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Twilight Sparkle: It's the Magic of...
Storm King: Yeah, yeah! Friendship, and flowers, and ponies, and blehhh...

My Little Pony: The Movie is a feature film based off the hit TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, set between the show's seventh and eighth seasonsnote , and is part of the overall My Little Pony Generation 4 franchise. It is the first animated film by Allspark Pictures, Hasbro's film label, and was released on October 6, 2017.

In this Big Damn Movie, Princess Twilight Sparkle is helping prepare for Equestria's first ever Friendship Festival, the grandest celebration any pony has ever seen. Unfortunately, this happens on the same day Canterlot is invaded by dark forces led by the sinister Storm King, who has a keen interest in taking the ponies' magic. With the fate of Equestria at risk, Twilight must embark on a perilous journey alongside her friends—Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Spike—to gather new allies beyond their home, all while evading the Storm King's most dangerous subordinate, the treacherous unicorn Tempest Shadow. Though their bonds are tested, the seven friends discover that there truly is no force stronger than the Magic of Friendship.

Longtime series crew members Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen notably left their work on the TV series to write and direct the movie, respectively, with five brand new songs by show composer Daniel Ingram, plus an original contribution by Sia.

    Cast 

See also IDW Publishing's My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel and The Stormy Road to Canterlot, a Prequel comic and junior readers' novel, respectively, that flesh out some of the film's new characters and set up the plot. Another junior novel series, My Little Pony: Beyond Equestria, will serve as a continuation of the film. Not to be confused with the 1986 movie of the same name, which is set in the G1 animated continuity.


My Little Pony: The Movie provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Captain Celaeno stands out, even clashing with Rainbow Dash in a friendly swordfight. Tempest Shadow is a darker example.
  • Actionized Sequel: Compared to the regular series, which has maybe two to three real "action scenes" outside the premieres/finales. The film's PG rating was given due to mild action sequences.
  • Actor IS the Title Character: Three posters of this type were released featuring characters from the film: "Zoe Saldana is Captain Celaeno," "Cathy Weseluck is Spike the Dragon" and "Andrea Libman is Fluttershy."
  • Adaptational Wimp: This movie supposedly takes place after season 7 of the main series, so this is far from the first crisis the G4 ponies have encountered, yet they don't put up any more resistance to the Storm King's invasion than the G1 ponies did against Tirek in Rescue at Midnight Castle.
  • An Aesop: Twilight Sparkle learns that friendship exists everywhere and not just in Equestria with little bright-colored magical ponies. Friendship also requires patience, as it may take a little more time to work than usual in places where it isn't familiar.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Twilight Sparkle, because of her trials in the lands outside of Equerstria, briefly loses faith in the magic of friendship.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The prequel comics explain a lot of things about the characters that don't fit within the limited time the movie has to show it, like giving the Storm King more depths to high ambitions so he isn't just a Generic Doomsday Villain. Likewise, various locations and objects such Klugetown, Seaquestria, the Obsidian Orbs, and Queen Novo's Pearl of Transformation are named in various books and merchandise.
    • My Little Pony (Gameloft):
      • It explains what happened to Capper and Captain Celaeno between their being separated from and reunited with the Mane Six, as well as how Capper was able to get there. They met in Klugetown and, realizing their common interest in helping the Mane Six, decided to set out after Celaeno used her treasure to pay off Capper's debt. When Verko refused to let them go due to causing him problems, this led them to stage an uprising, getting him kicked out.
      • The "Resistance Rising" quest line has the CMC escape to Ponyville and form the local resistance. After finding out that Trixie has also escaped and is hiding under a stage while Starlight is captured by the Storm King's forces, the quartet bust out Starlight and win over the local occupation force with The Power of Friendship and musical numbers. This is Loose Canon at best since we saw Ponyville burning and the CMC are stuck in a cage back in Canterlot after Twilight's capture.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Capper reminds Twilight's friends, though a third-person narrative, of their own exploits against adversity in Klugetown. Applejack delivers the punchline:
    Applejack: Now don't get too excited, he's just talkin' about us.
  • Animation Bump: The movie does away with the TV show's Adobe Flash animation in favor of ToonBoom, resulting in more fluid and expressive character animations, as the trailers gleefully indicate. Just a little example among many other: each of the Mane Six has their own, unique walking animation cycle (look here).
  • Anti-Magic: The Storm King's mooks are equipped with shields that reflect magical blasts for the Canterlot attack, and Tempest uses a cage with similar properties to capture Twilight. The obsidian spheres used to capture the other three princesses also have this ability, as seen when on punches through Cadance's barrier. However, it should be noted their reliance on this backfires in the end as it's not exceptionally good against non-magical attacks.
  • Anything but That!: Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy have panicked reactions to this effect when Celaeno's crew discusses whether they should tie up the stowaways (Applejack), clip their wings (Rainbow Dash), or scar them (Rarity)... emotionally (Fluttershy).
  • Applied Mathematics: Twilight's whiteboard includes an integral calculus equation with nothing but Cutie Marks as variables. Another equation includes what appears to be graphene and the schematic symbol for a crystal oscillator.
  • Arc Words: "We've/You've/I've got this."
  • Area of Effect: The Obsidian Orbs release a green mist on impact that turns living creatures to stone, meaning that the Storm Guard have to keep their distance when Tempest uses them on the Princesses, in order to avoid being affected themselves.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted: the Anti-Magic armor and shields the Storm King's minions use are very effective for the task it seemed designed for. However, it doesn't seem to provide more than okay protection against anything other than magic, and is useless against fire (which is Justified as they still have exposed fur which is what catches fire).
  • Art Evolution: This being a movie with a higher budget and an entirely different animation program from the show, the characters' designs have been nicely refined with additional, even incredibly subtle details, such as glittering irises, visible scales on Spike's body, and heart-shaped pony hooves. The ponies are also drawn with rounder, smaller snouts in comparison to their show counterparts, actually making them even cuter, if it were even possible.
  • Artificial Gill: Before being transformed into seaponies, the Mane Six and Spike use air bubbles around their heads (provided by Princess Skystar) to breathe underwater.
  • Art Shift: During Tempest's Dark and Troubled Past part of "Open Up Your Eyes", the art style changes to a less outlined, paper-cutout style of animation. The closing credits also have their own distinct look.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror:
    • Many speculated that the rest of the world wasn't as peaceful or idealistic as Equestria. Turns out there are nation-conquering warlords with the might to subjugate Equestria, and Wretched Hives where sapient trafficking (slavery and body parts) are the rule of law.
    • Tempest Shadow confirms fanon that losing their horn would rob a unicorn of their magic/make it dangerously uncontrollable, nor would it grow back or get better. Her Freudian Excuse also confirms the detrimental social effect it could have on them.
    • Spike being able to breathe fire is used offensively for the first time in Generation 4, and it's just as effective as a Breath Weapon as any other form of fire.
  • The Atoner: At the end of the movie, Tempest immediately uses the staff to repair the damage done to the city and restore the princesses' magic instead of trying to use it to repair her horn.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The Storm King's forces attack Canterlot right when the Friendship Festival begins. Pinkie Pie even lampshades it, referring to them as "party crashers".
  • Attack Reflector: The Storm Guards have shields which reflect magic attacks.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Staff of Sacanas is a powerful magical artifact, but requires the magic of all four Princesses in order to work. How much magical energy is this? About the combined magic of every non-princess pony in Equestria plus Discord.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name:
  • Badass in Distress: Twilight Sparkle is held prisoner by Tempest in a magic-proof cage.
  • Bathos: The Mane Six are about to be thrown overboard... then suddenly the whistle for lunchtime blows and they're sitting at a dining table with Captain Celaeno and her crew.
  • Batman Gambit: In Seaquestria, Twilight Sparkle sends Pinkie Pie off to play with Princess Skystar knowing it will create the distraction she needs to get the Pearl of Transformation.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The rescue party enters Canterlot by delivering a cake as a Trojan Horse which they claim was ordered by the Storm King himself to celebrate his victory and which he's going to be angry if he doesn't get.
  • Beam-O-War: As the Storm King has gotten all the power he wants and betrays Tempest Shadow, trying to kill her with lightning, she defends herself with the unstable magic of her horn and the bolts briefly meet mid-point, causing a backlash that propels both of them backwards.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Twilight Sparkle snaps in a fit of frustration and denounces Pinkie and the rest of her friends, saying that maybe she would be better off without friends like them. Unfortunately for Twilight, she realizes too late what she just said, and she gets her wish.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Getting his coat fixed up by Rarity and being asked nothing in return causes Capper to second-guess his plan to betray them. He nearly falls back into his old ways when interrogated by Tempest over the Mane Six, but one look at the shiny buttons Rarity gave him kicks off his complete Heel–Face Turn.
    • Twilight trying to save Tempest after everything she did is a big part of her Taking the Bullet moment.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Twilight Sparkle demonstrates this by showing sympathy for Tempest Shadow and even rescuing her later, despite all of the trouble Tempest caused and the grief she gave her personally.
  • Behind the Black: After the dispute with her friends, Twilight is apparently so distraught that she misses the Storm Guard sneaking up on her and Spike, as well as the huge airship right above her.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: While Capper is pretending that the ponies are carrying a grave disease, Applejack starts to protest, but she's silenced by the Abyssinian pushing his tail in her face.
  • The Berserker: Pinkie Pie takes on a manic zeal when she chooses to hand someone's cupcakes to them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Spike (possibly) kills a Storm Guard with his fire.
  • Big Bad: The Storm King is the main villain, because it is his army that invades Canterlot and his field commander, Tempest Shadow, who hunts the Mane Six, all to fulfill his Evil Plan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twilight's friends arrive just in the nick of time—by launching themselves out of a party cannon.
  • Big Damn Movie: The film is larger in scope than anything yet seen in the main series, and features several invokedCelebrity Voice Actors.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Party Favor, after his balloon animal named Brian is crushed by the ramp from Tempest Shadow's airship.
    • Twilight and Pinkie Pie in quick succession: the former when she leaps to grab the Staff of Sacanas right as the Storm King does, and the latter when Twilight consequently is sucked into the Storm King's tornado.
    • Tempest Shadow, just before the Storm King throws an obsidian orb at the Mane Six.
  • Big "YES!": We get the show's trademark "YEAH!" courtesy of Bulk Biceps.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: In her seapony form, Princess Skystar has a bioluminescent lure on her head resembling that of an Alluring Anglerfish. Queen Novo has three of them, implying that they're the seapony equivalent of a Cool Crown and an indicator of rank. (In their hippogriff form, they become large feathers.) All seaponies in general, including the Mane Six in seapony form, emit a soft glow from their bodies.
