Scootaloo is doing a report on Rainbow Dash, intending to use a giant slingshot to reach Cloudsdale and get a report on Rainbow Dash as a Wonderbolt. However, the slingshot misfires, causing her to be launched prematurely and land in the yard of a pegasus couple. Scootaloo sees the pegasus in front of her has a rainbow mane and tail, and concludes that he's Rainbow Dash's dad, Bow Hothoof. Bow's wife, Windy Whistles, also comes out in the yard when she hears Scootaloo's excited squeal, the two confirming they are indeed Rainbow Dash's parents.
When Scootaloo tells them about her report, she says she's Rainbow Dash's biggest fan. Bow and Windy counter that that's impossible, because they are their daughter's biggest fans. They show Scootaloo around their house, showing off old pictures and memorabilia of their daughter, giving Scootaloo pictures and old things that Rainbow Dash liked. Through the tour, Scootaloo wonders where Rainbow Dash's Wonderbolt material is, to which Bow and Windy are confused. It turns out Rainbow Dash never told them that she became a Wonderbolt, which shocks Bow and Windy. Scootaloo suggests that since they showed her what Rainbow Dash was like when she was growing up, that she can show her parents the Rainbow Dash that Scootaloo knows.
At Wonderbolt practice, Rainbow Dash's parents show up, enthusiastically cheering on their daughter. Rainbow Dash is immediately embarrassed by their presence, trying to tell Scootaloo that she shouldn't have brought them here, calling her relationship with her parents "delicate". Later, at a Wonderbolt show, Bow and Windy continue loudly cheering Rainbow throughout the entire event, causing Rainbow Dash no end of embarrassment. Bow and Windy end up following her to the locker room, where they loudly cheer her on for hanging up a towel. This causes Rainbow Dash to finally snap; she screams at her parents that they're "too supportive", tells them that their constant cheering over anything she does (no matter how ordinary) has been driving her crazy, and tells them they need to go. Heartbroken, her parents leave, along with an angry Scootaloo, who decides to write a new report as she leaves her old one behind, causing it to open up and show a picture of her as an infant with her parents together, making Rainbow Dash become emotionally tearful and guilty over snapping at her parents.
Rainbow Dash follows Scootaloo outside, explaining that she wasn't always the best, yet her parents were always extremely enthusiastic about everything, even when she lost, or when it wasn't a competition. Even when she finally won something, her parents' exuberance got worse, causing the other fillies to abandon her and making her feel isolated. Scootaloo counters that it made Rainbow Dash who she was with her parents' enthusiasm, and their support gave her the confidence she needed to keep competing and eventually excel. Scootaloo laments she never got this type of support while growing up, so Rainbow Dash should appreciate her parents' efforts. Rainbow Dash finally agrees, and arranges for a private showing for Bow and Windy with the Wonderbolts, showcasing their best skills, as a way to say she's sorry for yelling and taking them for granted. Rainbow Dash even says that she's their biggest fan, and the three embrace, Bow and Windy admitting doing all of this was a little embarrassing.
Scootaloo details what she learned in her report at school. She gets a B for including too many pictures and a sandwich that Bow and Windy made for her (now covered in mold), but they and Rainbow cheer for her anyway.
- '80s Hair: In flashbacks, Windy Whistles has a puffier head of hair with large bangs.
- Ad-Break Double-Take: Scootaloo screaming in the Cold Open lasts through the theme song and a commercial break.
- Scootaloo melts into a Squee-ing, giddy lump of goo when she meets Rainbow Dash's parents.
- Bow and Windy are insanely enthusiastic and supportive of Rainbow Dash, and it's downright adorable.
- An Aesop:
- Never take your parents for granted, they always want the best for you and you are who you are because of their support and love. They may not show it in the best ways, but that's no reason to reject their attempt.
- It also carries a similar message to "All Bottled Up": if someone's behavior is bothering you and you don't want to hurt them, don't wait until pushes you too far and let it all out in a bad way. Find a civil and productive way to let them know how you feel so no one's feelings get hurt.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Upon being reunited with his daughter, Bow Hothoof tussles the top of Rainbow Dash's head while her mother pinches her cheeks.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Rainbow Dash's parents' die-hard enthusiasm for their daughter when they attend her Wonderbolt events sees them loudly cheering and refusing to stay quiet, causing Rainbow no end of embarrassment. They're shown to have been doing this since their daughter was a foal.
- Animation Bump: Pegasus wings are much more expressive in this episode than ever before, being used as Feather Fingers for counting and to plug a pony's ears.
- Birds of a Feather: Scootalo immediately bonds with Windy and Bow because they are the only ponies in Equestria who could be as big a fan of Rainbow Dash as she is.
