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  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Soarin' and Spitfire, the two Wonderbolts to get the most attention in the series, were a fairly popular shipping for fans in the beginning, among the shippings both characters are involved in anyway. After the events of "Rainbow Falls," which saw Spitfire briefly grab hold of the Jerkass Ball and almost kick Soarin' off the team, several members of the fandom that used to ship them together have since steered clear from it as far away as they can.
    • While not explicitly canon, the comics showing Iron Will having a wife and kids has caused many to abandon the Fluttershy/Iron Will pairing.
  • Adorkable:
    • Twilight Sparkle: Whenever genuinely excited about something, such as her first slumber party ever or visiting the giant library at the Crystal Empire, Twilight's awkwardness comes into focus and it is adorable. Dialed Up to Eleven during her flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and then again immediately afterward — "Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!" In "Sweet and Elite", she dances like such a nerd it's adorable. Possibly in a Shout-Out to Seinfeld. Equestria Girls shows this does not change when she turns human. In short, if there's one time that Twilight will always look like a dork, it's when she tries to dance.
    • Fluttershy: All you have to do is express interest in wanting a pet and Fluttershy's all over you with a menagerie of animals to offer up as potentials.
    • Rarity: When Rarity's tongue swells up in "Bridle Gossip" and prevents her from speaking properly.
    • Rainbow Dash: Whenever Rainbow Dash is around the Wonderbolts. Her fangirling of Daring Do is similar.
    • Spike Not as much as Twilight, but Spike has his moments, such as his awkward attempts to hit on Rarity.
    • Discord: Downplayed, but after his Heel–Face Turn, Discord has few moments that show how childish, facetious and socially awkward he is, with best example being his dumb jokes in "Make New Friends but Keep Discord". His love for Fluttershy seems to bring out this side of him in general — when he admits to Tirek that he is mostly helping the ponies for Fluttershy, he makes an incredibly goofy face and in "Discordant Harmony", he constantly talks about how excited he is for the tea party he is organizing. He also ends up enjoying Ogres & Oubliettes, making him a bit of a dork.
    • Starlight Glimmer: Post-Heel–Face Turn, Starlight's just as studious, and socially awkward, as Twilight was back in Season 1. She also sheepishly admits to Maud Pie that she enjoys flying kites (then excitedly demonstrates the proper way to fly one). In "Mirror Magic", while trying to convince Sunset to let her go back with her to the human world, she jumps around like an excited child, and puts on a set of exaggerated Puppy-Dog Eyes. During her time in the human world, she enjoys an ice cream, getting the treat all over her face, and reacting with confusion after some of it drops off while she's talking to Sunset.
    • Trixie: Following Trixie's Heel–Face Turn, her hammy antics and failed attempts to seem impressive come off as awkwardly endearing.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • "Winter Wrap Up" seems to have the message "If you have no talent, and are good at nothing, go into management" (or "managers are incompetent at everything except bossing people around"), even though Twilight wound up the All-Team Organizer because she actually is good at getting things organized (and everypony else stinks at it).
    • "Suited for Success" provides the explicit moral of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and the implicit moral of "if you hire a professional to do a job, let THEM do the job they're paid for."
    • "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was interpreted by many as the triumph of religious dogma over skepticism. According to Lauren Faust, this was totally unintentional, and she was a little freaked out when folks on DeviantArt started complaining about it.
    • The moral of "The Show Stoppers" was probably intended to be "Be Yourself, and embrace your natural talents," but to some fans it came off as "Don't waste your time trying new things. Just stick to what you're good at, even if you hate it." Or maybe that "things you do in your spare time for fun are most likely to be the things you're really good at."
    • "A Dog and Pony Show" can be misinterpreted as "Whining will make everyone bend to your whims!" Or alternatively, "If someone accuses you of whining, pull the Rarity card!"
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles" is about "be patient and be yourself and you'll learn who you are", and "Sweet and Elite" is about "don't be ashamed of where you come from" but both have the sub-lesson of "city people are shallow, snobby, and sneer down their noses at anything outside their experience, so don't let their opinions sway you."
    • "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Lesson Zero" both have "if you blow off your friend's concerns/feelings/freakouts, it will cause more trouble", which apparently means Aesop Amnesia as Twilight learned it in the first and then freaked out in the second.
    • "Lesson Zero" has the lesson the CMC should've learned: "If someone offers you something you really don't want, you can politely turn it down and not trying to dance around avoiding accepting it to avoid hurt feelings. Honesty is the best policy."
    • The moral of "Cutie Pox" is about having patience and that good things come to those who wait. While this is a valid aesop, it's not exactly the real aesop of the episode, which was earning what you want and not cheating by taking short cuts and being dishonest.
    • "Hearth's Warming Eve":
      • The pageant seems rather anti-authoritarian, depicting all the rulers of the pony tribes (be they aristocracy, the military, or elected officials) as selfish, stubborn, and/or incompetent.
      • Fridge Brilliance: No matter one's race, color, or creed, we all question the sanity of upper management (at least sometimes). Notice that the "assistant" ponies bonded over shaking their heads at their superiors' foolish actions.
    • "A Friend In Deed" seems to teach kids "Social trial and error can lead to friendship."
    • "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" could be taken to teach the lesson that market competition is a good thing, because it was clear that, the way things were, the Apples were unable to serve the needs of the market. The Flim-Flams were definitely bad, but them introducing competition did force the Apples to innovate and make enough cider for all.
    • Inspiration Manifestation:
      • Constant praise actually can stifle your artistic integrity and it's alright to take some criticism now and then. Just roll with the punches and adjust when you need to.
      • Your usual artistic style isn't always what the customer needs; try to think of the client's context. At the same time, you can's just assume the artist/contractor knows exactly what you want or need when placing a special order. Be specific!
    • "Griffon the Brush Off" and "Green Isn't Your Color" set us up to believe the aesops "a prank is only fun if everybody is laughing" and "don't be jealous" are coming. Twilight instead ends the episodes with "a bad friend will eventually make themselves known" and "be honest about your feelings." Both are decent aesops which fit their episodes and could also be a subversion or double subversion of stock aesops.
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" could be said to not only preach "You shouldn't let glory go to your head and turn you into a braggart", but also "Fame is fleeting", based on how quick the ponies of Ponyville were to celebrate Mare Do Well and almost completely ignore Rainbow Dash. And given that Mare-Do-Well is actually four of the other members of the Mane Six, who manage to accomplish more than Rainbow Dash could alone, it teaches a lesson about the Power of Teamwork.
    • A different Aesop that can be taken from the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" than the one given at the end can be taken as "You don't NEED a 'very special somepony' to be happy, even on a day dedicated to having one."
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Despite the show being both a massive mainstream and cult success in America, the show has failed to obtain any level of mainstream success in Britain. British TV only aired the first season (on Boomerang, since there's no UK version of The Hub. Although it could happen). Compare this to the rest of Europe, where most countries have aired all currently-made episodes (My Little Pony has always been more popular in Europe than America, and – as happened in The '80s – Hasbro released most of this generation's early merch in Europe first). The series finally returned to British TV in 2013 via Tiny Pop, a channel targeted at preschoolers. It was later moved to the Tiny Pop's freeview sister channel Pop which is aimed at the same audience demographic as Nicktoons. Despite this, Britain has a small yet highly dedicated fandom towards the show, with many fan artists being based there.
    • According to various queries, Russians hate Rarity - she fares only on par with one-off and background ponies, way behind the mane cast. CMC and Spike are even worse. "Lesson Zero" is considered one of the worst episodes, same for all CMC episodes. Surprisingly, "Sisterhooves Social", despite being heavy on CMC and Rarity, is rated very high... two negatives equal positive?
    • Comments left on Japanese fansubs indicate that Trixie is not thought of very highly over there - her bossiness and show-offiness makes her seem (even more) disrespectful and unsympathetic.
    • The show has quite a bad reputation in Romania as well. The two major reasons are 1: A dub that is considered really bad not only by the Romanians but by everyone else who has watched it, and 2: The fact that for many Romanians, FIM is just another little kids / girl show type cartoon.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Hard to believe now since the show has gone on for 9 seasons and spawned a series of comic books, a spin-off series with the main cast as humans, and a theatrical movie, but back when the show was first announced, it already got very negative reactions from many people that believed it would be just another shallow, brainless, frilly, girly-girl cartoon (and to say nothing of it being the newest incarnation of one of the most notorious Merchandise-Driven franchises of The '80s). Even having high-profile and well-renowned animator Lauren Faust on board did little to convince skeptical doomsayers, with some even wondering if MLP would be her Creator Killer. And then the show came out, and not too soon after the fact the Brony fandom slowly took form. The rest is history.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: It's not at all uncommon for Celestia, Fluttershy, or Pinkie Pie to get paired with Discord.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Discord was stuck as a stone statue twice, once for well over a millennium, and fully conscious both times. Once freed, he seems completely unfazed by the experience, even mentioning his boredom and loneliness off-handedly.
    • Subverted with Luna/Nightmare Moon, who was sealed in the moon for a thousands years. Her sanity is not immediately shown to be affected by her imprisonment. In "Do Princesses Dream Of Magic Sheep", she still struggles a lot with what happened in her past.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Considering its huge Periphery Demographic, it's safe to say this is an aversion.
  • Archive Panic: Guaranteed 221 episodes and five movies. That's over 80 hours to watch everything uninterrupted.
  • Award Snub:
    • According to this article, the fandom was not pleased to hear that this show received no Emmy nominations, while Transformers: Prime received six (and to make matters worse, the series won two, both for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation).
    • For the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards the following year, both of FIM's entries for Best Original Song ("Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know)" and "Find A Pet Song") lost to "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise". To say the fandom wasn't happy was an understatement.
    • It would be another four years before My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was in the running for another Emmy. "The Magic Inside" from "The Mane Attraction" was nominated for Best Original Song but it also lost. This time, a song from the sequel to The Penguins of Madagascar, All Hail King Julien, won instead.
  • Awesome Art: Not only are the show's aesthetics and character designs incredibly popular and spawned millions of fan artists and followings, but it is considered one of the quintessential examples of good Flash animation, due to a much larger amount of specific, varied expressions and a generally higher quality in character-acting than most previous users of the method that make it more appealing to watch than even some hand-drawn or CGI cartoons.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Rainbow Dash proudly proclaims she's the best flyer in Equestria and often treats herself like a Memetic Badass. Thing is, she's right, and the fans certainly concur with the second part.
    • Trixie is commonly depicted in fandom as Twilight's Worthy Opponent who is her equal in magical talent but lacks the training and/or dedication to be as good with it as her. A far cry from the show, where her hammy boasts are admitted by her to prop up her ego because her magic is really just stage effects and parlor tricks.
  • Awesomeness Withdrawal: Inevitable for some when the series' hiatuses can last as long as 11 months- some fans just lose interest between seasons. Especially notable between seasons 4 and 5 (the aforementioned 11-month hiatus). Not helped by the fact the recent seasons are having summer hiatuses.
    • An even worse case was underway with the finale of the show itself.
  • Badass Decay: Shining Armor. He started off the as the Captain of the Royal Guard and was shown to be a strong and capable leader in addition to not being afraid to get his hooves dirty when he had to fight. Later seasons though started making him a Butt-Monkey who bawls his eyes out at weddings, is a haggard mess from taking care of Flurry Heart, and spends most of an airship cruise fighting motion sickness. He regained some of his badass cred in The Best Gift Ever and then Season 9, when the Royal Sisters have him beef up palace security and he does a great job of it with lots of clever security measures.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In addition to instances in individual episodes (see the Recap pages), there's also the entire song "Last Year I Got Coal for Christmas" on the It's a Pony Kind of Christmas album. It's sung by Vincent Tong as a character called "Pop Fly" with an annoying voice, it doesn't have any connection to ponies at all, and there's never been any real confirmation about who Pop Fly actually is. (He's speculated to be the schoolcolt with an orange coat, a blue mane and a bat-and-baseball cutie mark, whose Fan Nickname is "First Base".) The only reason this song is on the album seems to be that Daniel Ingram thought it could become a mainstream novelty Christmas carol.
  • Canon Fodder: The fanfiction community for the show is one of the biggest and fastest growing fanfiction communities in all media fandoms. One of the many reasons is the many gaps in the details about the history of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic universe. Fanfic writers have a field day answering questions such as "What turned Luna into Nightmare Moon?", "What happened between the founding of Equestria and the rule of Discord?", "Where does the Hearts and Hooves Day backstory fit into this?", and so on.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Soarin' scarfing down an apple pie at the Grand Galloping Gala led to the ship of Soarin' x pies.
    • Rarity x "Tom", a boulder nearly twice her size which she is hypnotized into believing is a diamond.
    • Big Mac and "Smarty Pants".
    • Twilight Sparkle is sometimes shipped with books. Starting with "Castle Sweet Castle", Twilight has been shipped with pancakes.
    • "Tom" x Boulder (Maud Pie's pet rock).
    • "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" has Pinkie Pie hitting on a statue of the Gryphon king Grover.
    • A scene in the first part of "The Crystaling" where Starlight Glimmer is eating popcorn while Spike tells about how he saved the Crystal Empire is started getting some fans shipping her with a bag of popcorn.
    • Pinkie and her yovidaphone.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • Despite what common fan depictions will show, Nightmare Moon was not banished to the moon, the opening narration by Princess Celestia/Twilight specifically states she was banished in the moon. She would not have been running around on the surface, but rather it seems to have been that the moon itself functioned as a Crystal Prison or Soul Jar (as indicated by the mare's silhouette that appeared on the moon when Nightmare Moon was sent there and disappears when she escapes). Adding further confusion is the official My Little Pony IDW comics actually do depict Nightmare Moon banished to the surface of the moon (and running her own whole kingdom of nightmare creatures at that), but as the comics' canon has no true bearing on the show's canon, this depiction is moot.
    • Much of the common perception towards Celestia and Luna is this. It's never clarified in-series that either are Semi-Divine and the series is vague on whether they were born alicorn or not (with one semi-canon book suggesting they were, one episode suggesting they weren't, and the duo having a largely Mysterious Past).
    • Speaking more of Celestia, some say that she is able to send ponies to the moon, turn them into stone or transform into alicorns as much as she wants. But it's the Elements of Harmony that do all these things, and they've demonstrated a mind of their own ever since the Discord episode when they refuse to work for the corrupted heroes. This is mostly forgotten now and Played for Laughs, but still.
    • Equestria being a utopia, and sometimes the magical land of Equestria is even depicted as actual heaven. This image was created by the first two seasons when the show was much like a fairy tale, but even there, you can see that big cities are much like real life and nobody cares about you there. There are also Upper-Class Twit nobles, Fantastic Racism and a lot of bullies. And this is only about the ponies themselves. This extends to all ponies being good, friendly and just better than humans, and some sort of friendship/harmony ideology existing in Equestria. In fact, the first has been proved wrong in the same utopic first season, and the second sort of starts to establish during season 5 or even 7 with the Cutie Map and the Friendship School.
    • The entire planet is often depicted as Equestria alone, but it's actually more diverse. This misconception is due to the first two seasons having little worldbuilding and the Royal Sisters ruling over the celestial bodies. Ponies are just one species amongst many and Equestria is a single country.
    • Twilight is Spike's mother figure. In canon, this varies Depending on the Writer. Some episodes depict them with a mother/son relationship and others depict them as being siblings. A season 9 episode later canonized that their relationship is closer to brother and sister.
    • The series premiers claims that friendship cannot be learned in class or books. That wasn't actually stated. Twilight's not learning friendship was portrayed as her not caring to do so prior as opposed to it being impossible to do though school.
  • Continuity Lockout:
    • Five seasons in, there's been irreversible status quo altering events like Discord's redemption, Twilight becoming an alicorn and her house getting destroyed, as well as the introduction of recurring antagonists. There are still a few stand-alone episodes, but several still require a bit of knowledge from at least the beginning of the season to make any sense at all.
    • Even since the beginning, the show had a decent amount of continuity, in that it felt like episodes were mostly done in order, with the characters clearly remembering events from previous episodes, and evolving during said episodes. Season 1 had a story arc involving the Grand Galloping Gala, and following season-wide arcs have gotten more complex and important.
    • The only episodes that don't quite follow continuity are the seasonal episodes. (During Season 1, Ep. 11 is winter-based, while Ep. 13 is fall-based.)
  • Crack Pairing: Most Discord ships are viewed as this, with some exceptions:
  • Creator Worship:
    • Across the brony fandom, Lauren Faust has been literally deified — it's not uncommon to find fan depictions of characters using her name as a curse in place of God (ie, "I swear to Faust!"), and sometimes her Author Avatar "Fausticorn" is depicted as Celestia's mother and/or the creator goddess of the world. Meta-wise, there's a part of the fandom that consider every idea she had for the show golden, and any change or deviance from her original intentions that were made after her departure are disgusting blasphemy.
    • Daniel Ingram, the show's composer, gets some of his own worship for composing the series' Awesome Music.
    • M.A. Larson is one of the more well-received writers on the staff, most famous for "Sonic Rainboom", "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Discord's debut two-parter, and the full-fledged introduction of Princess Luna.
    • Meghan McCarthy is also considered to be a very good writer. This is mainly due to her two-parters, particularly A Canterlot Wedding and Twilight's Kingdom. She has also been praised for writing the first two Equestria Girls movies, and normal episodes, like Lesson Zero and Dragonshy.
    • Amy Keating Rogers is also another well received writer, for handling episodes like "The Best Night Ever," "Pinkie Pride," and "Crusdaders of the Lost Mark."
    • The duo of Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco, aka "the Lady Writers", are also popular writers for handling many well-received episodes in the later seasons, including "Castle Sweet Castle," "Gauntlet of Fire," "Top Bolt," "A Royal Problem," and the acclaimed "The Perfect Pear." Fans really felt their absence in Season 8, and many were ecstatic when they came back to handle the ninth season premiere.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Discord practically wrote the book on this trope.
    • Apparently, Queen Chrysalis wrote the sequel.
    • King Sombra turned it into a trilogy.
    • Nightmare Moon wrote the foundations and did the research required for the trilogy to be even created.
    • Lord Tirek WAS the foundation and research for said book LONG BEFORE Friendship Is Magic was even a thought.
  • Creepy Cute: Some consider the Changelings to be rather adorable.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Designated Hero:
    • In "Boast Busters", Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity comment on Trixie showing off when she first performs for Ponyville. After Rainbow Dash heckles her, the three then accept Trixie's challenge and show off their own talents in the process.
    • Many consider the entire Mane Six to be this in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well". Rainbow Dash was being portrayed as a hero with too much ego. The other Mane Five's response was seen by many fans as just as bad as how Rainbow Dash acted. They saved ponies just to make Rainbow Dash look bad, got all of Ponyville pissed at her (though partially her fault), and put Rainbow Dash into a depression.
    • Pinkie Pie in A Friend In Deed. Her antics against Cranky Doodle Donkey really made her come off a fully aware and selfish jerk out to fill her personal friend quota rather than the Innocently Insensitive character who just wants to make others happy she is usually portrayed as. Pinkie not getting called out or facing any real repercussions and the resolution definitely didn't help matters either. Because of this, viewers found it very difficult to feel happy for Pinkie and Cranky Doodle Donkey, the character we're supposed to dislike, definitely came out as the more sympathetic character to some.
  • Designated Villain: For Trixie, this trope is played straight once and later deconstructed twice.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Being a highly popular show, will naturally have fans (besides the het examples above) hating characters for their Les/Ho Yay Ships as well. Miss Cheerilee is less than liked by the CarMac or other Big Macintosh/anyone else fabs.
    • Flash Sentry was hit by loads of fandom flak before he even got a name (even before the movie came out, bringing with it every last ounce of Ship Tease you'd expect). Just seeing official artwork of him standing next to Twilight was enough to spark enough shipping rage to last a decade.
    • Zephyr Breeze gets this from a lot of FlutterDash shippers due to his crush on Rainbow Dash, despite said crush being unreciprocated.
    • Sandbar's Love at First Sight reaction towards Swift Foot has aggravated fans who ship Sandbar with Yona, no matter it's unlikely to last.
    • Starlight Glimmer has gotten this from Twilight/Trixie shippers the moment that she and Trixie became friends. It doesn't help that Starlight was already a Base-Breaking Character in the fandom.
  • Discredited Meme: Nicole Oliver has made it clear that she does not tolerate Princess Celestia being portrayed as a tyrant (especially of the Those Wacky Nazis variety) or molester. This came to a head when a fan at a convention infamously asked her for her opinion on the latter. Oliver reacted exactly how you'd expect.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: One of the reasons Season 8 is the most contentious is fans badly wanted to agree with its Central Theme of teaching friendship and overcoming racism. But doing so thought the School of Friendship supposedly contradicted the original premise of the series that friendship couldn't be learned in classesnote , the Mane Six's teacher role put them at their worst to the point the lessens learned about friendship were in spite of them, and giving the Obstructive Bureaucrat racist opposing the message numerous, unintentionally valid, arguments against it.
  • Dry Docked Ship:
    • Many people in the fandom say that Discord is Celestia's ex.
      • With Keep Calm And Flutter On, it adds even more fuel to it with Celestia actually giving him a shot in redemption.
      • Twilight's Kingdom dumped a blazing road flare on that puddle of gasoline, with Discord's giving that bouquet to Celestia at the end.
      • "Make New Friends But Keep Discord" throws in a little more when Celestia admits she deliberately invited Discord to the Grand Galloping Gala to liven it up, though she has a well-known penchant for ruining the gala.
    • Some say that Gilda is Rainbow Dash's ex.
  • Epileptic Trees: For a show where the creators claim they don't "hammer logic very hard", the fans sure like to speculate on stuff. Just look at our own massive Wild Mass Guessing pages. Yes. Pages. Massive pages. And we're probably gonna need more.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Zecora got some of this when she was first introduced, but quickly became an Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Why else would Discord and Nightmare Moon have such huge fanbases?
    • Tirek as well, pulling an Eviler Than Thou on Discord and having a Dragon Ball Z-esque fight with Twilight Sparkle.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Nightmare Moon. To some people, anyway. And that's not even touching that voice of hers...
    • Queen Chrysalis to an extent, for some. Some of her fan-art has been quite... provocative. It may have to do with that alluring voice or the gothic design. The fact that she's essentially a succubus certainly doesn't hurt.
    • Alicorn Amulet Trixie has apparently reached this status.
    • Discord, due to his voice and trickster personality. And the Flim Flam Brothers.
    • Mane-Iac thanks to her hammy and over-the-top voice and an attractive design.
    • King Sombra, for being Tall, Dark, and Handsome, as well as devious, tough and ruthless.
    • Starlight Glimmer, especially thanks to this.

    F-L 
  • Face of the Band: For the band that played at the Grand Galloping Gala, Octavia is the most popular and always in the center of the band (or near it at least) during "The Best Night Ever" and the first to appear on-screen when they show up again during "Sweet and Elite".
  • Fanfic Fuel: In addition to the Canon Fodder described above, the show has the tendency to drop things that serve as good starting points for fanfiction.
    • Why are Celestia and Luna apparently the only winged unicorns in the series?
    • Did anything interesting happen in the thousand years between Nightmare Moon's imprisonment and the pilot?
    • Luna's 1-year Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Now we have Daring Do, an Adventurer Archaeologist who is the protagonist of a Book Series Within A Show; the contents of one of the books have been shown on-screen, we know the title of another, and we know that there are many other books in the series. Cue lots of fan-made "Daring Do and the [x]" installments.
    • In "Hearts and Hooves Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders create a love potion, but they only use a very small amount and leave quite a bit in the pitcher. Cue Shipping Fics involving one pony (or more) accidentally drinking the potion and hilarity ensuing.
    • The introduction of Tartarus and time travel spells in "It's About Time" has given rise to many fanfics
    • The questionable actions of Shining Armor, The Mane Six, and Celestia that were taken during first part of the second season finale had garnered a bit of fuel, having writers insert bitterness into Twilight when she alienated everyone she ever loved, even when she was right about her suspicions surrounding the fake Cadance and write out stories calling out the ponies involved.
    • During the space between seasons 2 and 3, Hasbro released a series of Friendship is Magic posters... including an official map of Equestria which featured a number of new locales to tickle the imaginations of fanfic writers.
    • Trailers for Inspiration Manifestation showing a green-eyed Rarity with her horn glowing the same color had fans wondering if King Sombra or Queen Chrysalis would be involved (they aren't). Given that all of Rarity's designs involve heavy use of crystals and gemstones and Twilight explicitly refers to the book's powers as dark magic, the episode looks to be implying that the book came from Sombra but backs off before stating it, leaving it open to speculation.
      • Given that the jewels were only a result of Rarity's design style and not part of the spell she used, they were probably a red herring as far as Sombra was concerned, but the gradual loss of reason and increase in power was similar to the effects of the Alicorn Amulet.
    • Equestria Games: Who are the delegates from other lands, and what are their kingdoms like? Plus, all the characters on the other teams, and what events the other ponies from Ponyville were participating in, and how the parts of the games that we didn't see (which were most of them) went, and Equestria's relationship with the griffon kingdom that sent a team (assuming it wasn't a griffon-majority territory located in Equestrian boundaries), and how the actual anthems of Ponyville and Cloudsdale go...
    • As of Twilights Kingdom Part 1, on top of fans tying the series back to G1 now more than ever, we have Scorpan, another G1 based character and Tirek's brother who befriended ponykind but left soon after Tirek was imprisoned. This is itself a reference to the original Scorpan, who also pulled a Heel–Face Turn against Tirek near the end of the G1 pilot. Oh yes, and Discord and Tirek know each other somehow.
      • And Scorpan and Starswirl were friends?
  • Fanon:
    • Rainbow Dash is considered by many in the fandom to be the "lesbian" pony (probably due to her boyish appearance, rainbow motif, and attitude... which happens to be exactly the stereotype that Lauren Faust dislikes).
    • After Lyra Heartstrings was shown sitting human-style on a bench, she was portrayed as having a marked interest in humans, even wanting to be one in certain works.
    • Derpy Hooves is depicted as a letter carrier who is somewhat obsessed with muffins, has a unicorn daughter named Dinky (who shows no connection to Derpy in the actual show, but looks like her), and is anywhere between Inspirationally Disadvantaged and merely a space cadet.
    • Thanks to a popular fanfic, Progress, Luna has an abacus which she treats as her baby.
    • Discord is at least one of the following:
    • Pinkie Pie is a Fourth-Wall Observer. Word of God initially denied this several times, to no avail, and then later ran with it and made it canon.
    • There are so many fanon surrounding the background ponies that we have created an entire page dedicated on documenting and studying it.
    • Princess Luna being confirmed to be corrupted by an outside force was the source of many fanon, with Discord and King Sombra being both being popular candidates for the culprit. However, the IDW comic thoroughly jossed a lot of theories about that.
    • Earth ponies having Super Strength, or at least being physically stronger than the other two races, is a common fanon to correct a perceived "imbalance" between earth ponies and the other two.
    • Fans talk so much about fanon without remembering that not everybody knows about fanon that some people can feel a form of Continuity Lockout.
      • It's better if one doesn't take fanon seriously to the point of equating it to fact, lest canon come along and joss it. Flame Wars have erupted due to details in the actual show apparently not fitting their fanon exactly.
    • Based on Pinkie's canon birthday of May 3, a statement of hers saying that she was born on a Tuesday, pseudocanon materials like Equestria Girls treating the mane six as teenagers or young adults and assuming the series takes place in a similar year to real life, some fans have started guessing that Pinkie was born in 1994 and is most likely in her early twenties.
      • Then again, as the show's Comic-Book Time is starting to become more apparent, this is set to fluctuate between the other closest possible (realistic) dates, namely 1988, 1994 and 2000.
    • Fans, especially those of Celestia, love depicting Celestia as The Juggernaut who protected Equestria during the millennia between Luna's banishment and the series premiere. This seems to be justified In-Universe with Equestria being the main dominant power in the world combined with the many, many times it has to deal with invasions and monster attacks in the series proper. This stems from Celestia having to constantly protect a country with a high incident rate while at the same time having no Luna, Pillars and Elements to help her. If she really was incompetent as portrayed in the show due to The Worf Effect, Equestria by that logic should have been a Crapsack World from being conquered over and over by the time of the series premiere, which isn't the case. Finally, this would actually make the times when she underwent The Worf Effect legitimate and terrifying rather than an Ass Pull. There are two different kinds of popular fanfics that are in line with this: 1) Celestia being a walking Story-Breaker Power during her solo reign, or 2) Celestia giving a "World of Cardboard" Speech before dealing a Curb-Stomp Battle in present day.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Many would prefer to ignore the existence of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. The integration of the Sirens from Rainbow Rocks in the show canon in Season 7 ruffled some feathers for this reason, and got some reactions like "okay, that specifically is canon, but nothing else".
    • The existence of Twilicorn also got this reaction from some. Barring that, a common opinion is that the show should have ended with Season 3 and Twilight's ascension, as that could be seen as the completion of her character arc she'd had since the show began and makes a logical ending point for the series.
    • Another point for the trope to kick in is the end of Season 5. The Season 5 finale ended with Starlight agreeing to becoming Twilight's student after an adventure that was a Continuity Cavalcade of many previous episodes and villains, making it feel like a good series finale. And then on the other hand, many popular and long-time writers left the show after Season 5 (leading to a perceived dip in the quality of the writing), and Starlight Glimmer joined the main cast and was labelled "the Poochy" by her detractors, causing some to sour on Season 6.
    • The reveal that Daring Do isn't a fictional heroine but a real pony and all her adventures have been real rubbed some fans the wrong way, as it raises a lot of questions about how her adventures fit into Equestria's lore and fundamentally changes the nature of the character and Rainbow Dash's interest in her.
    • The Season 9 premiere concerned the resurrection of King Sombra, who turned out to be a Large Ham Card-Carrying Villain, a stark contrast to his comics depiction as a Tragic Villain. Given Sombra's Fiendship is Magic issue that explored his backstory was one of the best received of all the comics, some fans would like to ignore his Season 9 showing in favor of the comics' events.
    • The official comics from IDW has detractors for its discrepancies in tone, continuity, and characterization. Even those who accept it (or parts of it) tend to be dismissive of the following:
    • THE most discontinued content is the foreign comics, which don't even make an effort to be good or even consistent with the show, something IDW honestly tries.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Twilight Sparkle and the Great and Powerful Trixie is a popular ship. Oddly enough, they hardly interact with each other directly in "Boast Busters".
    • "Magic Duel" gives these shippers plenty of fuel. The ending even has the two becoming friends.
    • You would think that with his grotesque form that Discord would not get a lot of shipping. You'd be wrong. Doesn't help that at one point he strokes Twilight's cheek. Discord/Celestia seems to be gaining the most steam, probably because of them being ancient enemies and both being reviewed Trolls (even though canonically, Celestia is more of a downplayed version of The Prankster than a troll).
    • Apple Bloom/Diamond Tiara for the Toy Ship variety.
    • Braeburn/Little Strong Heart also comes up, playing up the Romeo and Juliet angle as well as the fact that they were two of the more level-headed characters on both side of the conflict who wanted to try to work out a compromise before pies were discharged.
    • Shining Armor and Queen Chrysalis, although this is mainly one-sided as she was using magic to hypnotize him in the actual show.
    • Twilight Sparkle being paired up with the villains is also a considerable ship as well. Especially Discord. Some people pair Twilight Sparkle with King Sombra, even when they haven't downright confronted each other like other examples.
    • Nightmare Rarity attacked her friends with visions of their own nightmares. But with Spike, she gave him a marriage proposal. People noticed.
    • There is some serious In-Universe Foe Yay between Daring Do and Ahuizotl. When Rainbow Dash notices, her Squee! is rather awkward.
    • Shipping Applejack with one or both of the Flim Flam brothers (usually Flim) isn't unheard of.
  • Fountain of Memes:
  • Franchise Original Sin: The show's usage of The Worf Effect in the later seasons. To sum it up: Out of Focus character(s) whose prowess is usually told not shown in order to prevent "spotlight stealing" plus a quick defeat which usually utilises an Ass Pull equals instant raising of stakes and drama. This trend started at the Season 2 finale, where Princess Celestia got defeated in a Beam-O-War with Queen Chrysalis boosted by the love of Shining Armor or even the series premiere when the former was defeated by Nightmare Moon offscreen. After that, future seasons and the 2017 movie got more egregious with it's usage over time, in which any character that aren't the designated protagonists will suddenly get hit with a case of Plot-Induced Stupidity, get defeated and won't be saved until the plot is resolved or undergo Deus Exit Machina if they are lucky. It has gotten so bad that after the 2017 movie, viewers are already guessing how long anyone that isn't the designated protagonist will last in a crisis instead of actually rooting for them to succeed. The reason why the fan backlash against the earlier defeats in the first two seasons were taken well compared to the later incidents was because it had a somewhat proper In-Universe explanationnote  compared to what is considered blatant Diabolus Ex Machinasnote  later on. The repeated usage was also a factor in making the failures more noticeable, gradually turning what was meant to be a dramatic moment to a G-rated They Killed Kenny Again.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Bordering on Odd Friendship in some cases. Examples include:
    • Transformers and My Little Pony share something of a brother/sister dynamic going as far back at the 80s with both franchises' first show incarnations. Being arguably the the two largest of their franchises, Hasbro has done nothing to stop this relation. Almost every generation of one series correlated with one from the other, and there was a very broad group of fans that crisscrossed between the two. This showed up best when Transformers: Prime and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic became flagship series for The Hub network and had very frequent crossover gags in the animated commercials.
    • With fans of Valve Software games, since Team Fortress 2 helped spread the word of the show in its early days, and crossovers with Valve games are probably the most common pony crossovers.
    • With Doctor Who, thanks to the background pony "Doctor Whooves".
    • In the face of a brony Vocal Minority haters against Sonic the Hedgehog, many other bronies would like to become friendly with the Sonic fandom, especially because of the comparison between Sonic and Rainbow Dash.
    • They are also on very good grounds with Gravity Falls and Adventure Time fans.
    • "Bionicle" fans overlap as well, due to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic coming out a few months after Bionicle ended, having similar plots, setting, elements and characters, and a shared voice actor.
    • The respective 4chan board for pony fans seems to have a few JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans lurking on it. Talk about a bizarre friendship. It's also amusing to think how some of the Japanese voices in the show have also voiced JJBA characters at some point. note 
    • Fans of both this and Sofia the First get along well due to both being TV-Y rated shows about purple princesses that break the boundaries of what's generally expected from shows with this rating.
    • Bronies and Star Trek followers are on suprisingly good terms as well. The fact that Miss Faust is herself a Trekkie and based the Parasprites and Discord on the Tribbles and Q respectively helps a lot. John de Lancie later became the defacto voice actor for Discord and the episode "The Perfect Pear" has William Shatner as a guest star, much to the delight of fans of both series.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In the pilot episode, Twilight says "All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!" By the end of the season, every mane character has suffered a nervous breakdown at some point. And then in the season 2 episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight goes completely (if temporarily) over the edge.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Spike gives Rainbow Dash the nickname "Rainbow Crash", due to her temporary clumsiness. In "Sonic Rainboom", we learn that this was the very name Rainbow Dash's childhood bullies labeled her with for years. However, "Read It and Weep" shows it may not be a completely undeserved title.
    • "Over a Barrel" has Fluttershy's memetic statement of her desire to be a tree. In Season 7's "A Health of Information", she is one of the victims of the "Swamp Fever" disease which ends with turning into a tree.
    • Two from "Hurricane Fluttershy"
    • The whole Scootaloo/flightless bird jokes from within the show and fandom become less funny, if they aren't to some already, now that the S4 episode "Flight to the Finish" has Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon making fun of Scootaloo for not being able to fly.
    • One scene in "Family Appreciation Day" has a bee land on Apple Bloom's nose while Granny Smith is harvesting honey. Four seasons later, Apple Bloom is revealed to be allergic to bees.
    • Starswirl, when he makes his reappearence, becomes a Broken Pedestal by bringing up that "once a villain, always a villain", something that contrasts Twilight's way of thinking... Final season shows that Strawman Has a Point as Chrysalis, Cozy Glow, and Tirek end up being Beyond Redemption and Taken for Granite as punishment.
  • Gateway Series: This series is undoubtedly the reason why Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot and Littlest Pet Shop (2012) immediately got a Periphery Demographic.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Knowledge of astronomy and a close look at the Ursa Major's tail in Boast Busters may tip you off early that it's actually an Ursa Minor.
    • The scene in "Winter Wrap Up" with the two hedgehogs embracing and accidentally sticking each other with their spines is a reference to the hedgehog's dilemma theory of psychology. Fans of the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, which often references the hedgehog's dilemma, have not let this go unnoticed.
    • Look at the chalkboard in the beginning of "Call of the Cutie". These kids are learning damn astrophysics! Or at least physicsnote  and vector calculusnote .
    • Gilda's maltreatment of the ponies actually borders on Fridge Brilliance when you realize that in mythology, griffons and horses were mortal enemies.
    • Rarity (albeit accidentally) re-enacts the Greek myth of Icarus at the Young Flyer's Competition.
    • At the end of the second episode (part two of the pilot), "The Elements of Harmony": two foals lay a wreath of red and white roses around Princess Luna's neck. This might seem like a conventional way of honoring and welcoming a princess, but consider that, at the end of the War of the Roses, Henry VII took as his symbol a red and white rose, combining the Lancastrian red rose and the Yorkist white rose. So red and white roses together are a symbol of reconciliation following a civil war within a royal family for control of the kingdom, or principality in this case.
    • "The Best Night Ever":
      • Spike mentions Princess Celestia has a golden apple tree. In certain Greek and Norse mythos, golden apples grant immortality.
      • They are also, in Greek mythology, a symbol of DISCORD... one golden apple in particular led to the Trojan wars, and the sacking of Troy — and the death of a dozen or so legendary Greek heroes.
      • The Apple(s) of Discord return in the second season's first episode, where they are used to sow discord among the mane six, fittingly, right at the start of the challenge.
    • Discord, in the second season premiere, is very similar to Apep from Egyptian mythology. Both were giant lizard serpents, both were embodiments of chaos, and both were the greatest enemies of the sun (Celestia and Ra, respectively). Additionally, Apep was overthrown and imprisoned for his evil by Ra - much as Celestia overthrew and imprisoned Discord in the backstory.
    • Twilight's mentioned Star Swirl the Bearded created an "amniomorphic spell". "Amnio-" as a medical term deals with the fetus, so "amniomorphic" potentially deals with the development of babies, which is essentially what Twilight did when she hatched Spike.
    • Also in "Luna Eclipsed", Luna keeps using old-fashioned, "formal" versions of the second-person personal pronoun: thou, thee, thy, thine, etc., even though she supposedly wants (much like her sister, in a way) a closer, warmer relationship with her subjects. But actually, thou, thee, thy, and so forth are actually the informal, personal versions of the second-person personal pronoun, much like "tu" in French or Spanish, or "du" in German. You, your, and so forth are the formal forms. When Luna addresses the other ponies as "thou," she's basically saying that she considers them to be close friends.
      • This makes sense if you consider that she has been trapped in isolation for a thousand years. Thou, thee, thy and thine are Early Modernnote  English, which was still in use a thousand years ago.
      • Which is also why she would not know the meaning of the word fun (in this case amusement) which in the real world has only had that meaning since the 1700s.
    • Both Princesses wear collars. Celestia, who wears the larger collar, is older, more mature, and more experienced... and has bourne (and still bears) most of the burden of ruling Equestria. Luna, whose collar is much smaller, is the younger, less mature, and more impulsive sister... and is still adjusting to 1000 years' worth of progress. Factor in the purpose and benefits of the real-world horse collar harness, and decide for yourself if the symbolism was intentional or not.
    • If you have any interest in color theory, Celestia's mane might be of great interest to you. Sky Blue is the main color, and one of the stripes bears a shade of cyan called Celeste. The third color present is Orchid, a shade of magenta. Why Orchid? Because the orchid is one of the flowers representing the Chinese Four Gentlemen. It symbolizes spring, the season in which the sun warms the earth so life can continue.
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is seen looking over a chalkboard covered in equations, which are apparently real equations for the effects of time dilation.
    • Oh, how is this for genius: in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1", during the song "B.B.B.F.F", there is actually a double meaning (which Daniel Ingram has confirmed):
    The song is in the key of Db Major (just like "Winter Wrap Up"!) . That means that the root chord is a Db major chord. Usually, a Ab major chord will lead into a Db major. This is the V-I chord progression and it is also known as the Authentic Cadence (stick with me here). Now, it seems to resolve to a sadder chord at the end of the phrase. Instead of ending on Db major around 1:16, it lands on Bb minor: the relative minor of Db major. Now, when a chord progression seems to be heading to the root chord but lands on the relative minor instead, that is called a...
    ...
    Also worth noting, listen to how Twilight sings the last "forever" in the song. Her little cadenza (I am seriously not making these words up) quotes the opening notes of the theme song.
    • Daring Do's grey-scale tail and mane (at least as imagined by Rainbow Dash) incorporate the "colours" of a rare phenomenon known as a moonbow.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Bushiroad at least thought this would be the case in Japan, as they gave its Japanese dub considerable hype and aiming it towards both little girls since many of the characters line up with established Japanese archetypical characters. As it turns out, though, this applies to the Japanese dub itself; while it the handful fans that existed before it was dubbed, it hasn't been doing too well thanks to being crowded out by the sea of many other Japanese shows that feature similar themes. Western fans, on the other hand, love the Japanese dub thanks to all of the Woolseyisms that it incorporates in trying to imitate other anime archetypes.
    • The Japanese dub itself inverted this. It may have been crowded out in its home country due to the sheer number of like minded shows that use its same themes (An american Magical Girl show in a country that has codified it into an entire genre). However, Bronies and anime fans back in America adore the Japanese dub, due to its voice cast consisting a very popular and well-known actors, the massive amounts of Woolseyisms, and the fact that the cutesy nature of the series fits Japan like a glove. Equestria Daily regularly reported on Japanese dub episodes, despite its limited success in the country, and Japanese Dub episodes get a ton of views and comments online. The fandom actually rejoiced when it was announced the series was Un-Cancelled, and actually look forward to new Japanese episodes as much as if not more so than the English ones.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: A lot of male fans, though most people would argue it hasn't broken out of it. Lauren Faust's words on the subject:
    "When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people — without even watching the show — to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I'm doing my job right, I think you'll be surprised."
  • Glurge: While the show does seem to make a rather commendable effort to avoid this trope a lot of the time, it sometimes can't resist falling into it due to its cutesy nature and sometimes easily re-interpretable Aesops. Faust has even admitted to some stories.
  • Good Bad Translation: One line in the Japanese version mistranslates Applejack's "Widdle Rarity" as "Peeing Rarity". Most Japanese audiences found this line to be hilarious.
  • Gotta Ship 'Em All: Every main character has been shipped with every other, and that's not getting into secondary or minor characters.
  • Growing the Beard: Season 2 is when the series shifted from a show made just for girls to one made for little girls but also with its Periphery Demographic in mind, moving away from the Strictly Formula aspects freeing things up for stronger stories and writing. note 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering the episode was produced long before Cupcakes was written, Pinkie Pie's psychotic break in "Party of One" is rather eerie, doubly so considering Rainbow Dash is the pony to visit her during her episode.
    • The entire story presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve" becomes really creepy for those who are familiar with the mythology surrounding Wendigos.
    • In the Canterlot Wedding two-parter, the need for increased security at the wedding seems a bit more eerie in light of the issues with insufficient security at the London 2012 Olympics. Keep in mind that the Canterlot Wedding was based off the Royal Wedding between William and Kate... Which also happened in London.
    • Rainbow Dash's attitude towards Fluttershy in "Dragonshy" seems out of place compared to future episodes such as "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "Hurricane Fluttershy".
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is repeatedly concerned about a possible disaster in the future. As we find out much later on, a disaster was brewing ever since Cerberus temporarily left Tartarus.
    • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Comic Book Issue 74, when Zephyr Breeze appears, he and Fluttershy's relationship seems to be much better than it was previously, with the two having affectionate nicknames for each other and playfully joking around. She even calmly helps pull him out of a panic attack. Come Season 9 episode "Sparkle's Seven" when Fluttershy mentions him to Spike, she says that he (Zephyr) could learn a lot from Spike about being a good little brother.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "Look Before You Sleep" has Applejack and Rarity fighting like children for the duration of the episode. Their bickering over an incomplete job trimming tree branches before a rainstorm spills over into Twilight Sparkle's first slumber party and nearly ruins her night. However, Twilight isn't any better in this episode. She becomes so infused with her slumber party guidebook that she thinks it can somehow solve the problem of a giant tree branch in her bedroom.
    • "Swarm of the Century": see Poor Communication Kills on the Western Animation page.
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", Rainbow Dash uses her ability to fly to cheat in various events. Until Applejack points it out, none of the ponies think it unfair, and neither do they bother rerunning the events she cheated in. Let's face it, when even Twilight Sparkle doesn't object to Dash LIFTING APPLEJACK INTO THE AIR DURING A TUG OF WAR, this trope is definitely in play.
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the Flim Flam brothers are either holding the Conflict Ball or the Villain Ball, but either way a lot of what they do triggers one of these. If either of them had possessed an ounce of business sense, or at least hadn't been so arrogant during the contest, the episode would have been much shorter.
    • The plot of "Games Ponies Play" relies on the cast not realizing that the pony they greeted at the train station wasn't the games Inspector. It's an understandable mistake at first, as they're in a rush, but as the episode goes on they grow increasingly more oblivious to the fact that the pony they're escorting around doesn't act like the inspector at all, as well as the fact that despite spending the entire afternoon with her, no-one ever thinks to refer to her by name. If any of them had thought to ask her name (or if the pony in question had thought to introduce herself), the mistake would have been caught within five minutes. Also, the problem could have been completely avoided in the first place if the Mane Six had been given a description of the games inspector's cutie mark (they had instead been told to look for a pony with flower-print luggage).
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Applejack and her brother, Big Macintosh, have been shipped since the earliest days of the fandom, helped by the fact that Big Mac was the first and for a time the only stallion who even had a name, let alone any characterization.
    • Fueled heavily by Twilight's possessive behavior in the first half of A Canterlot Wedding, there's a noticeable following that pairs Twilight Sparkle with her brother, Shining Armor. The fact that Shining Armor ultimately marries Princess Cadance does little to deter these shippers, who resort to Alternate Universes, polyamory, or just straight-up cheating to keep the siblings together.
    • Celestia and Luna sometimes get this, being two of the ageless in the series, due to the fact they'd rarely have anyone to turn to but each other. Ever since Luna's return, there's also been talks by Celestia about how happy she is to have Luna back.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The return of Applejack and Rainbow Dash's heated rivalry after a long absence in season 8 and 9 was not well-received by most fans, due to all the Aesop Amnesia and character regression involved.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, Nightmare Moon was defeated and turned back into Luna. There are toys of her and she came back in one episode of Season 2 (she even gets mentioned in the Season 2 première). The reveal at the end of the second episode isn't much of a spoiler anymore.
    • "Games Ponies Play" ends with Spike, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and the pets hiding from the Mane Six while they're on the train back from Ponyville after Applejack suspects that something's wrong. The problem is its companion episode, "Just for Sidekicks", had already aired by that point and it revealed that they avoided detection.
    • The Season 3 finale, namely the ending where Twilight becomes a princess has been widely and openly discussed long before the relevant episode's airdate.
    • The Season 4 finale where Lord Tirek destroys Golden Oaks Library now that Twilight has been living in her own castle since the start of Season 5.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders getting their cutie marks in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark".
    • Starlight Glimmer's Heel–Face Turn at the end of "The Cutie Re-Mark" which also does this to her other featured two-parter "The Cutie Map" from Season 5.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many Japanese fans of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes began watching the Japanese dub because many of the voice actors from that anime were dubbing it, only for many of them to become full-on fans of the show itself.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Less Disturbing in Context: Fluttershy's song from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" includes the lines "Oh, what a magical place!/And I owe it all to the Pegasus race!" If heard out of context and without the accompanying visuals it may sound like Fluttershy is propagating Pegasus supremacy. It doesn't help that the mentions of wild animals, bees, and trees might be mistaken for a reference to "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"...
  • LGBT Fanbase: Homosexual pairings are very popular in the fandom for both the mares and the stallions. The Mane Six in particular seem to be shipped with each other or with popular guest star and/or background mares more often than with stallions, and the comparatively few (important) stallions in the show tend to be shipped with each other with some regularity (especially Big Mac and Braeburn).
  • Love to Hate: After seven seasons Queen Chrysalis stands tall as the show's most popular villain, only rivalled by Discord. With many other antagonists major and minor being redeemed as the show has continued, many fans were happy about her Redemption Rejection in Season 6 and her escaping to return against someday. Said return being revealed to be Season 8 likewise got fans excited.

    M-R 
  • Memetic Badass
  • Memetic Bystander: Derpy Hooves began as an extra... rivals the Mane Six in popularity.
  • Memetic Loser: With all the talk of who is "Best Pony", naturally, fans also talk about who they consider is "Worst Pony". The "winner" of these arguments is usually Twist.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Along with "Trollestia", another Alternative Character Interpretation fans like to give to Celestia is "Molestia", where she sexually abuses her subjects. The variant with victim being Luna is called "Incestia".
    • The Diamond Dogs, mainly because of the way they swarm around Rarity when they first see her and then kidnap her along with the constant I Have You Now, My Pretty vibes they give off, especially during the Imagine Spot where they backed her into a corner, complete with spanking Rarity later on have earned them this title in spades.
    • With the advent of "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle of all ponies now bears this title. The fact that next episode she used candy to lure Pinkie Pie into a dark alley, then pins Pinkie down and makes her promise not to scream hasn't helped.
    • Discord has also gotten a bit of this, mainly due to his No Sense of Personal Space with Twilight Sparkle, especially the scene were he runs his paw across her cheek. The Pony POV Series implied that his brainwashing of Fluttershy, the only one he could never break, is similar to Rape Of course, unlike the previous examples, Discord is actually creepy, evil in a chaotic way and nasty enough for this to have at least some degree of validity.
    • Queen Chrysalis is quickly gaining steam as a canon example of this. On top of essentially being a G-rated succubus, she, like Discord, has No Sense of Personal Space, placing her hoof on Twilight's chin (what's with villains and touching Twilight's face?) and getting really close to Shining Armor (as both fake Cadance and in her true form!).
    • The plunder vines from the premiere of season four were shown to be very grabby. The fandom promptly went to the obvious place with them. In fact, one can easily compare the plunder vines to the trees from The Evil Dead.
    • Ten episodes later came the Tatzlwurm and its three (also very grabby) tentacle-tongues. There's an excellent chance that it reached this status the very second that it opened its mouth.
  • Memetic Psychopath:
  • Memetic Troll: There is a reason one of Celestia's nicknames is "Trollestia". Her character in the actual series is a benevolent ruler and a Reasonable Authority Figure, but it's very frequent amongst fans to portray her as a Caligula who banishes her subjects to the moon on a whim and goes on her way to constantly prank them.
  • Mind Game Ship: One of the many reasons that Discord is a Launcher of a Thousand Ships.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Fans are quick to blame Hasbro for the show's problems. However, Hasbro is only responsible for deciding on whether or not an episode is OK to air ("green lighting" as they call it). The real company to blame is DHX Media, who is responsible for everything in the show, since they're the company who animates the thing.
    • After Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's Heel–Face Turn, they were criticized for being Demoted to Extra, right after they became interesting and likable. However the writers wanted to do more with them but had it shot down by Hasbro who felt their story was "over".
  • Moe: If Friendship is Magic is My Little Pony mixed with Anime Tropes, then expect the series to include elements of Moe in its setting, thus contributing to its popularity from a large section of the Anime demographic. Specific examples include:
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Any time Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie sings.
    • Any time Fluttershy talks would qualify with most of the fans.
    • The *Squee* heard in various episodes is just one of the Stock Sound Effects utilized by the show, but rather than just being used for squeak toys, it's often used for ponies smiling.
    • Rarity's singing is also very highly regarded, same with her sister Sweetie Belle.
    • The sound unicorn magic makes, as well as the very similar Sonic Rainboom. SHOOM
    • Princess Luna's indoor voice can be added to the list.
    • "Dear Princess Celestia...", so wonderful, it has become a Catch Phrase for Tara Strong whenever she wants to make a Shout-Out to bronies.
    • Pinkie Pie's laugh. Since she's the Element of Laughter, it really isn't surprising that her happy little giggle is nice to hear.
    • Princess Cadance's singing voice.
      • For that matter, the sound of Princesses Cadance, Luna and Celestia singing in choir.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • Fans have given major props to Lauren Faust for revitalizing the franchise in spite of her stepping down to creative consultant in the middle of season 2, ignoring other show-runners such as Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen.
    • Ever since the show has gained popularity, Faust has been given a lot more credit than My Little Pony's original creators (Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D'Aguanno).
  • Narm:
    • Hasbro has taken to using Wilhelm Screams in pretty much every single episode of Season 4.
      • However, there are a few occasions wherein it reaches Narm Charm levels. Most notably in Season 4, episode 6, wherein the characters are inside an homage to Superhero comics. As well as Season 4, episode 4, which was a homage to Indiana Jones.
    • One of the major complaints of the show's The Worf Effect usage over time. It was dramatic and legitimately hopeless at the first or second time, then it becomes downright ridiculous and a Running Gag by around the seventh or eighth, resulting in the characters who had to go through this look like Memetic Losers.
  • Narm Charm: While the show runners are absolutely aware of the older fans and pander to them frequently, at its core, this is still a show for young children. As a result, a lot of time it can be very corny, cheesy, sappy, Anvilicious, etc. But that's part of why the Periphery Demographic loves it, and it's usually done well enough to result in this trope instead of straight Narm.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The dragon from Dragonshy becomes this as a result of Fluttershy setting him straight. When he starts talking normally, he whines "But that rainbow one kicked me!"
    • Twilight's Imagine Spot in "A Bird in the Hoof" where Fluttershy is banished with imprisonment becomes this when Fluttershy bends her cage's bars, softening the effect.
    • "Castle Mane-ia" has the ominous organ player who's been scaring the ponies in the abandoned castle. Then, Twilight uncloaks the player who turns out to be Pinkie Pie.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The show's popularity skyrocketed thanks to an article lambasting it as uncreative drivel.
  • No Yay:
    • Discord teleporting into Spike's bed, under the covers while he's sleeping and asking "Where's Twilight?" leaving Spike curled up in the fetal position, shaking.
    • Fans were just as uncomfortable with Zephyr Breeze flirting with Rainbow Dash in "Flutter Brutter" as she was.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The brony fandom is this; back in the 1980s, many boys did in fact enjoy the G1 television program due to the adventure-filled plots that were uncommon in girls’ shows at the time. The primary reason male fans were not acknowledged until 2010 was that message boards and social media did not become especially popular until at least the early-to-mid-2000s.
    • The famous "Rainbow Dash always dresses in style" quote is usually associated with G3.5 (as is the theme song the lyric appears in), but the quote - and the song - were actually borrowed from G3's "Core 7" soft reboot.
    • Animated multicolored equines have been around since The '40s in the form of Pastorale from Fantasia.
    • Long before the G4 television show, She-Ra: Princess of Power, Sailor Moon and The Powerpuff Girls already had sizable male fanbases, while Arthur, The Backyardigans, and Sesame Street already appealed to people well above the preschool and kindergarten age ranges.
    • My Little Pony Tales showed male ponies alongside female ones and experimented with Slice of Life stories long before Friendship is Magic.
    • Many ponies (especially in the toy line) predate Friendship Is Magic. Applejack was outright one of the first G1 ponies as she was a year 2 character.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Many one-shot characters that have shown up for little gags have left a lasting impression.
    • We should start with, of course, the pony patron of this trope: Vinyl "DJ Pon-3" Scratch. Proof that all you need to be popular is to have a cool design, she originally only appeared for a few seconds in "Suited for Success" doing nothing but bobbing her head; yet she became one of the most popular characters in the show. She returned in the Season 2 finale for the Dance Party Ending, revealing her eye color (they're magenta, by the way).
    • While Derpy is not a One-Scene Wonder character, her speaking scene in "The Last Roundup" came as such a surprise a ton of fans forget the episode was about Applejack.
    • Crackle, the rather amusing-looking dragon in "Dragon Quest" that just so happens to look like the ponies' dragon disguise.
  • One True Pairing:
    • Lyra Heartstrings/Bon Bon, two background ponies that are often seen with each other when Lyra is up to her wacky antics. Of all the shipping pairings in this fandom, there seems to be some unwritten law of fanart/fanfiction that these two are not to be shipped with anypony but each other. How extensive is this? The first reaction to any other pairing is cries of "Lyra is cheating on Bon Bon!" and vice versa.
      • Then there's the background scene in "Putting Your Hoof Down" where Lyra is seen sitting at a table looking bored, only to perk up when Bon Bon arrives. Or the fact that Bon Bon's saddlebags have Lyra's Cutie Mark on them...
      • Lyra/Doctor and Bon Bon/Caramel are slowly picking up popularity, perhaps in an attempt to create more hetero-ships or shake things up a bit.
    • Octavia/Vinyl Scratch is almost the fandom's second OTP. It's kinda like a Straight Man and Wise Guy sort of relationship.
    • Doctor Hooves/Derpy is popular. It's helped by the fact that they were seen meeting up with each other in the Hearts and Hooves Day episode.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Discord/Nightmare Moon/Queen Chrysalis thanks to an official villains poster.
    • Applejack and The Flim Flam Brothers are another popular one.
    • If you're into princest, there's Celestia/Cadance/Luna. With the addition of Twilight Sparkle as the 4th, that gives us the "Alicorn Tetrarchy": Celestia/Luna/Cadance/Twilight.
    • For those who don't want Twilight left out of her brother's marriage equation, there is also Shining/Cadance/Twilight. In this case, helped by the fact that Cadance used to be Twilight's foalsitter (babysitter), and they still adore each other as adults. Several episodes have them dancing together every time they meet.
    • All three CMC for a Toy Ship.
    • After the events of "The Cutie Map" Pinkie Pie, Cheese Sandwich, and Party Favor have all started to be paired together, if the latter two aren't portrayed as romantic rivals.
    • Sunset Shimmer and the two Twilights. Her closest friends are two different versions of Twilight Sparkle, and they share plenty of screentime together.
    • For all of Twilight's counterparts, there is Trixie/Sunset/Starlight. The pony versions of Trixie Lulamoon and Starlight Glimmer are each other's closest friend, the human version of Trixie started as an antagonist to Sunset Shimmer but became her last remaining friend in "Forgotten Friendship", and Starlight Glimmer and Sunset Shimmer befriended each other in "Mirror Magic".
    • Ember/Spike/Thorax, especially after "Triple Threat".
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: It's impossible to talk about the show without mentioning the fact that it has one of the biggest and most (in)famous cases of Periphery Demographic, the Bronies, teenagers and adults (including men) who seriously love the show. As with any large fandom, this has led to the creation of many fanworks that are very much Not Safe for Work, which is especially shocking in this case due to the perceived childishness of the source material, and has sparked many panics about the show's actual target demographic accidentally stumbling upon some pornography or Gorn. Because of this, on many websites, merely mentioning the show might get you labeled as a pervert, Manchild, or worse.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • After months of "PMVs" popping up on the Internet, The Hub decided to make one of their own — and incorporated references to not only "DJ Pon-3" but "bronies" as well!
    • Derpy's canonization (having started with shirts and promos, with it all but confirmed in "The Last Roundup") is one massive catering to the Brony community.
    • A number of seemingly minor interactions by the background ponies are a result of Ascended Fanon, such as Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon hanging out together, Berry Punch continuing to be an implied alcoholic, and Derpy having a muffin pin on her carry bag.
      • Oddly enough, the animator for "Call of the Cutie" confirms that they were originally trying for that interpretation of Berry Punch, but the belch that would originally have followed her drinking from the punch bowl didn't make it past Executive Meddling.
    • The mention that Alicorn Twilight and the possibility of a human-based adaptation being introduced sent some bronies into an uproar when first announced. One of the main reasons of their complaints, of course, is this, due to the fact that there's a metric ton of fanart done of these very things well before they officially existed. It's somewhat amusing in hindsight, as by the time the series ended (Season 9), both of those factors had been a staple of the show for over twice as long as the time before them.
    • As described as above, some view the pandering as a negative trait. It's sometimes viewed as exploitation, a crutch to allow the writers to slack off in favour of cheap tricks to get laughs and cheers from the fanbase. It's impossible to please everyone, as several bronies absolutely cringed whenever they found Ascended Fanon.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Discord is capable of shapeshifting. That's paranoia fuel enough for younger audiences (specifically, the target audience). He could be any stranger you meet!
    • When Pinkie Pie is chasing after you, go ahead and hide. No matter where you go, you can never escape. She will find you. Even when you're in a place that she couldn't possibly reach, yup, she's there. This is taken Up to Eleven if you break a Pinkie Promise, and she Turns Red.
    • The Changelings have the explicit ability and tactic of turning into your loved ones, and they can use mind control to keep you from noticing or fighting back. Anypony you see on the screen may be a changeling. Any one at any given time. Much worse in-universe. There's a joke about the repeated background ponies.
    Season 1: Recycled drawings.
    Season 2: Changelings.
    Season 3: Mirror Pool clones.
  • Periphery Demographic: The very existence of this work page's Troper Critical Mass and its many Trope Overdosed subpagesnote  is evidence enough. You can go to any website and you're guaranteed to discover a member or two who is a fan of the show or even the existence of an entire brony subcommunity within that site. The fandom has grown so large that even news media is taking notice. Notice the number of reviews on this site.
  • Poor Man's Substitute:
    • Subverted. They originally intended to do this with someone who sounded like John de Lancie, but someone suggested they get the real de Lancie instead.
    • Initially played straight with Tirek's voice actor, who, in his "weak" voice, is clearly trying to sound like Tim Curry (which actually lead to a rumor that Tim Curry was indeed Tirek's voice actor). Averted later, as he ditches the Tim Curry impersonating for a more "generic" monster lord voice.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Fans of the show have already started doing this. It bears mentioning that some of the portmanteaus (like "AppleDash") could be legit names of actual characters in this universe.
    • There is also Twixie (Twilight and Trixie), Twiluna (Twilight and Luna), PinkieDash (Pinkie and RD), TwiShy (Twilight/Fluttershy), Rarishy (Rarity/Fluttershy), FlutterDash (Rainbow Dash/Fluttershy), Shinadence (Shining Armor/Cadance), Dislestia (Celestia/Discord), ChrysCord (Chrysalis/Discord), SoarinDash (Soarin'/Rainbow Dash), Sparity (Spike/Rarity), FlutterMac (Fluttershy/Big Macintosh), LyraBon (Lyra Heartstrings/Sweetie Drops -a.k.a. Bon Bon-), and many, many more.
    • Some are quite punny, like ApplePie and Twinkie.
    • Discord usually ends up named first, e.g. DiscoLight or DiscoPie.
    • The semi-popular Spitfire/Rainbow Dash ship has the epic-sounding "Flamebow".
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Want to unlock all the characters in the smart phone game? Better really REALLY like it or be willing to spend a lot of money on it.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything: There's a surprising amount of detail put into the backgrounds, set design, background music, and sound effects. Heck, "Art of the Dress" goes as far as to give us a sound effect for Rarity's uvula wiggling around.
    • Similar with Rarity, they also provided a sound effect for Pinkie's uvula wiggling around during her "I'm at the Grand Galloping Gala" song.
    • Overlapping with Shown Their Work, "The Return of Harmony Part 2" has the ponies' pupil sizes increase and decrease accordingly as Discord screws with the sun and moon.
  • Realism-Induced Horror:
    • As the series began production right when the severity and long-term effects of bullying were becoming a hot-button issue, characters who tend to act cruelly to others tend to be painted less sympathetically compared to more "fantastic" villains like Nightmare Moon and Discord. This is perhaps best exemplified in "Flight to the Finish", in which Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon mock Scootaloo for her inability to fly; this, along with her subsequent downward spiral, is presented as being akin to someone being bullied for being disabled.
    • Similarly, the episode "Hurricane Fluttershy" reveals that Fluttershy was bullied as a filly for being a weak flyer, the memories of which give her PTSD-like panic attacks even as a full-grown mare.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The show has an incredibly popular version of this in the New Lunar Republic - a LARGE group of fans who resent the reign of supposed "tyrant" Celestia and would rather Luna take the throne. Whether or not this counts as Rooting for the Empire depends on whether they're rooting for Luna or Nightmare Moon. Luna is not an example because she's ultimately good (if only a little impulsive), and the legitimate arguments against her right to the throne are purely political. Those who flat out rooted for Nightmare Moon... play this trope straight.
    • Discord enjoys enormous popularity, many of his fans wanting the fun-loving, Laughably Evil Trickster to succeed in his goal of eternal chaos. It didn't hurt that in his introductory episode, one of the main characters (namely Pinkie Pie) seemed perfectly fine with a guy who makes chocolate milk rain from the sky.
    • The Changelings have their fans, arguing that despite the cruelty of their queen most Changelings just want something to eat.
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    S-Z 
  • The Scrappy: Snips and Snails gained a lot of ire early on for being dopey, obnoxious and being complete Karma Houdinis in their debut episode who even got rewarded for their stupidity while the Designated Villain of the episode got punished too harshly. By the second and third seasons, their appearances were limited enough that their Scrappy status dwindled considerably, and their roles in episodes like "Magic Duel" (wherein they get tortured over the course of the episode by said "villain") were clearly to those episodes' benefit. Snails has at least gained some love from his portrayal in "Buckball Season" which finally gave him some characterization outside of "completely undeveloped unlikeable obnoxious dumbass", but he has a long way to go before he could even be considered Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 3 was generally not as well-received as the prior two. Since it was only half the length of an average season, its problem episodes — which, naturally, vary depending on who you ask — tend to stick out more. Almost a full third of the episodes therein have been a point of contention for at least some fans, most notably the season finale, which splintered the fandom when released.
    • After the very well-received Season 4 and somewhat more divisive but still liked Season 5, Season 6 proved a victim of Tough Act to Follow. The overarching plot of Starlight Glimmer's redemption had very mixed reception on it own merit but was widely thought to have been done better by Discord and Sunset Shimmer, with some accusing Starlight of hogging runtime. A number of episodes were criticized as re-hashed from earlier seasons and the comics and/or were considered So Okay, It's Average (even Rainbow Dash becoming an official Wonderbolt was surprisingly low key and suffered from unrelated controversy). It's thought that this is due to the show's best received writers leaving or focusing on the movie.
    • Season 8 is possibly the most contested season of the bunch due to the School of Friendship concept coming off as a forced and lackluster way to change the show's dynamic. Additionally, Arc Villains Neighsay and Cozy Glow were deemed underwhelming by many, and although a few episodes like "Sounds of Silence" were well-received, most ranged from forgettable to detested.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The quality of the writing in the early Season 1 episodes (especially the two-part pilot) may seem quite low to people who are used to watching the later episodes, which have a lot more Parental Bonus and Fandom Nods. This was before Hasbro knew about the show's Periphery Demographic, so it's justified.
    • The show as a whole for modern viewers. Even a quarter way into it's decade-spanning run newcomers (regardless of their opinion on the show overall) were baffled at why this show EXPLODED onto the scene in 2010 and was seen as fresh and innovative, but that's because the innovations it made were since surpassed and/or so subtle only those who have been closely following TV cartoons at the time would notice:
      • 1. It's approach to feminism and diversity. Prior to this show, the only way a show for girls would escape the Girls Show Ghetto was to appeal to boys as much as possible, with an edgy, action focused tone and centered around Tomboy Action Girls. But FIM pioneered what can be called "Pink Positive Feminism", by doubling down on the Lisa Frank-esque pastel pallet and giving it's main characters a diverse group of personalities that ranged from gruff to gentle and everything in between. But nowadays, we have shows like Steven Universe, which combined the aforementioned Pink Positiveness emphasis on personality diversity with more actual diversity, with an emphasis on differing races, sexual and even gender identities, that make FIM's innovations seem downright quaint in comparison; especially considering its first idea of "racial diversity" was a Zebra Witch Doctor that spoke in rhyme.
      • 2. Its sweet-hearted tone. In the decade preceding FIM's premiere, in the wake of movies like Shrek and shows like Invader Zim, Western Animation was overwhelmingly made up of Sadist Shows with Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists getting into Zany Schemes and getting Grounded Forever with Parental Bonuses and Toilet Humour in between. This was because there was a general feeling that the only way to make a non-action kids show feel "mature" was to make it as cynical and "Edgy" as possible; anything else was little more than Pre-school fodder. FIM proved that an emphasis on love and friendship, with characters that overwhelmingly, unironically loved and supported each other, could be legitimately, unironically heartwarming and deep; thereby pioneering what is now known as "Hopepunk" and/or "Noblebright" in cartoons well before shows like the aforementioned Steven Universe. Nowadays, though the "Cynical Kids Cartoon" lives on through shows like Teen Titans Go! and The Amazing World of Gumball, cartoons showing deep friendships and loving families have very much become the norm, even in the previously almost completely nihilistic adult cartoon world, to the point where again, FIM seems downright quaint.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • Merriwether Williams has become the prime target for fandom scorn. Unfortunately her first aired episode was not the best hoof to start out on, and since then, arguments have mutated from her just not getting the show, to more than a few fans pinning everything they dislike about Season 2 on Merriwether's shoulders. Merely mentioning her name on many fan sites can cause an immediate Flame War. Never mind that she's just the writer, and has to go through editors and other members of the production team before her episodes are aired, or that she's helped write great episodes on other shows before FiM *cough Band Geeks cough*. No, she's just a bad writer that doesn't "get the show."
      • This hits incredible levels of Fridge Logic when you consider that her next episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" was extremely well received by a majority of the fanbase, and her episode "Wonderbolts Academy" was considered one of the high points of Season 3.
      • It got even more ridiculous with Season 4's "Bats!" Initial fan reaction to the episode was positive, but once word began circulating that Meghan McCarthy's writing credit was in error and it was actually Williams who wrote the episode, suddenly some fans didn't like it so much (though plenty of people still liked the episode, and there were some people who didn't like the episode even before this was revealed).
    • Storyboard artist/supervisor and director Jim Miller got hit with this bad from season 5 onward. He has been Misblamed for every controversial creative decision since then, to the point where when season 9 came around, people were accusing him of trying to deliberately ruin the show because he secretly hates bronies. Following the Season 9 finale leak, Jim received so many angry messages and death threats that he was forced to lock down his Twitter.
  • Shipping: For pairings that don't fit anywhere else:
  • Shipping Goggles: Most of the pairings mentioned in this page? Only Spike/Rarity (usually Played for Laughs in-show), Big Macintosh/Cheerilee (which was resolved ambiguously enough to tease future possibility only later to get jossed by Big Mac/Sugar Belle), and Lyra/Bon Bon (who became an Official Couple after years of Ship Tease) have any factual basis whatsoever in-canon. Some of them haven't even met! Just shows how much the fans look into this show.
    • There's even a fanfic called Shipping Goggles that parodies all this.
    • The Japanese fandom was particularly big on this. Look Before You Sleep was tagged "Yuri" on Nico Nico Douga at one point.
    • The four Mane 6-centered pairings which tend to be most "pushed" by the show are AppleDash (Applejack + Rainbow Dash), FlutterDash (Fluttershy + Rainbow Dash), RariJack (Rarity + Applejack), and Flarity/RariShy (Fluttershy + Rarity). These are easily the most common pairings of characters in episodes, and when the group ends up in pairs, it is VERY likely that Applejack will end up with either Rarity or Rainbow Dash, and whoever she doesn't end up with will probably end up with Fluttershy. Every one of these pairings has had at least one episode which focuses on them, and several have had multiple episodes which featured them pretty strongly. These episodes are always purely platonic in nature, but it doesn't stop the fans at all.
      • RariJack shows up extremely often, and is the most popular mane 6 ship that *doesn't* involve Rainbow Dash. It first showed up in "Look Before You Sleep", where the two characters spent the entire episode being catty towards each other, stoking the fires of shippers believing they had extreme UST. In "The Best Night Ever", the only two of the mane six who interact significantly outside of the beginning and ending are Applejack and Rarity, when Applejack gives Rarity free food because her date sucks. "Sisterhooves Social" found Applejack giving Rarity advice on being a good big sister. They ended up defending the Crystal Heart together in "The Crystal Empire", and the end of the episode also gave the shippers this. Rarity was the one to help Applejack in "Magical Mystery Cure". They try to keep Discord away from Twilight in "Three's A Crowd". And then they got another episode of being extremely catty towards each other in the form of "Simple Ways". They ended up setting out into the fair together in "Trade Ya", and yet AGAIN get in an argument and try to prove that they're the better friend to the other, as well as being very catty at the end of the episode, and in "Applejack's Day Off" when the two decide to go to the spa together. Several of the writers have admitted that they enjoy writing the two together because their personalities bounce off of each other so well, which probably only adds fuel to the fire.
      • Word of God is that the Equestria Girls staff deliberately wrote them as a couple, but left it just ambiguous enough so it could be interpreted as them simply being close friends.
      • FlutterDash also shows up frequently, possibly because the two are childhood friends, as established in "Cutie Mark Chronicles". Fluttershy is the only person who can initially go to cheer on Rainbow Dash in the Best Young Flyer's competition in "Sonic Rainboom", and very frequently supports Rainbow Dash in her endeavors. In "May the Best Pet Win", Fluttershy is so overjoyed with Rainbow Dash wanting a pet she tries to pick her up and carry her off - unsuccessfully, because Fluttershy is not a very good flier. "Hearth's Warming Eve" had them as Commander Hurricane and Private Pansy in a play, dressed up in Greco-Roman type armor. Rainbow Dash pulls Fluttershy out of bed in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" (embarassing her in the process about the fact that she is naked under the sheets, despite the fact that she is ALWAYS naked) to get in line early for cider, and lets her stand in front of her in line for the stuff, despite desperately desiring it. "Hurricane Fluttershy" turns this around, with Rainbow Dash urging Fluttershy to be the best she can be. Rainbow Dash saves Fluttershy in the changeling fight in "A Canterlot Wedding", and when she helps her up, the overlap of their noses combined with a "swoosh" sound effect led many with shipping goggles to believe that Rainbow Dash had given her a little kiss on the nose to reassure her. "The Crystal Empire" found Rainbow Dash dragging off Fluttershy in order to compete with her in jousting, then going easy on her after a round because Fluttershy was scared. Well, a bit easier - she has a reputation to maintain, after all. Fluttershy was the one to help out Rainbow Dash in "Magical Mystery Cure". And finally, in "Trade Ya", she spends the entire episode helping out Rainbow Dash instead of doing what she came there to do, and in the end gives up her own opportunity to trade (and indeed, offers to give up several months of her life) in order to make Rainbow Dash happy... only for Rainbow Dash to realize that is a totally horrible idea because Fluttershy is way more important to her than any old, rare book. (Though the episode has the unfortunate implication that Fluttershy is treated as Rainbow Dash's personal property, and used as a bargaining chip in a deal with someone else.)
      • AppleDash is another very common grouping for the characters, particularly because they're the two most athletic characters. This results in them competing against each other on several occasions, most notably "Fall Weather Friends", where they spend the entire episode in an athletic competition with each other, and in "Castle Mane-ia", where they are trying to determine which of them is the most daring pony - and where, when Rarity accidentally grabs Rainbow Dash through the wall, Rainbow Dash assumes that Applejack put her hoof around her shoulders because she was scared. The fact that both are tomboys definitely doesn't help things, given the various stereotypes around tomboys being lesbians, and it is only further reinforced on many occasions where the two end up helping each other out and the innumerable arguments and smaller competitions they get into, from the hoof-wrestling match in "Ticket Master" to the argument they have over leaving Twilight behind in "Princess Twilight Sparkle". Rainbow Dash pulls Applejack into a picture in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" (which some folks decided was a kiss, because the camera flashed as Rainbow Dash pulled Applejack towards her, grinning). Rainbow Dash at first tries to help out Applejack in "The Crystal Empire" before she is sent away to be a distraction. Finally, one of the last scenes of the series has the two arrive at Twilight's castle together while arguing about chores in a manner Word of God states was written to be deliberately ambiguous.
      • RariShy is the last of the four most common pairings, and comes up on many occasions. "Green Isn't Her Color" features them going out to the spa together on a regular basis, and Rarity getting jealous of Fluttershy getting all the attention that she so craves - and feeling terribly guilty about it and wanting to protect her from scorn when things DO eventually go badly for her. The much later "Filli Vanilli" has Rarity in a supportive role, encouraging Fluttershy, with her beautiful voice, to join the Ponytones quartet, and then later helping her make up excuses to sing more often, even while hiding away backstage due to Big Mac's sore throat. Rarity tries to teach Fluttershy how to stand up for herself in "Putting Your Hoof down". The two go into the castle together in "Castle Mane-ia", and despite Rarity having a very poor reason for going out there, Fluttershy sticks with her (though Fluttershy is a bit of a doormat - if she had a middle name, it would be "Welcome").
      • An honorable mention must go to PinkieDash (Pinkie Pie x Rainbow Dash), not because of its prevalence (though the two do end up enjoying hanging out with each other on several occasions) but because in both "Griffon the Brushoff" and "Wonderbolts Academy", Pinkie Pie is very eager to spend time with Rainbow Dash; in the former, she wants to hang out with Rainbow Dash all the time, even when Rainbow Dash is trying to hang out with her old friend Gilda (who, for her part, seems very eager to spend one on one time with Rainbow Dash - a fact to which Rainbow Dash is completely oblivious), and in the latter, she is very worried about Rainbow Dash forgetting about her forever, and spends all her time checking the mailbox constantly for a letter from Rainbow Dash. (In-universe, Pinkie Pie is often depicted as worrying that her friends will forget about her or end their friendship. An episode which had Fluttershy leaving Ponyville for a few days and taking the train, depicted Pinkie running after the train and acting as they will never see each other again. It is used as a running gag, but emphasizes Pinkie's insecurity.)
      • Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail are so close it's widely seen as romantic despite Word of God stating they're "Friends" and their interactions never having the blushing the show uses to signify romantic intreats and their other interactions are given non-romanic explanations in context.
      • Smolder x Ocellus due in part that the rest of the Student Six have had Ship Tease with each other. In fact, they were briefly the page image for Pair the Spares until it was pointed out they were never actually paired in-work.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Discord/Chrysalis has quickly gained steam despite the only thing connecting them is their ability to shapeshift and their threat to Equestria. Note that the two of them were later depicted as enemies in the two-part episodes "To Where and Back Again" and "The Ending of the End".
    • Spike gives an Almost Kiss to Applejack while fantasizing about Rarity in "A Dog And Pony Show", and now the AppleSpike pairing has become highly popular. The massage Spike gives Applejack in "Spike At Your Service" has just added more fuel to this fire.
    • Soarin' once bought an apple pie from Applejack. This alone is the basis for the rather popular Applejack/Soarin' ship.
    • Rainbow Dash briefly saving Soarin's life in "Sonic Rainboom" and his pie in "The Best Night Ever" has automatically made the two of them into a popular couple. The picture of them together at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding", plus Rainbow Dash saving Soarin' again in "Rainbow Falls" and then talking to him later has also added some fuel.
    • Also on the Soarin' ship is Braeburn, who has, as far as can be determined, never even been in the same city as Soarin', much less met him.
    • Spitfire and Braeburn is very popular among the fandom, even though Spitfire's had the same amount of of screentime with Braeburn (ie, none whatsoever) that her teammate has had.
    • Twilight/Trixie has quite the fan following, even though they barely, if ever, spoke to each other in "Boast Busters." Of course, the show later gave the shippers all of "Magic Duel" to play with in season 3 , too.
    • Vinyl Scratch and Octavia have never appeared in the same scene, episode, or even city together. They do share a trading card that suggests that maybe they know each other somehow, but that's not a lot to go on. Doesn't stop people from shipping them.
      • Later on, they appeared together briefly in only one scene in the fifth season episode "Bloom and Gloom", but it was in Sweetie Belle's nightmare. In the 100th episode "Slice of Life", it turns out that they are both roommates.
    • Nightmare Rarity only appears in an arc of the comic. Spike's adult self only appears for only part of a single episode of the television show. Despite not even appearing in the same medium, Nightmare Sparity is widely considered the most metal ship in the franchise.
    • "Mauxie" (Maud Pie x Trixie) is a pretty popular ship. The only thing they have in common is that Trixie spent a short time working on the Pie family's rock farm.
    • Opalescence's slap slap nuzzle to Tank has led to fans shipping the two together.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Try and ship Lyra Heartstrings with someone besides Bon Bon, or vice versa. It may not end well...
    • When the episode synopsis of "Hearts and Hooves Day" was released, Twimac and Fluttermac (and perhaps Caramac) shippers started to go on the war path due the possibility of Big Mac/Cheerilee becoming canon. The episode ends with a very ambiguous Maybe Ever After.
      • Although the Caramac shippers were still on the warpath after the CMC song about finding Cheerilee a date showed Caramel with a girlfriend. It doesn't help that even for those who don't pair him with Big Mac, Fanon in general tends to portray Caramel as a coltcuddler.
      • The Season 5 episode adds more fuel to "Big Mac Shipping" fire in the form of Pinkie's twin sister (and quite possibly a distant cousin of Big Mac), Marble Pie.
    • The Hub released an image of "A Canterlot Wedding" that shows what looks likes to some as Rarity flirting with Fancy Pants. Spike/Rarity shippers began to mobilize the fleets.
      • Although that might be neutralized by another picture that shows Spike dancing with Rarity's little sister Sweetie Belle. Then again, it might add more fuel to the fire in the eyes of the Spike/Rarity shippers.
  • So Bad, It's Good:
    • Out of all the sucky outfits the other ponies forced Rarity to make in "Suited For Success", fans generally agree that Rainbow Dash's really did look cool. They just don't agree on who that helmet reminds them of: Spartans? The Rocketeer? Flash Gordon? Magneto? Judge Dredd? Space Marines? Sangheili Elites?
      • Her helmet seemed to be re-used for her Commander Hurricane role in "Hearth's Warming Eve", however.
      • That is to say, cool for a superhero. For a formal dance... perhaps not so much. Then again, her reason for attending was to crash the Wonderbolts' performance with her flying moves, so it makes sense she initially thought the dress would work.
    • The live show at the 2011 Calgary Stampede. Unfortunately, unlike the other examples, this is not Stylistic Suck.
    • Twilight's very awkward dance from "Sweet and Elite."
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • Consensus on Season 6. It's generally seen as a "meh" season, since a lot of its episodes were criticized for being less interesting and memorable than average. Still, it's not exactly considered terrible, since it did have a few widely-liked episodes.
    • The opinion of many fans about "Owl's Well That Ends Well", largely because it aired a week after the more widely-loved episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • Some fans also felt this way about "The Best Night Ever", while others thought the episode was awesome. Amusingly enough, part of the lesson for that episode was not getting your expectations up too high.
    • Back when "Look Before You Sleep" first aired, the reaction was so lukewarm that most fans just went back to discussing "Dragonshy" until "Bridle Gossip" aired.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • "Magical Mystery Cure". You know that there's going to be more coming when it looks like the problem's solved and everything's going to be all fine and dandy...with a third of the episode left.
    • In Inspiration Manifestation, Rarity has made her creative contribution to the Foal and Filly Fair, nothing bad has happened, and she's about to return the book to Spike...and at this point, we're only eight minutes into the episode. She decides to hold onto the book for just a little while longer...
    • "Crusaders of the Lost Mark": The episode's selling conflict, a class president election between Diamond Tiara and Pipsqueak, only takes up the first half of the episode, with Diamond Tiara cementing her Heel–Face Turn a few minutes afterward.
  • Squick:
    • One pony at the party in "Call of the Cutie" drinking straight from the punch bowl instead of using the ladle provided.
      • There's also Pinkie Pie's party in "Party of One" with Gummy the alligator swimming in the punch bowl.
    • The "baked bads" from "Applebuck Season"; muffins made with lemon juice and live earthworms, among other things. Mmmm, tasty.
    • Rarity stuffing her head in a garbage can in "Party of One". She wasn't the only one trying not to throw up.
    • The way the parasprites reproduce. Apparently, they barf out their babies.
      • Which they appear to have been doing inside of Fluttershy's and Twilight Sparkle's manes.
    • Rarity's pruned hoof in "Green Isn't Your Color".
      • That is nothing compared to her entire face pruned in "Applejack’s 'Day' Off".
    • Flutterhulk from "Power Ponies" can be this for some viewers.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To most of the previous My Little Pony incarnations, but especially G3 and G3.5.
  • Superlative Dubbing: Of all the languages My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic got dubbed in, many bronies consider the Polish dub to be the best, even with its flaws. Exhibit A and Exhibit B. The Japanese dub is also very well received (despite being Edited for Syndication), especially with the amount of Woolseyisms they were able to incorporate.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The lead up to the "Royal Wedding" made many fans angry over just about everything. Of course, most fans agreed it was much better than expected.
    • "Magical Mystery Cure", on the other hand, was incredibly divisive before airing due to its use of Nothing Is the Same Anymore, and remains fairly divisive to this day, although not entirely because of Princess Twilight.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • From season 3 onwards, Angel has been the number one victim of this trope.
    • In the episode "Too Many Pinkie Pies", one of the Pinkie Pie clones turns her face into a G3 pony's face only to get zapped and killed by Twilight Sparkle. This is even more noticeable in an ad for Season 3 in which Rarity and Fluttershy react to the face with disgust.
    • Snips and Snails get their just desserts in "Magic Duel" when they are abused by Trixie, whose cart they ended up wrecking through their own stupidity in her first appearance.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • The flexible art style has resulted in a number of cute moments. See: Fluttershy.
    • Any time Pinkie Pie starts singing. Thankfully, her songs are presented in an ironic fashion; breaking into song impromptu is one of Pinkie Pie's personality quirks in-universe. The rest of the cast reacts appropriately ("Tell me she's not..." "She is."). Thus, instead of being the Narm that one might expect from this franchise, this subtle Fourth Wall lampshading allows the Periphery Demographic to feel at ease watching the show.
    • You think Pinkie Pie's songs are that? When Fluttershy sings, it's the equivalent of syrup flooding the room!
    • In general, watching this show has been known to cause cavities. Try as it might, the show still cannot resist being cute and adorable.
    • The fact that the six main ponies have had nervous breakdowns tends to lessen the sweetness.
    • The whole show could be considered a huge subversion/aversion (compared to expectations), which is why it has the popularity and fanbase that it does.
    • Still, the theme song... Let's just say it remains embarrassing.
      • Some people think it's okay. That said, some people do feel a need to turn down the volume when someone's in the room for the theme song (although the sound for it being balanced louder than the rest of the show might have something to do with that).
      • When the Teens React show used the intro, the reaction from both the teens and the bronies responding to that was fairly predictable.
    • The ending to "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" was even further on the sweet side than usual for this show, but well-written enough for come off as a Heartwarming Moment. It didn't stop Scootaloo and Spike from Lamp Shading how sappy it was, though.
      Spike: Gross! When did you get so cheesy?
  • Testosterone Brigade: The famous bronies.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some Slice of Life fans who were drawn to the show by season 1 also feels this way about season 2.
    • The pony names from the toys (which in most cases only Jossed Fan Nicknames rather than changing previously-established official names). To say that the fans weren't happy is understating things.
    • Some Japanese fans are upset at the fact that the Japanese version will be using different opening and ending themes, preferring that they use the original theme songs. One fan even made a "Hitler Reacts" video in frustration.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Season 4 arc involving the Equestria Games missed a great opportunity, with no related episodes airing during the real-world Olympics.
      • This may stem from the show's elongated production schedule, in which the final script for an average 22-minute episode of the show is locked approximately 15-18 months before its airdate. Applying this to context, the initial arc and episode premises constituting the Equestria Games arc (as part of Season 4 as a whole) were most likely planned during mid-2012 (concurrent with the period the legitimate 2012 Olympics occurred within), with the scripts for said episodes being written, developed and eventually locked a matter of months later, which, while technically still a missed opportunity, renders the missed deadline somewhat more excusable.
    • A minor example; When Chrysalis is confronted by everyone at the end of "To Where and Back Again", Thorax's antlers are shown glowing, implying that he is preparing a magical attack. This aspect of Thorax's new form is never brought up again.
    • A number of episodes from the later seasons tend to fall into this territory on a subjective level - "Surf and/or Turf" introduces an allegory for divorce, a unique and potentially compelling issue for the show to tackle, as its main plot, yet barely explores this conflict in favor of a basic disagreement between Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle and an overly idealized Golden Ending, "Molt Down" brings up the possibility of Spike being expelled from Twilight's castle (possibly as a duty) following his entrance into 'dragon puberty' during the first act prior to sacrificing any further insights into this conflict almost entirely (asides from one brief handwave at the end) for cliched puberty jokes and a relatively rote monster attack and "Marks and Recreation" finally suggests introspection into a character with a negative philosophical view on cutie marks before bailing on this premise altogether by exposing their view as a simple deflection/result of an overdone sibling plot and therefore neglecting any further groundwork for the more original narrative an exploration of the episode's original point could have resulted in.
    • In "Marks for Effort", Twilight makes the Cutie Mark Crusaders official "friendship tutors" for her school. This could have led to some CMC/Young Six interactions, and an episode or two revolving around this new vocation. Instead, it never becomes relevant again. The CMCs are never shown tutoring any students, and their position is only mentioned once, in "The Last Crusade". The closest it ever gets to being important is when Sandbar goes to them for help in "School Raze".
    • Another example is Discord's plan to create a villian alliance as yet another Trickster Mentor antic to rise Twilight's confidence before her coronation as an actual ruler. Instead, he could have planned for reforming the villians by teaching them friendship (especially since he encouraged the villain alliance to become friends so they could beat the Mane Six while he was Grogar) to show Twilight how almighty her teachings are, and then when it backfired it could have shown that sometimes friendship doesn't stop somebody from being evil.
    • In response to statements saying that the show is running on creative fumes as of Season 9, many beg to differ with multiple locations like the Crystal Empire, Saddle Arabia and Mustangia not getting any significant spotlight. Not to mention, the aftermath and implications of the 2017 movie which was never even touched on after its Dance Party Ending despite it being the perfect follow-up.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The season finales following the Season 4 finale "Twilight's Kingdom" are this, with the two-parter being seen as having the best combination of action pieces, big character moments, adventure elements, stakes, and shake-ups to the show's dynamic than any season finale before or since. Season 5's "The Cutie Re-Mark" is viewed as much more subdued and anti-climactic in comparison, with any shared elements being done to lesser effect, the Mane Five and other major characters being demoted to background characters being something of a disappointment, and Starlight Glimmer's Freudian Excuse (and the resolution which results) being viewed unfavorably. Season 6's "To Where and Back Again" is even more underwhelming, having even less action and cinematic feel, a lack of the main characters in favor of Starlight leading some of the supporting characters in saving the day, and said group having no means of fighting back against the Big Bad until the very end, where Only the Author Can Save Them Now. Season 7 and Season 8's finales only got more divisive.
    • Season 5 in general is seen as a tough act to follow to Season 4, which was seen as a return to form for the show. From the aforementioned characters, Starlight Glimmer, and the Season finale, Season 5 is a hot point of contention because of the lack of any of the interesting arcs and stories Season 4 hadnote  The mid-season hiatus didn't help matters either.
    • Season 6 got hit with this even worse. While still considered a decent season by the fandom, it was criticized for the overarching plot of Starlight Glimmer's redemption, not having enough standout episodes and a lot of the episodes suffering from poor comedy (including an over-reliance on cartoonish faces as the crux of jokes, sometimes multiple times within a single episode, to the extent where even scenes intended to play out seriously accidentally devolve into dumb jokes) and They Copied It, So It Sucks!.
  • Toy Ship:
    • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Spike has apparently been paired off with each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders (especially Apple Bloom), and some of their classmates in certain parts of the fandom.
      • The fact that Spike and Sweetie Belle were shown dancing together at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2" helps. In many stories he gravitates toward her after being rejected by Rarity, or being reminded that he has no chance with Rarity in the future with explanation.
    • Apple Bloom is shipped with Spike, Featherweight, Diamond Tiara (mixed with Foe Yay), and Snips, as mentioned below.
    • Snails/Twist has gained some popularity for the combined Adorkable factor.
      • Snails/Diamond Tiara has a bit of a following.
      • Twist/Truffle Shuffle, stemmed from "Hearts and Hooves Day".
    • And now Apple Bloom/Snips is gaining some steam, ever since "The Cutie Pox".
    • Pipsqueak/Dinky for some reason has become popular. Theme Pairing, perhaps?
    • Scootaloo and Rumble.
    • Shipping any of the CMC's together is pretty popular, as is shipping all three together.
    • Snips/Snails have been shipped together.
    • Since she got her cutie mark in "Bloom and Gloom", Babs Seed has been shipped with Snips.
    • Apple Bloom has been shipped with Tender Taps from "On Your Marks" by fans.
    • After "The Times They Are A Changeling", it didn't take long for fans to ship Spike and Thorax together. At the very least, this means slashfics involving pairings with the Mane Cast in them probably won't leave him out anymore.
    • It's pretty common for fan works to portray Silver Spoon as having feelings for Diamond Tiara. Sometimes Diamond returns her affections, sometimes she doesn't.
    • Sweetie Belle and Button Mash, a background pony whose canon interaction with Sweetie Belle is limited to a single scene where she sings at him, saying he's too young for Cheerilee. One ask blog, one fan-animation and one parody of a parody later, Button Mash became one of the most popular shipmates for Sweetie Belle.
    • It didn't take long for Princess Flurry Heart to be shipped with Pound Cake after her introduction.
    • Shipping Cozy Glow with Flurry Heart or Diamond Tiara isn't uncommon.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Ursa Major cuddling its Ursa Minor cub? Equal parts hideous and precious.
    • The Cockatrice too. Half-chicken, half-snake, all vicious and with glowing red eyes that turn people to stone... and yet it's weirdly adorable.
    • With her braces and ugly 80's style, younger Cheerilee was definitely less attractive than her current adult self.
    • Even the vultures are adorable and Fluttershy loves them.
    • Snips and Snails also count.
    • Discord, a hodge-podge of critters, can be this.
    • Some fans have hoped and prayed for a return appearance of the Diamond Dogs for this very reason.
    • What about the scraggly, doe-eyed mule in brief appearances in "Applebuck Season" and "Hurricane Fluttershy"?
    • Queen Chrysalis may count due to her enormous green eyes and Cute Little Fangs.
      • As well as her changeling army, to a certain degree.
    • Tank, Rainbow Dash's pet tortoise. "Aww, look. He even smiles slow."
    • Flutterhulk from Power Ponies can be considered this, particularly when she sheepishly apologizes for destroying Mane-iac's hairspray cannon.
    • The Chimera sisters who made their debut in "Somepony to watch over me" are perhaps among the freakiest monsters the show's thrown at us, yet they can be surprisingly adorable in some scenes, what with their interaction which is quite similar to that of quarreling younger siblings.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Fluttershy has been considered this both in-universe and out. With the latter, characters in the show who have slighted her will gain the wrath of the fanbase, most notably with Gilda in her debut episode, Fluttershy's pet Angel (Especially in the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down") and Pinkie Pie in the episode "Filli Vanilli".
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The pony's faces look extremely human-like when viewed from the front, and can look quite unsettling to first-time viewers... And then designs for Equestria Girls came in...
    • These ponies are easily the most expressive ones of the franchise, and it certainly shows whenever they are particularly scared or in extreme distress. While many of their over-the-top faces can be pretty hilarious, other are either downright bizarre or hideous-looking. It doesn't help that the ponies have been making more weird faces on an even more frequent basis in the most recent seasons of the show.
    • The artwork in the Expanded Universe picture book Under the Sparkling Sea sometimes falls under this. Mary Jane Begin is a good artist, and to her credit the illustrations are wonderfully painted, but her detailed pseudo-realistic art style doesn't mesh well with the cartoonish character designs (most evident with faces).
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Derpy Hooves appearing as Rainbow Dash's replacement in the episode "Rainbow Falls". One of her previous appearances had sparked off a massive controversy that resulted in the character being absent from season three and all the released episodes of season four up to that point, leaving most of the fanbase to assume that she had been removed from the show completely. Compounding the surprise is the fact that aside from one or two extremely vague hints from the staff, none of the show's promotional materials so much as hinted that the character would be returning.
    • Cherry Jubilee of all ponies sits among the princesses and delegates in Equestria Games.
    • Tirek (or at least a character heavily based off him) returning in Twilight's Kingdom. For reference not only was it believed Hasbro had lost the rights to a lot of their old properties, Tirek hadn't been seen in the franchise for thirty years since the original G1 pilot.
    • Scorpan, here reimagined as Tirek's brother, also counts, due to having less a role in the original story than Tirek, but here being the one responsible for his original defeat.
  • Unfortunate Implications: One magazine seemed to cherry-pick the show for this. Faust was quick to rebut this as Everyone Is Satan in Hell.
  • Vanilla Protagonist:
    • Twilight to some degree in the first season. Most of her role focused more on her Fish out of Water status as a way to develop Ponyville's customs and civilians, having less personality centric episodes than the other five. Season Two onwards averted this, not only by finally giving Twilight episodes entirely devoted to her own personality and story arc as a student to Celestia, but also demoting her slightly for more an Ensemble Cast setup.
    • Starting with the second season Applejack developed into a more down-to-earth Team Mom role, and typically acts as a more "normal" Foil to other characters.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The Japanese dub completely changed "Griffon the Brush Off"'s aesop from "rather than try to influence who your friends spend time with, you yourself should try to be a good friend, and trust that the true face of a false friend will eventually be revealed through their behavior" to "if someone's being mean, don't retaliate." However, both these lessons are useful and can actually work hand in hand: jumping the gun and retaliating immediately will only get in the way of the truth revealing itself.
    • The Japanese dub also toned down Rainbow Dash's arrogant behavior, making here more of an Adaptational Nice Guy, especially in "Boast Busters", where the moral is to not to be arrogant. This is because arrogance is viewed especially negatively in Japan, and if one of the heroes were to be shown to be too prideful in their abilities, then this could cast them in bad light.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • There have been two ponies so far (Lickety Split from "Secret of My Excess" and the young earth pony who gets a bowling Cutie Mark at the beginning of "The Cutie Pox") who have male-looking head shapes, but also have eyelashes which are only visible when their eyes are closed or not fully open.
    • Scootaloo and Babs Seed. Both have short hair and rather masculine demeanour and voices. About the only giveaway as to their real gender are the very short eyelashes carried by both of them.
    • Viewers who didn't know about Derpy prior to The Last Roundup wouldn't be blamed for thinking her (original) voice was that of a male. Tabitha St. Germain who voiced her even said she didn't know she was a girl and that the voice was inspired by a neighbor's son.
    • Rainbow Dash can qualify for this. Besides being primarily blue (a typically masculine color), she often behaves in a boyish manner and is voiced with a classic example of the young-boy-portrayed-by-female-voice-actor voice. You could probably come up with a good Drinking Game. Just take a swig every time you have to correct yourself for thinking of Rainbow as a him.
    • Also, many fans usually mistake Angel Bunny for a female rabbit.
    • Lil Cheese, Pinkie and Cheese's future son, was mistaken as a filly by a lot of people, due to having eyelashes, which only mares and fillies tend to have. He's a colt though, the team just gave him eyelashes to make him look cuter.
  • Vindicated by History: Some early episodes concerning continuity changes were criticised for being too quick and lacking proper focus, especially in Season Three. Seasons Four and Five seem to be devoted to furthering the development of these arcs, making said episodes more enjoyable taken as mere pivots than the entire story. "Keep Calm and Flutter On" (concerning the start of Discord's Heel–Face Turn) is a key example.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Scenes that deserve special mention are Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, Princess Cadence and Shining Armor's love spell, the underground cave Queen Chrysalis traps Twilight in, the pegasus-powered water tornado in "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight's transformation sequence in "Magical Mystery Cure", Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" and the shot of the Cutie Mark Crusaders running against a sunset backdrop in "Flight to the Finish".
    • There are also many instances where the possibilities of Flash are used very cleverly. For instance, populating backgrounds with more or less randomly-generated ponies rather than using Faceless Masses.
      • Not to mention that these background ponies aren't just standing motionless in the background either. Looking closely in the background one can see them blinking, shifting and moving slightly, and talking to eachother.
    • And if what we have seen of season 4 so far is any indication, the animation quality is set to just keep improving. A particularly noticable change between seasons is that now, when there are close shots of characters, the backgrounds actually have depth of field!. We had seen depth of field tricks occasionally beforehand (Usually shifting depth of field from foreground to background), but now it seems to have become the norm for closeup shots.
    • With the Season 4 Finale, let's just say it's obvious where a fair chunk of Season 4's budget went. The effects in these two episodes are some of the greatest yet seen.
  • Wangst:
    • Played for laughs in "Suited For Success". After Rarity's fashion show ended in disaster (thanks to trying too hard to give her friends "perfect" dresses), suffering a brutal review by a fashion critic and getting laughed at by the other ponies, she locked herself in her shop and cried out in shame and depression. This one may actually be justified, since she just wanted to please her friends, since they didn't like the dresses she made, and she didn't know that the fashion show would end up in disaster.
    Rarity: Leave me alone! I vant to be alone! I want to wallow in... whatever it is that ponies are supposed to wallow in! Do ponies wallow in pity? Oh, listen to me! I don't even know what I'm supposed to wallow in! I'm so PATHETIC!!!
    • Rarity is the master of trope, but Twilight can wangst something fierce too.
    • Rainbow Dash's reaction to Fluttershy's failed attempt at reassuring her in "Sonic Rainboom":
      Rainbow Dash: AAAUUGH! What do I do?! Everypony's going to see me fail! The Wonderbolts will never let a loser like me join! Princess Celestia would probably banish me to the Everfree Forest! MY LIFE IS RUINED!
  • Watch It for the Meme: This is generally how many fans started watching the show. Namely, many looked for the Lyra or Derpy Hooves memes.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!
    • Season 4 has been accused of this, due to references to internet memes from a pony with a Grumpy Cat cutie mark in "Rarity Takes Manehattan" to a ponified Slender Man appearing in the background of "Pinkie Apple Pie". note 
    • The majority of episodes from the more recent (6-9) seasons have sporadically undergone criticism for their heavy presence of shoehorned unusually detailed and over-the-top facial expressions, a number of which come off as an attempt to push new memetic 'reaction faces' onto the fandom.
    • Pinkie Pie's rap number in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" appears to be a parody of this trope.
      Pinkie: Commander Easyglider was the real cream of the crop—
      Twilight: Pinkie! Stop rapping! That isn't gonna help Rainbow!
      Pinkie: Well I suggest you put down your silly cards of flash
      For I know that they cannot help our good friend Rainbow Dash!
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Every time she used her adult walker, Granny Smith was the butt of a joke.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • After the comparatively lukewarm reception of season 3, season 4 was largely heralded as a welcome return to form, as despite its own share of less popular episodes, it featured an unprecedented level of forward planning and nods to the fans.
    • After the divisive reactions to Season 6, Season 7 saw popular writer duo Kristine Songco and Joanna Lewis take over as story editors. Reception during their tenure has been very positive; many fans have felt the show has gathered a better input of new writers this time around while still making good use of the staff that came aboard in the previous season, with the seventh season including several worldbuilding and backstory elements that many viewers have been hoping to see for years and a strong focus on the season's theme of family, to the point that several episodes in the season such as "Shadow Play", "Parental Glideance," "A Royal Problem," and "The Perfect Pear" have been strong contenders for many to be some of the best episodes in the show's entire run.

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