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As with Rainbow Rocks, Hasbro produced a series of prelude shorts to promote My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games. One was released each Saturday during August 2015, for a total of five shorts.

  • "The Science of Magic", featuring Sunset Shimmer trying to scientifically analyze the Rainbooms' transformations. Hilarity Ensues.
  • "Pinkie Spy", with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie attempting to sneak a look at the Crystal Prep High School team's training for the Games.
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  • "All's Fair in Love & Friendship Games", with Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops competing against each other for a spot on Canterlot High's team.
  • "Photo Finished", with Photo Finish taking spruced-up photos for Canterlot High's yearbook.
  • "A Banner Day", with Flash Sentry, Micro Chips and Sandalwood creating a banner to welcome the Crystal Prep students to Canterlot High.


The Friendship Games Shorts provides examples of:

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    The Science of Magic 
  • Anvil on Head: After Applejack finishes playing, a lot of glowing apples fall on Sunset Shimmer's head. Applejack even picks one up and eats it.
  • Butt-Monkey: All five of Sunset's attempts to investigate the Rainbooms' magic backfire on her spectacularly. Swarmed by butterflies, buried in apples, feet yanked out from under her, plowed into the wall by balloons, and covered in rainbow slop from her computer. And this is despite her efforts to protect herself after each failure, to the point where she has isolated herself in a separate room by the time she gets to Rainbow Dash.
  • Continuity Nod: The helmet made out of a colander that Sunset uses on Fluttershy is similar to the one that Derpy wears in the episode "Slice of Life".
  • Failure Montage: The short is almost nothing but this, as Sunset Shimmer tries and fails to understand the Equestria Girls' magic. The short ends with her saying she has no idea how magic works in the human world, and collapses.
  • Fainting: The short ends up with Sunset Shimmer fainting from too much magic-induced mishaps piling up.
  • Glove Snap: Downplayed, but Sunset does indeed snap a latex glove on her hand while explaining the experiments she has planned. While the gesture isn't too threatening, Applejack doesn't look overly confident.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Sunset Shimmer wears one while attempting to measure magic.
  • Mythology Gag: This is essentially a retake on Sunset's magic studies in Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine.
  • Power Floats: As usual, frequent when the girls are using their magic. When Rarity powers up, she floats and one of the cords Sunset attached to her snags Sunset's foot and makes her fall flat on her back.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Sunset's attempt to monitor Fluttershy's energy output causes the reading to morph into a butterfly before knocking out power in the room.
  • Static Electricity: Pinkie Pie's drum playing summons a lot of balloons that push Sunset Shimmer into a wall, sticking her there with static.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Sunset Shimmer certainly tries, but she had as much success measuring magic as Twilight Sparkle did figuring out the "Pinkie Sense".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Applejack reacts surprisingly well to a giant mound of glowing apples landing on top of her friend.

    Pinkie Spy 
  • Balloonacy: When Rainbow Dash announce "We need to get a better view," naturally Pinkie Pie pulls out her trademark party balloons, that she somehow manages to slip underneath Rainbow, and they start floating above the trees.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Of course it's Pinkie Pie, so it should come as no surprise that she can switch through five different stealth outfits within seconds.
  • Continuity Nod: The entire short is basically an extended sequence of a similar scene between ponies Rainbow and Pinkie in "Over a Barrel".
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Pinkie Pie has a grappling hook shooter integrated with the belt of her "cat burglar" suit, and demonstrates its use.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Rainbow Dash has time to make a silly face after popping all of Pinkie's balloons, before gravity reclaims her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Upset, Rainbow Dash explains to Pinkie the basics of spying discreetly... in a voice that gets louder and louder until she's plain and simply yelling.
  • Iris Out: The short concludes with one, centered on the fleeing Pinkie and Rainbow.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Pinkie Pie starts off wearing a bush as a wig, then disguises herself as a tree while showing off her stealth outfits. When the Crystal Prep team finally spots her and Rainbow, she picks up the shrub she was hiding in before running, for some reason.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Most of the outfits Pinkie shows to Rainbow Dash, but particularly her "camouflage" outfit. While sporting the random spots and dark patches one would expect of military camouflage, it is all in bright pinks, making Pinkie stand out even more.
  • Shout-Out: Pinkie's black spy suit and green night vision goggles make her look not entirely unlike Sam Fisher.
  • Shrug Take: The Crystal Prep team members just exchange perplexed glances and shrug upon seeing Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie take off.
  • Spy Catsuit: Pinkie changes into one in a blink of the eye before demonstrating her "cat burglar" and "dog burglar" techniques.
  • Three-Point Landing: Rainbow Dash concludes her rolling acrobatics with this pose.
  • Tunnel King: Pinkie Pie in her "dog burglar" outfit puts on a puppy Spike mask, then quickly digs like a canine and makes a hole big enough to disappear into.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Rainbow Dash makes a few quite gratuitous rolls while sneaking on Crystal Prep's sport team. She can't help showing off, even when she's supposed to be stealthy.
  • Visible Boom Mic: Played for laughs when Pinkie hangs one above two Crystal Prep athletes. Somehow, they don't notice.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Pinkie Pie, on fleeing after they're spotted by the Crystal Prep students, has her legs turning into round blue-and-pink blurs.
  • With Catlike Tread:
    • Pinkie Pie's attempts at stealth are more conspicuous than anything else, with party balloons and a giant boom mic being just the tip of the iceberg. Her ridiculous outfits include a wig looking like a bush, a tree disguise, a bunny suit... and the "camouflage" one, looking like army fatigues but entirely in shades of pink.
      Rainbow Dash: That's like the opposite of camouflage!
    • Not that Rainbow Dash is much better. Beside her abuse of the Unnecessary Combat Roll, when upset at Pinkie she starts yelling that they need to stay quiet. Of course, her shouting eventually gets them noticed.

