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  • Accidental Aesop: On the commentary, the film's creators make sure to stress that they weren't trying to say that competitions are inherently bad (the show had recently done a multi-episode storyline about the Equestrian equivalent of the Olympics, after all), just taking what should be a friendly event to this level.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • During the final battle as Sunset Shimmer powers up, the way the characters are lined up in one shot makes it look like Spike is standing between Rarity's legs. Even more so, when the Humane 7 hug, Spike joins in — by hugging Rarity's leg. Remember, he's still a dog here...
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    • Earlier, Adagio states mockingly that Sunset Shimmer and the Humane Six are "soooo tight". As in "really close friends", not... Um...
    • Another from Adagio during the kickoff party, where she says "It's like, there's some kind of underlying tension that can bubble to the surface at any minute." Uh huh... At least this one wasn't unnoticed, the fruit punch gag by Sonata suggests that's what she thought it meant.
    • The green gas the Dazzlings feed on is absolutely perfect for fart jokes, as pointed out in the DVD commentary.
      Michael Vogel: I guess Taco Tuesday didn't sit well with everyone.
    • When Adagio grabs Aria and threatens her for questioning their plan, from an angle it looks like she's holding... something else.
    • During the mass arguing in the gym, Octavia points to her face as if to tell a male student "My Eyes Are Up Here!"
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  • Adorkable: Sonata Dusk. Yes, even for a villain, she gives off this vibe due to her ditziness, friendliness, and all-around cutesy nature. Of course, she still helps her friends carry out their Evil Plan, but she's still Adorkably Evil.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Because of her characterization as The Ditz, Sonata Dusk of the Dazzlings gets this a lot. Many of her fans see her as not really evil, it's just that Adagio and Aria are bad influences on her; on her own, she might be a good person, or at least the easiest and quickest to reform. The movie proper depicts Sonata as being just as remorselessly evil as Adagio and Aria, just ditzier than them.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Sunset Shimmer, despite her best efforts to be a good person following the events of the last movie, is shunned by all but the Humane Five, showing she's not so Easily Forgiven after all. This new characterization worked so well that many who saw Sunset as The Scrappy found that the students' harsh treatment made her very sympathetic.
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    • After many accusations that Sunset's redemption was rushed and unearned, there's no attempt to do the same with the Dazzlings, who remain thoroughly unredeemed (even Sonata). There may still be the possibility of it with their being depowered and having to adjust to being normal humans, but it's recognized that there's no room for that in this film.
    • One of the criticisms leveled at the first film was that Rainbow Dash got very little screentime, mostly existing to be the sixth member of the cast and only coming into the film near the end of the second act. As the sequel's subtitle hinted, she got more to do this time.
    • Another is that the Humane Six immediately defeated Sunset Shimmer after transforming without any kind of fight. That's also corrected here. Not only the first movie, but the show's tendency to do this was played for as much Cringe Comedy as possible, when that's more or less what Twilight decides to do the moment she goes through the portal. It... doesn't go so well. The final showdown between the protagonists and the Sirens is far more back-and-forth and action-packed.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • The Dazzlings sing two different songs about just how great their singing is. They don't disappoint.
    • Even for her, Rainbow Dash is surprisingly cocky and arrogant in this film. This reaches critical mass with "Awesome as I Wanna Be", where she showboats around the stage with a smug grin getting in her friends' faces as she sings about how awesome she is and no-one can compare to her. However, the showboating is so hilarious, the song so great, and combined the two are so overblown, that you just might agree with her.
    • Trixie's song "Tricks Up My Sleeve" is a Boastful Rap about how great she is. Considering she's one of the most prominent Ensemble Darkhorses of the franchise, and this is the first time fans heard Trixie sing, some of them are happily nodding in agreement with the lyrics.