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: One of the wall pictures of Rainbow Dash as a filly shows her wearing braces that requires a headpiece to help pull the teeth into place.
- Brick Joke:
- Scootaloo physically crams a part of Rainbow Dash's favorite meal (a pasta and potato sandwich on sourdough bread) into her report book. Later, when grading Scootaloo's report, Cheerilee mentions finding a moldy sandwich in it and knocks Scootaloo's grade down as a result. The sandwich itself winds up in the classroom trash can.
- While distracted by her parents' cheering during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Rainbow Dash accidentally snips off part of Spitfire's tail, much to her annoyance. Though it's an easy-to-miss detail, Spitfire's tail is still cut short during the Wonderbolts' final performance of the episode.
- After Scootaloo spends the episode photographing everything in sight, Cheerilee comments that her report was "a little heavy on the pictures."
- Broken Pedestal: Scootaloo briefly feels this way towards Rainbow Dash after she yells at her parents. She even tosses the notebook which contained her hero report on Rainbow Dash on the ground, and says that she's going to do her report on somepony else.
- Calling the Old Man Out: After the entire day of excessive cheering, Rainbow Dash snaps.Rainbow Dash: STOP!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!! Mom and Dad, you're both TOO supportive! This is exactly why I didn't tell you I was a Wonderbolt! You're just... TOO MUCH!!
Windy: Did we do something wrong?!
Rainbow Dash: YES!! The fireworks! The cheerleading! And... And... How do you even compare who is better or worse at hanging up a towel?!
Bow: We're just trying to be supportive!
Rainbow Dash: Well I'm tired of it! I've had enough of you two being so proud of every little ridiculous insignificant thing I do! [beat] I think you should leave.
- The Cameo:
- In Rainbow Dash's flashbacks, showing her competing with other pegasi, we see lots of filly and colt versions of other characters, including Spitfire, Soarin, Fleetfloot, Lightning Dust, Thunderlane, Cloudchaser, and Flitter. Most notably we also see Derpy, who during the first event of the montage, took first place. Interestingly enough, Derpy's eyes appear normal (non-derped) but over the montage sequence, as she drops in placement her eyes become more derped.
- We also see Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail walking on the Wonderbolts training grounds.
- In addition to his appearance as a foal above, Thunderlane is seen at one point in the Wonderbolts locker room wearing the full uniform.
- Doctor Hooves is wearing his tie and accompanied by Rose once more.
- Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon reappear when Scootaloo gives her report, applauding with the rest of the class.
- Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Bow and Windy dress into Rainbow Dash-themed fan wear over the course of a single scene change while at the Wonderbolts demonstration.
- Catapult to Glory: Scootaloo's chosen method to get to Cloudsdale consists of her scooter, a giant slingshot and a ramp. While it otherwise starts out perfectly ("WOOHOO!"), it ends with her landing headfirst into a cloud in a fashion that would have done credit to Wile E. Coyote.
- Continuity Cavalcade: Given that Scootaloo reports to Rainbow Dash's parents everything since she entered the Wonderbolts, many nods to previous episodes come up. Scootaloo notably recaps the events of "Wonderbolts Academy" and "Rarity Investigates!"
- Contrived Coincidence: Scootaloo just so happens to land right in Rainbow Dash's parents' yard after launching herself at Cloudsdale. That being said, given that her motivation for going to Cloudsdale is unstated but seems to have been to gather information on Rainbow Dash's life before moving to Ponyville, she may not have been aiming for their house in the first place.
- Cringe Comedy: Rainbow Dash's parents cheering for her for everything she does is either hilarious or embarrassing to watch. Some of the characters flip between them, either feeling sorry for Rainbow Dash or joking and smirking at her parent's antics.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: Scootaloo, during her Overly Long Scream, makes Windy and Bow plug their ears and plead with her to stop.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Rainbow Dash, you said "awesome" thrice. Scootaloo raises an eyebrow at the second and third "awesome".Rainbow Dash: I was always so embarrassed by my parents that I didn't realize their support actually made me the awesome, confident, amazing, awesome, and awesome pony I am!
- Didn't Think This Through:
- Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle point out there's a lot of better ways to get to Cloudsdale than using a slingshot... but by the time Scootaloo agrees with them, it's too late.
- As Rainbow Dash points out, Scootaloo really should have taken a step back and thought about it before just inviting Rainbow's parents to Wonderbolt Practice.
- Doting Parent: Bow and Windy did everything they could to encourage Rainbow Dash, even when she originally came in last in flying competitions, which helped to make Rainbow strive to be the best as she grew up.
- Eat the Camera: Played straight during Scootaloo's Catapult to Glory; inverted as the Overly Long Scream continues into the Ad-Break Double-Take (i.e. Spit Up The Camera; also see the respective entries).