  • Bird People: Captain Celaeno and her crew are anthropomorphic parrots with arms instead of wings.
  • Birds of a Feather: Pinkie Pie gets along famously with Princess Skystar because of their very similar personalities.
  • Bookends: The film starts and ends in Canterlot during the Friendship Festival, and Serenade Songbird's performance at that.
  • Boring Return Journey: The Mane Six's trip to the hippogriff kingdom is arduous and takes up most of the movie. The trip back to Canterlot appears instantaneous and apparently had no problems, despite the lack of an airship.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In regards to Twilight lashing at her friends in anger, it was certainly wrong and she was apologetic, but at the same time it was true that the rest of the Mane Six didn't seem to be treating the situation as seriously as it should have been and their behavior had repeatedly caused problems for their mission. Pointedly, Pinkie apologizes to Twilight as well despite Twilight's harsh actions, and even in their heated argument, the other ponies can be seen flinching or making sulky looks as Twilight lists down all the times they themselves screwed up, visibly aware their own track record wasn't brilliant.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Pinkie Pie is able to pull an endless supply of combat cupcakes out of hammerspace.
  • Bouncer: Bulk Biceps is seen acting as one in the end credits considering whether or not to allow gift-bearing storm beasts inside.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Twilight gets separated from her friends after denouncing them in anger, and then she gets captured by Tempest Shadow, forcing the Mane Five and Spike to go rescue her.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Thanks to Princess Celestia being turned to stone before she can finish telling Luna what to do, Twilight and the others initially think they're supposed so seek the aid from hippos rather than hippogriffs, with Pinkie wondering why they're supposed to look for the "queen of the hippos." During the end credits, she can be seen dancing with an actual hippo(potamus) queen.
    • After escaping capture in Canterlot, Pinkie Pie says she and her friends "got our cupcakes handed to us". When retaking Canterlot, she turns this into a Literal Metaphor.
    • During the Mane Six's trip through the desert, Pinkie, addled by the heat, starts talking to a skull. Later on, when Celaeno's crew show off their former pirate flag with classic skull-and-crossbones design, Pinkie remarks that she "met that guy in the desert".
    • While trying to get information from the residents of Klugetown, Pinkie offers a picture of her sister Maud. Moments later, when the denizens gather around the Mane Six, eager to buy them and their belongings, one of them asks how much she wants for the picture of Maud.
    • Princess Skystar claims that she's going to be "so grounded" when she runs away to help the Mane Six save Canterlot. When Queen Novo shows up at the end of the movie, the first thing she playfully tells Skystar, "You are so grounded."
    • During the credits, Spike is seen gnawing on Captain Celaeno's gemstone pegleg. A few moments later, the pegleg is seen in bandages, no doubt to cover up the teeth marks.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: "One Small Thing" grows into a massive theatrical dance number.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes":
    • Applejack wasn't literally raised in a barn. "My family just happens to have a barn. Where I was born... and spent most of my formative years."
    • Princess Skystar wants you to know that her people didn't flee from the Storm King. They swam... so they could flee.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes:
    • During his song, Capper cuts a rope that closes several shutters above the narrow street they are in, putting the whole place into darkness until only Capper's green cat eyes stay visible.
    • The alternate opening scene would have introduced Tempest this way, her eyes (including the scar over her right eye) and sparking horn being the only things visible among an otherwise dark screen.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Storm King treats his status as the Big Bad as a professional business. He comments on the Canterlot Castle's design as too "cute", and not fitting of his big, bad powerful guy image. Also, he is exceptionally pleased with his own line "Let's get this storm started!" and wants to turn it into a trademarked Catch-Phrase.
  • Cast Herd: Each of Twilight's friends brings in her own group of friends to help prepare for the festival, which is repeatedly mentioned in lyrics and illustrated during "We Got This Together".
  • The Cavalry: Capper, Celaeno and her crew, and Princess Skystar all arrive to join the Mane Five and Spike in saving Twilight and Equestria.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Princess Skystar (but not her mother, nor any of the other hippogriffs) decides to come to Equestria to help the ponies defeat the Storm King.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The gargantuan cake cannon Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich build for the Friendship Festival gets used in the climax by Twilight's friends to fire themselves into the Storm King's tornado and save her.
    • For the benefit of viewers who haven't seen the series, Rainbow Dash boasts about being able to do a Sonic Rainboom three times before demonstrating it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: It is through Capper that Twilight discovers the true identity and existence of the queen of the hippogriffs. Capper is also among the Big Damn Heroes who plays a big role in rescuing Twilight in the final act. Despite his seediness, it turns out Capper really is the friend the Mane Six needed.
  • Circling Monologue: Tempest's Villain Song has her slowly circling around a caged Twilight Sparkle.
  • Colorblind Casting: Uzo Aduba, a very dark-skinned African American, and Kristin Chenoweth, a lily-white Caucasian, are cast as mother and daughter. It helps that they're voice actors and their characters don't match their respective skin tones.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In Klugetown, one of the inhabitants wants to buy Rarity's hair for "two Stormbucks". She gets insulted, stating her hair's worth a lot more than that.
  • Companion Cube: Princess Skystar's two best friends are oyster shells she's named "Shelly" and "Sheldon". Everypony is creeped out by this except Pinkie Pie, who finds it adorable.
  • Conspicuous CG: The film extensively uses CGI as opposed to the show, mostly on the buildings and vehicles, which greatly sticks out with the semi-3D character animation.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Princess Skystar talked over her decision to help the ponies with Shelly and Sheldon.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: A great many supporting and popular side characters from the show appear in the film. Angel Bunny, Gummy, Big Mac, Granny Smith, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Bulk Biceps, Tree Hugger, Harry the Bear, Night Glider, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie, Photo Finish, Party Favor, Coco Pommel, Fashion Plate, Sassy Saddles, Moondancer, the Spa ponies, Lyra Heartstrings, Sweetie Drops, Derpy, Dr. Hooves, Octavia, DJ Pon-3, Zecora, the Wonderbolts, the Cake family, and Cheese Sandwich all make brief appearances during the Friendship Festival. Even Discord gets an indirect appearance as a balloon sculpture, then a direct appearance in the party during the end credits. Maud Pie too gets an indirect appearance via a photograph that Pinkie offers to trade to one of the Klugetown residents.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Cat: Capper is an Abyssinian, quite charming, and rarely loses his composure.
  • Could Say It, But...: Queen Novo forbids Princess Skystar from telling the Mane Six what happened to the hippogriffs, so Princess Skystar naturally says that if she could tell them, she'd say that the seaponies are actually hippogriffs driven out by the Storm King's forces and changed into their current forms by the Pearl of Transformation to hide underwater. But she totally did not tell them that.
    Queen Novo: Seriously?
  • Counting to Three: Tempest tells the pirates that she would count to three and then blow up their ship if they didn't give away the location of the Mane Six on their ship. She then does just that.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: The opening sequence is set to an adaptation of "We Got the Beat" by The Go-Go's. In the context of the movie, the line in the second verse about a dance called "the pony" takes on a different meaning.
  • Covered in Gunge: Twilight gets buried under a five-layer buttercream cake, courtesy of Pinkie Pie's new jumbo party cannon. A tiny bit also gets on Songbird Serenade's costume, to the horror of the petrified crowd.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Storm King's forces are equipped with Anti-Magic equipment, a reasonable choice when coming to invade a city of unicorns. This helps them take over Canterlot fairly easily, but it seems to just be okay at dealing with anything else and nigh useless against fire. When the heroes and their allies Storm the Castle in the Final Battle, Rarity is the only magic user and she primarily uses it to fight indirectly, so his army no longer has any considerable advantage.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe, despite spending the film wishing to steal the powers of the princesses, the Storm King doesn't seem to have any idea what those powers are. This bites him in the butt when he empowers the Staff of Sacanas, since he doesn't know how to use his stolen powers best.
  • Cue the Falling Object: After Rainbow Dash adorns the podium with ribbons and gems in "4 seconds flat", Rarity calls the rushed job "wretched enough already", and one gemstone drops.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Mane Six fare poorly in their first confrontation with Tempest during the invasion of Canterlot, which results in them getting knocked into the river and whisked far away from the city. Everyone other Equestrian fares just as well.
  • The Cynic: Tempest Shadow gave up on friendship when her friends rejected and abandoned her when times were tough, and claims to Twilight Sparkle that friendship is worthless through her Villain Song.
  • Cynicism Catalyst:
    • Pinkie Pie attracting unwanted attention and the group being nearly sold out by Capper in Klugetown is what spurs Twilight Sparkle to begin distrusting The Power of Friendship outside of Equestria before abandoning it completely, and even then, she seemed a bit distrusting and uncomfortable.
    • Tempest Shadow being abandoned by her friends during tough times convinced her that Friendship is unreliable and flimsy and thus cannot be trusted.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Rainbow Dash starts the song "Time to Be Awesome" to encourage the pirates to rebel against the Storm King and return to the awesome adventurers they used to be. It works. And pays off in the end when they come to help during the Final Battle.
  • Darker and Edgier: The movie is a downplayed example. While the stakes are high, there are some tense moments, some of the settings aren't too friendly (Klugetown) and the movie is rated PG due to the mild action sequences, at the end of the day it is still My Little Pony and the movie is not that much darker compared to what the cartoon show has already done. There is still the very optimistic and lighthearted tone one would expect from the show and its characters.
  • Darkest Hour: The Mane Six have been kicked out of Seaquestria due to Twilight's shenanigans. Pinkie Pie calls Twilight out on her shady behavior and lack of trust in her friends. Twilight snaps at Pinkie and denounces all of her friends, resulting in all of them except for Spike leaving her in disgust. To make matters even worse, Tempest capitalizes on the situation and captures Twilight, giving the Storm King the power to conquer the world with all four Equestrian Princesses.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The weaknesses and unreliability of The Power of Friendship is exposed, but the necessity and durability of it is also ultimately upheld. The Mane Six explore outside of Equestria and stick to their usual guns, but it brings along some unintended consequences, which convinces Twilight Sparkle that friendship doesn't work the same way it does at home, so she resorts to playing dirty. This ultimately comes back to bite her in the tail, as her lack of faith in friendship ruins the Mane Six's one chance to get the help they needed from Queen Novo, whom her friends had successfully won over with friendship. A subsequent falling out with her friends gets Twilight in even deeper trouble, forcing her into a harsh realization. Fortunately, all of the characters (Capper, Captain Celaeno, Princess Skystar) the Mane Six befriended over the course of the adventure arrive to help the Mane Five in rescuing Twilight and saving Equestria. Finally, Twilight Sparkle ends up befriending Tempest Shadow, who pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Mane Six.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Queen Novo is initially adamant about not helping the Mane Six, but Pinkie Pie's "One Small Thing" convinces her to until Twilight messes it up. Then she reappears at the end seemingly ready to make amends.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Songbird Serenade notes that Twilight is "caked in cake", which is more of a play on words than true redundancy.
