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One last chance before the holiday's here!

A special Christmas Episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Hearth's Warming Eve is rapidly approaching, creating stress among Twilight, Spike and her friends to get everyone gifts that year. Seeing Twilight in such a panic, Applejack suggests a new approach, doing what her large extended family did: a Hearth's Warming Helper exchange, where each of them is secretly assigned one of the others and gets that one pony a gift. They all agree that's better, and the seven all pull their randomly-assigned pony to begin shopping for them. The ponies go their various ways:

  • Twilight Sparkle has gotten Pinkie and knows that a food-based gift would be best, but wants something more unique than just cookies or cake. She comes onto a special pudding recipe made by Chancellor Puddinghead, but requiring the precise mixing of ingredients to get just right. As she is in the process of making the pudding, Shining Armor, Cadance, and Flurry Heart arrive. They try to help Twilight relax, unaware that Flurry Heart has accidentally added more ingredients to the pudding.
  • Pinkie Pie has gotten Twilight. Having planned to have given matching presents to all her friends, she laments about now having to only get one special present. Her sisters suggests that the Yaks claim to be the best at gift-giving, so Pinkie sets off to visit Yakyakistan. There, Prince Rutherford lets her in on the secret that the yaks aren't the best gift-givers but he tells her where to find them, up further north. Traveling there, Pinkie meets three reindeer, Aurora, Bori, and Alice, who knew she was coming and prepare a perfect gift for Twilight. Pinkie is confused by the gift's content but thanks them for the help.
  • Rarity has gotten Applejack, and orders her a special hat from Manehattan. However, the package gets lost in transit, and instead of being delivered to Rarity, has been sent to Sweet Acorn Orchard. She goes there personally to get the package, but finds the son, Pistachio, to be a budding fashion designer and is enthralled with the hat having believed it was sent to him. She cannot bring herself to take the hat back, and lets him keep it, hoping it will help with his fashion career.
  • Rainbow Dash has Fluttershy, but in trying to ask her what she wants, she can't decide on anything, annoying Dash. Discord appears, and suggests a perfect gift for Fluttershy, a small critter known as a winterchilla, but would require somepony with amazing speed to collect. Rainbow Dash takes this idea and they quickly capture one to take back to the castle, with Rainbow Dash inviting Discord to join them that evening for the exchange.
  • Spike, originally having gotten Rainbow Dash, tricks Fluttershy so that he gets Rarity. He realizes that he's been so focused on trying to get Rarity in the exchange that he has no idea what to give her. Spike decides to try to make something himself with glitter and glue, hoping she will like it. He ends up falling asleep among the work, getting covered in glitter.
  • Fluttershy, now with Rainbow Dash, tags along with Applejack, who got Spike, to go to Rainbow Falls and shop there. Fluttershy is quickly taken in by a scam by Flim and Flam to sell poorly-made "Holly the Hearth's Warming Doll", spending all her money. Applejack sees that many other ponies are being taken in by the same scam, and AJ and Fluttershy work together to expose Flim and Flam's scam. However, after all is said and done, all they have left for their gifts are a couple of the Holly dolls.

As they all return to Twilight's castle for the exchange, Twilight finds that the pudding with Flurry's added ingredients has grown and spread through the castle, trying to grab anypony within reach. Discord fails to tell Rainbow that sunset causes the winterchilla to become a giant winterzilla, which begins rampaging through the castle. Twilight tries to lure it away by using Spike as bait, but it becomes distracted and starts eating the holiday decorations again. At Discord's suggestion, Fluttershy uses her skill with animals to calm the winterzilla down and make it promise to behave, since its family is away for Hearth's Warming. Meanwhile, Twilight tells Pinkie of her mishap with the pudding, and Pinkie realizes the importance of the gift she got from the reindeer. She dives in and opens it, releasing the exact combination of ingredients needed to counteract Flurry's additions and turn the crazed pudding into a harmless dessert.

As the mess is cleaned up and the group enjoys their pudding, they all apologize for not really getting any good gifts for their intended recipient. Spike gives Rarity the only gift he had left, a song to apologize for this, and she gives him a peck on the cheek, while Twilight realizes they all still have their friendship, which is the best gift of all.

