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Western Animation / My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Forgotten Friendship

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Four films and years of Character Development are about to be erased...

Dear Princess Twilight, this is gonna sound crazy, but... are we friends? Am I... nice? Please answer...
Sunset Shimmer

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Forgotten Friendship is an animated hour-long cartoon special set in the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls series. The special was adapted into book form two months prior to the release of the special in the Equestria Girls novel "A Friendship to Remember". It first aired on February 17, 2018. The special was later uploaded onto Hasbro's YouTube channel in serial form under the titles Sunset Shimmer's Saga and Most Likely to be Forgotten starting on March 9, 2018. This version contains extra footage that was cut from the broadcast version.

An official promo for the cartoon reads: "In this brand new one-hour special, Sunset Shimmer is shocked when she discovers she's been erased from her friends' memories, leading her to search for the magic and the perpetrator who did such a dreadful deed."

A teaser for the special can be found here.

The Sunset Shimmer's Saga version can be found below:

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Forgotten Friendship provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Among the books Twilight finds in the restricted area of the library are Canterlot Cantabiles and Windigo Weather Warning.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Princess Luna speaks this way, as usual, which causes a snickering fit from Sunset Shimmer, as she's more used to Vice-Principal Luna's more casual tone in her own world.
    Princess Luna: Hmm. Indeed. The toilings of this nefarious enchantment could portend unimaginable catastrophe if left unchecked.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: While their memories of Sunset's reformation are gone, the rest of the group all clearly remember the other adventures they've been in, including encountering Reality Warping and mind-altering magic. Sunset also has a magical geode the same as theirs, and demonstrates her powers to them by reading their minds. Yet none of the Mane Six except for Human Twilight give any thought to the idea that maybe Sunset is telling the truth and there's some sort of magical mischief going on. This is justified by Rarity's comments that Sunset's geode could be a cheap knock-off, and the fact that Sunset's powers have been shown to be more subtle than the others.
  • Art Evolution: Sunset's pony form now has a slightly different mane style, emphasizing the waves of her hair a bit more.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Memory Stone is an ancient Equestrian artifact that, in the wrong hands, can prove extremely disruptive. It can remove very specific memories with pinpoint accuracy, and is powerful enough to affect the whole student body of CHS at once. As Clover the Clever's story attests, pursuing a villain employing the Stone can be very frustrating, since you can be made to forget you were doing it in the first place. The Stone's only limitation is that it doesn't work across worlds, so those in Equestria remain unaffected. Destroying it returns all the stolen memories, but if not done within three days, the memories are lost forever.
  • Beach Bury: Pinkie Pie manages to bury herself on the beach (off-screen), under a mermaid-shaped mound of sand with a pair of seashells over her chest.
  • Beach Episode: The girls visit the beach during the first part of the special, which is where Sunset first learns about the Laser-Guided Amnesia. Notable in that, unlike most beach episodes, this special is most certainly not a Breather Episode.
  • Berate and Switch: Princess Celestia pretends to take offense to a perceived implication that she wasn't a good teacher to Sunset before chuckling at Sunset and Twilight's awkward verbal backstep.
  • Bicep Kiss: The picture of Bulk Biceps in the CHS photo yearbook is of him shirtless and kissing his biceps. Rainbow Dash ain't impressed.
  • Big Damn Reunion: The long awaited reunion between Sunset Shimmer and Princess Celestia occurs in this special after Sunset is forced to go to her former teacher for guidance and apologises for her behaviour while she was still her student. After a brief moment when it looks as if Celestia is going to reprimand her she instead lifts her head up, tells Sunset that she missed her, and the two hug it out.
  • Big "NO!": Sunset gives one before Taking the Bullet, diving in front of the memory blast to save her friends from having all of their memories erased.
  • Blatant Lies: Twilight insists she has absolutely no reason to be jealous of Micro Chips after he wins a yearbook category for intelligence. The other girls don't buy it.
    Twilight Sparkle: Oh, good for Micro Chips. "Most Likely to Invent Cold Fusion." Not a reason to be jealous. Pfft! I'm not! [forced laugh]
  • Bookcase Passage: The restricted section of Canterlot Library is accessed by Celestia and Luna pulling two books with their cutie marks on the spine.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to other Artifacts of Doom, the Memory Stone's Laser-Guided Amnesia powers don't seem anywhere near as destructive. However, being able to simply make your enemies forget you is certainly more "practical" than actually fighting them, and even an amateur can become a surprisingly effective mastermind with it.
  • Break the Cutie: The devastation of seeing the entire school, particularly her six closest friends, desert her pushes Sunset to the precipice, which is exactly what Wallflower wants; to leave Sunset a friendless wreck. Only managing to befriend Trixie keeps Sunset's head above water in her fight to reclaim her life. Then Wallflower painfully leeches all of Sunset's high school memories out of her head, leaving her cowering on the ground in a panic not knowing where or even what she is. Thankfully, her friends witness this and finally come to her aid.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sunset manages to film her and Trixie's entire encounter with Wallflower in the yearbook room, including her Villain Song! When watching the video, Trixie even comments, "Long song..."
  • Brick Joke:
    • Sunset, on speaking to Princess Luna, says that she's used to Vice-Principal Luna saying "No student parking in the faculty lot." VP Luna says exactly this at the end when a van pulls up full of yearbooks.
    • In the same conversation, Princess Luna notes that the "faculty lot" sounds like a place of great power. The final confrontation takes place in the faculty lot, and is the place where the true power of the friendship geodes and the Memory Stone are unleashed.
    • In the beginning, Rainbow asks Sunset not to put their picture next to Bulk Biceps' picture, because she thinks when the book closes it will be like they're kissing. Rainbow's fears come true at the very end.
  • Bring It: Pinkie Pie has been rehearsing her trash talk for the volleyball match.
    Pinkie Pie: Bring it on, Rainbow Dash! You and Rarity just bought your team a one-way ticket on the express train to You're Going Down!
    Rainbow Dash: Ooh. Nice game face, Pinkie Pie.
    Pinkie Pie: Thanks! I've been practicing all day.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Trixie wants to be included in the yearbook as the "Greatest and Most Powerful-est" student. During her Rage Breaking Point, Sunset snaps at Trixie that "'powerful-est' isn't even a word!"
    • When Sunset confronts Trixie at her locker, Sunset says "So, here we are." Trixie responds "Here we do are!" Trixie briefly considers what she's just said, then resumes a stern glare.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After being absent from the last several specials, Princess Twilight appears in another Equestria Girls entry, though she stays in Equestria this time to help Sunset find what's causing the memory loss.
    • Downplayed with Trixie. While she has made cameos in previous Equestria Girls specials, this is her first big role (as Sunset's Number Two) since being the Big Bad Wannabe of Rainbow Rocks.
    • Flash Sentry's pony counterpart, who has not made an appearance since the first Equestria Girls movie and the season 4 finale in the main series, makes a silent cameo when Sunset and the princesses enter the Canterlot Library. Sunset does a quick Double Take upon seeing him.
  • Call-Back:
    • Pinkie mentions that in freshman year, Sunset texted her pretending to be Applejack and insulted her party. This tactic (though not this specific event) was referenced in the first film as something Sunset did to split up the group.
    • Sunset's old misdeeds are brought up quite a bit, including yelling at Human Twilight in Friendship Games.
    • Sunset's backstory before the first movie, especially her past rebellion against Celestia's teachings and her Spoiled Brat behavior, is brought up when Sunset comes face-to-face with Celestia for the first time in years.
    • When Sunset tries to use pictures on her phone as proof of her friendship with the other six girls, Trixie points out that Sunset manipulated photos in the first film.
  • The Cameo:
    • Several characters make quick nonspeaking appearances when Sunset sees Wallflower's memories, including Flash Sentry, the Crusaders, and Crystal Prep students. Later, Flash appears driving in his car up to the school.
    • Flash Sentry's pony counterpart can be briefly seen when Princess Twilight, Sunset and the Princesses are outside the Canterlot Library. In the extended cut, Sunset does a Double Take upon seeing him. Inside the library, Moon Dancer can be seen in the background as they make their way towards the restricted section.
    • Human Zephyr Breeze can be seen in one of the establishing CHS shots talking to Snips and Snails.
  • Catch Phrase Interruptus: Twilight confronts the villain by trying to say "you don't understand the Magic of Friendship," but Pinkie Pie interrupts her, telling everyone to "LIGHT HER UP, LADIES!"
  • Celestial Deadline: If the Memory Stone isn't destroyed by sundown on the third day after the erased memories were removed, they're lost forever, and the target will never remember them again.
  • Central Theme: Cameras and photographs, and the power they have at preserving memory.
    • The special's B-plot concerns the girls taking pictures for the high school yearbook. Sunset specifically mentions that, thirty years from now, the girls may not be able to recall details of high school, but they'll have the memories collected in the yearbook to remind them. Later, Sunset uses the yearbook photographs to keep track of suspects for who may have used the Memory Stone. This causes her to overlook Wallflower Blush until the very end, as Wallflower doesn't have a picture in the yearbook, which also demonstrates how lonely and forgotten she is. The villain of the special also turns out to be staff on the yearbook, reflecting and foreshadowing Wallflower as someone with power over its content, and therefore power over the memories of the students.
    • The Equestrian artifact used by the villain is the Memory Stone, which has the power to erase the memories of others. When used, its magic is represented by camera film strips being drawn out of the victim's mind. Princess Twilight informs Sunset the Stone was hidden in her world and encloses a sketch of where it was buried, and Sunset sees a photograph of an identical area and thus realizes who found the Stone.
    • Twilight has a camera drone she uses to take pictures of the group, including their yearbook photo. Sunset uses the same drone to record herself interrogating Wallflower Blush, and watches the video to remind herself of it when Wallflower erases her memory.
  • Clingy Aquatic Life: Fluttershy comes out of the sea under a beach blanket covered in algae, leading Pinkie Pie and Spike to confuse her for a sea monster.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Pinkie Pie recalls a fake Applejack text that Sunset Shimmer sent her saying "Your party is lamer than a hungry duck in snow boots," Fluttershy adds:
    Fluttershy: And it wasn't very nice to the ducks, either.
  • Commonality Connection: Trixie starts to sympathize with Sunset when she realizes they both have an idea of who they're supposed be, but no-one else sees it that way.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the "Biggest Meanie" photo on the old yearbook, Sunset Shimmer is wearing the clothes from the first movie, and her hair has their original vibrant colors. Snips and Snails are also shown as her sidekicks.
    • During their research in the library, Twilight and Sunset make mention of two of the historical founders of Equestria from "Hearth's Warming Eve", Chancellor Puddinghead and Clover the Clever.
    • Sunset's locker contains numerous mementos from the digital series, including her Flanksy hat with cans of spray paint, the handheld video game she was playing in "The Finals Countdown", the comic book she drew in "Super Squad Goals", and a picture of Twilight covered in confetti from "Best Trends Forever". There's also a group photo of the Rainbooms with Princess Twilight from all the way back in the "Perfect Day for Fun!" music video for Rainbow Rocks.
