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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S9 E8 "Frenemies"

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A better way to be bad.

I think I know a way that we can grow.
Time to try something new, something better.
No more solo, trust is the way to go.
And all we need to do is work together.
Cozy Glow (during the song)

Written by Michael Vogel

Grogar continues to plot against Twilight Sparkle, but the bickering between Cozy Glow, Tirek, and Chrysalis, each trying to establish their superiority over the others, continues to annoy him. He demands that they are going to have to work together to succeed. The three attempt to live together, Cozy Glow being the facilitator of trying to bring them to be friends. But even after Cozy's attempts, the three continue to bicker about who is the best villain. Impatient of their rivalry, Grogar orders the three of them to recover his bell, stolen by Gusty the Great and hidden atop Mount Everhoof, a high mountain surrounded by high winds, across a wide gorge, and further protected by a strong magic field. He insists the three of them work together to get the bell.

As soon as they arrive, the three split off. Chrysalis uses her changeling abilities to mimic several creatures that get her to the top, but she cannot even fly across the gorge without being pushed back by winds. Cozy Glow takes a more direct route up the mountain and discovers a lone guard named Rusty Bucket who prevents anyone from crossing his path. Cozy tries to get around several times, but Rusty is two steps ahead and blocks Cozy's path each time. Tirek simply sets up a small camp at the base of the mountain and laughs in jest when both Cozy and Chrysalis come back with no success, knowing that there was no way for them to reach the bell in the first place.

As they regroup, they recount their various encounters with Twilight and her friends and find they have a common bond of hatred over Twilight. Realizing they have a common bond to trust each other a bit, they work together to ascend Everhoof. They bypass Rusty Bucket by starting a small avalanche that covers him. To get across the gorge, Chrysalis turns into a roc and throws Cozy to the far side, where she ties off a rope for the others. To get past the magic field, Chrysalis allows Tirek to drain her magic so he can open a small-enough hole in the field for Cozy to pass through and get the bell. With their success, they still eschew the idea of being "friends" but realize by working together they can achieve great victories. They consider what to do with Grogar's bell.

The three return to Grogar, and lie about the bell not being where he said it was. Grogar is upset to find the bell gone but glad to have seen the three work together. Deep in the other villain's chambers, the bell is hidden away, starting to glow.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: Tirek chuckles when Chrysalis asks if Cozy being trapped with the bell would be so bad.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The original ophiotaurus from Ovid's poem was a very passive actor in the story, existing only to be slain and to have its entrails sacrificed. The ophiotaurus in "Frenemies" is recast as a vicious roaming monster.
  • Air Quotes: During the song "Better Way to Be Bad", Tirek and Chrysalis both do this at one point about Cozy's suggested "better way" to be bad. Though only Tirek can do the usual gesture due to having fingers.
  • All Take and No Give: Grogar does this to his recruits. He orders the three of them to learn to work together so they can accomplish their mutual goal of destroying Twilight and her friends, but does nothing to actually contribute to their teamwork. He leaves their lair to get away from them when they annoy him instead of participating in any team building exercises, threatens them with violence to get them to listen to him, and sends them out on a mission to retrieve his bell and regain his powers without accompanying them, forcing them to do all the work while he gets all the benefit.
  • All There in the Script: The beast that attacks the camp is unnamed in "Frenemies" itself, but is identified as an ophiotaurus in the episode transcript.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Tirek and Cozy are ambushed by a hungry ophiotaurus, which is in turn drained and cocooned by Chrysalis.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Cozy Glow insists that Grogar left her in charge while he was out, despite both Tirek and Chrysalis stating that he did not. It's unknown who is to be believed.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Implied, given the way Tirek tells Cozy Glow to hurry when he can't maintain a hole in the barrier surrounding Grogar's bell much longer and its closing would cause Cozy to be trapped forever.
  • Badass Boast: Grogar delivers one when he is threatening his team into submission.
    Grogar: My power is greater than all of yours combined! This is but a fraction of it! Understood?!
  • Believing Their Own Lies: When Tirek and Cozy are arguing at the campfire and Tirek states that at least now he can finally see the "real Cozy" instead of having to put up with her trying to manipulate him with fake sweetness, Cozy Glow shouts back "This is not the real me! I'm cute and lovable!" with a clear indication that she actually believes it, instead of it just being a façade she puts on.
  • Bicep Kiss: Tirek kisses his bicep (again) just after draining Chrysalis of her magic and growing in size and power.
  • Big "NO!": Chrysalis screams this out when she realizes that she, Tirek and Cozy are about to become friends.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When the trio starts bickering — once again — after their Villain Song, Grogar comes in and shouts them down.
    Grogar: ENOUGH!
  • Bizarre Taste in Food:
    • After Tirek regurgitates the magic he drained from Chrysalis onto a cupcake, to his dismay she casually swipes and eats it.
    • Cozy Glow is visibly squicked when Chrysalis cocoons the ophiotaurus for a later meal.
  • Blatant Lies:
  • Book Ends: The episode starts and ends in Grogar's lair.
  • Bound and Gagged: Played with as Grogar breaks the trope down into its individual components. First, he uses his magic to magically gag the three villains from further talking as he proposes they find a way to work together. Later on when the trio bicker over who goes to Mt. Everhoof, Grogar then uses his magic to throw and bind them to the wall as he says they must work together.
  • Broken Pedestal: Discord seems to be one for Chrysalis. While the villains are around the campfire and Tirek mentions the time he tricked Discord into helping him capture his friends, Chrysalis sighs and comments "Discord was really something until friendship ruined him".
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Rusty Bucket has it raw. He seems genuinely happy to have a potential new friend in Cozy Glow, only for the psychotic filly to tell him she never wanted a friendship with him in the first place. That's nothing compared to having a major avalanche dropped on him when the latter returns with Tirek and Chrysalis. Thankfully, he survives.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Played with. Chrysalis "saves" Tirek and Cozy Glow from the ophiotaurus, not because she cares about them, but because she needs their combined help to reach the top of the mountain. One can't help but wonder if she's telling the truth, though.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow all breakout into a Villain Song titled "Better way to be bad".
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: Subverted. After a giant snowball sends Cozy Glow down the mountain, she comes out panting and wet the next time we see her. She doesn't get sick, though.
  • Category Traitor: The villains, especially Tirek and Chrysalis, think this of Discord. Tirek calls him a turncoat and talks with sadistic glee in how he tricked him into briefly turning on his friends. Chrysalis says that Discord was something before friendship "ruined" him.
  • Companion Cube: Chrysalis talks to the purple log that used to be her Evil Knockoff of Twilight. She even brings it with her to Cozy's meeting, holds it close when Tirek points it out, and snatches it back when Cozy attempts to take it away from her.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When sitting around Tirek's campfire, the three villains recount how they almost took over Equestria in previous episodes where they were the antagonists.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rusty Bucket has a copy of the Journal of Friendship written by the Mane Six. He uses it to call out Cozy's manipulations.
    • Chrysalis turns into monsters from several past episodes — namely a cragadile, a roc and an Ursa Minor — to cross various obstacles going up the mountain.
    • Chrysalis is still talking to inanimate objects. This time it is the log Mean Twilight is turned into.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Tirek describes Cozy's trust exercises as "pain and torture" and swears she will pay for them.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Early in her climb, Chrysalis is observed by numerous eyes peering from her trees, after which a mass of shadow comes up behind her, swallowing the path, and two massive orange eyes open within it to peer at her... until Chrysalis roars at it and sends the eyes' owners running away, smugly remarking that there's nothing around scarier than her.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Grogar's Legion of Doom. As a Villain Episode, it focuses on Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow.
  • Death Mountain: Mount Everhoof, the mountain on whose peak Gusty hid Grogar's bell, is a high, snowy crag prone to avalanches, buffeted by harsh winds that make flight impossible, cut by deep ravines and home to dangerous monsters. Nobody can reach its peak alone.
  • Deflector Shields: A powerful forcefield, likely set up ages ago by Gusty the Great, protects the entrance of the cave where Grogar's bell is hidden. Even after draining Chrysalis's magic, Tirek is only able to brute-force open a tiny hole with his power, and not for a very long time. This gives the opportunity for Cozy Glow to fly in, retrieve the bell and come out, a split-second before the field closes again.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Rusty Bucket tells Cozy Glow that Mount Everhoof has dangerous snow, dangerous ice, and dangerous wind.
    Rusty Bucket: Basically, it's dangerous.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Cozy Glow openly berates Tirek to his face. The latter doesn't bother to drain her Pegasus flight or even yell at her, he simply argues with her back.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: As the ophiotaurus is about to attack Tirek and Cozy Glow, Chrysalis turns into a female ophiotaurus. The beast is quickly infatuated, moving to Chrysalis... who proceeds to drain his love and cocoon him.
  • Disturbed Doves: When Cozy Glow finds out that Rusty Bucket owns a copy of the friendship journal and applied one of its lessons to avoid her manipulation, her furious scream sends a flock of birds flying away from Mount Everhoof.
  • The Dragon: While all three of them have been Demoted to Dragon, Cozy Glow being left in charge of Chrysalis and Tirek by Grogar effectively makes her his second-in-command, at least if what she said about him leaving her in charge is to be believed. Tirek and Chrysalis certainly believe differently.
    Cozy Glow: This is why Grogar left me in charge!
    Tirek and Chrysalis: NO! HE! DIDN'T!
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Tirek laughs at Cozy Glow coming down the mountain cold and wet, to which Cozy tells him it isn't funny.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Cozy Glow is constantly dismissed by Chrysalis, Tirek, and Grogar for just being a filly, even hijacking her Villain Song from her. The former two do treat her with a bit more respect when she proves she's sincere about wanting to destroy Twilight, though.
  • Enemy Mine: Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy all spend a majority of the episode (and apparently the weeks that have passed since they were gathered together by Grogar) arguing with each other and getting on each other's nerves. They finally find common ground and bond with each other once they realize they hate Twilight and her friends more than they hate each other, and agree to start working together and actually commit to Grogar's Villain Team-Up plan. Though they refuse to become friends with each other, they agree to keep working together until they can successful betray Grogar and defeat their common enemies, then, in Tirek's own words, "they can go back to trying to destroy each other".
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Cozy Glow mentions that Tirek talks to his "Gram-Gram" in his sleep. Tirek immediately screams not to bring his Gram-Gram into their argument.
    Tirek: Don't you dare bring Gram-Gram into this!
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Chrysalis claims that Starlight Glimmer "corrupted" her hive by convincing them to be good.
  • Evil Is Petty: Cozy Glow brings Tirek and Chrysalis to Rusty Bucket so she can have revenge on him for refusing to help her, even though they probably could have avoided him entirely since Chrysalis did just that on her first trek up the mountain.
  • Evil Laugh: Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy do this multiple times in the episode.
  • Exposed to the Elements: When the villain trio travel to Mount Everhoof, a snowy, windy peak, Cozy Glow is the only one who thinks to dress warmly.
  • Eye-Dentity Giveaway: Zizagged. When in her cragadile, goat, and ophiotaurus forms, Chrysalis retains her distinctive blue-green eyes with concentric sclerae and slit pupils. While this is absent in her ursa form, several of its component stars shine the same color as her eyes. Her roc and monkey forms don't bear any signs of this, however.
  • Face Plant: Tirek ends up landing on his face after getting shoved down a flight of stairs by Chrysalis.
  • Failure Montage: Cozy's attempts to get past Rusty Bucket's guard post.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Tirek, who puts the most focus on his physical strength (weight lifting, Cozy mentioning that "[he wants] that huge physique" during the Villain Song), is the fighter. Chrysalis, who relies on clever use of her Voluntary Shapeshifting, is the Mage. Cozy Glow, whose continued shtick is manipulation and pragmatic planning, is the Thief.
  • Food as Bribe: Chrysalis initially refuses to come to Cozy's meeting, until Cozy mentions there will be cupcakes. Chrysalis has a quick look of interest before cutting to the meeting, where Chrysalis is the only one eating the cupcakes.
  • Foreshadowing: During the Villain Song, Tirek and Chrysalis try and fail to traverse a rope across a gap. The two later ends up having to do the same thing again when trekking up the mountain together and this time manage to do so successfully.
  • Gilligan Cut: Upon hearing their mission to retrieve Grogar's bell, Chrysalis laughs at how easy it sounds. It immediately cuts to her, Tirek, and Cozy at the base of Mount Everhoof with all of them being far less excited about the mission.
    Chrysalis: Well, it sounded easy...
  • Gone Horribly Right: Grogar sends Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow on a mission to become allies, but his plan works too well. They almost become friends and unite to plot against him by lying about retrieving his bell.
  • Good Feels Good: After working together to retrieve Grogar's bell, Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy start to realize working together and helping each other felt nice. They immediately choose to ignore this feeling (Chrysalis, in particular, likens it to a disease) and agree to only work together until they deal with Grogar, then they can go back to trying to destroy each other.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: It seems completely lost on Rusty Bucket that a clearly unstable filly on her lonesome with no guardians in sight might be cause for concern. Not to mention, when Cozy returns with Tirek and Chrysalis in tow, he doesn't appear to inform any of the princesses that three highly dangerous criminals are on the loose and up to no good.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: All of Cozy Glow's angry screaming eventually sends a huge snowball down on top of her, knocking her all the way back down the mountain. Chrysalis later uses this against Rusty Bucket by turning into an ophiotaurus and burying him under the snow with another avalanche.
  • Harmful to Minors: Downplayed. After Chrysalis drains an ophiotaurus' love, causing him to collapse, Cozy Glow remarks that it's "so gross".
  • Heel Realization: Tirek has a brief one during the villains' Good Feels Good realization. Though he immediately drops it afterwards when they all choose to ignore this realization and continue to reject friendship.
    Tirek: All of these years taking power from ponies...
  • High-Pressure Emotion: After Rusty Bucket accidentally buries Cozy Glow in snow falling from his roof, the filly gets so red-faced from anger that she melts the snow covering her.
  • Hidden Depths: The villain trio show some more character to them in the episode.
  • Honey Trap: Chrysalis disguises herself as a female ophiotaurus to both "save" Tirek and Cozy from the male and to get a free meal by seducing him and draining his love as he falls for her.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Chrysalis is able to scare several monsters into leaving with a snarl.
    Chrysalis: As if anything on this mountain is scarier than I.
  • Hostile Weather: Downplayed; Mount Everhoof is surrounded by winds powerful enough to even keep a roc from nearing the top.
  • Human Snowball: Happens to Cozy when a giant snowball bounces on top of her, sending her back down the mountain.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Chrysalis openly complains about how Grogar has done practically nothing since gathering the Legion of Doom together. This in spite of the fact that, before Grogar summoned her, she had been spending all her time sitting alone in a forest, doing nothing but rant about wanting revenge on her enemies.
    • During "Better Way to be Bad", Chrysalis mocks Tirek for how badly he was beaten. This is coming from a villainess who was handed two humiliating defeats in a row (the second of which resulted in her losing everything). She also dismisses teamwork as a "fad". The only reason her hive was so effective in the past was due to swarming their enemies through sheer numbers, a tactic that requires heavy teamwork. Not only that, but Chrysalis's third plan failed miserably on her own without the Mane 6 even being aware of her presence.
    • Tirek admonishes Cozy Glow for attempting to manipulate him, even though he did the exact same thing to Discord (and he even brags about pulling it off to the other villains).
    • Tirek also tells Cozy Glow that trying to drain all the magic of Equestria was excessive. This would be an Even Evil Has Standards moment, except that a) Tirek had previously planned to drain the magic of all the ponies (and when you consider Tirek stealing pegasus flight and earth pony strength would effectively end rain and, at the very least, drastically decrease food, which would have very lethal consequences for the ponies), and b) he himself was the one who told Cozy about the magic-draining ritual as revenge on the ponies.
    • While taking the form of Twilight to mock her, Chrysalis claims the Princess of Friendship has "made a detailed list of all the ways [she's] a failure." Chrysalis is really in no position to criticize the failings of others.
    • For all his talk of cooperation, Grogar fails to apply the concept to himself. He distrusts the other villains, keeps them in the dark about his plans, and sends them on a mission that he himself doesn't participate in. All in all, Grogar's idea of teamwork seem to involve forcing others to work together for him. However, this could be considered justified as he was trying to convince 3 utter bad guys to work together and they were behaving rather callous to his teamwork plan. He makes it clear that he's sending them on this mission for them to work together and although upset that they didn't retrieve the bell, or so he thinks, he is nevertheless satisfied that they worked together.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After the bad guys retrieve Grogar's bell, they each take a moment to realize how much teamwork helped them improve, but reconsider going straight due to their own individual pride.
  • I'm Okay!: Rusty Bucket yells this after digging himself out of the avalanche the evil trio triggered to bury him.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: During the Cold Open, Cozy tells Grogar that she doesn't want to tattle on her "good friend" Tirek... only to add that Tirek has left food out (again).
  • Implausible Deniability: Tirek protests that he wasn't draining Chrysalis's magic... after having blatantly been trying doing so.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Chrysalis has been slowly moving towards this point in her past few appearances, but she exceptionally suffers from it when Tirek drains her magic. Without it she's so weak she's unable to stand, and sounds like she's about to cry every time she talks.
  • Insufferable Genius: Cozy Glow tells Tirek that she's had enough of the "I'm smarter than you" attitude he had while they were trapped in Tartarus.
  • Irony:
    • In "The Mean 6", Chrysalis says "Servants always fail you in the end!" Here, she's the one who turns against Grogar in a similar way to how Mean Twilight turned against her in the aforementioned episode, even suggesting to Tirek and Cozy that they merely pretend to be his "loyal servants".
    • In his first appearance, Tirek affirms that the pony in front of him wonders if he is a friend or a foe. This episode has him becoming frenemies with the pegasus filly Cozy Glow.
  • It's All About Me:
    • During "Better Way to Be Bad" the villains quickly change the theme from working together to destroy the Mane Six to fighting over who should be in charge of their trio.
    • Cozy Glow screams at Rusty Bucket that ponies are suppose to do whatever she asks them to do when he won't help her up the mountain, even saying "That's my thing!"
  • It's Personal: Tirek doesn't take kindly to Cozy Glow making fun of him talking to his grandmother in his sleep.
    Tirek: Don't you dare bring Gram-Gram into this!
  • Jerkass:
    • Cozy, Chrysalis, and Tirek haven't improved much in personality. Not only do they treat Rusty Bucket badly when they attempt to cross him, but they treat each other badly as well.
    • Grogar comes off as even worse, although his current victims are the other three villains.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The Pet the Dog moment Cozy Glow had towards Tirek in "The Beginning of the End", in which she builds a "best friends" rock sculpture of them? Nope, Tirek states that it was just an attempt by her to manipulate him. The ending of the aforementioned episode making her seem like the Token Good Teammate of Grogar's group by having her attempt to get Chrysalis and Tirek to become friends? That was only for her own selfish benefit and not because she cares about them.
  • Kick the Dog: When he refuses to let her get to the top of the mountain, Cozy Glow tells Rusty Bucket that she never actually wanted to be friends with him. Also counts as Brutal Honesty.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Tirek quickly realizes that Grogar was correct when he said nobody can reach the top of the mountain alone. Instead of trying and failing, Tirek simply makes camp and relaxes, waiting for Cozy and Chrysalis to return so he can learn from their failure.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Chrysalis being under the control of a Bad Boss is this given that she was also once a Bad Boss towards her subjects.
    • During "Better Way to Be Bad" Tirek sidesteps to miss catching Chrysalis during a trust fall on purpose. This is immediately followed by him being blindfolded himself and shoved down some stairs by Chrysalis.
    • Chrysalis and Tirek being abused and thrown about by Grogar falls under this as they've done the same to the rest of Equestria several times.
  • Leader Wannabe: Cozy Glow insists that Grogar left her in charge. And during "Better Way to be Bad", all three of the villains attempt to take leadership for themselves.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Near the end of the song and following up, a few of the lines reflect that it is clear the villains have just broken out into song.
  • Made of Indestructium: Grogar describes his magical bell as indestructible. That's why Gusty the Great was forced to hide it in a place that was nigh-impossible to reach rather than simply destroy it.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Tirek can't lower the barrier at the mountain's peak because he can only drain magic from living things. He instead has to briefly borrow magic from Chrysalis in order to become strong enough to open a gap through brute magical force.
  • Manchild: Tirek and Chrysalis both show this behavior in the first act of the episode. They both whine to Grogar about not trusting Cozy Glow and the lack of action respectively, and at Cozy's meeting they get into a petty argument with each other, trading insults and threats. This is highlighted when their behavior is not all that different from Cozy Glow, an actual child, with the three of them getting into several shouting matches with each other and at one point shoving each other around when Grogar is about to give them their mission.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Cozy Glow attempts an "innocent filly" routine on Rusty Bucket to try and pass him. It doesn't work, and she quickly shows her true colors.
    • Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow trick Grogar into thinking they weren't able to retrieve the bell. They've actually hidden it in the cave with them.
  • Mean Boss: Grogar. He forcibly muzzles Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow for annoying him, and later pins them to a wall before announcing their mission.
  • Minion Maracas: During the Villain Song, after Chrysalis sends Tirek tumbling down a flight of stairs, the centaur grabs an annoying Cozy Glow, sings "For all this pain and torture, I swear you'll pay!"... and then he shakes the filly forcefully enough for her tongue to stick out.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: A villainous version as after bonding over their mutual hatred of the heroes, Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow manage to work together and retrieve the Bewitching Bell. Unfortunately, this leads to them starting to plan behind Grogar's back.
  • Morphic Resonance: In her cragadile, goat and ophiotaurus forms, Chrysalis retains her distinctive blue-green eye color. While this is absent in her ursa form, several of its component stars shine the same color as her eyes. Only her roc form doesn't bear any signs of her usual appearance.
  • Mythology Gag: Grogar's flashback of Gusty the Great shows she has the same "5 jagged leaves" cutie mark as the G1 Gustynote 
  • Narcissist:
    • Tirek has a portrait of his fully-empowered form in his quarters.
    • Chrysalis still calls herself a "queen", despite being ousted from her former position.
  • Never My Fault: When the Ophiotaurus, drawn to Cozy and Tirek by their arguing, is about to attack them, each blames the other for it.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Tirek taunts Cozy over her finally showing her true colors instead of the cute act she puts on, Cozy screams back that she really is cute. Tirek doesn't believe her for a second.
    Tirek: I've had enough of you trying to manipulate me with that insincere, syrupy sweetness. At least now we can see the real you.
    Cozy: This is not the real me! I'm cute and lovable!
    Tirek: No, you're not. You're annoying, and you snore.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Downplayed with Tirek, Chrysalis and Cozy. Had Grogar gotten his bell back, he would've likely instantly taken over Equestria, which the villainous trio prevented by lying about not retrieving the bell.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Cozy Glow has this reaction to a Hair-Trigger Avalanche about to send her down the mountain.
    • Rusty Bucket when Cozy Glow shows up to bypass him again, this time with Lord Tirek and Queen Chrysalis by her side.
    • Tirek hilariously exaggerates Twilight's reaction when he trapped her friends in bubbles, depicting her as beyond freaking out to the point where her face deforms.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Chrysalis catches Cozy Glow when she is blown away by wind.
    • Tirek agrees to give Chrysalis back her magic after absorbing it to disable a force field around Grogar's bell. Not even Tirek himself was expecting him to do this.
    • During the villains' Good Feels Good realization, Cozy has a particular epiphany.
      Cozy Glow: When you use your power to help others...
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • While Chrysalis and Cozy Glow first attempt to scale Mount Everhoof alone, Tirek doesn't even try. He instead sets up a campfire and a lounge chair at the mountain's base. Taking Grogar's words to heart, Tirek knew that the others would fail, and planned on just waiting to see what they learned on their way up.
    • After draining the love from the ophiotaurus, Chrysalis says she always leaves a little love to feed on for the next day, because draining all of a creature's love only allows her to feed once.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Tirek and Chrysalis do this when telling Cozy that Grogar didn't leave her in charge when she says so for the third time. Say it with us: "NO! HE!! DIDN'T!!!"
    • Cozy does this when her manipulations don't work on Rusty Bucket because he has read the Journal of Friendship by Twilight and her friends.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Grogar is shown slowly growing more and more annoyed by his recruits refusing to work together as he has instructed them and their general attitude towards everything. After having put up with it for several weeks, he finally loses it when they still continue to argue over who should lead their group when he prepares to give them their mission, and he uses his magic to restrain them all while shouting that they each failed to defeat Twilight and her friends and he is stronger than all of them combined with just a fraction of his true power, therefore he is in charge, cowing them into submission. Subverted when the three of them return from their mission and claim they failed to retrieve his bell. Although he screams in anger and blasts a hole in the wall, he is at least satisfied that they finally listened to him and began working together.
  • Redemption Rejection: Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow all reach the peak of the mountain and retrieve Grogar's bell with each other's help. Just as they realize that working together felt nice, Chrysalis angrily screams that the magic of friendship is "a disease", negating the good vibes.
  • Rule of Three: Cozy Glow reminds Tirek and Chrysalis three times that "Grogar left her in charge"; they each shoot down the idea individually, then together the third time she says it.
  • Sadist: Cozy Glow. During "Better Way to be Bad", she sings about how the trio will "crush [their] enemies to dust and laugh as they all scream", with a Slasher Smile on her face.
  • Sanity Slippage: Despite no longer being in isolation, Chrysalis still shows signs of this due to still talking to inanimate objects. This time she is seen talking to a purple log (which is implied to be the remains of Mean Twilight). She keeps the log close to her while in the lair, and when Tirek points it out to her she holds it close, as if it were a security blanket. Then again, she's only no longer been in isolation for weeks, and doesn't get along with her new roommates.
  • Sequel Hook: The final shot of the episode is Grogar's bell starting to glow, suggesting it will be important later.
  • Shoulder Teammate: Cozy Glow sits on Tirek's shoulder when the villains begin their trek up the mountain together, and waves down at Rusty Bucket while smiling evily at him.
  • Slasher Smile: Cozy Glow lets out several of these throughout the episode.
  • So Last Season: Cozy Glow's manipulations fall flat because the other villains know better and Twilight's friendship guide is now in circulation, so the guard she tries her act on is able to immediately point out she's misrepresenting friendship.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: When the trio reaches the top of the mountain, they are stopped by an invisible forcefield that glows yellow when touched. It also bounces Chrysalis backward and hurts Tirek when he just touches it.
  • Speak in Unison: Tirek and Chrysalis say "No he didn't!" in response to Cozy Glow saying Grogar put her in charge. Later, Tirek and Cozy say "This is your fault!" to each other at the same time when the Ophiotaurus ambushes them.
  • The Starscream: All the members of Grogar's Legion of Doom plot against him to use the bell.
  • The Stool Pigeon: During the Cold Open, Cozy Glow tells Grogar that Tirek has left food out again.
  • Sweet Tooth: Chrysalis is shown to enjoy cupcakes. She instantly becomes interested in Cozy's meeting after being told there will be cupcakes and is shown eating several while attending.
  • Team Killer: Tirek tries to drain Chrysalis of her magic at Cozy Glow's meeting, and denies doing so when she tells him to stop. Subverted during their mission together, where he only drains her of her magic once she gives him permission to and gives it back when he no longer needs it instead of keeping it — surprising both Chrysalis and himself.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Tirek, Cozy Glow and Chrysalis loathe the thought of cooperating and depending upon others, but need to work together to reach their goal. Their teamwork starts to become more genuine by the end, however.
  • Tempting Fate: Chrysalis assumes that their task will be easy. It isn't.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Cozy Glow was never truly nice in the first place, but here she screams in fury the second she is denied something, when, as mentioned below, she used to only show her true colors when she believed she was alone. It seems like imprisonment in Tartarus, combined with the failure of her magic draining plan that almost went off without a hitch, did a number on her.
  • Torment by Annoyance: Subtly implied with Cozy towards Tirek. When telling him about her team meeting, she says that if he doesn't want to have one she can stay by his side and be "positive and inspiring", basically meaning she'll annoy him until he agrees to come to the meeting. Tirek agrees to join her meeting pretty quickly, just as long as she leaves him alone long enough to finish exercising first.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: During the Villain Song, Cozy Glow sets a pair of these up for Tirek and Chrysalis. She drops Chrysalis off a high ledge for Tirek to catch her, only for Tirek to sidestep and let her fall. Chrysalis gets him back when he's blindfolded by leading him to fall down a flight of stairs.
  • Tsundere: Subverted. Chrysalis claims she only saved Tirek and Cozy Glow because she needs them and not because she likes them - a classic tsundere line. However, she never truly becomes friends with them and only works with them to achieve a common goal (and still getting into fights with them afterwards), strongly implying she actually meant what she said. However, one can debate this since they almost become friends near the episode before they resist it.
  • Villain Ball:
    • Had Grogar not shown such Mean Boss tendencies towards Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow, they might've not been so quick to turn against him.
    • Chrysalis averts this for once when she lets Tirek absorb her magic so he can create a hole in the barrier surrounding Grogar's bell, allowing Cozy Glow to retrieve it.
  • Villain Decay: Each of Grogar's recruits suffer from this in the first half of the episode. Not only have they each been Demoted to Dragon due to now serving Grogar, they each refuse to cooperate with each other on pretty much anything, telling on each other to Grogar, complaining to him, and in general acting like a bunch of bratty petty spoiled children instead of a collection of dangerous enemies to Equestria. This may be justified to some degree, since we're seeing them in casual conversation instead of them actively focusing on being threats. Though once they leave on their mission this is eventually inverted for each of them, as they each get a chance to show their skills and finally begin working together.
    • Inverted for Chrysalis. After spending her last few appearances on the back hoof with her army gone, reduced to a fugitive with a questionable loss of sanity, nearly being overpowered by Mean Twilight, and being brought into Grogar's service, she gets a chance to shine with showing off her Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities.
    • Cozy Glow. In the previous season she easily manipulated Twilight and the entire School of Friendship into trusting her and doing what she wanted them to do and only showed her true colors when she was alone (or thought she was alone), with hardly anyone suspecting her of foul play until her plan was nearly complete. Now, she is openly hostile whenever she is denied something and other villains only find her cute façade to be annoying. Tirek, being a manipulator himself, has been wise to her attempts to use him ever since they met in Tartarus and informs her she isn't fooling him at all. However, this trope is downplayed given that she now has Grogar's bell in her possession alongside Chrysalis and Tirek.
  • Villain Episode: This episode focuses entirely on Grogar's Legion of Doom as they try to work together, with none of the heroes making an appearance outside of props or Chrysalis transforming into Twilight to mock her.
  • Villain Has a Point: Tirek is correct in that Cozy Glow is manipulative and that her cute façade only serves to hide the Jerkass she truly is.
  • Villainous Rescue: Chrysalis saves Tirek and Cozy from the ophiotaurus, but states it is simply because she needs their help getting to the top of the mountain. She later catches Cozy when the latter is blown backwards by wind.
  • Villain Song: "Better Way to Be Bad". Cozy, Chrysalis and Tirek sing early in the episode about working together to multiply the effects of their cruelty.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Chrysalis considers the magic of friendship to be "like a disease", and refuses to let it "infect" her.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: After Chrysalis, Cozy, and Tirek finally work together near the end of the episode, they seem to be having this dynamic, given how Cozy Glow jokes to Chrysalis that normally she and Tirek would leave her after absorbing her magic, and Chrysalis snarks at her by asking if her being trapped forever inside the magical barrier surrounding Grogar's bell would be so bad. Tirek outright states that the three of them can go back to trying to destroy each other after working together to please Grogar.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Zig-zagged with Tirek. When the villains first arrive at the mountain, they all split up to go at it alone. Though Chrysalis makes it the furthest up out of all of them, Tirek is the one whose plan is the most successful. He figured out almost immediately that Grogar was correct, none of them can make it up the mountain alone. So he doesn't even try to make it up and retrieve the bell, he just sets up camp and relaxes, waiting for Cozy and Chrysalis to come crawling back after their inevitable failures and he can learn from them what to expect and plan accordingly. Though he still needs to go up the mountain himself eventually and still requires their help, his plan is ultimately sucessful.
  • Worth It: After Tirek says that Cozy Glow removing all the magic from Equestria was a bit extreme, Cozy says it would have been worth it just to have Twilight and her friends bow down to her, which Tirek can agree with.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never learn what happens to the Ophiotaurus that Chrysalis captured. It is probably better that way.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Grogar has no problem subjecting Cozy Glow to the same treatment he gives to Chrysalis and Tirek, including magically pinning them to a wall.
    • During the Villain Song, Tirek grabs Cozy Glow and shakes her wildly after her trust fall exercise gets him injured.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Cozy Glow tries to sweet talk Rusty Bucket into helping her up the mountain, claiming he should do so as her friend. Rusty Bucket refuses, citing a lesson he learned from the Mane Six's Journal of Friendship.


Video Example(s):



Lord Tirek talks to his grandma (who he refers to as "Gram-Gram") in his sleep. When Cozy Glow mockingly mentions this while the two are arguing, Tirek immediately becomes defensive.

How well does it match the trope?

4.05 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas

Media sources: