, the entire mane cast sports these when using the Elements of Harmony to put Discord back in his can.
- Go Back to the Source: "Twists and turns are my master plan, then find the elements back where you began." (Twilight: Home! Back where you began!)
- A Head at Each End: Discord briefly appears to have a head at both ends of his body while taunting Twilight.
- Heroic BSoD: After spending half the episode trying to stop Discord, Twilight is finally corrupted after the initial attempt to use the Elements against him fails and her friends' behavior proves too much for her, which also makes Twilight Sparkle give up hope. She was preparing to pack up and leave town before Celestia returning her letters renewed her hope. If she hadn't read the letters, Twilight would've crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
- He's Back!: All the Mane ponies. Princess Celestia encourages this in Twilight with the letters.
- Hollywood Darkness: When the night randomly comes.
- Humiliation Conga: Discord's downfall. Not only is he defeated by the six ponies he'd spent the past two episodes viewing as inconsequential, he has just enough time before being Taken for Granite to realize that his entire plan has been completely undone and he was dead wrong about the Elements of Harmony, something that Applejack and Twilight told him to his face, but he didn't believe them due to his own manipulations involving both of them. Oh, and he gets his Oh, Crap! permanently frozen on his face in the process. All this happens in under a minute. If you believe he's conscious in his stone prison, then he also witnessed the World-Healing Wave that washed away his chaotic kingdom.
- Idiot Ball: Fluttershy herself knows that Rainbow Dash is corrupted, yet being an Apologetic Attacker, she asks her if she can hold her down.
- I Meant to Do That: Corrupted Applejack is still a Bad Liar. That is, until the corruption gets worse...
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Twilight has to find her friends, subdue them, and then remind them of who they really are in order to purify them of Discord's corruption.
- Imperfect Ritual: Twilight tries to use the Elements of Harmony as embodied in her and her friends to defeat Discord, but Rainbow Dash is missing so she substitutes Spike, and between this and the remaining five being corrupted it doesn't work.
- Ironic Echo: Twilight remembers herself saying that that "the fate of Equestria does not rest on me making friends" after recovering from her Heroic BSoD, realizing how wrong the statement was.
- Irony: Defeat a Star Trek Villain? Receive a Star Wars ending.
- It's Personal: By the time all is said and done, Discord has done everything he possibly could to make his confrontation with the Mane Cast personal. Case in point, Fluttershy insults him. Sure, calling someone a "BIG. DUMB. MEANIE!" isn't the worst thing you could call someone, but getting Fluttershy to say something insulting about anyone shows just how far Discord has pushed everypony.
- Jerkass: All of the corrupted ponies, but corrupted Fluttershy deserves special mention.Fluttershy: Hey, Twilight! What's soaking wet and clueless?
Twilight Sparkle: Fluttershy, I've just about had enough...
(Fluttershy dumps a bucket of water on Twilight's head)
Fluttershy: Your FACE!
(Fluttershy slams the bucket on Twilight's head)
- Kick the Dog: Discord does this a lot, but his laugh that he does following his Big "YES!"/Victory Pose when he sees he's broken Twilight completely is the most notable. It stands out because out of all the horrible things he does, this is the only time he doesn't use his Faux Affably Evil act to hide the fact he's taking sadistic glee in the act.
- Kirk Summation: Twilight gives one when confronting Discord, telling him that no matter what, friendship is worth fighting for.
- Laughably Evil: Discord. While his Mind Rape and corruption of the ponies is all rather disheartening, his cartoonish antics and observations to whole ordeal leads to extreme Mood Whiplash. He celebrates his Near-Villain Victory in the most childish and hammed up manner possible.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Elements are hidden "Back where [the Mane Six] began." The Elements were hidden in a book in Twilight's library. Specifically, the book that was opened and read at the very beginning of the first episode. Back where they began, indeed.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Fluttershy is able to catch up to Rainbow Dash when Twilight reminds her that the fate of Equestria is at stake.Twilight Sparkle: If you can't catch her, Discord wins!
Fluttershy: (gasp) That. Big. Dumb. MEANIE!
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Rarity, post-corruption, word for word. Quickly defied by Applejack.Rarity: How in Equestria can she think that tiny patch of cloud is Cloudsdale?
Applejack: The same way he got you to think that cheap rock was a bona fide diamond?
Rarity: ...I thought we agreed never to speak of that again.
- Little "No": Discord says one just before a Big "NO!" when he notices he was very wrong about the Elements of Harmony and realizes what is about to happen.
