Pinkie Pie is busy baking a pie over at Sugar Cube Corner, explaining her method to Twilight Sparkle. The pie Pinkie is preparing is to celebrate Rainbow Dash's 73rd Wonderbolts training session, since she knows that Rainbow Dash can't get enough of her pies, and Pinkie enjoys making Rainbow happy.
Pinkie takes the pie up to the Wonderbolt Academy and presents it to Rainbow Dash, cutting her a slice. Rainbow quickly distracts Pinkie and when she looks back, she's wiping crumbs from her face and compliments Pinkie on the pie. Pinkie offers her another slice but Rainbow instead takes the pie, saying she has other places she has to be and will eat it later. Proud of herself, Pinkie sets off, but suddenly notices that what looks like her pie is sitting atop a trash can being wheeled out by the janitor. She gives chase and questions the janitor if that was in fact the pie, but doesn't get an answer.
Pinkie returns to her sanctum underneath Sugar Cube Corner to ponder the implications of what she witnessed. She checks in her files of some recent pies she had baked for Rainbow Dash and tries to recall if she ever saw Rainbow take a bite of any of them. In every instance, Rainbow had done the same thing: briefly distract Pinkie, then upon looking back, the pie appeared to have been eaten. Deciding she doesn't know enough, Pinkie sets out to investigate.
She returns to the Wonderbolt Academy and questions the other members, who tell her they get monthly pie donations from an unknown source. Pinkie then pays a visit to Dr. Fauna, who has been treating Rainbow Dash's tortoise Tank for stomach problems and diagnoses it as sugar overload. Pinkie correlates the first instance of it with a pie she baked a week before. Dr. Fauna also shows Pinkie an x-ray that shows Tank had ingested a pie, directing her to Cheerilee, whose class hamster had shown similar symptoms. Cheerilee tells Pinkie that Rainbow Dash had given her class her half-birthday pie every year, which confirms Rainbow had been offloading Pinkie's pies without eating them.
Pinkie, now sure that Rainbow Dash has been lying to her, realizes Rainbow Dash doesn't enjoy eating pies and flips out. Meanwhile, Applejack pays a visit to Sugar Cube Corner and hears Pinkie's freakout before stumbling into the party planning sanctum. Pinkie explains her suspicion of Rainbow to Applejack and then imagines that Rainbow Dash has turned into a pie-hating monster with laser eyes. Applejack reassures her that isn't the case and offers her a tub of apples with which to make pies. Pinkie decides to make enough pies to either get Dash to confess or to catch her red-hoofed ditching them.
Pinkie Pie goes to Rainbow Dash's house and offers her a "Wake Your Friends Up Day" pie, which Rainbow quickly disposes of by making Pinkie Pie sneeze then throwing it down a chute to Tank. Then Pinkie meets Dash at the Wonderbolt Academy and offers her a pie for her 74th training session. Rainbow seems to be trying to distract Pinkie as usual, but this time Pinkie gets plowed into by Spitfire because she was standing on the runway; Rainbow takes the opportunity to once again chuck the unwanted pastry.
Pinkie's next strategy is to stand on a huge tower of pies and attempts to make Rainbow Dash eat all of them in order to get her down; but Rainbow simply flies to the top and picks her up, after which the tower falls on top of Pinkie. As "gratitude" for being saved, Pinkie gives Rainbow a whole bunch of pies, but Rainbow manages to get the Ponyville foals to take them off her hooves and pretends to have eaten one in the ensuing rush. Pinkie, now furious, disheveled, and fairly insane, has a pie gathering for the whole town and ambushes Rainbow there, demanding she eat hers, refusing to blink until she does. Rainbow stalls until Pinkie is finally forced to blink, at which point she quickly ties the pie to a balloon and gets rid of it out of Pinkie's sight.
Pinkie finally breaks and openly accuses Dash of betraying her. Rainbow Dash tries to deny it but the balloon she used to ditch her most recent pie drops it on Pinkie's head, confirming once and for all Rainbow had been lying. Rainbow then tries to make up excuses but Pinkie won't have it, storming off back to Sugar Cube Corner. Rainbow Dash goes back to Twilight's castle to try and work out a solution with Applejack and Twilight, but doesn't get much sympathy from them for lying. Suddenly, she is hit with inspiration and sets out to right her wrong.
Meanwhile, Pinkie Pie is napping at Sugar Cube Corner when she is awoken by an awful stench. She looks out her window and sees Rainbow Dash, Twilight, and Applejack. Dash admits she was in the wrong and shows her a large pie she "baked": a disgusting-looking gray and green mess that was the source of the foul odor. Rainbow says she'll eat the "pie" in order to show how sorry she is and to make up for ditching all of Pinkie's previous pies. Pinkie spares Rainbow from torturing herself and accepts her apology, realizing why Rainbow had been faking all this time: what Rainbow had wanted was seeing Pinkie overjoyed at how much she seemingly enjoyed eating her pies. The two friends make up and hug it out, even though Rainbow would prefer if Pinkie hugged a little less tight.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Invoked when Pinkie, after speaking to Dr. Fauna, comes up with a sentence using a lot of "P"-words. Realizing this, she makes a note to herself, "Pinkie 'Alliteration' Pie!"Pinkie Pie: It seems the pieces of the puzzle are plopping into place, but the picture isn't pretty.
- An Aesop: Honesty is always the best policy. Pretending to like something for the sake of someone else will always blow up in your face eventually, and it's better to be open with your friends about what you truly enjoy or don't.
- Artistic License Animal Care: Pointed out by Dr. Fauna when she treats Tank for digestive problems. Rainbow Dash had fed Tank her discarded pies (tin included). When Pinkie goes to interrogate Cheerilee, she learns that her class tried to feed what was Rainbow's half-birthday pie to the class hamster.
- Balloonacy: Pinkie uses a bunch of party balloons tied to her torso to stand on the clouds of the Wonderbolt Academy.
- Balloon Belly: It's subtle, but after Tank eats the pie Pinkie gave Dash for "Wake-Your-Friends-Up Day", his shell gets visibly bigger.
- Bedmate Reveal: A non-sexual example, obviously. Rainbow wakes up, rolls over, and finds Pinkie lying on the bed next to her, ready to offer yet another pie.
- Big Eater: Tank, who eats Rainbow's pies, tin and all.
- Big "NO!": Pinkie Pie lets out a few in this episode.
- Notably during the Imagine Spot, after Evil Rainbow Dash vows to destroy all of Pinkie's pies.
- Again while she's dragged away by the pony medic, having missed yet another opportunity to see Rainbow dispose of a pie.
- Brick Joke:
- Pinkie Pie shoots down her theory that Rainbow was brainwashed because Rainbow hates washing. When Rainbow tries to claim she was brainwashed when her lie is exposed, Pinkie Pie brings this up again.
- Pinkie Pie also imagines an evil version of Rainbow Dash destroying pies with laser eyes. And she mentions it later, in the same scene as the example above, confusing Rainbow Dash.
- Bullet Time: Time is seen slowing to a crawl, illustrated by the bell of the clock tower ringing, ponies eating or a bird flying in slo-mo. Then, in the time it takes Pinkie to blink, Rainbow Dash is able to tie a pie to a balloon at Super Speed to pretend she ate it.
- "Newbie Dash" established that ponies should look both ways before crossing the runway at Wonderbolt HQ in case members of the team are using it. Pinkie stands in the middle of the runway at one point while trying to talk to Dash, and ends up having Spitfire crash into her. In addition, Spitfire briefly refers to Rainbow as "Crash".
- Pinkie dons the deerstalker hat from "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" when trying to expose Dash's pie deception.
- Applejack goes down to Pinkie's party planning cave (by accident, just like last time) and has to ask her how to get out again, as the only entrance is a slide (that Pinkie slides upwards on to leave).
- The Cameo: Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail are in the background at the Wonderbolt Academy, still donning their cadet outfits.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Pinkie Pie becomes this when trying to figure out why Rainbow Dash never seems to eat her pies.
- Continuity Nod: One of Pinkie's flashbacks involves the "Birth-iversary" she and Cheese Sandwich threw in "Pinkie Pride".
- Covered in Gunge: After diving headfirst in her "apology pie", Rainbow Dash gets covered in... whatever smelly, brownish goo it contains. It looks just as disgusting as it sounds.
- Crazy-Prepared: Rainbow Dash is really well prepared for any "pie emergency"... including a drop chute hidden in her bedroom behind a Wonderbolts poster, and delivering the pie straight to Tank to devour. Makes a bit more sense when you consider this has been going on for years, meaning Rainbow had plenty of time to realize this was gonna be a regular thing and prepare accordingly before the events of the episode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Applejack remarks that she could have told them honesty was always the best policy after everything had been said and done, as she's the element of honesty.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- Rainbow has spent years pretending to eat Pinkie's pies as to not hurt her feelings. When Pinkie finds out Rainbow's been pretending to eat her pies, her feelings are hurt. This is lampshaded outright by Twilight and Applejack as Rainbow despairs over the aftermath.
- One of Pinkie's plans to get Rainbow to eat her pies involves putting herself on top of a pie pyramid, and having Rainbow "save" her by eating her way to the top. Instead, Rainbow simply flies up the pyramid and helps Pinkie down.
- Does Not Like Spam: Rainbow Dash hates pies. Even Pinkie's pies, which are otherwise universally agreed to be delicious. Rainbow gets rid of said pies by dumping them off on other ponies and pets while Pinkie's not looking.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Pinkie suspecting Rainbow Dash of hating her pies and then later catching her in the act of getting rid of one seems reminiscent of a person suspecting their lover of, and then discovering them cheating on them.
- Engineered Public Confession: Unintentionally done, but Pinkie manages to out Rainbow for constantly getting rid of her pies at the pie gathering.
- Everything Makes a Mushroom: The last of Evil Rainbow Dash's Eye Beams blasts vaporizes the pies with a mushroom cloud.
- Eye Beams: The Evil Rainbow Dash from Pinkie's fantasy can blast pies with red beams shooting from her eyes.
- Eye Cam: To show that Pinkie Pie is blinking, during the Bullet Time moment, we see her eyelids closing and then opening from her viewpoint.
- Fantastic Measurement System: Pinkie uses this while baking.Pinkie Pie: Okay. All we need is a dot of salt, a dab of sugar, and a spritz of ginger.
Twilight Sparkle: Uh... Are those real measurements?
- Fantasy Sequence: As Pinkie grows to suspect Rainbow hates pies, she imagines a scene of Evil Rainbow Dash destroying all pies with eye-lasers while cackling maniacally.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Rainbow Dash starts lying about liking Pinkie's pies, going to increasingly elaborate ways to make it seem like she ate them. Finally, when one of Rainbow's methods backfires, she claims she has amnesia. Ultimately, Rainbow's lie collapses in spectacular fashion when Pinkie chews her out in public at the pie gathering.
- Feather Fingers: Rainbow uses her wings to quickly tie her pie to a balloon during the moment where Pinkie blinks, her feathers being shown to be as dextrous as human fingers.
- Fictional Holiday: Pinkie makes one up in an attempt to get Rainbow to eat a pie.Pinkie Pie: Happy unofficial "Wake Your Friends Up" Day!
Rainbow Dash: Ugh. I've never heard of "Wake Your Friends Up" Day.
Pinkie Pie: Well, it's unofficial.
- Flashback: As Pinkie Pie remembers, a series of flashbacks show several instances where she offered pies to Rainbow Dash (including one obviously set during "Pinkie Pride"), and she realizes that RD never ate the pies. The flashbacks are later revisited, focusing more of Pinkie Pie's joy from pleasing her friend.
- Flashback Effects: The classic screen waving for the start and end of the overall flashback sequence, and a brief flash to transition from one flashback to another.
- Food Porn: The pie Pinkie makes for Rainbow's 73rd Wonderbolt Training session looks amazing. The others she makes throughout the episode are no slouches either. Considering this is Pinkie, it's no surprise.
- Furry Reminder: Subverted by Dr. Fauna's explanation of why Tank was repeatedly sick — animals can't handle pony food.
- Gone Horribly Right: Rainbow pretended to like Pinkie's pies in order to avoid hurting her feelings, but accidentally makes her think that she loved Pinkie's pies, which not only drives Pinkie to make more and more pies for her for years to Rainbow's chagrin, but also leads to the pink chef blowing up at Rainbow when she learns the truth.
- Hates Baths: Pinkie thinks Rainbow hates washing. She actually loves baths and spas, she's just self conscious and would rather others not find out.
- I Ate WHAT?!: Inverted: Rainbow decides to make things up to Pinkie by eating a pie she made herself. The word "pie" is a very subjective term for what Rainbow concocted: Rainbow legitimately doesn't know if it uses a pie crust or concrete, the smell is bad enough to wake up Pinkie Pie and immediately disgust her, and there are visible bits of garbage stuck to it. Luckily, Pinkie stops Rainbow before she can take a bite.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several pies, zooming in or out, are used as scene transitions. At another time, it's the bubbles from Pinkie's bubble pipe which are wiping the screen.
- Imagine Spot: Pinkie Pie has one where Rainbow Dash is a demonic creature who destroys all of the pies Pinkie gave her with her laser eyes.
- Implausible Deniability: When one of the pies Rainbow claims to have eaten drops from the sky onto Pinkie Pie, she first says she was trying to send it to Cloudsdale via "balloon mail". Pinkie points out that Rainbow already said she ate it. She then fires off a series of outlandish excuses, including having amnesia, being brainwashed, and it being "opposite day". Pinkie doesn't buy any of it.
- Innocently Insensitive: Dash lies about liking Pinkie's pies in an effort to spare her feelings, not considering that when she did find out, she wouldn't react well to her friend lying to her for years.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: Rainbow makes the mistake of countering Pinkie's claim that she keeps getting rid of her pies (by asking if Pinkie honestly thinks she makes them vanish into thin air) seconds before the pie she tied to a balloon smashes down on Pinkie's head.
- Iris Out: Even the iris closing at the end is in the shape of a pie outline.
- Irony: Pinkie quickly dismisses the possibility of Rainbow being "brainwashed by a pie-hating evil queen", believing that she is "too stubborn to be brainwashed". She seems to be forgetting that Rainbow was brainwashed by Discord in "The Return of Harmony - Part 2", and by Starlight Glimmer in "Every Little Thing She Does".
- Lethal Chef: When Rainbow Dash tries to cook a pie herself, she creates a "smelly circular monstrosity" with a crust that may or may not be concrete and a filling that looks like mud, with a smell bad enough for Pinkie to smell it from the top of Sugar Cube Corner.
- Look Behind You:
- Whenever Pinkie tries to watch Rainbow eat a pie, Rainbow shouts some variant of "Oh my gosh, what's that?!" and disposes of the pie while Pinkie's looking away. Rainbow has kept this up for years.
- The one time Pinkie gets suspicious and refuses to look away is the one time Rainbow is actually trying to warn Pinkie — in this case, because Spitfire is about to crash into her.
- Luck-Based Search Technique: Applejack searches for Pinkie Pie inside Sugar Cube Corner. She accidentally hits the switch that opens the trapdoor to Pinkie's party cave, and Pinkie is inside.
- Masochist's Meal: The "humble pie" at the end looks like nothing so much as a pastry version of Harmburger from Awful Hospital, and is constructed from cement and garbage, complete with bubbling garbage juice.
- Messy Hair: Upon being woken up unexpectedly by Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash's mane and tail are quite messy and frizzled.
- Non-Standard Character Design: The Evil Rainbow Dash from Pinkie's imagination has her whole body drawn with straight lines and jagged edges.
- No Sympathy: Twilight and Applejack pull no punches when they call out Rainbow Dash for her lying to not just Pinkie, but to them as well.
- Once More, with Clarity!: Near the beginning of the episode, there are flashbacks to three times Rainbow pretended to eat a pie while actually throwing it away. When Rainbow explains why she's been keeping this secret for years, the flashbacks are shown again, but this time we also see Pinkie's overjoyed reaction when she thought Dash liked the pie.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Pinkie Pie becomes enraged at Rainbow Dash after finding out she had been lying to her about liking her pies all this time. This causes Rainbow to realize how bad she screwed up, despite it having been only meant to spare Pinkie from feeling bad.
- Pie in the Face: What, in an episode entirely about pies, you think none of them would end up in somepony's face?
- Pinkie gets entirely covered in pies, some of them smeared on her face, after stomping the ground in frustration makes her unstable pie pyramid collapse atop her.
- And then, right after Rainbow Dash says "What do you think I did? Somehow make them all disappear into thin air?", the pie she sent floating away with a balloon splashes on Pinkie's head.
- Prehensile Hair: Yes, we already know that Pinkie's mane is prehensile. She ups it a notch here, however, by demonstrating she can even write on a notebook with the forelock.
- Properly Paranoid: Pinkie Pie believes that Rainbow Dash has been faking her love of her pies and that's what's been going on, with Dash disposing of them in various ways by distracting Pinkie. Turns out she's right.
- Rage Breaking Point: After Rainbow yet again gets rid of a pie Pinkie made for her to eat at the pie gathering, Pinkie snaps and chews her out.
- Reality Ensues: When Pinkie suffers her usual Amusing Injuries on the Wonderbolts' runway, an emergency medical technician immediately carts her off to check for internal injuries.
- The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: Issue 59 of the comics follows up on this episode by having Pinkie try finding out if there's any kind of pie Rainbow actually does like. Pinkie eventually learns An Aesop that it's okay for your friends not to like the same things you do.
- Sanity Slippage: As Pinkie's attempts to get Dash to eat one of her pies escalates, she slowly loses it, to the point where she refuses to even blink before she sees Dash eat a pie.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Rainbow never told Pinkie she didn't like her pies because she was afraid it would hurt her feelings. As Applejack points out, this ended up hurting Pinkie's feelings anyway.
- Series Continuity Error: The pipe that Rainbow Dash uses to send the pie to Tank looks like it's underground, embedded in soil, when it should have been embedded in the cloud walls of Dash's cloud house.
- Serious Business: Pinkie believes her pie baking is "more art than science" and considers the pie she makes for Rainbow at the beginning of the episode to be her "masterpiece".
- Shout-Out: The Idiosyncratic Wipe of a pie seguing to the Party-Planning Cave is, appropriately enough, using the typical transition music and rhythm from the Batman TV series.
- Skyward Scream: In the Party-Planning Cave, Pinkie Pie falls on her knees, turns toward the sky and lets out a long, anguished wail when she finally comes to realizing the awful truth: Rainbow Dash doesn't like pies!
- Stealth Pun: Rainbow Dash, usually prideful and a tad arrogant, is willing to eat a disgusting, foul-smelling something of her own creation to show just how sorry she was for the way she acted. She literally created and was about to eat a slice of Humble Pie.
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
- While trying to figure why Rainbow threw out her pie, one of Pinkie's thoughts was that Rainbow was Brainwashed and Crazy. After being caught in her lie, Rainbow tried to claim she was brainwashed. Pinkie shot it down both times because Rainbow hates washing.
- Upon finding out that Pinkie is celebrating Rainbow's 73rd Wonderbolts training session, Twilight and Rainbow both respond, independently of each other, "That's specific."
- String Theory: Pinkie sets up a board to diagram the web of conspiracy that demonstrates Dash has been ditching her pies. She even pins a couple of pie slices to the board.
- Super Speed: Yes, we know Rainbow Dash is fast... but during the Bullet Time moment, we see her tying up a pie to a balloon faster than Pinkie can blink.
- Supreme Chef: Pinkie, as usual. Everyone in Ponyvile loves her pies, even Tank, who gets digestive problems as a result. Yet not even she can make a pie Rainbow likes though, and her catching onto Rainbow's attempts to spare her feelings set off the plot.
- Third-Person Flashback: Pinkie's first trio of flashbacks clearly show Rainbow Dash tossing her pies away — and the reactions of the ponies who received those pies — even though at this point, Pinkie doesn't know Rainbow has been doing that.
- Twitchy Eye: After Rainbow Dash manages to dispose of the "Wake Your Friends Up" Day pie without Pinkie Pie seeing how despite all her attention, Pinkie frantically looks all over RD's bedroom, and her lower eyelids begin to twitch.
- Unwanted Gift Plot: Rainbow has been pretending to like Pinkie's pies for years, because she doesn't want to hurt Pinkie's feelings. She's done such a good job, she accidentally convinced Pinkie that pies are her favorite dessert, so Pinkie keeps making more and more of them.
- Was It All a Lie?: After it comes to light that Rainbow has been lying about eating Pinkie's pies for years, Applejack pointedly asks if she had been lying about anything else.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Pinkie aside, Twilight and Applejack are clearly disappointed in Rainbow for lying to Pinkie for years.