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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S6 E18 "Dungeons & Discords"

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"In a World… where evil reigns supreme, a small band of warriors stands tall against the darkness. This is... Ogres & Oubliettes."

Special Guest Star: John de Lancie as Discord
Written by Nick Confalone

Fluttershy packs for a trip to Yakyakistan while Discord begs her to bring him along. Fluttershy refuses, saying that Princess Celestia is taking them on a good-will trip for one night, and it would be better if Discord stayed. She suggests hanging out with Spike and Big Macintosh, but Discord is hesitant. After seeing the Mane Six off at the train station, Spike and Big Mac invite Discord to hang out, but he still says "no." As they leave, they mention in passing that it's a "Guys' Night", which suddenly interests Discord, causing him to change his mind and agree to hang out with them.

That night, Discord arrives at Twilight's castle, planning on going out on the town for some fun. But, Big Mac and Spike are planning on staying in to play Ogres & Oubliettes, a tabletop role-playing game. Spike is a wizard, and Big Mac is a warrior, and they invite Discord to create a character and join their campaign to stop the evil Squid Wizard, or "Squizard". Discord half-heartedly participates until, in-game, his character casts a spell that backfires, which makes Spike and Big Mac start laughing. Suddenly angry, Discord snaps, sending the three of them into a nightclub. Despite Spike's protests, Discord tries to carry on without them until Spike demands to restart the game. Fed up, Discord does indeed restart the game with himself as the game master, sending Spike and Big Mac into a world where their characters are real, but so is their pain from battle damage.

The Squizard token arrives with a small army of skeleton archers, which fire on Spike and Big Mac. They run into a cave, where the army surrounds them. Discord sarcastically asks if this is what Spike wanted, to which Spike replies that he only invited Discord because he and Big Mac felt sorry for him. Discord snaps them back to the castle, where Spike reveals that they know that Discord practically begged Fluttershy to go on the Mane Six's trip. So, they invited Discord to join their game so he wouldn't be alone. Discord leaves, gradually getting more upset at the revelation. Spike and Big Mac attempt to continue without Discord, but decide to give him another chance. Calling out to Discord to get him to come back, Spike admits that playing as their characters was a lot of fun. He tells Discord to bring it to life again, only toned down a bit.

The Mane Six arrive back from Yakyakistan, walking into Twilight's castle, only to find Spike, Big Mac and Discord battling the Squizard and his army of life-sized cardboard tokens. Twilight suggests they leave to let them finish, but Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash join in the Guys' Night, jumping in to join in the fun.

Dungeons, Discords & Tropes:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Discord makes his big entrance wearing a #13 basketball jersey, foreshadowing how badly the Guys' Night will start out.
  • An Aesop: Great power comes with great responsibility. Discord, thinking himself better than Spike and Big Mac because of his magic, tries to insist on getting his way but then misuses his magic to cause indirect harm to Spike and Big Mac when they refuse to listen to him.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Discord has trouble remembering that friendship often requires compromise. Although it could be explained as being because for most of the episode Discord isn't particularly keen on the idea of having a friendship with Spike and Big Mac, who he considers beneath him.
  • Alliteration & Adventurers: The title of the episode as well as the game Ogres & Oubliettes both use a Dungeons & Dragons-style title, just to make the D&D reference more obvious.
  • Amusingly Short List: Discord presents a scroll of the "rowdiest establishments in Ponyville" and opens it as if it were an overly long parchment — except it includes a whopping two entries.
    Discord: It's rather short...
  • Appropriated Appellation: Spike takes the name of Discord's character, "Captain Wuzz", from one of his sarcastic comments.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Discord asks Spike why he and Big Mac invited him to "Guys' Night", Spike responds that it was because they felt bad for him. This upsets Discord deeply.
