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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S6 E14 "Stranger Than Fan Fiction"

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A hopeless nerd who obsessively memorizes every last detail of the Daring Do books... and Quibble Pants.

Rainbow Dash: Daring Do told me that Caballeron came to this convention to steal the Amulet of Culiacan, and I just saw him and his henchponies come this way!
Quibble Pants: Okay. I'm gonna head back inside. There's just a little too much crazy out here for the both of us.

Special Guest Star: Patton Oswalt as Quibble Pants
Written by Josh Haber and Michael Vogel
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Rainbow Dash attends a Daring Do convention, excited to see the exhibits and talk with A.K. Yearling, whom she secretly knows is Daring Do herself. While at the convention, she meets another fan named Quibble Pants, and the two instantly begin bonding over their fandom for the Daring Do books. During a lunch break, Rainbow Dash suggests doing activities from the later books in the series, but Quibble flatly refuses, saying he will only acknowledge the first three books in the series. In fact, he's attending the convention with the specific purpose of complaining to A.K. Yearling about her perceived lack of quality in the later books that focus more on pulp adventure instead of logic and puzzles from the first three books. Rainbow is incredulous at Quibble's dismissal, but can't defend the books without revealing Daring Do's secret identity. Instead, Quibble and Rainbow get into a shouting match, both walking off in a huff.

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At the hotel, Rainbow Dash finds A.K. Yearling, who pulls Rainbow into her hotel room. Daring Do knows that one of her enemies, Dr. Caballeron, is also at the convention, looking for her to steal a key to obtain a treasure called the Seven-Sided Chest. While Rainbow complains about Quibble's bad attitude, Daring Do brushes her off, saying she has other things to worry about. Rainbow vows to keep an eye out for Caballeron, running into Quibble on the convention floor again as she does. Caballeron sneaks out into a back alley, prompting Rainbow to follow him. Quibble thinks Rainbow is just trying to mock him as he also heads into the alley, where the two of them are suddenly kidnapped by Caballeron's henchponies. The two of them are taken to the jungle, where Caballeron explains his plan to trade their lives for the key to the temple with the Seven-Sided Chest. Quibble thinks the entire thing is an "adventu-cation," a trip that simulates a Daring Do experience, and constantly mocks and belittles the ponies he thinks are actors. Angry, Caballeron ties them up in chains and leaves to go find the Temple of Chicomoztoc. Quibble, with his knowledge of puzzle-solving, easily breaks the lock. Still thinking it's all fake, Quibble insists Rainbow lead him back to the hotel. Rainbow plays along just to get him to come with her as they trek through the jungle.

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Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants come across a bridge, with Quibble complaining how "stereotypical" the adventure is before the bridge begins to break. He falls towards a river below, but Rainbow saves him, landing them safely nearby. However, their fall has led Caballeron to the temple, dragging the two of them in as hostages once again. Inside, Quibble angrily accuses Caballeron over the "lack of safety," accidentally pressing some switches on the floor. This releases a giant sand crocodile called a Cipactli on everypony, at which point Quibble is finally convinced that the adventure is real. Daring Do rescues them from the beast, but the sand is still rising, the Cipactli drawing ever closer. Daring Do takes the key towards a room with seven doors, Quibble quickly figuring out the solution and pointing out the door that leads to the Seven-Sided Chest. Daring Do stores the treasure away, with the rising sand getting close. Thinking quickly, Quibble has the two pegasi pull him along on a vine over the top of the sand, escaping the Cipactli and the temple safely.

After Daring Do disposes of Caballeron by getting the Cipactli to chase them instead, she flies off to store the chest in a museum and points Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants back to safety. Quibble admits he was wrong about the newer books, but he still doesn't like them. Before Rainbow can protest, he explains that they can both enjoy the books their own way—Quibble for their puzzles and critical thinking, and Rainbow Dash for their action and set pieces—and still remain friends. They head back for the convention, with Quibble still insisting he could write the next Daring Do book better.

Cue... Quibble rambling over the credits.


Tropes:

  • Actionized Sequel: Quibble Pants' chief criticism of later Daring Do novels is that they overlook logic and thoughtful puzzle-solving for setpieces and narrow escapes.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Oswalt's role as a nit-picky fan is similar to his infamous "Star Wars Filibuster" he performed on Parks and Recreation.
    • He's also famous for his hatred of the Star Wars prequels, and Quibble's initial explanation of why he thinks the "original trilogy" is so much better could easily apply to that series.
  • An Aesop: Different people can like the same thing for different reasons and aspects of it, like Rainbow preferring the action in Daring Do while Quibble Pants prefers the puzzles, and that's fine.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: Quibble Pants is under the initial impression that the whole quest is just the adventu-cation being advertised at the beginning of the episode. How wrong he is.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Quibble Pants, despite living in a land of magical ponies, takes a while to get that Daring Do is, indeed, real, thinking that the whole adventure is a sort of LARP. The Cipactli is what convinces him otherwise.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Rainbow Dash declines an offer to go through a mockup of a Daring Do adventure, casually mentioning she "did that already".
    • Quibble gets promoted to this as well after the adventure in the Temple of Chicomoztoc, though it remains to be seen whether he gets written into the next Daring Do book.
      Daring Do: Thanks for your help. I couldn't have done it without you. Both of you.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": While chained with Rainbow Dash, Quibble Pants, not convinced at all they are in any danger, rather phones it in when he "pretends" having heard Daring Do coming to their rescue. It doesn't change a thing for Caballeron's goons, though, who still fall for it.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Caballeron's goons captures Quibble Pants and Rainbow Dash by throwing burlap sacks over them, and carry them to the jungle.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Caballeron takes him and Rainbow Dash to the Temple of Chicomoztoc, Quibble Pants says he realizes what's going on. They're not on the Daring Do "adventu-cation"... they're on a substandard knock-off of the official tour.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Daring Do shows up just in time to save Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants from the Cipactli by swinging from a rope, with the appropriate uplifting music along.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Quibble Pants lampshades this after tricking Caballeron's henchponies into thinking Daring Do is nearby. The henchponies all run off into the jungle, leaving Quibble to point out that leaving their captives alone without anyone to guard them isn't very smart.
  • Bookcase Passage: The access to the final room with seven doors in the temple is through a rotating wall, triggered by touching a statue in its center.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: After Rainbow Dash saves him from the broken rope bridge and a waterfall, Quibble Pants can't help but spout "That was AWESOME!" before starting to freak out.
  • Bound and Gagged: Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants are chained back-to-back by Caballeron's henchponies, and the chain secured by the "Griffon Lock". They're not gagged, though, which allows Quibble to fool the goons, and the Lock proves to be a breeze to open for an avid Daring Do reader.
  • Burger Fool: The juice pony serving drinks at the Daring Do convention clearly doesn't like her job, with a sour expression constantly on her face as she serves her customers and cleans the booth. She is also forced to wear a silly hat (a tribal headdress), which can't have helped her attitude.
  • Call-Back: The episode brings back the fact that A.K. Yearling is Daring Do.
  • The Cameo: Derpy can be spotted doing cosplay of Doctor Caballeron.
  • Casual Kink: During a Ship Tease montage, Quibble Pants excitedly points out a body pillow featuring Daring Do Bound and Gagged. Rainbow Dash responds with a mixture of concern and squick; Quibble counters with an expression that says "I'm a Man; I Can't Help It".
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the Cold Open, Daring Do isn't on some random adventure in the book passage read by Twilight; she's retrieving the key that she brings with her to the convention.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Quibble Pants likes the logic and puzzle-solving of the Daring Do series which reflect his own intellect. He is the one who breaks the lock and frees himself and Rainbow from Caballeron the first time. Then, he is the one who solves the puzzle of the Seven Doors which allows Daring to claim the Seven-Sided Chest before Caballeron does.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A booth stallion tries offering Rainbow a chance to live the Daring Do experience in a "special one-of-a-kind adventu-cation" and she declines saying she did that already.
    • The booth adventure itself is based on the scene from Daring Do and the Sapphire Stone that Rainbow had read through in "Read It and Weep".
    • Despite being kind of out-of-place, large versions of two of Fluttershy's manga sketches from "Scare Master" show up in the convention hall.
    • Twilight mentions she can't go to the convention due to Celestia needing her help at a friendship summit at Griffonstone.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Since the Daring Do books are based on her real-life adventures, the fact that all the books after the first trilogy are considered by Quibble Pants to be too "unrealistic" for him (or that the first trilogy all contained subject matter that appealed to him) is one.
  • Cosplay: Many ponies at the convention are wearing a pith helmet (or, in one case, a boater with a matching color scheme) and/or a shirt similar to Daring Do's Iconic Outfit. Some Earth ponies like Quibble Pants include fake wings to complete the look, and a few ponies have dyed their manes and tails to match Daring's. While less common, there are also cosplayers for Dr. Caballeron, the Mayincatec temple guards from Daring Do and the Ring of Destiny, and even Ahuizotl.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: As Daring Do is examining the first door of the final room of the temple, Quibble Pants lets out a not-too-subtle "*cough*notthatone" from behind her.
  • Crossdresser: Technically, all the stallions dressed as Daring Do at the convention, including Quibble Pants. And a few mares (including Derpy) cosplaying as Caballeron.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Quibble Pants constantly snarks about how "original" the schemes of Caballeron are when he thinks it's all fake. Even after it's shown to be real, he still stays pretty snarky until he's out of the temple.
  • Disapproving Look: When Rainbow Dash asks her "Does a pony who only likes your first trilogy qualifies as suspicious?", Daring Do's sole response is a pointed, frowning glare.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Based on the common idiom for Reality Is Unrealistic and Rainbow's first-hoof knowledge that the Daring Do books are actually memoirs published as fiction and written under a Pen Name.
  • *Drool* Hello: Quibble Pants is oblivious to the Cipactli rising behind him until big droplets of mud start falling on him. Then he turns around.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Caballeron is irritated by the single tiny booth dedicated to his character, saying he doesn't see the resemblance.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Quibble Pants is ranting about how all of the Daring Do adventu-cation is unrealistic and clichéd, and that all is missing is a giant monster attacking them... just as the Cipactli, covered in mud, is slowly and ominously rising behind him from a trapdoor he himself set off.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Daring, Quibble and Rainbow ultimately get rid of Caballeron and his henchponies by siccing the Cipactli upon them.
  • Face Palm: When Quibble concludes this isn't a Daring Do "adventu-cation"... but a substandard knock-off of the official tour, Rainbow Dash's exasperated response is to face-hoof.
  • Fan Convention: For Daring Do, naturally modeled after not just the San Diego Comic-Con, but also all of the Brony conventions that take place all over the world. Besides merchandise booths, we see several ponies in cosplay of characters, at least one food vendor, and there's also a booth with anime characters (reusing assets of Fluttershy's "unexpected guests" from "Scare Master"), common for cross-media conventions.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: In-universe and lampshaded example. Quibble says all the books past the first three of the series are beneath him and he refuses to acknowledge their continuation of the plot.
  • Finger Muzzle:
    • When Rainbow Dash starts to rattle off Daring Do titles that came after the original trilogy, Quibble Pants shuts her up with a hoof to her mouth.
      Quibble Pants: Please, please don't. Don't even mention the titles.
    • Quibble does it again to Rainbow while ranting, just as she's trying to warn him of the Cipactli behind him.
    • Next, it's Daring Do who silences Quibble Pants when he starts protesting they should leave the temple ASAP.
  • First Installment Wins: In-universe example. Quibble Pants only likes the first trilogy and puts the rest of the series ininvoked Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The main reason Quibble Pants doesn't like anything later than the first trilogy is that he doesn't believe in the latter works' fantastical elements and impossible feats being unrealistic, even though the Mane Six go on adventures that contain such elements, and the public is very aware of the biggest ones.
  • Foreshadowing: Rainbow says early on that A.K. Yearling never comes to fan conventions like this. She came because of Caballeron and the Seven-Sided Chest.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • One of the Caballeron cosplayers has a costume consisting of a box with Caballeron's facial features hastily painted and taped on. The pony under the costume? A certain fan-favorite grey pegasus.
    • As Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants get into an argument about the later Daring Do novels, a pony working a juice booth in the back does her job with a constantly sour expression on her face. The only time she smiles is when Rainbow and Quibble storm off in a huff.
  • Genre Savvy: Quibble is but doesn't want to be, as his dislike of the current generation of Daring Do stories stems from their simplicity and predictability. He calls out several examples of stuff he views as hackneyed and clichéd during what his thinks is a mock Daring Do adventure (and even after reality sets in, he continues to notice things that are simply too easy compared to earlier Daring Do adventures).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The convention sells body pillows of Daring Do, including one that shows her tied-up. One of Caballeron's goons apparently buys one, to boot.
  • Gilligan Cut: As she finishes packing up, Rainbow tells Twilight that the Daring Do convention is nothing to get too excited about. Cue her reaction once she is at the convention.
    Rainbow Dash: So excited!
  • Grumpy Bear: The pony running the juice bar at the convention has an expression that could blister paint. Having to wear a ridiculous hat can't have helped the generally poor attitude of a character working a Burger Fool job. She keeps looking sour right up until Quibble and Rainbow have their argument, then she cracks a rather nasty smile.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Quibble invokes this as evidence the whole scenario is a fake, as he finds it stupid that ALL the guards would leave to investigate a sound. Turns out Caballeron's goons are just that stupid.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Averted with the Burger Fool juice pony, who only cracks a smile after Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants finish a shouting match.
  • Insufferable Genius: Quibble Pants is clearly very smart and relies on his intelligence and wit, but is also tactless and snarky at the same time.
  • It Belongs in a Museum: As expected from an Adventurer Archaeologist, Daring Do plans to bring the Seven-Sided Chest to a museum at the end of the adventure.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rainbow eventually concedes to Daring Do that, while Quibble Pants may be kind of a jerk about his opinions, he's usually right about puzzles and traps.
  • LARP: The adventu-cation being described at the beginning of the episode sounds to be one since it is advertised as fans reenacting one of Daring Do's adventures. Quibble Pants later thinks he's in it after being kidnapped alongside Rainbow Dash by Caballeron.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Daring Do fan scene is modeled after both the San Diego ComicCon and Brony conventions in general, complete with the booths mentioned under Fan Convention. Quibble Pants's gripes about the later Daring Do books even sound a lot like fans complaining about changes and plot developments in the newer seasons like Alicorn Princess Twilight, while his gushing over the original trilogy mirrors some of the common compliments towards Friendship Is Magic in general.
    Quibble Pants: The first series was smart and cool and an amazing nod to old-time serialized adventure books that somehow manages to be self-reflective and ironic while at the same time celebrating the art form without a hint of cynicism. Which is why I came here to ask A.K. Yearling muzzle-to-muzzle why she sold out and dumbed down the rest of her books into just a series of impossible action sequences!
  • Love to Hate: In-Universe at the convention. Quibble Pants considers Dr. Caballeron "a great character; solid backstory, good motivations", and several cosplayers enjoy dressing as him and his henchponies. Ahuizotl and his temple guards have their share of cosplay fans as well.
  • MacGuffin: The Seven-Sided Chest serves no purpose other than that of any other archaeological treasure; Daring Do wants to put it in a museum and Dr. Caballeron wants to sell it to the highest bidder, but nothing is said of any contents or powers it might possess.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: The mythological monster Cipactli is guarding the Temple of Chicomoztoc from any intruder seeking the Seven-Sided Chest, and even pursues them outside of it if they manage to escape.
  • Meaningful Name: To quibble is to argue about trivial matters. "Pants" is British slang for rubbish or nonsense. In short, Quibble Pants = arguing about nonsense. His cutie mark of a speech bubble reflects his criticism and snark.
  • Meet Cute: Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants simultaneously geeking out over the Sapphire Stone exhibit, their matching cosplay outfits and their shared knowledge of the book.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Caballeron and Rainbow Dash pass each other by on the convention floor a couple times.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Daring Do and Caballeron both take advantage of the convention in order to walk as themselves without raising any eyebrows, since everyone thinks the book is fictional and the convention is filled with cosplayers dressed as them. Even Rainbow Dash is a downplayed example; it's never mentioned, but her rainbow mane on the cover of Daring Do and the Ring of Destiny could have been used as Plausible Deniability to pass herself off as a cosplayer.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The Cipactli, a single-mindedly aggressive crocodilian monster living in the temple's water trap and serving as a guardian for its treasures, especially after Quibble Pants first encounters it.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The official synopsis said that Rainbow "meets a pony who hates Daring Do as much as she loves it." Quibble actually loves the original trilogy; he just hates everything that came after it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The stallion that offers the Daring Do adventure booth is fashioned after Vince Offer (a.k.a. the Shamwow guy).
  • Non-Action Guy: Quibble Pants. He's not nearly as athletic as Rainbow or Daring Do, and further handicaps the trio by not being able to fly. It's reflected in that he prefers puzzle-solving and using his wits to solve problems over action and adventures.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Quibble Pants freaks out once he realizes he was in real danger on the rope bridge, though he ends up attributing it to Rainbow Dash hiring a disreputable adventu-cation group.
    • Quibble, later on, when he sees the Cipactli and finally gets it through his head that the whole escapade is real.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: Quibble Pants figures out which of the seven doors leads to the treasure with ease, noting that six of them form three pairs (each depicting one type of pony facing off against a threat). The odd door out, marked with an alicorn, is the one they want.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants started to bond over their mutual love of Daring Do books, only for them to break up after Dash finds Quibble hates everything after the first trilogy. After their adventure, Quibble eventually reasons with Dash and finds common ground which allows the two to be friends again.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In-Universe examples.
    • Quibble Pants is of the opinion that the Daring Do books after the original trilogy started veering into unrealistic territory. Rainbow Dash, who is aware that all of the books are secretly autobiographical, has trouble holding her tongue about it.
    • He falls into this a few times when believing that the whole adventure is a Daring Do LARP, like dissing Caballeron's accent as "all over the place". Caballeron, who presumably actually has such an accent, is a bit miffed.
  • Reed Snorkel: Daring Do, Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants hide inside a pond from Caballeron and the Cipactli rampaging outside of the temple, breathing through reeds. Naturally, Quibble Pants comments that it is neither original nor inspired, but at least it works.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming:
    • This episode introduces the legendary Aztec crocodile/fish/toad hybrid called Cipactli. However, its size has been greatly toned down for storytelling purposes: the original deal was more of a straight-up Eldritch Abomination whose body was so huge that Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl created the whole Earth from its corpse after slaying it!
    • Daring seeks the Seven-sided Chest of Chicomoztoc using the Amulet of Culiacan; Chicomoztoc is the mythical origin of the Aztecs and other meso-American societies, and included a seven-cave system, with Culhuacan being the first settlement from this region.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The episode concludes with Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants heading toward the setting sun.
  • Rope Bridge: Quibble asks "Oh right, what Daring Do adventure would be complete without the precarious rope bridge?" and sees it as further proof that he's in a LARP. When the bridge crumbles under his hooves, he concludes... that it is a LARP of dubious safety.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Toward the end, one of Caballeron's henchponies lets out a really girly shriek when the Cipactli gets the drop on them.
  • Secret Identity: Daring manages to keep anypony, including Quibble, from finding out that she's A.K. Yearling simply by changing out of her writer persona in her hotel room and Hiding In Plain Sight among cosplayers of herself.
  • Secret Identity Vocal Shift: Even when alone in her hotel room with Rainbow Dash, Daring Do maintains a softer voice while dressed as A.K. Yearling. Her voice quickly takes on a raspier quality after she changes into her explorer outfit.
  • Sequelitis: In-Universe, Quibble Pants thinks this of every Daring Do book after the first trilogy, thinking they're Actionized Sequels, overlooking the puzzles and problem solving that drew him into the series.
  • Ship Tease: Before Rainbow and Quibble realize they have very different opinions regarding the later Daring Do books, they frolic through exhibits at the convention like a couple on a date. Near the end of the episode as well, when they reconcile, Quibble says Rainbow is "definitely cool" with an embarrassed expression and she returns the sentiment.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Part of Quibble Pants'invoked Fanon Discontinuity rant is that the original trilogy was "an amazing nod to old-time serialized adventure books". George Lucas and Steven Spielberg deliberately modeled Indiana Jones after old Republic serials about jungle adventurers, which, of course, inspired the pastiche Daring Do. Quibble Pants's criticism of the books past the original trilogy also mirror common fan complaints about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as well.
    • It wouldn't be such a stretch to see the parallels to how many original Star Wars fans think about the prequel trilogy, either. This also serves as an Actor Allusion to Oswalt's previous guest appearance on Parks and Recreation where his character rants on the prequel trilogy.
    • After finishing his criticism of one of the Daring Do sequels, Quibble says "and that is everything that's wrong with Daring Do and the Trek to the Terrifying Tower", mirroring the Catchphrase of CinemaSins.
    • As they make their escape from the temple with the Cipactli cutting off their route in front, Quibble tells Rainbow and Daring to go around it, whereas the two pegasi misinterpret thinking he said go through it, same as the misinterpretation of Elsa driving the boat in between two large barges whereas Indy said to NOT go between them, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
    • Quibble's argument against the logic behind Daring Do being able to survive a fall into a waterfall mirrors arguments against the infamous scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where Indy survives a nuclear explosion in a fridge.
    • Quibble calls the seven door puzzle "the Pony and the Tiger", referring to the iconic No Ending short story "The Lady or the Tiger", where a man has to choose between two doors.
    • The hotel clerk Rainbow Dash talks to is a ponified M. Gustave from The Grand Budapest Hotel. A lobby pony resembling Zero can also be seen, and the hotel itself resembles the hotel from the same film.
    • One stand at the convention is selling Daring Do toys that resemble the popular Funko Pop! line of big-headed vinyl collectibles.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • As Daring Do points out, the opinions of one fan who thinks the books are fake don't mean much compared to stopping Caballeron.
    • While searching for Daring Do, Caballeron takes a moment to gripe about the convention that celebrates his hated nemesis, even asking about the booth for his own character.
  • Smug Smiler: The look on Rainbow's face when she proves to Quibble Pants that Daring is real exceeds even Sunset Shimmer's smile in sheer smugness. Just... Just look. That wouldn't be out of place in a PONY.MOV animation.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Rainbow Dash, who prefers the later, action-packed Daring Do books and uses her flight to save her friends and escape the temple; and Quibble Pants, who prefers the earlier books focused more on solving riddles and who uses his knowledge to help Daring Do figure out which door to unlock.
  • Take That!: Basically to any fandom which takes any material too seriously and is unwilling to compromise on opinions.
  • Temple of Doom: As usual for a Daring Do episode, another such place is the target of both heroes and villains, the Temple of Chicomoztoc. Its most dangerous trap consists in flooding most of its halls with mud while releasing a nasty, amphibious MacGuffin Guardian.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Quibble Pants remarks that if he were really in a Daring Do adventure, he'd step on the wrong plank of the Rope Bridge at exactly the right moment, which he does (before he even finishes his sentence).
    • Later, in the temple, he complains to Caballeron that the only thing missing would be the appearance of some "Ahuizotl-wannabe giant monster" and they couldn't pull it off. Cue the Cipactli rising up behind him.
  • This Is Reality: Like most everypony else at the convention, Quibble Pants believes the Daring Do adventures are fiction. When he and Rainbow Dash are kidnapped by Caballeron, he thinks Rainbow bought a LARP adventure, dismisses a done for-defying rescue from a collapsing rope bridge as No OSHA Compliance, and tells Caballeron his accent is "all over the place". It isn't until he's looking into the maw of a live Cipactli that he realizes it's all real.
  • Throwing the Distraction: While he and Rainbow Dash are Caballeron's prisoners, Quibble Pants throws a pin away to make a suspicious noise, alerting the goons. Quibble then pretends that it's Daring Do coming to rescue them. It works, and they disperse in search of their nemesis. As Quibble points out, they're stupid enough to leave nopony looking after the captives.
  • Touché: Quibble Pants is overwhelmed with excitement when Rainbow saves them after the bridge collapses, and Rainbow points out if Quibble read it in a book he'd think it was "unrealistic". Quibble admits she's right, but still doesn't realize that the situation they are in is very real until later.
  • Two Men, One Dress: The Ahuizotl cosplay at the convention involves two ponies wearing the costume.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: In-Universe. One of the reasons Quibble Pants doesn't initially believe that he's in a real Daring Do adventure is that according to him, Dr. Caballeron's accent is "all over the place".
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Quibble Pants does not appreciate how easy it was to fool Caballeron's henchmen during the "LARP" as it's just another part of the books being dumbed down, not realizing yet that yes, they really were that easy to fool.
  • Winged Unicorn: One of the trapped doors in the temple (the correct one, incidentally) is decorated with the picture of an alicorn, instead of the others, which have earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi on them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Caballeron plans to use Rainbow and Quibble to lure Daring Do into a trap or exchange for the amulet key. However, even if Rainbow and Quibble escape Caballeron's camp before that happens, he can just follow them to find the temple and then recapture them anyway.

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