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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S8 E13 "The Mean 6"

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Chrysalis is back with a vengeance! But finding good minions is hard.

Written by Michael Vogel

Twilight and her friends wait for a photographer from the Canterlot Historical Society before they can set out for a long-overdue camping trip in the Everfree Forest to spend time for themselves while taking time off from the School of Friendship. The photographer arrives, and rushes to primp up the group, secretly pulling a strand of hair from each, before snapping their picture. Pinkie points out the photographer missed Starlight Glimmer, and she reluctantly takes her photo too before leaving the mares confused. Outside the school, the photographer turns out to be a disguised ex Queen Chrysalis, who has a spell that, by using the photographs, the strands of hair, and a representation of the pony's cutie mark, is able to create a clone of that pony, which she does to create evil copies of the Mane Six from trees from the Everfree Forest. The Mean Six turn out to show opposite qualities of their counterparts — Mean Applejack lies, Mean Rarity is a hoarder, and so forth.


She tells the Mean Six that she has heard about an artifact of great power related to the Elements of Harmony somewhere in the forest that, as part of her revenge on Starlight for taking her hive away, she wants to use to create a new army of changelings and destroy the Mane Six and Starlight, but that they need to find it. Mean Twilight realizes that Chrysalis could have attacked the Mane Six while she was in their midst, and considers her weak; as Chrysalis leads them on the search, Mean Twilight tells the others they should split up to find it faster, and leave Chrysalis alone, and starts secretly planning with the other Mean Six to overpower Chrysalis when they find the article and keep the Elements' power all to themselves.

Meanwhile, the Mane Six and Starlight are working towards where Twilight has planned their camping experience, near the Tree of Harmony. Pinkie runs off ahead while Fluttershy falls back to help a chick fallen from its nest, resulting in the group getting separated from each other. At that moment, the various Mane Six and Mean Six ponies find each other in various incidents, but neither recognize the differences from their counterparts, instead thinking their friends are somehow acting like mean jerks out of nowhere, leading to several conflicts: Mean Rarity has horded all the supplies being carried by Mane Applejack and Mane Rainbow Dash; Mean Applejack criticizes Starlight's appearance, making her think she gave her the camping equipment for the sake of making fun of her; Mean Twilight causes Mane Fluttershy to break down in tears after she faces the wrath of the forest creatures terrorized by Mean Fluttershy, Mane Twilight starts thinking her friends don't like the trip when Mean Pinkie claims it to be a "boring, lame, no-fun retreat", and so forth. Importantly, Mane Pinkie tells Mean Twilight the history of their friendship and reveals the location of the Tree of Harmony to her.


Ultimately the Mean Six regroup under Chrysalis's watch and Mean Twilight directs her to the Tree, stopping only to ravage the campsite that Mane Twilight had already set up. At the Tree, she tells the others to prepare to use the Tree's power to overtake Chrysalis, who hears this; at the same time, the Elements begin to react to the doppelgängers' presence. Chrysalis and Mean Twilight end up in a magic battle while the others attack the Tree. The Tree reacts by grabbing all of the Mean Six with tendrils of light, holding them high, and reversing the spell, reducing them to dead wood. Chrysalis realizes her plan has failed, then once again swears revenge on Starlight and flees. Meanwhile, the Mane Six have also finally regrouped, but their various encounters with the Mean Six have left them bitter at each other. Twilight quickly stops the argument and reminds them all they are friends, and even though they're close, they can get on each other's nerves sometimes and get upset over their various quirks, but they know how to overcome them. The seven quickly rebond and continue onto the campsite, surprised to find it in ruins. They laugh it off and set about to fix it up as to enjoy the rest of the camping trip as Chrysalis flies off into the night sky.


  • Actor Allusion: When the photographer messes with Fluttershy's mane, it briefly springs into the shape of Pinkie Pie's unkempt curls — a nod to Fluttershy and Pinkie sharing a voice actor.
  • Acting for Two: Or four, in the case of Andrea Libman (who voices both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie) and Ashleigh Ball (who voices both Applejack and Rainbow Dash), since the Mean Six have the same voices as the Mane Six, meaning all of their voice actors had to voice act two characters.
  • An Aesop: Even really good friends can get on each other's nerves sometimes.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: When the Mean Six get to the campsite, Mean Fluttershy takes the tent meant for the real Rarity in her teeth and tosses it back and forth like a puppy.
  • Animals Hate Him: The animals angrily berate Fluttershy for antagonizing them due to the actions caused by her clone, leaving her to wallow in despair.
  • Animation Bump: Chrysalis' cloning ritual is much more luminous and detailed than past seasons, as well as the scene where the Mean Six are killed by the Tree of Harmony. Some of the clones' expressions are also more exaggerated than before, such as Mean Rarity and Mean Fluttershy's Slasher Smiles, and Mean Twilight gritting her teeth as the real Pinkie annoys the heck out of her. The Everfree Forest's areas also change their lighting and appearance depending on which group is on the screen at the time (see Mood Lighting below).
  • Appeal to Force: When Chrysalis can't convince a few members of the Mean Six to obey her, she resorts to threatening them. It works for a time, but the Mean Six's dark personalities quickly derail the changeling's agenda.
  • Apple of Discord: Simply the clones and the real ponies getting separated from their respective groups and intertwining in various situations is what causes the real ponies to think their friends have gone bad, making them fight each other for the episode.
  • Are We There Yet?: Mean Pinkie Pie complains that the trek through the forest is boring with these words. Mean Twilight then points out they have no idea where "there" is supposed to be.
  • Aside Glance: When Fluttershy wonders out loud "What just happened?", she does so while looking straight at the audience.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Though Chrysalis created the Mean Six (and is to some extent their mother), by the time they find the elements, the former changeling queen is strained beyond belief.
  • Beam-O-War: Chrysalis and Mean Twilight get into a bout of magic-beam arm-wrestling after Mean Twilight turns traitor. Mean Twilight would have won if not for the Tree of Harmony interrupting.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Pinkie Pie, of all ponies, is completely offended when Mean Twilight refuses to attend to Fluttershy while she is upset. The moment she leaves, the real Twilight shows up and Pinkie is furious with her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Tree of Harmony immediately realizing the Mean Six are not the Elements' true wielders and destroying them.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When the Mane Six start bickering between themselves because of all the misunderstanding caused by their clones, Twilight has to yell "EVERYPONY, QUIET!" to silence them before reasoning her friends.
  • Big Word Shout: Pinkie, twice.
    • When she notices that the photographer (Chrysalis in Disguise) hadn't taken Starlight's picture, she yells a big "WAIT!"
    • Later, she yells for everypony to "STOP!" and smell the roses.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Chrysalis gets away once again, and the Mane Six plus Starlight never know about the Mean Six being the cause of their camping trip disaster. But what matters is, they are still friends through thick and thin, their friendship being strong enough to handle anything thrown at them, and the Tree of Harmony has seen to it that the Mean Six never hurt anypony ever again.
  • Body Horror: Once being caught by the Tree of Harmony, the Mean Six slowly start to wither. And it ain't pretty.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Fluttershy breaks down when the forest animals, including the bird she helped, turn against her as a result of what her clone did.
    • Twilight is almost reduced to tears when an encounter with Mean Pinkie leads her to believe her friends don't like the trip.
    • Starlight is hurt when Mean Applejack insults her, thinking Applejack gave her the equipment to make fun of her.
  • The Bus Came Back: After a lengthy absence, the former queen Chrysalis returns to attempt to wreak havoc again.
  • Call-Back:
    • Chrysalis finally follows through with the threat she made back in the season 6 finale to take revenge against Starlight Glimmer.
    • Pinkie Pie recaps some of the events from "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2" to Mean Twilight (thinking she's the real Twilight), such as the Rainbow Power, Twilight's castle emerging from the ground, and the song, "Let the Rainbow Remind You", in that order.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Technically, since Chrysalis did create the Mean Six. One of the first things that Chrysalis says is how attempting to take on the Mane Six while they were together and she had the element of surprise would be stupid because she was alone. Mean Twilight promptly fires off that that means she needs friends to help her.
    Chrysalis: Servants!
  • Camping Episode: The Mane Six and Starlight set out on a retreat to camp out near the Tree of Harmony, which ends up getting jeopardized by Chrysalis and the Mean Six.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Mean Twilight uses this against Chrysalis. When Chrysalis almost overhears her plans to betray her and threatens to destroy her and make a new copy, Mean Twilight says she has already figured out where to find the Elements of Harmony, so Chrysalis needs her for her plans to work.
  • Character Death: The Tree of Harmony zaps the Mean Six and turns them back into ordinary pieces of wood.
  • The Chessmaster: Mean Twilight becomes this to Chrysalis when she learns the location of the Tree of Harmony and secretly manipulates her, while hiding her plot to take the Elements for herself.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Chrysalis in pony form has a ladybug for cutie mark... just like Ocellus's pony form did in "School Daze – Part 1".
    • The behavior of the "Mean Six" (Applejack being a compulsive liar, Rarity being greedy, etc.) is reminiscent of the "Discorded" versions of the real Mane Six from "The Return of Harmony", with the exception of Twilight, who's more of a jerk rather than being depressed all the time. Their color schemes are also virtually identical to when the Mane Six were "Cutie Unmarked" in "The Cutie Map".
    • While discussing what might be wrong with (Mean) Rarity, Rainbow suggests Poison Joke may be responsible.
    • One of Mean Applejack's Blatant Lies involves a Bugbear.
    • Mean Twilight is heard muttering "keep it together, you can do this" to herself, two phrases the real Twilight often uses to calm herself and keep herself focused.
    • The Mane Six go on another friendship retreat, this time joined by Starlight.
    • Mean Twilight getting progressively annoyed as Pinkie talks nonstop is a reference to the very first episode when the real Twilight did the same thing, also with Fluttershy.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Mean Twilight happens to suggest splitting up to find the Tree of Harmony at the same time the real ponies have gotten separated from each other, which also leads to both groups intertwining and causing the real ponies to hate each other for the episode.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Mean Rainbow, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie attack the Tree of Harmony... but completely fail to harm it. The moment that the Tree decides to fight back, it wipes out the Mean Six in a matter of seconds.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The episode is generally one for Chrysalis and the Mane Six's evil clones, with the real ponies' plot being generally a side story.