    • When Sunset Shimmer reads the memories inside Wallflower Blush's head, we get a different viewpoint of events from previous movies (the Fall Formal, the musical showcase, the party before the Friendship Games...)
    • After Sunset loses all of her memories of being human, she gets on all fours like a horse and bunches her hands up into "hooves", as Princess Twilight did at the beginning of the first movie after going through the portal.
    • The pictures on the "memory ribbons" can be recognized as coming from specific episodes of the Digital Series or previous shorts/specials/movies, though they go by fairly quickly.
    • When Sunset Shimmer and pony Twilight visit Canterlot in Equestria, the stained glass windows depicting the Mane Six's heroics in the main series can be seen. They are still partially covered by the lavender that princess Luna put up in "A Royal Problem".
  • Contrived Coincidence: The moment Sunset is told she needs to locate the Memory Stone, she looks up and immediately spots Wallflower's computer wallpaper, which is the exact spot Twilight indicated in the journal.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: The last part of the parchment depicting Clover the Clever's pursuit of the sorceress owning the Memory Stone was ripped off. Although Princess Twilight does discover this missing part later, this delay the finding of some vital clues, that Sunset Shimmer end up learning only on the third day of her investigation, with very little time left before the memories become permanently erased.
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: For the climax, after the magical-girls transformations, the geode pendants each shoot a ray that converges into a single beam and blasts the Memory Stone, shattering it.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Pinkie Pie makes cupcakes with edible sunblock as the frosting. Fluttershy thinks it's gross.
  • Cower Power: When Sunset Shimmer joins her friends at the beach, and they only remember her as the bully she once was, Fluttershy takes cover behind Applejack, fearfully grabbing her arm.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Wallflower Blush is introduced by crashing into Sunset Shimmer, who hadn't realized she was there, despite Wallflower trying to get her attention for "half the song".
  • Cringe Comedy: Twilight Sparkle tries to "smooth up" the reunion between Sunset Shimmer and Princess Celestia, but ends up making it even more awkward.
    Princess Twilight: Sooo, Princess Celestia... [nervous laugh] You'll never guess who's back! Actually, maybe you can guess, 'cause she's right here. But, um...
    Princess Celestia: [stern glare down at Sunset and Twilight]
    Princess Twilight: [whispering to Sunset] Am I helping?
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: When everyone's memories of Sunset are erased, she is forced to seek Princess Celestia's counsel in Equestria. However, Princess Celestia is quick to forgive Sunset for her past mistakes.
  • Cutting Off the Branches:
    • Sunset's locker contains a picture of Twilight covered in confetti from "Best Trends Forever", effectively canonizing Pinkie Pie's ending.
    • Sunset's stolen memories that are pulled from her mind in the climax of the film show Twilight from "Stressed in Show", similarly canonizing Rainbow Dash's ending.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: When Clover the Clever buried the Memory Stone, he bundled instructions on how to use it, ensuring that anyone who happened upon it would know exactly what it was.
  • Darkest Hour: Due to Taking the Bullet from the Memory Stone, Sunset's memories are fully erased and is left cowering in fear at her surroundings. However, the Humane Six saw her sacrifice and are convinced that such a selfless act would never be done by their enemy. They acknowledge that Sunset really is their friend, restoring their memories of each other and powering them up.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: The four notes of dies irae dominate the musical score during the climactic Taking the Bullet sequence.
  • Dénouement: Sunset Shimmer faces up to her original burnt bridge and reconciles with Princess Celestia, and Twilight couldn't be happier.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Trixie's reaction to Sunset refusing to put her in the yearbook as the "Greatest and Most Powerful-est" is to swear Revenge on her. Downplayed as she never attempts it, instead helping Sunset's goal of regaining her friends.
    • Played straight with Wallflower Blush as she strips the memories of Sunset's redemption from the entire school because she felt ignored.
  • Doing Research: In Equestria, Sunset Shimmer and Princess Twilight Sparkle are introduced to the restricted section of the Canterlot Library, where they start their research for the source of the massive Laser-Guided Amnesia that happened in the human world. It takes them a lot of time before finding a clue about the Memory Stone, because the catalog machine sorting the documentation is broken.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: When Sunset threatens the Big Bad after finding out who is responsible for everyone losing their memories, and starts approaching the villain menacingly to possibly rough them up, Trixie stops her and says that maybe threatening the one that can make them forget anything isn't the smartest thing to do.
  • Dope Slap: Princess Twilight gives a light slap with her wing to Sunset Shimmer to make her stop snickering when she hears Princess Luna's Antiquated Linguistics. Sunset can't help finding it funny, because she's more used to Vice-Principal Luna's much more casual speaking tone, and the contrast is cracking her up.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Forgotten Friendship could mean three seperate things: The obvious one is the mysterious memory wipe of the Humane Six with them forgetting ever being friends with Sunset, Sunset's forgotten friendship with Princess Celestia, or a resentful and lonely Wallflower Blush tired of being ignored and forgotten by the others.
  • Double Take: In the extended version, Sunset Shimmer does a double take when she passes by pony Flash Sentry at the entrance of the Canterlot Library, apparently surprised that a pony counterpart of her ex-boyfriend exists.
  • Drunk with Power: Wallflower admits that she started using the Memory Stone for mundane purposes at the beginning, but quickly got too used to its power.
