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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S8 E5 "Grannies Gone Wild"

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The Golden Girls: Pony Edition.

Written by Gilliam M. Berrow
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Rainbow Dash learns from the Wonderbolts that the Wild Blue Yonder roller-coaster in Las Pegasus is soon to close down forever, and that all of the other Wonderbolts have ridden it. Rainbow doesn't want to miss the chance and excitedly tells everypony else she meets, but she's reminded by Applejack that she's scheduled to teach at the School of Friendship. Applejack offers to substitute for her if she takes Big Macintosh's place to chaperone the "Gold Horseshoe Gals" — elderly Granny Smith, Apple Rose, Auntie Applesauce, and Goldie Delicious (and Goldie's numerous cats) — during their annual trip to Las Pegasus. Rainbow reluctantly agrees.

As the older mares are preparing to travel by balloon, AJ urges Rainbow to keep an eye on them and avoid any activities that might be too exciting for them; otherwise they may have to leave Las Pegasus early, and Rainbow won't get her chance to ride the coaster. They soon leave, though Rainbow struggles with how slow the mares move against her own eagerness to get there. Once they arrive, the older mares want to go start having fun, but Rainbow convinces them they should check into their hotel and take a nap, which would give her time to sneak out and ride the coaster. Granny and the others feign agreement and head off to bed. Rainbow takes off but finds the line on the coaster is too long, but when she returns to the hotel room, the four mares have disappeared.

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Rainbow rushes around the hotel and finally finds them, watching Goldie Delicious expertly tossing horseshoes in an arcade game. Rainbow, haunted by AJ's advice to her, thinks this is too exciting and interrupts the game, making Goldie lose. Granny suggests next they go to a buffet, but while they try to take some of the more exotic choices, Rainbow, again on AJ's caution, makes them all stick to soup. They then head to a dance club, where the mares see the magicians Big Bucks and Jack Pot, and use their charm to get five tickets to their show that night. At the magic show, Big Bucks and Jack Pot select the four mares for a trick, helping them to escape a flooded water cage. Rainbow thinks the mares are in danger and interrupts the trick to save them. Granny and the others give Rainbow a firm reprimand, telling them that they have been coming to Las Pegasus for years, and had seen this trick before and knew they would be safe. They had thought that Rainbow had been limiting their fun on purpose, even though they thought she would be a hoot to be around. Rainbow admits that she only wanted to ride the coaster, but had been following what AJ told her to do; the mares laugh that off, knowing that AJ was being overly protective of them. Since they know Rainbow wants to go on the coaster, but the line's otherwise too long, they show her a perk of their frequent stays at the hotel, as they are able to cut through the lines to the front as honored guests, and Rainbow and the others enjoy the ride before its permanent closure.

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On the way back to Ponyville, Rainbow realizes the four mares are a lot more fun than it seems, and Granny and the others think that Rainbow, no longer beholden to AJ's rules, was also fun to be with as well, and make her a member of the Gold Horseshoe Gals and join them on their next trip to Las Pegasus, which Rainbow accepts.


Tropes:

  • An Aesop:
    • You're never too old to have fun and indulge in the things you enjoy, and taking the time to do the things you want can make your life all the richer for it.
    • There is such a thing as being too protective. This can make it harder for those you're caring about to enjoy life to the fullest and make it more difficult for you to connect with them as people.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Applejack can still be overly protective of her family members.
  • All There in the Manual: The Ultimate Guide book confirms that Jack Pot is indeed Trixie's father. (Although it writes his name as "Jackpot".)
  • Ambiguously Related: One of the magicians, Jack Pot, looks a lot like a male version of Trixie. He has the same coat and mane colors, a similar hairstyle, the same eye color, the same magic color, and the same job as a stage magician. He also fails to perform a Smoke Out when things start going sour for him, which is a Running Gag with Trixie. He is officially confirmed to be Trixie's father in the Ultimate Guide book, but Word of God is that it could be changed.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The Golden Horseshoes as they pretend to be tired so they can sneak off to have fun in Rainbow's absence, including saying "Yawn" as they fake yawning.
  • Buffet Buffoonery: At the hotel's buffet restaurant, Rainbow Dash prevents the Golden Horseshoes from eating extravagant food like nachos and gives them only soft things like carrot soup instead, much to the older mares' chagrin.
  • The Bus Came Back: Applesauce and Apple Rose were last seen way back in "Apple Family Reunion".
  • Call-Back: Judging by the golden statue of themselves in the lobby, and the small modifications to the exterior to add architecture in the shape of a boater hat and mustache, the Flim-Flam Brothers have taken full ownership of Gladmane's casino from "Viva Las Pegasus".
  • The Cameo:
    • Sandbar, Smolder, Yona, Pinkie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Angel can be briefly seen during the montage of Rainbow describing the Wild Blue Yonder to everyone she knows.
    • Svengallop from "The Mane Attraction" is seen in the background of the dance club scene, sulking in a booth.
    • The pony who ran the escape room in "All Bottled Up" appears here, overseeing the line to the Wild Blue Yonder.
  • Continuity Nod: Applesauce stretches back her wrinkles, briefly making herself look like a younger pony, before her face collapses. Granny Smith did the exact same thing in "Apple Family Reunion".
  • Cool Old Lady: Rainbow ends up learning that the Golden Horseshoe Girls are a foursome of cool old ladies, once she looked past their age and realized they had VIP membership at the hotel. She even outright tells them they're cool at the end of the episode.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Granny Smith's Golden Horseshoe membership at the casino means she can skip to the head of the line of attractions. They tell Rainbow Dash if she had been honest about what she wanted out of the trip earlier they could have avoided the conflict.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Applesauce aggressively flirts with the bellhop while the mares are checking into their hotel room. He is noticeably uncomfortable as he accepts his tip from her teeth.
    Granny Smith: You sure your name isn't Applesaucy?
  • Drowning Pit: Rainbow Dash is afraid that Big Bucks and Jack Pot's trick will turn into this, not realizing that despite appearances it's perfectly safe.
  • Ear Trumpet: Apple Rose lifts one to her ear to listen to Rainbow Dash.
  • False Teeth Tomfoolery: Uncharacteristically, Applesauce avoids any incident with her false teeth this time... until the roller-coaster ride, with one of the resulting photos showing her dentures flying away.
  • Feather Fingers: Rainbow Dash holds the list Applejack gives her with her wing.
  • Floating Advice Reminder: A Running Gag is an image of Applejack reminding Rainbow Dash of her responsibilities whenever one of the Golden Horseshoe Girls does something reckless.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Applejack and Rainbow Dash are talking, Big Mac can be seen in the background chasing after one of Goldie Delicious's cats.
    • Later, another cat tries to jump out of the balloon when Apple Rose starts into her tree-climbing story.
    • In the dance club, Apple Rose breakdances across the floor while Big Bucks and Jack Pot are introducing themselves.
    • Yet another cat jumps out of the Wild Blue Yonder in the picture at the end.
  • Going to See the Elephant: Rainbow Dash wants to be one of the last ponies to ride the Wild Blue Yonder coaster before it closes for good.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: In the dance club, Applesauce and Granny Smith charm their way into VIP seats for the magic show. Granny Smith's "smooth move" is letting her mane down and smiling coyly.
  • Head Desk: Rainbow Dash faceplants into a plate of nachos after the Golden Horseshoe Girls decide to go to a dance club instead of resting in their suite.
  • Human Pack Mule: Well, Pony Pack Mule at least. Big Macintosh is seen carrying a huge load of luggage for the Golden Horseshoes Gals (as well as a few of Goldie's cats) and, despite his strength, crumble under the weight.
  • I Can't Hear You: Apple Rose mishears Rainbow Dash telling her that the other Golden Horseshoes already heard a story of hers only for the elderly Rose to tell the story anyway.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The Golden Horseshoe Gals invite Rainbow Dash to become a member of their club.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: When the Wonderbolts ask Rainbow if she's ever heard of the Wild Blue Yonder, she briefly pretends she has... then admits she hasn't.
  • Morality Pet: Lemon Squeezy, one of Goldie Delicious' cats, unknowingly inflicts this on Rainbow, who feels like he's "judging" her for trying to ditch the grannies while they're sleeping.
  • My Beloved Smother: Inverted, albeit indirectly. Applejack's advice on how to keep the Golden Horseshoe Gals from getting out of hoof ends up causing more problems than it solves, limiting their capacity to enjoy their time at Las Pegasus and causing them to briefly chafe with Rainbow Dash when it becomes clear she's following it too well.
  • Odd Friendship: After they all start being honest with each other and stop following Applejack's guidelines, Rainbow Dash and the Golden Horseshoe Gals get along quite well, and Rainbow Dash is given official membership to the group.
  • Off-Model: The construction pony guiding in the Gold Horseshoe Gals' balloon has both a horn and wings.
  • One Night Stand Pregnancy: The episode has a cameo appearance by Jack Pot, who's implied to be Trixie's father (and outright confirmed in a tie-in book). When fans asked Supervising Director "Big Jim" Miller about the character on Twitter, he replied "The question is, does HE know he's Trixie's dad?" and "Whether or not he's aware he has a daughter is up for debate."
  • Pie in the Face: In Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie Pie gets dizzy from trying to follow Rainbow Dash spinning around at high speed, and she faceplants into a chocolate cake on the counter.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title is a reference to the since-concluded NSFW video series Girls Gone Wild.
  • Prompting Nudge: When Goldie decides to trick Rainbow Dash by pretending they're agreeing to a nap to ditch their chaperone, Apple Rose doesn't catch on at once and responds that she's not tired, until Granny Smith elbows her so she'd change her tune.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Rainbow leaves the Golden Horseshoe Gals to rest at their suite so she can go on the Wild Blue Yonder by herself, only to see that the line for the roller coaster is very long. It's a popular attraction about to permanently close down, so many other ponies are wanting to ride it one last time.
    • Applejack's advice on keeping the Golden Horseshoe Gals from getting too excited ultimately proves ineffective, partly because they feel it's keeping them from having fun as much as they like. This is similar to how people in Real Life who feel constrained by rules preventing them from doing the things they enjoy tend to discard their inhibition and cut loose in the absence of the enforcers of these rules (such as parental or family figures).
  • Right on Queue: The line for the Wild Blue Yonder is very long, not only because it's a major attraction, but also because it's going to close down and everypony wants to get to ride it one last time.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: As they are approached by Big Bucks and Jack Pot, Granny Smith unties her usual bun and let her long white mane (as well as tail) flow, getting it out of her face with a Hair Flip.
  • Ship Tease: The casual way Soarin drapes a foreleg over Rainbow Dash's shoulders and leaves it there while other characters are speaking in the opening scene that shows they're showing a definite friendship.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Wild Blue Yonder is named after the opening line of the official march of the United States Air Force.
    • Granny Smith, Apple Rose, Applesauce and Goldie Delicious are collectively referred to as the "Golden Horseshoe Girls", in reference to The Golden Girls.
    • One of the Wonderbolts' photos on the coaster has Spitfire and Misty Fly playing chess, a reference to an xkcd comic.
    • The ponies waiting in line for the Wild Blue Yonder include pony versions of Walter White, Morty Smith, and Rick Sanchez.
    • The ponified version of Gordon Ramsay (seen in earlier episodes) is yelling at Cranky Doodle Donkey, a reference to Gordon's own stock "You Donkey!" phrase he uses frequently on Hell's Kitchen.
    • Apple Rose does a moonwalk, popularized by Michael Jackson.
    • The show posters in the hotel include one that features a ponified Elton John.
  • Shown Their Work: Prior to boarding the older mares, Cherry Berry can be seen doing a walkaround of the balloon and testing the basket lines. Such checks have been standard (and often mandatory) for nearly any type of aviation craft to make sure the craft is safe to fly. The landing area at Las Pegasus also shows similar safeguards; there are separate landing pads for arrivals and departures to keep passengers safe.
  • Sky Face: In the final shot, Applejack's face appears in front of the Sun, to smile and wink at Rainbow Dash.
  • Sleeping Dummy: The grannies pretend to sleep while Rainbow Dash is gone and substitute pillows, Goldie's cats and various fruit to form these under the blankets.
  • Squick: In-universe. Rainbow's reaction to seeing the grannies flirting with Big Bucks and Jack Pot is "So gross."
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Applejack's over-protective advice on dealing with the Golden Horseshoe Girls (and Rainbow Dash's stubborn insistence on following it) is what sets up the conflict of the episode.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: This episode returns to the Vegas-esque location of Las Pegasus.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Given than Rainbow Dash makes a lot — and we do mean a lot — of annoyed groans in this episode, she's doing the mouth-occupying-the-whole-face thing more often than usual.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Gold Horseshoe Girls tell off Rainbow Dash for not letting them have any fun on their trip, forcing Rainbow to confess that her main reason for coming along is that she wanted to ride the Wild Blue Yonder and she was only following Applejack's advice.
  • Wingding Eyes: At one point, Rainbow Dash spins so crazily around that Pinkie Pie gets swirly-eyed and face plants into a cake.

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