  • Base-Breaking Character: A few did not like how Rainbow Dash appeared to be an over-the-top ego-fueled role as the leader of the Rainbooms, though others have pointed out this was completely in character for her season 1 personality lacking the show's Character Development, and she recognized she was wrong when it mattered.
  • Creepy Awesome: It seems the creators were intentionally going for an Uncanny Valley effect with the Dazzlings. The way they move, the way they sing, the animation on them when they perform; as Sunset tries to explain to the Humane Five, there's just something off about them that makes them unsettling. But it's also part of why they're effective villains.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Sonata Dusk. Fans took her ditzy spaciness as a sign she wasn't really evil, presuming that Adagio and Aria are bad influences or intimidated her into helping them. Even before the film came out it was widely presumed she'd do a Heel–Face Turn. In the actual film, other than being a ditz who has more funny moments than Adagio or Aria, Sonata shows herself to be just as remorselessly evil as them. Hasn't stopped the fans one bit.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Sonata Dusk is the most popular Dazzling, probably due to her looks, her ditziness, and the belief that she would be the weak link or the first to reform. This has persisted after the film has been released, becoming the source of Fanfic Fuel regarding a Heel–Face Turn that never happened in the movie.
  • Epileptic Trees: Screenwriter Meghan McCarthy plants a big one in the DVD Commentary when Twilight and Spike go through the Magic Mirror after Michael Vogel and Brian Lenard discuss the possibility of radiation exposure.
    Meghan McCarthy: That's how they become the Power Ponies.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Dazzlings have been very well-received as villains. Especially Sonata. In addition, many people consider their songs to be significantly better than those of the Rainbooms.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Dazzlings move and act very flirtatiously, especially in the cafeteria scene during "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)." Justified since they are the equivalents of the mythological sirens, and play up their sensuality as part of it.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Who were Trixie's and Derpy's bandmates?
    • We don't see all the bands competing in a tournament that has 16 spots, so who might have been entered? What songs might they have played?
    • Now that we know that magic can exist in the other world, and Star Swirl used it at least once to banish the Sirens there, who knows what other magical beings from Equestria have crossed over through the centuries? How many of them are still around?
    • Not to mention Twilight's human counterpart, and with her existence the implication there's one for Sunset Shimmer too.
    • Twilight finding a way to easily return to the Equestria Girls world without relying on the "thirty-moons" time limit literally opens the door to more crossovers between the two worlds, as does Sunset being able to write back to Twilight.
    • The Dazzlings were reduced to normal girls at the end of the movie, but their fate is left hanging.
    • The Dazzlings' backstories in Equestria, and whether they're friends, sisters, or what. Especially given that they're the closest thing we've gotten to a G4 version of the Sea Ponies.
    • Sunset Shimmer getting her own band of color in the Elements of Harmony during The Climax has sparked a renewed interest in the idea of there being more than six Elements, with Sunset being a potential candidate for the seventh Element should she ever return to Equestria. The fanbase is split on what hers should be, although the general consensus regarding her Character Development would be Forgiveness.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Sunset×Twilight a.k.a. "Sunlight", was quite popular after the first movie, but got even more so after this one thanks to all the bonding they got. A lot of fans find their Romantic Two-Girl Friendship much more interesting than Twilight's barely there romance with Flash Sentry.
  • Foe Yay: Seeing as how she's the leader of a trio of villains that rely on evil being sexy, it's made it easy to ship Adagio Dazzle with just about anyone. In the movie proper, despite how harsh she is to Sunset Shimmer, Adagio still comes across as rather... flirty towards her.
  • Fountain of Memes: Sonata's facial expressions, dialogue, and general personality gave the fandom plenty of ammunition for more memes — "for realizies" became her Catchphrase, tacos are her Trademark Favorite Food (and according, there are memes of her and Fluffle Puff, who has the same obsession), and her blank-eyed stares in several scenes provided plenty of screencaps to turn into macros and reaction images.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • When the leaked teasers showed Rainbow declaring it's "her" band and that Rarity and Applejack need to shape up in time for the performance, it was Played for Laughs. Not so funny when they eventually succumb to the Dazzlings and start arguing over the little things they've let fester, giving the Dazzlings more power than ever.
    • Rainbow's song "Awesome as I Wanna Be" was fairly well-received when the soundtrack came out. In the final product, it's played because she wants to show off and the rest of the group is clearly upset with her showboating and ego, complete with her getting in their faces as she sings.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • After the montage in which Twilight builds her Magitek contraption to activate the mirror portal, she has dialog that, in-universe, appears to be the end of a long-winded explanation of how the thing works. It's actually the formula for finding the distance between two points in 3D space (essentially the robust, calculus form of the Pythagorean Theorem). Presumably, she's explaining how the mirror targets the other dimension for where to send her, or how her body will be transmuted going through the portal.
    • Vinyl Scratch was immune to the Dazzlings' spell due to listening to her own music with her headphones, possibly a subtle reference to The Odyssey where Odysseus was able to suppress the Sirens' song by stuffing the crew's ears with wax.
    • The reason the Dazzlings resemble hippocampi and are called sirens is because dugongs and manatees (marine mammals) are in the order Sirenia.
    • Why are Sonata and Aria always arguing? A sonata refers to a piece of music played on instruments without vocals, while an aria is a piece sung without instrumental accompaniment. The two styles are polar opposites.
    • In The Stinger, Human Twilight's String Theory board includes Maxwell's equations (formulated in Gaussian units) written in rainbow colors with "} LIGHT!" underneath the whole thing. Less of a genius bonus but in the same vein, one sign has the ROY G BIV mnemonic for the colors of a rainbow, another describes the surface area of a prism (with optical prisms capable of splitting visible light into the rainbow colors).
  • Growing the Beard: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls caused significant fan backlash by premise alone, with the final product being viewed as So Okay, It's Average by the parent series's high standard, not leaving much reason to care. Rainbow Rocks gave reason, with engaging story, songs, action and characters both new and returning, and atones for the first movie's faults. This was to the EG series what FIM was to MLP, leaving fans excited to future prospects.
  • He Really Can Act: Rebecca Shoichet was previously only known as Tara Strong's singing double for the parent series, and her role as Sunset in the previous film didn't really give her that much to do (other than yell and be mean). Here she turns Sunset into a very layered and conflicted character - amping up her status as The Woobie. She also really brings it in the climax, where she gives Sunset a distinct singing voice from Twilight - and is essentially dueting with herself!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The film about the group forming a rock band focusing on Rainbow Dash. "Find a Pet" is the only song Pony Rainbow ever had as a solo which was with Fluttershy before Season 5 (every other time she sang were group songs where all six of them sing together).
    • When the fandom first learned about '80s-inspired designs for the girls in Rainbow Rocks, most assumed this was being made because Hasbro couldn't legally reboot Jem. Hasbro later announced a live-action Jem and the Holograms movie. Not only that, but the 2014 Transformers Comic Con toys are Optimus Prime, Megatron, Jazz, and Soundwave forming an '80s-metal band. Guess Hasbro is just in an '80s music mood. All that's missing is bringing back Cold Slither.
    • In the "Trailer" for Friendship Is Witchcraft: THE MOVIE, one of the characters says "Let's start a rock band!" Well...
    • Blarghalt also apparently predicted it.
    • This fanart from Uotapo may not be rock per se, but it does come awful close.
    • For Sunset Shimmer, it's been a long time since she has written the words "Dear Princess Celestia". For fans, it's also been a long since they've heard those words as there weren't many Friendship Letters in Season 3 and they were dropped entirely for the Friendship Journal in Season 4.
    • Previously, some Sunset Shimmer merchandise saw her released alongside the other members of the Mane Six sans Twilight, to drive home that Sunset was Twilight's Evil Counterpart. Considering at the end of the film Sunset takes Twilight's place in the Rainbooms with the Humane Five, this now comes across as some very meta foreshadowing.
    • One of the first fan-made Flash games was Rainbow Dash Guitar; in this film, the human Rainbow Dash plays guitar.
    • One collage using the TV Meme showed Rarity as suffering acute envy at Piccolo and Skeletor's "clothes beam". Comes "Life Is a Runway", where human Rarity can give girls an instant makeover with such a beam...
    • Many fans were irked that Sonata never performed a Heel–Face Turn in the film, but in the TV series her voice actress' other character Gilda does perform one.
    • From this film onward, the novelizations and original chapter books for Equestria Girls are handled by author Perdita Finn, instead of G.M. Berrow (who wrote the novelization of the first film, and writes the chapter books based on the parent show). There wouldn't be anything special about this... If Ms. Finn didn't also write the novelizations for both Monster High and Ever After High. Making it funnier is that (at least on Amazon) some of the Equestria Girls and Monster High books were released on the same day. Not only are these rival toy franchises from Mattel, but at least the former pretty much inspired the creation of Equestria Girls in the first place.
  • Les Yay:
    • Lyra and Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops pair up to participate in the competition, and they play piano and sing while sitting really close together (to the point where it might have been an intentional Shout-Out to the idea of them being in a relationship). Heck, they're even shown rubbing their cheeks together.
    • At Pinkie's sleepover, Rainbow is in Pinkie's bed with her while everyone else seems to be on the floor.
    • Sunset×Twilight (or "SunLight") was popular already. This film gives such gems as them saying the same thing in unison and smiling at each other, the two singing a duet in the climax, and Sunset writing to Twilight via the journal "I miss you already, I hope you come back soon." It's supposed to be indicative of their blooming friendship, but it doesn't take much to skew it into a Relationship Writing Fumble and assume they're attracted to one another.
    • During "Under Our Spell", Luna and Celestia look a little too entranced in the music of the Sirens. Luna even draws a heart while they're performing.
    • Adagio and Trixie during the "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" song, with Adagio affectionately touching Trixie's face, leaning in, and singing "You're a star and you should know it."
  • Love to Hate: The Dazzlings were well-received by the fans for being smart, diabolical, interesting, funny, and sensually attractive villains with some of the best songs in the franchise.
  • Memetic Molester: Maud, of all characters, thanks to the kitchen scene. It's common to depict her either as sneaking up on Sunset to feel her up, or spying on Sunset and Twilight's Ship Tease.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Everything about Sonata. Everything.
    • The brief scene of Sunset Shimmer reacting to Maud Pie in the middle of the night briefly seen in one of the trailers has already gone through the ringer as a reaction meme.
    • Pinkie poking her head through the portal is going a similar route.
    • Sunset removing her jacket has gone memetic too, with comparisons to Frozen (2013).
    • "Vinyl Scratch packed Soundwave": A joke about how Vinyl drives a car that transforms into a sound stage for the Rainbooms to use during the climatic battle against the Dazzlings.
    • "Aria Mad?": A play on "are you mad?" that invokes Aria Blaze's tendency to always have a grumpy look on her face.
  • Moe: Sunset of all people comes off like this. Her vulnerability, shyness, and being hurt by the other students' rejections were even enough to make some of her detractors want to give her a hug.
  • Narm: Twilight shouting "Sunset Shimmer, we need you!" like she's summoning a Pokémon.
  • Narm Charm:
    • It's a good thing the music is top notch, because the lyrics can come off as rather silly out of context, yet awesome in the film itself.
      Tricks Up My Sleeve:
      Don't mean to brag, don't mean to boast
      But I'm a six-course meal and you're just burnt toast.


      Welcome to the Show:
      We're here to let you know
      That we won't let it go
      Our music is a bomb and it's about to blow.
    • The battle between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms comes across as one of the most dramatic fight scenes in the franchise... until you try to verbalize what's actually on-screen, as was demonstrated on the DVD Commentary.
      "This feels so epic to me, we really pulled this off! They're fighting with butterflies and rainbows and musical notes!"
      "Don't say it, just watch it."
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Sonata talks about tacos exactly once in the film. From the fanfics, you'd think it's her Trademark Favorite Food. It's a memorable and hilarious line, and she says it with a borderline Squee!, but still, one time.
    • Additionally, Sonata only says "For realzies?" once in the entire film, as her first line. Yet, fans treat it like it's her Catchphrase that she says almost every other sentence.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Maud Pie shows up in one scene (not counting a crowd shot at the end), is her usual hilariously morose self, and the fandom went insane.
    • Holy buck, did Octavia just speak?
    • The original human version of Twilight Sparkle from the stinger. Also serves as both fanfic fuel and a sequel hook.
    • Big Macintosh, following a terrible rehearsal by the girls.
      Spike: It was better than, hum, the last five times you played it.
      Big Macintosh: [walking by the window] Nope.
  • Pandering to the Base: The portrayal of Flash Sentry definitely has shades of it, with his spending most of the film Brainwashed and Crazy and acting as a jerk with his especially nasty comments (which oddly enough, one major scene with said nasty comments got Edited for Syndication). And even after the spell is lifted, he doesn't get to kiss Twilight. Then again, he's such a jerk under the influence that maybe the idea was to make fans think better of his normal persona.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In the previous movie, Sunset Shimmer was a Base-Breaking Character at best. She had her fanbase, but was more disliked than liked due to her shallow Alpha Bitch personality and questions of if her Heel–Face Turn was sincere. This movie not only shows she is sincere about wanting to change and has become a better person, but gives her much more depth and a character arc to go with it where she has to work hard for her redemption and forgiveness from the school. This culminates with her becoming a full-fledged Seventh Ranger and getting her own anthropony form to help the Mane Six defeat the Dazzlings. The ending further implies she's now Twilight's own student and will be writing her friendship reports in the other world via the magic journal. As a result, much of the hate turned to adoration and she was warmly accepted by the fandom.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Many of Flash Sentry's haters are quick to hound upon his cruelty to Twilight, never mind that he was under the Dazzlings spell and reconciled with her immediately after he was broken out of it. Even more so if they use Shining Armor as a mouth piece in calling Flash out when he was under the same circumstances.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Dazzlings have an ample amount of fans rooting for them to win, despite their world domination goal. It stems from Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy tropes, which the Dazzlings exploit for all they're worth (being Enthralling Sirens and all). Other factors include the leader of the group being one of the most effective antagonists in the franchise, another member is a hilarious, adorable ditz comparable to Pinkie Pie, many people think their songs are by far superior to the main characters', they are only the second villains in the franchise to have a battle scene (Tirek was the first), firmly cementing the Evil Is Cool factor, and the Equestria Girls series is polarizing in the first place, so some would rather have the villains win instead of the heroes.
  • Shipping Goggles:
    • The DVD Commentary shows that even the showrunners aren't immune to this. The athlete and techie singing arm-in-arm at the end of "Welcome to the Show" inspire the comments "I love that couple!" and "Such good friends in the Equestria Girls world".
    • For those who enjoy some Foe Yay, adding Star Swirl the Bearded/Adagio Dazzle to the mix is always an option.
  • Spoiled by the Format: It's a feature-length film, and Twilight and the Rainbooms try to take down the villains with the Magic of Friendship 30 minutes in. Never gonna happen.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: With its comparisons to Jem, Rainbow Rocks can be considered an even more faithful film adaptation than the actual film adaptation.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Even Better Sequel to those who liked the first. Consensus is that every aspect lacking in the first movie was improved to some degree; Sunset and Twilight get more character development, the story is stronger, the songs are better (and worked into the story better), the animation is much improved, and the villains are better.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Dazzling’s verses of “Welcome To The Show”, particularly the harmony vocalizations, are strongly similar to the melody of the Lady Gaga song “Alejandro”.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: EQG Snips and Snails were already hated for being more malicious than their Equestrian counterparts (who themselves already seen as Scrappies), and Rainbow Rocks doesn't do them any favors with their painful rap and joining Photo Finish in sabotaging the Rainbooms. Thus, there was much rejoicing when fan-favorite Bulk Biceps knocks them out of the competition (figuratively and literally). Say it together now, "YEAH!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Flash Sentry, Aria Blaze, and even Spike got little character focus and didn't get much development in the film.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A line by Aria Blaze in retort to Adagio Dazzle saying they should follow her lead suggests of a potential power struggle to come between her and the self-proclaimed leader of the Dazzlings. This seemed to set them up for the "everyone for themselves" mentality they promoted to be their undoing, but it is never brought up again.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Once Rainbow Rocks proved itself a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, it became the standard to which all following Equestria Girls media would be compared. While most subsequent films and specials have been well received in their own right, general consensus is that Rainbow Rocks is the high point of the franchise, with only Friendship Games and Forgotten Friendship coming close.
    • The Dazzlings/The Sirens gave us a trio of antagonists who were charismatic, funny, villainously competent, and had great songs and designs. Barring Sunset and Twilight, who have reformed and joined the central cast, no other Equestria Girls villain comes close to the Sirens for popularity. They even became Breakout Characters that crossed into the main continuity as enemies who fought the Pillars of Equestria.
    • Sunset Shimmer's redemption arc and promotion to protagonist of the Equestria Girls series ended up setting up this trope to Starlight Glimmer, who similarly started as a villain that went through a redemption arc and joined the cast as a supporting character.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: A major reason for Sonata's popularity. The writers made her so likable as a comedic relief character that it becomes hard to dislike her as a villain, in contrast to the more traditionally evil Adagio and the apathetic Aria. It helps that she never does any intentionally cruel actions by herself, making it a bit too easy to assume she's only following the examples of Adagio and Aria.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It seems the animators became much more confident in animating human characters after the first film, because this one has a huge Animation Bump, both above the previous film and the show itself. There's a lot of good usage of lighting effects, perspective changes and camera rotation going on, to the point some bits almost look 3D. The climax in particular rivals Twilight vs. Tirek for visual splendor.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The last movie wasn't bad, but it did divide the fandom due to using rather cliche High School tropes, which included the main antagonist Sunset Shimmer, who was a stereotypical Alpha Bitch, but this movie won over a good chunk of fans due to introducing more supernatural aspects, and for so introfucing more memorable villains in The Dazzlings/Sirens.
  • The Woobie:
    • Sunset Shimmer. Even though it could be argued that she deserves it after her actions in the last film (and she herself seems to agree), it's hard not to feel bad for her when everyone in the school (not counting the Humane Five) rejects her despite her legitimately wanting to atone for her past misdeeds, almost as a response to the part of the audience that either didn't find her Heel–Face Turn convincing or believed she was just faking it. It gets particularly bad after she tries to stop Rainbow Dash from blowing their cover when performing "Awesome as I Wanna Be", and she can't think of anything to do besides tackling her, and leads the school to think that she never changed at all! Once Twilight shows up it only gets worse. Sunset starts to feel left out and doubt how much the Humane Five consider her a friend, since not even five minutes after Twilight's arrival, Rainbow offers Twilight a part in the band, something Sunset is quick to notice was never extended to her. The Dazzlings even bring it up when Sunset tries to stand up to them. When Sunset messes up their semifinal performance, not even the Humane Five want anything to do with her anymore.
    • To a lesser extent, Twilight. She blames herself for the band's mistakes and is clearly stressed about letting her friends down.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Is Lyra wearing ruffled pettipants as outerwear?

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