The special premiered on October 27th, 2018. Official trailer here.


  • Animation Bump: Twilight's face when she yells, "PUDDING!!!" is much more complex than any expression before, some sort of technique the first season completely lacked.
  • Baby See, Baby Do: Flurry Heart sees Twilight working on the pudding she plans to give Pinkie and tries to help her by adding stuff to it herself, also clearly being enchanted by the glow the pudding makes whenever something is thrown in.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Applejack and Fluttershy's little sketch in front of Flim and Flam's booth features very stilted delivery. It's still convincing enough to everypony else.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Twilight insists that she isn't having a Freak Out about Hearth's Warming Eve when Shining Armor, Cadance, and Flurry Heart arrive. Shining Armor sees right through it, saying that Twilight goes "Twily-nanas" about something every holiday.
    • Rainbow Dash is quite bad at hiding that Fluttershy is her Hearth's Warming Helper when Rainbow asks her what she likes, under the pretense of "gift ideas."
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Twilight during her meltdown.
    Twilight: [holding up a cake] Do-I-need-this-no-that's-silly-I-need-eight!
  • Batman Gambit: Discord setting up Rainbow Dash to make Fluttershy look like the hero of the day.
  • Battle Couple: Shining Armor and Cadance fight the out of control pudding, giving each other compliments and praise at the same time.
  • Beary Friendly: A polar bear offers Pinkie a ride to the Gift-Givers' cabin.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: A Merchandise-Driven cartoon produces a holiday special that actively encourages people to give less gifts, ones that are handmade and meaningful and/or are experiences rather than tangible commodities, and the only mass-produced gifts on display are low-quality pony toys with gimmicky voice boxes peddled by blatant con artists.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • After failing to succeed at Pinkie's "guess who" game, Prince Rutherford claims he knew it was her all along because "yaks best at guessing."
    • Twilight insists to Shining Armor and Cadance that she isn't freaking out, before saying she needs to pick up some ingredients and teleporting out. Both confirm she's freaking out.
  • Blob Monster: The huge pudding concoction accidentally created by Flurry Heart begins to actively move around after flooding the case and tries to grab several ponies by sprouting tentacles.
  • The Cameo: The Young Six, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie, Thorax and Pharynx, Luna and Celestia, Burnt Oak, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Lyra, Bon Bon, the Cake family, Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, Mayor Mare and Parcel Post (who somehow found his way out of Discord's chaos dimension) all make brief appearances over the course of the special.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The unspecified "perfect gift" Pinkie Pie receives from the reindeer turns out to be exactly what is needed to stabilize Twilight's runaway pudding.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Spike covering himself in glitter while trying to make a gift for Rarity isn't gratuitous. It matters later since it makes him so sparkly that it distracts the winterzilla from the ponies, allowing Twilight to lure the monster away with Spike as a carrot on a stick.
  • Christmas Episode: The fifth such outing in the show's run, after "Hearth's Warming Eve", "Hearthbreakers", "A Hearth's Warming Tail" and "The Hearth's Warming Club". Unlike the previous four, this one takes the form of an hour-long special outside of the regular seasons' schedule rather than being a regular, if Christmas-themed, episode. Like three of the previous four, its premiere date is well outside of the actual Christmas season.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Lots of references to past episodes that serve as visual background:
    • The extended Apple-Pie family now includes Grand Pear, Sugar Belle, and Mudbriar. Marble is shown crushed when Big Mac and Sugar Belle are now a thing, calling back to "Hearthbreakers".
    • The Student Six are shown heading off to their own lands to celebrate, and, in line with their stories from "The Hearth's Warming Club", we see the changelings singing around a fake fire and under an upside down tree, and the yaks smashing things for Snilldar Fest, which Pinkie mentions by name.
    • Starlight and Trixie are traveling in Trixie's wagon for the holiday, as from "Road to Friendship".
    • The tea cozy Fluttershy knitted in "Fake It 'Til You Make It" is her gift to Discord.
    • Fluttershy's first stop at the Rainbow Falls trading depot is the booth where Rainbow Dash almost traded her for a first edition Daring Do book in "Trade Ya!". This time, the merchant is featuring the book from "Daring Don't".
    • The way Fluttershy deals with the winterzilla (giving it a stern talking to, then comforting it when it cries) harkens back to how she dealt with the dragon in "Dragonshy".
    • Flim and Flam are still planning on expanding their resort, as they were back in "Friendship University". Additionally, when they make their salespitch to Fluttershy, who has yet to recognize them, they clearly hint towards her getting the doll for Rainbow Dash, as a "truly awesome friend" that needs a gift that is "20% cooler".
    • Discord briefly mentions Lord Tirek's brother, Scorpan.
    • At Rainbow Falls, Applejack gets Spike a Power Ponies comic that she hopes "isn't enchanted", referring to the events of the episode of the same name.
    • After finding out she was tricked by Flim and Flam, Fluttershy "kicks" a small stone with anger, similar to a scene in "Green Isn't Your Color".
    • The Mane Six are wearing their winter clothes from the climax of "Tanks for the Memories".
  • Crush Blush: After Shining Armor displays some skill getting himself and Flurry Heart away from the magical pudding, his wife Cadance has a small blush and fans herself with her hoof, clearly remembering why she fell for him in the first place.
    Cadance: [giggling] You're not so bad yourself.
  • Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: When Rainbow Dash asks Fluttershy what she likes, Fluttershy replies that she likes everything. Rainbow instead tries asking what Fluttershy doesn't like, to which she responds "not liking things." Rainbow then flies off in frustration.
  • Dark Secret: Played for Laughs. Prince Rutherford takes Pinkie into his hut, and quietly tells her that there is one things yaks aren't the best at: giving gifts.
  • Deflector Shields: Twilight erects a domed forcefield around herself, her friends and family when the winterzilla breaks open the entrance of the Crystal Castle, protecting them from falling chunks of crystal.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Spike is initially so focused on getting Rarity as his Hearth's Warming Helper that, when he finally gets Rarity's paper slip, he doesn't know what he's actually going to get her for a gift.
    • Fluttershy, along with a large crowd of market ponies, gets suckered into Flim and Flam's latest product scam due to not thinking hard enough about what to get for their special ones. It also initially didn't occur to her that paying every bit she had for the product left her with nothing for her ride back home.
  • Discussed Trope: Discord describes Pinkie Pie saving the day with her gift from the reindeer as "a bit reindeer ex machina."
  • Disintegrator Ray: Discord shoots a white ray from his finger to make the annoying Holly dolls disappear.
  • Disturbed Doves: In Yakyakistan, when Pinkie Pie yells that she's looking for the "BEST GIVER EVER!", as the last word is echoing a flock of crows ominously take flight in the foreground.
  • Drunken Montage: When Spike is trying to find a gift for Rarity, the episode mimics the "walking towards the camera while disembodied things float past" style of Drunken Montage, though there's no actual alcohol involved. Unless you count Spike being intoxicated by thoughts of Rarity.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • Pinkie has one when she realizes the meaning behind the Gift Givers' riddle and how to stop the pudding ocean.
    • Twilight when she decides to make pudding as Pinkie's Hearth's Warming present.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Or rather, the baby. Flurry Heart glares at Rainbow Dash along with everyone else for bringing the winterzilla to the castle. She also shows her disapproval of Flim and Flam's Holly dolls.
  • Everyone Can See It: When Spike is trying to exchange helpers with Applejack and Pinkie Pie in the hope of getting to be the one to prepare Rarity's gift, they each reply "I don't have Rarity" before he can even bring up Rarity's name.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Flim and Flam's Holly dolls are so bad that even Discord can't stand them, disintegrating them with a blast from his finger.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When a suspicious Applejack asks Fluttershy how much she paid for the Holly doll she got for Rainbow Dash:
    Fluttershy: All my bits. [Beat] All my bits? Can I borrow some for the train ride home?
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire special takes place on Hearth's Warming Eve, starting during the day and ending that night.
  • Eye Recall: Pinkie has this as she remembers the box given to her by the Gift Givers as well as their message, inspiring her to use what's in it to stop the sea of pudding.
  • Facepalm:
    • Rarity has to explain to Derpy that her gift to Applejack wasn't supposed to be sent to Sweet Apple Acres because she (Rarity) was going to deliver. When Derpy misses the point, Rarity's response is to face-hoof.
    • Applejack does one when Fluttershy starts falling for Flim and Flam's ploy in selling her a Holly doll. The second time.
    • Twilight also face-hooves upon finding out Rainbow Dash brought a winterchilla, which turns into a winterzilla at sunset, to the castle.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Neither Shining Armor nor Cadance notice when Flurry is messing with Twilight's pudding, and neither Cadance nor Twilight notice that the former is holding a bag of flour throughout the conversation.
  • Feather Fingers:
    • Fluttershy grabs a slip of paper for the Hearth's Warming Helper draw with her wing.
    • Derpy/Muffins holds a magnifying glass with her wing while her hooves are busy with a paper.
    • While eating pudding, Rainbow uses her wing to hold her spoon.
  • Flanderization: Derpy/Muffins, usually characterized as a Cute Clumsy Girl, is scripted as a Dumb Blonde in this episode.
  • Flirting Under Fire: Shining Armor and Cadance exchange flirty banter with each other while dealing with the pudding and Winterzilla. Cadance calls Shining "darling" before she rescues Rarity, with Shining remarking to Flurry how her mom is something. After he displays his own skills getting himself and Flurry to safety, Cadance giggles he's not bad himself while blushing.
  • Freak Out: Discussed. Twilight is worrying about getting everything ready for Hearth's Warming Eve, to the point Applejack refers to it as a "traditional holiday meltdown" when she lays eyes on Twilight in the marketplace. Shining Armor is also quite used to it, referring to Twilight's freak-out as "going Twily-nanas."
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Pinkie Pie is talking to Prince Rutherford, the blond yak in the background (Yojan) is trying to pile up a lot of stuff to smash, but ends up tumbling upside-down for his efforts.
    • When Spike accidentally rips off the arm of his Holly doll, Flurry Heart's expression turns into one of disdain.
  • Furry Confusion: Reindeer/caribou are revealed to be sapient and capable of using magic, similar to the other sapient deer from the IDW comics and in contrast to the non-anthropomorphic deer seen in the show, which are strictly non-sapient animals.
  • Gale-Force Sound: The winterzilla's roar is strong enough to blow away Twilight's domed energy shield.
  • Gilligan Cut: After Twilight claims that Pinkie probably has the perfect idea of what gift to get, it cuts to Pinkie's room, where she groans that she has no idea what to get Twilight.
  • The Glomp: Discord hugs Rainbow Dash tightly when she invites him to Hearth's Warming.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The three reindeer at the northern end of the world — Aurora, Bori, and Alice — are a trio of reindeer with magic, all of which is centered around gift-giving. Aurora specializes in knowing about gifts given in the past, Alice on gifts yet to be given, and Bori on staying in the moment and keeping her sisters in line. They serve as Equestria's equivalents of Santa Claus.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: When Pinkie arrives at the Gift Givers' cottage, Aurora greets her with a cranky "By Blitzen's beard! It took you long enough!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: Prince Rutherford claims he keeps the map leading to the Gift Givers in a "perfectly organized file"... just as he starts rummaging in a messy pile of junk.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The pudding Chancellor Puddinghead made for the first Hearth's Warming was "so delicious [that] legends were written about it."
  • Informed Attribute: Winterchillas are supposed to be extremely quick, and thus very difficult to chase down and catch. This never comes into play in the special — Rainbow quickly zooms over to and retrieves the first one she sees, which stays in her hoof until it transforms, and no running or chasing is seen. An In-Universe example is also present in the form of their rarity: winterchillas are extremely rare according to Discord, but he loudly announces that he's seen one the moment he finishes saying that. Then again it is Discord making these claims.
  • Informed Flaw: Both Twilight's friends and Shining Armor acknowledge that she goes into a "meltdown" every Hearth's Warming Eve. While a Freak Out is nothing new for Twilight, this is the first time she's been seen acting like this in a Hearth's Warming episode.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Big Mac and Sugar Belle being happy together and Big Mac giving her a kiss on the forehead under some mistletoe unknowingly leaves Marble heartbroken, as she looks on with a crushed expression.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Alice gives Pinkie a seemingly random gift and only tells her that she'll understand when the time comes. The gift turns out to be the exact ingredients necessary to neutralize the stuff Flurry added to the pudding.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While he wasn't being nice about it, Discord was right when he said that Rainbow Dash getting a candle for Fluttershy, a pony who has many fluffy (and therefore, flammable) animals at home, isn't the best idea. It makes Rainbow decide to get Fluttershy something else.
    • While they were selling shoddy products, Flim and Flam point out to Applejack that they weren't actually doing anything illegal; they were just using salesman tactics to sell a bad product. This forces Applejack and Fluttershy to convince people not to buy the dolls another way.
  • The Klutz: Derpy/Muffins knocks over papers with her wings and generally makes stuff go everywhere while working at her mail delivery job.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After attempting to exploit the Hearth's Warming rush to line their pockets, Flim and Flam are forced to go home with most of their merchandise and little profit, ensuring the two will have a miserable Hearth's Warming.
  • Long List: Twilight has a massive to-do list during the opening song, which ensnares Rarity, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash as she and Spike dash around town in a rush.
    Rainbow Dash: Do we wanna know why you're wrapping up everypony in town?
  • Miracle-Gro Monster: The winterchilla grows into a winterzilla after dark.
  • Moral Myopia: Flim and Flam say that they're simply providing a service to unsure Hearth's Warming shoppers with their shoddily made products, and doing nothing wrong.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The winterchilla grows an extra pair of forearms as it transforms into a winterzilla.
  • Musical Pastiche: "One More Day" has strong hints to traditional seasonal carols, most prominently the iambic meter of "The Wassail Song".
  • Mythology Gag: The box for "Holly the Hearth's Warmer Doll" looks a lot like an MLP toy box.
  • Nighttime Transformation: The adorable winterchilla transforms into a monstrous winterzilla after the sun sets.
  • Never My Fault: When everypony glares at Rainbow Dash for bringing the winterzilla to the castle, Discord glares along with them. Granted, he is the one who suggested finding the creature for Fluttershy.
  • Not Bad: Shining Armor and Cadance exchange some flirty banter with each other while getting themselves and Twilight's friends to safety against the magic pudding and Winterzilla, with Shining commenting to Flurry "Your mom sure is something" when they see Cadance in action, and Cadance remarking "You're not so bad yourself".
  • Oh, My Gods!: Aurora says "by Blitzen's beard"; Discord says "for Scorpan's sake".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Flim and Flam wear glasses, wigs and fake mustaches to hide their identities, but the backs of their manes (and in Flam's case, the lower part of his actual mustache) are still visible, as well as their tails.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Discord sits in a recliner munching on popcorn while the pudding and the winterzilla attack.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Applejack and Fluttershy succeed in foiling Flim and Flam's con in selling shoddy merchandise during the holidays, only to be left with said shoddy merchandise that they have no choice but to give to their friends (Fluttershy bought one out of naivety, Applejack had to buy one for their plan to foil the brothers).
  • Pseudo-Santa: For all intents and purposes, Aurora, Bori, and Alice are Equestria's Santa equivalent. They're reindeer who can run through the air, they oversee and specialize around gift-giving, and they live in a cottage at the extreme north of the world — they're essentially Santa if he was his reindeer instead.
  • Pun: When Pinkie tells Maud that Twilight may not like a rock-based gift, Maud tells her "don't rock it 'til you've tried it".
  • Punny Name: The three gift-giving reindeer are named Aurora, Bori, and Alice. This is a play on the technical name for the Northern Lights — aurora borealis.
  • Secret Santa: The main characters decide to avoid the stress of having to shop for and prepare a gift for every member of the group, and instead each get one present for one friend, selecting who their present will go to by picking a picture of a cutie mark out of a hat. The complication is that, since each of them will give and receive only one gift, the characters also feel the need to make their gift as special as they can — if only one gift is given, then it needs to be the best gift ever.
  • Self-Deprecation: Subtle, but the box used for the shoddy "Holly the Hearthswarmer Doll" is based off of the packaging used for actual MLP toys.
  • Series Continuity Error: Applejack reveals her hat is a precious gift from her father Bright Mac, despite it being a replacement after the original was ruined without Applejack showing any attachment and having a closet full of duplicates.
  • Serious Business: Pinkie Pie, who loves getting multiple gifts for multiple ponies balks at the idea of only getting one gift for one pony, partially because she's done her shopping already and had a theme going.
  • Ship Sinking: The Marble Pie/Big Mac ship sank in "Hard to Say Anything", but Marble Pie grimaces at her first eyeful of Sugar Mac during the opening montage.
  • Ship Tease: Spike sings essentially a love song to Rarity and she's quite touched, even giving him a kiss on the cheek.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Aurora, Bori, and Alice are female reindeer that have antlers. Reindeer/caribou are the only species of deer in which the females have antlers like the males, and unlike the males which shed their antlers during the autumn or early winter, females keep theirs all year long (hence why it would be female reindeer working for the winter holidays with their magical antlers). Also, stylization aside, they look more like real-life reindeer than most reindeer in animated Christmas specials, particularly having just two nostrils rather than dog-like noses that may be shiny.
  • Skewed Priorities: While in the midst of dealing with the out-of-control pudding, Twilight briefly takes the time to brag about the recipe. Shining Armor has to yell at her to get things back on track.
  • Smug Snake: Flim and Flam, as usual. They initially gloat to Applejack about how she can't shut down their con this time because what they're doing isn't illegal. But when Applejack and Fluttershy do just that, they end up racing after their former customers, offering a two-for-one deal.
  • Split Screen: Lots of varied split screen during the "One More Day" song, either showing the singers simultaneously, or the numerous gifts they're singing about.
  • Squee: Pinkie's reaction to learning that she gets to give a gift to Twilight.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes:
    • The Mane Six don't all give each other gifts, but what they do give is the gift of friendship.
    • Rarity's gift for Applejack is a custom fedora hat, but it gets sent to the wrong place by Derpy/Muffins. The pony who actually gets the gift, Pistachio, loves it because he's an aspiring fashionista. Even though Pistachio figures out the gift wasn't for him and tries to return it, Rarity doesn't have the heart to take it back, letting him keep the gift. Once Applejack finds out, she's thoroughly touched by the gesture.
  • Teleport Spam: No, Twilight doesn't use it to fight... but to go shopping, teleporting in fast order to each shop to order all of the things on her Long List.
  • Thrill Seeker: Cadance shows again that she enjoys adventures and fighting dangerous creatures than having more relaxing activities. When Applejack calls the whole event a disaster, Cadance comments how Ponyville seems to have way more exciting holidays than the Crystal Empire.
  • Title Drop: Dropped multiple times, most noticeably by Pinkie in Yakyakistan. Loudly.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Flim and Flam. They both wear wicked grins while taking advantage of their customers, and enjoy gloating to Applejack how she can't stop their technically-legal venture.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Downplayed; during the climax Shining Armor is ready to step in and help Rarity when she is grabbed by the magic pudding, but Cadance stops him and handles it herself, on the grounds that unlike him she can fly. Shortly after this, Shining is able to get himself and Flurry Heart to safety next to Cadance and Rarity with nothing but his agility and magic. Cadance is clearly smitten by her husband's display, blushing and fanning herself.
  • Under the Mistletoe: During the opening song "One More Day", Big Mac pulls Sugar Belle under some mistletoe at home where the two rub noses and he kisses her on the forehead.
  • Unreveal Angle: The Holly dolls are not visible at first, always partially obscured by their boxes, until Applejack reacts to the one Fluttershy has bought. Only then do we see how crappy it looks.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: All over the place with everypony's respective presents; if somepony mentions having something in mind for their pony, it goes wrong, but if it's not said outright, it goes relatively well.
    • Rarity is the first to have a gift decided—a custom-made farming hat. It ends up being mis-delivered to somepony that Rarity doesn't have the heart to take it from.
    • After some deliberation, Spike decides to hand-make a sparkly umbrella for Rarity, thinking she'd prefer a hand-made gift to a purchased one. He ends up falling asleep on it and ruining it, but a keen eye can also spot a hand-made guitar in the background when he does so, which he uses more successfully to sing to Rarity at the end.
    • Twilight decides to make some magic pudding for Pinkie, which Flurry Heart botches by adding additional ingredients to it and causing it to flood the castle.
    • Fluttershy doesn't actually say anything, but is immediately drawn to a Daring Do book. Unfortunately, she's suckered into Flim and Flam's latest scam soon after, leaving her with no bits to buy it.
    • Applejack, not one to overthink, narrows herself down to two things she knows Spike would like. However, her plan to shut down Flim and Flam results in her spending all her bits on them, leaving her in the same situation as Fluttershy.
    • Rainbow Dash, frustrated with Fluttershy's unhelpful answers as to her preferences, initially gets her a candle, only for Discord to arrive and shut down the idea. Discord then proceeds to shut down several others before pointing Rainbow Dash towards a "winterchilla", which seems like an ideal gift... until night falls and it turns into a rampaging "winterzilla".
    • Discord's own present falls into the other end of the trope — it isn't until Fluttershy's calmed the winterzilla and basically saved the day that he reveals, or at least strongly implies, that that was the plan all along; his gift was to let Fluttershy be the hero for once.
    • Pinkie's gift falls so far into the other end that she doesn't even know what the gift is for. Turns out the gift she received from the Gift-Givers was the exact ingredients needed to neutralize Twilight's out-of-control pudding.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Pistachio says "Filly, please!" note  at the idea of wearing his new hat in the grove.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Discord volunteering to help finding a fitting gift for Fluttershy is not well-received by Rainbow Dash, who even at one point begs him, "Please stop helping me!" She ends up conceding to his unwanted advice, however, since he does know Fluttershy well, and is good at manipulating RD to boot.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Spike inadvertently sends Twilight into a panic by pointing out getting one gift for one pony means it has to be a really special gift.
    • Flurry Heart adds too many things to the pudding recipe, causing it to turn into a living pudding monster. Flurry Heart only wanted to help Twilight with her cooking.
    • Discord fails to mention to Rainbow Dash that the winterchilla turns into a winterzilla after sunset, resulting in it chasing them all the way to Twilight's castle. Subverted when it turns out to not be so unwitting as he planned for this so that Fluttershy could be the hero of the day by taming the creature. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, plays it straight in the same incident.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Flim and Flam's latest scheme isn't technically illegal, but it is extremely morally dubious and they are clearly acting in bad faith.
  • Visual Pun: Discord, as usual, is a fount of metaphors coming to life.
    • When he tells Rainbow Dash that he has "half a mind" to stop helping her, his body is suddenly missing its left half.
    • Later, he commiserates that for Hearth's Warming Eve, he'll be "spending quality time with... myself." Just on cue, one of his clones walks next to him.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Pistachio figures out that Rarity's custom-made hat wasn't for him, and tries to give it back to her. Even though Rarity has every right to take the hat back, and no one else would ever know about the mix-up, she saw how much Pistachio and the Acorn family appreciated the gift. As such, Rarity not only lets Pistachio keep the hat, but invites him to be her guest at an upcoming fashion show to further his passions.
  • White-Tailed Reindeer: Aurora, Bori, and Alice the reindeer lack most of the heavy build and extra fur that reindeer are normally supposed to have, though this could be some artistic liberties trying to make them all look more feminine. With that said, they are also downplayed examples in that they are depicted with antlers like real female reindeer, and paired nostrils instead of black dog-like noses other cartoon reindeer have.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: In a rare self-inflicted case, Pinkie Pie closes her own mouth with a zipper just as she promises "My lips are sealed" to Prince Rutherford.
  • With Catlike Tread: Pinkie promises to keep her mission to "the world's best gift-givers" a secret to Prince Rutherford. She then immediately runs out into the center of the town and shouts that she's headed to the gift-givers.


Video Example(s):


The Winterzilla

At nighttime, the soft and adorable Winterchilla transforms into a ravaging Winterzilla.

How well does it match the trope?

4.44 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / NighttimeTransformation

Media sources: