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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E9 "Slice of Life"

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Just an ordinary day in Ponyville.

"This episode really is a love letter to the fans who've supported the show to allow it to go this far."

Written by M.A. Larson
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At their home, Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda are excited for their upcoming wedding. But as Matilda checks over the invitations, she finds out that the wrong date has been printed on them; instead of tomorrow, the invitations say the wedding is that very day. The mishap occurred because Cranky hired Derpy to have the invitations printed for cheap, who subcontracted the job to the inexperienced Featherweight. A frantic Matilda rushes out in search of Pinkie Pie, determined to get everything moved up a day.

Derpy shares her guilt with Dr. Hooves, wishing she could go back in time to undo her screw-up. The Doctor invites her to his home, where he explains to her that he has mastered time travel and is currently working to find a way to make time come forward to you, but the two soon forget the topic — the Doctor goes on a tangent about science, while Derpy is distracted by the Doctor's inventions, especially his flameless fireworks (which look like rainbow-colored roses, though the Doctor admits he can't figure out how to make them go off). When the Doctor tries to remember what they were talking about in the first place, Derpy reminds him that the wedding is today, which makes the Doctor panic and rush off with his suit for Rarity to tailor it, leaving Derpy on her own.

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Unfortunately for everypony, a bugbear (a giant bear/bee monster) is attacking Ponyville, and the Mane Six are occupied with fighting it. With Pinkie Pie unavailable, Matilda enlists the help of Amethyst Star, formerly the best planner in all of Ponyville, to move her wedding on schedule. As they run off, Derpy asks if she can help and is given the task of getting the wedding flowers. However, when she asks the Flower Trio about it, she's told that they haven't even received the flowers. Meanwhile, Doctor Hooves goes to Carousel Boutique in search of Rarity and finds that she isn't there. He asks Vinyl Scratch if she knows where Rarity is, but since Vinyl Scratch has music playing through her headphones, she doesn't hear the question. She ends up leading him to the bowling alley instead; there he meets three ponies, who offer to help adjust his suit in exchange for joining their team and helping them win a bowling tournament.

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At the town hall, Lyra and Bon Bon are setting up wedding decorations when Lyra offhandedly mentions the bugbear attack. Bon Bon immediately stops decorating, shocked at the possibility that the monster has found her. To Lyra's bewilderment, Bon Bon reveals that "Bon Bon" isn't her real name (it's actually Sweetie Drops), and that she was part of a defunct anti-monster agency. Sweetie Drops was the one to capture the bugbear and put it in Tartarus initially, but after it escaped, Celestia dismantled the agency and its former agents went undercover. A dejected Lyra then asks if it means their friendship was fake. Bon Bon assures Lyra that it was all real before rushing off to hide from the bugbear in the crowd.

Meanwhile, Matilda is trying to get her hair done at the spa, where she meets Steven Magnet — Cranky's friend and Best Monster for the wedding. As Steven regales her with tales of Cranky's undying love, Matilda calms down, only to return to a frantic tizzy when Steven insists that the wedding is the most important thing for everyone.

On the outskirts of town, Octavia Melody is practicing at home, but she laments that all of the traditional wedding songs sound so dull and uninspired. When her roommate Vinyl Scratch enters and begins playing electronic beats, it provides inspiration that invigorates both of them. Their impromptu jam is interrupted when Octavia realizes they're going to be late, and the two musicians race to the ceremony on a mobile DJ booth. The two go on a madcap ride through Ponyville, picking up scores of bystanders along the way and ending with a crash that dumps everyone into their seats just in time for the ceremony. In the meantime, Derpy has replaced the flowers with the Doctor's flameless fireworks. Once everypony is settled into place, Bon Bon announces that the bugbear has been stopped. Doctor Hooves enters, having ditched his suit for a scarf, and the wedding begins after Derpy inadvertently locks the Mane Six out of the town hall.

The Mayor presides over the wedding, commenting on how the love of Cranky and Matilda has brought them together, and says that though they're the main characters in their own story, it's the side characters that enrich their lives. Cranky and Matilda say "I do," and the Mayor officially marries them as the fireworks go off, triggered by the couple's love. Outside, as the Mane Six watch through a window, Twilight Sparkle comments on how lucky they are to live in Ponyville. She says that she loves them all, and the six of them engage in a group hug.


Tropes:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Doctor Hooves, while brilliant, seems a bit absent-minded. For one thing, he gets so wrapped up in showing Derpy his lab that she has to remind him why they came there. He also created flameless fireworks without considering how he would ignite them, and he gets roped into bowling with a group of stallions instead of looking for someone to tailor his suit.
  • Acquired Error at the Printer: The bulk of the episode's tension (beyond the Bugbear's attack) is the result of a printing mistake on Cranky and Matilda's wedding invitations, setting the ceremony one day too early and forcing everypony to rush their preparations. The error was caused by Derpy subcontracting the printing of the invitation to the inexperienced Featherweight for a cheaper product.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Vinyl Scratch pushes back her shades to the proper position after the wild ride on the mobile DJ booth. Since she has hooves instead of fingers, though, she simply pushes up on one lens instead of gripping the frames or bridge.
  • Agent Peacock: Steven Magnet's recount of his adventures with Cranky suggests that he is just as badass as he is fabulous.
  • All There in the Script:
    • The gray, lazy-eyed pegasus whom much of the fandom refers to as "Derpy Hooves" is never referred to by name in the episode itself. The credits list her as "Muffins", probably to avoid controversy. (However, for the sake of clarity, this Recap page will continue referring to her as "Derpy".)
    • Several months after the episode aired, M.A. Larson revealed the changeling guest at the wedding is named Kevin.
  • Altar the Speed: Due to the mishap with the invitations, Cranky and Matilda need to have their wedding a day earlier than planned.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
  • Angst: Gummy's Internal Monologue is an Existentialist "Who am I?" variant.
  • Apathetic Citizens: After the events of the previous seasons, the locals are pretty jaded about the possibility of a monster attack; they just leave it to the Mane Six to solve.
    Bon Bon: [after a roar outside] What was that?
    Lyra: [disinterested] There's some monster attacking Ponyville or something.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Bon Bon reveals to Lyra that she has been holding a secret identity all this time in Ponyville after Celestia shut down her agency, and that the bugbear has tracked her here. Later, Lyra, wanting to reveal her own secrets, admits she ate all of Bon Bon's expensive oats.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Alligators don't have forked tongues, and can't lick their eyeballs.
  • Artistic License – Physics: When Derpy touches a plasma globe, her mane and tail stand up as though she's touching the globe of a Van de Graaff generator.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • A popular meme in the brony fandom has been to have ponies (typically filly/colt versions) spinning on a record player.note  On Vinyl Scratch's mobile DJ station, Button Mash is spinning on a turntable after being hit by it.
    • Techno/electronica and classical music fusion has been featured in Vinyl Scratch and Octavia fanon for nearly as long as the two have been Shipped. This is the first episode in which they attempt to combine their musical talents.
    • A fan-made YouTube video had a fan claim (as part of a skit) he was leaving the fandom because the show's creators were "throwing pandas at us", which quickly became a meme as a malapropism for Pandering to the Base.note  The monster in this episode turns this into a Literal Metaphor.
    • Derpy looking at the flameless fireworks floating in their container is reminiscent of an early fan video of Derpy staring at a lava lamp.
    • Derpy being a fan of muffins, Time Turner being an expy of The Doctor, The Sea Serpent's official name being "Steven Magnet", and dubstep existing in Equestria, just to name a few other fan-made memes becoming canon.
    • A fan-made video has Vinyl using a "dubstep dishwasher" to clean plates. Her mobile DJ station blasts the printing press ink off of Featherweight.
  • Aside Glance: The jeweler pony glances at the viewers when Cranky tells him he needs the wedding rings ready now, no matter the cost... as long as it doesn't cost any extra.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: A trait commonly associated with Derpy by the fandom that is confirmed in this episode. She gets completely distracted by the many wonderful toys in the Doctor's lab, to the point that when asked why she sought his help, she has to shake her head and slap herself to remember the problem.
  • Audible Sharpness: Steven Magnet's scale makes the typical metallic sound.
  • Audience Monologue: Mayor Mare addresses the importance of the "minor" characters during her wedding speech.
  • Author Tract: The Mayor's speech before the exchange of wedding vows over the many unique ponies and residents having their own story. Quite fitting for an episode that not only focuses on background ponies rather than the Mane Six, but also reflects how much fans of the show were responsible for its longevity.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The series's usual Beary Friendly is Averted with the bugbear monster. Even Fluttershy can't get through to it.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: The Doctor's "flameless fireworks", ignited by Cranky and Matilda's love, provide the requisite spectacle for their kiss at the end of the wedding.
  • Big Word Shout:
    • When Derpy asks what she can do to help with the rushed wedding, the stressed Matilda just shouts "FLOWERS!" Thankfully, Derpy understands her easily enough.
    • While not as long, Octavia shouts "STOP!" in the middle of her jam session with Vinyl Scratch upon realizing that she's in danger of being late to the wedding.
  • Brutal Honesty: Although Steven Magnet is not wrong about the importance of the wedding ceremony, telling it in such terms to the already stressed-out Matilda really isn't the best thing he could have done. At the end of his tirade, the poor donkey is shaking.
  • Call-Back: This is Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda's first plot-central appearance since "A Friend in Deed". Here, they are about to get married.
  • Camp: Steven Magnet is as flamboyantly campy as in his original appearance in the series premiere. He even goes so far as to say that a wedding ceremony is more important — to the guests, anyway — than the marriage.
    Steven Magnet: All these ponies traveling to Ponyville, putting on uncomfortable clothes, sitting through a long ceremony, you think any of them care about the marriage? No, no no no. Honey, the wedding is everything.
  • Carrying a Cake: Carrot Cake is crossing the street with Matilda's wedding cake on his back just as the mobile DJ booth comes rushing down. Naturally, it results in a collision, although the cake miraculously ends up whole and undamaged.
  • Catch-Phrase: Doctor Hooves's "Great whickering stallions!" He also lets out an "Allons-y" as he and Derpy enter the town hall.
  • Character Tics: Doctor Hooves has the habit of shaking his head very fast, usually along with his catchphrase, whenever he gets worried or excited. He does it four times in this episode.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Featherweight gets splashed by ink from the crashing printing press in a flashback just at the beginning of the episode. He's later seen in the crowd, still covered in black. Even later, when Vinyl's mobile DJ booth speeds next to him, the wind cleanly makes the ink come off.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The flameless fireworks, introduced in the beginning in Doctor Hooves's lab, are used by Derpy to replace the flowers at the wedding. They end up going off at the end of the ceremony, perfectly timed with the Hollywood Kiss.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody share the same house in Ponyville, but it's split down the middle into different colors. Octavia's side has more earthen tones, while Vinyl's is more neon blue.
  • Comically Cross-Eyed: As this is Derpy's longest screentime to date, we get a good look at her strabismus. She manages to focus both eyes on the same spot from time to time, but it's brief. The animation avoids making it too distracting, but it certainly makes her stand out among fellow ponies — and adds to her cuteness, somehow. At one point her eyes threaten to go fish-eyed, but she seems to make a conscious effort to avoid it.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The bulk of Ponyville's residents at this, most acting with indifference to the giant monster attack that at one point destroys half a house. Moreso with the characters in the highlight, including Matilda, Derpy, Doctor Whooves, and Octavia, all who are more worried about the wedding than the imminent danger.
  • Comical Overreacting: The Flower Trio faint over a broken flower stem.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: A lighter example than most, but it's a Running Gag that everyone in Ponyville is completely unconcerned with what is likely the umpteenth monster attack.
  • Confusion Fu: The most likely explanation for why Pinkie Pie is seen on a unicycle spinning plates on sticks at one point during the fight — she must be trying to confuse the monster. The scene is too short to tell whether it's working or not, though the bugbear does give her a stare.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One photo in Matilda's album shows Cranky at the coronation ceremony for Princess Twilight Sparkle (from "Magical Mystery Cure").
    • Derpy hires Featherweight to print the wedding invitations, and the latter gets covered in ink by the malfunctioning printing press, as happened to Diamond Tiara at the end of "Ponyville Confidential".
    • The Doctor was investigating Time Travel until he learned that there was a spell for it, which Twilight used in "It's About Time".
    • Cheerilee and Big Macintosh are paired up again.
    • Amethyst Star makes the claim that she was Ponyville's primary organizer before Twilight came along, which can be seen back in the episode "Winter Wrap Up". She was the only team leader that was not a member of the Mane Cast, the other two being Rainbow Dash and Applejack.
    • The Flower Trio faint and freak out twice, first when Derpy asks them for wedding flowers, and then when they see the aforementioned broken flower. Both times, they exclaim "The horror, the horror!", "This is awful!", and "This is a disaster!" in turn. This comes from the season one episode "Applebuck Season", where they scream and faint at a stampede of little bunnies.
    • Lyra reminds Bon Bon about all the times they sat on benches together.
    • The Twilight Scepter that Discord created to make fun of Twilight's princess status returns.
    • Luna makes a reference to Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding when she says that she was the one who prepared their gift for the couple.
    • Steven Magnet's solution to Cranky's missing toupee is the reverse of how Rarity fixed his vandalized mustache in the pilot episode.
    • A changeling drone, of all creatures, is among the "guests" at the wedding.
  • Continuity Porn: The episode drops in a lot of one-off characters from previous episodes, such as Cranky and Matilda from "A Friend in Deed", The Big Lebowski ponies from "The Cutie Pox", various stallions from "The Perfect Stallion" song of "Hearts and Hooves" day, Featherweight from "Ponyville Confidential", and Steven Magnet (the mustachioed purple sea-serpent from the second episode in the entire series).
  • Cool Shades:
    • Bon Bon dons these when revealing her true identity as Secret Agent Sweetie Drops and keeps them on until she announces the defeat of the bugbear.
    • Vinyl Scratch has her signature purple ones, as well.
  • Covered in Gunge: Featherweight gets splashed with ink from the printing machine falling apart, ending up covered from head to hooves. The ink is later blasted away by the wind caused by the mobile DJ booth rushing past him.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Invoked by Doctor Hooves, about trying to throw the bowling ball straight.
  • Credits Gag: Derpy is listed as "Muffins" in the credits, likely to avoid mentioning her name after viewers complained about her portrayal back in "The Last Roundup" causing her name to be edited out.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The entire episode is this for most if not all the one-off/unique background characters.
  • Deus Exit Machina:
    • Pinkie Pie, Matilda's wedding planner, runs off with the rest of the Mane Six to fight the monster right when Matilda needs help moving her wedding from tomorrow to today. This leads Matilda to recruit Amethyst Star, who was Ponyville's premier organizer before Twilight's arrival.
    • Rarity is also busy fighting the bugbear, and thus is not available to fix the Doctor's suit.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Derpy hired a small child (Featherweight) with no experience running a printing press because it was cheaper. She's lucky the wrong date is the only problem they have.
    • Doctor Hooves created flameless fireworks without thinking of a way to ignite them.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Cranky and Matilda's wedding invitations having the wrong date printed on them eventually sends Ponyville into a chaotic mess as everypony tries to get ready in the span of one afternoon.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Pretty much everything about Bon Bon and Lyra. Their dialogue makes them sound Like an Old Married Couple.
    • Matilda assuming Steve to be a pony because Cranky left out the part about him being a sea serpent.
    • Vinyl and Octavia really getting into their jam session. It ends with accessories falling off and ruffled manes.
  • Down to the Last Play: Of the bowling flavor. Faced with a 7-10 split, "the harshest of the harsh", with his team's victory riding on his getting the spare, the Doctor fumbles the throw. The ball slowly rolls forward and nudges one of the pins, which dramatically wobbles toward the other and... topples over a mere inch away from success, losing the game.
  • Eureka Moment: When Octavia complains that she can't think of a good song, Vinyl perks up, rushes to her turntables, and starts playing with her.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode focuses on the (mostly) day-to-day events among the residents of Ponyville.
  • Eyed Screen: A slanted one over Bon Bon's eyes concludes her big revelation to Lyra.
  • Face Palm: Derpy facehoofs when remembering why she has come to Doctor Hooves's home.
  • Fainting: The Flower Trio have pushed fainting over the slightest inconveniences into an art form.
  • Faux Horrific: The flower ponies completely overreact to Derpy asking for Matilda's arrangement a day early, followed by overreacting to a broken zinnia stem in exactly the same way. They completely fail to acknowledge the terrifying wasp-bear hybrid rampaging through town.
  • Flat "What.": Lyra's reaction to Bon Bon's big reveal... probably mirroring that of a lot of viewers.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • A split-second shot features Vinyl Scratch and Octavia on a mobile bass station jumping over a shark plushie.
    • During the scenes where Vinyl's DJ stage crashes into a number of ponies:
      • Button Mash is playing an arcade game called "Saltlick", which appears to involve licking a salt cube-type extension from the arcade cabinet.
      • Berry Punch has a huge smile while holding on tight to a barrel marked with fruit, implied to be fruit punch — but given the fanon nature of her enjoying a bit of the vino, not a huge surprise.
      • One single frame shows a live-action shot of DHX staffers in horse head masks.
  • Funny Background Event: The fight between the Mane Six and the bugbear becomes this over the episode. There's the "King Kong" Climb mentioned below, the bugbear giving Pinkie a noogie, a scene where Rarity and Pinkie are just standing in place waving their hooves at it, and a scene where Pinkie Pie is on a unicycle holding spinning plates on sticks while it watches in confusion.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Octavia and Vinyl Scratch are making beautiful music together.
    • Of the three Bowling Ponies, only two arrive at the wedding, with Walter carrying a red can, presumably holding Donny's cremated ashes.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Turns out Celestia and Luna have their occasional disagreements like any siblings, and go to some lengths to hide them.
  • Group Hug: Twilight pulls the rest of the Mane Six into one at the end of the episode, though she apologizes when the hug aggravates a bite wound Dash got from the bugbear.
  • Hair Reboot: Derpy gets her mane and tail standing straight from static electricity through contact with a plasma ball. They flop down when she stops touching it, and they're back to normal a few frames later.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Bon Bon as Secret Agent Sweetie Drops was part of a group keeping dangerous creatures under control across Equestria.
    • Apparently, Cranky and Steven Magnet have had their fair share of adventures together.
    • The Mane Six defeat the bugbear... somehow. We never find out the exact details.
  • Hidden Depths: Gummy, of all characters, through an Internal Monologue, has quite the identity crisis.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The citizens of Ponyville don't express much more than mild annoyance at the bugbear attacking their town, except at the possibility of it interfering with their plans for the day, and they are confident the Mane Six will take care of it.
  • Inner Monologue: From Gummy, and it is bleak.
    Gummy: What is life? Is it nothing more than the endless search for a cutie mark? And what is a cutie mark but a constant reminder that we're all only one bugbear attack away from oblivion? And what of the poor gator? Flank forever blank, destined to an existential swim down the river of life to... an unknowable destiny? [licks his own eyeball]
  • Insubstantial Ingredients: When Cranky and Matilda kiss at the wedding, Doctor Hooves realizes that his "flameless fireworks" are ignited by The Power of Love.
  • Irony: Doctor Hooves lampshades the irony that he, who has been researching time for years, lost track of it while he's talking to Vinyl Scratch.
  • It's All My Fault: Derpy accepts responsibility for the misprint on Cranky and Matilda's wedding invitations, even though it was her inexperienced printing press operator that made the mistake. Justified because in subcontracting the job to Featherweight, Derpy is accountable for the job as a whole, even if she is not directly responsible for the actual mistake.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Bon Bon says that since the bugbear is probably looking for her, she needs to get away from Lyra and go blend in with the crowd.
  • "King Kong" Climb: The bugbear is briefly seen climbing to the top of the Carousel Boutique, with Rarity in one of his paws and Twilight strafing magic shots at it.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • When encountering The Big Lebowski reference ponies, Doctor Hooves questions the other's Verbal Tic.
      Doctor Hooves: What's this word you keep using, "Man"?
      Jeff Letrotski: I dunno, man...
    • Amethyst Star looks especially baffled when Matilda addresses her, and that she would ask her to organize anything, as she's more used to stay in the background, unnoticed.
    • Lyra and Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops' scene is full of these:
      Lyra: [about their friendship] The benches we've sat on?

      Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops: [escaping] I've gotta go find a crowd to blend into before I put you in danger.
  • Landmark Sale: The trope is mentioned by Steven Magnet. "If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you..."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While wondering what the Mane Six are trying to solve, Sweetie Belle thinks that if it's a friendship problem, it should be cleared up within "half an hour or so".
  • Left Hanging: At the beginning of the episode, Derpy casually comments to the Doctor about how she wishes she could go back in time to undo her mess. The Doctor invites her to his house, where he casually reveals his mastery about time travel, his absurdly long life and his current investigations to make time come forward one, etc. Then both of them get distracted (the Doctor goes on a tangent about science while Derpy is fascinated by the Doctor's inventions) and the concept of time travel is completely forgotten from the episode.
  • Lens Flare: Vinyl and Octavia's musical duo includes quite a few gratuitous glares as they're reaching a perfect harmony.
  • Lopsided Dichotomy: Not quite so lopsided given The Power of Friendship in Equestria, but Apple Bloom assumes whatever the Mane Six are discussing is "either a friendship problem or a monster attack".
  • Lower-Deck Episode: This episode is focused entirely on background and minor ponies trying to put a wedding together while the Mane Six fight a monster in the background. In fact, the only Mane Six with dialogues are Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, and it is at the very end of the episode. Even typical second-tier characters, aside from Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, don't speak if they appear.
  • Magic Versus Science: A sentiment expressed by Doctor Hooves, an earth pony scientist, who says that science has become all but obsolete because Equestria has magic.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The source of many of the conflicts in the plot. The Mane Six being occupied fighting a monster means no-one is taking care of their normal roles in the town. Pinkie isn't staging the ceremony, Rarity isn't tailoring clothes, Twilight's not organizing everypony, etc.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Doctor Hooves waves his forelegs in the air when he discovers love causes the flameless fireworks to ignite.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The bugbear the Mane Six fight. A mix between a bear and a wasp with panda coloration.
  • Moment Killer: The Mane Six's hug at the end is interrupted when Rainbow Dash starts complaining that it's aggravating a wound from the fight.
  • Mood Whiplash: There's a lot of this. One example is the juxtaposition of Gummy's bleak Internal Monologue and the crowd of ponies piled on Vinyl Scratch's mobile DJ station.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The bugbear, which has four arms due to being part insect and uses them all effectively in battle.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: A brief one happens in the middle of Octavia and Vinyl's jam as Octavia speaks.
  • Must Make Amends: Derpy writing down the wrong wedding date on the invitations starts the whole mess, causing her to try to make it up to Matilda by buying flowers.
  • Mythology Gag: Bon Bon is worried about what might happen if someone knew her secrets.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: The Doctor comes within inches of converting a 7-10 split and winning the bowling tournament.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Vinyl, while working her turntables, interrupts Octavia while she is practicing for the wedding music. They start to try to play over each other but instead end up playing in a type of harmony, each trying to out-awesome the other. The end result is a techno-cello fusion that Tina Guo describes as "electric cello dubstep".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Derpy messing up the invitations is what caused all the trouble (minus the monster attack) in the episode.
    • Later, she accidentally locks the Mane Six out of the wedding.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Apple Bloom briefly shows a shade when she starts getting enthusiastic over a monster attack.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Besides Steven Magnet, who's an old friend of Cranky's, a changeling sitting in the back seems to be simply enjoying the wedding. The foals are still wary of him, though.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Dr. Hooves mentions he experienced a totally traumatic event in his youth. This is what made him obsessed with using science to explain everything. A deleted line was going to reveal that the "traumatic event" was going bowling and failing to pick up a 7-10 split.
    • Steven Magnet alludes to several adventures he and Cranky shared in the past, including a time Cranky saved his life from "Flash-Freeze Lake".
    • Bon Bon has captured the bugbear before.
    • Lotus Blossom and Aloe once tended to a pony's mane while the wedding ceremony had already started.
  • No Sense of Personal Space:
    • Steven Magnet, when starting to cry at the wedding, squeezes the nearest pony in reach, which happens to be Bulk Biceps.
    • When Doctor Hooves's flameless fireworks go off at the wedding, he grabs Roseluck by the cheeks and yells at her that he should have guessed that love would make them ignite.
  • No Such Agency: Bon Bon describes the anti-monster agency she used to work for as "super-secret", and claims all evidence of its existence was destroyed after it was disbanded.
  • Odd Couple: Octavia and Vinyl Scratch are housemates and their musical style/personality contrast is what makes them odd.
  • Off-Model:
    • When she walks away from the Flower Trio, Derpy's wings are missing.
    • The "Wubcart" clearly has four wheels when seen from the front, but shows only two during a side view.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Mane Six finally defeating the bugbear after fighting it for most of the episode goes announced but unseen.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: The overall reaction of the townsponies to the possibility of a monster attack, notably seen with Octavia, Lyra and Bon Bon.
  • Opposites Attract: The photos in Matilda's scrapbook highlight just how cranky Cranky is compared to her more cheerful disposition.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Lampshaded when Doctor Hooves questions the Dude pony about his Verbal Tic.
    Doctor Hooves: What's this word you keep using, "man"?
  • Out of Focus: The Mane Six, who are shown fighting off the bugbear, do not take center stage in the episode. Instead, the episode focuses on Ponyville citizens who have to deal with the chaos caused by the fight and various other problems, most notably the mix-up of the date for Cranky and Matilda's wedding.
  • Overcrank: Several times during Vinyl's wub machine racing through town, the action speed slows down, allowing one to see the ink being pulled off of Featherweight, and Cranky losing his toupee. The whole of Gummy's Inner Monologue happens during such a slo-mo.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Amethyst Star hasn't been asked to organize anything since Twilight came to town; she's good, but Twilight is just better (though Amethyst doesn't seem bitter).
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: In a Bears Are Bad News example, the bear parts of the bugbear have panda markings.
  • People Fall Off Chairs: Matilda knocks over her chair in her panic over needing to move the wedding to match the misprinted invitations.
  • Plausible Deniability: Princess Celestia disbanded the secret monster-hunting group Sweetie Drops was part of when the bugbear escaped from Tartarus years ago, completely disavowing any knowledge of its existence.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The reason everybody is rushing around at the last minute? Derpy got the date wrong on the invitations.
    • Vinyl Scratch can't hear Doctor Hooves over her music, so he thinks she's taking him to somepony who can get his suit tailored as opposed to Rarity specifically. He ends up at the bowling alley.
    • Celestia and Luna didn't confirm which one of them was supposed to bring the wedding gift, each assuming the other would, and show up to the wedding empty-hooved.
  • Pop the Tires: An accidental example with the scepter Discord created to mock Twilight's princesshood being dropped before the mobile DJ booth, and piercing a tire with the pointy tip of its unicorn horn.
  • P.O.V. Cam:
    • When Doctor Hooves is talking to Vinyl Scratch, we get a shot of her vision, tinted by the shades, along with the sound of her headphones completely covering his voice. That's why she brings him to the bowling alley, having misinterpreted his gestures.
    • We later get a shot from Doctor Hooves's viewpoint, with plenty mathematical formulas over the bowling pins, showing how he sees the world.
    • The end of Steven Magnet's tirade about the importance of weddings is from Matilda's viewpoint.
  • The Power of Love: The catalyst to set off the Doctor's flameless fireworks is the conclusion of the wedding.
  • Punched Across the Room: A backhand from the bugbear sends Rainbow Dash smacking against a house. Good thing she's sturdy and recovers fast.
  • Quirky Town: Although that was already established in the very first episode by Twilight ("All the ponies in this town are crazy!"), it never is so obvious than in this episode: Ponyville is full of quirky inhabitants who can easily overshadow the Mane Six in wackiness.
  • Race Against the Clock: While Matilda and Cranky are trying to get the wedding ready in time, everypony else is trying to complete their own preparations, like Octavia trying to find a good song, and Doctor Hooves trying to get his suit together.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Doctor Hooves lets slip at one point that he's been doing research for centuries.
  • Recognition Failure: Matilda didn't recognize Steven Magnet because Cranky never mentioned he's a sea serpent.
    Steven Magnet: Well, what did you expect, a bugbear?
  • Record Needle Scratch: Vinyl Scratch and Octavia's musical moment is interrupted by one when Octavia realizes they will be late to the wedding.
  • Reflective Eyes: The crowd of ponies flying from Vinyl's DJ booth into the town hall are reflected on Gummy's alligator eyes on a close-up during his Inner Monologue.
  • Retcon: Derpy Hooves is now officially named "Muffins" in the credits.
  • The Reveal: Bon Bon is really an agent of Celestia named Sweetie Drops.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Bon Bon explains to Lyra that since she defeated the bugbear the last time, ever since it escaped from Tartarus, it's been chasing her seeking revenge. That is why she got a new identity in Ponyville.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: During her jam session with Vinyl Scratch, Octavia plays her cello so hard that she breaks a bow, and just at the end, the two look like they're about to smash their respective instruments before Octavia remembers she needs to get to the wedding.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship:
    • Lyra and Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops's friendship reads very much like one given their longing looks and hoof-holding and especially with how hurt Lyra was about her friend's secret identity.
    • Octavia and Vinyl's friendship also has a few shades of this given how passionate their jam session becomes.
  • Running Gag: Derpy and the flower trio completely ignore the bugbear, Lyra and the Doctor regard it as little more than an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, and Steven Magnet refers to it in a Recognition Failure gag.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: High-energy Derpy seeks advice from the clever Doctor Hooves in how to fix her letter mistake.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Doctor Hooves's Catch-Phrase. Whickering is the Signature Sound Effect used throughout the series when ponies are startled or confused.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Matilda can be seen using a glue stick to insert her wedding invitation into the photo album at the beginning of the episode.
    • Vinyl's electronic music equipment, including turntables, powered speakers, and flashing lights, is possibly the most advanced technology we've seen in Equestria.
  • Sea Monster: What Steven Magnet calls himself — and what Matilda finds out that Cranky's old friend Steven Magnet is, instead of the pony she thought he was.
  • Secret Identity: Bon Bon is actually Sweetie Drops, an agent of Celestia.
  • Seen It All: The ponies of Ponyville are unfazed by the latest monster to rear its ugly head. They've been regular occurrences for a couple years, after all.
  • Self-Deprecation:
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The Dude apparently tailors his own suits and is so good that Time Turner/Doctor Hooves asks him for assistance in tailoring his own. This is shocking considering that his human equivalent is usually The Pig Pen.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The writing goes to some lengths to show that Lyra and Bon Bon aren't actually a couple (they only call themselves friends), but the phrase is repeated with such regularity that, coupled with their rather intimate glances, it would seem to suggest otherwise.
    • DJ Pon-3 and Octavia are shown to share a rehearsal space and they trade some intense glances during their rehearsal. As one of the more popular fanon couples in the series (even though they'd never been shown together in the same episode, let alone in the same scene, save for a Dream Sequence earlier this season), it can easily be taken as confirmation that they have a more intimate relationship.
    • Along with the above, we get a small dose of Derpy and Doctor Hooves. Just before the wedding, Derpy hugs the doctor, who responds with stammering and an adorably bashful smile.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Doctor Hooves is, well, Doctor Whooves. He also ends up wearing a scarf similar to the fourth incarnation, and calls out "Allons-y!" While talking to Vinyl (from her P.O.V.) he makes hoof motions to show a ball much like the Doctor would do for explaining the Timey-Wimey Ball. His burst of excitement when the flameless fireworks go off is also similar to the type of delivery that both David Tennant or Matt Smith have given in their roles for the Doctor, and he excitedly talks about them to Roseluck, or Rose, referencing the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's companion Rose Tyler. The moment is also reminiscent of Christopher Eccleston's "Everybody Lives!" moment in "The Doctor Dances". There's also a bit of Doc Brown in the haphazardness of his lab, and the helmet device Derpy tries on.
    • Doctor Hooves does the twinkle-toes bowling technique from The Flintstones.
    • The main bowling stallion and his friends shout out The Big Lebowski more than ever before. He has a Persian rug cutie mark to boot. The Walter pony is shown to have a briefcase cutie mark as well. During the bowling game, Jeff Letrotski is drinking what looks like a White Russian, and while most children's shows would probably clarify that it's just milk, this never happens here. In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, the Dude and Walter ponies can be seen at the wedding with what appears to be a coffee grounds tin, referencing the same in the movie that holds Donny's ashes after he is cremated. (The Donny pony is actually shown earlier but is noticeably absent at the wedding, raising the question of what happened to him.)
    • According to M.A. Larson, the whole scene between Lyra and Bon Bon is a True Lies reference. Note the horseshoe symbol on the suitcase, and its similarity with the Omega Sector's logo.
    • At one point, the bugbear is hanging off the Carousel Boutique, holding Rarity in one paw while the other Mane Six are attacking him, similar to King Kong.
    • Gummy's existential inner monologue is very similar in style to Henri, le Chat Noir. Early drafts had Gummy speaking with a French accent.
    • Lyra's line about cooking up Bon Bon's oats and eating them is a nod to Llamas with Hats (and the ponified remake, Ponies with Hats, featuring Lyra and Bon Bon).
    • Doctor Hooves's flameless fireworks, on mention and before you learn what does ignite them, sound a bit like Dr Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No Heat Fireworks, especially since he calls them volatile, and the Filibuster ones seem to be this, as they go off from a slight exposure to the rain.
    • Octavia and DJ Pon-3's house is split down the middle with two very opposite interior designs like Two-Face's hideout.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Several of the equations shown when Doctor Hooves tries bowling are legitimate equations for the Newtonian laws of physics. (Spelled out on a fan-made picture.)
    • In the exchange of the wedding vows, the Mayor calls Cranky and Matilda "Jack and Jenny", the names for a male and female donkey, respectively.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Celestia and Luna can be seen having a minor argument about who was supposed to bring the wedding present.
  • Skewed Priorities: Justified, since monster attacks in Ponyville are nearly as common as friendship problems, and just as likely to be cleared up within half an hour.
    • Matilda is more worried about moving her wedding up one day than the fact a giant monster is attacking Ponyville.
      Matilda: We'd better get to the salon before that monster flattens it!
    • Similarly, Octavia is worried because it means the monster attack is just another distraction for the wedding since she hasn't decided what song to play.
    • The flower ponies are likewise more worried about Matilda wanting her arrangement earlier, and then faint at a broken zinnia stem.
  • Slice of Life: Many episodes in the series qualify, but this one has it right in the title. The Mane Six may be off battling a bizarre monster, but the rest of Ponyville's residents are going about their daily lives, and we get to have a peek.
  • Smack on the Back: At the end of the episode, Twilight Sparkle gathers her friends in a Group Hug. This, however, makes Rainbow Dash yelp in pain from a bite wound she received from the bugbear.
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: While the Mane Six battle the monster that has just attacked Ponyville, the rest of the town prepares for Matilda and Cranky's wedding.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: The three delivery ponies, on seeing Vinyl's mobile booth barreling toward them, have a shocked reaction each in their respective frame.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: For an episode which was supposed to be about background ponies in general, Doctor Hooves gets a disproportional amount of screen time in the first half of the episode.
  • Standard Snippet: Lampshaded by Octavia, who briefly rehearses the opening bars of Mendelssohn's wedding recessional and dismissively says "All these wedding songs are so... standard."
  • Starting a New Life: Bon Bon reveals this is why she first came to Ponyville; to ensure total deniability of the anti-monster agency, she (and presumably everypony else in the agency) had to assume a new identity in a new town.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Thunderlane is seen bowling, which takes place on a bowling lane and which a lot of noise is made — a "thunder lane".
    • A two-for-one pun in the form of the monster that attacks Ponyville. It's a bugbear (as in a bear that's mixed with a bug), plus the color scheme makes it resemble a panda. In short, Hasbro is Pandering to the Base.invoked
    • One scene of the fight with the bugbear features Rainbow Dash repeatedly tapping it on the flank. She's poking the bear.
    • Vinyl and Octavia roll through Ponyville playing music and picking up other ponies — or, the other ponies are jumping on a bandwagon.
    • This episode also features Cranky and Matilda finally smooching on the lips at the wedding, making this episode a blatant example... of ass-kissing.
    • The flameless fireworks ignite with love, and since they look like flowers, that means love is in bloom.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
  • Super-Persistent Predator: If Bon Bon is right, the bugbear has spent years tracking her down in order to have revenge for her capturing it.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Maybe they should train Cerberus better, because after Tirek, the bugbear is the second monster to escape Tartarus that we know of.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Shining Armor starts crying at the wedding (bordering on Ocular Gushers) before it even starts. According to Cadance, he does this a lot.
    • Steven Magnet comes down with this too, and Matilda appears a bit misty-eyed as well during the ceremony.
  • Tempting Fate: Lyra earnestly saying, "Anything's possible when we know somepony as well as we know each other." This happens just before realizing that she doesn't know Bon Bon as well as she imagined, after all.
  • This Is My Side: Downplayed. The house/rehearsal space that Vinyl Scratch and Octavia share is split from floor to ceiling down the middle of the front door, with each side — both inside and out — decorated and furnished to match the two mares' different color schemes and musical styles, but no reason is given to justify this.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Derpy offers up a basket of muffins in an attempt to appease Cranky when he confronts her about the incorrect date on the wedding invitations.
  • Twitchy Eye: It's brief, but Lyra's eye twitch as Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops reveals the truth to her.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Monster attacks and other assorted chaos are so common in Ponyville that Octavia is more concerned about finding an appropriate song for the wedding, and Matilda's main worry is getting the wedding ready in time. Also lampshaded in Lyra and Bon Bon's conversation, up until Bon Bon finds out just what the Monster of the Week happens to be.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For the duration of the episode, the Mane Six are fighting a pitched, all-out battle all over town against a flying chimera of bear and bee bent on mayhem and destruction. With the exception of the odd crowd of gawkers, this is entirely ignored by the Ponyville citizenry, who instead focus their attention on the arrangements of the oncoming wedding.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: The bugbear, a bear-like monster with six vertebrate limbs.
  • Vignette Episode: The episode is a series of interconnected stories, all held together by the common theme of Cranky and Matilda's wedding.
  • Villain of Another Story: The bugbear, being a powerful, destructive and violent monster seeking to avenge itself on the government agent that locked it away and not seeming to care very much about the collateral damage it inflicts along the way, easily counts as a villain by most narrative metrics. It's simply not a significant focus of the story, largely appearing in the background in some scenes and serving as a reason for why the usual main cast is otherwise engaged.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The changeling just seems to be sitting in the back row watching the wedding.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Bugbear is an old English term, meaning either a mythical monster frightening children (same root as boogeyman), or metaphorically a recurring obstacle or source of dread. Here, it is both the latter but also a literal hybrid of bug and bear.
    • When Vinyl and Octavia are rolling through Ponyville, for a brief moment on the ground a shark plush can be seen, which the cart proceeds to leap over. In other words, the cart is Jumping the Shark.invoked
  • The Voiceless: While many of the background ponies are Suddenly Voiced, Vinyl Scratch remains silent like her alternate self.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: Steven Magnet hugging Bulk Biceps during the wedding produces a squeaky toy sound.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Played With during Vinyl Sctatch and Octavia's rehearsal. In a Blink-and-You-Miss-It moment, Octavia's collar and bow tie briefly fly off, presumably from either the force of the music or from Octavia's exuberant performance.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Lyra asks this of Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops about their friendship after learning her secret identity, though Bon Bon assures her it was all real.
  • Wham Line:
    • Derpy's simple "Muffin?" in the opening is this for a lot of viewers — many fans weren't expecting her to ever talk again in the show after the incident known as "Derpygate".
    • "My name isn't Bon Bon. It's special agent Sweetie Drops." And we thought Lyra was the strange one....
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • What happened to the bugbear after the Mane Six beat it?
    • Or to Steven Magnet after the wedding?
  • Weapon Twirling: Parodied with DJ Pon-3 and Octavia, who dramatically twirl a record and a cello bow, respectively, just before getting serious with their shared jam session.
  • Wedding Day: The episode takes place on the wedding day of Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda from "Feeling Pinkie Keen". The snag is that not only do all the invitations misread that the wedding is a day early, there's also a giant monster on the loose that the Mane Six (i.e., the town's usual wedding planners) need to fight off, leaving the whole town scrambling to put a last-minute wedding together without their best party throwers.
  • You Get What You Pay For: Cranky had Derpy print the invitations because she offered to do it at half the price the other printers would charge. As she later admits to the Doctor, this meant hiring somepony who didn't know how to work a printing press.

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