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As part of the release of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, a series of eight, self-contained shorts that can be considered preludes for the film (though "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" probably fit better as sequels) have been released on The Hub's various media channels. All of these are new scenes and are neither part of the film proper nor reused in it (although they get some nods). They include:

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  • "Music to My Ears", featuring DJ Pon-3 strutting across town to the rhythm of electro music in her headphones.
  • "Guitar Centered", featuring Rainbow Dash and Trixie competing over a guitar.
  • "Hamstocalypse Now", featuring Fluttershy dealing with rowdy hamsters with the calming sounds of a tambourine.
  • "Pinkie on the One", featuring Rainbow Dash discovering that Pinkie Pie's inexhaustible energy is ideal for a drummer.
  • "Player Piano", featuring Rarity discovering the benefits of a lighter-weight keytar over a grand piano.
  • "A Case for the Bass" featuring Applejack trying to get her bass guitar back after Granny Smith sells it to the Flim Flam Brothers by mistake.
  • "Shake Your Tail!", departing from the character-focused shorts, has the Rainbooms try to decide on a theme for an upcoming school dance. The title song is reused in the film.
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  • "Perfect Day for Fun!", showing the Rainbooms having fun at a school carnival before performing for the crowd.

After the film's premiere, three more music video shorts were released on March 31st, collectively known as "Rainbow Rocks Encore"note :


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The Rainbow Rocks Shorts provides examples of:

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    General 
Pre-Movie Shorts
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The shorts and their novelization tell how Twilight's human friends came to form a rock band and got their current instruments.
    • The novelization explains Twilight's presence in "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" as being part of a Fantasy Sequence. Pony Twilight, at home in Equestria, misses her Canterlot High friends and imagines herself having fun with them.
  • Animated Music Video: "Music to My Ears", "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!"
  • Episode Title Card: All the shorts use one, unlike episodes of the series.
  • Excited Show Title!: "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" have an exclamation mark on the Episode Title Card.
  • The Power of Rock: In the character-focused shorts, the Equestria Girls transform by playing their respective instruments.
  • Ship Tease: In the novelization, Twilight refers to Flash Sentry as "handsome".
  • Shout-Out: When performing in the two "exclamation marks" shorts, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash wear makeup evocative of both the "facial Cutie Marks" the first film's dolls had and the trademarked makeup of KISS.
  • Shown Their Work: As with the main movie, it is quite noticeable that the animation team worked on the appropriate motions for close-ups when the characters are playing their instruments, such as the fingering patterns on the guitar necks or Rarity's keytar.
  • Skirt over Slacks: The Rainbooms' scenic costumes for the two last shorts all feature this element.
  • Transformation Sequence: One for each of the five character-centered shorts. The main point of them can be said to show off how playing music is triggering a transformation to anthropony form for each member of the Rainbooms, along with some other magical effects (at the very least, power floating).
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In all of the main characters-centered shorts, no-one seems to bring attention to the fact that the girls are suddenly regaining the pony ears and pony tails from the previous movie. Then again, no-one really seemed to notice their transformation in the previous movie either.
  • The Voiceless: DJ Pon-3 appears to be this. In the novelization of the shorts, she does not speak at all, instead communicating through text messages even to the people near her, which implies she may in fact be The Speechless.

Post-Movie Shorts

  • Animated Music Video: All three shorts — "Life Is a Runway", "Friendship Through the Ages" and "My Past Is Not Today" — is a music video in animated form.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle details, but some things have evolved since the movie.
    • Beyond Sunset Shimmer's change in wardrobe, her hair also looks more desaturated than before (especially obvious when she's standing next to her brightly colored pictures from the first movie).
    • The characters having boot-shaped feet, even when in sandals, is changing for something more anatomically correct (notably seen with Sweetie Drops in "Life Is a Runway" and Pinkie Pie in "Friendship Through the Ages").
  • Costume Evolution: Sunset has a new outfit in the shorts after cementing her Heel–Face Turn at the end of the film proper, consisting of a turquoise blouse (matching the color of her eyes) with a translucent yellow skirt, blue leggings, a new pair of black boots with higher heels and a new black jacket with shorter sleeves, both with orange trim.
  • Episode Title Card: Very fancy ones, just like with the previous shorts.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sunset Shimmer has been added to the ponies-to-humans Eye Catch at the end of each short, to the right of Twilight. This can be easy to miss, since it's otherwise identical to the end of the opening for the first movie.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: A variation. The ponies-to-humans Eye Catch at the end of each short now has Sunset's silhouette added to the right of Twilight.