  • Death by Irony: The clones are killed by the Tree of Harmony, because they are not the Elements' true welders and behave their complete total opposites.
  • Deflector Shields: Mean Twilight has the full extent of Twilight Sparkle's powers at her disposal, which includes the creation of a dome force-field to foil Chrysalis's beam attack. Then she absorbs the shield to turn it into a ray, leading to a Beam-O-War.
  • Despair Gambit: Chrysalis plans to break Starlight's spirit by making her think her friends have turned against her. It fails spectacularly; while some of the Mane Six are disturbed by their friends' doppelgangers' actions, Starlight only gets mildly confused.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The Mean Six have desaturated colors, different looking cutie marks, and act opposite to their personality, yet the Mane Six somehow mistake them for their own.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Chrysalis's plan to steal the Elements of Harmony is rather thin on details. Firstly, she has no idea where the Elements are specifically being kept — she knows they're somewhere in the Everfree Forest, but as Mean Twilight points out, "it's a big forest." Only a stroke of blind luck solves this issue. Secondly, Chrysalis doesn't know how to use the Elements, she just knows they are attuned to the Mane Six somehow, and assumes her knockoffs will be able to wield them. As it turns out, they aren't, as the Tree sees right though the façade and destroys them. Finally, she believes the Mean Six will be as obedient to her as her hive once was, but finds she can barely control them, with the group ultimately rebelling against her.
  • Dissension Remorse: The Mane Six's camping trip almost becomes a disaster when they start resenting each other thanks to all the misunderstandings caused by their clones; luckily, Twilight manages to resolve the argument, and the ponies begin to tearfully reconcile over whatever problem they encountered, and they happily resume their trip.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: The Mean Six attacking the Tree of Harmony and Chrysalis's plan to steal the Elements with knockoffs ultimately angers the Tree enough that it sends out tendrils of magic which grab the clones and lift them off the ground before destroying them in an instant. This is the most dramatic yet of the few times we've seen it take action itself, and shows enraging it is a bad idea.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode title refers to the mean clones of the Mane Six, and the Mane Six thinking each other is suddenly acting mean out of nowhere.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Mane Six and Starlight (except the Tree of Harmony) are completely unaware of Chrysalis's plan, or that they had run afoul of Psycho Ranger counterparts, instead believing that they themselves were being jerkish to each other. Of course, the audience was aware the entire time.
  • Embarrassing Password: One of Mean Applejack's lies is about a party ran by a squirrel named Jerome that requires a password. It's "rutabaga".
  • Embodiment of Vice: The behaviors of the Mean 6 act the complete opposite of the Element each actual pony represents. Mean Applejack represents dishonesty, Mean Fluttershy represents spite and cruelty, Mean Pinkie represents cynicism and boredom, Mean Rarity represents greed, Mean Rainbow represents sloth and disloyalty, and Mean Twilight represents deceit and scheming.
  • Epic Fail: Chrysalis bungles her plan so badly that the Mane Six aren't even aware she is opposing them. The former Changeling queen expects her minions to be able to wield the Elements of Harmony against Starlight, thus completing her Despair Gambit against the pony who turned her hive against her. Instead, Chrysalis's minions are unable to wield the Elements of Harmony and are destroyed, and Starlight's friendship with the Mane Six is only strengthened.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Chrysalis consistently refers to the Elements of Harmony as a "weapon" and sees them as nothing more than a tool to take down all who oppose her, rather than mystical artifacts powered by friendship. She also believes that the Mean Six would be capable of wielding them simply because they're copies of the original Element Bearers, not realizing that the Elements run on The Power of Friendship and require their bearers to both have a strong bond (which the Mean Six don't) and embody the virtues that the Elements represent (which the Mean Six definitely don't).
  • Evil Doppelgänger: The Mane Six's clones, as mentioned, who behave the complete opposite of their real deal.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Chrysalis and the Mean Six reach the Tree of Harmony before the Mane Six do. They destroy the Mane Six's campsite for no reason except to be jerks.
    • Even though Chrysalis wants to destroy Starlight, she wants to ruin Starlight's friendship with the Mane Six before she does it. Mean Twilight even points out that Chrysalis had the opportunity to attack when she was in disguise, but didn't for the sake of her revenge.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Mean Six are evil clones of the Mane Six, but have the opposite personalities of their good counterparts (flanderized, as for all of them but Mean Twilight the only trait they exhibit is the trait that is opposite their element of harmony).
  • Evil Laugh: By Chrysalis after she sheds her disguise and after the clones are reunited.
  • Evil Plan:
    • Chrysalis's scheme goes like this: have the Mean Six steal the Elements of Harmony and use them to destroy the Mane Six while Starlight is Forced to Watch, then destroy Starlight. After that, she intends to use the Elements to create a new hive of earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi for her to rule as queen. Unfortunately, once they find the Elements, they quickly recognize the clones as fake, and destroy them instead.
