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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E11 "Party Pooped"

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"Yaks no like TV Tropes! Yaks destroy!"

"We've never needed a party so badly!"
Twilight Sparkle

Story by Jayson Thiesson and Jim Miller
Written by Nick Confalone
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Twilight is nervously awaiting the arrival of Prince Rutherford and his delegates from Yakyakistan, a foreign land north of the Crystal Empire filled with yaks that ponies have never been able to enter. With Princess Celestia tasking her with making friends with the prince, Twilight wants everything to be perfect for the prince, having tasked Pinkie Pie with throwing the yaks a big party to celebrate. As Prince Rutherford and his two escorts arrive, he samples some of the Yakyakistan food Twilight made, only to say it wasn't made with Yakyakistan ingredients, leading to him and his escorts smashing up the castle in fury.

After the Mane Six fix the castle, they try various things to make Ponyville feel like Yakyakistan, only to be met with the same incredulous reaction from the yaks each time. After all other attempts fail, Twilight rests her hopes of making friends with the yaks on Pinkie's party. Pinkie nervously laments to Gummy that she has no idea what to do for the party, only to come up with the idea to travel to Yakyakistan herself to sample the culture, returning in time for the party. She leaves for the train station, only for Twilight to enter Sugar Cube Corner looking for her, finding Pinkie missing.

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Pinkie boards the train for the Crystal Empire, but is forced to stop at Dodge City because of sheep blocking the track. She enlists the help of Cherry Jubilee to reach the Empire, but Cherry and her team are exhausted from having spent the night counting cherries. They almost fall into a ravine before Pinkie stops them, though the team falls in anyway. Meanwhile, back in Ponyville, the yaks are enjoying Spike's piano playing, but become enraged when they discover that he's actually using a player piano. Fed up, Rutherford not only says that he and his escorts are going home, but that he will return with his military forces as he is declaring war on Equestria.

Twilight laments her failure in Sugar Cube Corner with her friends, only to accidentally press against a cupcake statue that opens a trap door in Pinkie's room. The trap door leads to a secret party planning basement, where Pinkie has detailed files on the kinds of parties that everypony likes. Through a series of misadventures, Pinkie makes it all the way to Yakyakistan's gates, guided by a young yak. But, just as she's about to enter, a sled she was riding on has the snow break underneath her, and slides her all the way back to Ponyville, negating her journey. Pinkie hears the Mane Six in the planning basement, and joins them, recounting how she failed. Her friends assure Pinkie that she's not a failure, though Pinkie still wishes that there was a way to show the yaks how great Equestria is. That gives Pinkie an idea, meeting up with Prince Rutherford and the other yaks as their train is blocked by the same sheep that blocked Pinkie. She says that, instead of trying to make Equestria feel like Yakyakistan, they should have been showing the yaks why the ponies think Equestria is so great. Pinkie pulls an impromptu party that shows the yaks just that, and Rutherford, moved by this, calls off his declaration of war, saying that yaks and ponies will be friends for a thousand moons.

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Tropes:

