Follow TV Tropes


Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S4 E15 "Twilight Time"

Go To

Written by Dave Polsky

Twilight is helping the Cutie Mark Crusaders learn various new skills, once a week, with some personal "Twilight Time". Apple Bloom is working on a potion, Scootaloo is trying to disassemble and reassemble a unicycle, and Sweetie Belle is learning how to use her unicorn magic. Later on, at the schoolyard, Diamond Tiara shows off her amazing physical abilities to a crowd of school fillies (by having her butler, Randall, do them for her) and boasts of the celebrities she hangs out with in Manehattan. The Crusaders retort that they are close friends with Princess Twilight, which instantly wins Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's respect and admiration. Sweetie Belle talks Apple Bloom and Scootaloo into letting the bullies come along to the next "Twilight Time," despite their misgivings.

The next day, the Crusaders return to find the entire class wanting to share in Twilight Time, thanks to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon spreading the word. The Crusaders are suddenly the most popular kids in their class. To maintain their new image, the Crusaders invite Twilight to the town's Hayburger restaurant, claiming it's the princess' favorite hangout. As the other school kids try to take photos with Twilight, she says she only came to the Hayburger because the Crusaders asked her to. This gets the other kids to believe that the Crusaders help influence Princess Twilight, and their newfound popularity grows even stronger, with the schoolkids even doing favors for the Crusaders and inviting them to various parties around town.


At a private pool party, the Crusaders attempt to leave for Twilight Time without any of the other schoolkids, but their classmates pursue them. The Crusaders run as fast as they can to the Golden Oaks Library to explain things to Twilight, but the other kids arrive first. When Twilight answers the door, she sees an eager pony mob and is delighted that so many youngsters want to learn new things. Unfortunately, Pip reveals that the Cutie Mark Crusaders were exploiting their connection with her to get favors from the other youngsters. Twilight, now wondering if the Crusaders ever had a genuine interest in learning, tells them to show her their progress — but the results are a disaster: Scootaloo fails to reassemble Pip's scooter, Sweetie Belle tries in vain to make a broom fly, and Apple Bloom's potion makes a full-grown apple grow to enormous size and explode. Diamond Tiara mocks their failure, but Twilight immediately points out that none of the other youngsters were there to learn from her either. Now alone with the princess, the contrite Crusaders successfully demonstrate all of their talents on a smaller scale, which wins Twilight's forgiveness and the continuation of Twilight Time.


Later, Sweetie Belle writes in the Mane Six's diary that they tried to be special because they knew someone special, forgetting why Twilight is special: because she's their friend. After another round of Twilight Time, the Crusaders leave... dressed in ridiculous disguises so nopony will recognize them.


  • Aerith and Bob: The name "Randolph" seems out of place among the ponies of Equestria.
  • An Aesop: When you're friends with someone special, you should treasure them because they're your friend, not because you can get attention from others by telling everyone you're their friend.
  • Arc Words: "Relax. I know exactly how to handle this." — Sweetie Belle
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: A rather snide one from Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. They tell Sweetie Belle that if her sister was taking her to Manehattan any time soon, they could meet up and hang out with A-list celebrities. When Sweetie Belle told them she wasn't expecting to go to Manehattan any time soon, they said "Yeah, that's what we figured."
  • Beleaguered Assistant:
    • Randolph the butler, despite being geriatric, puts on a gymnastic show at Diamond Tiara's behest. She knocks him aside afterward and takes all the credit.
    • Spike also qualifies, being forced to make nachos for the whole class of foals, and then having them disappear by the time he gets back with a mountain of the things.
  • Big Eater: Twilight can really put away those hayburgers.
  • Blatant Lies: Diamond Tiara mentions that she and Silver Spoon were the best friends of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. You simply cannot be further from the truth if you know their history.
  • Brick Joke: Spike's nachos. First a small tray, then a larger bunch in shape of a tower only for all the kids to be gone, and finally seen dumped in a garbage can outside.
  • Call-Back: This isn't the first time we've seen Scootaloo dabbling in mechanics, Sweetie Belle using magic, or Apple Bloom making potions.
  • The Cameo: Pip from "Luna Eclipsed" is in this episode. Featherweight, from "Ponyville Confidential", is also among the growing crowd of fillies and colts, as is the blue-haired, orange-coated colt for whom Cheese Sandwich threw a birthday party during his song montage. Twist and Truffle Shuffle are among the growing crowd of kids that follow the CMC around, too.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Thankfully averted. The hamburger patties in the fast food restaurant are made of hay. If it was played straight, it would go past TV-Y standards.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: As well as popularity. Touched on in this episode as Twilight has made it known that while she's a princess, she's still herself and doesn't want any special treatment. Likewise, the CMC come to realize there's no point in popularity if it costs you a genuine friendship.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: The Cutie Mark Crusaders are able to use their talents and abilities when they're not thinking about it, but when they consciously try, they fail.
  • Character Development:
    • Possibly even a Wham Episode in this regard: Sweetie Belle now has reasonable control of her magic, her last display being a small spark out of excitement in "One Bad Apple"; Apple Bloom has developed a talent for plant-growing potions; and Scootaloo is learning mechanics (another Call-Back to "One Bad Apple"). This could also be considered the most rational attempt at finding their cutie marks the girls have ever made.
    • This isn't the first time we've seen Twilight's desire to share her love of learning with the townsponies, but she's started to develop a major pedagogical streak.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Covered in Gunge: When the CMC tried to demonstrate what they had learned from their "Twilight Time", Apple Bloom used her growth potion on an apple from the kitchen. Rather than produce an apple tree from one of its seeds, it grew until it filled the entire library and exploded, covering everypony in applesauce.
  • Cult of Personality: The only real reason the Cutie Mark Crusaders get any attention from Diamond Tiara and the others is because of their relationship with Twilight, which the other schoolfoals hope to get to hang around with like the CMCs. The Cutie Mark Crusaders themselves haven't earned a genuine following from the others, they're simply used as the keys to the kingdom.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Apple Bloom to the coughing plant. "Laying it on a little thick there, aren't we, pal?"
  • Depending on the Writer: Twilight tells Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon that the streaks in her mane and tail are natural, even though we saw Lotus Blossom applying foils to her tail in Ponyville Confidential. Considering she is shown with these same streaks in flashbacks in her cutie mark story and her flashbacks in BBBFF, it's more likely this episode is more accurate.
  • Disappointed in You: Though kept understated, Twilight makes it evident she does not approve of the kids only wanting to hang out with her for popularity purposes.
  • Elder Abuse: Diamond Tiara makes her frail butler perform gymnastics in her place for her peers. When he actually pulls it off, she knocks him hard out of the way so she can retake the spotlight.
  • False Friend: Diamond Tiara and the rest of the fillies only play nice with the CMC so long as they help them hang out with Princess Twilight, who they also only care about because she is royalty than any of the teachings she offers.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Sweetie's plans get more complicated as earlier plans get thrown for a loop, and it comes crashing down when Pipsqueak innocently and inadvertently explains why the other fillies and colts are there at the end.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Twilight's preferred teaching style — she won't show Scootaloo how to assemble the unicycle, but she can tell her where to find the book to learn how to do it. (She's probably following Celestia's example.)
  • Food Porn:
    • Despite being made of hay, the burgers that Twilight gorges on look delicious.
    • The horseshoe-shaped fries also look pretty appetizing.
  • Friend to All Children: Twilight has become rather popular amongst the children now that she's a Princess. She's only disappointed in them when they gather just to be in the presence of royalty instead of learning.
  • Hypocrite: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon mock the CMC for not knowing any skills and not coming to learn. Twilight then points out that they are guilty of the same.
  • Imagine Spot: Sweetie Belle imagines that the CMC would instantly become very popular once they really get a hang of the skills Twilight has been helping them with. This includes instantly putting together a unicycle, growing a tree with a giant apple on it, and using magic to mess with Diamond Tiara.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The food at the fast food restaurant, according to Twilight and Pinkie.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Twilight at the fast food restaurant. One particular highlight is gobbling down two hayburgers, getting her cheeks splashed with ketchup in the process, using a third hayburger to clean them, and then wolfing down that burger in the end.
  • Jerkass Ball: A minor case. Usually Sweetie Belle, as her name implies, is The Conscience of the CMC. This episode, it's actually Sweetie Bell who consistently suggests exploiting their friendship with Twilight (and then lying about it when their cover is almost blown time and time again) for their own gain, and it's Apple Bloom and Scootaloo who consistently suggest doing the right thing.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon as expected, though this time the whole of the CMC's class is in on it. They manipulate Twilight and the CMC for the sake of hanging out with a celebrity, and when the CMC attempt to draw the line, they threaten them and eventually hijack the operation.
  • Know When to Fold Them: When Twilight makes clear she's caught onto all of them and not just the CMC, Diamond Tiara and the rest of the fillies walk out sulkily, not even attempting a half hearted explanation or apology. The CMC in turn accept defeat though at least bother to show Twilight their remorse.
  • Large Ham:
    • The plant Apple Bloom tries her potion out on in the beginning has an over dramatic coughing fit.
      Apple Bloom: Laying it on a little thick there, aren't we, pal?
    • Sweetie Belle channels her sister during her presentation at the end.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Pip accidentally blows the CMC's cover, Scootaloo attempts to regain Twilight's approval by breaking and fixing a scooter left outside. It happens to be his.
  • Madness Mantra: "Twilight Time, Twilight Time, Twilight Time..." Said by the entire horde of foals as they pursue the CMC. As an added bonus, at one point they seem to resemble a ravenous horde of zombies as seen in the main page image.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Comparing the CMC's relationship to Twilight to Twilight's own relationship with Celestia pre-Alicornization is revealing. She even mentions that the CMC remind her of herself at their age.
  • Modest Royalty: Princess Twilight would much prefer having eager students than adoring fans.
  • Mythology Gag: At the end, Sweetie Belle's magic brings a great big smile.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: When the CMC take Twilight out for lunch, Twilight spends the lunch telling them how honored she is to be spending time with young students who enjoy learning for learning's sake! The CMC have nervous smiles on their faces the whole time, since they're actually using Twilight to boost their popularity with their classmates.
  • Oh, Crap!: The CMC get this look when they find out Diamond Tiara has told all the other kids about their "Twilight Time", which Twilight had asked to just keep between them, and now all the other kids want to go to.
    • Twilight Sparkle herself gets two of these moments: one when she discovers the ponies were secretly taking pictures of her in the restaurant, and the second when she goes out to discover the many ponies waiting for her. Both examples are Played for Laughs.
    • And finally, the apple-growing segment, when the apple in question grows too big and explodes within the library (see Covered in Gunge).
  • Pet the Dog: Even if they're only doing it to hang out with a princess, this is the nicest we've ever seen Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon treat the CMC. They even apparently don't laugh during their first "Twilight Time".
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Although Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon act like regular nice, excitable fillies, they're clearly just trying to suck up to Twilight
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes:
    • Scootaloo uses this on Twilight to try to get her to help put the unicycle together. It doesn't work.
    • Diamond Tiara puts on a similar face when she claims to be too tired to demonstrate her athletics. Most colts and fillies are too quick to sympathize.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Twilight is more than happy to help the Cutie Mark Crusaders learn but she can't do it for them. She also forgives them after they demonstrate their skills at the end.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Twilight is still the town librarian, and has apparently taken on additional duties as a teacher.
  • Rule of Three: Sweetie Belle says her Arc Words three times. The first two times, she really does have some kind of plan. The third time, her plan is: "Run!"
  • Shaming the Mob: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon mock the CMC after their skill displays fall flat. It takes one sentence for Twilight to return it back to sender.
    Diamond Tiara: Look who's not the princess's entourage anymore!
    Silver Spoon: Guess they didn't come here to learn after all!
    Twilight Sparkle: Well, neither did any of you.
    *Tiara, Spoon and the other fillies leave sulking*
  • Shaped Like Itself: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon describing Princess Twilight, now that she's a Princess.
    Diamond Tiara: Plus she has wings!
    Silver Spoon: And she's an Alicorn!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spanner in the Works: The CMC's plan falls apart when Pipsqueak innocently and inadvertently says to Twilight herself that he's only at Twilight's place because he wants to be popular as well.
  • Squee:
    • As nasty as they are, you have to admit Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon squeeing upon seeing Twilight was rather adorable.
    • All the other kids as well, even if they were being a nuisance.
  • Stealth Pun: Is that a coughee plant?
  • Stock Sound Effects: Twilight's coughing when being attacked by the vines in Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2 is reused in the cold open of this episode.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Pipsqueak inadvertently spills the beans on the CMC's plan. See Spanner in the Works.
  • Tempting Fate: Apple Bloom after Diamond Tiara invites the CMC to hang out at her posh estate.
    Apple Bloom: I believe we have arrived, Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Titled After the Song: The episode shares its title with the 1940s song "Twilight Time" and the Moody Blues song of the same name.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Scootaloo is the only CMC who cares about how she looks in the photos the fillies take of the CMC with Twilight, and starts posing.
  • Tranquil Fury: After finding out the CMC and the rest of the fillies only took classes to hang around a princess, her response is very minimal and passive but blatantly disapproving, so all of them can immediately tell Twilight Time is over.
  • Truth in Television:
    • Twilight getting mobbed by star-struck kids is similar to how many fans would react to seeing celebrities and royalty.
    • Likewise, many minor celebrities dress incognito as the CMC do at the end of the episode to avoid unwanted attention.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, and the rest of the foals laugh at the CMC (without considering that without the three, they wouldn't have even met Twilight) after their failed attempts of practicing their tasks. But when Twilight calls them out on their behavior, they feel ashamed and leave Twilight's house.
  • Vocal Evolution: The voices of Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo are considerably deeper in pitch.
  • Visual Pun:
    • At the restaurant, they have fries in the shape of horseshoes. They are literally horse-shoestring potatoes.
    • During their Imagine Spot, Apple Bloom grows an apple tree, as in an apple with a tree trunk.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Though a far more shrewd case than usual, Twilight makes her disappointment clear when she finds out the CMC have turned their lessons into an excuse to show off to the other kids. However, upon realizing that they were trying to fix the mess and were genuinely sorry, not to mention having improved considerably in their studies, she gives them another chance.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Cutie Mark Crusaders are finally popular with the cool fillies, and they're only halfway into the episode!
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: When all the kids come to the library, Spike, only have been expecting the CMC, offers them all a single tray of nachos, but is sent away by Twilight to fetch some more as a single tiny bowl won't cut it. He later comes back with a huge tower of nachos, only to find that all the kids have already left, and reacts accordingly.
    Spike: Aw, COME ON!