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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S9 E7 "She's All Yak"

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Written by Brian Hohlfeld

Twilight Sparkle announces to all the students that they are going to hold a Fetlock Fete, a Ponyville tradition, at the school in the next few days. It includes dancing, a Lucky Pot meal swap, and the Pony Pal contest for the best pony couple. Twilight does note that with the other species at the school, the gala will be known as the Amity Ball. As the students go off excited about the event, Sandbar asks Yona if she would be his date for the event. Yona points out that the entire event seems centers around ponies, but Sandbar assures her that that doesn't matter, and she accepts his invitation. She can't even wait to show him her yak dances, but Sandbar does note that there are more traditional dances they use there. This leads Yona to worry if she will disappoint Sandbar.

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Just then, she has a run-in with Rarity and explains her situation to her, that she wants to fit in with the pony culture as she thinks that is what Sandbar is accepting. Rarity takes sympathy for her and offers to help get her styled for the event, with a new dress, look, and helping to improve her diction. Since there's the dance and Lucky Pot event, Rarity enlists the help of her other friends, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy to help teach her a few of the traditional dance routines, and Pinkie Pie and Applejack help her to learn to cook. Initial efforts are slowed by Yona's size and clumsiness but after a few days, Yona finally has learned all what her teachers have taught her. They help with giving her a final makeup before the Ball.

At the Ball, while the rest of Sandbar's friends are just hanging out, Sandbar is shocked by Yona's completely new appearance and mannerisms. Things seem to start off well, but during the dances, Yona trips on the gown Rarity made for her, and later has her wig cover her eyes, causing her to rampage around the event room to try to get the wig loose, only by then, having destroyed the Lucky Pot table and making a mess of things. The rest of the students are shocked, and Yona runs off, embarrassed.

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At their new crystal treehouse, Sandbar tracks down Yona, who refuses to come back, certain she disappointed Sandbar. But Sandbar affirms that she wasn't expecting her to act like a pony at the dance, he wanted to spend time with Yona the yak, with all her personality traits and quirks. The two hug and return to the dance. Twilight, the teachers and the other students are relieved to see Yona is safe and happy. Yona apologizes for making a mess of the dance, but Rarity and her friends realize that they didn't mean to take away the fun Yona was to have at the dance. Twilight announced that they have changed the Pony Pal award to be the Amity Ball Award for Friendship, and have given it to Yona and Sandbar. As events calm down, the other students ask Yona to teach them them the yak dance, and everypony joins in as the Ball continues.

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Tropes:

  • Adorkable: Both Yona and Sandbar fill this. Sandbar is noticeably blushing and awkward around Yona when he asks her to the dance, and the two of them act similarly in the Treehouse of Harmony.
  • An Aesop: Several related ones.
    • Be Yourself. Your true friends are the ones who accept you as you are.
    • Don't try to change somebody into something they're not, even if you have the best intentions.
  • Blush Sticker: Sandbar has these when he asks Yona to be his "pony partner", and Yona later has them after hugging him.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Invoked when Yona unexpectedly interrupts Rarity's sewing.
    Yona: Yona interrupting?
    Rarity: Oh. [laughs] Well, not interrupting exactly. More like blocking the flow— uh, stopping me from what I'm doing— so, yes, interrupting!
  • Call-Back: Yona runs away to the Treehouse of Harmony.
  • The Cameo: Starlight Glimmer, Photo Finish and Hoity Toity appear during "Fit Right In".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Sandbar states that the Fetlock Fete is a pony party, Ocellus announces that she's ready, and takes on the pony form she wore in "School Daze - part 1"
    • Sandbar lists Cozy Glow and Sombra when Yona asks him to name two ponies worse than her.
    • Rainbow Dash when asked about her credibility to teach dancing says that she is good at everything except for baking.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Rarity accidentally bumps into Yona while pushing a clothes rack through the school's halls.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Rainbow Dash's instructions for Yona learning the Pony Prance is to "go with the flow".
  • Foreign Queasine: Yona's "traditional yak dish" of tree-root stew looks like brown sludge, and is pungent enough to attract flies.
  • Foreshadowing: When informed about the Amity Ball, Ocellus takes on the form of a pony. She's then told she didn't need to shapeshift since she can go as herself, so she changes back. This winds up being the entire plot of the episode in a nutshell for Yona.
  • Gasshole: After swallowing the brussel sprouts Rarity had her hold in her mouth to help her be articulate, Yona belches loudly.
  • Got Me Doing It: Yona's Third-Person Person speech briefly rubs off on Rarity.
    Yona: Yona not know yak need special pony dress for dance. Yona no can wear what Yona always wear?
    Rarity: Yona could— I mean, you could.
  • Hidden Depths: Both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are shown to be good dancers, albeit in different styles.
  • High-School Dance: Or in this case, the Friendship School dance.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title is one to She's All That, which itself is a modern remake of My Fair Lady, and which both fall into the Pygmalion Plot trope.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: The latest subjects of Silverstream's fascination are posters.
  • Pun: After Yona accidentally wrecks the Amity Ball, Rarity notes that it is a "calamitous yak-ccident".
  • Pygmalion Plot: Yona, generally the least lady-like of the students, tries to improve herself to impress Sandbar.
  • Reality Ensues: Yona ties herself to the Treehouse of Harmony, and swears that she's not going to come down... then asks Sandbar to fetch her food and water.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • The rack of dresses Rarity pushes around is the one carrying the gala dresses from "The Best Night Ever", seen and used in a few episodes both before and since.
    • During Rarity's song "Fit Right In", one background shot is the final image of the Season 5 finale "The Cutie Re-Mark – Part 2" with the majority of the cast looking at the viewer. Interestingly, Starlight has been updated with her new mane-style from Season 6 onward, and Rumble now appears front and center.
  • The Reveal: Downplayed; the right balcony of the Treehouse of Harmony is seen in more detail, but nothing else about the interior is shown.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Plenty between Yona and Sandbar. The story is a typical "girl wants to impress a boy at a dance" plot, though the romantic aspect is left to subtext and Shipping Goggles.invoked
    • There was also some implied shipping between Gallus and Smolder as well:
      Smolder: You wanna go? I don't have anything better to do.
      Gallus: You had me at "dinner".
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Yona masters the posh accent, Rarity cries out "By Celestia, I think she's got it!"
    • During the dance, Spike is seen wearing a stylized round, glitter-covered headpiece that looks like the headwear of EDM artist Deadmau5.
  • Third Act Stupidity: For the party crashing and resolution at the Treehouse of Harmony to happen, Yona wears a dress which trips her over on the first dance and a wig that covers her eyes in second dance which causes her to panic and crash the dance. Note that no one else was wearing anything that formal (or anything at all, really) and she never practiced while wearing it. This was even lampshaded by Yona herself. Nor was it ever explained why Rarity seemed to be so misinformed about the dress and speech patterns that would be used at the dance.
  • Third-Person Person: Yona is trained not to do this as part of her makeover. However, the trait returns when her true personality reasserts itself.
  • Touché: Yona asks Sandbar to name two ponies worse than her after destroying the dance. Sandbar immediately names Cozy Glow and Sombra, to which Yona concedes the point.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Yona bursts into tears after accidentally wrecking the Amity Ball, causing her mascara to run.

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