  • Abbey Road Crossing: During her tour with the pony version of The Beatles, Pinkie and her band mates do this for one of their albums.
  • Absurd Phobia: Twilight Sparkle is afraid of quesadillas.
    Twilight: They're just so... cheesy.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Prince Rutherford and his escorts invoke Disproportionate Retribution at almost everything, even vowing war on Equestria just for Spike's piano ruse. They get semi-better at their eventual party.
  • Bad News, Irrelevant News: Applejack was unable to find Pinkie Pie, but she did find an old set of Granny Smith's dentures, so she didn't think it was a total loss.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The audience is led to believe that Pinkie going to Yakyakistan will save the day. While she does turn things around, she never makes it past the gate of the city.
    • Pinkie narrated her and Cherry Jubilee falling down the ravine saying "Down, down, down, and then suddenly, POW!". Fortunately, instead of meaning they struck the bottom of the ravine, it meant that the Wonderbolts pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Spike appearing to play a player piano for the yaks does not go well when he accidentally starts it up again.
  • Bear Hug: Prince Rutherford gives one to Pinkie Pie at the end of the episode. She comments on it being a little tight.
  • Berserk Button: The yaks get extremely, disproportionally mad whenever the ponies get everything even slightly wrong about their home (or anything not being up to their standards in general, for that matter), smashing everything around them.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Fluttershy, the kindest pony on the show, and whose special talent is befriending and calming animals, wasn't able to keep the yaks from getting angry. Pinkie Pie even lampshaded it.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: A Yeti (or what appears to be one) attacks Pinkie while on her way to Yakyakistan. The strange thing about it is that it's quadrupedal, with paws for feet. Likewise, its head and overall body plan are more feline or baboon-like rather than the usual gorilla-like depictions.
  • Big "NO!": Pinkie makes a very long one as she slides from Yakyakistan all the way back to Ponyville.
  • Blinding Bangs: Prince Rutherford and his delegates all have them. They're yaks after all.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: The Wonderbolts provide this for Pinkie Pie, Cherry Jubilee, and her wagon-pullers when the latter tumbles over a ravine.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Applejack says that Pinkie has her parents' 50th wedding anniversary figured out, and their 100th, and their 500th.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Twilight, Fluttershy and Rainbow's eyes are seen in the dark before they discover Pinkie's secret room.
  • The Cameo: Cadance shows up to point Pinkie to the last bit of her journey to Yakyakistan.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The sheep laying on the tracks proves essential to the final resolution.
  • Close-Call Haircut: The Yeti creature slices off part of Pinkie's mane.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Pinkie and Cherry Jubilee were very fortunate that the Wonderbolts were passing through the ravine they fell into.
  • Crashing Dreams: Pinkie Pie shouts "Ravine!!!" to try to wake Cherry Jubilee while trying to keep the wagon from going off a cliff. Cherry wakes up saying she was dreaming about a ravine. Then she looks down.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Pinkie has a secret room in Sugarcube Corner, packed floor to ceiling with all manner of party supplies. She also keeps records on every Ponyville citizen's tastes so she can plan the perfect party for them when needed. And she's already planned the party for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And their 100th. And their 500th.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Prince Rutherford and his entourage destroy the property of several ponies (including Twilight, who is one of the Princesses of the land the yaks are visiting), assault Spike, and yet don't have to face any consequences for their actions.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Whenever the ponies get one thing even slightly wrong about their traditions and culture, the yaks retaliate by smashing everything in the vicinity.
    • Prince Rutherford's reaction when Spike was revealed to have sat at a self-playing piano is to declare war.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Twilight Sparkle has an absurd phobia to quesadillas.
  • The Door Slams You:
    • For the second time in as many episodes, Spike gets slammed into the wall when the yak delegation throws open the castle doors upon arriving in Ponyville.
    • Pinkie gets an outhouse door to the face shortly after arriving in Dodge Junction... again.
  • Dramatic Irony: Twilight and the others cannot find Pinkie anywhere, unaware she’s traveling to Yakyakistan.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Pinkie Pie has a party-planning cave under Sugar Cube corner.
  • Epic Fail:
    • After going through a harrowing journey across Equestria, just as Pinkie reaches the gates of Yakyakistan, she ends up sliding all the way back to Ponyville.
    • The attempt to make a party without Pinkie. "It's sort of panic-themed."
  • Eureka Moment:
    • While having a rant about how to make the friendship party feel like Yakyakistan, Pinkie says there was no way to do that without going to Yakyakistan and bringing something back.
    • She has another when she expresses her wish that the yaks could see how great the ponies of Equestria really are.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Rainbow Dash says "piece of cake", it makes Twilight remember the cake they were making for the yaks. Unfortunately, she got down to the kitchen too late.
  • Flipping the Table: The first sign of the short temper of the yaks, they do this after finding the initial banquet to not be to yak standards, and then proceed to trash the rest of the castle.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Bon Bon puts a flower in Lyra's mane at the party.