- Ethereal Choir: Lampshaded — Bow had a choir sound effect installed on the door to their Rainbow Dash trophy room to accompany the awe one should experience when entering it.
- Face Palm: Rainbow Dash reacts this way throughout the episode to the embarrassment from her parents' antics, either with her hoof or with her wing.
- We already knew Scootaloo was one, but she takes it up several notches here.
- Windy seems to be one for Princess Celestia, not only having commemorative plates of her, but shelves filled with busts and statuettes of the princess of the sun.
- Fauxtivational Poster: Scootaloo finds one in Rainbow Dash's old bedroom with a picture of a tortoise on it and the slogan "When the going gets tough, the tough don't notice 'cause they have hard shells!"
- Feather Fingers: Turned Up to Eleven in this episode. Pegasus wings are used throughout for all sorts of gestures and utilities that have never been seen before, such as using individual feathers to plug their ears or to count out points in an argument, to the point of being Art Evolution in the way pegasi express themselves and perform basic tasks.
- Foreshadowing: Rainbow Dash's parents being all too eager to show and tell Scootaloo everything about their daughter's past accomplishments and lifestyle is the first sign that something bad is going to blow over between them.
- Forgot to Mind Their Head: In the Wonderbolt lockers room, Rainbow Dash has her head inside her locker when she's startled by her parents showing up, and she clonks her head on the upper shelf.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Several of the photos in Scootaloo's book are shots from previous episodes. However, moreso, we see several photos in Dash's parents' home of Dash as a foal and filly, showing some interesting features, including that Dash was an aggressive flier even as a foal (her mother having to struggle to keep her from flying off), and that Dash wore braces and a retainer as a younger filly.
- Funny Background Event: The way many of the background ponies react in horror and slowly back away from Rainbow Dash's parents. We also get a funny foreground event with Fleetfoot's amused smirk as she trots out of the locking room. Also, at the end of the episode, the sandwich Scootaloo added to her report can be seen in the trashcan.
- Gale-Force Sound: Rainbow's parents cheer so loudly that the Wonderbolts think it's wind turbulence before they figure out where it's coming from.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: Windy Whistles is worried that Scoots's excited shrieking will shatter her Princess Celestia commemorative plate set... which it does, but only cracks them very badly.
- Hammerspace: Scootaloo is somehow able to keep half of a pasta and potato sandwich on sourdough bread inside of her report book without squashing it into oozing out between the pages.
- Hidden Depths:
- Despite how Rainbow Dash felt about Tank when she first met him, it would appear she's always had an affinity for tortoises, judging by the poster in her childhood room.
- Scootaloo heavily implies that she doesn't have supportive parents (and a lack of support in general when she was growing up), which is the closest the show has ever come to mentioning her parents at all. More to the point, it shows another reason why she was so motivated to find an older pony who she could look up to, get support from, and treat as a family member.
- Rainbow Dash describes her relationship with her parents as "delicate". The episode, however, seems to indicate it's not that great (at least before she makes amends). Especially when you consider that she didn't tell her parents she was a Wonderbolt. Rainbow feared how they would react in their usual way upon learning she fulfilled her dream.
- Derpy used to be a really good flyer back in her fillyhood before an eye complication started to kick in.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Bow and Windy think Rainbow Dash's apology performance is a bit over the top.
- In the final scene, Rainbow cheers for Scootaloo's book report in the same over-excited manner as her parents.
- Impairment Shot: A non-alcoholic example, as Scootaloo first lands in Cloudsdale and hasn't yet registered that she wound up on somepony's cloud lawn.
- Instant Fan Club: One for Scoots with Dash and her parents at the end of the episode, celebrating getting a "B" on the report.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: When Rainbow's parents see her perform as a Wonderbolt, Fleetfoot assures her that besides being a little loud they weren't that bad. Then Rainbows parents set off fireworks, one of which goes off in the shape of Rainbow's face. Fleetfoot can only say a sympathetic "wow" as if to say "I stand corrected."
- Iris Out: The episode ends with an iris closing on a grinning Scootaloo being praised by Rainbow Dash and her parents.
- Rainbow Dash and Vapor Trail, despite having opposite personalities, both have two things in common: They're talented flyers who have Doting Parents.
- Rainbow Dash, who is Awesome Ego incarnate, loves applause, and is never shy about showing off. However, she hates the constant, unconditional praise she gets from her parents.
- Jaw Drop: Windy Whistles and Bow Hothoof's reaction to learning that Rainbow Dash joined the Wonderbolts is to have their mouths hanging wide open in shock. Scootaloo tells them they should see their faces, takes a picture and show it to them. They still have the same expression after a scene change.
- Lampshade Hanging: Right after Bow reveals his fandom for his daughter...Scootaloo: Whoa! Do you always wear that shirt?
Bow: Hah! Actually it's... Uh... Laundry day. But pretty great, huh?
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: For The Reveal of the whodunnit in "Rarity Investigates!"
- Left the Background Music On: Opening the door in the family shrine to Rainbow Dash triggers a Cherubic Choir sound effect, installed by Bow himself.
- Literal Metaphor: On revealing that Dash is a Wonderbolt and her parents' subsequent reaction, Scootaloo suggests they should see what their shocked faces look like. She then takes a picture on her instant camera and shows them what they looked like.
- Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Rainbow Dash's parents are finally introduced for the sole purpose of showing that you should never take your parents for granted, no matter how embarrassing they can be.
- Loony Fan:
- Scootaloo starts to border on this, following Rainbow Dash's parents all over the place. Her scrapbook already contains a lock of Rainbow's mane, and she adds a chunk of a sandwich made with Rainbow's favorite recipe and one of her (used?) diapers over the course of the episode.
- Bow and Windy combine this with Amazingly Embarrassing Parents.
- Minor Insult Meltdown: Rainbow Dash yells at her parents for praising her in hanging up a towel and it reduces them to tears.
- Mythology Gag: Windy Whistles's name resembles that of G1 pony Wind Whistler.
- Never My Fault: When Rainbow Dash has her outburst, her parents turn her arguments around, saying Rainbow embarassed them by yelling at them. On top of that, the ending has Rainbow doing all the realization and apologizing, while her parents don't have any realization at all. In fact, they do the exact same thing for Scootalo! Although, she literally asked for it.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Scootaloo even briefly losing respect for Rainbow Dash due to her treatment of her parents is enough to prompt a My God, What Have I Done? from Rainbow Dash.
- Overly Long Name: Rainbow Dash is very on-the-nose about the intent of her special, private show for her parents after yelling at them:Rainbow Dash: Mom and Dad, welcome to the... "I Love My Parents and I'm Sorry That I Took Them for Granted and I Know That They Made Me Who I Am Today So I Really Wanna Make It Up to Them"... event. Enjoy.
- Overly Long Scream: Upon meeting Rainbow Dash's father, Scootaloo lets out a shrill scream of excitement. It begins just as the opening starts; she's still doing it when it ends. Then she sees Rainbow Dash's mother, and let out an even longer, shriller scream that can crack even commemorative Princess Celestia plates.
- Perma-Stubble: Bow has a five-o-clock shadow. It was laundry day so he's not cleaned up.
- The Pollyanna: Bow and Windy are almost perpetually positive, cheerful and complimentary, at one point applauding Scootaloo's ability to tie blindfolds around their heads. Even after Rainbow tears them down with her annoyed rant, they continue to compliment her while clearly heartbroken over it.Windy Whistles: First of all, great job yelling at us, sweetie. No-one, [sniffs] can make their parents feel more worthless than you!
Bow Hothoof: [through tears] Your words were direct, clear, and... so painful! Is there nothing you can't do?!
- Reality Ensues: Uneaten food that isn't properly stored or sealed tends to spoil.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: After Scoot's What the Hell, Hero? and Broken Pedestal moments, she and Rainbow make amends, and she even helps Rainbow to apologize to her parents.
- Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: One of the Wonderbolts events Bow and Windy disrupt with their cheering for Rainbow.
- Running Gag: Scootaloo taking photos of everything and anything Rainbow Dash-related for her report throughout the episode, including her house, her parents, and RD herself.
- Same Character, but Different: Thunderlane, who was still a cadet last season, is now on the active Wonderbolt roster.
- Shrine to Self: Rainbow's parents have build one for their daughter, including everything from genuine mementos, to rather unremarkable ones, to pretty disgusting ones.
- So Proud of You: Even if they do take things over the top a bit, Rainbow Dash's parents make it very clear that they are proud of their daughter for what she has accomplished in her life.
- Squee!: Scootaloo lets out a loud one when she meets Bow Hothoof. It gets louder when she also meets Windy Whistles. They get wise by the time they show Scootaloo Rainbow's old bedroom, and cover their ears before opening the door.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Rainbow Dash's mane came from her father, while her coat and eye coloring came from her mother.
- Tears of Joy: Bow Hothoof sheds many of these over his daughter's accomplishments.
- Very Special Episode: The episode is about reconnecting with parents after some years of estrangement. It can't be a coincidence that the scheduled air date in the US is the weekend after Mother's Day and a few weeks before Father's Day.
- Was Too Hard on Him: Rainbow realizes she had been too harsh on her parents after being called out on by Scootaloo.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Scootaloo's reaction to the Calling the Old Man Out moment.Scootaloo: I met your parents hoping to learn more about you, but I don't like what I found out! [throws her notebook on the ground] I'll find somepony else to do my hero report on.