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Contents

A

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 Twilight: Your applebucking hasn't just caused you problems; it's over-propelled a pegasus, practically poisoned plenty of ponies, and terrorized bushels of brand-new bouncing baby bunnies.

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    • First mentioned in "The Ticket Master", the annual event everypony wants to attend is called the Grand Galloping Gala.
      • ...full of pretty party ponies.
      • Although Spike doesn't want any part of that Girly Gala Gunk.
      • Additionally, a majority of Pinkie's list of things that will be at the Gala.
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  Pinkie Pie:... pinwheels and pinatas and pin-cushions. With goodies like sugar cubes and sugar canes and sundaes and sun-beams and sarsaparilla!

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    • During "Griffon the Brush Off", Pinkie Pie thinks she misjudged Gilda and wonders if she's "Just a big jealous judgmental jealous-jealousy-pants".
    • The first episode features the Summer Sun Celebration.
    • Near the end of "Suited for Success", Pinkie Pie apologizes to Rarity claiming that everypony is "So super sorry."
    • At the beginning of "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Twilight asks Spike to grab her copy of the Astronomical Astronomer's Almanac to All Things Astronomy.
      • ...which she needs for the meteor shower, a centennial celebration.
      • There are also Ferrets of Fairyland, Two-headed Mythological Mysteries, and Magical Mysteries and Practical Potions.
      • What a fantastical fluffalicious feathery little friend!
      • That or Freaky Feathers.
    • Pinkie Pie's "Giggle at the Ghostly" has a bunch of alliterations as well.
    • Cutie Mark Crusaders Creature Catchers!
    • Precious pony-pedi(cure) will be preserved.
    • Lampshaded in "The Cutie Pox":
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 Twilight Sparkle: Cutie Pox: This puzzling pony plague afflicted a population of ponies back in the Paleo-Pony period!

Spike: Heh, say that ten times fast!

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  • Adorkable: Twilight Sparkle (especially in "Look Before You Sleep," "The Cutie Mark Chronicles," and Sweet and Elite").
    • Apple Bloom's friend Twist from "Call of the Cutie".
    • As of her debut episode, Princess Luna.
    • Rainbow Dash, despite her position as the token jock of the group. From squealing and repeating "Oh my gosh" multiple times rapidly due to finally meeting the Wonderbolts, to eagerly dressing up in sweater vests to pose with pets and discovering a love of books, Dash can show off a dorky side when she wants to.
  • Adult Child: The main characters are mature enough to live independently and have jobs, but frequently act as though they were in their mid to late teens. It's interesting though that their "mature" traits mainly concern social relations, while their "childishness" is more present in their immediate behavior. It sort of fits with the life-cycle of actual horses: a foal can walk within minutes of birth, unlike a baby human. Word of God has it that the ponies are at the physical maturity for ponies equivalent to human teenagers, but mentally more advanced than that period, but of course superseded when appropriate.
  • Aesop: Every episode ends with one, quite literally in the case of "Suited For Success". "If you try to please everypony, you oftentimes end up pleasing nopony -- especially yourself," was the moral of an actual Aesop's Fable.[3]
    • Completely subverted in Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, where Applejack begins talking out the letter, then just drops the serious tone, as she knew the moral already.
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  Applejack: Dear Princess Celestia... *clears throat* I DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING!

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  • Aesop Amnesia: A bit of a Running Gag with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who ignore any moral about not trying to force their cutie marks to appear.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: The Canadian live show.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: Any of the gems Rarity finds.
  • All There in the Script: Besides several character names (see the Characters pages for those), some other names have only come up outside of the show: Golden Oak Library/Golden Oaks Library/Books and Branches Library[4], (Sweetie Belle's) Ice Cream Train Car[5], (Fluttershy's) Nursery Train Car[6], Pie Family Rock Farms[7], Pony Joe's[8], Ponyville Schoolhouse[9], (Applejack's) Sweet Apple Barn[10], and (Twilight Sparkle's) Twinkling Balloon[11]. Additionally, "Glimmer Wings" may be the term for ponies with wings like the ones Rarity gets in "Sonic Rainboom", as they're similar to those of the Glimmer Wings toy ponies.
  • Alpha Bitch: One of the most important lessons Lauren Faust seems to want to teach girls is how to deal with bitches without becoming one yourself. Examples include:
    • Gilda
    • The Great and Powerful Trixie
    • Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, the two fillies who bully Apple Bloom at school.
    • The corrupted (by Discord) Rarity and Fluttershy act like this in the two first episodes of the second season.
    • The two mares who hassle Fluttershy at the asparagus stand in Putting Your Hoof Down, who also talk like valley girls.
  • Alternate Continuity: At least four of them, as the Novelizations (including the storybooks and the magazine stories) and the Canadian live show adapt some of the same episodes.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Italian version has a different opening song. It can be found here. An instrumental of the original theme tune is played over each episode's title card, however.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: While real horses and ponies come in a variety of colors, the ponies of Equestria seems to come in color combinations ranging from believable to flat-out garish (like Merry May, a pegasus with a lime coat and a magenta mane).
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Since ponies are made of Flash objects, they--or parts of them--often appear mirrored. It's more complicated than a simple flip, though. The ponies seem to have a "good side" that, in nearly every shot, starts out facing the camera. When a pony turns around while visible in a shot, all of her features remain left-right consistent, and the other side shows--unless they turn around very quickly, in which case the Flash object gets flipped, and the "good side" stays to the fore.
    • This is especially prominent in the case of Fluttershy and Rarity, whose manes can obscure their faces. They always begin every shot with their bangs out of their faces, whether facing right or left, except when the shot calls for Fluttershy to look extra shy or Rarity to look worried or depressed. The highlights in Twilight's hair also change sides depending on which direction she's facing, with the pink highlight closest to the camera. On head-on shots, the pink highlight seems to default to being on Twilight's left (the viewers' right) side of her hair.
    • Another fairly obvious one is Zecora, as she has her gold ringlets on the left side of her forelegs. However when ever her flash object is flipped the gold ringlets flip with her, putting the ringlets on the other side. This is also apparent in short gags such as the telescope gag in "Griffon The Brush Off", as the smudge on Dash's eye is on her left eye, when she looks in the pond, she has been flipped and it is shown over the right eye.
    • A mild case occurs with Spike, who is usually shown writing letters with his right hand. On occasion, he's shown writing letters with his left hand, and in "Dragonshy" is shown alternating hands while writing the friendship report.
    • One building in Ponyville (presumably a joke shop) has a sign shaped like a pony's head, wearing a fake arrow. The arrow always points away from the camera.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The sea serpent. The meme where it implies Rarity kills him is even called "Rarity Kills A Gay Dragon"
  • Ambition Is Evil: Notably, admirably, and satisfyingly subverted or averted at almost every opportunity. Rarity in particular has not received karmic punishment for daring to want to succeed, but only when such desire cuts ahead of her friends.
  • Anachronic Order: A consequence of the episodic nature of the series. One brony tried to order the first season's episodes correctly, but goodness knows whether he's even close. Some key points stand out:
    • "Fall Weather Friends", which takes place at the beginning of fall, aired after "Winter Wrap Up", which takes place at the end of winter.
    • The dresses Rarity makes in episode 14, "Suited For Success", appear very briefly in episode 10, "Swarm of the Century".
    • Pinkie Pie's rant about Rainbow Dash in the beginning of "Griffon the Brush Off" seems remarkably similar to Rainbow's Sonic Rainboom during the episode of the same name, an event that happens a full ten episodes later.
    • According to one of the layout artists, episodes 1 through 36 were aired in production order (the same numbering that Hasbro and The Hub have gone with)--episodes 37 through 39 are Out of Order in broadcast order and iTunes order ("Hearth's Warming Eve" being moved from after "Family Appreciation Day" & "Baby Cakes" to before them). Word of God says their main priority was to make sure young viewers (the actual target demographic) understood how the world works with the ponies being in charge of changing the seasons, and that little--if any--effort went into ensuring a coherent timeline.
    • The Sparkle World story The Magic of Friendship implies that "Sonic Rainboom" takes place when Twilight and Spike were still new to Ponyville. The story states that Twilight and Spike hadn't lived in Ponyville very long and refers to the rest of the mane six as their new friends, yet later in the story Rainbow Dash performs a Sonic Rainboom for what would have to be at least the third time, placing "Sonic Rainboom" early in the series' chronology.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Ponyville Schoolhouse toy has a picture that shows present-day fillies Sweetie Belle and Sunny Daze alongside the filly versions of Pinkie Pie, Cheerilee, and the pony who was dressed as a flower for the play in Rarity's Flash Back during "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". Not necessarily an error, since the picture isn't stated to be a real photo.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Nightmare Moon was banished into the moon by her older sister for one thousand years before being able to escape. She's at least aware of how long she's been gone.
    • Discord was imprisoned in stone by Luna and Princess Celestia, and outright states that it's quite lonely being encased in stone, proving he was entirely aware of his time in there. He gets put back in short order.
    • Twilight gets turned to stone in "Stare Master", though she seems to have been unconscious for the duration. Consider that it happened during what she thought was just a routine errand, and if no one had found her...
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The rewards for earning points in Adventures in Ponyville.
    • Also pops up in the cartoon proper a few times. In "Winter Wrap Up", Twilight is rewarded with a special team vest for her efforts (she was left out of the initial planning because she's new in town, so she didn't have a team vest).
  • Animation Bump/Art Evolution: Season 2's animation is more fluid and detailed than that of season 1.
    • During longer musical numbers (especially in season 2), the animation has a notable improvement. For example, you can see the pony's hair flowing and bouncing better, instead of a single object being stretched and moved around.
  • Animesque: Friendship Is Magic continues this precedent set by the G3.5 cartoons, with even bigger eyes and smaller snouts (but less humanlike qualities for the ponies, see below). It's particularly noticeable with the Magical Girl theme of the second episode, the use of Quivering Eyes and Speed Stripes, and the "n_n" expression the characters often get when they smile.
    • The style of this show is very reminiscent of something else too.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted. In later incarnations, ponies were gradually becoming less horse-like and more human-like, walking on their hind legs, using their front legs as hands, wearing human clothes, etc. In this series, they are much closer to original form, using mouths to manipulate objects, hauling carriages, eating hay and sugarcubes, and halters and saddles are fashion items.
    • However, there are still instances where they take on human poses when it's awkward otherwise or if it's part of a gag (hoof gestures, sitting upright on benches, etc.).
    • And then of course there's Lyra Heartstrings.
    • Played straight on season 2. The current season has seen more human like behavior and poses and less pony like behavior and poses compared to season 1. Former show runner Lauren Faust has shown a couple of responses regarding to this change like her reaction to the Bridlemaids billboard ad and the "put up your dukes" scene in the episode Dragon Quest.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: The ponies are sometimes more human-like in The Merch and the Expanded Universe. For example, some of the German comics have them act more like bipeds, to the point of running around on their hind legs to play soccer or have a Snowball Fight. And then there's this Spinoff Babies toy commercial...
  • Anti-Villain: A number of antagonists on this show are portrayed sympathetically on some level or another.
    • The dragon whose snoring causes Ponyville to be clouded in smoke breaks down in tears after Fluttershy explains why what he's doing is wrong. Fluttershy later follows this up by saying "you're not a bad dragon; you just made a bad decision".
    • The cockatrice Fluttershy confronts backs down on hearing that his mother might find out what he's been up to.
    • Even the "good" guys are occasionally driven to being villains in a sense; "Owl's Well That Ends Well" involves Spike fearing that the owl will take away the admiration Spike's become so accustomed to, and eventually resorting to trying to make it look like the owl ate a mouse. He's caught in the act, leading Twilight to give Spike a "The Reason You Suck" Speech so harsh that Spike ends up thinking she doesn't love him anymore. He runs away, ending up near a dragon, only to be saved by Twilight Sparkle and the owl.
    • A common sub-variety of these cases would be "creature who seems vicious but is just angry".
      • The Ursa Minor from "Boast Busters" causes a lot of damage to Ponyville, but is only angry because Snips and Snails woke him up and Trixie's efforts to stop him only made him madder.
      • Episode 2 has a thrashing sea serpent who's just upset about his mustache being cut in half, and a manticore who's just in pain from a thorn in his paw. The former calms down after Rarity cuts off half of her tail to replace the severed part of his mustache, the latter after being comforted by Fluttershy, and they each show signs of thankfulness for this.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • From 2012, WeLoveFine's hoof-hands. Trying to add them to your cart rewarded you with a 15% off code that lasted until Monday April 2nd 11:59pm.
    • New episodes of Season 1 normally aired every Friday. April 1st, 2011 fell on a Friday, but that day a rerun of "The Ticket Master" aired. "A Bird in the Hoof", which cemented Celestia's reputation as "Trollestia" to the fans, aired the following week, on April 8th. Draw your own conclusions.
  • April Fool's Plot: While not set on April Fools Day, "Griffon the Brush Off" has the elements of the trope.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the second season finale, Chrysalis has kidnapped Cadence, hypnotized anypony who found out her secret, hypnotized Shining Armor, fooled and defeated Princess Celestia and the Elements of Harmony and threatens to drain Equestria of all love. And the worst part? She doesn't even love the groom and she won't partake in any cake.
  • Artistic License Physics: In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", everypony mentions hearing the boom caused by the sonic rainboom before seeing the rainbow; in reality, it should be the other way around, since light travels faster than sound.
    • On the same subject, in "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash did supersonic speed dashing, including a tight turn at that high speed, and everypony involved survived with all of their internal organs intact.
    • There's a video making the rounds on Know Your Meme with a physics student doing a presentation on the show, specifically about three physical impossibilities he noted. The Sonic Rainboom was one -- only on the basis of the Mach Cone that was shown -- but the rest involved gravity physics. He noted that Applejack could not have catapulted Rainbow Dash any higher than the point she jumped off of (unless she happened to be made of dark matter), and that small cloud of butterflies could not possibly save Fluttershy from falling to her death (unless the butterflies were also made of dark matter).
    • By realistic standards, pegasus ponies would have to weigh almost nothing to walk on clouds. This one is at least handwaved as an ability they possess which other ponies do not, which means it's probably magic. This may also justify Fluttershy's ability to survive a fatal fall by landing on butterflies.
      • One could also argue that due to their ability to fly, pegasi must have extremely hollow bones, like those of a bird. Rainbow Dash would be extremely light, making it possible for Applejack to catapult her the way she did.
      • It has been shown on several occasions that Rainbow Dash is very durable and resistant to pain. While hollow bones would explain Applejack being able to toss her in the air on the seesaw, they would likely shatter when she hits something full speed, which happens every other episode.
      • Rainbow Dash's crashing probably overlaps with Amusing Injuries.
    • In the MLP universe, rainbows are actual matter (with a very spicy flavor, I might add), and depending on the mass of whatever substance rainbows are made of, hearing the boom first may actually be reasonable. Magic can explain away just about everything else. Since Twilight needed to cast a cloud-walking spell for unicorns and earth ponies to walk on clouds, it's reasonable to think pegasi have that magic as an innate ability. Rainbow Dash can fly extremely fast and do a Sonic Rainboom because that's her unique talent, so she's probably innately resilient to those extreme forces. Fluttershy being saved by butterflies is probably a consequence of her cloud-walking ability, and Applejack launching Rainbow Dash so far in the sky could similarly be a consequence of her being an earth pony.
  • Art Evolution: Generally, the animators seem to really have hit their stride in Season 2.
    • With the animating work more or less finished for regular-bodied ponies, the team appears to be putting in an effort to introduce new body types.
    • Character animation is now more fluid and the backgrounds much more detailed.
    • The animating quirk of Applejack losing her freckles when running has been corrected as of Season 2.
      • Unfortunately, it still seems they forget to keep her hat on every now and again.
    • It's a rather subtle difference, but Celestia does not have a magical levitation aura over the letter she receives in the first season's opening. In the second season's opening however, she is clearly levitating the letter with her yellow magical aura.
      • The letter also has a glossy sheen added in season 2.
    • Spike's proportions have shifted slightly to make him less chubby-looking and as of Season 2 his coloring is a bit richer, with darker purple and brighter green.
  • Art Shift: The two Spinoff Babies toy commercials are traditionally animated, as opposed to the Adobe Flash animation used by the series itself (and the other TV ads).
    • Also, the episode "A Friend in Deed" has a felt animated sequence, crossing over into the main animation due to Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.
  • Ascended Meme: This promo from The Hub uses "bronies".
  • As Himself: Tori Spelling in some of The Hub's promos (this commercial and these bumpers) for "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2".
  • Aside Glance: Pinkie Pie does this in the final shot of "Bridle Gossip", when she's supposed to be looking at Rainbow Dash. She does it again, this time intentionally, in "Lesson Zero". There's also a random instance of her looking at the camera in "Elements of Harmony".
  • An Asskicking Christmas: The end of Best Gift Ever.
  • Ass Kicks You:
    • Rarity does it to Twilight in "Sonic Rainboom".
    • Pinkie Pie does it to Twilight and Fluttershy when dancing in "Party of One", and later does it to Rainbow Dash during her "Crazy Town" party.
    • Fluttershy, after being corrupted by Discord, pulls off a particularly malevolent one on Pinkie in "The Return of Harmony, Part 1".
    • Derpy's ass, according to "The Last Roundup", is a force of destruction upon Ponyville.
  • Audible Sharpness: The scale Rarity pulled off of the sea serpent.
    • Same for Pinkie Pie's brass cymbals during "Swarm of the Century".
    • And, the wings of Princess Celestia's pegasi guards.
    • When the Wonderbolts were fighting off Spike-zilla
  • Audio Adaptation: There are two German albums in CD and MP3 formats, each album containing two Freundschaft ist Magie episodes. Volume 1, Ein Auftrag von Prinzessin Celestia, contains "Ein Auftrag von Prinzessin Celestia (Teil 1)" and "Ein Auftrag von Prinzessin Celestia (Teil 2)". Volume 2, Apfelschüttelernte, contains "Eine Freundin hat's nicht leicht" and "Apfelschüttelernte".
  • A Unicorn Pony Did It: This is what Lauren Faust tells herself every time an electrical device has to show up.
    • Observed in The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, where said machine is actually shown to be powered by the Flim Flam brothers' magic.
  • Author Appeal: Word of God is that the show's adult-oriented in-jokes and references are included simply due to the creators' personal entertainment.
    • To sum up:
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 So as to who they're performing for, it's not us, it's not 6-year-old kids, it's themselves. They're just doing what they think makes the show as great as they can, to entertain each other as best they know how. In other words, the creative team on this show really is just having that much fun making it. Best thing I could ever have heard.

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B

  • Badass Damsel: Fluttershy and Rarity can become this if need arises, Fluttershy particularly: she's berated a dragon hundreds of times her size for hurting her friends until it burst into tears, and she once stared down and chewed out a cockatrice (even going so far as to threaten to tell its mother on it) as it slowly turned her to stone. Rarity, when kidnapped by the Diamond Dogs to be put to work, trolled them all into submission to the point where they beg her friends to take her back, and even BRIBED them with the gems they had been using Rarity to collect. The mares of Appleloosa in "Over a Barrel" took this trope and ran to the hills with it: some of them were boxing and holding their own against buffalo several times bigger and heavier than them.
  • Badass Mustache: One of Twilight's powers is to make these grow on people. It doesn't help Spike woo Rarity, but he assumes that if he had a beard, too...
    • There are plenty of them in Apple-loosa as well, especially Sheriff Silver Star.
    • There was also the tennis playing pony from "Call of the Cutie".
    • Steven Magnet prides himself on his mustache. Could be an Inversion of Badass Mustache, because it just makes him even sissier.
    • Leaves form the effect on Applejack in "Secret of My Excess" when she stoically asks Twilight to get her rope to go after Spike.
  • Balloon Belly: Twilight Sparkle gains one in the first episode after meeting Applejack's family and being persuaded to stay for brunch.
  • Batman Gambit: Princess Celestia's response to Twilight Sparkle's first letter sets this up.
    • And later Celestia inviting Twilight's friends to the Grand Galloping Gala so they can mess it up.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: The phrase "love and tolerance"/"love and tolerate" (which originated from an Image Macro) is usually associated with this show, but it's only been used on one officially licensed shirt (and in the description of another shirt and hoodie), not in the show itself.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn:
    • For the mane six:
      • Beauty: Rarity and Fluttershy
      • Brains: Twilight and Pinkie (after all, she's smarter than she looks.)
      • Brawn: Applejack and Rainbow Dash
    • For the Cutie Mark Crusaders:
      • Beauty: Sweetie Belle
      • Brains: Apple Bloom
      • Brawn: Scootaloo
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A recurring theme in the series, though this series uses it in a more lighthearted way than it's usually used.
    • The first two episodes of the first season seem to have a hint of this, with Twilight Sparkle at first not wanting to make new friends, only to find out later that "just when I learn how wonderful it is to have friends, I have to leave them." That is a milder case, though, as it turns out Celestia lets Twilight stay in Ponyville with her new friends anyway.
    • In "Green Isn't Your Color" the theme has been doubled! Rarity getting what she thought she wanted earlier on left her making the same mistake in the opposite direction later on.
      • Rarity insists earlier on that she wants Fluttershy to become a model. As a result, Fluttershy becomes so famous that Rarity gets very jealous.
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 Rarity: I'M the one who should be mobbed by strangers wherever I go!

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      • Later on Rarity explains this was her reason for standing up for Fluttershy; in her jealousy, she thought she wanted something embarrassing to happen to Fluttershy on-stage, but she felt extremely guilty when it actually did.
    • "Sisterhooves Social" has Rarity wanting to get away from Sweetie Belle earlier on but missing her later on.
    • In "The Cutie Pox", Apple Bloom uses a magical flower called "Heart's Desire" to finally get her Cutie Mark. Unfortunately, over the course of the day she gets several more cutie marks, each of which brings both a new talent and a compulsion to practice that talent endlessly, whether it's window-washing, tap-dancing, speaking French, or lion-taming.
    • A hint of this also shows up in "May The Best Pet Win," with Rainbow Dash insisting earlier on that she wanted a fast, agile, flying animal for a pet... and after putting the animals through competitions testing these (among other) traits she found out that the falcon met her standards the most... but by the time she found this out, she had evidently changed her mind about what she wanted in a pet after all, as she clearly wasn't happy about being told that the falcon won. Of course, she found out a loophole in her rules that allowed her to adopt a tortoise instead, in a clear contrast to what she at first wanted.
    • Pinkie Pie runs into this trope head-on in "Baby Cakes." She begs the Cakes for a chance to babysit their newborn twins, but ends up running herself ragged after they let her do it.
  • The Bechdel Test: Passes easily, since nearly everyone is female. In fact, you can barely find two males having a conversation.
  • Berserk Button: You. Do. Not. Hurt. Fluttershy's. Friends.
    • If you break a Pinkie Pie Promise, Pinkie Pie will END you.
    • Try threatening Spike when Rarity is around. Go on, try it.
  • Big Bad: The show doesn't have one overall or any lasting ones, since it operates on a Monster of the Week basis. Even the serious villains (Nightmare Moon, Discord and Queen Chrysalis) each only get to be Big Bad for one two-episode story. This actually means that the biggest Big Bad so far is... the Grand Galloping Gala, the big party the ponies are looking forward to, which causes trouble in a whole three episodes ("The Ticket Master", "Suited for Success" and "The Best Night Ever"). However, see Bigger Bad below for hints of something that might qualify if it became more actively involved.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Numerous times.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash's fight at the end of "Fall Weather Friends".
    • Spike versus a chicken in "Owl's Well That Ends Well". Spike loses.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders in the season 2 premiere.
    • Twilight gets into one with greyscale Applejack and Pinkie Pie over a book... and WINS
    • Fluttershy slugs it out with a stallion who tries to cut ahead of her for a taxi in "Putting Your Hoof Down." She wins easily, having taken her assertiveness training a little too seriously.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with almost all of Ponyville forming into dozens of violence balls in "Lesson Zero".
  • Big Eater: Spike, Pinkie Pie, and Snails are no slouches in this department, but the Parasprites, swarming insects not unlike locusts, beat them all by a landslide.
    • Applejack fits this one to a lesser extent. She can stuff an entire apple in her mouth, chew it up (core and all), and swallow it in one bite. During "Look Before You Sleep", she does the same with one of Rarity's s'mores and demonstrates lousy table manners by burping afterward.
    • Rarity's and Sweetie Belle's performance in the pie-eating leg of the Sisterhooves Social might qualify them for this when they are properly motivated.
  • Bigger Bad: Possibly. It's been hinted at by Word of God that something corrupted Luna and may have had something to do with Discord's escape.
  • Bigger on the Inside: In general, the exterior shapes don't match the interiors of the houses and buildings shown in the cartoon.
    • To name two examples: during the pilot, Pinkie Pie stuffed almost the entire population of Ponyville into a single room of Twilight's library, and the size of Sugarcube Corner doesn't match the inside (Pinkie Pie's room being the biggest offender).
  • Big Fancy Castle: Lauren Faust says that the city of Canterlot, built into the side of a mountain, is a Shout-Out to Minas Tirith.
  • Big No: Spike does this twice in "A Dog and Pony Show" -- once just after Rarity is kidnapped and again after he and the other ponies fall into the lair of the Diamond Dogs and realize they have no idea which way to go. Both of them were right before the commercial breaks, too. Maybe he just doesn't like commercials.
    • After putting up with lots of "cute" things and conversations, Scootaloo does one at the end of "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" when her crusader friends give her a group hug and Fluttershy announces she's going to sing another "cute" song.
    • Discord gives one in The Return Of Harmony Part 2 when he realizes too late that the mane cast can and are about to blast him full force with the Elements Of Harmony.
  • Bindle Stick: Spike carries one after running away from home in "Owl's Well That Ends Well".
  • Blessed with Suck: Being the Element of Honesty means that Applejack can't lie to save her life.
    • To an extent for Twilight, her high education is considered something of a second ability, however her intricacies also lead her to be Super OCD and neurotic to extremes on occasion, not to mention her diligence to education kept her isolated and socially inept for most of her early life.
  • Blinding Bangs: The pegasi bullies seen in "Sonic Rainboom" flip between this and Peek-a-Bangs; close-up shots reveal the leader's eyes, but most of the time their eyes are obscured.
    • This trope was played quite literally on Rarity in "Bridle Gossip".
  • Blush Sticker: Not having distinct outlines or failing to adhere to the skin, but blushes still consist of two ovals on cheeks.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first two seasons both begin and end in Canterlot.
    • The episode "Sisterhooves Social" opens and closes with shots of the same two birds in a tree outside Carousel Boutique.
  • Bowdlerize: When aired on Treehouse TV, all instances of the word "loser" are silenced from "Boast Busters", "Call of the Cutie", and "Party Of One". "Griffon The Brush Off" is rarely played.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • "Elements of Harmony" closes off with a scenery shot of Ponyville, at which point Pinkie Pie pops up and repeats her "Are you excited?" rant to the camera as the Iris Out begins. When she gasps, the Iris actually widens again.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Twilight and her friends are suffering the nasty aftereffects of a "curse". Immediately, Spike makes silly nicknames for them, but when it's Twilight's turn, he gets stumped, claiming "I got nothing". Then he turns his eye against the fourth wall and says "'Twilight Sparkle?' I mean, seriously. I can't even work with that".
    • At the end of "Bridle Gossip", when the ponies are enjoying the bath and laughing as the screen zooms out to the credits, Pinkie Pie stares at the viewer with a curious expression on her face.
      • This glance however occurs without any set-up or gag and is more likely to be merely Spiking the Camera"
    • In "Fall Weather Friends, Spike repeatedly looks at the camera during Pinkie's strange commentary.
    • In "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity appears to grab the camera when she throws a hissy-fit over one of the Diamond Dogs calling her a mule.
    • This toy commercial opens with Princess Celestia introducing herself to the viewers and inviting them to come fly with her.
    • At the end of "Over a Barrel", during the Iris Out, Pinkie Pie grabs the closing border and briefly holds it open as she complains that Twilight's moral was what she was trying to say earlier, during her song.
    • Even Fluttershy does this in "A Bird in the Hoof". When she pours birdseed over a pill she's trying to feed to Philemena, she turns to the camera with a smug look and says "Always works".
    • Rainbow Dash talks directly to the viewers in this commercial for a marathon leading up to the premiere of "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • Done at the end of "Owl's Well That Ends Well", with a literal wink at the audience from Owlowiscious.
    • This Spinoff Babies toy commercial opens with baby Pinkie Pie asking the viewers if they'll help her walk.
    • This toy commercial opens with Pinkie Pie inviting the viewers to hop in her RC Car if they want to come with her to Ponyville.
    • This toy commercial opens with Rarity inviting the viewers to come ride round and round on her Carousel Boutique with her, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie.
    • Subtly done by Discord in the S2 opener episodes. He claims in rhyme that he hid the Elements "back where you began." They turn out to be hidden in the Ponyville library, inside the reference guide that Twilight consulted before leading the group into the Everfree Forest during "Elements of Harmony" -- which has the exact same cover as the book that tells the story of Nightmare Moon and Celestia at the very beginning of the first episode.
    • Spike repeatedly interacts with Twilight's imagine spots during "Lesson Zero": he pops one with a claw, rolls another up like a blind, and wheels a starburst background out of frame.
    • This toy commercial opens with Pinkie Pie introducing herself to the viewers and inviting them to hop on her Friendship Express Train.
    • Rainbow Dash talks directly to the viewers in this commercial for a marathon leading up to the premiere of "Hearts and Hooves Day".
  • Breakout Character: Rainbow Dash, depending on your point of view.
  • Brick Joke: During "Call of the Cutie", Apple Bloom tries her hoof at baking cupcakes, but all she gets are some horribly burnt failures that are quickly swept under the rug. Later, during a party, a poor background pony is seen nibbling on some nicely decorated cupcakes, only to make an unpleasant discovery. At the very end of the episode, Scootaloo tries to eat one of the cupcakes, but Apple Bloom warns her off it ("Not the cupcakes! Trust me".).
    • Another example appears in "Swarm of the Century". The first instrument Pinkie Pie tries to find, a trombone, doesn't even become a part of the one-pony-band ensemble she uses to drive the swarm away. At the very end, after a shot of the aftermath of the infestation, she pops up in front of the screen with her trombone to deliver the classic "Wah-wah-wah-WAAAAAAH".
    • "The Ticket Master" opens with Applejack telling Twilight about a bet she made, saying that if she won, Big Macintosh would have to walk down Stirrup Street in one of Granny Smith's girdles. This seems like a simple, throwaway joke, until "Applebuck Season", where Big Macintosh is unable to harvest apples because of a mysterious, unexplained injury to his midsection.
    • At the beginning of "A Bird in the Hoof", Rainbow Dash spends a few minutes trying to get a reaction out of Celestia's guards. Her efforts are futile, as one might expect. At the end of the episode, once Philomena is reborn as a phoenix, Dash convinces her to tickle the guards' noses. It works, they finally break character. Cue Everypony Laughs Ending.
    • In "Party Of One", Pinkie says she'll pass out written invitations next time she decides to invite her friends to a party. The next day, after the birthday party for Gummy ends, she appears with a basket of written invitations to Twilight and friends for Gummy's after birthday party.
    • A subtle one is done in both parts of the pilot. When initially looking up information on the Elements of Harmony in Canterlot, Twilight finds some info under 'E' in a book. Once Nightmare Moon has been freed, Twilight then races to the Ponyville library to find more info on the Elements but is having trouble. Pinkie Pie finds a reference guide with ease, and when Twilight asks her about it, Pinkie cheerfully responds "It was under 'E'!"
    • When the mane six are "cursed" in "Bridle Gossip", Spike makes up nicknames for each pony based on her curse, but can't come up with one for Twilight. At the very end of the scene, Spike comes up with Twilight Flopple.

C

  • Call Back: In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash says that the day of the event is the "BEST. DAY. EVER!" In A Canterlot Wedding: Parts 1 & 2, when talking about/performing a Sonic Rainboom for the wedding, she comments "BEST. WEDDING. EVER!"
  • Cape Snag: Technically, a wing snag.
  • Captain's Log: Twilight's letters to Princess Celestia on the Aesop of the episode. Granted, unlike most examples, this happens at the end of each episode, but the basic idea is the same.
  • Care Bear Stare: Essentially how the Elements of Harmony work, and how Twilight Sparkle restores her friends after Discord's Mind Rape in the previous episode..
  • Carnivore Confusion: In "Over a Barrel", Pinkie Pie's song confirms that they're all vegetarians, but she mentions a hot dog eating contest in "Fall Weather Friends". That's veggie dogs... riiight?
    • In "Look Before You Sleep", they're shown making (and eating) s'mores. Modern day marshmallows contain gelatin, which is derived from animal hides and bones. Historically, however, marshmallows were made from mucilaginous root extracts of the marsh-growing African mallow, Althaea officinalis, AKA the marsh mallow plant, and modern Vegan marshmallows use fruit pectin to provide protein instead of gelatin.
    • In "Griffon the Brush Off", Fluttershy is being greeted from the lake by some fish smiling at her, which means that fish in Equestria are at least partially sentient (like Angel the bunny) and some of them are apparently friends with Fluttershy. Then in the beginning of "Dragonshy", we see Fluttershy feeding dead fish to her pet ferrets.
      • In classical mythology, Griffons ate mostly horses.
    • In an apparent inversion, in "Winter Wrap Up", Fluttershy delivers a load of vegetables to a couple of wild ferrets. A fan artist on /co/ named "shuffle" came up with a rather dark explanation for how this makes sense.
      • Fluttershy doesn't deliver the vegetables, one of her helpers does. Really, this is just another example of the poor organization of the event. When Fluttershy is shown feeding ferrets, she feeds them fish.
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", after Applejack ties up Rainbow Dash's wings, she says "Trussed up like a turkey!" The only way for her to make that comparison...
    • The ponies raise cattle, which vaguely makes sense because they can be milked. They raise chickens, presumably because eggs are a necessary component of many of the apple pastries they bake. But in "The Show Stoppers", we see that ponies farm pigs. Pretty sure ponies don't eat bacon... (Word of God says that the pigs needed somewhere to live, and ponies really like truffles.) Plus pigs can be used as "garbage trucks" -- they eat the leftovers.
      • Might also be a good source of...well...fertilizer.
    • In the scene where Applejack tries to decide what she is supposed to eat first in "A Bird in the Hoof", one of things on the table is a ham sandwich. Interestingly, there were no truffles in sight in spite of the fact that the guest of honor was the princess.
    • In "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Spike noted that owls do eat mice and he actually uses that knowledge in attempt to frame Owlowiscious.
    • "Sisterhooves Social" shows Rarity making fried eggs.
  • Cast Herd: First off, you've got the main six ponies and Spike. The Cutie Mark Crusaders form a Power Trio with a smaller version of the main group, having an earth pony, pegasus and unicorn, with the latter also falling into Tomboy and Girly Girl. Big Mac tends to show up mainly around his sisters and the rest of his family; the same goes for Granny Smith. Even the background ponies fall into this, with Rose, Daisy and Lily tending to show up around each other.
  • The Cast Showoff: Andrea Libman (Fluttershy/Pinkie Pie) and Ashleigh Ball (Rainbow Dash/Applejack) provide their own singing voices. Ashleigh in particular is the lead singer of the band Hey Ocean. There's a reason why fans love Rainbow Dash's singing.
    • Subverted in that neither character has had a song to themselves yet when every other mane character has at least one, although Rainbow Dash comes pretty close with a duet with Fluttershy.
  • Central Theme: Friendship is Magic!
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster
    • Season 1 has "The Ticket Master" immediately following the two-part premiere, "Dragonshy" sandwiched between the significantly less dark "Boast Busters" and "Look Before You Sleep", "Sonic Rainboom" and "Show Stoppers" book-ending "The Stare Master", and "Party of One" in-between "Owl's Well that Ends Well" (which isn't completely sunny either) and "The Best Night Ever".
    • Season 2 follows up both "Return of Harmony"s and "Lesson Zero" with "Luna Eclipsed", follows up "Secret of My Excess" with "Family Appreciation Day", sandwiches "Dragon Quest" with "It's About Time!" and "Hurricane Fluttershy", and puts the light and fluffy "MMM Mystery on the Friendship Express" right before the finale, the latter half of which is basically distilled nightmare fuel.
  • Character Exaggeration: Used lightly in later episodes, which focus more on individual characters compared to the initial stories (which focused more on the whole ensemble and their bonds) and so intensify some of their defining quirks for Aesops and obstacles. Perhaps most noticable is Twilight Sparkle, after growing out of her Fish Out of Water status in Ponyville, her centered episodes focused more on her overcoming her (originally more subtle) neurotics and fears of failure, establishing her as a Super OCD Nervous Wreck. Most examples are kept balanced by proper Character Development however and their other traits are still used prominantly, preventing much noticable Flanderization coming into the situation.
  • Chase Scene: Complete with Benny Hill-esque background music. Twice. Another two chase scenes are in the style of Pepé Le Pew.
  • Chaste Toons: According to Rarity, Princess Celestia has a nephew, which should raise an eyebrow considering that it would either imply that he is Luna's son (even though she spent the last thousand years sealed in the moon) or that there is another divine sibling we don't know about. Lauren Faust eventually explained by saying that he was a very distant relative on Celestia's mother's side, "about 52 times removed, roughly speaking".
    • In Applejack's and Rarity's case, they have children hanging around who are their little sisters rather than nieces, but play a similar role.
    • However we have now seen Pinkie Pie's, Twilight Sparkle's, and Rarity's parents, once each.
    • And now we even have baby ponies, incidentally showing that pegasi, earth ponies and unicorns can mix and a pony can have any combination of the three kinds of ponies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: After Discord finally breaks Twilight's will, Celestia sends her back all the Friendship Reports that Twilight wrote to her during season 1. This rekindles Twilight's feelings, gives her the knowledge she needed about Discord's weakness and how to release her friends from Discord's mind control.
  • Chekhov's Skill/Hobby: Turns out Fluttershy has a surprising knowledge of sewing, as evidenced when she was forced to tell Rarity what was "wrong" with her dress in "Suited For Success". This skill allowed Fluttershy and the others to finish Rarity's dress at the end of the episode.
    • Also in "Winter Wrap Up", where Twilight used her organization skills to help Ponyville finish on time for the first time in years.
    • Applejack's herding skills in "Applebuck Season" resurface five eps later in "Swarm of the Century".
    • In "Dragonshy", Rainbow Dash is shown playing with a ball and skillfully bouncing it off her head. Later, during the Iron Pony competition in "Fall Weather Friends", she uses her skill to easily win the ball-bouncing challenge.
    • Twilight spent the entire first season writing reports back to Celestia with what she's learned about friendship. In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Celestia snaps Twilight out of Discord's spell... by sending back copies of all her reports, so that reading them will remind Twilight that friendship is worth fighting for.
  • Chroma Key: Was apparently used in episodes 1 and 6 at least, judging by their story galleries.
  • Crush Blush: Spike blushes after receiving a kiss from his blush Rarity,
  • Circle of Friendship: The default way of dealing with Cosmic Horrors, Mad Gods, and Eldritch Abominations is pretty much to blast them with weaponized friendship in this fashion.
  • Civilized Animal: While previous pony cartoon series had been leaning towards Funny Animal from Tales onwards, Friendship is Magic fits this portrayal; the ponies can talk, live in houses, and in some cases have jobs, but are otherwise quite equine in behavior, eating hay, grass, and flowers and using their mouths to manipulate things.
  • Cliff Hanger: At the end of all three two-part episodes. More specifically, the premiere episode of both seasons, plus the second to last episode of season 2. They also sometimes like to set up mini-cliffhangers going to commercial breaks.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pinkie Pie, in spades.
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 Pinkie Pie: "And then I said 'Oatmeal, are you crazy?'"

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  "I like pudding..."