  • Foreshadowing: Pinkie Pie admitting she was the only one who read Twilight's Yakyakistan reference guide was a subtle way of showing that she liked to research those she gives parties for. For that matter, the fact she was willing to trek all the way to Yakyakistan should've been a definite hint of that.
  • Freak Out: Twilight has several of them throughout the episode as the yaks' visit gets increasingly out of control.
  • Funny Background Event: During the final party, one can see Berry Punch drinking something from an open barrel, which she continues to do after a few cuts to other characters.
  • Gale-Force Sound: The Prince voice blows Twilight's mane he replies to Twilight's greeting.
  • Glomp: Pinkie tries to do this to Prince Rutherford at the end of the episode, but isn't very successful due to the size difference. Though she does end up getting a Bear Hug from Rutherford for her attempt.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: After the yak calf returns to Yakyakistan, the snow ledge beneath Pinkie and the sled she's on collapses, and she remains suspended in the air for a brief moment before falling and (somehow) sliding all the way back to her room in Sugarcube Corner.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The yaks go off on anything that is not perfectly up to yak standards, including using too much vanilla in a cake.
  • Head Desk: Pinkie does this into snow when the yaks find even that to not be to their liking.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Cherry Jubilee and the stallions pulling her wagon fall asleep on the way to the Crystal Empire (with the latter falling asleep while running), and Pinkie has trouble waking them up to warn them about a ravine.
  • Hidden Depths: Upon discovering Pinkie Pie's party throwing records (which lampshades the trope since they are hidden below Sugarcube Corner), Rainbow Dash comments she may be more organized than Twilight.
  • Hulk Speak: Yaks talk like this!
  • Jerkass: The yaks for most of the episode, due to their destructive temper tantrums and declaring war for trivial reasons.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The yaks after Pinkie's party makes them see the light.
  • Karma Houdini: The yaks spend most of their time in Ponyville destroying everything they see because the ponies have offended them in some trivial manner, and ultimately never apologize or receive any retribution for their behavior.
  • Large Ham: The solution to every thing that isn't perfect? YAKS SMASH! *wreck the place*
  • The Last Straw: The ledge that Cherry's wagon stops on only breaks off after the four stallions pulling it fall into the wagon proper.
  • Laughing Mad: Pinkie laughs in this manner at one point when things aren't going well. Rainbow Dash asks why her eyes are darting around when she does this.
  • Literal-Minded: When Pinkie Pie told Rutherford to "hold onto [his] frowny face", Rutherford did so by keeping his frown frozen on his face.
  • Loud Gulp: Twilight gulps audibly the first time Prince Rutherford tells her that Yaks get mad when everything isn't perfect.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Cherry Jubilee, when asked by Pinkie, can remember the number of cherries she and her stallions spent the last night counting off the top of her head (it's four-hundred and seventeen thousand, two-hundred and thirty-four).
  • Manly Tears: The yaks shed these for the piano playing until they discover the deception because it is beautiful.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Rainbow Dash has a trophy for "most stuff broken in under a minute". The yaks broke it; Dash thinks they also broke her record.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The fact that a party was the only thing preventing Equestria from going to war with the yaks due to Rutherford's disappointing visit to Ponyville.
  • Mythology Gag: The G1 My Little Pony movie opens on their Spike playing the piano, and quite well at that. Here Spike appears to be playing the piano beautifully...but it turns out to be a player piano. And the yaks are not happy about that.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Mane Six trying to make Equestria like Yakyakistan instead of showing the yaks what Equestria is like nearly leads to a war when the yaks overreact to anything being the slightest bit off, with Spike using an automated player piano being the last straw that convinces Prince Rutherford to seek combat instead of peace.
  • No Indoor Voice: The Prince tends to be very loud.
  • No Name Given: Neither of Prince Rutherford's two aids are named.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Somehow Pinkie manages to get under AJ's hat.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Prince Rutherford declaring war on Equestria when he and his bodyguards have been pushed too far.
    • Fluttershy had this moment when Rutherford said he was going to smash her animals.
    • After Prince Rutherford tells the group that he's withdrawing his war declaration to seek peace again, Twilight has this moment when she realizes that Princess Celestia, who didn't know about Rutherford making the declaration of war in the first place, was right beside her when he said it.
    • Celestia herself has this look after she hears about Twilight almost causing an international incident that would've made Celestia mobilize the Royal Guard for inevitable combat with a country that has some very strong troops, if Rutherford and his bodyguards are any indication of it.
  • The Perfectionist: Apparently yaks in general get very particular about things being perfect, and the prince shows it. One thing even the slightest bit off, and that sets off the yaks' Berserk Button.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Pinkie figures that part of the problem with the yaks not finding anything to their standards is that no pony has ever seen Yakyakistan first-hooved, and tries to go there to see the culture herself so she knows what to do.