    All's Fair in Love & Friendship Games 
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Sweetie Drops really gets into character once disguised as an owl, including starting out with her head turned backward.
  • Anger Montage: Lyra and Sweetie Drops's competition devolves into one as the two of them compete against each other.
  • Apple of Discord: The limited slots for the Friendship Games for Lyra and Sweetie Drops.
  • Big "OMG!": Sweetie Drops and Lyra give a G-rated variant when they hear about the Friendship Games tryouts.
    Sweetie Drops: O.
    Lyra Heartstrings: M.
    Both: Goodness!
  • Dramatic Spotlight: Both Lyra and Sweetie Drops shows up under a spotlight when they start their dance routines. How they could be doing this while outside on the sport field, and especially how they manage to lower the overall daylight while doing so is not explained.
  • Easily Forgiven: Once they both gets slots in the Games, the pair forgets the entire conflict and makes up.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Lyra and Sweetie Drops do this repeatedly with each other.
  • Iris Out: The short ends with an iris shaped like a heart closing on Lyra and Sweetie Drops as they hug each other.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of the students watching notes how weird things got with the competition.
    Micro Chips: Is it just me, or did things take a turn towards Weirdsville? [pulls out phone]
  • Mundane Made Awesome: While competing with each other, Lyra and Sweetie Drops do some ordinary activities in impressive ways, such as competitive hot dog eating, flower arranging, pottery, and sculpting. For the last of these, Sweetie Drops needs one blow with a hammer and chisel to carve a perfect replica of herself from a block of stone.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Both Lyra and Sweetie Drops perform great feats of strength during the competition despite their incredibly skinny frames, such as weightlifting, ripping a phone book in half, and caber tossing. Sweetie Drops even dominates Bulk Biceps in an arm-wrestling contest.
  • One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: Sweetie Drops proves enraged enough that she easily beats Bulk Biceps at arm-wrestling, to the latter's astonishment.
  • Peacock Girl: Lyra disguises as a male peacock for the final showdown.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Lyra and Sweetie Drops as a result of the limited slots. They make up at the end when they both make it.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Lyra's dance routine is interrupted by one, whereupon Sweetie Drops starts into hers.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skirt over Slacks: Lyra wears shorts under her skirt as part of her normal clothing, then changes into tights and a skirt for the dance-off against Sweetie Drops.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: When Sandalwood interrupts Lyra and Sweetie Drops to announce that Vice-Principal Luna posted the roster for the Friendship Games teams, the screen gets split in three to show their simultaneous reaction.
  • "Staying Alive" Dance Pose: Lyra's number opens with a Gratuitous Disco Sequence, starting with her in this classic pose.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: Just before the Anger Montage starts, Lyra and Sweetie Drops take poses out of a Fighting Game, complete with their pixelated faces and Life Meters made of hearts.