- Made of Explodium: Discord's chocolate milk of glass. He drinks the glass, not the milk, and the leftover milk blows up when he tosses it aside.
- Memento Macguffin: Twilight's letters to Princess Celestia from the first season help her recover from Discord's corruption. In a more metaphorical sense, the memories of their friendship help Twilight save the others.
- Mind Screw: Every aspect of Discorded Ponyville, though it's to be expected.
- Mood Dissonance: After her failed attempt to defeat Discord, Twilight sadly walks back to the library, her head hung low... while all sorts of madness goes on around her.
- Mood Whiplash:
- All the creepiness of the Previously on… followed by the cute-as-hell theme song.
- Also done in-story when Twilight realizes her "friends" aren't interested in helping her stop Discord.Twilight Sparkle: (dejected) I never thought it would happen. My friends...
Twilight Sparkle: (angry) ...have turned into complete jerks!
- Mundane Made Awesome: "This is my book, and I'm going to READ IT!"
- Near-Villain Victory: The only reason Discord doesn't win outright is Celestia sending Twilight's letters back to her to break her out of her Heroic BSoD. Had that not happened, Discord would've won without question.
- Never Say "Die": After the first failed use of the Elements, Discord declares harmony in Equestria to be "officially dead." It's hard to call the trope averted, though, since "is dead" is a fairly common expression for the end of a concept.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twilight's guess that Discord's riddle meant the Elements were in the maze was dead wrong, meaning she led her friends on a wild goose chase and right into Discord's trap. Discord reveals this to her and then openly mocks her for it.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the end of part 1 when Discord gives everypony their horns and wings back. Discord gave Twilight the means to defeat him by doing this, as Twilight uses magic to bring her friends back to their senses and bring back the Elements of Harmony.
- No Ontological Inertia:
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Discord gives one of these speeches after the Elements Of Harmony fizzle out when the Mane Cast try to use them on him and gets the mentality to go with it. Naturally, this comes back to bite him in the end.Discord: Bravo ponies! Bravo! Harmony in Equestria is officially dead. Discord rules, Celestia drools.
- Not Quite Flight: Unicorn Twilight Sparkle appears to use this when teleporting directly into the air and projecting the force field around her friends.
- Not So Invincible After All: Even without the Elements, Twilight's able to gain enough of a Heroic Second Wind to break free of Discord's brainwashing, use memory spells to help her friends do the same, and summon an Anti-Magic bubble to cancel all his Reality Warping near herself.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Twilight, Applejack, Fluttershy and Rarity purifying Pinkie Pie of Discord's corruption all happened offscresn
- Oh, Crap!: Discord gets a very satisfying one upon realizing that the Elements of Harmony will actually work this time and he's about to get put back in his can.
- Only Sane Man: Spike is the only one who remains unaffected by Discord, and is the only one who retains some semblance of reason and sanity in the library scene. Not that it does him much good.
- Out-Gambitted: Discord has destroyed all of Celestia's defenses against him via Impossible Theft and breaking her champions but she arranges his defeat by sending some letters.
- Painting the Medium: During a pan of Ponyville in chaos, a pony runs along the edges of the frame.
- Pass the Popcorn: Discord finds the ponies fighting most entertaining.
- Pensieve Flashback: Discord takes Twilight on a brief one.
- Personal Raincloud: Twilight gets chocolate one when she walks home sadly after her failed first attempt to confront Discord with the Elements. Discord is most likely invoking the trope in order to be a dick.
- Pet the Dog: Subverted. After Twilight has been corrupted, lost all of her friends and is walking dejectedly through Ponyville, Discord seems surprised and concerned for a few seconds, making an attempt to cheer her up by saying that she should learn to have fun in her new home. When she walks away, still dejected, and says that it isn't her home anymore, he stops and looks after her for a moment. Cue Big "YES!". May apply as Foreshadowing.
- The Power of Friendship: This is enforced more than ever by the end. Earlier, Discord's corruption rendered the Elements of Harmony useless since most of the Mane Six weren't acting very friendly. Once Twilight returns to normal and helps the rest, they are strong enough to beat Discord.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Twilight gives one to Discord right before the Mane Cast lets him have it with the Elements of Harmony (which briefly gets interrupted by Pinkie enjoying the chocolate rain).
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "That big. Dumb. MEANIE!"
- Putting the Band Back Together: Twilight's goal after she's re-energized by her own friendship reports is to find her friends and 'fight for her friendship'.
- Reality Is Out to Lunch: Ponyville under Discord's influence.
- Reality Warper: Discord, obviously. Towards the end, he holds out a glass under some chocolate milk rain, which fills from top to bottom. A moment later, he then drinks the glass and throws away the milk. Which then explodes and the explosion makes things darker. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, when Twilight goes to Sweet Apple Acres to begin redeeming her friends, Applejack is relaxing by the barn, eating an apple IN REVERSE.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Princess Celestia becomes this, coupled with Big Damn Heroes, when she sends back all the friendship reports Twilight wrote to her, which in turn frees her from Discord's corruption and realizes everything.
- Red Herring: The Elements weren't in the labyrinth to begin with.
- Regained Memories Sequence: When Twilight's memory spell hits one of her corrupted friends, they see flashbacks of all of the events of Season 1, which cures them.
- Rule of Symbolism: When Twilight is fully broken, a tear falls from her eye, leaving a small puddle in the shape of a broken heart.
- Running Gag: Corrupted Pinkie Pie angrily declaring "I hate ___!".
- Sarcasm Mode: Some of Applejack's bad lies veer into this territory.Applejack: (after the day abruptly turns to night) Wow, I can see so much better now.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: One of the few examples where the evil is not defeated outright, but put back in its can.
- A band of heroes being commended by the ruler of the land in a grand hall in front of a crowd in a mostly non-verbal scene and a swelling score, and then an Iris Out to the credits may remind you of something... (If you need any more help...) Doubles as a Call-Back to the way the corresponding episode in season 1 mirrors The Phantom Menace.
- Consequently, the ending is also a shoutout once removed to the 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will.
- Directly before that Discord attempts something quite similar to a Force Choke on the Mane Cast.
- Additionally, Discorded Equestria seems to take a whole lot of cues from Wackyland.
- In one "nighttime" scene, we see several buildings in Discorded Ponyville on floating islands, including a floating windmill.
- "Girls! I found the Elements of Harmony... You don't even care, do you?"
- A band of heroes being commended by the ruler of the land in a grand hall in front of a crowd in a mostly non-verbal scene and a swelling score, and then an Iris Out to the credits may remind you of something... (If you need any more help...) Doubles as a Call-Back to the way the corresponding episode in season 1 mirrors The Phantom Menace.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Discord tries to start another Breaking Speech when he telekinetically grabs the ponies by their necklaces. Twilight teleports in and rescues her friends, cutting him off then combining this trope with Kirk Summation. Bonus points for stating the episode's aesop while doing so.
- Shut Up, Kirk!:
- When Twilight complains about Discord not playing fair, he reminds her that he's the spirit of disharmony.
- By the end of the episode, he also responds to Twilight's Kirk Summation with disgust and telling them to just hurry up because he has some chaos to get back to. Subverted, however, because not listening ended up getting him Taken for Granite. Again.
- Silence of Sadness: Twilight Sparkle finally crosses the Despair Event Horizon after the Elements of Harmony fail to activate against Discord. She silently and sullenly trudges back to her home at the library, barely responding when Discord shows up to taunt her.
- Single Tear: From Twilight after she crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: With the emphasis in "Seriousness" for Discord turning Ponyville into a World Gone Mad.
- Slippery Skid: Discord turns the dirt roads into soap.
- Sneeze of Doom: Discord sprinkles a background pony with pepper making her sneeze which causes every tree and house around her to topple like pieces of cardboard.
- Society-on-Edge Episode: This two-parter involved turning Equestria into a World of Chaos.
- So Proud of You: Princess Celestia to the Mane Six at the end for their defeat of Discord.
- Spanner in the Works:
- Surprisingly, it's Celestia who manages to free Twilight from Discord's mind control and realize what's going on, with thanks to the friendship reports she sent back to her.
- If Discord hadn't returned Twight's horn, the latter never would be able to free her friends from his mind control.. And if he hadn't returned Fluttershy's wings, the ponies never could reach Rainbow Dash. So, he was Hoist by His Own Petard twice: one, for keeping his word and two, for underestimating them.
- Stealth Pun: After the Mane Six have renewed their friendship and are confronting Discord, he dismisses their efforts as hopeless, while in the background, several pigs fly by.
- Suddenly Shouting: "My friends... HAVE TURNED INTO COMPLETE JERKS!!!!!"
- Taken for Granite: Was there ever any doubt Discord would be defeated like this?
- Team Mom: Twilight takes the position for most of the episode. Considering the circumstances, it's no wonder it's not working out at first.
- Tempting Fate: Discord telling the Mane Cast to take their best shot at him with the Elements of Harmony, a second time. He learns too late that they're restored this time.
- That Liar Lies: When Twilight wants to know where Rarity took the book on the Elements.Twilight: Where is she? Where's Rarity?
Applejack: Beats me!
- That Poor Cat: Lets out a yowl when Twilight begins fighting with her friends.
- This Cannot Be!: Discord has this reaction upon realizing too late that his spell has been broken and he's about to get blasted head-on with the Elements of Harmony.
- This Means War!: When Fluttershy calls Discord a "Big. Dumb. MEANIE!" and gets downright furious at the mere possibility of him winning, you know he's in for it.
- Title Theme Drop: A very brief and understated one (it's literally just a staccato piccolo playing the intro) when Fluttershy wakes up Rainbow Dash.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Twilight's pony friends have gotten worse since their corruption, which starts to annoy her.
- Tragic Heroine: Twilight eventually becomes one herself after she turns grey from a failed fight against Discord. Fortunately, she recovers from it.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with. When the ponies power up the Elements of Harmony after reuniting, Discord just sits there on his throne not interfering, as he believes the Elements have lost their power. He's wrong, and he doesn't take it too well when he realizes it. However, he did actively try to steal them prior to that; Twilight cut his attempt off with a quick teleport and a barrier spell.
- The Unreveal: Only Twilight and Applejack's memories of their friendship with the Mane Six are seen. None of the other members have their memories shown when they are cured of Discord's brainwashing via the memory spell, and we are never shown how Twilight is able to subdue Pinkie, since Twilight curing Pinkie of Discord's brainwashing happens offscresn.
- Victory Is Boring: Subverted; Discord seems disappointed when Twilight Sparkle refuses to react to the chaos around her and simply gives up, only to cheer loudly as soon as Twilight is out of view.
- Victory Pose: Discord shouts "YES!" and does a celebratory fist pump after Twilight dejectedly says she's leaving Ponyville, broken completely thanks to his actions.
- Villain Ball: One would wonder why Discord doesn't realizes that all of the Mane Six were gathered back together again after Twilight helps her friends to recover from their Brainwashing. Not to mention that the previously discorded ponies were back to their original colors.
- Villain-Beating Artifact: The Elements of Harmony.
- Villain World: Discord rules Equestria most of the episode and turns it into a chaotic World Gone Mad where everypony is Driven to Madness, with Ponyville as his "chaos capital of the world".
- Wacky Sound Effect: Everything Discord does is punctuated by a weird sound effect! His umbrella meows, his claps are a series of random sounds, and his chocolate milk squeaks.
- We Need a Distraction: After Twilight was released from Discord's corruption, she realizes Discord was distracting them from what's important, as he knew how powerful their friendships were and did everything to stop them from seeing it.
- We Used to Be Friends: Twilight sees her corrupted friends as such. This is both Lampshaded by her and corrupted Applejack in two different points of the episode.Twilight Sparkle: I never thought it would happen. My friends... have turned into complete jerks!
Applejack: And so I tried to defeat Discord, but none of my so-called friends would lift a hoof to help me.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: You'd think we'd see what became of the Crusaders, considering they contributed to the release of Discord at the first part, right? Well, Apple Bloom doesn't even show up at the barn.
- Where It All Began: Turns out, the Elements were hiding in the same place where Twilight's adventures in Ponyville began — in the book Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide in the library where she's staying.
- With Friends Like These...: Said word for word by Twilight when dealing with her corrupted friends.Twilight Sparkle: With friends like you, WHO NEEDS... enemies?
- Word, Schmord!: The brainwashed Rainbow Dash says "loyalty, schmoyalty".
- World-Healing Wave: After being used to turn Discord back into stone, the Elements of Harmony let off one of these to undo his chaotic reign. It takes the form of a pair of rainbows tracing a huge domed shell over Ponyville, and then letting off a huge pulse of light.
- Worf Had the Flu: Last episode, Discord has cursed all of Twilight's friends into becoming complete jerks, which in turn renders the Elements of Harmony powerless as it runs on The Power of Friendship. Twilight was able to fix both issues before facing Discord again.
- X Must Not Win: Fluttershy can't fly fast enough to catch Rainbow Dash (so they can cure her), until she's reminded of that if she doesn't, Discord wins, and Fluttershy is so angry at the thought that it causes her to double her speed.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Mane Cast are all back to normal, everypony is in a Group Hug... and bison ballerinas dance across the foreground, indicating that there is still Discord to deal with. Twilight lampshades it.Twilight Sparkle: Maybe it's a little early for a group hug.