Starlight Glimmer surprises both Rainbow Dash and Rarity by inviting each one to help Twilight Sparkle teach a class on compromise and friendship without telling the other. After explaining to the students that they can spend time together despite their differing interests, Twilight lets them leave to enjoy a day off — only for them to immediately start arguing over what to do.
As a practical demonstration, Twilight invites the class to watch Rainbow and Rarity spend the day. A game of buckball is ruined when Rarity gets so caught up in creating new, improved uniforms that she forgets to keep an eye on her team's goal basket, and Rainbow loses her patience while Rarity picks out a set of glittery boots at the shoe store. The final straw comes when Rainbow accidentally smashes the gems Rarity has been collecting from a cave, and the two declare their friendship to be at an end.
Starlight tries to help them find some common ground by having them read each other's favorite novels; Rainbow is assigned one of Rarity's Shadow Spade mysteries, while Rarity has to read one of Rainbow's Daring Do adventures. However, they both spend their time ridiculing the stories and Rainbow admits she didn't read hers. Starlight leaves during the argument, but returns with news that Twilight needs their help to find the stolen Amulet of Aurora. As Rainbow and Rarity investigate, Rarity admits that she didn't read her book either, sparking fresh anger between the two.
Their search leads them to a swamp, which Rainbow determines is too deep and hazardous to swim or fly across. Rarity builds a raft so they can reach the far shore, where they encounter a giant toad-like creature called a bufogren, with a soft speaking voice, very sensitive ears, and terrible breath. In order to get close enough to question it, they feed it a magical breath freshener concocted from mint leaves and a tuft of cloud. The bufogren tells them that it saw the Amulet being taken up a mountain, and Rainbow carries Rarity up to a door set into the rock face. Rarity picks its lock with the extendable stiletto heel on one of her boots, and the two apologize for belittling each other's interests.
The door leads to a passage whose other end is hidden behind a trophy case in the School of Friendship. The culprit turns out to be Spike, who had been working with Twilight and Starlight to create a situation that would remind Rainbow and Rarity of their friendship. To end their day, they decide to go shopping together so Rainbow can get some new buckball gear and Rarity can outfit herself to cheer her friend on.
- An Aesop:
- Friends don't have to be entirely the same to be close. Differing talents and interests are what make them captivating to get to know.
- Part of being a good friend is respecting that a friend's interest is no less than one's own.
- Awesome, but Impractical: At one point, Rarity planned to open a boutique in Cloudsdale. Rainbow shot down the idea by pointing out that Rarity would need Twilight to cast the butterfly wings spell on her everytime she needed to deliver merchandise, and that fancy clothes tend to restrict a pegasus' ability to fly. Rarity herself seems to have some difficulty in seeing why these are issues, though.Rarity: And then there was the time Rainbow Dash called my Cloudsdale Couture Boutique idea "impractical"! Imagine that! Just because I needed Twilight to perform the butterfly wing spell on me whenever I wanted to deliver merchandise!
- Batman Gambit: Starlight and Twilight fake the theft of an artifact and enlist Rarity and Rainbow Dash to retrieve it, betting the two would find common ground during the search.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Inverted. Both Rainbow Dash and Rarity have critical opinions about each other's respective books (Daring Do and Shadow Spade), but neither side has a point because they didn't bother reading it, thus negating what they "disliked" about the book they read.
- Chekhov's Gun: The boots Rarity purchases near the beginning come in handy when she and Rainbow need to open the door that leads back to the school.
- Continuity Nod:
- During the Cold Open, Rarity wears the same outfit she wore while camping in "Sleepless in Ponyville".
- When Rarity complains that the action sequences of Daring Do are "so ridiculously over-the-top", Rainbow Dash points out that she's actually met Daring Do.
- The Amulet of Aurora was one of the magical artefacts Princess Celestia gifted to the school in "A Matter of Principals".
- Face Palm: "Facehoof: The Episode".
- Rainbow Dash facehoofs during the buckball match, comically pulling on her face, from Rarity not paying it any attention.
- Twilight Sparkle facehoofs on exiting the gemstones cave, as Rainbow and Rarity end up arguing and swearing off their friendship before their students.
- Starlight Glimmer facehoofs during her counseling session, which Rainbow and Rarity spend mostly railing against each other.
- Fair-Play Whodunnit: There are plenty of clues that allow the viewer to deduce that Spike is the one who "stole" the artifact. The thief's footprints are stated to not be a pony's, their trail would require wings to traverse, and Starlight's actions right before the "theft" give him and his friends motive to set the whole thing up to repair Rarity and Rainbow's friendship.
- Feud Episode: Rainbow and Rarity spend the whole episode arguing, which is nothing compared to what Rarity and Applejack did all the way back in Season 1.
- The Friends Who Never Hang: This episode is another rare occasion that explores the relationship between Rarity and Rainbow Dash. The last time that they were together was three seasons ago.
- Furry Reminder: Rainbow Dash hangs a lampshade on how impractical high heels are for ungulates like ponies. Rarity responds with an actual horse nicker.
- Hairpin Lockpick: Rarity uses the retractable heels on her boots to pick the lock on the door she and Rainbow Dash find — despite the fact that, since a shoe's heel is straight, it would realistically be fairly useless for getting the tumblers of a lock to move to the specific positions needed to open it.
- Hidden Depths:
- Rainbow Dash is able to gauge how deep a swamp is by lowering a reed into it (somehow she learned from Scootaloo's Filly Guides Camp).
- Rainbow is both surprised and impressed when she sees that Rarity knows how to build a raft.
- Rainbow Dash didn't read Rarity's book, which earns a What the Hell, Hero? moment from Rarity, only to find out during the search that Rarity didn't read Rainbow's book, either. Rarity just did a better job faking it at the time.
- Rarity complains about how the action sequence descriptions in Daring Do "drag on", yet takes offence when Rainbow complains about the drawn-out clothing descriptions in Shadow Spade.
- In Another Man's Shoes:
- Starlight invokes this by getting Rainbow Dash and Rarity to read the favorite book of the other. Neither does so.
- Starlight also uses a variant on the trope name, leading Rainbow to point out how impractical Rarity's fancy boots are.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- The fact that Rainbow Dash and Rarity have had little in the way of major interactions is pointed out, as they can only recall two events where they helped each other out.
- Rarity brings up Rainbow's "erratically scheduled" Wonderbolts training. Since Rainbow became a Wonderbolt, her on-screen training sessions have been sporadic at best.
- Literal-Minded: When Starlight suggests that Rainbow and Rarity put themselves in each other's shoes, Rainbow immediately states that there's no way she'll be wearing Rarity's glittery boots.
- Mundane Utility: Rainbow Dash works the Sonic Rainboom into a kick to (try to) score a goal in buckball.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Even out of good intentions, Twilight's efforts to shoehorn a friendship moment between Rarity and Rainbow Dash causes tension that almost ends their friendship.
- Not So Different. Starlight tries to invoke this with Rainbow and Rarity by pointing out that they both like reading. Unfortunately, it fails to work.
- Odd Friendship: Played for Drama. When Twilight's students ask what Rainbow Dash and Rarity have in common and they can't think of anything, it strains the foundation of their friendship.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: While there is no single "Equestrian accent" to slip out of, for an American-made show Rainbow Dash sounds considerably more Canadian than usual in this episode, with Ashleigh Ball saying things like "learnt" and pronouncing "lever" as "lee-ver."
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: After their first two activities draw a lot of tension between them, Rainbow Dash accidentally breaking Rarity's gems while looking for treasure spurs an argument which quickly leads to them stating that they're not friends anymore.
- Rarity says her new boots were marketed as "made for trotting", a reference to "These Boots Were Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra.
- Rainbow Dash propels the makeshift boat over the swamp by flapping her wings very fast, like Evinrude from The Rescuers.
- Tactical Withdrawal: Starlight makes one as the argument between Rainbow and Rarity over the books heats up, in a bid to get "reinforcements" to help her.
- Trail of Bread Crumbs: The Amulet of Aurora leaves a trail of blue dust suspended in the air behind it, which Rainbow Dash and Rarity easily follow.
- Tricked-Out Shoes: Rarity's boots have a retractable heel. She bought them because she couldn't decide between flats and high heels, but they also prove useful as a Hairpin Lock Pick.
- Visible Odor: The bufogren's halitosis is visible as a cloud of green gas coming out of its mouth.
- You Need a Breath Mint: The bufogren has terrible breath that almost makes Rainbow Dash and Rarity vomit. Fortunately, the ponies are able to whip up a breath mint for him.