    • Mean Twilight's scheme behind Chrysalis's back goes like this: overpower Chrysalis once they get to the Tree, and once she is defeated, they will take the Elements and keep the power all to themselves.
  • Evil Versus Evil: At the end of the episode, Mean Twilight turns against Chrysalis, and the two fight.
  • Exact Words: Mean Twilight tells Chrysalis, "You need me." Turns out she's being fairly accurate, as she needs her so she can turn against her once they get to the Tree and overpower her.
  • Failed a Spot Check: None of the Mane Six (or Starlight) catch on to the Mean Six's physical oddities — muted colors, disheveled manes, flat eye colors, altered cutie marks, etc. — and don't really question their out-of-character behavior, except to get angry with them. It's downplayed with Rainbow Dash and Applejack, who discuss whether (Mean) Rarity has been exposed to poison joke or a curse, and with Rarity, who notices that (Mean) Applejack looks "peaky", though they never suspect that she is a different pony entirely. Notably, the Mean Six likewise confuse members of the Mane Six for their own "team", despite being well-aware that they are copies of already-existing ponies. The only one who averts this is the Tree of Harmony, who immediately sees through the deception and destroys the clones.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Mean Six are turned back into ordinary pieces of wood by the Tree, but not before withering and turning dry. This makes the Storm King's death look pretty tame in comparison.
  • Farce: Mistaken identities abound as the ponies of the Mane Six and the Mean Six keep crossing paths. The Mane Six have a falling-out and reconcile, without ever realizing they had mistaken the villains for each other. And the Mean Six's plan falls apart without the heroes doing anything to stop it (or even being aware of it, for that matter). Only the Tree of Harmony sees right through the deception.
  • Feud Episode: The latter half of the episode becomes this when the Mane Six mistake the Mean Six for their actual friends and causes a rift amongst the real deal once they meet up. Fortunately, Twilight resolves it in the end.
  • Final Speech: As she is being destroyed by the Tree of Harmony, Mean Twilight cries out: "Imbeciles! You ruined everything!!!"
  • Finger-Tenting: Mean Twilight presses the feathers of her wings together like fingers when she realizes the real Pinkie can lead her to the Elements. Doubles as Feather Fingers.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The photographer bluntly snubs Starlight, and only grudgingly takes her picture at Pinkie's insistence. She also has a cutie mark of a ladybug, and her magic is a Sickly Green Glow. Moments later, she is revealed to be Chrysalis.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Chrysalis is in disguise and takes a sample and picture from Fluttershy, her mane poofs into the same puffy style as Pinkie Pie's for a split-second. Could also serve as a Stealth Pun given that Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie both have the same voice actress.
    • For a very brief moment right before the clones wither and sag from the Tree of Harmony's magic, Mean Applejack, Pinkie and Rainbow appear genuinely scared and frightened.
  • Freudian Slip: When Mean Twilight escapes the real Pinkie, she mumbles to herself out loud she needs the others if "her" plan is going to come together. Chrysalis overhears her saying "Your plan?" and shows up, leading her to quickly hide her scheming by saying she meant "the plan".
  • Full Moon Silhouette: Done by Chrysalis in the very last shot as the reconciled Mane Six are cleaning up the campsite.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Mean Six each quickly develop their own agendas, and are constantly bumping up against each other and Chrysalis.
  • Genetic Memory: Averted. Despite a piece of their counterparts' hair being used in their creation, the Mean Six are lacking the Mane Six's memories. They don't know where the Elements of Harmony are, nor are they able to recognize Starlight by sight alone.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors:
    • The Mean Six have noticeably dull colored coats and manes, as well as flat eye colors, with Mean Twilight's being more reddish than purple. However, the real Mane Six (except the tree of Harmony) never realize even one difference and this does not stop them from thinking they're the real ponies acting horrible out of nowhere.
    • The clones are created and emerge out of a Sickly Green Glow; when they are being destroyed by the good magic of the Tree of Harmony, the Elements turn black and release wisps of white light.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The Tree of Harmony takes this up to eleven. Once the Elements quickly recognize the clones are not their true wielders, the Tree defends itself by unleashing tendrils of light which hold the clones high and effectively kill them.
  • Going in Circles: Happens to Fluttershy when she separates herself from the Mane Six; at this time, her Evil Doppelgänger has antagonized the forest animals and the baby bird she helped; once she reappears later, she is hated by them for seemingly treating them poorly.
  • Hat Damage: Once Chrysalis has gotten sick of her minions wandering around, she disintegrates Mean Applejack's hat before the latter could says more than a few words. Too bad, as she might have clued them that the real Mane Six were close by (not that Chrysalis would believe anything said by Mean Applejack by this point).
  • Hate Sink: Among the Mean Six, Mean Applejack and Mean Fluttershy are easily the most unpleasant. Not to mention they respectively insult Starlight and scapegoat Fluttershy. Even Queen Chrysalis is fed up with them out of her new lackeys — particularly Mean Applejack for her endless strings of lies.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: The Mane Six's camping trip is jeopardized by a series of misunderstandings caused by their clones, and causes a rift amongst them which almost destroys their friendship.
  • Impostor-Exposing Test: As each clone acts the opposite of their true counterpart before the Tree of Harmony, the Element associated with that pony briefly turns black in response that she isn't the real deal. When all of the Elements have done this, they release tendrils of light that hold the clones still and drains the spell that gave them life out of them.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: This episode sees Chrysalis at her most pathetically inept, failing to command respect from the Mean Six, spending the episode trying to keep them on-task as they want nothing to do with her, and then being betrayed and overpowered by the evil Twilight. There are moments where you just feel sorry for her having to deal with them.
  • Instant Runes: When Chrysalis casts the spell that create the Mean Six, a circle of glowing green runes appear around her on the forest's floor.
  • Ironic Echo: "Worst day ever!"
  • Irony:
    • Chrysalis's plan is to get the Mean Six to use the Elements of Harmony to destroy the Mane Six and Starlight, yet when they find them, it's the Mean Six that get destroyed.
    • The clones are created from trees, yet they are destroyed by one.
    • Instead of destroying the ponies themselves, Chrysalis almost destroys their friendship.
  • Karma Houdini: Chrysalis, once again (for now). Even though she's shown she can no longer make an effective plan.
  • Karmic Death: After everything the clones did throughout the episode, the Tree of Harmony rightfully punishes them by undoing the spell that gave them life.
  • Kick the Dog: Pretty much everything the clones do, which causes the real ponies to think they've gone bad and ruined the camping trip.
    • Mean Fluttershy treats a baby bird like dirt, demoralizing its attempt to get back to her nest, leaving the real Fluttershy to be resented at by all the forest animals and believes they hate her.
    • Mean Applejack cruelly mocks Starlight over all the camping equipment the real Applejack gave her, making Starlight feel like Applejack only gave her the equipment so she could laugh at her.
    • Mean Pinkie unintentionally tricking Twilight into thinking this is a "boring, lame, no-fun retreat" causing her to think her friends don't like the trip, and Mean Twilight showing No Sympathy for Fluttershy which angers Pinkie to the point she thinks Twilight doesn't care if her friends are upset, which causes a heated argument between the real Twilight and Pinkie.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Naturally, this is what causes both the real and fake groups to intertwine, resulting in a disagreement which almost ruins the real ponies' camping trip.
    • Mean Twilight insists the clones split up to find the Tree of Harmony easier, while simultaneously secretly plotting to overpower Chrysalis and take the Elements' power all to themselves.
    • The real Mane Six end up getting separated to find Pinkie and Fluttershy, thanks to the former racing far ahead of the group and the latter being left behind, leaving Applejack and Rainbow on one side, Rarity and Starlight on another, and Twilight herself on a third.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Being the former ruler of a very far away Evil Empire, Chrysalis has no knowledge of how much things have changed regarding the Elements.
    • Also, the real ponies have no idea that Chrysalis is around and that they had mean doubles throughout the entire episode.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Elements of Harmony quickly recognize that the Mean Six are not their true wielders, shown as they turn dark when each member of the Mean Six acts the opposite of the element their Mane Six counterpart represents. When all the Elements turn dark, the Tree of Harmony protects them by destroying the Mean Six.
  • Mana Drain: When the Tree and Elements recognize the clones as fake, they release tendrils of white light which grab the fake ponies and hold them high, and drains the life right out of them, turning them back into wood.
  • Match Cut: When Chrysalis is swearing revenge once more after the Mean Six are destroyed, the view dissolves to a similar close-up of Twilight's face in the same spot with the same expression as her own.
  • Minimalist Cast: The only characters present are Chrysalis, the Mane Six plus their clones, and Starlight.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The Mane Six and Mean Six constantly leave the area they were just in as their counterpart from the other group are appearing. In one case, Rarity and Starlight leave just before Chrysalis arrives too.
  • Mistaken Identity: The Mane Six mistake the members of the Mean Six for their actual friends, thinking they have gone bad out of nowhere, and eventually get into a heated argument with the real deal once they return. Likewise, the Mean Six mistake the real Mane Six for members of their own group as well.
  • Mood Lighting: Scenes with the real Mane Six have brightly colored forest areas while scenes with their fake doubles and Chrysalis have darker-colored ones. When both groups intertwine, the background becomes a mixture of half-bright, half-dark, and when Twilight and Pinkie begin to fight, the background stays dark to represent their strife. Then when all the ponies regroup and Twilight helps them reconcile, the background slowly fades to a brightly colored sunset.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Regular Pinkie has the others stop and smell the roses.
    • Mean Pinkie tries to entertain herself by sitting near a pond with bubbling water. Once a bubble comes up to the surface and pops, she taunts it.
  • Mythology Gag: Chrysalis using trees to create the Mean Six references her My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic issue, where she and the rest of the changelings were born from a tree infected by dark magic.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: Pinkie Pie briefly changes into her "Rainbow Power" form while telling Mean Twilight about how they fought Tirek.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The clones successfully find the Elements, but they quickly recognize them as fake and destroy them. If the Tree didn't destroy the clones when it did, the villains would've made off with the Elements without the heroes even realizing.