  • Dutch Angle: Appears in the climax as Wallflower moves into position and fires the Memory Stone at Sunset's friends.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sandbar, a male Earth pony with three sea turtles as a cutie mark who will be one of the new students at the School of Friendship makes an appearance during the first establishing shot of Canterlot.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • When Sunset returns to Equestria and is forced to seek Princess Celestia's guidance, Celestia quickly forgives Sunset for her past misdeeds as a Spoiled Brat. The most she does is look stern while waiting for an apology. Then she's all hugs and help. It probably helps that she was likely aware of Sunset's Heel–Face Turn through her correspondence with Twilight.
    • Sunset is quick to forgive Wallflower Blush for all the trouble she caused, and personally delivers a yearbook that has her name and that of her friends in it.
  • Epic Fail: Trixie and her escape Smoke Out as usual. This time, she is thwarted by a locked door stopping her. She eventually manages to get it right when she tries to teleport herself and Sunset out of a locked room, but faces a new fail when Trixie can only get one of them outside at a time, swapping places each time she tries again.
  • Facepalm: After a collective Gasp!, a facepalm is Pinkie Pie's reaction to Rainbow Dash calling their work "just a yearbook."
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: Trixie tries yet another Smoke Out by calling "Behold! The Magician's Exit!" ... Only to be foiled by the yearbook office's door and its Plot-Sensitive Latch, which had managed to close behind Trixie and lock itself while she was talking. Sunset Shimmer has to open the door for her, and Trixie leaves in a huff.
  • Fan Disservice: Snips and Snails shirtless at the beach while serving Trixie.
  • Film the Hand: In the picture illustrating the "Biggest Meanie" vote on the old yearbook, Sunset Shimmer is reaching for the camera.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: After witnessing Sunset Shimmer's Heroic Sacrifice for their sake, her friends (who are still under the influence of the Memory Stone and don't remember Sunset) take turn to speak reassuring words to her.
    Twilight Sparkle: We're your friends.
    Applejack: We may not remember you...
    Pinkie Pie: But after seeing what you did...
    Rarity: ... the sacrifice you made for us...
    Fluttershy: ... we'd be proud to call you...
    All: ... our friend!
  • Flashback: The special includes flashbacks from all four movies, both as they actually happened (during the opening song "We've Come So Far") and with Sunset erased (when she checks Applejack's memories [and Rainbow Dash's in the extended version] at the beach). It also includes flashbacks of important student gatherings inside Wallflower's memories, showing her in the background.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: On close inspection, the pictures on the "memory ribbons" can be recognized as coming from specific episodes of the Digital Series or previous shorts/specials/movies.
  • Gasp!: A loud, collective gasp is the other girls' reaction to Rainbow Dash calling their current work "just a yearbook."
    Applejack: [groans] Now ya gone and done it!
  • Gender Reveal: Clover the Clever, portrayed by Twilight in the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant in Season 2, is revealed to have been a stallion.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When the Memory Stone was first discovered, the antagonist used it to erase any awkward moments and acts of public speech from students' minds. It ended up going horribly right when her Freudian Excuse of not being memorable in the eyes of CHS only got worse, since erasing memories made Wallflower even less memorable.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Alluded with the title for episode 4 of the Sunset shimmer's Saga version, "Good Cop, Great and Powerful Cop", since it's the part where where Trixie and Sunset Shimmer investigate the mystery at CHS. In the story itself, though, it is more Trixie as the "obnoxious cop" and Sunset as the "eye-rolling cop".
  • Good-Times Montage: The special opens straight up with the Rainbooms singing about friendship and Sunset Shimmer taking photos of her friends having fun together at school, resulting in such a montage.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • The villain was jealous of everyone praising Sunset for her Heel–Face Turn, causing the villain to use the Memory Stone to erase peoples' memory of Sunset. As a visual hint to this, Wallflower's skin, hair, and eyes are all green.
    • Spike becomes jealous of human Twilight's camera drone, especially after it brings him a can of dog food. Doesn't stop him from eating it, though.
  • Hand Behind Head: Trixie makes this gesture as a sign of hesitancy when she admits to some commonality with Sunset.
    Trixie: So you have this idea of who you're supposed to be, but no-one at school sees you that way. Is that it? Trust me. I get it.
  • Head Desk: After unsuccessfully looking for the missing page of Clover the Clever's journal, Princess Twilight yells "I'VE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD TO YOU, LIBRARY!" and slams her face on the table in frustration. This happens to be exactly what was needed, however, since this makes the small chest that contained Clover's notes fall and break open, revealing the missing page inside the front ornament.
  • Heroes' Frontier Step:
    • Trixie helping Sunset, despite only remembering her as an Alpha Bitch, just because she empathizes with Sunset's plight is the first time in Equestria Girls she's gone out of her way to do something selfless.note 
    • Even without their memories of her, the girls found Sunset's sacrifice of her memories to prevent the same thing from happening to them so noble and selfless that they agree to call her their friend. It counts as this trope because, from their perspective, Sunset is still the same Alpha Bitch that she used to be.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Non-lethal example. When Sunset's friends are about to have all their memories of high school erased, including of each other, Sunset jumps in the way and gets her own memories erased because she doesn't want their friendship ruined again. This makes Sunset lose all her memories of not just high school, but being human at all. When she wakes up after being briefly knocked out, Sunset doesn't recognize where she is or what she is.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • On the beach, Trixie mentions how shameful it is that Sunset Shimmer thinks the whole school is here only to serve her... while ordering around Snips and Snails, treating them like her busboys.