    Music to My Ears 
  • Ascended Extra: DJ Pon-3 has an entire short dedicated to her. Quite impressive for a background character who had a total screentime in both the cartoon and first movie of less than two minutes beforehand, and still hasn't verbalized so much as a single sound.
  • Ascended Meme: DJ Pon-3 spends all of the short breakdancing and strutting to electro music (not dubstep) on her way to class.
  • The Cameo: Cranky Doodle Donkey appears as one of the school's teachers.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Most of the short, whenever DJ Pon-3 has her headphones on. Implying this is how she views the world while listening to electro music.
  • Feet-First Introduction: DJ Pon-3's intro. And yes, she exchanged her boots for sneakers since Equestria Girls.
  • Foreshadowing: This seems like the odd one out of the shorts, focusing completely on Ascended Extra DJ Pon-3 and barely even featuring the Equestria Girls at all. Cue the revelation at the climax of the movie that she actually has a significant plot-relevant role to play as the 11th-Hour Ranger. The short also highlights the fact that her headphones constantly blast music that blocks out all other sounds, including Mind-Control Music.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "Music to My Ears" is this for DJ Pon-3.
  • Match Cut: DJ Pon-3 letting the doors of the café close behind immediately cuts to her kicking open the front doors of Canterlot High School.
  • Mickey Mousing: The video is mostly nothing but DJ Pon-3 and the world around her moving in rhythm with electro music.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There is exactly one line of dialogue, spoken by Mrs. Cake when Vinyl Scratch takes her headphones off to order something.
  • Mr. Muffykins: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are shown with a chihuahua carried in a purse.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The brostep soundtrack reaches 10.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: DJ Pon-3 just crossing the street? AWESOME!
  • Overcrank: The moment DJ Pon-3 enters the café and until she reaches the counter, the motions slow down along with the music. This doesn't seem to concern Pinkie Pie, however.
  • Source Music: The music entirely comes from DJ Pon-3's headphones. It starts when she select it at the beginning, pauses at the café when she takes them off, and stops when Principal Celestia confiscates her headphones. The music returns when Vinyl puts on a set of earbuds.