  • Description Cut: Early on, a pony comments on how Twilight must be super chill... only for us to see her having one of her famous freak-out moments.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The Obsidian Orbs, which are weapons capable of eating through Alicorn-level shields, that are never explained or addressed. Unlike many other things not explained in the film, no explanation for their existence is offered in the All There in the Manual materials either.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Twilight thinks that stealing the Pearl of Transformation is a good idea, but even if she doesn't get caught, she never considers how her friends, and especially Queen Novo and Princess Skystar will react to it afterwards if they find out, and they most likely would've, and soon. It is a lose-lose proposition either way one looks at it. The Mane Five don't hide their overwhelming disapproval.
  • Disapproving Look: Twilight gives Rainbow Dash a scathing glare when she starts questioning their captors about delaying the ponies' execution.
    Rainbow Dash: Whoa whoa whoa! So you were about to toss us overboard and you stopped for a lunch break?
  • Disney Death:
    • Twilight gets sucked into the tornado with the Storm King during the struggle for the Storm King's staff. Fortunately, after a brief mourning period from the ponies, Twilight comes back down no worse for wear. Unfortunately, so does the Storm King.
    • Later happens to Tempest Shadow when she takes the bullet for the Mane Six and Spike, and is only narrowly saved by Twilight Sparkle. It's one of the more effective uses of the trope due to Tempest's lack of Plot Armor, the fact that we know at this point that Twilight is without her magic (Rarity is less likely to have the strength to catch Tempest), and clever cinematography revealing the save.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Storm King gets turned to stone, falls off of the Canterlot castle balcony and shatters to pieces.
  • Downer Beginning: The film starts with the Storm King conquering Canterlot, and things get worse from there.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Mane Five launch themselves out of Pinkie's souped-up Party Cannon to get past the Storm King's tornado. They end up slamming right into him at the end.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Mane Six go through a lot, especially Twilight, both physically and emotionally, but in the end, they manage to stop the Storm King, free Canterlot, return the Princesses to normal, and save Equestria with their new friends.
  • Easily Forgiven: Tempest, despite playing a big role in the Storm King's takeover, is completely forgiven following her Heel–Face Turn. However, she is the one who ends up fixing the mess she helped make by using the Staff of Sacanas to return the Princesses' magic to Canterlot, reviving the petrified Princesses and repairing the city — not to mention, of course, her temporary Heroic Sacrifice against The Storm King.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Tempest offers the Princesses the option of giving up their magic "nicely please, or we make it difficult... for everyone."
    Princess Luna: And why should we cower before you? There's one of you and hundreds of us!
    Tempest Shadow: [chuckling] I was hoping you'd choose "difficult".
  • Edible Ammunition: Pinkie Pie attacks one of the Storm King's goons with a fusillade of cupcakes.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: The opening sequence pans down from a view of the stars to follow a group of pegasi as they soar over and dive through some clouds to a road, then follows the road to Canterlot, flying under a couple archways into the city festooned for the Friendship Festival before finally settling on some ponies setting a dessert table. After a couple of cuts, the sequence ends with a zoom through the stained glass window commemorating Twilight's coronation onto Twilight herself.
  • Equippable Ally:
    • Princess Skystar uses Shelly and Sheldon as projectiles to take down one of the Storm King's mooks.
    • Capper uses Spike as a flamethrower. Twilight also uses Spike as a burner for her makeshift hot air balloon.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows:
    • The pirate parrots' airship has multi-colored sails that, when unfurled, make it look like a rainbow lorikeet. Rainbow Dash exclaims "Awesome!" when she sees the sails.
    • Zigzagged with Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, which is simultaneously awesome and a very bad idea that shows Tempest and the Storm King's mooks where they are.
    • Invoked in Songbird Serenade's song "Rainbow":
      Songbird Serenade: [singing] I can see a rainbow through your tears as they're falling down.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Not really evil, but Capper is technically a criminal in a crime-filled town. Rarity fixes up his coat for him, prompting him to immediately ask what the catch was. She merely replies it's just thanks for helping her and her friends out. Capper is confused by this since as far as he knew, no one does anything for anyone for free.
    • Near the end of the movie, the Storm King deems Tempest expendable once he got the power he craves and tries to kill her. Before she gets whisked away in the tornado, Twilight grabs and pulls her back, making her confused as to why she would bother helping her.
  • Evil Gloating: Tempest Shadow can't resist taunting Twilight Sparkle while she is held captive on her ship, even mocking her situation of being abandoned by her friends. All this is before she indulges in a Villain Song denouncing friendship and Twilight's ideals.
    Tempest Shadow: The Princess of Friendship... with no friends!
  • Exotic Eye Designs: The characters' eyes are much more Animesque, complete with sparkles on their irises, and the catchlights are semitransparent.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The whole movie is set over the course of a single day, though Justified as with Celestia and Luna petrified, there isn't anypony who can change day to night. Timeline-wise Tempest promises to capture Twilight before the Storm King arrives in "three days" possibly extending the time to seventy two hours, with it being unclear how long the Mane Six spent in the Badlands or approaching Mount Aris offscreen.
  • Eye Recall: Tempest's backstory is initiated by the camera zooming in on her eye as it fills the screen. When it ends, the view dissolves to a shot of Twilight's eyes as the camera zooms out.
  • Face Palm: Twilight's reaction to Rainbow Dash starting a motivational song for the Parrot Pirates is to facehoof, since it is more of the silliness that got them into this mess, and she thinks the pegasus is pushing their luck. She does it again after Rainbow performs a Sonic Rainboom, since she knows it's bound to attract attention.
  • Feedback Rule: The contraption Grubber uses to be heard loud and clear naturally causes a feedback sound when he first talks into it.
  • Fictional Currency: Klugetown uses Storm Bucks as currency. Presumably, the same is also true of all the Storm King's territories.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Capper grabs Spike and uses him as a makeshift flamethrower during the climax.
  • Fish People: Half of the residents of Klugetown are various kind of fishmen, including some sharkmen.
  • Flanderization: The main ponies aside from Twilight seem to have lost some of their previous Character Development and been reduced to their basic personality traits for the first two acts, if only to make Twilight's attempted pearl theft slightly more justified. Rainbow Dash's love of action and showing off betrays her common sense, Rarity is more of a Drama Queen than usual, Fluttershy's more prone to being scared, the only notable aspect of Applejack is that she's a farmpony and Pinkie Pie's hyperactivity ends up being more of a hindrance than an asset. Only when the aforementioned theft occurs do they show any other aspect of their personalities, especially Pinkie Pie.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Defied by Tempest. When she was rejected by her friends and left Ponyville, she took on the name "Tempest Shadow" when she allied herself with the Storm King. It's most likely because her real pony name, Fizzlepop Berrytwist, wouldn't be taken overly seriously, and who can honestly blame her?
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • The movie is notably lacking in teleportation use, despite how frequently Twilight uses it in the series. It may be justified when she is captured and locked in what turns out to be a magic-proof cage, but she doesn't even attempt it. Indeed, Twilight shows remarkably little variety in magic over the course of the movie, only using small to medium-scale telekinesis, a bit of light from her horn to illuminate dark places, and magic blasts.
    • There's also Applejack's Super Strength, a feat that she's commonly shown using, which isn't even used in the movie itself.
    • The Mane Six's Rainbow Powers are nowhere to be seen, despite them likely being very useful. This wasn't the case in earlier versions of the script but it was cut.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In addition to the side character appearances detailed in Continuity Cavalcade, there's also cameos from background ponies such as Lyra Heartstrings, Berry Punch, Octavia Melody, and Amethyst Star.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: A variant, actually more of a "Villain or Idol Decision", considering the friend in question hadn't made a complete Heel–Face Turn yet. After the magic clash between Tempest Shadow and the Storm King following his betrayal, the blowback throws the both of them backwards, leaving the Storm King lying face down in a daze, still holding the Staff of Sacanas, and Tempest desperately clinging to the balcony railing, about to get blown away by the storm. Twilight is left with the choice to either seize the opportunity to take the staff and disarm the Storm King or grab Tempest before she lets go, and picks the latter. When Tempest asks her in disbelief why she's saving her, Twilight replies that "this is what friends do".
  • From Bad to Worse: The Mane Six's plan to get the help they needed from Queen Novo goes up in smoke thanks to Twilight. Worse, the Mane Six have a subsequent falling out, and an angry Twilight denounces them. Even worse, the Mane Five subsequently leave her behind, causing Twilight to become vulnerable to being captured by Tempest Shadow, which she does.
  • Furry Confusion: Despite Rarity owning a non-anthro pet cat in the series, a Funny Animal cat appears in the film in the form of Capper.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • When blowing out a candle on her horn, Twilight makes a horse's snort.
    • Twilight once lets out a long sigh similar to a horse's whinny.
    • Capper, as he starts panicking because the ponies are about to leave, makes a cat-screeching sound. He does it again later, when Tempest's soldiers prevent him from leaving.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • While the Mane Six are lost in the Badlands, Rarity mentions she has "sand in [her]...everything".
    • The first Klugetown merchant the Mane Six encounter asks Twilight if she's interested in selling her horn and has several horns prominently displayed on his cart. In Real Life, if an animal horn isn't sold as decor or a bugle, it's an aphrodisiac.
    • Capper warns the fish guy "infected" with pastel coloritis not to touch anyone "because parts will fall off". Cue the fish guy immediately covering his groin.
    • One of the pirates is seen scratching his ass. Rainbow Dash is naturally disgusted by this.
    • One of the Mooks Spike blasts with his flame doesn't get back up....
  • Ghost Town: The town on Mount Aris, abandoned by its hippogriff inhabitants years ago, is a rather forlorn place. It's actually called a "ghost town" by Spike, which unnerves Fluttershy.
  • Given Name Reveal: At the end of the movie, Tempest Shadow reveals her real name as Fizzlepop Berrytwist. Pinkie Pie thinks it's "the most awesome name EVER!" and the credits roll.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The entire movie is about Twilight and co. going on a journey to seek help from another country after the Storm King invades Equestria.
  • Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Pinkie Pie gives Twilight a pep talk, which almost-but-not-quite ends in total failure.
    Pinkie Pie: Twilight, look at me. This will be the biggest celebration Equestria has ever seen! As the Princess of Friendship, you cannot fail! This day will define who you are! The pressure is intense! It's almost too much for any single pony to handle! Aaaaah!! [beat] But you have us, so stop worrying.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Spike is clearly not pleased when Rarity takes a shine to Capper.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Captain Celaeno's crewman shoots the Mane Five (plus Spike) out of Pinkie Pie's giant party cannon, sending them through the tornado, and right into the Storm King, knocking him down and sending his staff into a nearby window.
    Pinkie Pie: Bullseye!
  • Gut Punch:
    • When Cadance is turned to stone, you know the other princesses are likely going down too.
    • Twilight trying to steal the seaponies' pearl is what marks the shift to an almost completely different tone — as she's abandoned by her friends and captured by Tempest shortly after.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Tempest has apparently tried several other means and places to heal her horn, to no avail, which is why she's so determined to help the Storm King claim the magic of the princesses and become powerful enough to fix it. Even after he betrays her, it's unclear if he could heal her (or thought he could) but won't, or if he was just lying in order to manipulate her.
  • The Heavy: Tempest Shadow, The Dragon to the Storm King, is the most active of the film's villains in her hunt for Twilight Sparkle. The Storm King doesn't appear in person until the final act.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In true My Little Pony tradition, Capper, Tempest Shadow (or rather, Fizzlepop Berrytwist), Grubber, and the Storm King's minions all switch sides by the end, but only the first two did it in time to help stop the Big Bad.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Upon arriving in the abandoned Mount Aris, Spike comments that something bad happened to turn it into a Ghost Town, deeply spooking Fluttershy. Shortly after, The ponies hear a ghostly wailing from a nearby location.
  • Heroic Bystander: Derpy/Muffins happens to be in the right place at the right time to shove Twilight and get hit by an obsidian orb meant for the princess. Rainbow Dash gets to Twilight first, but Derpy ends up Taking the Bullet, which provides just enough confusion for the princess and her friends to evade capture.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Sort of for Celestia. After seeing Cadance petrified, she realises she's likely next and tries to warn Luna where to get help — rather than get to safety herself.
    • Tempest's Heel–Face Turn is solidified when she allows herself to be petrified instead of Twilight and her friends.
  • His Name Is...: Princess Celestia as she tells Princess Luna to go get help from the queen of the hippogriffs, but gets cut off. This causes Twilight to think she has to find the queen of the "hippos".
  • Hitler Cam:
    • Despite being shorter than most of the mooks in the Storm King's army, Tempest Shadow is frequently shot this way, to make her look more intimidating.
    • When the Parrot Pirates are introduced, they are shown from below to make them more intimidating, while the ponies are shot from high up to have them look smaller.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Twilight's own magical blast reflected off the shield of one of the Storm King's goons is what destroys the bridge under the Mane Six.
    • In the end, the Storm King is turned to stone by his own obsidian orb when Tempest takes the hit for the Mane Six, getting him caught in the blast.
  • Hope Spot: "One Small Thing" rallies the seaponies together, and Queen Novo is clearly willing to lend the Mane Six the pearl (and possibly help fight the Storm King's forces). Then Twilight tries to steal the pearl, and all seven of them get kicked out.
  • Hostage Handler Huddle: Held by Captain Celaeno and crew after they discover that the ponies have stowed away on their ship:
    Boyle: I think we tie 'em up. [Applejack gasps]
    Lix Spittle: Nah, we clip their wings. [Rainbow Dash gasps]
    Mullet: Nah, we scar 'em... [Rarity screams and he looks over at Fluttershy] ...emotionally. [Fluttershy cries]
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Although a quick learner, a key factor in the Storm King's defeat is that he's only had the staff empowered very briefly and doesn't know how to use it properly yet.
  • Human Cannonball: More like a "pony grapeshot" as Twilight's friends shoot themselves en masse out of Pinkie's Easy-Bake Confetti Cake Cannon and right into the Storm King before he can blast Twilight and Tempest.
  • I Am Not Weasel: One of the thugs in Klugetown refers to Spike as a "gecko," which he takes offense to.
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm the Friend You Need" for Capper, singing about how great a friend he is while he leads the Mane Six and Spike to his home so he can sell them.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Twilight rationalizes her attempt to steal Queen Novo's pearl as necessary to save Equestria. The other five stand up to her and say it never had to come to that, and that they were on the verge of a diplomatic solution.
  • I Lied: When Tempest Shadow asks the Storm King to restore her broken horn, he reveals he was only using Tempest for his own ends, and has no intention of holding up his end of the deal.
  • Implied Death Threat: The Storm King tells Tempest that if she fails him, her horn "won't be the only thing that's broken."
  • Implied Love Interest: Rarity and Capper, as noted under Ship Tease, get quite a bit of subtext that hints their friendship might not be completely platonic.
  • Indy Escape: The Mane Six escape from Capper's windmill abode by breaking its wheel and letting it roll away. When they jump from it, though, the wheel keeps rolling and they have to flee as it is destroying the scaffolding they're running upon.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: This happens to the Mane Six and Spike when they fall into the river away from Canterlot. The city is at a high altitude, after all.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Sia's character, Songbird Serenade, is modeled after her actress's stage persona, complete with Blinding Bangs.
  • Insistent Terminology: Celaeno's crew were never pirates, they were "swashbuckling treasure hunters".
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Applejack gets hit by some when Rarity says Rainbow Dash's attempt at speed decorating is fine "if you were raised in a barn."
    Rarity: No offense, Applejack.
    Applejack: None taken, especially since I wasn't raised in a barn. My family just happens to have a barn, where I was born... and spent most of my formative years...
    Rainbow Dash: Raised in a barn!
  • Ironic Echo: Back in "Twilight's Kingdom", Princess Celestia mused "What is the Princess of Friendship without her friends?" When Tempest captures Twilight, she gloats that she has "the Princess of Friendship... with no friends!" The irony is reinforced by Twilight's Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure:
    Tempest Shadow: Face it, Princess; friendship has failed you too.
    Princess Twilight: Friendship didn't fail me. I failed friendship.
  • Irony:
    • After capturing [[spoiler:Twilight, Tempest tells her through song that she needs to "open up [her] eyes" and see the world as she does: an unjust, cruel place where you can't rely on anyone. Ultimately, Tempest is the one who has her eyes opened; Twilight saves her life, proving Tempest's philosphy wrong, and inspiring her Heel–Face Turn. The soundtrack even lampshades this by playing a softer version of the score from "Open Up Your Eyes" during that moment.
    • An even greater irony comes in the form of Tempest, who practically preaches not relying on anyone, chosing to be the Storm King's subordinate, only to be cast aside by him when You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
  • It's All My Fault: Abandoned by her friends, Twilight Sparkle breaks down in tears and blames herself for effectively ruining Equestria's last hope. Likewise, the Mane Five blame themselves for letting Twilight get abducted by Tempest Shadow, since them leaving her to cool off caused her to become vulnerable.
  • Jerkass Realization: Twilight gets a painful one, as she let her lack of faith in friendship nearly ruin everything. While she is held captive on Tempest's airship, Twilight solemnly admits she screwed up.
    Twilight Sparkle: Friendship didn't fail me... I failed friendship...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Queen Novo.
    • Tempest becomes this when she defeats the Storm King.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: The Storm King's minions are delivered a cake large enough to hide Captain Celaeno and her crew, who proceed to pull this off on them.
  • Kill It with Fire: It turns out that the Storm King's mooks, while big, intimidating, and having magic-resistant armor, are very vulnerable to fire. Thankfully for the heroes, Spike breathes fire.
  • Kubrick Stare: Twilight gives a few of these to Tempest to show defiance while the latter sings her Villain Song. It happens just before Tempest reveals her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Land of One City: This movie seems to depict Equestria as this in order to simplify the setting for viewers who either haven't seen the series, or have only seen Equestria Girls. The Storm King's forces are shown occupying only Canterlot, but he's always referred to as a threat to Equestria. Manehattan and Saddle Arabia are only mentioned in a throwaway line, and Tempest Shadow's flashback shows she came from a village which could be Ponyville, or the town in the "Farthest Reaches" as depicted on the official map. Since the name "Canterlot" is never spoken by any of the characters in the movie, Canterlot is Equestria as far as the audience is concerned.
  • Lens Flare: This effect is used in the opening of the film, which has a pegasus flying towards the direction of the sun. It's used a couple of other times and there's also a crepuscular rays effect at one point.
  • Literal Metaphor:
    • Rarity shows her disdain for Capper with "Look what the cat dragged in — himself!"
    • Inverted when Celaeno says "We're on board to help you fight the Storm King... just not on board our actual ship."
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The Storm King is turned into stone and smashes on the ground. Preventing this from happening to Luna and Tempest are plot points.
  • Living MacGuffin: The search for the hippogriffs ends with them becoming this trope. Despite the search for them being the entire focus of the movie, their entire species save Skystar do nothing to advance the story or help the heroes in any way. Although Twilight bears a significant amount of blame for that.
  • Living Statue: The petrified Storm King is seen getting reassembled by one of his Storm Guards at the party in the credits, his eyes still moving to indicate that he's alive. Unfortunately for him, he's not put back together properly, and falls apart again. It's unclear whether or not the credits were intended to be taken seriously, given the appearance of the "Queen of Hippos" dancing with Pinkie Pie at one point.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: We've got the Mane Six, Spike, the Princesses, the All-Star Cast of new characters, and a great many characters from the show all appearing in one big epic pony movie. However, Fluttershy and Applejack have somewhat minor roles and many new characters, like Celaeno's crew, don't get any development.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Besides his How Do I Shot Web? problem, the Storm King has no magic of his own, hence why he needs to use the Staff of Sacanas to absorb the Princesses' magic for him instead of doing so directly like Tirek did. As a result, when he gets separated from it, he's no more dangerous than he was previously.
    • The Storm Guards' furry bodies make them vulnerable to fire, as demonstrated when Capper uses Spike as a living flamethrower against them.
  • Lovable Rogue: Capper is described by Rarity as "charming" (he claims "Charming's my game") and appears to have quite a few friends in Klugetown. He also tries to sell the Mane Six to pay off a debt, but ends up pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
  • MacGuffin: Subverted with the magic Pearl of Transformation owned by Queen Novo, which is able to transform others into any creature you can imagine. The Mane Six never actually get a hold of it, nor is it used to defeat the villain.
  • MacGyvering: Twilight makes a makeshift hot air balloon using a rope, an empty crate, a tarp flag, and Spike, all while everyone is in freefall.
  • Made a Slave:
    • The Mane Six narrowly avoid being sold into slavery in Klugetown due to several factors.
    • The population of at least Canterlot is subjected to this by the Storm King's forces. The Spa Ponies, for instance, are shown chained, muzzled and working on a Storm Beast. Thankfully, they're freed when he and his forces are beaten.
  • Magic Staff: The Staff of Sacanas, stolen from an Arimaspi King according to All There in the Manual materials which also says it was made from a branch from the Tree of Harmony. The Storm King's plan is to use the magic of the princesses to empower it and truly be a King of Storms.
  • Magnetic Hero: The Mane Six proving to be this is a plot point. They manage to get Capper and the pirates on their side purely by being themselves. And would have gotten all the hippogriffs as well, if not for Twilight's mistake. They still get Princess Skystar on their side, and all their collected allies come to aid them in retaking Canterlot and defeating the Storm King's forces. Twilight ultimately manages to befriend Tempest in the end as well, once she starts acting like the Princess of Friendship.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Having been forced to flee their oppressed homeland, our Main Characters go on a quest for allies who can help them fight back. To top it off, they end up recruiting seven allies: Capper, Skystar, Celaeno and her four crew members.
  • Mana Drain: The Staff of Sacanas absorbs the magic of all four princesses and confer their powers to its wielder, the Storm King.
  • Match Cut: After Tempest beats up a fishman in Klugetown, there is a fade back to Capper's home, with the bulbous eyes of the fishman matching decorative hanging globes.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Tempest's real name, Fizzlepop Berrytwist, is appropriately descriptive of her own unique unicorn magic and her coloration.
    • Klugetown is named after the hacker/engineering/military slang term kluge, meaning "an ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole."
    • Captain Celaeno is named after one of the harpies from Greek mythology.
    • The Staff of Sacanas comes from a Portuguese word meaning "rogue" or "trickster". So the Storm King wields the staff of tricksters.
  • Mess on a Plate: "Lunch" on Captain Celaeno's ship is a brown porridge with bits of grass in it. "Pudding" looks exactly the same, minus the grass.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Despite Canterlot being invaded, its Royal Guards are completely, inexplicably absent, only cameoing after everything's saved in the ambiguously canon credits. Conversely, the Storm King's forces, despite having conquered nations and being a credible threat to Take Over the World, are routed by just thirteen ragtag individuals (five ponies, a baby dragon, a Con Man, five pirates, and a hippogriff princess).
  • The Millstone: Pinkie Pie has way too much fun while the Mane Six are fleeing Capper and Verko. She excitedly bounds onto the tightrope that Rainbow Dash holds for everypony, causing it to go slack and her to fall into a chasm, forcing Twilight to fly down and rescue her.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Capper prompts one, leading to himself, the pirates, Princess Skystar, and the Mane Five coming together to plot an effective infiltration and counterattack on Canterlot to rescue Twilight.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Storm King looks like a cross between a yeti and a satyr; Grubber is said to be a hedgehog with the face of a pug; and most of Celaeno's parrot pirate crew are Bird People with a touch of Lizard Folk added in the form of reptilian tails.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The opening festival scene is very cheery and upbeat, but things immediately take a much darker turn when Tempest Shadow arrives with the Storm King's army.
    • The Parrots are threatening to mistreat the pony stowaways, and then to have them Walk the Plank... except for a clock to blow a whistle indicating lunchtime. Cue the ponies welcomed at the former pirates' table.
    • The whimsical "One Small Thing" musical number, which convinces Queen Novo to help the Mane Six, is immediately followed by Twilight being caught trying to steal the Pearl of Transformation and Novo kicking them out for it, and right after that, the movie's Darkest Hour.
  • Morphic Resonance: As is usually the case in the main series, transformations still leave the characters easily recognizable.
    • When the Mane Six turn into seaponies, they keep their faces, color scheme, and general upper body shape, but their manes, tails, and wings become fins. Their cutie marks appear on their dorsal fins, unlike the hippogriff seaponies who don't have cutie marks.
    • Spike also essentially becomes a round version of himself when he's transformed into a pufferfish.
    • The same applies to the hippogriffs when they shed their seapony disguises, their head frills and fins turning into feathers and wings, and gaining beak-shaped mouths.
  • Mugging the Monster: Both Verko and the fishman find out the hard way that Tempest is no pony to trifle with. Tempest doesn't even use her magic to drop the fishman; she beats him with a couple kicks and a body throw.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: The kingdom of Seaquestria. The name is an obvious reference to Equestria, but the name also borrows from the word sequester, fitting as the kingdom is at the bottom of the ocean and not easily accessible by outsiders due to the inhabitants hiding from the Storm King.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Tempest Shadow's magic makes for a very powerful weapon capable of blowing an airship out of the sky. It also makes for a spectacular fireworks display.
    • Spike uses his fire breath as a candle on top of the Trojan Horse cake.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Twilight after telling her friends she'd be better off without them, immediately regretting what she said. Not only did she push away her friends (with the exception of Spike), she nearly cost them all their chance of saving Equestria.
    • The Mane Five get this as well after abandoning Twilight and Spike with the former getting captured by Tempest, wondering to themselves if they should've talked to Twilight instead of just leaving her.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While they've appeared previously in G4 storybooks and comics, the movie officially carries G1's seaponies into the G4 animation. The song that happens in their kingdom, "One Small Thing", evokes a Busby Berkeley Number, which the G1 seaponies' song also did.
    • Capper is not the first anthropomorphic cat to appear in the franchise. There's also Catrina from the second G1 special. The prequel comic also shows there's an entire monarchy with a queen of said cat folk.
    • Some have noticed similarities between the Storm King's facial features and Grogar's.
    • Tempest Shadow's color scheme is similar to the minor G3 pony Fizzy Pop, who also appears as in G4 Blind Bags as a Palette Swap of Pinkie Pie. Hence the name "Fizzlepop", which gets an excited reaction out of Pinkie Pie.
  • Never My Fault: The Mane Six's falling out during the climax (particularly between Twilight and Pinkie) more or less stems from this after Twilight tries to steal the Pearl, blaming their follies on the other side's stupid behavior and claiming they had things worked out perfectly until the other screwed everything up. It's only after it reaches a boiling point that they accept they both made an equal ass of things.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Mane Five acting true to character even in dire situations where it's obvious they should be circumspect if not cautious is why Twilight ends up cracking under the stress of trying to rein in their troublesome impulses and repeatedly failing, which results in Twilight screwing up catastrophically herself.
    • Pinkie Pie, for her lack of subtlety, nearly gets the entire group in trouble when she makes a scene in Klugetown, the last place on whatever planet Equestria is on to attract attention.
    • Rainbow Dash's inability to resist showing off her awesomeness: her Sonic Rainboom turns into a big, shiny beacon that alerts Tempest to the Mane Six's location after she'd been led on a wild goose chase by Capper.
    • When Queen Novo refuses to hand over the Pearl of Transformation to the Mane Six, and with her friends' poor track record of making sensible decisions, Twilight decides in desperation that her best course of action is to steal it right under everyone's noses. Unfortunately, this happens right as her friends actually manage to persuade Novo into letting them have it.
    • After the Seaquestria incident, Twilight Sparkle fiercely denounces her friends in her frustration. Twilight's hurtful comment disgusts them and they walk away to cool their anger. Twilight herself even lampshades how she basically ruined the last chance to save Equestria.
    • After her friends (aside from Spike) leave her alone, Twilight is caught by surprise and quickly captured by Tempest. The rest of the Mane Six, already prepared to try to patch things up, seem to realize they messed up when Spike tells them what happened.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If the Storm King had just stuck to his word to Tempest Shadow, she would've stuck by his side and the pair likely would've snuffed out the good guys' last chance to save Equestria. Course, this assumes he actually could abide by the bargain and didn't know all along it was an impossible promise to make. Even if he couldn't, the very least he could've done was reward Tempest's loyalty and not try to kill her.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Captain Celaeno and Lix Spittle are quite busty for parrots. Celaeno lampshades this after Spike refers to her and her crew as "delivery guys".
    Captain Celaeno: And gals. These uniforms aren't exactly doing us any favors.
  • No Saving Throw: Get hit by an Obsidian Orb and you're toast. Don't even think about blocking it.
  • No-Sell: The Storm King's minions carry shields that can reflect magic blasts with ease. The obsidian orbs Tempest and Storm King carry take it Up to Eleven in that those exposed to the gas they emit can do nothing to stop the orb's petrifying effects, and even a shield spell can't effectively block the orbs.
  • Nothing Personal: It's "nothing personal" that Captain Caleano and her crew plan to toss the ponies and Spike overboard. They are after all, just a Punch-Clock Villain crew. Thus, it's no surprise that they're willing to stop for a lunch break and are so readily convinced by Rainbow Dash initiating a song number — they don't have any personal stake in it. They've just been following orders.
  • Not Quite Dead: If the credits can be counted, the Storm King's shattered remains are still alive, though some aspects of them make it unclear if they're intended to be taken seriously.
  • Not So Different:
    • After capturing Twilight Sparkle, Tempest Shadow claims that friendship failed Twilight after her friends abandoned her when times got tough, just like Tempest's friends did her. Twilight responds that friendship didn't fail her; she failed friendship.
    • Twilight asks Tempest why she serves the Storm King when she's a pony, the same as Twilight. Tempest who's mostly played it cool up until that point, hotly replies she's not like Twilight or other ponies... Immediately before launching into her Villain Song.
  • Not-So-Safe Harbor: Klugetown is a landlocked variant of a port city with an airship harbor. Practically anything and/or anyone can be bought or sold for the right price, including sapient equines and equine parts.
  • Not Worth Killing: Zigzagged. The Storm King is initially displeased with Twilight being the only Equestrian princess not petrified, he doesn't do anything about it and proceeds to ignore her. Then later on, when the Mane Six are reunited, he attempts to throw an Obsidian Orb at them, which literally blows up in his face thanks to Tempest's sacrifice.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Par for the course with Pinkie Pie. One example: her bouncing all over Mount Aris's city to find out if there are any hippogriffs around.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Twilight delivers her Wham Line towards Pinkie Pie, she realizes her mistake but it was already too late.
    • The Storm King's reaction to Tempest blocking his last Obsidian Orb and charging at him, thus spreading the effects to him as well while he's clinging to the edge of a balcony, has this trope written all over it.
    • In Tempest's flashback, this is her filly self's reaction to the Ursa Minor waking up, although it briefly switches to defiance just before the Ursa tears her horn off.
    • On a more humorous note, this is obviously what's going through Princess Skystar's head when she's told that she is grounded.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: We see for the first time on screen the Mane Six ever get legitimately and seriously angry with each other. The Mane Five are totally pissed at Twilight, Pinkie Pie in particular calling out Twilight for her nonsense in Seaquestria that caused the whole group to get kicked out. Twilight has an equal grudge with them, calling out their own thoughtlessness that ruined the rest of the trip, and when Pinkie labels her a hypocrite in that regard, she snaps and responds with a comment so nasty that the rest of her friends are absolutely disgusted and outright leave her behind. It eventually comes back to bite them all. In particular, the seriousness of Twilight's Wham Line is shown by Pinkie Pie going very quiet and just softly saying "I can't talk to you right now" before walking off in tears. When the very talkative, affable, and friendly Pinkie Pie, the pony who wants to make friends with everyone, doesn't want to talk to you, it's very serious.
  • Orbital Shot: As the Storm King is creating a violent lightning storm around Canterlot with his newfound powers, the camera rotate around him along with the tornado that is forming.
    Storm King: NOW, I TRULY AM THE STORM KING!
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: The "hippos" the Mane Six seek out are actually hippogriffs (part-horse, part-eagle), who have more horse-like facial features to distinguish them the fully bird-headed griffons that appear in the show. They also possess a magical pearl that turns them into other creatures, including seaponies. The movie fails to make the obvious hippogriff/hippocampus joke.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The seaponies are effectively mermaid ponies who have their own society and monarchy separate from Equestria, including a governing queen, and a benevolent one at that. The Mane Six are also transformed into seaponies by Queen Novo's magic Pearl of Transformation. As it turns out, however, none of the seaponies in the film are really seaponies at all.
  • Out of Focus: Applejack and Fluttershy suffer from this (though not quite enough to be Demoted to Extra), being the only members of the Mane Six who are neither Princess Twilight nor able to befriend someone relevant to the plot. Fluttershy doesn't even get her own solo in "We Got This Together", while the other Mane Six all do. Just a duet verse with one of her bird friends.
  • Pep-Talk Song:
    • "We Got This", in which Twilight's friends encourage her that they can do their part to prepare Equestria for the festival.
    • Rainbow Dash's song, "It's Time to Be Awesome", is sung to Captain Celaeno and her crew to rekindle their adventurous spirits after years of disheartening service to the Storm King.
  • Pie in the Face:
    • Twilight Sparkle gets entirely covered in buttercream cake from Pinkie Pie fine-tuning her giant "Easy Bake Confetti Cake Cannon".
    • When the Storm King start an actual windstorm with his new power, a few of his soldiers get pies in the face from the gusts of wind, before being blown away themselves.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The trailer shows the names of the voice actors for male characters in blue, and the females in pink.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Twilight gets the gang booted out of Seaquestria for attempting to steal their prized pearl, Pinkie Pie calls her out for not trusting her friends, Twilight finally loses it and screams that she would be better off with friends like them, resulting in the Mane Five (except Spike) abandoning her. Of course, they're all back together come the end, especially since Tempest Shadow captures Twilight after said abandonment forcing her friends to go save her.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Each of the Mane Six gets a chance to make a friend and contribute to the plot in some way. Rarity first befriends Capper, Rainbow Dash then rallies Captain Celaeno and her crew, Pinkie Pie entertains Princess Skystar, Fluttershy doesn't do much but she does get a moment where she befriends one of the Storm King's minions and Twilight of course is the one who brings about Tempest Shadow's Heel–Face Turn. Applejack is the only one who doesn't get a proper moment, but she acts as The Lancer of the group throughout the movie.
  • Poke the Poodle: One of the Storm King's goons takes delight in cutting the ribbons tying down a small bouquet of balloons that just happen to be the same colors as the Mane Six and Spike.
  • Power Parasite: The Storm King wants the magic of the Alicorns to empower the Staff of Sacanas.
  • Product Placement:
    • Pinkie Pie's "Easy-Bake Confetti Cake Cannon" is clearly a reference to Hasbro's Easy-Bake Oven and includes a little Self-Deprecation over the product's reputation for not working very well.
    • When discussing the hippos, Pinkie mentions "they're always hungry", triggering a reference in dialog to Hasbro's "Hungry Hungry Hippos" tabletop game.
  • Profile View Gag: At one point, Pinkie Pie appears to be blowing up an ordinary balloon. Then she turns away from the camera and it's clear she's blowing up the kind of twisting balloon used to make balloon animals.
  • Properly Paranoid: Played straight and deconstructed in Klugetown, when even as her friends are taken in by Capper's charm, Twilight clearly doesn't trust him. The airship crew were forced into a situation where trusting their rekindled spirit was not a sure thing. So Twilight was primed to expect the "seaponies" to not be worth trusting as well. However, Twilight's lack of trust comes back to bite her in the tail.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Storm King has shades of this. The first thing he does when he's absorbed Celestia's and Luna's powers is to play with the sun and moon using his staff.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Literally. Captain Caleano and her crew, when they discover the Mane Six on their ship, are about to throw them overboard... until the ship's foghorn sounds, at which they go on a lunch break and let the Mane Six eat with them. While on break, the crew are actually quite nice and converse with the Mane Six, as well as telling their story about how they were forced to become the Storm King's minions, but makes it known that once they're back on the job, the Mane Six are going overboard. Fortunately, Rainbow Dash convinces them to turn down their job and become an adventurous pirate crew again.
  • Puni Plush: The ponies' faces and snouts are slightly rounder in this movie than in the series.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Twilight reaches hers after she and the others are kicked out of Seaquestria. She's slowly been growing frustrated with her friends treating everything like another regular adventure when the fate of all of Equestria and their very lives are at stake. After Pinkie calls her out on trying to steal the Pearl of Transformation and not having faith in her friends, she snaps and shouts back that maybe things would be better if she didn't have friends like them, which she regrets immediately.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Mane Six already qualify, but the team that counterattacks Canterlot to rescue Twilight and finally defeat the Storm King adds in a fast-talking conman, a crew of formally Retired Badass pirates, and a bubbly hippogriff princess who will be grounded when all is said and done. Even Spike actually gets in on the action. They kick humongous amounts of tail.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": On the pirates' ship, Twilight lets out a string of panicked "no" when she realizes Rainbow Dash is about to perform a Sonic Rainboom.
  • Reaction Shot: Seen on Twilight just after Tempest's flashback, which is what makes her realize what she had done.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Rainbow Dash performs her Sonic Rainboom on the pirate ship and the sight of it leads Tempest to the ship.
    • While in Seaquestria, Twilight tries to steal the Pearl of Transformation while using her friends as a distraction. What she doesn't realize is that the throne room has a security system, so she sets off an alarm, resulting in her and her friends getting kicked out of Seaquestria.
    • The Storm King may have the combined powers of all four Princesses and Weather Manipulation... but he also just got both powers literally minutes before the Final Battle and has no clue what the Princesses' powers actually are. He has no idea how to use them and while he is a quick learner, he's nowhere near as dangerous as he could be if he'd had time to fully figure them out.
  • Repeat Cut: At the movie's climax, the shot of Pinkie Pie's giant party cannon firing the ponies into the tornado is repeated from four different angles.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Twilight gets this from Pinkie Pie of all ponies after the former accidentally gets the Mane Six and Spike thrown out of Seaquestria for attempting to steal the Pearl of Transformation, disgusted that Twilight didn't trust her friends enough. Twilight fires back with her own on how the others aren't taking the situation seriously, ending in her Wham Line.
  • Red Baron: Fizzlepop Berrytwist adopted the name Tempest Shadow to make herself sound more foreboding on introduction and has earned a fearsome reputation as the Storm King's second-in-command.
  • Reflective Eyes:
    • The Storm King's communication window is briefly reflected in Tempest's eyes as he reports to her.
    • Verko's glasses reflect Tempest's face as he manhandles her. And she doesn't look happy.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Capper guiding the Mane Six through Klugetown includes a short ride on a mine cart, including a jump above a broken part of the rails.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The first example of Disney Death is resolved when Twilight bears the Staff of Sacanas before her while floating down through a shaft of sunlight in the midst of the parting storm clouds, as if she were an angel descending from Heaven.
    • Songbird Serenade's song "Rainbow" can be interpreted as the way Twilight perceives Tempest — someone who has made herself strong because of her pain but hasn't completely abandoned the light within her.
  • Sampling: One of the songs on the soundtrack, Rachel Platten's "Thank You for Being a Friend", samples from Andrew Gold's song of the same name.
  • Sand Is Water: Invoked with Klugetown, a port town for airships located in the middle of the desert with a thriving population of Fish People.
  • Sanity Slippage: Pinkie Pie undergoes a brief period of this when walking across the desert, likely from sunstroke. Well, more slippage than usual, at the very least.
  • Saved by Canon: The dangerous scenes in the movie would be rather tense and dramatic if the eighth season of Friendship Is Magic weren't already announced beforehand. Despite the dangerous situations they face, the ponies end up totally fine by the end of the movie.
  • Save the Villain: After being betrayed by the Storm King, Tempest Shadow is left clinging for dear life from the storm on the castle balcony. Twilight Sparkle rescues her, completely shocking Tempest and spurring her Heel–Face Turn.
    Tempest Shadow: Why are you saving me?
    Twilight Sparkle: Because this... is what friends do.
  • Scenery Gorn: Canterlot takes quite a beating after Tempest Shadow and her minions invade, most of it reduced to a smoldering ruin by the time the Mane Six return, with Storm King's banners everywhere, essentially making it look like a second Klugetown.
  • Scenery Porn: This being a movie with a bigger budget, most familiar and new set pieces are more elaborately designed than in the show. Special mention goes to Canterlot and Seaquestria: the former is redone from the ground up to better resemble an actual city from afar more than the show's admittedly two-dimensional rendition, even closer resembling Minas Tirith, the city it was inspired by; and the latter is an intricately detailed, underwater palace with hauntingly beautiful architecture.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While the rest of Celaeno's crew and much of the Mane Six join in on Rainbow's number, Twilight just leaves.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Capper manages to convince the pushy denizens of Klugetown that the ponies' bright pastel colors are a sign of a grave disease.
      Capper: Just look at all those colors! You think that's natural? They're infected with "pastelis coloritis".
    • The Storm King repeatedly mocks the cuteness of the setting and characters.
      Storm King: I am so totally over the cute pony thing!
  • Series Continuity Error: A given inevitability considering the fact that places in the TV show are not absolutely defined and often subject to change depending on the story of the episode. The Canterlot in the movie has a much different layout, uses much more hardscaping (lack of trees and exposed ground), and seems to feel less vertical and populated than the Canterlot from the TV show.
  • Serious Business: One of Songbird Serenade's bodyguards reports to a co-worker two feet away before cleaning a smudge from her suit.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Songbird Serenade's bodyguards are impeccably dressed in black suits with white shirts and black ties. They give the impression that they could be Badass in a Nice Suit, but they vanish when Tempest and Grubber arrive.
  • Ship Tease: There are plenty of moments in the film that suggest this is going on between Capper and Rarity. In their first meeting, he calls her a "dazzling beauty" in his song, and later she offers to fix up his coat, and is the most enraged of the Mane Six when they discover that he was going to sell them. Then, during the climax, they team up to subdue two of the Storm King's Mooks. Finally, during Songbird Serenade's concert, he's looking directly at her when the singer addresses Twilight and her friends, and she gives him a fancy new top hat and cloak.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • Grubber is rarely seen during the climactic battle between the Mane Six and the Storm King. To a lesser extent, Pinkie and Spike, who are usually the comic relief characters of the group, act much more serious than they normally do in battle.
    • In a more literal example, where "clowns" are hired entertainment, Songbird Serenade and her bodyguards vanish the moment Tempest, Grubber, and the Storm King's mooks arrive. Aside from a poignant moment where Songbird sings imprisoned in a cage, she isn't seen again until the end of the film.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Spike unleashes his inner Gary Coleman by asking Twilight, "Whachoo talkin' 'bout?"
    • Songbird Serenade's bodyguards are modeled after John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson's characters from Pulp Fiction, with the latter having a wallet for a cutie mark.
    • Tempest telling the Mane Six trusting strangers was a "Big mistake. Big." and then Grubber answering "Huge" is a direct quote from Pretty Woman.
    • Tempest Shadow's name: tempest is a synonym for storm. Storm Shadow being the name of a character from another Hasbro series who's known for being a skilled servant of the Big Bad who ends up performing a Heel–Face Turn.
    • The movie wastes no time referencing another Hasbro product, Hungry Hungry Hippos, when Twilight explains they have to find the "queen of the hippos":
      Pinkie Pie: But [the hippos are] always hungry.
      Spike: Hungry?
      Applejack: Hippos?
    • Pinkie's comment that hippos are "surprisingly graceful for their size" is a reference to the hippo ballet sequence in Fantasia.
    • In another nod to a fellow Hasbro property, Grubber's megaphone system makes a certain famous transforming noise when he turns it on to announce Tempest's arrival.
    • "Heeeere's Verko!"
    • Capper asks if the ponies are sure they don't want the "queen of the lions or tigers or bears", followed by Fluttershy delivering the obligatory "Oh my."
    • Songbird Serenade sings in her cage, referencing the poem "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou and its metaphor of oppression.
    • The stained glass window above Celestia and Luna's thrones is based on The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.
    • The shores near Mount Aris, called Basalt Beach, were inspired by Giant's Causeway in Ulster, Northern Ireland.
  • Sigil Spam: The two-pronged symbol of the Storm King is printed absolutely everywhere on his ships, troops and merchandise. Every one of his underlings (including Tempest, on the spot of her cutie mark) display it, and the seized Canterlot Castle is adorned with several banners to show the change of owner. Even the weapons of the common soldiers are spears with two blades in the same shape.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!:
    • As a result of all of the real-life applicable consequences the Mane Six have faced in their adventure for their usual silliness (Pinkie Pie attracting unwanted attention, the run-in with Capper, Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom exposing Celaeno's airship to Tempest) Twilight Sparkle becomes convinced that the ponies' ways in The Power of Friendship don't work outside of Equestria, and aspires to start playing dirty to get the job done, as evidenced by using her friends to distract the seaponies while she tries to steal their powerful artifact. Her plan backfires as it turns out The Power of Friendship actually works both inside and outside of Equestria and Queen Novo was going to let the Mane Six have the pearl, resulting in her ruining their only certain hope of saving Equestria and then getting abandoned by her friends.
    • Due to her Dark and Troubled Past, Tempest Shadow sees things like friendship to be worthless concepts and that only Might Makes Right can help someone stand on top in the world, which she tells as much to Twilight after capturing her post-friend-abandonment. In the end, she's betrayed by the powerful one she put her hopes into and saved by the very princess who she derided, which leads her to Taking the Bullet against the Storm King and being saved again while he gets shattered into pieces.
  • Sinister Tango Music: "I'm the Friend You Need". The music hints that Capper isn't entirely on the level while he's assuring the Mane Six that he'll take care of them.
  • Skewed Priorities: Rarity, as usual. Just after crossing the desert:
    Rarity: You know what they say: where there's a city, there's a spa!
    Rainbow Dash: Who says that?
    Applejack: 'Case you forgot, we're on a mission to save Equestria.
    Rarity: I can multitask.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Not counting the talking, quadrupedal ponies fans know and love from the show, all the new major non-equine characters lie on the spectrum from Borderline Petting Zoo People (Storm King and Celaeno) to Funny Animal (Capper and Grubber). There's also a village inhabited by animal people, including fish, pigs, lizards, and porcupines.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": Pinkie Pie immediately tries to start an "I Spy" game as the Mane Six begin their journey, despite the belated sighs of her friends.
  • Spanner in the Works: If it wasn't for Pinkie's "easy bake confetti cake cannon", which the Mane Five and Spike shot themselves out of, to get past the Storm King's tornado and crash right into him before he could kill Twilight and Tempest, the Storm King would've won.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Tempest charges at Twilight and her friends after Twilight gets the Storm King's staff and everyone takes a fighting stance. Then Tempest jumps over them, saving them from Storm King's obsidian orb, causing the both of them to be caught in it instead.
  • Standard Snippet: In a rare instance of licensed music use, "The Girl from Ipanema" plays in Capper's bachelor pad.
  • Start of Darkness: A unicorn filly named Fizzlepop Berrytwist fought with an Ursa Minor, who injured her and broke her horn. When she returned from the battle, her friends rejected her because of her broken horn. Fizzlepop became disillusioned with friendship and fled Ponyville, where she eventually met the Storm King, who made a deal with her to fix her horn in exchange for her total allegiance to him in his conquest of Equestria. Fizzlepop took the name "Tempest Shadow", and became the Storm King's second-in-command.
  • Status Quo Is God: Ultimately, the movie changes nothing. All of the damage done to Canterlot is undone; Celestia, Cadance, and Luna are all freed from stone; and despite the trials and tribulations they suffer, the Mane Six are still as close as ever. However, the film does a tremendous amount of world-building, and the door is open for characters and settings from the movie make cameos in future episodes.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Pinkie Pie says her "Easy Bake Confetti Cake Cannon" needs some tweaking. It's as half-baked as the cake it fires.
    • One of the parrots says to Dash, "... but you got back our ire!", referring to how she inspired them to be awesome pirates again. Now say that last word with a pirate accent...
    • In her pirate outfit, Twilight wears a Tri-corner hat — i.e. Twilicorn with a Tricorn.
  • Stepford Smiler: Inverted. Pinkie Pie enters Canterlot with a big grin on her face at the success of their plan. Applejack calls out Pinkie for this, telling her that she "ain't fooling nopony" by acting happy. Pinkie agrees and adopts a more appropriately yet overly exaggerated sad expression and posture.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the credits, Princess Celestia raises the sun.
  • Storming the Castle: The Mane Five, the pirates, Capper, and Skystar infiltrate Canterlot, which is currently under Storm King occupation, at the climax to rescue Twilight. Then they lose stealth and have to fight.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Obsidian Orbs. Even Cadance's shield (which previously held off the extremely powerful King Sombra, for days on end, despite his own variety of dark crystal antimagic) can't stop one. It's fortunate Tempest only seemed to have the four on her or the heroes would've stood no chance.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: In the opening moments, the sparkly happy Festival of Friendship is invaded by the Storm King's forces. Three of the princesses get turned to stone and the population is enslaved. There's even a Freeze-Frame Bonus that shows Ponyville burning in the background!
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: While trapped in a cage, Songbird Serenade sings the second verse of "Rainbow", which includes the line "I'm telling you, you cannot escape."
  • Symbolic Blood: When Pinkie Pie subdues a soldier with a rafale of cupcakes, the pink cream splatters are used to evokes blood in a silly parody of violence.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • Twilight feels compassion for Tempest after learning about her Dark and Troubled Past and feels all the more strongly about the necessity of friendship. Ironically, this was supposed to be Break Them by Talking.
    • Songbird Serenade's song "Rainbow" ends up being an ode to the heroic aspects of Tempest Shadow, who was instrumental in Songbird's capture.
  • Taken for Granite: Tempest's obsidian orbs have the power to turn any creature they touch to stone, using them on Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and Derpy in the opening invasion. Tempest and the Storm King themselves also suffer this fate in the climax. Although the other ponies get turned back to normal, the Storm King has it far worse.
  • Take That, Audience!: One of the Klugetown residents says "I want all seven for my collection!" while backing the terrified Mane Cast against a wall — a friendly jab at fans who obsessively collect pony figurines.
  • Take That, Critics!: Pinkie's reaction to Tempest's real name is a jab at viewers who take issue with the incredibly cute names that many of the ponies have.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: In "Time to Be Awesome", Rainbow Dash encourages Captain Celaeno and her crew to "take the Storm King's orders and toss 'em." They happily agree.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Derpy/Muffins attempts to push Twilight out of the way of an obsidian orb, turning her to stone. However, Rainbow Dash manages to swoop in and catch Twilight at the last possible second first.
    • Tempest does the same towards the end of the film, jumping between the Mane Six and the Storm King as the latter tries turning them to stone, getting him caught in the blast as well.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Both Rainbow Dash and Captain Celaeno address her crew as scallywags in the final verse of "Time to Be Awesome", and her crew uses phrases like "kick some booty" after becoming part of The Cavalry.