  • Never My Fault: Chrysalis still blames Starlight for turning her own hive against her. She brought it upon herself for being cruel and selfish to her subjects.
  • Never Say "Die": Chrysalis intends to "destroy" the Mane Six and Starlight.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: All Chrysalis really manages to do is give the Mane Six another event to bond over.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: The Tree of Harmony itself. The moment the Elements alert it to the Mean Six's break-in, what does it do? No fancy World-Healing Wave or meaningful Last-Second Chance like you've come to expect; just simple tendrils that Mana Drain the Mean Six to "death" on the spot.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: When Mean Twilight insists that Mane Pinkie should keep going when she stops to attain to Fluttershy, Pinkie shouts at her in anger that it can wait and they must make sure that Fluttershy is okay.
  • No Sympathy: Mean Twilight shows absolutely no remorse toward Fluttershy breaking down in the woods, which angers Pinkie and initiates an argument between her and the real Twilight.
  • Not Himself: The real ponies are bluntly disturbed by the way their clones are acting, believing their actual friends have gone bad out of nowhere which results in a heated feud.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chrysalis when the Tree of Harmony is destroying the Mean Six, and Twilight when the real ponies see their campsite ruined.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Pinkie sees Fluttershy breaking down, she immediately drops all trace of Cloudcuckoolander tenancies and attains to her, and absolutely refuses to do anything else, especially when Mean Twilight wants to get on with it, prompting Pinkie to shout at her in defense saying the schedule can wait and Fluttershy needs help. It is to the point she's absolutely furious with the real Twilight thinking she doesn't care if her friends are upset and would rather stick to her schedule.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: When the Mean Six try to retrieve the Elements of Harmony, the Tree of Harmony is able to tell they're frauds and destroys them.
  • Only Sane Man: In a non-human example, the Tree of Harmony was the only one that immediately realized the Mean Six are not the actual ponies, and in return, destroys them.
  • Out of Focus: The real Mane Six don't get as much screentime as their doppelgängers.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The members of the Mean Six are all visually distinct from their counterparts: they have darker color schemes, slightly unkempt manes, and their cutie marks are all wrong (Mean Applejack has green apples instead of red, Mean Rainbow Dash's mark is upside down, and so on). Somehow this doesn't prevent either group (or even the forest animals) from mistaking the doppelgangers for the originals, or vice versa (except the Tree of Harmony).
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When Mean Twilight asks Chrysalis why she didn't just attack her enemies when she was close to them, Chrysalis responds that the Mane Six and their allies have defeated the entire changeling army in the past. Even if Chrysalis had the element of surprise, fighting the Mane Six and Starlight Glimmer alone was likely going to end badly.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Mean Six created by Chrysalis, who all act inversely to their good counterpart's Element of Harmony: Mean Applejack always lies, Mean Fluttershy is needlessly cruel, Mean Rarity is greedy, Mean Rainbow Dash is a disloyal Lazy Bum, Mean Pinkie Pie is constantly bored, and Mean Twilight Sparkle is a conniving schemer.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Mean Twilight gets one when the real Pinkie reveals the location of the Tree of Harmony.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • When Pinkie is furious with Twilight due to the misunderstandings caused by their clones, she complains, "She just wants us to stay... on... schedule!"
    • Chrysalis exclaims "Just... retrieve... the Elements!" when she is strained to her limits with the Mean Six.
    • Pinkie Pie happily declares "This was... the worst... day... ever!", when the Mane Six and Starlight come upon the destroyed campsite.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: The machinations of Mean Twilight and Pinkie to their opposite Mane counterparts are enough to push their sanities over the mark (especially the latter), causing the two to get in a heated argument once they meet up. By the time the entire Mane Six regroups, they are all furious at whoever was the situation of their respective counterparts and argue until Twilight resolves the feud.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Both Twilight and Pinkie call each other out for the former's scheduling and the latter's anger issues when they meet up, unaware the conflicts were really caused by their mean counterparts in different locations.
      Pinkie Pie: You know what, Twilight? Maybe if you weren't so worried about schedules and being a neurotic perfectionist, you'd realize you're the one ruining the retreat for your friends!
      Twilight Sparkle: [gasps] Well, if my friends don't care about the retreat I planned for them... maybe they should've stayed home!
      Fluttershy: Can't we all just get along?!
    • Rarity also gives one to the Mean Applejack for insulting Starlight.
      Rarity: I'm going to make sure that she doesn't break a hoof out there, and then you and I are going to have a serious talk.
  • Revenge: Chrysalis intends to make good on her threat of vengeance against Starlight by using the Mean Six, powered by the Elements, to destroy the Mane Six, making Starlight watch as she takes her friends away — then destroy her, too. Unfortunately, the clones get destroyed instead.
  • Sanity Slippage: The loss of her hive hasn't been kind to Chrysalis's mind. She carries on a conversation with photographs of the Mane Six before she casts the evil spell to create the Mean Six.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Twilight gets antsy when her schedule for the nature retreat goes off by ten minutes, because the photographer was late. She remains annoyed about being dragged off-schedule repeatedly, until the trip is completely derailed. It's also one of the things Mean Pinkie rants about when she encounters a member of the real Mane Six.
  • Sequel Hook: After the Mean Six get destroyed and Chrysalis's plans are ruined, she once again swears revenge on Starlight and leaves the Everfree Forest, hinting she'll be coming back again soon.
  • Series Continuity Error: Chrysalis is seen wearing her crown, despite the fact that she'd noticeably lost it when her throne was destroyed.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The clones first appear materializing out of green light from the tree trunks.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • The comical Spike is completely absent from the episode, given the serious nature of the episode and to make the clones' and Chrysalis' main roles more foreboding. Spike is also the only main character the disguised Chrysalis does not take a photo of. We also get no appearance of Derpy nor any background or supporting character.
    • Out of the real Mane Six, Pinkie Pie noticeably has the shortest screen time, only appearing twice throughout the scenes where the real and fake intertwine, possibly to keep the villainous focus of the episode serious.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile:
    • By Chrysalis as she is creating the Mean Six and when Mean Twilight is secretly manipulating her into finding where the Tree is hidden.
    • Mean Twilight has a rather frightening one as she is overpowering Chrysalis just before the Tree of Harmony destroys her and the rest of the Mean Six.
    • Mean Fluttershy flashes a few of these when taunting the forest animals.
    • Also Mean Rarity when she hordes all of Applejack's stuff.
  • Spotting the Thread: Rainbow is the only one other than the Tree of Harmony to do this, showing her intelligence and hyper observance. While she doesn't realize they are dealing with imposters due to not seeing them for long enough, she knows SOMETHING is wrong, and not only tries to tell everyone else, but even offers suggestions as to what they might be dealing with (poison joke, curse, etc). Unfortunately there isn't time for anyone (even her) to investigate further, as the doubles all leave and end up getting themselves killed.
  • The Starscream: Mean Twilight Sparkle secretly plots to steal the Elements of Harmony for herself and overthrow Chrysalis as soon as she is away from her would-be-ruler.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Mean Twilight calls Chrysalis out on the complexity of her plan — Chrysalis was close enough to the Mane Six to steal bits of hair from their heads, so why didn't Chrysalis just attack them? Chrysalis actually does have a decent answer, though; she was worried about the odds of her winning a seven-on-one fight if things went pear-shaped.
  • Stealth Pun:
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Mean Twilight refers to the others as "fools" and "imbeciles" as she concocts a plan to defeat Chrysalis and capture the power of the Elements. She successfully locates the Elements and nearly wins in a one-on-one fight with Chrysalis, but the rest of the Mean Six foolishly attack the Tree of Harmony, causing it to effectively kill them.
    Mean Twilight: Imbeciles! You ruined everything!
  • Sympathetic Magic: Chrysalis's spell to create her doppelgangers requires a bit of hair from each pony she's copying, as well as having a picture of them and and an etching of their cutie mark in the tree used to create them.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • Twilight is reduced to tears when Mean Pinkie calls their camping trip a "boring, lame, no fun retreat" and the real Pinkie calls her out for believing she insulted Fluttershy, making her think her friends don't like what she planned for them.
    • Fluttershy also cries when the forest animals lash out at her, believing they hate her.
    • As does Starlight when she believes Applejack gave all her gear to make fun of her.
  • Thinking Out Loud:
    • Chrysalis has a conversation with the photos she took before she creates the Mean Six, all while explaining her plan and ranting about how she will have her revenge on Starlight by taking away her friends from her first. A clear sign of her Sanity Slippage since she was last seen.
    • Mean Twilight does the same later, explaining her plot to betray Chrysalis and almost being caught doing so by her.
  • Token Good Teammate: Mean Rainbow is the least mean of the clones. While the others are big jerks by heart, she's merely lazy and only follows the group without really doing anything mean, playing no truly jerky part whatsoever. She's also the only one not to spend an extended time with the real Mane Six or mess with them either way, and the only one who does not partake in attacking the Tree of Harmony. She's also the clone who has the least dialogue. Since the real Rainbow Dash is often the Token Evil Teammate of the Mane Six, it makes sense.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The multiple encounters with their clones cause the Mane Six to assume their actual friends have gone bad out of nowhere and are ruining their camping trip, resulting in a fight.
  • Transflormation: Chrysalis creates the Mean Six out of wood, a sample of hair, and pictures. After the Tree of Harmony destroys the Mean Six, they turn back into colored pieces of wood.
  • Twitchy Eye: Chrysalis gets one of these while dealing with the Mean Six's antics — specifically, on hearing Applejack's password above.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The two plots are Queen Chrysalis creating the Mean Six to find the Elements of Harmony (the main one), and the Mane Six going on a camping trip (the B-story). The two plotlines intersect when the Mane Six and Mean Six mistake one counterpart for the other, but the Mane Six never even learn that Chrysalis was involved or that they had evil counterparts.