    • When everyone thinks the pictures on Sunset's phone are fakes, Pinkie points out one with her making a ridiculous face and claims she would never make a face like that, while making that exact same face.
    • At school, Sunset gets fed up with everyone being scared of her when Micro Chips gives her his lunch money when she tries to help him up. So she shoves it into his chest and angrily shouts she isn't mean, very loudly and rudely.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Princess Twilight considers a door-stopper including trivia the likes of "Chancellor Puddinghead tried to pass a law mandating earth ponies to drink carrot juice at every meal..." to be one of the fun books.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Sunset, despite never being actively mean to Wallflower, was never nice enough to notice her or remember her at all even after just speaking to her, or sharing the same club for an extended period of time. When Sunset claims she doesn't even know her, Wallflower shouts back "EXACTLY!" This is Wallflower's motivation to erase everyone's memories of Sunset turning good.
  • Instant Runes: When the Memory Stone is aimed at Sunset's friends and she intercepts the blast, several circles filled by geometric forms surround the green ray that it emits.
  • Invisible Subtle Difference: Rarity is shown to have similar habits to her pony counterpart:
    Rarity: Which beach blanket should we use for the photograph?
    Rainbow Dash: You mean the white one? Or the white one?
    Rarity: [gasps] This is toasted oat and linen lamb's wool. [pointing to a different blanket each time] Eggshell, warm frost, pale nimbus, and... Well, that one is white, I suppose.
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    • A memory-erased Pinkie angrily points out to Sunset that she never makes funny faces as shown in the photo Sunset took, all the while making the same face at Sunset.
    • When everyone loses their good memories of Sunset and thinks she is still a bully, she loses her temper and shouts she isn't mean, causing the other students to run away.
    • Wallflower Blush tries to say she isn't lonely because she has plants, then admits that sounded less lonely in her head.
  • Iris Out: The special ends with an iris closing on Rainbow Dash's distraught face, as her fears of "yearbook photos kissing" have come true.
  • It's a Long Story: When Trixie is starting to believe Sunset Shimmer, in that the whole school had four movies plus several shorts and specials worth of her Character Development erased from their memories, but is still dubious, this exchange happens:
    Trixie: And even though we all know you're the Biggest Meanie, you're saying you're not mean anymore?
    Sunset Shimmer: It's complicated.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: When Trixie can't manage to use her Smoke Out to get both herself and Sunset out of the room they've been locked in, merely swapping places on either side, Trixie chooses to stay locked inside and tells Sunset to go ahead without her.
  • Jaw Drop: Pony Twilight's jaw hangs down when she sees Celestia opens the restricted area of the Canterlot Library. Sunset Shimmer does the honor of closing her mouth with a hoof.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although Sunset may have redeemed herself and became a better person, Trixie points out that Sunset doesn't have to be mean in order to hurt someone, indicating that she only really cared for those close to her, and that everyone else (especially Wallflower Blush, who started erasing everyone's memories in the first place) were just shadows passing by. This is what makes Sunset understand how she still has a lot to work on in herself.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Sunset Shimmer's reformation has been erased from the memories of everyone else at Canterlot High (including her best friends), who only remember her as the Alpha Bitch that she used to be. When Sunset uses her Touch Telepathy to peer into their minds, she sees her friends remember all of the previous events of the series, just without Sunset's Heel–Face Turn. In the extended version, Sunset reads Rainbow Dash's memories, seeing that her memory of saving Sunset from a giant plant during the Friendship Games has been altered so she doesn't recall saving anyone. It turns out to be the work of the Memory Stone, an Equestrian artifact which can selectively steal any memories the user wants. Sunset has it happen to herself later, twice: first losing her memory of confronting the villain, and then losing all her memories of high school and the human world when she saves her friends from the same fate.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Sunset confronts Trixie in the hallway and accuses her of erasing everyone's memories, there is a short pause after she calls her "manipulative" before calling her a "blow-hard". Trixie is still shocked at first, as if Sunset used another word that starts with "B".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the beginning, Sunset runs into Wallflower Blush and apologizes. Wallflower says that she was trying to get her attention during the first song, "We've Come So Far".
  • Left the Background Music On:
    • During the Villain Song, Sunset attempts to take the Memory Stone from the culprit while using Trixie as a distraction. However, Sunset gets caught, and the music immediately stops as Sunset and the villain struggle for the Stone.
    • When Sunset watches video of her confrontation after having her memory of the afternoon blanked out, the music from the Villain Song also plays from the video. Trixie notes that the song is rather long, and fast-forwards through it.
  • Light 'em Up: After Pinkie interrupts Twilight's In the Name of the Moon speech, she screams to everyone, "LIGHT HER UP, LADIES!" Then everyone powers up their energy and the light assembles into a beam that destroys Wallflower's Memory Stone.
  • Loony Laws: Did you know that Chancellor Puddinghead tried to pass a law mandating earth ponies to drink carrot juice at every meal? Sunset does now.
  • Luminescent Blush: Wallflower does this out of embarrassment when she admits to using the Memory Stone in front of Sunset's friends. After the climax, she does it a couple more times in response to Sunset's kind gestures.
  • Magic Skirt: Non-underwear example; when Sunset sits down at the beach with her legs in front of her, her sarong somehow holds its position covering her groin and thighs.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Trixie is able to use her Smoke Out to teleport past a locked door, and then to repeatedly swap places with Sunset on the other side. Given her usual tendency to botch "the Magician's Exit" and that she was surprised it worked this time, it's up in the air as to how she pulled it off.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Princess Twilight yells "I'VE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD TO YOU, LIBRARY!" while flying up in the air, flailing her legs and her wings.
  • Mundane Utility: The culprit states when they first found the Memory Stone, they only used it for erasing memories of small mistakes they made, like awkward hellos or any public speaking. Similarly, when Trixie first hears about the Memory Stone, her first thought is that it can be used to erase the memories of any bad tricks she has done.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The Villain Song is interrupted when Sunset Shimmer is caught taking the opportunity to rifle through a backpack in search of the Memory Stone.
  • Musical Number Annoyance: When watching the video of Wallflower, Sunset and Trixie fast forward through her singing "Invisible", with Trixie commenting "Long song, huh?"
  • Musical World Hypotheses: The Alternate Universe Hypothesis is in play here, as songs are mentioned explicitly after the performance and are recorded (with the backing track) by drone camera microphones.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Sunset gets a minor moment of this when Trixie convinces her that Wallflower Blush constantly being ignored by Sunset helped make her what she is now.
    • After erasing all of Sunset's memories of being human, even the Big Bad looks horrified at what's happened to her.
  • The Nondescript: Wallflower Blush is so nondescript and forgettable no-one can remember her even when they'd just talked to her. It's part of her motivation to erase Sunset Shimmer from everyone's memories.
  • Noodle Incident: At one point, Trixie rambles a bit about her "disappearing frog trick".
    Trixie: You know, a lot of people don't realize how much work goes into raising tadpoles. You really have to coddle them....
  • No Ontological Inertia: Destroying the Memory Stone reverts all the memory losses (at least, those occurring during the last three days) that it inflicted. Justified by it apparently "storing" said memories in the form of camera film strips.
  • No Saving Throw: The effects of the Memory Stone can't be countered or blocked, no matter how strong the target is or how precious the memories are. Clover the Clever ended up having to work around this by constantly leaving himself notes to chase the sorceress who had it first, because even someone as smart as him couldn't defend against it. At various times, all of the victims end up getting hit with its effects, and none of them can block it, no matter if they have magic at their disposal (like the heroines) or not (like Trixie and the rest of the CHS students).
  • Note to Self:
    • When chasing the original holder of the Memory Stone, Clover the Clever wrote notes to himself to make sure he'd always know who to chase in case his memory was stolen.
    • Before Sunset Shimmer confronts a classmate she suspects of possessing said Memory Stone, she turns on a nearby camera before confronting her and preemptively leaves a note in her own pocket telling herself to check it. The note and the footage do indeed help her when her memory gets wiped.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Sunset loses patience at being treated like a bully again, she starts shouting that she isn't mean to everyone, which only makes her look mean and scares everyone away.
  • Not Me This Time: Trixie is Sunset's prime suspect as the culprit who used the Memory Stone, because the previous day she swore revenge on Sunset for a petty reason, and she enjoyed Sunset's friends turning on her at the beach. But when Sunset confronts her, Trixie has no idea what the Memory Stone is, and is at first excited at the idea of erasing the memories of any bad tricks she's done. With Sunset at a dead-end, Trixie decides to help her find the real culprit.
  • Number Two: Trixie ends up becoming Sunset's ally in trying to figure out what happened to everyone's memories.
  • Oblivious to Her Own Description:
    • After meeting with Wallflower Blush, Applejack comments that she's a shy one, and Rainbow Dash nods while adding that they already know "some pretty shy people" as she looks at Fluttershy. To which the latter responds, "We do? Who?"
    • Applejack also seems oblivious to her own "country-isms".
      Pinkie Pie: The closest you've ever come to a party of mine is freshman year, when you pretended to be Applejack and texted me, "Your party is lamer than a hungry duck in snow boots."
      Applejack: Like I'd ever say that.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Sunset Shimmer being voted "Biggest Meanie" in her freshman year is certainly something she would rather not be reminded of. Naturally, that's exactly what Trixie takes delight in doing, several times.
  • Once More, with Clarity: On the night before the outing at the beach, the "memory ribbons" are seen flying around CHS and disappearing in the woods, but at that time the audience has no clue what it means. Then, when Sunset is watching Wallflower Blush's memories, the scene is shown again, this time clearly depicting the effects of the Memory Stone.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The duo of Sunset Shimmer and Trixie Lulamoon have sharply contrasting colors, with Sunset's red-and-yellow hair, amber skin, orange top and maroon skirt compared with Trixie's white hair, pale blue skin, dark blue clothes and purple skirt. This emphasizes their differences and complementary aspects when standing side-by-side.
  • Over-the-Top Secret: The Canterlot castle library has already been shown to have areas that are off-limits to the general public. Turns out it also has a "restricted section" which even Princess Twilight doesn't know about until Celestia decides it might have information they need. It can only be accessed when both Celestia and Luna use their magic to open the Bookcase Passage to it.
  • Plot-Sensitive Latch: The door to the yearbook office somehow closes behind Trixie and locks itself, just so the joke of her botching her Smoke Out exit can be done.
  • P.O.V. Cam: When Pinkie Pie grabs the camera drone and speaks directly to it, we get to see the camera's viewpoint of her.
  • Power Floats: As usual, the seven fully transformed Magical Girls are floating above ground when Twilight starts her In the Name of the Moon speech.
  • Previously on…: The song "We've Come So Far", after the intro, following an initial Good-Times Montage, serves as a quick recap of the previous movies, with flashbacks showing the most significant scenes and appropriate lyrics.
  • Race Against the Clock: If any memories stolen by the Memory Stone are not recovered by the end of the third day, then those memories are lost forever.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • When the students are once again afraid of Sunset and Micro Chips gives her his lunch money when she tries to help him up, she angrily shouts that she's not mean. Later, after finding out who is responsible for erasing everyone's memories and why (Wallflower Blush did it so everyone will still see Sunset as a bully out of anger at being ignored), Sunset approaches the culprit menacingly while growling she'll show them just how mean she can really be.
    • The culprit has one when Sunset catches up in the parking lot. Angered that nothing has worked against Sunset, the culprit shouts they hate her, much to the shock of Sunset and all her friends.
  • Red Herring: When Sunset won't put Trixie in the yearbook as "Greatest and Most Powerful-est", Trixie swears revenge on Sunset, and the next day seems to enjoy Sunset's misery when her friends don't remember her, saying "my work here is done." It turns out that Trixie lost her memories of Sunset being good too, and decides to help Sunset find out who erased everyone's memories.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Wallflower Blush is introduced, and states she has known Sunset since ninth grade. When Sunset sees her memories later, scenes from the previous films are shown with her in the background, being completely unnoticed by everyone. Justified as the whole point is no-one notices or remembers her.
  • Revenge by Proxy: After the culprit accidentally blows their own cover and confirms Sunset's story by Saying Too Much, they decide that if removing Sunset from the memories of everyone else doesn't work, then they'll remove all the memories her friends have of high school, including of each other. Wallflower says then they'll think of each other the same way Sunset thinks of her, which is "not at all." Wallflower would have succeeded if not for Sunset Taking the Bullet to spare her friends.
  • Revisiting the Roots: After several Equestria Girls movies and series focusing on the human world and getting further and further disconnected from the pony world, with the My Little Pony part of the title becoming more and more of an Artifact, this special has Sunset Shimmer returning to Equestria and spending a substantial amount of time there, with ponies like Princesses Twilight, Celestia and Luna getting a significant role.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Twilight's camera machine has a blinking red light during the Villain Song, because as is shown later, Sunset started filming on it, knowing she'd probably lose her memory of the moment, so she wanted to have a video to rewatch and show what happened. Additionally, shortly after getting Twilight's message, Sunset is seen reaching off-screen, and there's an audible click of her turning on the camera.
  • Rule of Seven: Followed with the book title The Seven Trials of Clover the Clever.
  • Running Gag: Wallflower's deadpan exasperation at no-one noticing or remembering her.
  • Saying Too Much: When Sunset catches up to the culprit in the parking lot and says she knows what she did, the culprit shouts that they already erased her memories of the entire afternoon, and Sunset's friends overhear her, revealing Sunset was telling the truth the whole time.
  • Seashell Bra: Mocked on the beach when Pinkie is buried under sand shaped like a mermaid, with a pair of large seashells over her chest.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Sunset and Trixie are going through the recording of their confrontation from earlier that day, Trixie rolls her eyes when the singing starts and fast-forwards, while commenting "Long song, huh...". This is a meta joke about the show's tendency to use songs for exposition.
  • Sensual Spandex: Fluttershy wearing a wetsuit rather than a swimsuit makes her the one girl showing the least skin at the beach, but that suit is nonetheless very clingy.
  • Serious Business: Sunset sees working on the Canterlot High yearbook as this, which is lampshaded by Applejack moments before she starts making a speech about it.
    Sunset Shimmer: The student body has entrusted me with the responsibility of gathering their memories into the pages of this book. In thirty years, we might not remember everything, but we will remember what's in the yearbook.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Applejack makes a tautology in response to Twilight's selfie-taking drone.
    Applejack: I prefer to take selfies
  • Shout-Out:
    • The eye symbol on the Memory Stone looks a lot like the Sheikah eye from The Legend of Zelda.
    • Twilight's camera drone sounds just like R2-D2.
    • The scene in which Rarity explains that a number of beach blankets that all look white are actually various different shades of white directly references a similar scene from American Psycho involving business cards.
    • Pinkie's ridiculous face on Sunset's phone is a reference to Popeye the Sailor Man.
    • Wallflower's green skin and affinity for plants make her somewhat reminiscent of Poison Ivy.
    • The Transformation Sequence is once again quite reminiscent of Sailor Moon. Twilight, especially, is taking a typical "Sailor Mercury Pose".
  • Shrinking Violet: Wallflower Blush. It's in the name. This is what drives her to use the Memory Stone to erase Sunset from everyone's memories, since Sunset went from mean to popular.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Like a lot of nefarious magic in the Equestria Girls world, the energy emanating from the Memory Stone is green.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the extended edition, Princess Twilight gets overly excited about browsing the restricted section of the Canterlot Library and mentions fixing the busted catalog machine. A Disapproving Look from Sunset gets her back on track.
  • Smoke Out: Human Trixie pulls this a few times, with about as much success as her pony counterpart. She does better in the climax, somehow managing to teleport herself to the other side of a locked door, but can't manage to do the same for Sunset without teleporting herself back in.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the extended version, the restricted section of the Canterlot Library has a mechanical book catalog. But since no-one has been down there in a long time, the device has not been properly maintained, causing it to fall apart when Sunset tries to operate it.
    • Pinkie Pie tries running on the beach while wearing flippers. Naturally, she ends up tripping and face-planting in the sand.
    • When the culprit starts singing, Sunset uses Trixie as a distraction to search for the Memory Stone. Partway through the song, the culprit notices what Sunset is doing, and immediately stops singing to catch her. Singing is not a free action.
    • When Sunset catches up to the culprit in the parking lot, the culprit shouts in frustration how Sunset can know what she knows since she had her memories of the entire afternoon erased. Sunset's friends are nearby and hear everything, proving to them Sunset was telling the truth. Shouting in frustration, especially in a public place, is not a good way to keep secrets and will get you caught.
  • Taking the Bullet: Sunset jumps in front of a blast from the Memory Stone meant to completely erase the memories of her friends, sacrificing her own memories of high school to do it.
  • Tan Lines: On the beach, Snips and Snails are shown to have a lighter skin tone where their clothes usually cover them. It proves that yes, even with an Amazing Technicolor Population, tanning does happen in this world.
  • Techno Babble: Maud Pie cannot tell much about the Memory Stone just from a drawing, except...
    Maud Pie: Only that it's felsic-intrusive igneous, granular in texture, most likely arranged in an equigranular matrix, with scattered biotite mica and amphibole, at least sixty-five percent alkali feldspar by volume, with a melting point of twelve-fifty centigrade, plus or minus ten degrees. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
  • Tempting Fate: In musical form — the first song, "We've Come So Far", is all about "memories to treasure" and remembering good times. Quite portentous in a special featuring lots of Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Trixie indulges in stating out her emotional state, but that's part of her hammy antics.
    Trixie: What?! The Great and Powerful Trixie is... annoyed and insulted!
  • "They've Come So Far" Song: The opening song is appropriately titled "We've Come So Far", and it is sung in the internal thoughts of the Rainbooms as they express how far they've come to be true friends and make memories for the yearbook together.
  • Title Confusion: As aired on Discovery Family, the special has no title card but is listed as "Forgotten Friendship". The segments uploaded to YouTube do have their own cards titled "Most Likely to Be Forgotten", and the video titles are "Sunset Shimmer Saga", with sub-titles for each segment ("A Friendship to Remember", "Homecoming", "Wiped Out", "Good Cop, Great and Powerful Cop" and "Unforgettable" respectively).
  • Touch Telepathy: Sunset Shimmer's empathic power proves extremely useful in her current predicament.
    • First, she reads Applejack's mind by grabbing her wrist, discovering she's been erased from her friends' memories. In the extended version, she does the same to Rainbow Dash.
    • Later, as she's starting to suspect Wallflower Blush of being responsible, Sunset grabs Wallflower's hand and reads her mind, confirming that she's the culprit.
  • Transformation Sequence: For the climax, the girls pony up with new costumes after Sunset's Heroic Sacrifice convinces them that she is truly their friend. The full sequence is different from those seen in the previous movies, with them bathed in light (save for their pendants, ears and eventual wings) and standing upon circles reproducing their respective geodes.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: After seeing her friends at the beach, Sunset Shimmer returns to CHS, crosses the portal to Equestria, travels with Princess Twilight to Canterlot's castle to speak with Princess Celestia, then goes to the restricted section of the Canterlot Library and spends time doing research. While it's not specified how long Sunset studied, it was long enough to check mountains of books and get Sunset bored out of her skull. Afterward, Sunset returns to Twilight's castle, crosses back to the human world, and returns to the beach. Even after all of that, the rest of the girls are still enjoying their day out.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: After being defeated and explaining how she started overusing the Memory Stone, Wallflower Blush curls on the ground with her face in her arms and her legs scooped against her body, obviously feeling acute shame for her deeds.
  • Twisted-Knee Collapse: Sunset Shimmer slumps to the floor with her knees awkwardly spread after finding out her memories erased and that she and Trixie are locked up in the photo lab.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Celestia and Luna open the Bookcase Passage by pulling on a pair of books. Each one uses her own telekinesis to move the book with her respective cutie mark on the spine. Since it should be trivially easy for either of them to do both at the same time, this hints that there is a security system requiring the two alicorns to work in tandem to get access to the restricted section of the library.
  • Understatement: Trixie, upon getting an inkling of Wallflower Blush's personality.
    Wallflower: Oh. That's my garden. Well, the school's garden, technically. I'm the president of the Gardening Club. I founded it, too. I'm also the only member. And the only one who's ever been to the garden. Or seen it. Or even asked about it.
    Trixie: You're not really into other people, huh?
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Clover the Clever hid the Memory Stone in the human world to keep its power away from Equestria, but didn't count on a human finding and making use of it.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Sunset just plugs the camera's memory card into the side of the computer screen, and the photos fly onto the screen, already artistically sorted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Once Sunset finds out who the culprit is and catches up to them in the parking lot, the culprit blows their own cover by Saying Too Much in front of Sunset's friends, proving her story true. So since nothing else has worked against Sunset, the culprit targets her friends and tries to make them forget all their memories of high school, instead of just the good memories of Sunset.
  • Villain Song: "Invisible", which serves as a Motive Rant as it describes how much the culprit hated being constantly ignored and forgotten by everyone. Sunset exploits it to try and steal the Memory Stone.
  • Voiceover Letter: When Sunset Shimmer is writing to Princess Twilight in her magic book, we hear her voice. Likewise when Twilight is responding, making it sounds like a dialogue.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: After Wallflower catches Sunset going through her bag, Wallflower tells her that she hasn't changed and still deserves her old title of "Biggest Meanie". Sunset is more than willing to live up to that title until Trixie calms her down.
    Sunset: You're about to see how mean I can get!


Video Example(s):


Clover's Warning

Twilight discovers Clover the Clever buried the Memory Stone in the human world, and if any memories erased aren't returned by the end of the third day, then those memories will be lost forever.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / CelestialDeadline

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