    Guitar Centered 
  • Aside Glance: From Pinkie Pie, not surprisingly: she winks toward the audience at the end, with an Iris Out closing on her eyes.
  • Battle Aura: All of the girls gets a magical aura when they "pony up", but Rainbow Dash's is the most impressive in this short since it happens during a "shred-off": she's covered in a nimbus of yellow, crackling electric energy, along with Glowing Eyes, spooking Trixie.
  • Behind the Black: Trixie is nowhere to be seen in the music shop, nor there is any hint she's coming in from the other characters, until the very moment she grabs the double-necked guitar along with Rainbow Dash.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Pinkie shows Rainbow a banjo and a tuba, two instruments her pony version could play in "Swarm of the Century".
    • Rainbow Dash does what can be only be described as a "Sonic Rainstomp", producing a similar effect as her counterpart's Sonic Rainboom.
  • Convenient Color Change: During her "shred-off" with Trixie, Rainbow Dash goes "full pegasus" and her Transformation Sequence also transforms the guitar she borrows for the contest, making the body a shiny sapphire-blue and the neck red with lightning bolts. Rainbow decides to take this guitar rather than the double-neck model she and Trixie were competing over, and it keeps its new appearance in the movie.
  • Duels Decide Everything: Rainbow Dash and Trixie have a "shred-off" to decide who gets to buy a coveted double-necked guitar. RD wins, only to let Trixie have first crack at the guitar since she came to like the one she used against her.
  • Eyed Screen:
    • First Rainbow Dash, when she accepts to duel for the guitar, has a close-up on her eyes framed by black bands.
    • Then Trixie, during the shred-off, by mean of a horizontal Split Screen with her eyes in the middle.
  • Fish Eyes: Very briefly, Trixie has her eyes rolling in opposite direction after she's sent crashing into drums by Rainbow Dash's "Sonic Rainstomp".
  • Foreshadowing: This short highlights the fact that a literal Battle of the Bands can occur (as happens during "Under Our Spell" and the finale of the film) as the force of music impacts both Trixie and Rainbow Dash as they play against each other.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Trixie, to enhance her dramatic statement: "You'll pay for that, Rainbow Dash!"
  • Glowing Eyes: Unlike with the other girls in the rest of the shorts, Rainbow Dash's power-up is accompanied by blank, white glowing eyes.
  • Iris Out: The short finishes with one, closing up on Pinkie Pie's face.
  • Literal-Minded: Pinkie Pie shows as much when Rainbow Dash leaves Trixie with a guitar neither of them can afford (well, either that or she's just rubbing it in):
    Trixie Lulamoon: You'll pay for this, Rainbow Dash!
    Pinkie Pie: No, silly! If you want it, you'll have to pay for it.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Rainbow Dash forfeits the double-necked guitar to Trixie after their guitar duel; Trixie has only so much time to savor her "victory" before realizing her prize costs $12,000.
  • Reality Ensues: Rainbow Dash lets Trixie have the chance to buy the double-neck electric guitar they were competing over... but Trixie can't afford it. Naturally, the flashiest, most elaborate guitar in a store is also the most expensive one.
  • Reflective Eyes: When Rainbow Dash catches sight of the double-necked guitar, it reflects in her eyes.
  • Reveal Shot: A pair of blue hands close on the two necks of the guitar Rainbow Dash has chosen... only for the view to zoom out and show that one of those hands belongs to Trixie. Cue tug-o-war for the guitar.
  • Shout-Out: "Guitar Centered" in title is most likely a nod to the Guitar Center chain of music stores.

    Hamstocalypse Now 
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Rarity becomes jumpy when she realizes that hamsters are rodents.
  • Epic Fail: Fluttershy asks Rarity to keep watch on the otherwise tame hamsters while she cleans their habitat. Rarity causes the hamsters to break out into chaos because she felt the need to design cute little outfits for them and making some jealous of others. Also, she named them.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • One of the hamsters rides on the kitty cat like a cowboy.
    • In another shot, one hamster in a suit and tie proposes marriage to another in a dress with a ridiculously large ring, which she promptly smacks away.
  • Idiot Ball: Rarity picks it up by making outfits for the hamsters while Fluttershy cleans their home. Clearly they're too much for her but she doesn't realize this until after Fluttershy is about finished.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Fluttershy is thrilled to be cleaning the hamster habitat; she even signed up for the job months in advance.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The hamsters get swirly eyes as soon as they hear Fluttershy's tambourine.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: The hamsters are entranced by Fluttershy's tambourine, which she uses to herd them back into their enclosure, thus triggering her Transformation Sequence.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critters: The hamsters are so cute that Rarity not only quickly overcomes her Eek, a Mouse!! reaction, but designs cute outfits for them. Also, she named them.
  • Shout-Out:

    Pinkie on the One 
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Pinkie Pie, who literally channels Animal when she's put behind the drums for the first time. She certainly has enough energy for the job.
  • Answer Cut: Rainbow Dash and others are in the cafeteria, with Rainbow worried by who can be their drummer, all while Pinkie is bouncing around the table, banging out a rhythm with utensils across glasses, dishes, and her friends, when inspiration suddenly strikes Rainbow. Cut to Pinkie laying down a wicked drum solo.
  • Covered in Gunge: Rainbow Dash first gets splashed by chocolate batter, and later covered from head to toes in glitter dust, in both cases thanks to Pinkie Pie.
  • Defensive "What?": Pinkie Pie when Applejack stops her from drumming with her spoons during lunch.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Rainbow Dash telling Pinkie — Pinkie — to use as much glitter as she wants.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After Pinkie completes her drum solo / transformation sequence, she spends a few moments breathing heavily, her hair a mess and her tongue hanging out, the same as one Animal would do.
    • In the cafeteria scene, one of the geek characters is apparently reading 4chan on his laptop; 4chan is typically credited with being where the brony fandom originated even if entirely not intentional.
  • Shown Their Work: The phrase "on the one" (which James Brown often used to cue his band) means that the first beat of each measure should have a heavy drum accent. This pattern is uncommon in popular music, which typically emphasizes the second and fourth beats. Thus, a song that is "on the one" is strange and unusual, a perfect way to describe Pinkie.
  • Sting: Pinkie plays a Rim Shot at the end as a response to Rainbow Dash.
    Rarity: What ever made you think of Pinkie for the drums?
    Rainbow Dash: I dunno. Guess I just have a sense for these things.

    Player Piano 
  • Air Quotes: Applejack does one-handed quotes when mockingly mentioning Rarity's "Full Musicality".
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Rarity wants to incorporate a grand piano into the band's songs because it is the height of elegance for instruments. But getting it across campus to the rehearsal hall proves too much of a hassle, even with the Diamond Dog Boys doing the heavy lifting. She gets around this problem by switching to a keytar.
  • Big Entrance: The four friends are waiting for Rarity to practice, and Applejack comments, "That gal probably just want to make some sort of grand entrance." Cue the doors bursting open with Rarity being carried in on a grand piano by the humanized Diamond Dogs.
    Rarity: Ta-daaaa!
  • False Dichotomy: Rarity wants to play a concert grand piano in the band; the only other option offered is a keytar, even though an electric piano or synthesizer would have fulfilled the "portable" requirement and allowed similar musical expression to a real piano.
  • Hair Reboot: Rarity's hair is a mess after having pushed the wheel-less piano for a while. When she "vamps up" to call for the Diamond Dog Boys' help, though, it gets back to perfect just by smoothing it with her hand.
  • Mythology Gag: The short introduces the humanized version of the Diamond Dogs from "A Dog and Pony Show". Once again, they are played like a fiddle by Rarity.
  • The Voiceless: The Diamond Dogs (portrayed as humans) appear in a subservient role to Rarity, never uttering a word.
  • Wingding Eyes: The humanized Diamond Dogs' eyes turn gem-shaped at the sight of Rarity.

    A Case for the Bass 
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Flim and Flam try to make a 50,000% profit (selling AJ's bass for $1,000 from AJ's quoted price of $2). Their excuse is that they need to cover their overhead and transportation costs. AJ manages to talk them back down to $2 in exchange for crier services.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As in Equestria, Granny Smith is the one in this universe to get Applejack into hot water with Flim and Flam, in this case having sold Applejack's bass to them.
    • One of the items Flim and Flam try to sell is a brain-activity sensor similar to the one Twilight used on Pinkie in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
  • Convenient Color Change: A subtler version than with Rainbow Dash occurs. As Applejack transforms, her bass gains some decorative etching, a pair of F-holes, and an apple on its body, and smaller apples between the frets. This appearance also carries over to the movie.
  • Face Palm: Applejack at the end, when Granny Smith ponders since when did she play the bass.
  • Goofy Suit: Applejack has to wear a banana outfit to act as crier for the Flim-Flam Brothers pawn shop. Of course it looks ridiculous; the cowboy hat perched on top of the stem doesn't help.
  • Hair Reboot: The Flim-Flam Brothers' hair (and mustache) are blown straight by Applejack's guitar solo, but they get it back to normal just by shaking heads.
  • Lean and Mean: Though it can be argued how villainous they are, the human versions of the Flim-Flam brothers are very tall and thin. It's quite notable because the design of male characters in the movies isn't usually that skinny.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: When Applejack proves her ownership of her bass, Flim and Flam propose a trade instead of the $1,000 sale price. What does it entail? Applejack playing her bass outside as an advertisement for the Flim-Flam Brothers pawn shop. To add insult to injury, she has to wear a banana outfit as well.
    Granny Smith: Since when do you play the bass?
    Applejack: [facepalm]
  • Shout-Out: Three record albums hung on a wall in Flim and Flam's store are distinctly similar to the prism of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, the banana of the Andy Warhol-inspired color for the Velvet Underground's first and Self-Titled Album, and the cover of Wilco's "AM". Framed film posters in the back of the store looks much like that for Jaws and Batman (1989).

    Shake Your Tail! 
  • Animal-Eared Headband: The horse-ears headbands and tails from the first movie make a comeback during the party.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the second verse of the song, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Applejack have lyrics reflecting their Equestrian counterparts' Elements of Laughter, Generosity, and Honesty, respectively.
    • The Wondercolts' horse-ears headbands and tails from the first movie make a comeback during the party.
  • Finger Framing: Rarity makes this gesture at the beginning of the music video.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Part of the hula-dancer costumes for Pinkie's decor idea.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several are used, from the characters crossing the screen, to flowers and paper planes covering it, to RD pulling a rainbow-colored banner from the ceiling.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Pinkie Pie dresses all her friends (and herself) as hula dancers (including grass skirts and leis) in a flurry of flowers, and they at first look puzzled by this.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The title song is the only audio.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Throughout the music video, the Rainbooms have been trying out different party themes according to their own preferences. In the end, they just combine them all and rock out.
  • Offscreen Crash: When Pinkie Pie is sent flying from the mechanical rodeo bull, we see the other girls cringing as she crashes. In truth she landed into hay bales and is unharmed (and delighted).
  • Watch Where You're Going!: Pinkie and Twilight smashes heads when they're both trying to catch a basketball and ends up too focused on it.

    Perfect Day for Fun! 
  • The Cameo: Discord appears as a stuffed toy prize.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Applejack beats Rainbow Dash in the "Test Your Strength" game just like their pony selves do in "Fall Weather Friends".
    • A Discord plushie freaks Fluttershy out.
    • Cheerilee and Big Mac walk side-by-side once more.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The second picture taken in the photo booth montage shows Twilight apparently groping Applejack's breast, while AJ has a suitably dismayed expression on her face.
  • Human Hummingbird: Rainbow Dash shortly loses her balance and is about to fall from the scene. Note that she's flapping both her arms and her wings.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Here it's mainly the girls' cell phones which are used for screen wipes.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Again, the title song is the only audio, though it has AJ speak one line that rhymes with the lyrics.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The Rainbooms are separated into three groups of two, and half of the short is about them trying to meet up.
  • Photo Booth Montage: The photo booths are the meeting place of the girls, and when they're finally together, a few pictures of them fooling around inside are shown.
  • Picture-Perfect Presentation:
    • There is a zoom on a poster announcing the Rainbooms performing, which transition to the band actually on stage.
    • Inverted with the ending shot, with the group picture zooming out to show it is on the screen of Twilight's phone while the girls are on the Ferris wheel.
  • Pop-Up Texting: The main characters try to find a common meeting place at their school carnival. As they communicate via text, they have pop-ups indicating what they are saying, although they only do this through symbols, with no actual words displayed in the pop-up (e.g. "Butterfly Star @ Photo Booth" means "Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle are near the photo booths").
  • Ship Tease: Big Macintosh and Cheerilee can be seen walking together. Since Big Mac is (apparently) a student and Cheerilee a teacher though...
  • Split Screen: Lots of them as the six girls are separated into three pairs and looking for each other at the carnival. With the last one, though, the separation disappears to show they're back together.

    Life Is a Runway 
  • The Cameo: Roseluck and Amethyst Star get human versions. Bulk Biceps, Derpy, Lyra and Bon Bon (already shown in the film) also appear.
  • Continuity Nod: Rarity walks out in the same outfit she used for the final concert of Rainbow Rocks.
  • Costume Porn: The whole short, naturally, being all about Rarity getting the fashion show of her dreams.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The dresses for Bon Bon, Roseluck and Amethyst Star are close matches to those of the post-Rainbow Rocks doll releases for these characters. Lyra's is far different (which in reality is much more rainbow-crazy).
  • Fanservice: Rarity's fashion show, giving new outfits to several fan favorites and having them do a Sexy Walk, can hardly be described as anything else.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Rarity has an Imagine Spot where she can simply point at others and dress them in her fashions in an instant, giving Derpy, Cheerilee, Lyra and Bon Bon fresh new outfits. Pony Rarity can do this for real, so it can take the viewer a moment to remember that human Rarity can't outside an Imagine Spot.
  • Modeling Poses: Rarity primarily, as well as all of her models on the runway, take poses that show off the design of their clothes.
  • Sexy Walk: Rarity seriously shakes her hips on leaving the boutique. And all of her impromptu models too, once on the runway. Of course, that's how fashion models are supposed to move.

    Friendship Through the Ages 
  • '80s Hair: As fitting with the style of her segment, Pinkie Pie sports a very '80s-ish crimped side ponytail hairstyle, looking pretty much pixelated.
  • A Cappella: Following each individual segment, the girls sing a cappella as an ensemble in a Bohemian Parody.
  • Be Yourself: Applejack's segment has her say this, with Sunset moving on from duplicating Applejack's dance moves to doing some of her own, illustrating this.
  • Bohemian Parody: Among the many musical shout-outs throughout the short, the part following the individual segments where the girls are singing together in the shadow and their faces are lighted one by one is clearly inspired by the start of "Bohemian Rhapsody".
  • Continuity Nod: For her segment, Rarity is wearing the same Sgt. Pepper-style vest she tries once in the movie, although along a more complete outfit.
  • Costume Porn: Whatever you think of the Rockin' Hairstyles dolls line, those designs look great once animated.
  • Crowd Surfing: Sunset Shimmer indulges in surfing atop the crowd of CHS students during Rainbow Dash's Punk Rock part.
  • Diegetic Switch: It looks like that, in their respective scenes, Twilight (on the piano), Fluttershy (on the tambourine) and Applejack (on her bass) are the one playing, but the music continues even when they stop. Would be the case for Rainbow Dash too, except she has backup guitarists.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Shows up for a bit towards the end, where all seven girls are seen dancing together.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: For a second and a half in Pinkie Pie's segment, she wears her Gummy plushy as a scarf.
  • Genre Roulette: The short does this with music genres, with each segment from the Rainbooms being based off a different type of music. Twilight Sparkle's is classical, Fluttershy's is folk, Rarity's is Beatles-eque pop rock, Rainbow Dash's is punk, Applejack's is country, and Pinkie Pie's is new wave.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During Rainbow Dash's segment, it really looks like one of the boys (Heath Burnsinvoked to be specific) supporting Sunset Shimmer while she's Crowd Surfing has his hands lingering a bit to cop a feel.
  • Group Hug: One concludes the music video, once again with Sunset Shimmer in the middle.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The short has one between every different singer segment: flying dandelion seeds, a flower stem seguing into Rainbow Dash's guitar neck, guitar bits flying around, an apple-shaped iris out, the image getting pixelated and blocks falling down, photograph flashes... and finally, a record rolling around with Sunset Shimmer's face in the center.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself:
    • Rarity has large sunglasses with purple-tinted lenses as part of her costume.
    • Pinkie Pie is briefly seen with heart-shaped shutter shades.
  • Musical Pastiche: Each individual segment is in a specific music style, from various time periods as the title alludes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Pinkie Pie is dressed to a tee like '80s Cyndi Lauper, fittingly.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Rainbow Dash ends up smashing a guitar during her Punk Rock segment. Note that it isn't her favorite one she acquired in "Guitar Centered".
  • Shout-Out: The short is saturated with musical shout-outs, each related to the music homaged.
    • The intro also musically resembles "Let It Go".
    • Fluttershy's segment is straight out of The Sound of Music, with a bit of Disney Princess vibe.
    • Rarity's is making a two-fer reference to The Beatles, with her costume coming from Sgt. Pepper while the background is typical of Yellow Submarine.
    • Pinkie's borrows general elements of the '80s, including at one point using Saved by the Bell-type backgrounds. She also reaches to extract Sunset from a glowing grid into cartoon form, similar to visuals of Aha's "Take on Me". At one point, her lyrics invoke Andy Warhol's expression "15 Minutes of Fame".
    • The concluding A Cappella ensemble references Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", as mentioned above.

    My Past Is Not Today 
  • Call-Back: The short features a couple flashbacks and call backs, mostly to the first movie. Notably, we see Sunset Shimmer taking off the wall the three pictures of her former victories as Princess of the Fall Formal and throwing them in a trash can.
  • The Coats Are Off: Sunset does this a second time with her brand-new jacket.
  • Continuity Nod: Sunset Shimmer casts her jacket off again.
  • Cue the Sun: It goes from sunset to sunrise in two minutes from the beginning to the end of the music video.
  • Flashback: Two flashbacks from before the Rainbow Rocks events are used:
    • The first is reused footage of Demon-Sunset's Defeat Means Friendship from Equestria Girls.
    • Then, we have a subsequent scene of the students spurning Sunset Shimmer, with the exception of her friends.
  • Hot Wings: Sunset Shimmer manifests phoenix-like wings at the end. The exact meaning of this has yet to be revealed.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: Sunset Shimmer sings about leaving her former self behind for a more promising future, refusing to be defined by her past deeds.
  • I Hate Past Me: The song is all about Sunset Shimmer rejecting her villainous past and any lingering sway it has over her, even chasing away a reflection of her demonic form and throwing the pictures of her past Fall Formal victories away. And that's not even mentioning all The Phoenix symbolism, especially the Hot Wings she manifests as the sun rises.
  • Image Song: The lyrics and video show some of Sunset Shimmer's reformation, which is only hinted at in the film.
  • Incredibly Long Note: The note on the final word of the song ("today") is very lengthy, further emphasizing the moment Sunset spreads her wings.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Sunset Shimmer sees her reflection in the glass dome of the school library becoming that of her demonic form, before angrily chasing it away.
  • The Phoenix: Sunset takes on a form with flaming bird-like wings at the end, after singing about atoning for all her sins. The imagery literally demonstrates putting her old life behind her as part of completing her full Heel–Face Turn. The lyrics even directly mention the phoenix.
  • Power Floats: Sunset Shimmer starts floating toward the end, even before acquiring Hot Wings.
  • The Power of the Sun: Sunset gains her Hot Wings as the sun rises. Fitting, given her cutie mark and The Phoenix symbolism in the song.
  • Reflective Eyes: At the beginning, the setting sun is reflected in Sunset's eyes for a short moment.
  • Rule of Symbolism: There's a lot of symbolism and references revolving around The Phoenix as Sunset casts off any lingering sway from her dark past and rises into the air with Hot Wings as the sun comes over the horizon.
  • The Shadow Knows: The Episode Title Card shows Sunset Shimmer's shadow shaped like her grinning demonic form.
  • Shout-Out: Sunset Shimmer has a Super Saiyan-style hairdo and pose when she transforms at the end.
  • Stealth Pun: "My Past Is Not Today", a Sunset Shimmer song, starts out with her framed by... the sunset. And at the end, she's literally shimmering.
  • Stock Footage: Footage from the climax of Equestria Girls is used as a flashback.

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