  • Understatement: Rarity admits that she "used to overpack a tad." Try a giant pile of suitcases.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Tree of Harmony and the Elements both take "Loyal Phlebotinum" to a new extreme — once they figure out that the Mean Six are not their true masters, the Tree of Harmony immediately destroys them.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: This episode comes off quite dark and gruesome, due to what the Mean Six do throughout the episode, Chrysalis is back for revenge, the clones' antics almost ruined the real ponies' friendship, and the way the Mean Six are destroyed by episode's end. To add up to it, most of the episode is set in a dark environment, and it is the thirteenth episode of the season.
  • The Unfought: Chrysalis herself never gets to face off against the Mane Six. In fact, they aren't even aware of her presence, except when they meet her disguised as a photographer.
  • Unknown Rival: The Mane Six and Starlight have absolutely no idea that Chrysalis is around nor of her Evil Plan throughout the entire episode, that is, except for the Tree of Harmony.
  • The Unreveal: Even though Chrysalis disguises herself as the Canterlot Historical Society photographer in the opening scene as part of her revenge plan, we never get to see what happened to the actual photographer, and it's likely the Mane Six won't be documented.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mean Twilight says she and the Mean Six should split up to find the source of the Elements, as she claims they'll find it faster that way; at the same time, the real Mane Six got separated as well thanks to Pinkie racing ahead and Fluttershy being left behind. This causes the clones to interfere with the real Mane Six with a series of misunderstandings, making them hate each other for the episode.
  • Villain Ball: Mean Applejack stumbles upon Starlight, giving her the perfect opportunity to lead her to Chrysalis. But not long after, she insults Starlight over all the camping equipment Applejack gave her, driving her away (mere moments before Chrysalis would have come across them, to boot).
  • Villain Decay: Chrysalis was previously a major villain who nearly conquered Equestria twice and succeeded in one Bad Future. Now, without the help of her hive she is forced to create her own imperfect servants that betray and disobey her and she herself has slowly lost her mind in her exile. In fact, her decay is the exact reason Mean Twilight decides to betray her, viewing her as too weak to be the leader. Her plan ends up failing without the Mane Six ever even realizing she was there.
  • Villain Episode: This episode mostly focuses on Chrysalis and the artificial clones she conjures up. Although the actual Mane Six play pivotal parts as well, they only get about 15-16 minutes of the total screentime, and half of that is shared with their clones.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Chrysalis leaves the Everfree Forest after her plan is ruined thanks to the Tree of Harmony destroying the Mean Six, still vowing her revenge on Starlight.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The episode begins with Chrysalis infiltrating the School of Friendship in disguise to take pictures of the Mane Six and steal bits of their manes to make their mean clones.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Mean Pinkie and Chrysalis both do this several times, groaning out of boredom and frustration respectively. The real Fluttershy also does this briefly when the real Twilight and Pinkie are arguing.
  • Wait Here: Mean Twilight says this to Pinkie and Fluttershy before slipping away, only for the real Twilight to show up seconds later.
  • We Will Meet Again: Chrysalis's revenge is ruined when the Tree of Harmony immediately recognizes the Mean Six as fake and destroys them to protect itself, and with that, she vows revenge on Starlight and the Mane Six once again before fleeing.
    Chrysalis: Servants always fail you in the end! Just wait, Starlight. I will have my revenge!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pinkie's reaction to Mean Twilight (thinking she's the real Twilight) when she shows no remorse for Fluttershy when she finds her alone in the forest. This is also Rarity's reaction toward Mean Applejack for insulting Starlight, though believing she's the real Applejack who's currently with Rainbow.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The Mane Six and Starlight didn't know that the Mean Six had been causing trouble throughout the trip. Do they continue arguing that they didn't do any of the stuff their counterparts did? Nope. Instead, each one fesses up that perhaps their respective faults (Rarity's neediness, Twilight's myopic scheduling, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's boredom) might've ruined the trip, and are willing to make up for it.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In contrast to her previous appearances, where Chrysalis was at the height of her power thanks to feeding on the love of others, in this episode Chrysalis has to resort to subterfuge because she's considerably weaker without her hive. Mean Twilight would have overpowered her in their duel if not for the Tree of Harmony interrupting.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Mean Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy say it's the "worst day ever" to Chrysalis when she rallies the Mean Six to go after the Elements. At the end of the episode when the Mane Six come upon the destroyed campsite, the real Pinkie says the same thing in her usual, happy demeanor.
  • You Fool!: Mean Twilight has a tendency to call the other Mean Six members "fools". Mostly when she's out of earshot of anypony else. Her last words to them start with "Imbeciles!"
  • You Have Failed Me: After the clones get destroyed by the Tree of Harmony, Chrysalis snaps, "Servants always fail you in the end!"
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Twilight's reaction when the Mane Six and Starlight see their campsite destroyed.


Video Example(s):


The Mane 7 Reconcile

When the mane ponies are at each other's throats for their camping trip being ruined due to all the misunderstandings caused by their clones, Twilight stops them and helps them make up, showing even the greatest of friends can get on each other's nerves sometimes and their friendship is strong enough to handle anything.

How well does it match the trope?

3 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DissensionRemorse

Media sources: