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Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

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Almost every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic contains a lesson on friendship, but the episode is not written by the lesson, but the lesson by the episode.


  • "Suited for Success" has a twofold moral: the first is "you shouldn't try to please everyone, because you'll often please no one", and the second is "don't look a gift horse in the mouth". "Applebuck Season" is all about how it's okay to ask your friends for help when you really need it (and also that it's OK to say no if you don't have the time/means to help everyone). And "Green Isn't Your Color" manages to do a pretty good job of explaining that some secrets are okay to keep, and some aren't.
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  • Over a Barrel: The natives vs. settlers conflict has no clear cut good guy or bad guy. But solutions and compromises can be reached- though not always easily, but still possible.
  • Boast Busters: Being talented doesn't make you a bad person, but thinking that your talents make you better then everyone else does. Also, mustaches are awesome.
  • "A Dog and Pony Show": As Rarity demonstrates in this episode, being feminine and lady-like does not make you weak, and there's several different ways to be tough and defend yourself in a life-threating situation. This episode earned Rarity several fans who weren't originally fond of her.
  • The Best Night Ever: Reality doesn't always live up to expectations. Also, the company of good friends can make anything better.
  • The Return of Harmony: Friendship isn't always easy, but it's worth fighting for.
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  • Secret of My Excess: The joy of gift-giving is making someone you care about happy, not getting things for yourself. While Spike turning into a giant greed monster and nearly destroying the town is about as unsubtle as you can get, it's also a very important lesson to teach young kids, as they tend to see birthdays as just "most stuff for me".
  • Hearth's Warming Eve: When people spend more time attacking each other than the problem, the problem does not get solved
  • Hearts and Hooves Day: You don't need a "Special Somepony" to be happy on the day dedicated for it.
  • From "Putting Your Hoof Down", the aesop of "No means no". Given that a lot of people just assume "No, I'm not interested" to mean "Keep pressing and bugging me more - maybe I'll demonstrate interest", this is a VERY solid Aesop.
    • Alternatively, "There is a difference between standing up for yourself and being a bully." An aesop that can not be stressed enough for some people.
  • From "Baby Cakes", the aesop of "taking care of babies/children is hard, messy, and not always fun, but those who accomplish it deserve thanks" is something a lot of children should learn, to help them appreciate their parents better.
  • A missed but important one for Ponyville Confidential: Everypony contributed to the gossip column by buying the paper to see others humiliated. They have no one to blame but themselves for their secrets coming out because everypony wanted to see them embarrassed.
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    • It also shows how making up lies about someone on news can be very damaging to one's reputation.
  • "The Crystal Empire" has the moral that sometimes, self-sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.
  • "One Bad Apple” has two notable points:
    • First off, the episode drives home the fact that if the CMC had just talked to Applejack or another adult from the get-go (like Sweetie Belle repeatedly tried to get the others to do), the conflict could have been resolved with a minimal amount of fuss (In layman’s terms, it’s saying that getting a responsible adult is the first thing someone should do when they’re being bullied, and that doing so doesn't make you a "snitch").
    • Secondly, trying to get revenge on the bully (especially by public humiliation), makes you little better than the bully yourself.
  • “Wonderbolts Academy”: There is a difference between pushing yourself and just recklessness, and if you have to be careful that your actions don’t result in yourself or someone else being hurt especially, if you’re a leader.
  • “Just for Sidekicks”: You shouldn’t try to push off your responsibilities onto someone else. Also, you shouldn’t agree to do more than you are capable of handling.
  • “Apple Family Reunion”: It's not about the activities you do, it's about the people you do them with. It may seem like just An Aesop, but in a world where some people hardly ever see their family and loved ones, that is something to remember.
  • "Keep Calm and Flutter On": Whether they be a school-yard bully, a foe with a vendetta, or even the god of all chaos himself, anyone can change for the better. You just have to give them the chance.
  • "Magical Mystery Cure": The episode had a somewhat subtle anvil dropped regarding the switched Cutie Marks. You should never let Because Destiny Says So dictate what you do with your life, especially if it's something that doesn't make you happy.
  • "Flight to the Finish" drops a very well-needed one: Don't feel sad about what you can and can't do. Focus on what you can do, and even if there are lots of things you can't do like everyone else, you're still awesome either way.
  • "Rarity Takes Manehatten": While generosity is a good trait to have, you should be careful to not be overly generous, as some people may take advantage of that.
    • Alternatively, while there are people who will take advantage of generosity, others will be inspired by it.
  • "Somepony to Watch Over Me": There is such a thing as being overprotective with your younger siblings, and it could result in them being resentful that you won't give them a chance to show what they can do.
  • "The Cutie Map" portrays the dangers of a totalitarian society where absolute equality is enforced, while individuality and freedom of expression are forbidden. It also shows how people who have differences of talent, personality, and opinion are still able to work together and be friends despite those differences, their friendship all the stronger for them.
  • "Castle Sweet Castle": Your home is wherever the good memories where your friends and family are strongest.
  • "Made in Manehattan": You don't need to make a grand, elaborate gesture to make a difference in your community.
  • "The Cart Before the Ponies": Grown-ups don't always know best.
  • Diamond Tiara in general is a pretty big anvil on just how bad a bully can be. But she also shows that even someone like her can change for the better.
  • Sunburst and Starlight's reunion and their subsequent Moment of Awesome scenes drop two nice ones. From Sunburst, never let what you can't do stop you from utilizing the talents you do have to the fullest. And Starlight shows us that the best way to make up for misusing a talent is to find a positive way to use it and then use it in that manner to the fullest extent you can.
  • "Viva Las Pegasus" and "To Where and Back Again" share the sad but true aesop that some people will refuse to redeem themselves and continue their evil ways, even when someone willingly offers them a chance at a clean slate.
  • "Honest Apple": You need be respectful and thoughtful with your opinions. People work hard on what you're critiquing, your opinions are not more important than others', there's a huge world of difference between critiquing a work and simply insulting it, and saying "It's my opinion" is NOT an excuse to be a jerkass.
  • "Fame and Misfortune" has probably the least subtle message from the writers to the fanbase in the entire series: "don't be part of the Vocal Minority of Fan Dumb." It does this through Audience Surrogates of two kinds; one kind of Loony Fans who endlessly nitpick every detail (using several long standing Flame Bait topics in the brony fandom), and the other kind who take the lessons about friendship and acceptance to heart, and genuinely respect the creators of the work. Considering the lengths some of the worst kinds of fans will go to, it's a pretty apt moral for fans of any age.
    • Within "Fame and Misfortune", the song 'Flawless' drops a non-subtle anvil but an important one. People are not perfect and they have their flaws. Hating someone and judging them for not being perfect is pointless, and real friends accept each other for their flaws.
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