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  • Badass Decay: Discord gets hit with the Butt-Monkey stick big time, but thankfully it stays comedic enough to not be too noticeable of a problem. It's also enforced in-universe in that he has a runic collar that prevents him from going too far overboard with the chaos.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Early in the story Luna rebukes Applejack's concerns about making everyone immortal being unnatural by saying "should we abandon medicine because it thwarts the natural order." Come the Windy City arc it turns out that the medical community showcases that exact mindset with the physically handicapped, to the point that doctors actually providing prosthetics to assist them is viewed as a hate crime.
    • The above gets combined with an already horrific event in canon, namely Fluttershy's fall in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". It used to be tradition among Pegasi to literally bump off disabled foals and poor fliers and even though said tradition has supposedly stopped, there's still no guardrails in cloud cities and no adults watching the edges of the foundation clouds to prevent accidents; this not only explains why no one came to help Fluttershy but likely why Scootaloo lives in Ponyville; under said conditions, the latter probably wouldn't have survived to get her Cutie Mark and it's only sheer luck that prevented the former's death.
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    • In one of his footnotes in the very first chapter, Ralph Hayes Jr. says "Starswirl the Bearded, I suspect, was a jerkass". Years later comes the finale of season 7, and indeed, Starswirl shows himself to be a jerkass (more specifically, Jerk with a Heart of Gold).
    • This story establishes that Discord must wear a collar that keeps him in check as part of his probation. In-canon, nothing was ever done to limit his powers so that he could wreak havoc unopposed whenever he appeared and avoid any consequences for his actions, ultimately resulting in the Series Finale where Equestria was nearly destroyed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Ponyville Library gets blown up by the Mane Six's ascension. Flashforward to "Twilight's Kingdom", and the show deals away with the library in a similar manner.
    • Luna is Pinkie Pie's mentor; in the My Little Pony: Friends Forever comics, Pinkie became Luna's comedy mentor.
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    • Bishi is basically a Distaff Counterpart to his big sister (and popular with the fans to boot, not to mention the Cutie Mark Crusaders) and their parents have similar personalities to their children, with their mother growing extremely exotic (as-in "could eat a pony and/or Angel") plants. In "Flutter Brutter", Fluttershy's younger brother is a lazy mooch (that many fans can't stand) and their parents are so meek they make Fluttershy look like a drill sergeant in comparison.
    • In Chapter two, Rainbow Dash mentions that she does not want to go for 1000 years without "intimate male companionship". Come the Windy City Arc, she tries flirting with Mach, only to be horrified when she finds out that he is underage.
    • Mach One and Tempest Shadow share an eerily similar reason for being cynical; namely, the loss of their respective species' signature appendages note . Both are also, notably, capable in spite of their disabilities. This is despite Mach being first introduced in the story long before The Movie was even released in theaters.
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    • Iron Will is reintroduced having genuinely had a change of heart, opened a dojo, and taken in Bishi as one his pupils. In "Once Upon a Zeppelin", Iron Will has only learned to be a more clever con man and have an escape route prepared to avoid having to give dissatisfied customers refunds.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Manehattan bullies become this when Chapter 53 reveals that they acted the way they did because their parents are extremely ruthless, ambitious Nouveau Riche ponies that abandoned morality to an alarming degree (like taking on Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and treating their own children as nothing more than pawns) and the foals believed that is just how the world worked.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Cotton Mouth seems to have crossed it in the background story- he was a Snake Oil Salesman who sold potions that supposedly helps birth. However, it was deadly poison and killed most of the foals exposed to it. Then in Chapter 40 he kidnaps Mudpuppy and Sweetie Belle, reinforcing this trope... And the next chapter subverts it when it was revealed that he indeed believed the potion would work well, since when he tried it on himself there were only positive effects. He was also revealed to have been enslaved by a bigger evil responsible for the kidnapping.
    • The racist Sheriff Brass and his racist fellow officials in Promise crossed it by leaving two foals to die in a dangerous forest just for being unicorns. This was already the case in A Great and Powerful Heart, the fanfic that was made canon to this story, and they do nothing to redeem themselves here.
    • The Crownbreakers cross it when they plan to blow up (dissolve) the Thunderdome...right in the middle of a Wonderbolts show with many people inside. To add insult to injury, roughly half of those people couldn't fly and many of them were children, several of whom were handicapped. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of readers that want to make them pay in the worst possible way — and hopefully whoever's backing them up will also get severely punished.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Like its predecessor, this fic doesn't pull punches where the issue of bullying is concerned.
      • For one thing, just telling an adult is not going to get a bully to stop their behavior, especially when those bullies have the means to get away with their cruelty.
      • Bishi himself points out to Fluttershy that bullies aren't the types to listen to reason, and standing up against a bully does not make someone a bully too.
    • The arc with the ponies of Promise dropped a fair few:
      • Adults can be bullies.
      • Just because adults and/or authority figures say something is okay, does not automatically make it okay. note 
      • Racism is cruel and stupid, no matter whom it's against.
    • While individuals with handicaps should never be made to feel inferior because of their limitations, if those limitations can be mitigated or even eliminated altogether by treatment, they (or at least their guardians when the individuals are minors) should at least be offered the chance to try said treatment instead of worrying about "destroying their cultural identity" and punishing doctors and individuals who are trying to make beneficial treatments available.
    • Children learn what they live and while this doesn't excuse their behavior, they should be pitied and anyone in a position to show them a better way should try their darnedest to do so.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • A new medical philosophy taking root in Equestria is that ponies with disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, amputees and retardation need to accept their disabilities as part of their identity and society needs to view these things as normal, even though magic and medicine have developed potential cures and solutions to them. The advocates of this philosophy strongly oppose said cures because it might take away their "cultural identity" as the handi-capable.
      • For his part, the author holds the view that disabilities (especially debilitating physical ones like withered arms) are objectively problems to be repaired, and anyone who is disabled and can be repaired - yet does not want to - are mentally ill without exception.
      • Adding nuance to the situation is that, while there are sane and reasonable people who choose not to get treated for personal reasons, there really are those that want to be victims badly enough they'll mutilate their own bodies or get an autoimmune disease in order to feel "complete".
    • Alicorn Academy - a once prodigious place of learning - is now pandering to the wealthy, under the sway of some extremely PC ideologies, overcharging for books and equipment, home to "tutti-frutti fruitcakes with axes to grind teaching classes" and generally a "breeding ground for morons, moonbats and radicals" such as the Crownbreakers - A group of hypocritical, pretentious, student protesters from privileged backgrounds, who are willing to resort to terrorism in the name of their beliefs.
      • The author himself has stated that Alicorn University was inspired by liberal colleges (such as Berkeley) - holding the view that they are no better in real life.
    • A nasty one in 45; despite them supposedly being "civilized" now, the Pegasi still enable the "ancient tradition" of knocking foals with disabilities or slow flight development off the edge of the city to fall to their deaths by refusing to either put up guardrails or have edge guards; this painfully explains Fluttershy's fall being ignored.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Many readers felt RC laid on his hatred for "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" too thick in Chapter 35. The following chapter is very heartfelt and shows off Babs earning her Cutie Mark; the fans were pleased.
    • And then, Apple Bloom got her Cutie Mark in an awesome fashion and ascended to Alicornhood at the same time. The end of that chapter also hints that Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo were busy getting their own Cutie Marks and ascending at the same time.
    • As of Chapter 42, Sweetie's ascension/cutie mark has now been showcased. And it was awesome.
    • Chapter 50 sees Dash ascending Scootaloo who then ascends Mach. Fans were gushing in the comments- some straight up saying her ascension is the most awesome out of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
    • Chapter 53 features a Sympathy for the Devil for the Gala Brats and Granny Smith going all Mama Bear for them before deciding to Tough Love them into better ponies. The readers were delighted.


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