  • Prince Charmless: Prince Rutherford smashes and breaks anything he doesn't like (which is just about everything), and is rather rude and condescending to the ponies, and when pushed too far, promises to return with his military forces to go to war with Equestria. Upon seeing Pinkie's party, he shows he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and makes amends.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Yaks of Yakyakistan are characterized as proud warriors who avoid the finer things and are perfectly fine with flying off the handle at the slightest provocation. They even wanted to declare a war due to not having a good time in Equestria.
  • Rapid-Fire Nail Biting: Twilight does this briefly when Pinkie goes missing and the Yaks are demanding a party.
  • Rewatch Bonus: You can see Spike taking both hands off the player piano a couple times.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The yak calf that Pinkie slid in the snow with on the way to Yakyakistan is tiny and huggable.
  • Roll Out the Red Carpet: When Prince Rutherford first appears, he does so by having a carpet roll into the castle and up to the Mane Six.
  • Rule of Funny: Pinkie Pie rode to Dodge Junction, went across the plains, ended in Manehattan, joined a band from playing gigs up to their break-up, and went on foot to the gates of Yakyakistan all in a span of just one afternoon. And then, she sleds all the way back to Ponyville after passing the ice monster's cave, Cadance and Cherry Jubilee in less than a few minutes.
  • Running Gag:
  • Sanity Slippage: Both Twilight and Pinkie suffer from this over the course of the episode as the situation with the yak dignitaries continues to worsen.
  • Serious Business: The yaks consider anything that doesn't perfectly fit their culture, from the balance of vanilla extract in cakes, to the type of hay used in beds, even to snow, as this.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Pinkie travels all the way up to the gates of Yakyakistan... and then slides all the way back to Ponyville.
  • Shaggy Search Technique: Twilight opens the passageway to Pinkie's party planning cave completely by accident.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silly Reason for War: The final thing that's the reason the Prince declares war on Equestria? Spike using a player piano.
  • So Proud of You: Celestia praises Twilight for initiating friendship with the yaks. The rest of the Mane Six also get kudos.
  • Stealth Pun: When Twilight accidentally activates Pinkie's secret Trap Door, she and the others fall into Pinkie's underground party supply storage room. They have literally found her Hidden Depths.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Rainbow asks why Pinkie's eyes are darting around, she says "It's what I do when I'm not nervous!" and goes all Laughing Mad.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Pinkie Pie has a soliloquy on the train ride to the Crystal Empire, followed by several others throughout her quest to Yakyakistan. By the time she recounts her The Beatles adventure, it becomes a Running Gag.
    Pinkie Pie: (to random background pony on train) Know what I mean?
  • This Means War!: The yaks nearly declare war on Equestria due to being displeased with their visit. Thanks to Pinkie, Prince Rutherford realizes his error and withdraws his war declaration and advocates for peace as originally intended.
  • Toon Physics: Pinkie Pie slides up the chute from her party-planning cave. Fluttershy Lampshades the Weirdness Coupon that allows Pinkie to do this by wondering if the rest of them have to walk up.
  • To the Batpole!: The ice cream cone baluster at the bottom of the banister in Sugar Cube Corner activates a trap door that leads to Pinkie Pie's Elaborate Underground Base.
  • Translation Convention: Prince Rutherford and his delegates speak a version of You No Take Candle to suggest they're not speaking in their native tongue.
  • Trash the Set: The Yaks repeatedly smash anything that isn't to Yakyakistani perfection.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Pinkie travels from Ponyville, to Dodge Junction, to Manehattan, to the Crystal Empire, then back to Ponyville, in the span of a single day. Played for Laughs when she experiences the entire history of a ponified counterpart to The Beatles in one afternoon, and again when she sleds for the last part of the trip and it takes her seconds to arrive.
  • Twitchy Eye: Pinkie has one after her plans to make the yaks feel comfortable keep backfiring and Twilight puts pressure on her to make the party to the yaks liking.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The episode has Pinkie going to Yakyakistan to sample the culture while the rest of the Mane Six stay in Ponyville to try and make things work with the yaks.
  • Unraveled Entanglement: Applejack and Rainbow Dash trying to set up a party without Pinkie Pie's help results in Rainbow Dash getting hopelessly entangled in a banner and hanging from the ceiling by ribbons after bouncing a bit.
    Applejack: Heh-heh. We panicked and tried to plan our own party.
    Rainbow Dash: It's sort of panic-themed.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never do see what Yakyakistan is like beyond its gate.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Twilight fears she was too hard on Pinkie when she finds that the party pony is late to her own party.
  • World Building: We learn Yakyakistan (which seems to be heavily themed on Genghis Khan-era Mongolia) is even further north than the Crystal Empire, and has been a country at tenuous peace with Equestria for many centuries, with the goal of their Prince Rutherford and his escorts' visit to Ponyville being to secure a more permanent peace treaty with the ponies. Though Rutherford nearly ends the truce and declares war due to his frustration with his visit, Pinkie helps him to see his mistake and agree to the original reasons for his visit.
  • You Can Panic Now: When Twilight is a nervous wreck over the arrival of the yaks, Pinkie Pie tells her not to be nervous. After their first attempt to make friends with the yaks results in them ransacking the main hall of the castle, Pinkie asks if now would be a good time to be nervous.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: This is Pinkie Pie's reaction to the yaks saying snow isn't the same as Yakyakistan snow.

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