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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S8 E2 "School Daze Part 2"

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Continued from "School Daze – Part 1".

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/school_of_friendship_group_photo_s8e2.png
Friendship is magic... and school is cool!

Written by Michael Vogel & Nicole Dubuc
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With her School of Friendship closed, Twilight Sparkle enters a deep depression that not even her friends can break. She goes for a walk to try to think about what went wrong when Starlight Glimmer approaches her. Starlight tells Twilight that the reason things went bad for the school was because Twilight was trying to follow the Equestria Education Association (EEA)'s rules despite the school being unlike any other, and that she gave up too easily when Neighsay challenged her. Knocking the EEA rulebook into the water, Starlight convinces Twilight that she doesn't have to open up a school for education, but a school for friendship, and she can make her own rules about that as the EEA has no power to tell her how to do her job as Princess of Friendship. Twilight agrees, but knows that she needs to bring back the non-pony students to the school to make it work. Her friends offer to go to the various lands to request the students come back while Twilight and Starlight prepare for reopening the school. But when they get to the various guardians, they discover all the students have gone missing.

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The various guardians come to Canterlot to demand answers, and with tensions high between the species, Celestia urges Twilight to find the missing students before war breaks out. Regrouping back at Sugarcube Corner, Twilight and her friends try to figure out where the students might have gone, knowing that they had become friends. At that moment, Sandbar comes in collecting a large order of cupcakes. The Mane Six realize that Sandbar is likely getting goods to bring to his friends, and they follow him, finding that they have been hiding at the Castle of the Two Sisters. However, their antics have brought a pack of pukwudgies, who are attacking the students with their needles. The Mane Six quickly dispatch the pukwudgies and rescue the students, who gain more respect realizing these are the heroes of Equestria. They agree to come back to the school.

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With all the students collected, and Celestia and the guardians from the various species having arrived, Twilight breaks the magic seal, officially reopening the school. However, Chancellor Neighsay emerges from a portal where the lock once was to demand answers, still refusing anypony entry to the school due to his final decision. He again reiterates that the school is not accredited and the non-pony students are dangerous, but Twilight insists that this will be a school of friendship and doesn't have to follow the EEA rules. With little to argue against, Neighsay leaves in a huff, still blindly convinced that Twilight's school would bring ruin to Equestria. The students are able to convince their guardians to let them keep learning friendship, who all more or less agree, thus restoring their own friendships and alliances in the process, and a new school session starts, but without the rigors of the EEA rules, with each of Twilight's friends handling their lessons in their own way.


Tropes:

  • Acting Unnatural: Sandbar barely maintains his composure when he sees the Mane Six in the bakery. Lucky for him, Pinkie is the only one paying attention and doesn't make much of it, though she still ends up exposing him when she mentions his cupcake order and the others put two and two together.
  • Adult Fear: Having children under your protection gone missing. The guardians' behavior in blaming the other and going to war because of it (minus Thorax) easily translates to Anger Born of Worry.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of the leaders of the different species just blame each other for the students disappearing, accuse each other of kidnapping, and are quick to threaten retribution unless they turn up soon. Averted with the Mane Six, who save the students when they are in over their heads.
  • An Aesop: If you feel in your heart that something is right, you shouldn't give up on it too easily; if you're doing something that's never been done before, the old rules might not cut it any more.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Yona welcomes Sandbar bringing cupcakes by wagging her tail and hanging her tongue.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Courtesy of Starlight.
    Starlight Glimmer: And you're in charge of all the friendship in Equestria! Why should you let somepony else stop you from doing your job?
  • Bad Liar: When Pinkie asks Sandbar why he's ordered so many cupcakes, he claims he's just "really hungry" while sweating and giggling nervously.
  • Bear Hug: Yona pulls Gallus, Smolder, and Ocellus into one while saying how much she likes them.
    Yona: Yona not really like school. But, Yona like new friends!
    Smolder: [straining] Smolder... like... breathing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Mane Six, along with Starlight and Spike, find the students just in time to rescue them from the pukwudgies.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Pinkie Pie yells one when Twilight sorrowfully says cupcakes won't help her situation.
    • A simultaneous one for Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack when they learn their students from outside Equestria have gone missing.
    • Also Grandpa Gruf's reaction when Gallus tells him he refuses to leave the school.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: While the Mane Six are explaining to the students that they're reopening the school, but this time teaching their own ways and not following the EEA's rules, Fluttershy blindly tosses the rulebook behind her... where it hits a straggler pukwudgie.
  • Body Wipe: Like in the previous episode, the "School of Friendship" song reprise uses characters crossing the screen for scene changes. First Fluttershy, then Gallus, Pinkie Pie, Silverstream, and finally Rainbow Dash and Gallus carrying a bench.
  • Bookworm: Ocellus. She knows about both the Castle of the Two Sisters and the pukwudgies because she was the only one of the students to pay attention during class and is seen reading some books inside the castle while she and the others wait for Sandbar.
  • Brick Joke: Silverstream is fascinated by stairs since they didn't have them underwater and wishes she could show them to the other hippogriffs. Later, Seaspray asks her to show him the stairs that she mentioned.
  • Brutal Honesty: Starlight, per usual, although now she's using it in a positive manner for "tough love" in her role as Guidance Counselor.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Both metaphorically and literally. Chancellor Neighsay insults the other creatures to their faces and says that allowing them into a school would destroy Equestria. The other leaders are all angered by this, and after being insulted one too many times, all of them (including Thorax) approach him with angry looks in their eyes until Celestia is able to talk them down and convince them Twilight knows what she's doing.
  • The Cameo:
    • Pharynx makes a nonspeaking appearance when Fluttershy visits the Changeling Kingdom to tell Thorax the school is reopening.
    • Luna also appears in the throne room but doesn't speak.
  • Childish Pillow Fight: When Sandbar brings pillows to make the Castle of the Two Sisters more comfortable, Smolder is quick to find another use and start a pillow fight with the pony. Then Ocellus turns into a bugbear and bury them under pillows.
  • Combination Attack: Starlight and Twilight combine their magic to create a barrier which repels the pukwudgies without affecting anyone else, similar to Cadance and Shining Armor's spell at the climax of "A Canterlot Wedding" but smaller in scale.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Twilight wallows in her own misery, Pinkie Pie brings cupcakes to cheer her up. When that doesn't work, Pinkie exclaims, "I didn't know that this was a pity party! I would have brought ice cream."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The throne room in Canterlot castle retains the redesign from the movie.
    • The Castle of the Two Sisters is seen for first time (outside of a dream or flashback) since "Twilight's Kingdom - Part One".
    • Angel Bunny is seen hopping up and down gleefully to answer a question as a member of Starlight's class, referencing their short scene together in "No Second Prances".
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Played with. After the song towards the end of the episode, Ember is shown covering her ears and says that Smolder can stay at the school as long as they stop singing.
  • Cower Power: Ocellus briefly hides under Smolder's tail and butt after saying she wants to stay at the school.
  • Defensive "What?": When Rarity ponders what the missing students would do, Pinkie Pie's first hunch is that they'd hang someplace while eating lots of cupcakes. When her friends give her dubious looks, she shrugs with a defensive "Whaaat?" She happens to be right on the money.
  • Disapproving Look: Twilight earns herself a collective glare from the world leaders when she rejoices at the wrong time.
    Seaspray: The students left us notes before they disappeared. When the school closed, they didn't want to say goodbye to each other. They claim they ran away to stay together.
    Twilight Sparkle: I can't believe it! They did learn friendship!
    [glares]
    Twilight Sparkle: Sorry.
  • Dispel Magic: The seal and shield Chancellor Neighsay puts over the School of Friendship looks impressive, but still Twilight has no problem breaking it with her own magic once she decides to do so. The spell does seem to include a warning for its creator when dispelled, however, as Neighsay is prompt to gate on the scene shortly thereafter.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When a single member of their species goes missing due to wanting to stay with their new friends, almost every leader is willing to resort to violence on Equestria and each other unless/until they are found, mostly because they believe the students must have had inside help from another nation. It turns out they did, though from a well-meaning pony student. At least partially justified for Silverstream — she is the niece of Queen Novo, after all, making her family, and she was under General Seaspray's protection, so if anything happened to her, Novo would be more than willing to have Seaspray rally his guards to find her and bring her home safe and sound.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The brief scene where Applejack tries to convince the Hippogriffs to let Silverstream return to the school features a non-speaking appearance by Sky Beak, Silverstream's father.
  • Fantastic Racism: Neighsay proves to be far from alone in it, as the other species leaders, save for the ponies and changelings, are quick to show they have little in the way of trust or respect for each other when upset. Justified to a degree with how most of them have had little positive interaction with other species until recently, knowing about each other mostly through stories rather than experience.
  • Finger Muzzle: When Rainbow Dash is about to repeat her whole explanation and apology, Grampa Gruff shuts her up with a finger of his talon, so he can talk instead.
  • Force Feeding: Pinkie shoves a cupcake in Prince Rutherford's mouth when visiting him, to try to cheer him up.
  • Gasp!: Rarity gives one when Twilight says dresses won't help her with her situation.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Given a nod when Pinkie says she would have brought ice cream instead of cupcakes had she known she was going to a pity party.
  • Heroic BSoD: Twilight falls into a deep depression after her school is closed, burying herself under a mountain of pillows with a box of tissues.
  • Human Cannonball: The Mane Six finish off the pukwudgies by having Rainbow Dash stuff them in Pinkie's party cannon and launching them into the distance. Pinkie was thoughtful enough to strap parachutes to them in the process, giving them a safe landing.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The reprise of the "School of Friendship" song, when not using Body Wipes, have various things crossing the screen for scene changes, like a cider mug, an apple tree, or Twilight's new school guidebooks falling down.
  • I Will Show You X: After Chancellor Neighsay calls the non-pony students "dangerous and unpredictable", Ember growls "I'll show you unpredictable!" while menacingly moving toward him.
  • Karma Houdini: Neighsay receives no actual punishment for his speciesism toward other creatures and (indirectly) playing a role in Equestria almost going to war with the other creatures. The worst that happens to him is being chewed out on his shortsightedness by Twilight and Celestia and the school opening against his wishes.
  • Killer Rabbit: The pukwudgies, which appear to be adorable, colorful little furry critters... until they get angry, bare their sharp fangs and start launching their quills like missiles.
  • Left the Background Music On: After the intro sequence, we see Twilight moping in her room, sad music filling the scene. Then Spike enters, and removes the needle from a nearby record playing, stopping the music.
  • Match Cut: When the Mane Five are doing their "apology tour" to the world leaders outside of Equestria, each time we cut from one to the other, the pony is in the exact same spot and posture, and their interlocutors in the same relative position.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The Mane Six when they hear the students have run away from their kingdoms.
    • The Student Six's reaction when they learn that their running away almost caused their respective homelands to go to war.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Twilight flails her hooves in the air when she proclaims, "There is no bright side!"
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Silverstream is fascinated by stairs because she's spent most of her life underwater as a seapony. Since they could just get around by swimming, they never needed stairs. General Seaspray also shows interest in seeing them after hearing Silverstream mention them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The students all ran away from home because they didn't want to stop being with their friends and hid in the Castle of the Two Sisters. This sends the kingdoms into paranoia and many of them blame either the ponies or others for their disappearance and threaten war (or at least violence) if the students are not found. The students are suitably shocked when they find out about how their nations reacted to their disappearance.
  • Not Bad: Yona's reaction to the Mane Seven and Spike saving the students from the pukwudgies is "not bad... for ponies".
  • Not So Different: Celestia shuts down Neighsay's declaration that allowing other creatures to join ponies won't work by pointing out that earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi once thought the same way about each other.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sandbar when he sees the Mane Six are looking for his friends, since he's helping them hide.
  • Only Sane Man: Thorax is the only leader that doesn't try to blame anyone for the students running away or threaten a war with anyone and is shocked when Ember, a friend of his, accuses him of hiding something.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Even Celestia is shown worried when the other leaders start to turn violent when they are discussing the missing students and quietly tells Twilight to find the students before their world is at war.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Gallus does this to convince Grampa Gruff to let him stay at the school.
  • Rain of Arrows: When Yona first charges the pukwudgies, they turn around and shoot their quills upward in a manner like this to rain down on her. Only Silverstream using a wagon as a makeshift shield saves her.
  • Reality Ensues: The Everfree Forest is still not a safe place to hang out in long term, so when six unattended kids set up camp there, they only manage to avoid trouble for so long before the inevitable monster attack.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Neighsay tries to shut down the School of Friendship a second time when he says it can't open because the EEA disallowed it. Twilight counters by saying that it won't be under the EEA's rules, and she makes her own rulebook for how the school is going to be run.
  • Sequel Hook: Even though Twilight manages to keep her friendship school open, Chancellor Neighsay refuses to give up his views, indicating that it's likely the Mane Six will encounter him again. Voice actor Maurice LaMarche confirmed that this won't be the last we see of Neighsay.
  • Shockwave Stomp: When Chancellor Neighsay insists that the school will remain closed after Twilight breaks his lock, he punctuates it by stomping his hoof to produce a shockwave that ruffles everyone present. Twilight and the others aren't willing to back down, however.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: While Chancellor Neighsay declares the school is still closed and makes several speciesist comments about the other creatures, Twilight and Celestia tell him off. Twilight states that this is a friendship school, and as the Princess of Friendship she makes the rules for it and the EEA rules don't apply. Celestia later states that Neighsay's comment about how ponies cannot coexist with other creatures is just how the different ponies felt about each other long ago, and they were proven wrong.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Neighsay's final words to Twilight.
    Twilight Sparkle: I promise you, Chancellor, my school will help protect Equestria.
    Neighsay: Or destroy it!
  • Speak in Unison: Although they are not at the same place, Grampa Gruff, Prince Rutherford, Thorax, Ember and Seaspray are shown all saying "Our student is gone!" at the same time through a Split Screen.
  • Spike Shooter: When angered, the pukwudgies can launch volleys of their quill-like hairs with enough force to bury them in solid wood.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: After they learn that each of the non-pony race students are missing, we see Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack react to the shocking news with a Big "WHAT?!" in the same Split Screen used for the revelation.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Silverstream dumbfounds her friends when she is fascinated by stairs, of all things. At the end of the episode, General Seaspray turns out to be just as fascinated.
  • Stupid Evil: Not really evil, but Neighsay is a pro-Equestria Well-Intentioned Extremist... whose open Fantastic Racism against the non-pony leaders and their students almost jeopardize his country's international standing.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The students joins hands (well... paws/talons/hooves/claws) when they are surrounded by pukwudgies, similar to what the Mane Six did in the previous episode.
  • This Means War!: Nearly all the leaders of the other nations threaten violence against Equestria and each other, unless/until the missing students are found and returned to them. This very nearly plunges the world into war.
  • Tough Love: Invoked by Starlight when she tells Twilight what she did wrong rather than trying to comfort her.
  • Twitchy Eye: Twilight suffers from a twitchy lower eyelid whenever it is mentioned that her school is unaccredited. She grows out of it when telling off Neighsay, something Spike notices.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: When Twilight's friends travel to the different kingdoms to tell the five races that they're reopening the school, they all give the same message, cutting from one pony to the next in sequence. They're even posed the same.
  • Use Your Head: Spike headbutts one of the pukwudgies.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After being basically told to step aside by everyone when Twilight reopens the school, Chancellor Neighsay states that he still believes the school is a threat to Equestria, and jumps back into his portal, indicating he still wants to see it closed for his own biased interests for Equestria's safety.
  • Visual Pun: The dress Rarity tries to cheer Twilight up with resembles a jester's outfit, reflecting Twilight's own feelings of failure.
  • Volumetric Mouth: While not talking, Rainbow Dash gears up to repeat the apology and explanation with a deep breath this way.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Neighsay, in his views at least rather than his actions (for now). He believes the benefits of friendship should only be for ponies, that the other species are dangerous, will use what they learn from Equestria to harm ponies, destroy Equestrian society, and/or that teaching them simply won't work.
  • Wham Line: The Mane Six are each told that their students can't come back to school because they are all gone.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Yona briefly moves this way when she sees Sandbar returning to their sleepover spot and rushes out to meet him.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Neighsay dramatically says "None Shall Pass!" when he still refuses to allow the school of Friendship to be attended after Twilight removes his seal, accentuating his words with a Shockwave Stomp. He eventually stands down when Twilight and Celestia tell him off and state the school won't be under the EEA's jurisdiction.

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