    Photo Finished 
  • Big Ball of Violence: Well, not quite "of Violence," but Photo Finish's assistants jumping on Cheerilee produce the same effect with a large cloud of smoke obscuring them.
  • Book-Ends: The short begins and ends with a view of Vice-Principal Luna's office door.
  • Camera Fiend: Photo Finish whips out a camera with a huge telephoto lens at a moment's notice and shoots dozens of pictures from every conceivable angle.
  • Catchphrase: Photo Finish's "Hold that pose!" and "Enough! I go."
  • The Comically Serious: Pixel Pizazz and Violet Blurr never change their expressions, remaining stoic and almost bored-looking the entire time they are helping Photo Finish, but help her set up everything and take her photos at the same amazing speed she moves at.
  • Control Freak: Photo Finish has her assistants micromanage her photographic subjects, and she herself loudly orders them around.
  • Death Glare: After Photo Finish and the Snapshots leave after bugging Cheerilee, the shot stays on Cheerilee long enough for her to give an angry look.
  • Finger Framing: Photo Finish makes the gesture along with a commanding "Hold that pose!" to Luna, before yet another frantic shooting session.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Vice-Principal Luna asks Photo Finish to get some good shots for the school's yearbook. Photo Finish obliges, at the expense of harassing other students, school staff, and even Luna herself at the end.
  • Karma Houdini: Photo Finish and the Snapshots get no punishment for disrupting their fellow students and teachers. Luna calls Photo Finish to her office when she gets complaints but only tells Photo Finish to try to be less disruptive once she actually sees her photos. Then Photo Finish and the Snapshots make Luna their next victim.
  • Large Ham: Photo Finish gets pretty hammy, like when she's telling her subjects to "Hold that pose!"
  • Magic Skirt: Considering some of the poses Photo Finish ends up in, it's lucky this trope is enforced here.
  • Mid-Air Motion Shot: Photo Finish gets some of these of a student playing basketball, with the help of backlighting, a fan, a trampoline, and a bin full of balls.
  • No Indoor Voice: Photo Finish is loud when taking her pictures, even in the library.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: When it comes to capturing "the magicks," personal space becomes such a foreign concept to Photo Finish and her assistants that the other students and staff complain to Vice-Principal Luna. Heck, even the Vice-Principal herself isn't immune.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Pixel Pizazz and Violet Blurr show up in Luna's office in a snap of the fingers even though they were nowhere to be seen in the previous shot.
  • Oh, Crap!: Vice-Principal Luna when she realizes that she'll be the next victim of "ze magicks."
  • Reality Ensues: Even if Luna asked her to take the photos, it doesn't keep the students from complaining about how Photo Finish went about taking them.
  • Super Speed: You'd think the Snapshots have this power given how quick they can setup a photo session, and how fast they make everything disappear once finished.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Vice-Principal Luna's reaction when Photo Finish decides to work on her.
  • The Voiceless: Photo Finish's assistants don't say a word. Of her victims, only Cheerilee manages to protest before they zoom off.
  • Winged Unicorn: One of the students (Watermelody) is painting an alicorn when Photo jumps her.

    A Banner Day 
  • Ahem: Luna clears her throat to get the boys' attention once she returns to check on them.
  • Air Quotes: Flash Sentry makes the gesture to mock Sandalwood's comment about a "spirit guide".
  • Apple of Discord: Different ideas for what the banner should show cause rifts between the three guys.
  • Blatant Lies: Flash implies to Luna that they planned the end design.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: Luna inspects the boys work and Micro begins to apologize to her saying "We're really—" only for Luna to cut him off saying "proud of yourselves I hope." in an apparently disappointed tone, only to turn around happy and finish saying that their work is wonderful.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Luna left three students with vastly different creative styles alone with only vague instructions about what she wanted. It's amazing anything usable turned up.
  • Disaster Dominoes: This occurs with the supplies the boys are using and they all complain about the others messing up their designs.
  • Here We Go Again!: Luna likes the banner that Flash, Sandalwood and Micro Chips come up with, but wants five more of them by the end of the day.
  • Lotus Position: Sandalwood's posture of choice to come with a concept and then work on the banner. It must have been recommended by his "spirit guide".
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Flash swats Micro's hand away when he starts to accidentally get glitter in Flash's hair and shouts "Watch the hair man!"
  • Not So Above It All: This is the first time Nice Guy Flash Sentry has ever gotten angry when he wasn't brainwashed. He takes pride in his musical talent and doesn't appreciate others messing it up or insulting his work.
  • Oh, Crap!: The boys each visibly panic once Luna walks in on them arguing, as they believe they didn't create a good banner due to their argument.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: The boys eventually devolve into smashing into each other, shouting "You're ruining my design!"
  • Poor Communication Kills: The three boys just decide to do their own thing, without any kind of planned compromise or way to get their ideas to mesh, and end up with a disorganized mess of a banner. By sheer dumb luck, Luna approves of the end result.
  • Split Screen: For the three guys exclaiming "You're ruining my design!" at the same time.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: Subverted. Despite having radically different ideas, and all drawing them at the same time, the three boys manage to come up with a design Vice-Principal Luna likes.
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