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  • Cold Opening: While all the episodes are almost exactly 22:00 each, the openings vary, with "Family Appreciation Day" being the shortest at 30 seconds and "Look Before You Sleep" being the longest at 2 minutes 51 seconds.
  • Colon Cancer: The iOS game My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Though present since Season 1, the unicorns' magic have clear distinctions in their auras from "Lesson Zero" on. For example, Twilight's is dark pink, Celestia's is bright yellow, and Luna's is clear blue. Usually the color matches the color of the unicorn's eye color or cutie mark.
    • Demonstrated in the episode Sweet and Elite, when a unicorn with a pink magic aura picks up a bag and passes it to Rarity--the aura changes from pink to blue.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: At least ten comics have been printed in a German My Little Pony magazine published by Panini.
  • Comically Missing the Point : In "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Twilight lectures Spike about all the trouble he's been causing because he's jealous of Owlowiscious, telling him "This is not the Spike I know and love!" A dejected Spike interprets this as meaning Twilight doesn't love him anymore, and prompts him to run away from home.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders, if nothing else, are really talented in this area:
      • In "The Show Stoppers", Twilight tries to guide the Cutie Mark Crusaders to see that they're very close to finding their cutie marks if they'd just switch their roles from the talent show, but they just don't get it (though they also have no interest in performing said roles on stage.)
      • In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Scootaloo complains about having to listen to all the "namby-pamby" stories of how the other ponies got their cutie marks because they're not helpful; they're all about "finding who you really are and boring stuff like that".
      • In "Stare Master", Sweetie Belle sings a lullaby so loudly that it not only fails to put anypony to sleep, it actually wakes up everypony nearby.
      • In general, all three of the Cutie Mark Crusaders seem almost determined not to realize that Scootaloo's special talent is her scooter, Sweetie Belle's special talent is singing, and Apple Bloom's special talent is in some way related to construction.
  • Companion Cube: Bloomberg from "Over a Barrel", an apple tree that Applejack reads a bedtime story to.
    • It's contagious; Spike climbs into bed with him (yes, the apple tree has its own bed) and then apologizes in advance in case he starts snoring.
    • In "Party of One", Pinkie goes crazy when she thinks her friends don't want to come to any more of her parties, and sets up a pile of rocks, a bucket of turnips, a piece of lint, and a sack of flour as her new friends. She even gets Rainbow Dash to argue with the rocks.
    • "Tom".
    • Twilight's Smartypants doll in "Lesson Zero".
  • Composite Character: With the sole exception of Applejack, the six main characters are a composite of a Generation 1 pony and a Generation 3 pony. Rainbow Dash, for example, has the wings and personality of the Gen 1 pony Firefly, and the color scheme (more or less) of the Gen 3 pony Rainbow Dash. Faust couldn't use the names of the Gen 1 ponies, due to Hasbro having lost the trademark to all of them but Applejack, so the use of Gen 3 ponies for extra inspiration is her Writing Around Trademarks. Full explanation here.
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • The Novelizations in general, since many of them are either storybooks that come with toys or short stories published in different countries' magazines.
    • The Canadian live show. It managed to squeeze part of "The Ticket Master", part of "Applebuck Season", part of Part 2 of the pilot, part of "Winter Wrap-Up" and part of "The Best Night Ever" into a 30-minute play (which took place over an entire year).
  • Conflict Ball: Shows up in a few episodes. "Look Before You Sleep" particularly comes to mind.
  • Conspicuous CG: In a few of the toy commercials:
    • Pinkie Pie's RC Car in its commercial.
    • Rarity's Carousel Boutique in its commercial.
    • The Friendship Express Train engine, Sweetie Belle's Ice Cream Train Car, Fluttershy's Nursery Train Car, the railroad cart and the track in their commercial.
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few, which is unexpected for a show where the episodes are supposed to be watchable in any order.
    • In "Applebuck Season", Applejack explains to Twilight that her huge family was only in town for the Sun Festival (the pilot episode), which is why she's the only one left on her farm that's strong enough to harvest the orchard after Big Macintosh hurts his back.
    • During "Dragonshy", Rainbow Dash mentions the ferocious manticore that Fluttershy befriended during the pilot episode.
    • In "Griffon the Brush Off", Rainbow Dash says in a playful and friendly tone, "Pinkie Pie, you are so random!" A few episodes later, in "Swarm of the Century", Rainbow Dash says the same thing in an irritated voice.
    • In "Suited For Success", Rarity is creating the dresses that she and her friends will wear for the Grand Galloping Gala announced in episode 3. Some of these dresses can be seen in later episodes (Rarity wears hers at the beginning of "A Bird In The Hoof"). The Gala itself is the season finale.
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Fluttershy remembers the jumping advice that Pinkie Pie gave to her during "Dragonshy" and, thanks to it, manages to escape from the Hydra chasing her. In the same episode, Twilight Sparkle uses the same approach that Rainbow Dash used when facing the dragon in "Dragonshy" on said Hydra.
    • In "A Dog and Pony Show", Applejack mentions that Rarity won't even touch mud unless it's imported, a nod to the mud masks in "Look Before You Sleep".
    • In "Green Isn't Your Color", Rarity states that she "vants to be alone" when she is upset over Fluttershy's popularity. She said the same thing in "Suited For Success", after a failed fashion show made her a laughingstock in Ponyville. While sorting through dresses for Fluttershy to try on, she tosses aside several outfits which appeared in prior episodes.
    • In "Call of the Cutie", Rainbow Dash gives Apple Bloom a little bit of Karate training. In "The Show Stoppers", Apple Bloom incorporates Karate into her "dance".
    • At the beginning of "A Bird in the Hoof", the dresses from "Suited For Success" can be seen hanging in Fluttershy's closet. In a later scene, Rarity is wearing hers.
    • In the first episode, one of the dresses Rarity has Twilight try is a Statue of Liberty outfit. In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", we learn that a pony version of the Statue of Liberty actually exists in their world.
    • The straight-haired version of Pinkie Pie reappears in "Party of One" when Pinkie Pie convinces herself everypony is avoiding her because they no longer like her parties.
      • Also briefly in "The Best Night Ever" as she tries to straighten it for the Gala. But because she's happy, it goes poofy again immediately.
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash mentions that she's broken the rainbow barrier once before, "a long time ago". In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", we get to see how it happened.
    • In "The Best Night Ever," the Wonderbolts recognize Rainbow Dash from the events of "Sonic Rainboom". The entire episode also serves as one giant nod to everypony's Imagine Spots about the Gala way back in "The Ticket Master". During her attempts to befriend the animals at the garden, Fluttershy remembers the advice Twilight gave her in "A Bird In The Hoof". Additionally, this episode features the dresses created in "Suited For Success" and has a brief appearance of Pinkie Pie's straight hair from "Party of One."
    • And Zecora, debuting in "Bridle Gossip", establishing the context for her cameo one episode later in "Swarm of the Century". She's also mentioned (but not seen) in "Stare Master"; visiting her for tea is Twilight's reason for going into the Everfree Forest that night.
    • In "Boast Busters", Snips and Snails are shown to be awe-struck by Trixie's magic skills. In "The Show Stoppers", they attempt to stage a magic show of their own.
    • "The Return Of Harmony, Part 2" features two short segments with several clips taken from previous episodes, when Twilight and Applejack's memories are being restored.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight's messed up bird nest from "Winter Wrap Up" can be seen.
    • Another nod to "Bridle Gossip" was made in the season two episode "The Cutie Pox". Seems Zecora hasn't forgotten her initial treatment by Ponyville's inhabitants.
    • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" Pinkie Pie says she used her Pinkie Sense (from "Feeling Pinkie Keen") to save the construction workers. She then immediately gets a twitch and pushes Rainbow Dash out of the way of a falling flower-pot
    • During the musical number in Sweet and Elite, Rarity attends an opera in the same dress she wore at the Grand Galloping Gala.
    • In "A Friend In Deed", Rainbow Dash is shown in Twilight's library reading a Daring Do novel, a hobby that she picked up in "Read It And Weep"
  • Conversation Cut: Used several times throughout the show:
    • In "The Elements of Harmony", as Twilight Sparkle is reading the last known location of the Elements of Harmony, the scene dissolves from the library into the location as she (and the other ponies) say "...the Everfree Forest!" Pinkie Pie does another one at the end of the episode:
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 Pinkie Pie: "Hey, you know what this calls for?" (transitions to Ponyville) "A party!"