  • Audible Sharpness: Sir McBiggen's greatsword makes the distinctive metallic sound each time it is pulled out of its sheath.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the nightclub, a beautiful mare walks by the group causing Spike to show interest and go off in her direction. However, he instead goes to a large table he says is big enough to hold their O&O game.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: There's an aspect of this when Discord sends Spike and Big Mac to the RPG world inspired by their Ogres & Oubliettes campaign, to teach them a lesson.
    Discord: Isn't this what every gamer wants? To live the game?
  • Big Entrance: Discord makes an especially showy entrance at the Friendship Castle, including herald clones making an announcement with fanfare and him bursting out of his own image in a basketball player outfit, among other things.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Pinkie confirms that the monster she saw in "Party Pooped" was a yeti.
  • Big "WHAT?!": This is Discord's reaction to Spike's Armor-Piercing Response.
  • Bizarro Universe: Discord takes Fluttershy to a dimension where everything is opposite — including the color palette and background music — to convey his "excitement" with hanging out with Spike and Big Mac. It backfires when "Opposite Fluttershy" acts like a Jerkass with No Indoor Voice.
  • Blatant Lies: As Discord sadly leaves "Guys' Night", he claims he has "lots of other friends" he needs to see.
  • Brick Joke: In the last scenes, Discord's "Captain Wuzz's" left claw is still parsnip-shaped, reflecting what happened at the very start of the game to his character.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Discord briefly dons one in embarrassment when he learns Spike and Big Mac invited him because they felt sorry for him, and not because they thought he was "cool."
  • Call-Back: The mane cast is absent because Celestia is taking them on an overnight goodwill tour of Yakyakistan. Related: Pinkie Pie notes that there's a pony-eating yeti on the way to Yakyakistan, which she had run into during the aforementioned episode.
  • Canon Immigrant: Ogres & Oubliettes first appeared in the IDW comics during "Neigh Anything", where Shining Armor was also revealed as an avid player. Oddly, though, Twilight was also depicted as a player (apparently, she has more charisma than Shining Armor), but in this episode she seems to have no knowledge of the game and apparently comes off as mildly condescending to it. That or she was just being respectful to boys.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • A Day in the Limelight: Instead of the Mane Six, the episode focuses mainly on Spike, Big Mac, and Discord. This is also the second episode where Big Mac gets a prominent role.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Discord uses his Reality Warper powers to turn a tabletop role-playing game into a super-realistic LARP. The first time it's out of annoyance that Spike and Big Mac still want to play the game instead of doing what he suggests, the second time it's because they asked him to.
  • Dem Bones: The main enemies Discord, Spike and Big Mac face in the game are hordes of skeleton ponies that seem to be the Squizard's main minions.
  • Domain Holder: While Discord can warp reality anywhere, he specifically uses the interior of the Friendship Castle to generate his nightclub and board-game worlds.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Discord actually takes offense when Spike mentions that they asked him to join their tabletop RPG because they felt sorry for him.
  • Egopolis: The name of the fantasy world of the role-playing campaign is "Spiketopia". Guess who's the GM.
  • Face Palm: Discord slaps his face and pulls it down as Spike and Big Mac ask him what he's doing tonight.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The character classes in Ogres & Oubliettes include archers, mages, rogues, and knights.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Fluttershy gives Discord a pointed Disapproving Look with a raised eyebrow after he makes an active volcano appear over the train route.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Big Mac is the Fighter, Spike is the Mage, and Discord is the Thief (technically an Archer).
  • The Flapper: The Betty Boop and Josephine Baker ponies are right at home in The Roaring '20s nightclub.
  • Flat Scare: As Garbunkle and Sir McBiggen are fleeing from the Squizard inside a cave, Discord suddenly shows up upside-down and says "Boo!" Spike and Big Mac scream.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Fed up with the game, Discord traps Big Mac in a magic bubble that starts floating around, before moving them to a jazz nightclub.
  • Forced Transformation: Ogres & Oubliettes has a "Transform into Root Vegetable" spell that Discord tries to use to turn a guard into a parsnip. It ends up backfiring on him, since Discord's character is an archer rather than a wizard.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The three character sheets have enough detail to make out that the game uses four attributes based on a 3d6 roll, with Spike's having high intelligence and perception, Big Mac's high strength, and Discord's high dexterity and perception.
    • The scroll from which the mini-Discord herald reads his long list of titles is briefly seen to contain only a drawing of Discord's face.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The only reason Spike and Big Mac invited Discord to "Guys' Night" is because they felt sorry for him, as he usually doesn't hang out with anypony besides Fluttershy and they couldn't stand the thought of him being alone for the night.
  • Funny Background Event: After Opposite Fluttershy yells at Discord, Discord returns them to normal, and Fluttershy has her hooves up to her mouth and a look of horror on her face at what she just said.
  • Funny Octopus: The Squizard is a Squid Wizard. He's a parody of Sorcerous Overlord villains in fantasy RPG, and is subjected to Amusing Injuries.
  • Gagging on Your Words: At the end, it takes Discord three tries to physically force the words "I'm sorry" past his clenched teeth.
  • Girl's Night Out Episode: Gender-Inverted; the episode focuses on Spike, Big Macintosh, and Discord as the Mane Six are away for the episode.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: In the nightclub scene, Big Mac and even Discord show interest in the beautiful mare that walks by the group.
  • Heroes of Another Story: The Mane Six are having their own adventure in Yakyakistan.
  • Hitler Cam: When Discord decides to get serious and show Big Mac and Spike a "real" game of O&O, he's shot from very low, looking properly imposing in the process. Add in ominous shadows, threatening thunderclouds, Glowing Eyes of Doom, and his "evil voice", and you know things are gonna get interesting.
  • Hollywood Board Games: Spike, Big Mac, and Discord play an obvious Dungeons & Dragons knock-off: Ogres & Oubliettes. Discord has reality-warping powers and mostly runs on Blue-and-Orange Morality, so he's not impressed with a role-playing game. Then, he messes up, gets angry, and thus decides to turn their game's scenario into reality with his powers. Spike and Big Mac are not exactly the outdoor types, so this situation proves hard for them and the Mane Six have to rescue them.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Not even Discord, Ponyville's resident Eldritch Abomination and Equestria's greatest Reality Warper, is willing to screw around with Opposite Fluttershy.
  • In-Series Nickname: Discord apparently refers to Celestia as "K.K.", if a phony call to his "secretary" is any indication.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: When Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie jump into the RPG dimension created by Discord, they are instantly clothed in adventurer gear (looking like a Rogue for Rainbow and a Bard for Pinkie). They take it mostly in stride, though, except for a quick puzzled look from both.
  • Irony:
    • Twilight Sparkle apparently has no interest or understanding of Fantasy Roleplaying Adventure Games, which is very odd as they require a lot of reading. Or at least, she's pretending to.
    • Big Mac and the Squid Wizard have the same voice actor. Yes, the monster of the day gets more lines of dialogue in the whole episode than a well-established supporting character (though to be fair, Big Macintosh doesn't say much anyway).
  • Jerkass Realization: Discord has one after Spike and Big Mac reveal that they only invited him because they felt sorry for him, and he conjures up a Brown Bag Mask out of shame for how he treated them.
  • Just the Introduction to the Opposites: Discord makes a universe where he and Fluttershy act counter to their personalities. This promptly backfires on him thanks to Opposite Fluttershy scaring him.
  • Killer Game Master: Discord not only puts Spike and Big Mac in their game, but he makes them feel the pain of their battles, too. He eases up to just keep the fantasy aspect without the harm when Spike, Big Mac and he come to an agreement at the end of the episode.
  • LARP: Discord turns the game night into a much more lively affair by granting Spike and Big Mac their character's abilities and conjuring cardboard enemies for them to fight.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title is a reference to the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Implied when Spike and Big Mac invite Discord to "Guys' Night" so he won't have to spend the evening alone. They felt sorry for him.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Lampshaded by Discord when he bemoans having to spend the day with "sidekicks" like Spike and Bic Mac.
  • Mini-Me: The Discord copy that announces the main Discord's presence through a scroll is really, really small.
  • Mirror Universe: Played for laughs. When Fluttershy suggests that Discord have fun with Spike and Big Mac, Discord says she must think that "we're in a dimension where everything's opposite". He then inverts all of the colors in Fluttershy's cottage.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Spike's Wham Line about feeling bad for Discord, the latter rightly reacts this way about all of his Jerkassery toward them.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Discord laughs at Fluttershy's suggestion he'd spend time with Spike and Big Mac, then stops when he realizes she isn't kidding.
  • Mythology Gag: The Dungeons & Dragons Expy Ogres & Oubliettes was first mentioned in the IDW comics of the series as the one Shining Armor and his friends play.
  • Narcissist: Discord as usual, even saying that his name is the best in the universe.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Big Mac becomes a unicorn when Discord magically puts them in game, due to his in-game character being a unicorn, although he only uses telekinesis to lift his sword. A straighter example would be Spike, who, playing a mage, gains the ability to cast spells.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The mare seen walking by in the nightclub scene is a ponified Josephine Baker, from having the same Eton Crop hairstyle of her mane to wearing the same kind of earrings. She even has bananas for a cutie mark to reference her banana skirt.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: When Discord is approached by Spike and Big Mac...
    Discord: Oh, salutations my friends. Wish I could stay and chat, but... I don't want to.
  • Nightmare Face: The very out-of-character look on Fluttershy's face when she tries reverse psychology on Discord is unsettling.
  • Oh, Crap!: Discord's reaction when being yelled at by Opposite Fluttershy is to immediately change her back to standard Fluttershy out of fright.
  • One of the Boys: Dash and Pinkie like the room-filled RPG dimension and go to join in with Spike, Discord and Big Mac at the end of the episode (a rogue and bard, respectively).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Not even Discord can handle Opposite Fluttershy, and quickly returns everything back to normal out of fear for her.
  • Open Secret:
    • Spike and Big Mac have a top-secret thing they do when the Mane Six leave Ponyville... except, as Fluttershy points out, everypony knows about it. Granted, we later learn that nopony knows what they actually do on Guys' Night, but Spike tries to keep a lid on the event's very existence.
    • Even Discord is hip to Spike's "romantic delusions" about Rarity (which Spike accidentally "reveals" when he tells Discord that the Damsel in Distress of Spiketopia is named "Shmarity"), but promises not to talk about them.
  • Paper People: Once transported to the RPG world by Discord's magic, the evil Squizard and his mooks still appear as flat cardboard panels, although animated, looking just like the cardboard tokens drawn by Spike for the game.
  • Portmanteau: Squid + Wizard = Squizard.
  • Product Placement: Averted through the parody of Ogres & Oubliettes, though Hasbro would have nothing to worry about since they also own Wizards of the Coast, the current holders of the Dungeons & Dragons property.
  • Reality Warper: Spike-as-"Garbunkle" turns one giant die into countless tiny ones, freezes a river solid, makes another giant die come to life (complete with wings and flight!), etc. And of course, the master himself — Discord — is here, too, and is the reason that Spike himself can do these things in the LARP.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Discord still can't resist slipping into the role of the Trickster God and using his "evil voice".
  • Reverse Psychology: As Fluttershy tries to convince Discord to spend time with Spike and Big Mac, she slyly adds "Unless you're afraid they won't like you?" Discord calls her out on that, saying it's below her, but it still seems to be working on some level.
    Discord: Oh, please. Don't stoop to tedious reverse psychology. You're better than that.
  • Roll Out the Red Carpet: Discord introduces himself to Spike and Big Mac at the start of Guys' Night by conjuring a red carpet, two heralds and an announcer.
  • RPG Episode: "Guy's Night" centers around a campaign of Ogres & Oubliettes hosted by Spike.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Spike takes Discord's character name from a sarcastic comment he made.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Spike opens the narration of their O&O game by lighting his face from below with a flashlight, trying to look (and sound) ominous.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Upon seeing that Fluttershy is packing her bags, Discord's first response is to think she's planning a trip for just the two of them and suggest going to a tropical locale.
    • Spike named the in-game beautiful princess they are trying to rescue "Shmarity". Discord snarks at him about this more than once.
  • Shot in the Ass: The second time that Discord transports himself, Spike and Big Macintosh into their role-playing game world, he and Spike team up to shoot the Squizard in the rear with Discord's arrow, which has been set on fire by Spike's magic.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Discord's entrance mimics how many modern sports teams burst through banners alongside lights, fog machine effects, and musical fanfare. Here, Discord coming out as a basketball player wearing jersey number 13 references Wilt Chamberlain, who famously wore that number throughout his career.
    • Naturally, Ogres & Oubliettes is the MLP world's version of Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Spike enunciates every time he says "IMAGINATION".
    • The Jazz nightclub scene is reminiscent of the one featured in The Mask, though more commonly a nod to nightclubs/speakeasys of the 1920s.
    • Again in the nightclub, the mare with the red dress resembles Betty Boop, and we see a ponified Josephine Baker.
    • Discord plays poker with some dogs, as in the "Dogs Playing Poker" painting series by C. M. Coolidge.
    • Spike dons a Gandalf-style outfit, while Discord's outfit is evocative of Legolas, both from The Lord of the Rings.
    • Meanwhile, Big Macintosh wears an iconic helmet from Skyrim.
    • Discord turns the castle foyer into a giant Star Trek holodeck.
    • Rainbow Dash's costume is Garret's from the Thief reboot.
    • Pinkie Pie is apparently a Gallic Strongmare since she looks like Obelix Obelodaliges from Asterix.
  • Sky Face: The first time Spike and Big Mac are sent to the RPG world, Discord (as the GM) appears as a menacing face on the clouds.
  • Stealth Pun: Discord inverts the colors while griping about spending time with Spike and Big Mac because he's being negative.
  • Stock Femur Bone: The Squizard's minions have femur bones for pegasus wings, necks, all leg bones, and even ears.
  • Stylistic Suck: The cardboard tokens used for the game were apparently drawn by Spike, and he's no artist. The pony skeletons, in particular, are full of Artistic License – Biology even for this show, with Stock Femur Bones galore, even having bones for ears.
  • Tacky Tuxedo: Discord wears a loud-colored zoot suit in the nightclub scene.
  • Transflormation: Invoked, and ultimately used in a partial rather than full-body example. Early in the campaign, Discord/Captain Wuzz attempts to transform a guard into a parsnip. He flubs the roll to do so, instead transforms his eagle claw into a cluster of parsnips shaped like fingers. In all of Captain Wuzz's subsequent appearances, his left hand remains the root vegetable he turned it into, albeit a fully movable one.
  • Visual Pun: When Discord says the town isn't going to paint itself red, he holds up a bucket of red paint and a paintbrush.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Discord shifts his face into a mockery of Celestia at one point.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: The mini-Discord herald that shows up on the red carpet as part of Discord's Big Entrance does so with a very exaggerated, cartoonish "running" sound effect.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: Discord does this to himself by closing a zipper over his mouth, after promising Spike that his "romantic delusions" are safe with him. This doesn't stop Discord from talking in spite of the zipper a few seconds later.
  • Wolf Whistle: As the mare styled like Josephine Baker crosses the screen in the nightclub, the background jazz music briefly sounds like a wolf whistle.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Garbunkle (Spike) and Sir McBiggen (Big Mac) get zapped by the Squizard and show off their skeletons the first time they enter the game.
  • "YEAH!" Shot: The episode ends with the adventuring party of five (after Dash and Pinkie have joined them) jumping at the camera.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: The RPG adventure starts with the characters in a cell. Not the best choice for an unenthusiastic player like Discord.