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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E16 "Rarity Investigates!"

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"Detective Rarity is on the case, and we are going to get to the bottom of this faster than my costume change!"

Rarity: [narrating] Rainbow Dash was questioning my methods. But I knew what I was doing.
Rainbow Dash: Do you?
Rarity: Oh, oh, oh. Did I say that one out loud?

Story by Meghan McCarthy, M.A. Larson, Joanna Lewis, and Kristine Songco
Written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco

At Canterlot Carousel, Rarity is putting the finishing touches on her new display — a fashion line inspired by fictional detective Shadow Spade — when Rainbow Dash barges in, making a mess of things. As they clean up, an apologetic Rainbow explains to Sassy Saddles her purpose in Canterlot. She is the backup flier at the Wonderbolts' aerial show taking place the next day, ready to fill in if one of the scheduled flyers cannot participate. That evening, Rarity and Rainbow attend a reception at the castle and encounter Wind Rider, a legendary Wonderbolt veteran whose long distance speed record still stands, though Spitfire notes that Rainbow has a good shot at someday beating it. To Dash's overwhelming excitement, she learns that Wind Rider will be coming out of retirement to perform at the show.

The next morning sees Spitfire absent from practice; Soarin explains that Spitfire's mother, Stormy Flare, sent a note to tell her daughter that she was ill, and that Spitfire has gone home to look after her. Rainbow eagerly takes Spitfire's spot in practice, with Rarity watching from the stands. However, everypony is confused when Stormy Flare shows up, perfectly healthy and with no knowledge of ever sending the note. Rarity suggests that somepony may have sent Spitfire a fake note, and Soarin' reasons it must have been to get her out of the show. All eyes promptly fall on Rainbow, who had a room right next to Spitfire's in the castle and is the one with the most to gain if Spitfire cannot perform. Soarin' challenges Rainbow Dash to demonstrate her innocence if she is to fly with them — and warns her that if she did send the note, she will be permanently kicked out of the Wonderbolts!

Rarity dons an appropriate Shadow Spade outfit and takes over the investigation. In Spitfire's room, Rarity finds the envelope from the note containing a lock of Rainbow's hair. She also takes note that the curtains in the dining hall have been moved. They question the guards who were watching the east tower that night, but the guards deny that they ever left their post... until Rarity applies some charm and gets them to admit they did take a small break when somepony sent them a very particular cake. Rarity and Rainbow head to a pastry shop, where the baker tells Rarity that the customer who bought the cake was dressed to conceal his or her identity; however, the customer was wearing a scarf that became stained by the frosting. Rainbow gets increasingly frustrated at Rarity's seemingly non-sequitur detective work, but Rarity is confident that the case is all but solved.

Rarity and Rainbow Dash return to the castle, where Rarity accuses Wind Rider of sending the note and framing Rainbow for the misdeed. Rainbow is angered at Rarity for accusing a legend, but Rarity brings up that all this time, she never believed Rainbow would send the letter and proceeds to bring up what he did. He hid behind the loose curtain in the dining hall, distracted the guards with a cake, and even planted some of Rainbow's hair on the envelope to throw suspicion on her. Rarity then brings up the clues: The hairs were cut, as proven by the straight line at the top; when Rarity smelled the envelope, she detected Wind Rider's Juniper Phoenix cologne; she noticed the loose curtain; and while Wind Rider usually ties his scarf in a loose slip-knot, he has it tied differently right now in a tight Windsor knot. Wind Rider laughs at her accusations, but Rarity loosens his tightly-wound (silk!) scarf, revealing the chocolate stain from the frosting on the cake. Wind Rider confesses that he did it in an effort to get Rainbow Dash out of the Wonderbolts so that she could not threaten his record. He insists that a little dirty play is justified in the name of success, but Soarin' and the other Wonderbolts disagree. Meanwhile, Rainbow quickly flies off to retrieve Spitfire, who promptly strips Wind Rider of his status as a Wonderbolt and kicks him out of the show. Rainbow Dash is given the position of honor in his place, while Rarity is satisfied that she helped clear her friend's name.

*Cue Hardboiled version of credits music*


  • An Aesop: This episode provides two:
    • As Wind Rider learns the hard way, part of being on a team is looking out for your teammates, not picking them off for your own benefit.
    • If it seems like a friend isn't directly helping you, be patient and avoid doubting them. Chances are they might be making a contribution you weren't expecting.
  • Ascended Extra: The Wonderbolts Misty Fly and Blaze are officially named in the episode and have speaking roles.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: One of Rarity's monologues is suddenly interrupted when she breaks to marvel over the curtains in the hallway. Played with in that the curtains actually turn out to be a significant clue.
  • Badass Longcoat: Rarity dons a trenchcoat as part of a classic detective's outfit.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Wind Rider is seen as the greatest Wonderbolt in Equestrian history. However, he frames Rainbow Dash for a crime she didn't commit, out of spite so she doesn't break his Wonderbolt record. That is so not cool.
  • Break the Haughty: Wind Rider gets caught for framing Dash and is dishonorably discharged from the Wonderbolts.
  • Broken Pedestal: Wind Rider gets hit hard with this in the end. After Rarity reveals the evidence of his framing Rainbow and he admits he did it, Rainbow loses all the respect she had for him and has no problem with seeing him kicked out of the team for good. The Wonderbolts themselves are also completely horrified that such a respected member would pull such a dirty trick in an attempt to preserve his legacy, and the way the episode ends heavily implies that Wind Rider will become this trope for a whole lot more ponies, too, once word gets out about what he did.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Rarity may be easily distracted by fashion and have a fondness for seemingly off-topic questions but she eventually cleared Rainbow Dash's name through her eye and attention to detail.
  • Call-Back: Rainbow Dash mentions she's part of the Wonderbolts reserves, and is set to be a replacement flyer in case one of the Wonderbolts is unable to perform.
  • Challenge Seeker: Soarin says it's impossible for anypony to make it to the Crystal Mountains and back before the Royal Garden opening. Rainbow Dash takes it as a challenge.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Invoked by Rarity who keeps rapidly changing outfits; at one point she shows she has a stash of dresses ready to pull from to change in and out of in moments in case of a dress emergency. Rainbow Dash later contradicts her though.
    Rainbow Dash: Trust you?? You spent more time changing clothes than trying to help me!
  • Chekhov's Gag: The state of the drapes that distract Rarity during her investigation proves to be a significant clue in the case she builds against Wind Rider.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The silk on Rarity's dress after Dash accidentally spilled punch on it. She mentions how hard stains are to get out of the fabric. Sure enough, it's the final and damning piece of evidence she uses to expose Wind Rider as the culprit when she notices his silk scarf is tied up to hide the chocolate stain he got when buying the cake to distract the guards.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Of course Wind Rider did it. On the bright side, he admits it.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Rarity mentions that her new line of dresses is inspired by a series of detective novels. At first this seems a simple case of Garnishing the Story, but when one of her friends becomes a suspect, her infatuation with the novels becomes plot-relevant.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Rarity talks about the importance of paying attention to tiny details to Sassy Saddles, and Sassy points out Rarity's ability to sweet-talk others into helping her.
  • Clear Their Name: Rarity has to clear Rainbow Dash's name after she's thought to have replaced Spitfire on purpose.
  • Clue, Evidence, and a Smoking Gun: With only circumstantial evidence and suspicions to go on, Rarity accuses Wind Rider of sending the letter to Spitfire. Wind Rider believes he has a chance of beating the rap until Rarity reveals the stain on his scarf.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Sassy Saddles reappears at Canterlot Carousel and is getting along much better with Rarity than in her first appearance.
    • Rainbow Dash stays in the same room that Rarity did in "Sweet and Elite". They watch the event from the same observer's box too.
    • Rainbow Dash's victory dance is the same one she did in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well".
    • Surprisingly one for the comic books, Rarity's love of mystery novels was first displayed in issue #15.
    • Counting when Spitfire booted Lightning Dust out of the Wonderbolt Academy due to her lack of respect for her fellow ponies, Wind Rider is the second pony that Spitfire has dishonorably discharged from the Wonderbolts due to their dishonorable actions.
    • "The Best Night Ever" established that Soarin really enjoys pie; he's shown eating one just before the performance.
    • Rarity's eye for detail was mentioned way back in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", where it was the reason Twilight Sparkle enlisted her with assisting in quality control during the cider-making race.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Wind Rider is able to impersonate Rainbow Dash because his coat is the exact same sky-blue color as hers.
  • Cool Old Guy: Wind Rider appears at first to be this genteel, modest and amazing veteran. He's decidedly not cool when the truth comes out.
  • Costume Porn: Rarity goes through five different outfits over the course of the episode. She even lampshades this trope at the end, saying the case gave her the opportunity to show off her new line.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Rarity has a whole trunkful of spare dresses waiting just offscreen at the function when she needs to change, which isn't too much a stretch considering her history with dresses being ruined at Canterlot parties.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Instead of the normal music, a slow, muted trumpet version is played over the credits. It even plays over the Media DHX and Hasbro Studios logos, a rare occurrence in the series.
  • Death Glare: Rainbow Dash receives a whole round of them from the Wonderbolts when they begin to suspect she is responsible for Spitfire's disappearance.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The picture turns to black and white each time Rarity goes in her detective mode.
  • Delicious Distraction: The cake Wind Rider gives the guards to draw them off, so he can plant the evidence against Rainbow.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Happens twice with Rarity's Private Eye Monologue.
  • Disguised in Drag: Wind Rider disguises himself as a mare at one point as part of his Frame-Up.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Rarity's silk dress that she just made as part of her Shadow Spade-inspired line gets stained at the dinner. She has spares.
  • Dramatic Drop: Rainbow Dash drops her food tray when she recognizes Wind Rider at the reception.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder and lightning punctuates Rarity's dramatic entrance (as well as yet another switch from color to B&W) when she announces she found the culprit. Another illuminates Wind Rider when Rarity designates him.
  • Eagle-Eye Detection: Rarity relies on this to clear Rainbow's name. Since she is a fashion designer by trade, it's expected for her to have a good eye for detail.
  • Evil Is Petty: Wind Rider frames Rainbow Dash and tries to get her kicked out of the Wonderbolts for no reason other than fear of her shattering his speed record. Both Rainbow and the Wonderbolts waste absolutely no time calling him out on this.
  • Evil Old Folks: Wind Rider, of course. There's an "age and treachery" angle to him since he uses manipulation and frame ups to disgrace Rainbow Dash, and all because he's afraid that she might eventually break his record.
  • Facepalm: Rainbow facehooves twice, both in response to Rarity. First, she does it when Rarity fails to recognize Wind Rider in spite of him being a celebrity. Later, she does it again when Rarity accuses Wind Rider of the crime, though it turns out the accusation is correct.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: Every single clue Rarity follows is visible to the audience, even when there aren't any lines calling attention to them. Even the Juniper Phoenix smell is indicated by the shot of her sniffing.
  • Fall Guy: Rainbow Dash becomes this when the Wonderbolts suspect she sent Spitfire the letter her mom was sick when she turned out fine and has no knowledge of the letter. The true culprit is Wind Rider, who attempted to get Rainbow banned from the Wonderbolts in fear she could break his record.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: After Rarity carefully sets up the displays of her new outfits in the shop window, Rainbow Dash barges in and knocks the whole place into disarray. She leaves after helping clean up, but slams the door hard enough to shake the displays again. Rarity and Sassy Saddles catch the dress forms in their telekinesis to keep them upright, only to have them fall over anyway when the delivery pony arrives.
  • Favors for the Sexy: Rarity has occasionally done this before, usually to get favors from Spike, but here she takes it to Femme Fatale levels. When a delivery pony gets her order wrong and says his schedule is too tight to redo it, Rarity manages to charm him into redoing it by giving him some compliments and a few suggestive looks. She does it later during her and Rainbow's Good Cop/Bad Cop routine, flirting with the castle guards by hugging them, whispering in their ears, and complimenting them on their work to get them to admit they took a small break to eat a cake and describe exactly how it was decorated.
  • Femme Fatale: While Rarity has never been shy about flirting, this episode takes her charm up to eleven with her flirting and charming pretty much everyone. She even uses the classic Film Noir costume.
    Sassy Saddles: Rarity, you could sweet-talk a filly out of candy.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: Spitfire goes questing for an Ice Iris from the Crystal Mountains in order to Find the Cure! for her mother's (fictitious) Pegasitis.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the dinner, Rarity comments about how difficult it is to get stains out of silk, which happens to be the same material Wind Rider's scarf is made from...
    • When Rainbow Dash is practicing with the Wonderbolts in the beginning, Wind Rider is clearly annoyed when she briefly out-flies him.
    • At the party when Spitfire tells Wind that Rainbow is close to breaking the flying record, Wind chuckles to himself, "Heh-heh." This is something Rarity brings up when she reveals the culprit.
    • Wind is the first one who accuses Rainbow of forging the note for Spitfire.
  • Frame-Up: A note is sent to Spitfire saying that her mother is sick and she needs to go take care of her, with Rainbow Dash set up as the culprit. It turns out to be Wind Rider, trying to get Rainbow banned because he was afraid that Rainbow would beat his old record.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: A rare episode with Rarity and Rainbow Dash pairing up.
  • Gaslighting: A somewhat unintentional example. We know by the end of the episode that Wind Rider implicated Rainbow Dash of trying to get rid of Spitfire, but in one point of the episode, Rainbow Dash starts to believe that she really is to blame, even citing the implausible event of her writing the letter in her sleep.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Rarity and Rainbow, respectively, do this when interrogating the guards. Rarity pours on the charm after Rainbow Dash acts confrontational.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: As fitting with the moody, Film Noir music and atmosphere, it begins raining after the visit to Cinnamon Chai's tea shop, when Rainbow Dash is starting to despair from having her name cleared.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: What kind of guard accepts a chocolate cake while on duty? At least the episode tries to justify it by saying that their duty is a boring and thankless one with few to no breaks, making the idea of breaking to eat a cake someone gave them very tempting.
  • Hair Flip: When the delivery pony says he doesn't have time to redo Rarity's order, Rarity gives him a sly look before taking off her hat, running a hoof through her mane before laying on the charm.
  • Happy Dance: Rainbow does it twice, when knowing she'll fly with the Wonderbolts. She does a complete dance the first time, with Rarity telling Soarin to let her enjoy the moment; the second time, the dance is cut short since it is already time for the Wonderbolts' performance.
  • Humble Hero: Surprisingly, Rainbow Dash plays this role to an extent, as she downplays her own achievements while praising the Wonderbolts'. Rarity even tells her "Don't be so modest."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Wind Rider uses this trope (and the exact phrase) as a pathetic excuse for his actions, claiming "you have to play dirty" to be the best. Rainbow Dash, Soarin and the others don't buy it, stating a real Wonderbolt looks out for their teammates.
    Wind Rider: I did what I had to do to protect my record. Sometimes, you gotta play dirty to be the best.
    Rainbow Dash: That's not what being a Wonderbolt's all about.
    Soarin: She's right! Wonderbolts look out for each other!
  • I Kiss Your Hand: During the reception, Wind Rider kisses Princess Celestia's hoof as a show of respect.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Spitfire rips off Wind Rider's old Wonderbolt insignia from his jacket when she denounces him in front of the other Wonderbolts and effectively strips him of any ex-Wonderbolt pensions/benefits he earned as a retired veteran.
  • Irony: Wind Rider frames the Mare of Loyalty for a petty act of treachery. On top of this, this duplicitous action, which Wind Rider took to preserve his reputation and legacy, ends up completely destroying them.
  • It's All About Me: Wind Rider frames Rainbow Dash and nearly gets her kicked off the Wonderbolts so she can't break his academy record.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Rainbow Dash proclaims, "This is the best thing EVER!" after Soarin tells her they need her to replace the missing Spitfire for the aerial show. However, her enthusiasm soon gets doused when the Wonderbolts start accusing her of having plotted to remove Spitfire.
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: Cinnamon Chai can't identify the customer who bought a particular cake... because the customer was almost completely covered in clothes.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Rainbow gobbles food from her plate during the dinner at Canterlot Castle, not even bothering to land first.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: For the relatively minor offense of sending Spitfire off so she'd miss the show, Rainbow Dash would have been banned from the Wonderbolts forever, crushing her lifelong dream.
  • Jerkass Realization: Rainbow Dash gives Rarity a hard time for seemingly acting out a romanticized Film Noir instead of seriously trying to help her. After Rarity's methods do just that, however, Rainbow realizes she was being too hard on a friend who was just looking out for her.
    Rainbow Dash: Thank you for believing in me, even when I was doubting you. I'm some friend, huh?
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Rainbow Dash, renowned as one of the fastest fliers in Equestria, is a total fangirl for veteran Wonderbolt Wind Rider.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Wind Rider tries to get Rainbow Dash kicked out of the Wonderbolts out of fear she'd break his record. In the end it's him, despite being a retired veteran Wonderbolt, that's kicked out for his Frame-Up, with Rainbow flying in his slot. And more subtly, with Rainbow coming back for the show on time after that was declared impossible, it's likely she did break his record (for long-distance flying) doing it. And finally, had Wind Rider just left well enough alone, then Rainbow may have still broken his record, but at least he would've retained his reputation and career. But now he's lost it all for Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • Left the Background Music On: The establishing shot for one of the noir-styled scenes centers on a stallion lounging in an apartment building window playing a muted trumpet, coincidentally providing the perfect mood music for Rarity's internal monologue on the street just below.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: The jazz-style music covering Rarity's Private Eye Monologues splutters out twice when Rainbow Dash interrupts her during the interrogation of the royal guards, and again when Stormy Flare interrupts her at the end. Each of these moments is accompanied by a shift from black-and-white to full color.
  • Loud Gulp: Soarin gulps loudly when Rarity announces she found the culprit. Although that might be because he was eating a pie in the previous shot.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Wind Rider is the real criminal mastermind. He is the one who set the letter, planted evidence, and pretended to be someone else.
  • Meaningful Background Event: During practice with the Wonderbolts, Rainbow Dash takes time to wave at Rarity watching in the stands. She briefly overtakes Wind Rider while doing so, and the look on his face is a clear indication he's not happy about it.
  • Motive Rant: When Wind Rider is exposed as the pony who sent the letter to Spitfire, he admits he did it to preserve his legacy.
  • Mystery Episode: Someone sent a letter saying Spitfire's mother is sick, and Rainbow is blamed for it. So it's up to Rarity to find the real culprit and prove Rainbow's innocence.
  • Noir Episode: The episode is a homage to the genre, complete with Deliberately Monochrome colors, Chiaroscuro lighting, and muted trumpet music during Rarity's detective mode.
  • No OSHA Compliance: If Equestria has an OSHA equivalent, they may have something to say about how easily Rarity's mannequins fall over.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Dash grabs and holds up one of Wind Rider's wings when telling Rarity about his legendary record. She also knocks Rarity's hat off out of frustration with her unusual investigative technique later on.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Rainbow Dash is questioned about where she was, she goes into detail over her dream of flying with the Wonderbolts and Wind Rider. Naturally, this makes her look more guilty in the eyes of the Wonderbolts. At least she admits that she isn't helping her case.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rainbow Dash has a big one when she gets a round of suspicious glares from the Wonderbolts, having been accused of sending Spitfire away.
  • Only Shop in Town: Cinnamon Chai's shop is the only one in all of Canterlot that sells the specific type of cake used to distract the castle guards.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Ashleigh Ball sounds quite Canadian when Rainbow spills a drink on Rarity's dress and says "Sorry about that," and when she complains that Rarity just asked about cake.
  • Orgy of Evidence: The envelope containing the note also included a chunk of rainbow hair. Unfortunately for the real villain, the amount of hair needed to show all the rainbow colors is also enough to reveal that one end was cut off cleanly. Not to mention that nopony would lose hair in a chunk like that.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Every one of Rarity's Film Noir scenes has her narrating and she's occasionally overheard by others. Bonus points for Rarity alternately playing the role of both the Hardboiled Detective and the Femme Fatale.
  • Product-Promotion Parade: In-universe, Rarity takes the investigation opportunity to not only save Dash's reputation, but her frequent costume changes allows her to show off her new line inspired by Shadow Spade.
  • Race Against the Clock: Rainbow Dash has until the start of the show to prove her innocence, or else she'll be permanently banned from the Wonderbolts.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Soarin could have easily kicked Rainbow Dash out of the Wonderbolts, especially with the others so sure of her guilt. Instead, he gave Rainbow Dash a chance to prove her innocence.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Everything learned about Wind Rider takes on a whole new meaning since the audience knows how the fake letter came to be from the start.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Wind Rider tried to get Rainbow kicked out of the Wonderbolts because he was afraid of her breaking his speed record and losing his legacy. He ends up losing everything when his scheme gets discovered.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rarity's silk dress is based on the dress of Athena in Saint Seiya. Bonus points for both Athena and Rarity having purple hair.
    • While the two are talking to Cinnamon Chai, ponified versions of Sherlock and Watson can be seeing talking in the background. Later they can be seen chasing Moriarty (during Rarity's flashback explanation on Wind Rider picking up the cake).note 
    • In her dream, Rainbow takes a picture of a fellow flier while upside down.
    • Shadow Spade is a composite of the classic detective characters Sam Spade and The Shadow.
    • The episode title is a take-off on Poirot Investigates, a collection of Hercule Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie.
    • Rarity's Emergency Wardrobe Trunk has a Rarified version of the Louis Vuitton pattern.
    • When Rarity launches into rapid-fire questioning, she puts an inflection on her voice that makes her sound very similar to Hildy Johnson from His Girl Friday.
      Sassy Saddles: Rarity, you could sweet-talk a filly out of candy.
  • Signature Item Clue: A clump of Dash's mane left on the envelope, which Rarity realizes was planted when she sees it was cut with shears.
  • Sleepwalking: At one point, Rainbow Dash believes she might have written the letter and sent it when she was asleep.
    Rainbow Dash: Do you know what I do when I sleep? Because I sure don't!
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Although not a small name among the Wonderbolts, Wind Rider committed a crime just to keep his fame.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Everypony, including Rainbow Dash, is genuinely shocked that Rarity was able to solve the case with her amazing detective skills.
  • Somewhere, an Equestrian Is Crying: Some horses actually do like broccoli as a treat, but equestrians know not to set it out for them as part of a buffet. A plateful of broccoli like the one Rainbow Dash pigs out on would give a horse painful (though usually not life-threatening) gas colic. But then again, horses are not supposed to have chocolate either.
  • Splash of Color: During the first black-and-white sequence, the tuft of hair Rarity finds is still rainbow-colored, although significantly muted compared to her full-saturation rainbow mane during the normal color scenes.
  • Stock Scream: A faint Wilhelm Scream can be heard during the Wonderbolt's reaction to the chocolate stain on Wind Rider's scarf.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Rainbow Dash goes to retrieve Spitfire in time for the show, knowing it means losing an opportunity to fly in Spitfire's place in the show. However, Spitfire strips Wind Rider of his Wonderbolt status and gives Rainbow the spot of honor in his place.
  • Talks Like a Simile: A requisite part of Rarity's private eye monologue. She's "on this case like a charm on a bracelet!"
  • Thinking Out Loud: Both Rainbow Dash and Stormy Flare call Rarity out on this with her lampshading this trope.
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: Rarity goes about her investigation, but seems repeatedly distracted by the most trivial clothing and decor details. However in doing so, Rarity is actually finding the clues she needs to solve the case.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Rainbow Dash and Rarity take this dynamic up to eleven, most notably in the Good Cop/Bad Cop scene where the former is aggressive and hostile while the latter flirts and charms.
  • Turn the Other Cheek
    • Rarity forgives Rainbow Dash for doubting her investigation skills.
    • Rainbow also shows no hard feelings towards the Wonderbolts for suspecting her, and gladly flies alongside them for the Garden Show.
  • Uniformity Exception: The three Pegasi Royal Guards assigned to watch the entrance to the east tower rooms are not of the standard design that is usually seen in the series (white coat, blue mane, and blue tail). Guard #1 has a light brown coat with red mane and tail, Guard #2 has a tawny coat with blue mane and tail, and Guard #3 has a green coat with purple mane and tail.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Rarity changes outfits constantly during the course of the investigation, which Dash lampshades at one point. She has a brand new line of clothes to show off, after all.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Spitfire just has to mention, with him right there, that Rainbow might beat Wind Rider's record.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Wind Rider is seen as the ultimate Wonderbolt when he is not manipulating ponies around him. This gets dropped after they discover that he was the one responsible for the Frame-Up.
  • Visual Pun: "Rainbow Dash was obviously upset, but I had all my ducks in a row!" (an orderly trio of ducklings crosses the screen) "...except one." (a fourth duckling rushes to catch up with the others, trips, and falls into a rain puddle)
  • Walk-In Chime-In: Rainbow Dash thanks Rarity for keeping her company in the stands during the Wonderbolts' practice, saying she doesn't know who she'd be talking to at the moment.
    Soarin: [dropping in] Uh, you'd be talkin' to me.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So did the delivery pony manage to redo Rarity's gem order?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Subverted. Rainbow Dash questions why Rarity is seemingly doing nothing to help her, but she ultimately realizes that Rarity has been following her own unorthodox methods to gather clues and solve the mystery.
  • Wrongly Accused: Rainbow Dash is accused of Spitfire's disappearance with the possible motive being to take her place in the Wonderbolts. Unlike most examples, Soarin gives her the benefit of the doubt and the chance to prove herself innocent.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the end, when Rainbow Dash is kicking herself for being a bad friend to Rarity for her seemingly pointless investigations, Rarity tells her otherwise; if Rainbow was a bad friend, she wouldn't have risked her chance to fly with the Wonderbolts to save Spitfire.