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  • Sweetie Belle is apparently playing Princess Celestia in Wagoner's The Ring of the Neighbelung.
  • Twilight's test flights are right out of Iron Man.
    • For another Iron Man shout out (this time for the comics), Diamond Tiara's secretary misstates Flim's full name (Flim Flim Flam) as "Fing Fang Foom".
  • Two of Tootsie Pie's middle names are Margaret and Esmeralda.
  • Pip Squeak's introduction in chapter 7 reveals he's living with his parents on Pony Lane, between the barber shop and the fire station.
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  • We find that Flam Flim-Flam has dyed his mane and mustache black and changed his name to Professor Destiny, a nod to Professor Fate from The Great Race. His sidekick Otto Bomb is pretty much a pony version of Professor Fate's flunky Max.
  • Pip's compliment to Apple Bloom on her opera dress is a reference to Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science".
  • According to chapter 19, Diamond Tiara employs the legal services of Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel.
  • With flying creatures of all types vying to join the Grand Pegathalon as of chapter 22, the story ends up turning into an homage to Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines and/or The Great Race.
  • At the end of chapter 29, Blueblood tells Chrysalis, who he's discovered has replaced his wife, that it looks like "the start of a beautiful relationship".
    • And not too long before, in Chapter 28, Rarity raises surprise that Fancy Pants isn't getting in on the betting action. His response? "Why my dear Rarity, I'm shocked... shocked that you would insinuate such a thing."
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  • Also at the end of chapter 29, when Chrysalis is offered a drink, she declines, since "Alcohol makes me spew caustic foam from my splanch."  This bizarre alien organ was invented by the webcomic Darths & Droids, where it is eventually established as an additional organ possessed by shapeshifters.
  • Applejack and Soarin' get engaged in the middle of a fight, ala At World's End.
  • Strongheart has to convince one of her fellow buffalo that Flies Like Thunder isn't really a legendary buffalo messiah: "He's not the White Buffalo, he's a very naughty boy!"
  • Apple Bloom remarks in Chapter 32 "I'm an engineer. I solve practical problems."
  • Flies Like Thunder and his companion Long Range are obviously based on The Lone Ranger and his Native American companion Tonto, with the roles reversed.
  • In Chapter 33, Destiny and Insanity accidentally set the Appleloosan jail-house on fire, and Austrian-accented Negasi Fleidermaus is tasked with escorting some of the prisoners out through the smoke. He tells his charges "Come vith me if you vant to liff."
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  • Also in Chapter 33, Sheriff Silver Star's deputies are Trigger and Nutmeg, AKA Nutsy. Nutsy and Trigger were two of the vulture mooks from Disney's Robin Hood.
  • During their argument in chapter 35, Chrysalis silences Blueblood by threatening to "crawl down [his] throat and burst out of [his] chest".
  • Sir Concord is turned into a blueberry (or a grape, at least) by Poison Joke.
  • In chapter 38 we encounter Sergeant Skyway of the Los Pegasus Police Department, whose cutie mark is a police badge with the number 714.
  • This familiar exchange between Insanity and Destiny in chapter 39:
    Insanity: It's several hundred miles to Canterlot. We've got two days worth of food and water, a dozen rocket engines, and when it gets dark, we'll be wearing sunglasses.
    Destiny: Hit it.
  • In chapter 41, after all the mares give Soarin' good luck kisses for his duel with Redtail, Shootin' Star drolly comments "I ain't kissing ya."
  • Chapter 42, after slamming into a rainbow in Cloudsdale, Professor Destiny screams "The goggles, they do nothing!".
  • Chapter 44 features an adorable filly actress named "Lollipop Dimples" who's secretly evil (in this case, it's because she's Queen Chrysalis in disguise).
  • Lulong the kirin has apparently spent his time since getting grounded in the Pegathalon "wandering the land meeting its ponies, doing good deeds, and getting in the occasional kung fu battle with bandits."
  • In Diamond Tiara's nightmare, it's pretty much clarified that the horrible prank she pulled on Silver Spoon at the prom consisted of dumping a bucket of spaghetti and marinara sauce on Silver Spoon's head from the rafters.
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