- Accidental Aesop: Pharynx's transformation doesn't come out of a sweeping, formal decision to accept the new changeling way — it just sort of happens when he declares his love for the hive and and his brother. If anything, he seems more surprised than anyone. Point being, there is a myriad of different ways to show love.
- Author's Saving Throw:
- While Pharynx does transform in the end, his hide is given a much darker tone, making him look far less garish than the rest of the Changelings.
- It's brought up during the Feelings Forum that Changelings can be any color they want to be (the Changeling in question who is told this, however, feels she would be living a lie by doing this).
- Broken Base: Given the divisive nature of the transformed Changelings, this is inevitable; those who found the whole business hokey and narmy (or just don't like the new designs) aren't keen on being force-fed a second helping, while others are happy to have Thorax back and eager to see how this plays out. In addition, the fact that this is yet another Starlight-centric episode has annoyed fans who believe Spike should have this role since he was Thorax's first friend, while others counter that Starlight helped Thorax to transform and thus has a stake in the fate of the Changelings and belongs here.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Pharynx. He's hilariously Darker and Edgier, he's a genuine Jerk with a Heart of Gold whose concern about his people's ability to act is actually understandable, and his post-transformation appearance is regarded as cool and Dark Is Not Evil.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Pharynx's rude and violent behavior towards the rest of the hive, and to Thorax as a kid, was all to get them to toughen up and stop being so wimpy. Additionally, he helped Thorax drive away the maulwurf by playing the "stop hitting yourself" trick on it that he used on Thorax as a child. Thus some have taken the episode's resolution to condone bullying, as it was Pharynx's bullying tactics that saved the day and in doing so vindicated his behavior.
- Fanfic Fuel:
- With Pharynx now as the lord protector of the Hive, one must wonder what the New Changeling Guards will look like under his direction (and if some of those Guards regain a little bit of their old warrior edge, would their coats darken again to denote this?).
- If there comes a time when Changeling Cuisine is exported outside the Changeling Kingdom, there's gonna be a large abundance of mixed reactions among the ponies of Equestria who might be curious enough to see and try them. What would Pinkie Pie and many other connoisseurs make of it?
- Pharynx secretly loves his brother even though he hides it under a gruff and abrasive exterior. So what did Pharynx and Thorax talk about before the latter had to go with Chrysalis to invade Canterlot? How long did it take for Pharynx to realize Thorax wasn't coming back to the hive? And how bad did Pharynx's anxiety get over Thorax being out there all alone by himself?
- Given Fluttershy's love for nature, if she were to visit the Changeling Kingdom and see how much Thorax and the New Changelings are in tune with themselves and all of the thriving plant life, Fluttershy and Thorax could really hit it off with their friendship and become really close to each other.
- Fanon: Given the behaviour of the counsellor changeling in Feelings Forum, some speculate that Tree Hugger may have passed by and "assisted" with the changeling reformation which might explain how the Forum became like this.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: If the designs of the transformed Changelings didn't make fans cringe before, then their more peaceful activities (ranging from arts and crafts to talking about their feelings) probably will, to the point where some fans would probably side with Pharynx. Given the ending revealing that Pharynx did have a point about the hive going too soft, this may have been intentional.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- In "Triple Threat", Thorax stated that there's an entire faction of rogue changelings. This episode states that he won over nearly all of them... completely offscreen, leaving Pharynx as the sole outlier. This makes the plot more intimate, but it may have been more interesting to have to contend with an entire rogue faction with Pharynx as its leader.
- The plot could've also been solved by Thorax being told that the new changelings' way of life is too peaceful (given their plan to stop the maulwurf is to lure it away) and that Pharynx does have a point in his defense for the hive (given that even the "peaceful" ponies do have royal guards), but add that it doesn't validate his violent disposition with the rest of his kind. However, this was probably not in-character for Starlight or Trixie.note
- The conflict of Thorax basically being resistant to friendship wouldn't have been out of place as a Map episode.
YMMV / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S7 E19 "To Change a Changeling"