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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S6 E3 "The Gift of the Maud Pie"

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"I'm gonna love it five-ever! That's even longer than for-ever."

"I finally got Maud a gift that's just as good as the ones she always gets me, and that's all that really matters."
Pinkie Pie

Story by Josh Haber, Michael P. Fox, & Wil Fox
Written by Michael P. Fox & Wil Fox

Due to the success of her Canterlot boutique, Rarity is taking a trip to Manehattan to look for a new place to open another location. Pinkie Pie is accompanying her, as today is her traditional "Pie Sisters Secret Swap Day" (or "PSSSD") with her sister Maud, who is waiting to meet them at the station. Pinkie explains that she spends one day a year with each of her three sisters, choosing a different exotic location for sightseeing and fun; at the end of the day, the Pie sisters exchange presents. Pinkie tells Rarity that Maud always gets her amazing gifts, and she wants to be the one who gives the best present this year. She's planning on buying Maud a decorative pouch for her pet rock Boulder; Rarity suggests that they tour the city and look at various potential properties while secretly making their way to the pouch shop. Furthermore, Rarity agrees to help distract Maud so Pinkie can slip away to make her purchase.

The combined sightseeing/location-scouting trip begins, with the three mares exploring the big city's famous landmarks; along the way, Pinkie repeatedly chatters about Maud's amazing present, setting off her beloved party cannon every time she mentions it. They stop for lunch at a restaurant only a block away from the rock pouch shop; Pinkie Pie leaves under the guise of washing her hooves while Rarity asks Maud to tell her about how she met Boulder. When Pinkie arrives at the store, she sees a beautiful pouch in the window, and prepares to rush inside to buy it...but it seems that the store's owner has gone away on a spontaneous vacation. A depressed Pinkie returns to the restaurant, where Rarity suggests that the girls continue touring in the hope of finding an even better present. Unfortunately, even consummate shopper Rarity can't figure out what Maud might like, and it seems like a rock pouch truly would be the perfect gift. While Pinkie describes the amazing one she saw in the shop window, Rarity notices a stallion with an identical pouch on his waist. Pinkie rushes and explains her need to the stallion, who's willing to part with his pouch, but requires a rather hefty price: her party cannon. She reluctantly turns it over and gets the pouch, asking Rarity not to tell Maud what she had to do.

The present swapping occurs, and Maud is delighted with the pouch (not that we'd know that), while Pinkie is initially thrilled to receive Maud's gift to her: a special stash of cupcake-scented confetti for her party cannon. The pink mare throws the confetti into the air, which raises Maud's suspicions. The situation only gets worse when Rarity inadvertently blurts out Pinkie's secret. Determined to recover the cannon, Maud uses her hitherto-unknown Psychic Powers to find the stallion; with a little help from Rarity's acting skills, the stallion becomes convinced that Maud is furious with him and trades the cannon for the pouch. Pinkie is thrilled to have her cannon back, but becomes upset when she realizes that Maud gave her two amazing presents that day, meaning that she's yet again won the gift-giving battle. Maud corrects her sister, explaining that their exchanging presents is an act of love, not a contest, and Pinkie's gifts, whatever they may be, are always full of care. Rarity reveals her own good news—she's found a perfect spot for her new boutique, which she plans to call "Rarity for You." As a final surprise, Pinkie and Maud announce that they've established a new tradition for next year: "PSSSDWR," or "Pie Sisters Secret Swap Day with Rarity," in thanks for all of her help. Rarity is initially thrilled...until she realizes that now, the pressure is on her to find two great presents.

The Tropes of the Maud Pie:

  • An Aesop: Gift-giving is done out of the goodness of your heart and to make others happy, not as a competition for showing up others.
  • Aesop Amnesia: After learning not to let her pride get in the way of doing the important things, Pinkie Pie lets her pride get in the way of doing important things again, only this time around, it actually gets her in trouble.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Rarity and Pinkie Pie trying to act natural and inconspicuous to not raise Maud's suspicions really isn't convincing. Of course, with Maud you just can't tell what she's thinking of it.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Maud gives a remarkably deadpan one regarding Rarity's new location.
    Rarity: What do you think of the place? Is it the right location? Did I pick a good spot?
    Maud: No. (Beat) You picked the perfect spot.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Rarity lets out one of these after she shows Maud a whole pile of things, only for Maud to say that the one thing she likes is a crack in the sidewalk.
    • Maud puts just a bit more emotion than usual into saying "What?" twice when she finds out Pinkie traded her cannon, giving this impression.
  • Bottle Episode: The animated equivalent—there are only five speaking roles in the episode (one with only a single line) provided by four voice actors, a minimalist cast second only to "Look Before You Sleep". Unlike that episode, this one certainly wouldn't apply if it was a live-action example, due to the multitude of locations and background extras.
  • Break Them by Talking: Even without changing her monotone style, Maud was able to get Rarity to confess what Pinkie did to get the rock pouch by repeating her question twice. She then does it again to the hustler, only this time compounded by Rarity's extremely persuasive description of how angry Maud is.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When puzzled by Pinkie Pie's sedate reaction to finally getting the pouch, Rarity describes how she'd expected her to react by imitating Pinkie's Motor Mouth and mannerisms, including jumping up and down with the expected Wacky Sound Effect and literally bouncing all over the place.
  • The Cameo: Suri Polomare appears in the background when Maud asks to return her pouch for Pinkie's party cannon the second time.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pinkie's constant firing her cannon early on drives home how much it means to her, and by extension how deeply it hurts losing it.
  • Companion Cube: Pinkie treats her party cannon this way.
  • Compressed Vice: Pinkie's party cannon has until now only been a minor sight gag and one device among many, so it's never been that personal a thing. Since Cheese Sandwich has even bigger ordnance, it's not a one-of-a-kind either.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Deconstruction: The Manehattan Ponies don't find Pinkie Pie's antics endearing, funny, or cute. In fact, they find it awkward, irritating, and even a little frightening. At one point, a mother mare summons the police on Pinkie when she gets a little too close to her foal. On the other hand, Pinkie actually notices here.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In the toy store, the first notes of the My Little Pony theme are played by hooves on a floor keyboard. And then Pinkie does a kneeling slide on it.
  • Eyed Screen: Parodied at the open-air market, when Rarity "defies" Maud, saying that she's going to find the perfect gift for her. Both have their eyes framed by the screen, as if in a duel from a Western.
  • Flat Joy: Pinkie finally gets Maud "the best PSSSD present in the history of ever, and all [she] can say is 'Yup'."
  • Flat "What": Maud's reaction when Rarity lets slip that Pinkie traded her party cannon for the pouch.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: For the first time, Pinkie and Rarity end up sharing the spotlight together for the entire episode.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • At the restaurant, Pinkie Pie's discarded crayon ends up in the plate of a stallion unicorn at another table. He's later seen picking it up.
    • A lot of background ponies are seen reacting in bewilderment to the trio's antics.
  • Fun with Acronyms: For Pinkie and Maud, the outing to Manehattan starts out as PSSSD (Pie Sister Surprise Swap Day). For the next year, they decide to turn it into PSSSDWR (Pie Sister Surprise Swap Day With Rarity).
  • Gift of the Magi Plot: Only half of one. Pinkie sells her party cannon to get Maud the rock pouch, while Maud ends up giving it back to get Pinkie her cannon. Maud also gives Pinkie confetti to use in the party cannon, which is almost useless without it.
  • Hidden Depths: Maud can ice skate rather well. She also has the same Offscreen Teleportation abilities that Pinkie has, and her "Maud Sense" (a variation of Pinkie's own power) seems to be even stronger than her sister's (see below).
  • Iconic Item: When Rarity and Maud notice Pinkie isn't using her party cannon to spread confetti, they realize something is wrong.
  • Impact Silhouette: Pinkie rushes out of the restaurant so fast, she doesn't even bother opening the door and crashes through it, leaving her silhouette behind.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Pinkie leaves to go "wash her hooves" and goes to the pouch store to find Maud's gift. Later on, when Rarity accidentally lets it slip that that Pinkie exchanged her party cannon for the pouch in front of Maud, she rubs her hoof against the dirt and excuses herself to "wash her hooves," only for Maud to subtly browbeat the confession out of her.
  • Infectious Enthusiasm: Rarity claims that she won't get "swept up in" Pinkie's excitement of visiting Manehattan, then suddenly gets swept up in it upon seeing the city's skyline.
  • It Runs in the Family: In the Pie family this seems to include Offscreen Teleportation, Spider-Sense, ice skating, and literal mindedness.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Rarity says that Manehattan is the "best everything ever". Pinkie says "it's about to get everything everer".
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Maud's story of how she met Boulder begins with this.
  • I've Heard of That What Is It?: On opening it, Pinkie Pie excitedly claims Maud's present is the best ever, and how much she loves it... and then she asks what it is.
  • Literal-Minded: Rarity asks Maud if there's "any chance you could see yourself" with a giant giraffe stuffed animal. Maud's reply? "Only if I had a mirror."
  • Literary Allusion Title: To the original O. Henry work, "The Gift of the Magi".
  • Mad Eye: Rarity briefly catches a case of lopsided eyes when on the verge of breaking down from failing to find anything Maud could get excited about.
  • The Mafia: Two larger stallions the trio encounter appear to be this; one has a cement block and chain as a cutie mark.
  • Minsky Pickup: "The Pie Sister Swap Day Song" is essentially the concluding version of this.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: What is Maud interested in after Rarity tosses a pile of assorted objects and junk at her to find a present for her? A crack on the sidewalk.
  • Mythology Gag: The stuffed animals in the store are a reference to G1's Pony Friends line. Their designs are different but the species are the same. Specifically they're Baby Hoppy, Oakly the moose, Kingsley the lion, and Edgar the elephant.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Maud uses her own Spider-Sense-like powers to track down the shady seller, something that is just casually mentioned by Pinkie Pie that all her sisters have. Granted, this is the Pie family, so something like this shouldn't be surprising.
  • Not So Stoic: Maud, when she learns how Pinkie got the pouch. Unlike in her debut episode, she manages to pull this off without gaining any facial expressions or vocal inflections.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Maud shows that she can do this just like Pinkie can — in fact, it's even more impressive, as Maud literally warps through space in less than a second.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • After Pinkie trades her party cannon she adopts an almost Maud-like deadpan and loses her usual enthusiasm. This makes Rarity and Maud realize that something is very wrong.
    • When Maud notices that Pinkie isn't using her party cannon, her deadpan becomes less flat and more flinty.
    • When she asks the Hustler for Pinkie's Cannon back, she says it twice. The first is her normal delivery. The second has a half-second pause before the "please" at the end, which for her is basically the same as menacingly tapping her palm with a baseball bat. The Hustler isn't familiar with her, so Rarity points it out for him (and the audience).
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Rarity lets slip that Pinkie gave up something precious for her to get Maud a gift, while Maud is within hearing range. And then she does it again while urging Maud to ignore what she just said.
  • Pride: It comes back to bite Pinkie in the tail once again. She is so consumed by her drive to find the "best" gift (and to show up Maud's gift for once) that she completely misses the point of gift-giving and winds up trading away her most valuable possession for it, which in turn makes her miserable. Thankfully Maud sets her straight in the end.
  • Product Placement: The swan boats being used in Manehattan's equivalent of Central Park are part of the My Little Pony toyline.
  • Psychic Powers: In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", we discovered that Pinkie Pie possesses "Pinkie Sense", the ability to predict certain events based on random twitches and movements in her body. In this episode, we discover that not only does Maud have a similar gift, but hers is much, much stronger. Pinkie has expressly stated that she has no control over her Pinkie Sense — it can only predict "random, immediate events." But Maud seems to be able to see the future — or at least gain a clairvoyant sense of where people are —whenever she wants, without any kind of physical stimulus necessary.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The policemare that is summoned to deal with Pinkie Pie's public disturbances neither under- nor over-reacts, calmly but firmly requesting that she stop making such a scene.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ponies having to go wash their hooves.
    • Pinkie Pie constantly shooting off her party cannon, to the point that it becomes immediately noticeable to Rarity and Maud when she doesn't use it.
  • Sequel Hook: Rarity shows off the location she's chosen for her new boutique, even though it's just a boarded-up building at the moment.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Socialite: According to Boulder, all the gemstones in the jewelry shop are "too stuck up".
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Maud says none of the postcards "moved" Boulder. He is a rock...
    • The "stuck up" gems in the jewelry shop. You could say they're made of socialite.
    • One of the iconic New York locations parodied, that Maud appears to especially enjoy (sort of, she's on skates) is Rockefeller Center. Commonly shortened to Rock Center.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pinkie attempts to look happy with Maud's gift of party cannon confetti, despite the fact that she no longer has a party cannon to fire it with.
  • Stock Sound Effect: This episode reuses the clip of Pinkie's nervous laughter from "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" when she wraps her foreleg around a scary-looking stranger, and her hysterical sobbing from "Tanks for the Memories" after she relays her woes to Rarity.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Maud doesn't express more than usual, but she lets Pinkie know she's displeased that Pinkie gave up her party cannon to get her the rock pouch. Likewise when she talks to the hustler in trading back the objects, via a little help from Rarity.
  • That Wasn't a Request: An extremely subtle example. When Maud speaks to the pony Pinkie traded her party cannon to for the rock pouch, she says "I'd like to return this pouch for my sister's party cannon, please." When the pony refuses, Maud suddenly appears in front of him again and repeats herself, with a little extra emphasis on please. Then when Rarity describes Maud's Tranquil Fury to him, Maud simply says "I'd like to return this pouch."
  • Tranquil Fury: Maud when getting Pinkie's party cannon back from the pony who traded her the rock pouch. So tranquil in fact that Rarity has to help the pony notice the fury part.
  • Travel Montage: We see the day of Rarity, Maud and Pinkies' on a map. Lampshaded when Rarity scolds Pinkie for drawing on the map on the restaurant's placemats.
  • Uncanny Valley: Maud's expression apparently is this in-universe. Rarity can't lie to her and she manages to reduce the guy who took the party cannon to a sobbing wreck just by staring at him (along with Rarity's talk about how angry Maud can get).
  • The Unreveal: Maud's story of how she met Boulder. We only hear a fairly generic beginning and ending; judging by Rarity's reaction, the bulk of the story wasn't as thrilling as the beginning made it sound.
  • Victory Through Intimidation: The hustler gives back the party cannon simply by having Maud ask for it back in her usual stoic demeanor and Rarity's persuasive description of how angry Maud is, even though Maud is still with her same deadpan expression.
  • Villainous Gold Tooth: The shifty-looking pony that Pinkie Pie tries to buy from has a gold tooth. In addition to the jewelry and coins cutie mark, it easily characterizes him as a greedy character.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Pinkie Pie's rear legs turn into pink whirlwind as she's about to rush out of the restaurant.
  • When She Smiles: Maud again briefly breaks into a smile on thinking of spending time with Pinkie.
  • Wink "Ding!": At the end of the episode, Pinkie's wink to Maud gets one, while Maud's slow wink to Pinkie gets a more muted treatment.

Alternative Title(s): My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic S 6 E 3 The Gift Of Maud Pie