  • Tears of Remorse: Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie both get moments of remorse. Twilight's tears and facial expressions show so much emotion. Pinkie's tears when Twilight's Disney Death occurs on her account nails the scene.
  • Tempting Fate: While the Mane Five are sulking after the fallout, Applejack asks if they should go all go back and talk to Twilight. Cue Spike frantically screaming that Twilight's been captured.
  • Tentacle Rope: When Twilight tries to steal the Pearl of Transformation, she finds out the hard way it has quite the efficient anti-thief system, with jellyfish-like tentacles hopelessly entangling her before she can even touch the magic item.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: This is lampshaded by Twilight and Rainbow just prior to "Time to Be Awesome". Twilight remarks that this is no time for a song, but Rainbow Dash doesn't listen.
  • Thirsty Desert: The Mane Six and Spike trudge thirstily through the Badlands before spotting Klugetown on the horizon.
  • Three... Two... One...: Capper, when helping the Mane Five get back in Canterlot. After turning away from the Storm King's guards he silently counts down from three on his fingers and points at the entrance just as the guards move away to let him through.
  • Title Drop: Capper says, "Welcome, my little ponies, to my little manor." Later, Verko asks Tempest, "What tricks do you know, my little pony-wony?" Captain Celaeno also gets in on this with "Let's show these little ponies how it's done!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Spike gets to use his firebreath offensively in this, and it's shown to be very effective against the Storm King's Mooks. In part because they're covered in fur and rather flammable.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The trailer reveals Princess Skystar, a seapony, to be accompanying the Mane Six on land in the form of a hippogriff.
    • In the German trailer, we see Twilight's friends getting shot out of a cannon without her, implying that they separate at some point. What's more, they're being launched into a tornado. Since the Storm King needs all four princesses' magic to gain this power, it points to Twilight getting captured.
    • Not a trailer, per say, but the official music video for "Rainbow" features clips from the end of the movie: Twilight interacting with Tempest Shadow during Songbird Serenade's music number.
  • Traitor Shot: Capper gets one just before the very last line of "I'm the Friend You Need", revealing his real plan for the ponies.
    Capper: Here, tell Verko: my place, twenty minutes. I've got something that will "magically" erase all my debt.
  • Trampled Underfoot: The Storm King's fleet crushes everything in Canterlot as they land. Then Tempest disembarks and crushes festival decorations under her hooves, alongside with Twilight's princess crown. She rolls her eyes and makes a long suffering comment about "all the parties".
  • Trash the Set: Canterlot gets trashed by the Storm King's minions early in the movie, and later gets ravaged by a tornado.
  • Triumphant Reprise: An instrumental reprise of "We Got This Together" is heard as the Mane Six pose heroically and prepare to retrieve the Staff of Sacanas.
  • Trojan Horse: Or rather Trojan cake as seen where Captain Celaeno and her crew are smuggled into Canterlot in a giant cake, and burst out of it to attack the Storm King's troops.
  • Unblockable Attack: Cadance tries to deflect the Obsidian Orb Tempest throws at her with a forcefield, but the orb is unaffected, passing through her defenses and hitting her.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • The Mane Five may be heartbroken by Twilight's harsh remark, but when Spike informs them Twilight was captured by Tempest, they immediately forget about the feud and plan to save her. Even beforehand, they show that they never planned to abandon her for good, and had every intention to go back and talk to her.
    • Spike himself is the only one who didn't abandon Twilight during the aforementioned falling out and tries his best to console her afterward.
  • Unreveal Angle: When Novo banishes the Mane Six, we don't really see them being banished onscreen, the camera just zooming in on Novo's pearl. Then it cuts to above water, with the Mane Six emerging, back to normal and gasping for air, suggesting that Novo turned them back to normal while still underwater.
  • The Unsmile: Twilight gives a big, nervous grin when preparing herself to ask Celestia, Luna, and Cadance for help with the Friendship Festival.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Par the course for Pinkie Pie when she says that she and her friends "got [their] cupcakes handed to [them]" by Tempest.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Fizzlepop's (Tempest's) foalhood friends abandoned her because of her broken horn, thus creating a cynical unicorn out for revenge and becoming Equestria's most dangerous enemy.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Grubber is a comical, cowardly, unthreatening hedgehog, but he works for the dead-serious Tempest Shadow and her threatening-but-not-quite-so-serious Storm King boss.
  • Villain Ball: The Storm King, despite his usual adherence to Pragmatic Villainy (particularly in My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel), gleefully invokes I Lied when it comes time to uphold his end of the deal with Tempest. Lo and behold, she inevitably responds via The Dog Bites Back and helps take him down. Had he just stuck to being a Benevolent Boss (self-serving reasons or not), she probably would've stayed by his side and helped avert the good guys' rescue. Partially justified by the fact he suspected she might use her powers against him after overhearing her conversing with Twilight, and has had top minions stab him in the back in the past according to the prequel comics.
  • Villain Song:
    • Tempest has "Open Up Your Eyes", in which she describes how little she values friendship and believes all of it to be a childish dream Twilight needs to wake up from.
    • Capper has "I'm The Friend You Need", in which he charms the Mane Cast into trusting him whilst planning to double cross them for his own purposes. Though he's not quite a villain, the song certainly fits this kind of mold.
  • Villainous Rescue: Tempest makes a Heel–Face Turn and risks her life in order to prevent the Storm King from petrifying Twilight. She returns to normal alongside the Princesses (and Derpy).
  • Walk the Plank: The fate of any stowaway caught on one of the Storm King's airships is, by the rule book, to be tossed overboard. The Mane Six get a brief stay of the sentence because of lunch, which they leverage into convincing their captors to Take This Job and Shove It.
  • Wasn't That Fun?:
    • After nearly falling to her death upon trying to catch a flying ship leaving Klugetown, and being saved by Twilight, Pinkie Pie earnestly declares "Best... escape... plan... ever!", to Twilight's exasperation.
    • And again, after the whole group is saved from a long drop by Twilight manufacturing a balloon mid-fall.
      Pinkie Pie: That was fun! Can we do it again?
  • Was Too Hard on Her:
    • Twilight realizes what a jerk she had been after her heartbreaking remark towards her friends after she gets them kicked out of Seaquestria for trying to steal the Pearl of Transformation.
    • Likewise, the Mane Five all sulk feeling they shouldn't have blown up at her, and waste no time trying to get her back when they find out she's been kidnapped.
  • Wham Line: Twilight, the glue that brought the Mane Six together and the Princess of Friendship, flies off the handle and accuses everyone of being a bad friend. It's the pivotal moment that takes the movie into its third act.
    Twilight Sparkle: Well, maybe, I would've been better off without FRIENDS LIKE YOU!
  • Wham Shot: Just when Queen Novo begins to reconsider letting the Mane Six have the Pearl of Transformation, an alarm goes off. Cut to a shot of Twilight trying to steal the Pearl of Transformation.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When the Mane Six finally reach the hippogriffs, only to find they're unwilling to help, Twilight decides to take radical action by stealing the queen's magic pearl that would stop the Storm King while letting her friends act as unknowing distractions. Unfortunately, she's caught just before the queen has a change of heart, leading to the whole group getting banished from the kingdom and Twilight getting chewed out by her very pissed off friends. When it's Pinkie Pie of all ponies who tells her how badly she messed up, you know she done goofed.
    • An equally angry Twilight retaliates by pointing out how lightly they'd been taking the whole mission, listing down all the ways they'd goofed off or made things worse when she was trying to get things done. Pinkie switches it back onto her by pointing out she did the exact same thing when they had finally got it right, and furthermore proved she doesn't trust them, galvanising a now livid Twilight into snapping that she'd be better off without friends like them. The ponies wisely decide this to be the cooling off period...to their detriment.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Stated by Applejack after the Mane Six get kicked out of Seaquestria because of Twilight.
  • Where It All Began: Given the movie's tagline is that it takes the ponies outside Equestria, it is fitting the climax of the film takes place back in Canterlot.
  • Widely Spaced Jail Bars: Though it's kind of hard to tell, it does appear with the cage that Tempest puts Twilight Sparkle in that she could just walk out if maybe she was good at contortions. Not that it would necessarily matter, anyway, since she is without magic while in the cage and surrounded by Tempest and the Storm King's minions.
  • Wingding Eyes: Pinkie's eyes become filled with stars when Tempest reveals her real name is Fizzlepop Berrytwist, just before the film ends.
  • Winged Unicorn: The four Alicorn Princesses, of course, but the Storm King refers to them as "pegacornicusses or whatever you call them."
  • The Worf Effect: Tempest uses magical obsidian orbs to turn Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and even Derpy to stone in a manner of seconds.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Twilight is captured by an unbreakable cage and later drained of her magic, leading to her being unable to fight the Storm King's forces.
    • The three princesses are petrified by the Obsidian Orbs, which emit a gas that does the work. The orbs are implied to be rare, as Tempest only has four on her person, and the Storm King only has one more. Furthermore, Cadance was only hit because she didn't know her magic shield would be useless against it.
  • World-Healing Wave: Tempest and Twilight returning the princesses' magic also repairs all the damage done to Canterlot during the Storm King's occupation. This is made all the more clear as the Storm King banners in the throne room are magically removed and replaced by the original banners that hung there at the start of the film.
  • You Are Grounded: Princess Skystar says that her running away from home to save Equestria will get her grounded. At the end, when the rest of the hippogriffs come in to the final party, Queen Novo does just that, cuing an Oh, Crap! face from Skystar as Novo laughs.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: As well as Stage Two and Stage Three. The film starts with the Storm King's forces conquering Canterlot. The Mane Six escape Tempest Shadow initially, but Twilight ends up getting captured anyway, and the Storm King acquires the power of all four Equestrian Princesses within the Staff of Sacanas.
  • You Don't Want to Catch This: Capper tells the other Klugetown residents that the ponies have the highly contagious disease "pastellis coloritis" to get them to back off.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Storm King himself tells Tempest that he will break her if she doesn't deliver on the magic she'd promised him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Storm King reveals to Tempest Shadow that he only used her, and attempts to blast her away with his new powers after doing so. Unfortunately for him Tempest proves just powerful her magic is, even, or especially, with a broken horn.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Pinkie practically begs one of the Klugetown residents to let her give him a breath mint.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Capper tells the fishman that he's tricked into thinking he's contracted a terrible disease to "enjoy your last moments."

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