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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E20 "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows"

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Somepony's got a secret, but they can't tell...

Twilight Sparkle: When Shining Armor said he wanted to come to the castle and visit, I started collecting things he liked when he was a colt as a surprise!
Pinkie Pie: Surprise?! [nervous laugh]
Twilight Sparkle: I've been so excited that it's been hard to keep it to myself!
Pinkie Pie: I have no idea what that's like!

Written by G.M. Berrow
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As Pinkie Pie is attempting to break her record on cupcake icing in Sugarcube Corner, Mrs. Cake comes in with a note, which holds surprising news: Princess Cadance and Shining Armor are coming to visit Twilight, and they're having a baby! Pinkie is initially ecstatic and eager to tell Twilight, but Mrs. Cake says that Twilight doesn't know yet. In fact, Shining Armor and Cadance want it kept a secret so that they can tell Twilight themselves. Pinkie agrees to keep quiet, but knows it's going to be an uphill battle.

At Twilight's castle, the Mane Six gather around the crystal map. Twilight already knows that Shining Armor and Cadance are coming, and she wants to make up a room for Shining Armor to stay in that has things from his childhood as a surprise to him. Twilight asks her friends to help her gather things for Shining Armor's guest room, with Pinkie struggling to keep herself quiet. After the meeting, Pinkie decides to just stay in her room so that she won't have to encounter anypony, but Mr. Cake needs deliveries made, and Pinkie had previously agreed to deliver them if he couldn't. After a disguise fails, Pinkie tries to avoid contact with anypony while making the deliveries. Just as it looks like she's in the clear, Gummy finds a list of previously-made "Pinkie promises" that she already agreed to do. Since Pinkie never breaks a Pinkie promise, she goes out to complete her list.

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Pinkie Pie makes balloon animals at school, helps Mayor Mare with filing, and helps set up decorations for a sale at a furniture store. All the while, Pinkie becomes more and more stressed, trying to keep herself as quiet as possible. Finally, everything appears to be in place, but the Mane Six's increasing concern with Pinkie's erratic behavior makes them ask Pinkie what's wrong. The stress overwhelms Pinkie, and she attempts to blurt out the secret, but Shining Armor and Cadance arrive just at that moment, cutting her off. Shining Armor confides in Pinkie to keep quiet just a bit longer, since they want to tell Twilight in their own way.

Shining Armor and Cadance tell the Mane Six to meet them in town square, but when the Mane Six arrive, all they find is a note. It's a clue to a scavenger hunt, which Shining Armor used to send Twilight on when they were younger, with a book as a prize at the end. The Mane Six go to the children's school, Town Hall for Applejack's birth certificate, and the furniture store for a crib. Each time, Pinkie rushes the Mane Six along, unable to hold herself back much more. Finally, the Mane Six are lead to Sugarcube Corner, where Shining Armor and Cadance are waiting. Twilight is told to piece together what all the clues have in common, and quickly realizes just as Shining Armor and Cadance tell her; they're having a baby. Pinkie, overwhelmed with relief, collapses as Twilight is overjoyed at the news. As everypony eats cake at Sugarcube Corner to celebrate, Cadance asks Pinkie if keeping the secret was hard, with Pinkie lying that it was a piece of cake.

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Tropes:

  • Adorkable:
    • When he sees how Twilight decorated his room in the Castle, Shining Armor goes full-on giddy colt. He taps the ant farm, mourns the burned comic book, cuddles the stuffed toy and swings his little sister around.
    • Twilight telling everyone that her brother's scavenger hunt usually ended in a present, like a book... or several books.
    • Fluttershy has her own moment gushing over the ant farm Twilight got for her brother.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Shining Armor rubs the top of Twilight's head when they finish the scavenger hunt.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Pinkie Pie briefly acts like a dog searching for the second clue to the Scavenger Hunt.
  • Anti-Climax: The episode builds up Pinkie eventually caving in and telling the others about Shining Armor and Cadance's big secret. Despite a couple close calls, it amusingly never happens and she just barely makes it.
  • Aside Comment: When Cadance asks if it was trouble keeping their secret Pinkie says that it was a piece of cake, but as the episode iris out on her, she turns to the audience and shakes her head while mouthing "noooooooooo".
  • Audience Surrogate: The last episode was one of the biggest Wham Episodes in the series, with the CMC finally getting their cutie marks. Many people would want to tell their friends the huge plot twist, but they get stressed out because they don't want to ruin it. In this episode, Pinkie wants to tell Twilight about the big secret Shining Armor and Princess Cadance have, but doesn't want to ruin it, and gets dangerously near her breaking point.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: The secret that Pinkie Pie (and, it turns out, several other ponies in Ponyville) are keeping from Twilight is that her brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first foal.
  • Behind a Stick: Pinkie Pie manages to disappear behind a tree... along with her whole delivery wagon. Overall, she's pushing the limits of Toon Physics even further than usual in this episode.
  • Behind the Black: When the Mane Six walk into Sugarcube Corner to finish the scavenger hunt, they don't notice the obviously foal-themed cake directly and pretty openly behind Shining and Cadance until the audience does as well.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Pinkie lets a big one loose when she hears Shining Armor and Cadance might arrive a whole other day late, meaning that she has to hide Cadance's pregnancy for longer. Fortunately, thanks to some rescheduling, they manage to arrive earlier than expected.
  • Body Horror: Pinkie literally falling to pieces when she doesn't have to keep the secret any longer.
  • Boggles the Mind: No word-game examples, but a couple variations:
    • Pinkie Pie subconsciously making a balloon "animal" baby bottle when Scootaloo says "surprise me". It doesn't help that, just when Pinkie is fiddling with the balloons, a mare walks by with a foal in a carriage.
    • Featherweight asking for a baby pony balloon animal, "unless of course that would be a royal pain", and the furniture salespony's "Treat your foal like royalty" ad slogan. Pinkie calls out Featherweight on his Freudian Slip, even though she doesn't realize he's in on the secret.
  • Brick Joke: While Twilight is showing off Shining Armor's room, Spike accidentally burns up a mint-condition comic book and stuffs the ashes into a spare bag. Cue Shining Armor's horrified reaction when he sees what's happened.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: A subversion; Pinkie Pie can indeed keep a secret in order to not ruin the surprise... but she agonizes over it for the whole episode, and is severely tempted to blurt it out many times. She still makes it to the end despite many close calls. But she never wants to go through that again.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Featherweight, Mayor Mare, and the furniture salespony. The reason why they were giving Pinkie Pie problems when she's keeping up with the other Pinkie Promises to fulfill (Featherweight asks for a balloon shaped like a baby; Mayor Mare asking Pinkie if she knew any juicy secrets; the salespony with the baby-themed sale) is because they were also aware of the secret via their involvement in the Scavenger Hunt and were also having a hard time keeping it to themselves (with Pinkie herself not being aware of their situations).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Played with; Pinkie Pie tries to pass off her weird behavior as her normal weird behavior, but her friends can tell that she's acting weirder than normal (due to the stress of trying to keep the secret).
    Rainbow Dash: I know the bar is set pretty high, but does anypony else think that Pinkie Pie was acting weirder than usual?
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Pinkie Pie is truly doing her best to not spoil the surprise for her friends... except that everypony in town is constantly mentioning babies, or surprises, or anything related, to Pinkie's despair, further straining her resolve.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • This isn't the first time Pinkie's eyes started to show spirals. This time, she's stressing about keeping a secret rather than avoiding a pony.
    • Pinkie Pie takes keeping secrets very seriously.
    • Rarity saying that if you ruin a surprise you have to live with that guilt FOREVER is very similar to Pinkie saying not keeping secrets can ruin friendships in that episode.
    • The Foal Free Press is once again mentioned and is part of the Scavenger Hunt.
    • Pinkie helps the mayor organize files at the Town Hall. We learned Pinkie was good at keeping files when the other girls found she had notes on everyone in town in case she had to plan a party for them. She also gets really nervous about revealing how she knows that Cadance and Shining Armor are coming, in a similar move to "Party Pooped".
    • This isn't the first time Spike burns a piece of print media by accident.
    • Rarity calls Pinkie "Miss Pie" again, which was first heard during the brief squabble the Mane Six had in the season five premiere.
    • Another to the comics: Shining Armor is described as a geek in his colthood. This episode proves that with old movies and comic books he likes. He even has an ant farm.
    • When the Mane Six try to get Pinkie to reveal the secret, she imagines her friends as balloons that taunt her.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The three unresolved Pinkie Promises that Pinkie need to finish up have her run into the only other ponies in Ponyville who know the surprise other than the Cakes and Pinkie herself.
  • Cringe Comedy: Because the viewer is let on onto Pinkie's behavior, much of the episode is based on watching Pinkie trying desperately to avoid spilling the beans to her friends and often getting into embarrassing situations trying to explain away her behavior.
  • Cutaway Gag: Shining Armor's reaction to seeing the room Twilight and her friends prepared.
  • Death Glare: Pinkie gives Mayor Mare one when the Mane Six arrive at the Town Hall for the next clue, when she's about to reveal the secret herself but Pinkie prevents her from telling it.
  • Easily Forgiven: Shining Armor and Cadance don't get mad when they walk in on Pinkie Pie literally half a second away from giving up their secret to Twilight and the others (despite the fact that it would have messed up with their plan for the scavenger hunt) and are very understanding on why she would have difficulty keeping it in. Shining even congratulates Pinkie on managing to not spill the beans for a full day beforehand.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Applejack isn't too excited when the Scavenger Hunt involves searching for her birth certificate, and she blushes while Twilight and Fluttershy giggle and coo over her baby photo, even turning the document around so they can focus on the note taped to its back.
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: Featherweight announces himself selling the Foal Free Press paper in this old-fashioned way. He's even dressed for the part, like an old-school paperboy.
  • Eye Pop: As Pinkie Pie reads the letter Mrs. Cake dropped, her eyes bulge out when she read that Cadance and Shining Armor are having a baby; it goes from her eyes tracing the paper to going through it.
  • Flashback Effects:
    • The flashback to Pinkie Pie Pinkie-promising to Mr. Cake's back-up delivery pony uses the classic waving and blurring transition.
    • The flashback to Shining Armor discovering his room, on the other hand, has a vertical wipe, lowering down as it starts and rising up at its end.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: The brief scene between Pinkie Pie and Rarity after the intro is the fourth time in the entire series where the two of them have been alone without the rest of the Mane Six (with the previous times being in "The Last Roundup," "Putting Your Hoof Down," Canterlot Boutique").
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Gummy is good for some, like when he's ridden by Pound Cake like a pony, or when he pops out of Pinkie's chocolate batter in the flashback.
    • Pinkie's disguise after she runs into Fluttershy. Shortly after they're done talking, the latter can be seen wearing her own version of it as Pinkie bolts into a house.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Shining Armor whinnies in delight when he sees his well-appointed guest room for the first time (and in horror at the burnt comic).
    • Although the writing is largely illegible, the spaces where Applejack's parents' names are written appear to be labeled "sire" and "dam".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After Cadance and Shining Armor reveal their surprise to everyone else, Shining Armor and Mr. Cake give a very not-so-subtle hoofbump that seems more than just a simple congratulations.
  • Growling Gut: Rainbow Dash's stomach growls before the Scavenger Hunt.
  • Happily Married: The Power of Love is apparently so strong in the Crystal Empire that both Princess Cadance and Shining Armor are able to take a vacation to visit Twilight together and announce that they're having a baby.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Well, Ponies are.... When Fluttershy looks into the ant farm in Shining Armors guest suite, a worker ant takes one look at her and runs away shrieking in terror.
  • Identical Stranger: After Pinkie Pie's gag glasses and moustache fall onto Fluttershy's tail, an old yellow stallion with glasses and a long pink beard that looks exactly like Fluttershy's tail greets them. He even appears at the edge of the screen walking away as Pinkie contemplates keeping the secret.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Everyone who makes even the tiniest, coincidental reference to babyhood ends up unknowingly putting Pinkie under more pressure to keep the secret from them. Even when her friends are being gentle and supportive of her, their suggestion that she stop bottling up her feelings comes across as hounding her to spill the beans from her POV.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: When Twilight finds out about Shining Armor and Cadance having a baby and she's going to be an aunt, she cries out, "This is the best prize ever!"
  • Just in Time: Shining Armor and Cadance arriving early saves Pinkie from spilling the beans about their pregnancy.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Pinkie becomes a nervous wreck having to keep the exciting news from her friends for a whole day, and feels bad about having to avoid them. Mayor Mare also has a hard time of it, desperately wanting to confide with Pinkie after she helps with the filing at Town Hall. After the secret is broken by Cadance and Shining Armor, Pinkie literally falls to pieces.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Took about four seasons, but Pinkie forcing Twilight to keep the secrets that could have solved the problem between Fluttershy and Rarity a lot sooner in "Green Isn't Your Color" comes back to bite her in the flank.
  • Look Behind You: Pinkie distracts Fluttershy by pointing behind her and yelling, "albino squirrel!" Fluttershy hopes it is Albert.
  • Luminescent Blush:
    • Happens to Pinkie Pie when Shining Armor figures out that she had read the scroll sent to the Cakes. (This, by the way, could be a first for her in the series.)
    • Applejack gets one when Twilight and Fluttershy start giggling over her baby picture.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Pinkie discovers the news about Cadance's pregnancy in Sugarcube Corner, she's overjoyed, declaring that "This is the best news ever!" After Shining and Cadance reveal the secret to Twilight after the scavenger hunt ends at Sugarcube Corner, she happily states that "This is the best prize ever!"
  • Medium Blending: The inflatable pony in front of the furniture store is a hand-drawn prop used by vector-animated ponies.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Pinkie's idea of putting away folders is to fling them at the filing cabinets like they're throwing knives.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After Mr. Cake reminds Pinkie of her promise to be his back-up delivery pony — meaning she'll have to go around town and interact with others — Pinkie hopes that it'll be a quiet day, only to open the door and see the town bustling more than usual.
    • Once the cake deliveries are made, she finds a scroll in Gummy's mouth and realizes it's a list of Pinkie Promises she made, all involving interaction with the public while keeping the secret. On top of that, there's the recent one she made to Twilight to get snacks.
      Pinkie: I've been getting liberal with those Pinkie Promises lately.
    • When Applejack reveals Shining Armor and Cadance got held up and won't be arriving for another day, Pinkie promptly panics at the thought of having to hold in the secret further. Luckily for her, the couple arrive early due to some mis-scheduling.
  • The One with...: The title "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Pinkie can't tell her friends about the big surprise Shining Armor and Cadance have in store for them, or even that there is a surprise, out of fear of spoiling everything. She ends up turning into a nervous wreck who tries avoiding her friends, who only make things harder when they obliviously ask her to get her feelings off her chest.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The end scene has Pinkie, who had literally fallen to pieces in the previous scene, reattaching and adjusting her forelock as Cadance comes up to congratulate her for her troubles.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Shining Armor and his Brutus Force doll.
  • Reflective Eyes: Rainbow Dash's reflection in Pinkie's eyes.
  • Sanity Slippage: Pinkie suffers quite a rapid onset of this when she learns Shining and Cadance's arrival may be delayed. She starts acting so weird that it tops her normal level of craziness and (anti)climaxes with her seeing her friends as balloon-faces.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Shining Armor sends Twilight on one to prepare her for the surprise announcement. According to Twilight, Shining Armor always set them up for her when she was a filly.
  • Secret Keeper: Pinkie Pie is one for Shining Armor and Cadance. Considering how seriously she takes secret keeping versus her tendency to blurt out her thoughts, it's a bit of a problem and she struggles just to hold it in.
  • Sequel Hook: The new foal will be born during Season 6.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This episode's title takes many cues from the show Friends, where most of their episodes are titled "The One Where X X X".
    • Smash Fortune being one to Flash Gordon, with a hint of the bronzed appearance of Doc Savage thrown in the mix.
    • The mint condition comic that Spike accidentally destroys is a ponified version of Action Comics #1.
    • When Shining Armor sees the destroyed comic, a cover with ponified Archie and Jughead can also be seen.
    • When Pinkie is right on the very edge of spoiling the surprise as Twilight is putting the pieces of the scavenger hunt together, her swirly eyes and gritted teeth reference Who Framed Roger Rabbit? where Roger is about to snap from being unable to resist saying the punchline of "Shave-and-a-Haircut", which Judge Doom was repeatedly tapping against the walls.
    • Pinkie's delivery cart has a giant cupcake bouncing around on a spring on the roof... like Dr. Schultz's goofy traveling dentist wagon with the giant tooth in Django Unchained.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Pinkie Pie as usual, on how she "almost spilled the beans".
    Pinkie Pie: Beans that would be really hard to clean up!
  • Stealth Pun: Twilight gets her brother an ant farm, unaware she's about to become an aunt herself.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Featherweight has speaking lines for the first time in the show after previously being silent.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Whenever someone mentions anything baby related, Pinkie tries to cover it up but nearly blows the secret by constantly talking about said baby topics.
  • Tempting Fate: Retroactively in the flashback where Pinkie promised to be the backup delivery pony for Mr. Cake, she states that she'd never have any reason to back out of the job, "like having a super, emotionally exhausting secret that would make it super hard to be around other ponies." Guess what happens by the time she has to make good on that promise?
  • There Was a Door: After Rarity tells Pinkie how horrible it would be to spoil a surprise for someone and living with the guilt FOREVER. Pinkie decides to take her leave... by pinball-ing out of the room and through a wall.
  • Toon Physics: At the beginning of the episode, Pinkie punches two holes in a piece of paper (the royal baby announcement) with her eyeballs. Later, she literally falls apart into dozens of pieces after successfully keeping the secret for an entire day.
  • Visual Pun: Two once the secret has been revealed.
    • Once Shining Armor and Cadance confirm Twilight's guess, Pinkie finally lets loose the secret and bounces around the room i.e. bouncing off the walls in celebration.
    • Then after Pinkie relived that she made it through the day without telling anyone, she breaks up into many little pieces. She literally went to pieces keeping the secret safe ("go, Pinkie!").
  • Weirder Than Usual: Rainbow Dash comments on how bizarre Pinkie Pie is acting, and lampshades just how weird she has to act for anypony to notice.
  • Wham Line:
    Pinkie Pie: A baby?! Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are having a baby?!
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Twilight starts getting these when reminiscing about getting books as rewards for the scavenger hunts Shining Armor sent her on when they were young.
    • Pinkie gets the "Swirly Eye" variant when she wants to tell Twilight about Shining Armor and Princess Cadance's pregnancy that badly.
  • Worth It: Shining assures Pinkie that keeping the secret in so he and Cadance can surprise Twilight themselves will be worth it. Considering Twilight's joyous reaction, it was.

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