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    • Pinkie Pie pulls another one in "Applebuck Season" as the ponies try to figure out how to show their appreciation to Applejack for saving Ponyville from a stampede. This cut apparently lasts a week.
    • The cold open in "Green Isn't Your Color" is basically a series of these.
  • Constructed World: Despite a few slip-ups of writing such as a few mentions of France, Equestria is part of a world that is very different from our own with its own features.
  • Cool Horse: Rainbow Dash, among others.
  • Cool House: All six ponies live in some sort of Cool House (not surprising given that one of the show's jobs is to sell the playsets those houses are based on).
    • Twilight lives in a library built into a giant hollow tree, with an observatory on top, a balcony a little farther down and a bizarre laboratory at the basement.
    • Rarity lives at her business, the Carousel Boutique, which is styled to resemble an ornate antique merry-go-round, complete with horses.
    • Pinkie Pie lives at Sugarcube Corner, a bakery whose roof resembles a heavily decorated gingerbread house with two cupcakes stacked on top.
      • Oddly, the apartment itself is kind of bare, for reasons speculated upon in this wiki's Wild Mass Guessing page (Pinkie has one all to herself).
    • Fluttershy lives in a large sod-roof cottage near the Everfree Forest. The entire property, inside and out, is filled with houses and shelters for an assortment of small animals, plus the house itself is covered with beautiful plants.
    • Rainbow Dash lives in a floating house made of clouds... that looks like a small Greek palace, with rainbow waterfalls on either side. She at least probably designed it from scratch.
    • Applejack lives in a house/barn on the edge of her family's sprawling apple orchard.
  • Cool Train: The Friendship Express Train.
  • Costume Porn: Almost anything Rarity designs (with some glaring yet justified exceptions), particularly the dresses she and her friends wear to the Grand Galloping Gala.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer:
    • On Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page, they said that The Hub's Royal Wedding Web Games are also available on Hasbro's own My Little Pony site and that one game has you "help Pinkie Pie create a yummy cupcake treat for the guests" (the only Pinkie Pie game of the bunch being the non-cupcake-related DJ Pinkie Pie).
    • On The Hub's Facebook page, they called Rainbow Dash's Nightmare Night costume from "Luna Eclipsed" a Wonderbolt costume instead of a Shadowbolt costume, and on their own site, they initially called Discord a dragon instead of a Draconequus (or Dragonokis, as they misspell it).
      • Hub advertisements for the Castle Creator game available on Hasbro's website and their own website describe it as a game in which you select a pony to explore the Canterlot palace with and dress them up in various costumes. Footage of the game accompanying this description shows it to be nothing like that.
    • TV listings' synopses of "Suited For Success" and "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" respectively refer to Rarity and Rainbow Dash as male.
    • 80sTees.com's two versions of Mighty Fine's Wonderbolts shirt have a mistake in their product descriptions misidentifying an unnamed Wonderbolt as Fleetfoot (a different Wonderbolt, who's named in "Sweet and Elite").
    • The infamous "My Little Racist, Homophobic, Smart-Shaming Pony" article on Ms. Magazine's website, which stated that a pony's coat color were metaphors for race and/or sexual orientation--Word of God states that they never are or were intended to be--as well as claiming that Twilight Sparkle completely gave up her studies under the princess in favor of a stereotypically girly life in Ponyville. (Not only is life in Ponyville anything but girly and bland, Twilight's original problem wasn't that she was studying at all; it was that she was studying to the exclusion of anything resembling a social life.)
    • "If you're not 7, there's a good chance that you are unaware of the latest 'My Little Pony' re-boot".
    • NPR seems to think that (like the previous MLP cartoon) FiM is just a 30-minute ad, which makes it obvious that they just assumed "MLP = Merchandise-Driven" and didn't bother to look into it at all.
      • To be fair, even prominent members of the fandom acknowledge that the show was and remains designed to market merchandise to a particular age group, and that all of the goodness that Lauren Faust and team infused into the reboot was a special bonus that attracted its passionate untargeted demographic (who have a vocal subgroup that proudly purchases MLP merchandise in addition to creating their own fan-made content). It turns out that making a great show can also be a great way to sell toys to people - parents or not - with large disposable incomes.
    • A Daily Dot article treated the fan misconception that Hasbro has no official pony plushies as fact. A small number of official plushies actually do exist, the first few of which were released over a year before the article was published.
  • Crap Saccharine World: Underneath the idealistic aesthetic in this world filled with adorable marshmallow ponies, Equestria's a pretty dark nation. It's to the point that, as shown in It's About Time, there's a portal to Tartarus just a day's gallop away from Ponyville. Note that the ponies are genuinely nice people in general... it is just that their world happens to contain HORRORS that they must fend off.
    • Crapsack World: It temporarily became this during Return of Harmony Pt. 2.
  • Crazy Prepared: Pinkie Pie never travels anywhere without her Party Cannon, and has balls and eyepatches stashed all over Ponyville in case of "ball emergencies" or "eyepatch emergencies".
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Director Jayson Thiessen is the voice of the rarely speaking royal guards and of the Ponyville Hospital security guard from "Read It and Weep".
    • The mule in "Applebuck Season" and "Hurricane Fluttershy" is voiced by co-director James "Wootie" Wooton.
    • One of the animators Holly Suarez slipped in her OC pony Holly Dash into the background for a brief moment in "Swarm of the Century". Some fans might know said pony better as Tutti Frutti.
    • In A Canterlot Wedding Sibsy's ponitar makes an appearance as a wife arguing with her husband about a hooficure... until Princess Cadance uses her magic to alter the situation for the better.
  • Crossover:
  • Crowd Song: "Winter Wrap Up" from the episode of the same name, "At the Gala" from "The Best Night Ever", "The Heart Carol" from "Hearths Warming Eve" and "The Flim Flam Brothers" Villain Song from "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000".
  • Cucumber Facial: First appears as part of the sleepover in "Look Before You Sleep", in which Rarity accurately explains its purpose; Applejack eats hers, of course. Later, Rarity has them in the spa scene of "Green Isn't Your Color", and when sleeping on the train in "Over a Barrel".
  • Cuteness Overload: The Brony Community constantly joke that they die from Fluttershy's cuteness.
  • The Cutie Remark: Trope Namer. The two-parter episode in question shows several different timelines when established villains from the show suceeded in taking over Equestria.

D

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    • "The Return Of Harmony" has all of the mane cast (excluding Twilight) go insane AT ONCE.

E

  • Early-Bird Cameo:
  • Edible Ammunition: The citizens of Appleloosa use apple pies to repel a buffalo stampede. It works.
    • Although the entire episode was a metaphor for the American Settlers encroaching on the Native's land. And the pie battle was very intentionally a tame version of a shootout, because you wouldn't get incapacitated by a pie, would you?
    • In "Dragonshy", Applejack demonstrated expert marksmanship with kicked apples. She didn't get to use them against the dragon, but she was ready to.
      • In the same episode, Angel beans Fluttershy with a half-eaten carrot.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Applejack. Her entire family qualifies too, given that they're named after brands of, types of, or products made from said fruit.
    • Distant relatives seem to be named after different fruits, such as Aunt and Uncle Orange.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", when Applejack is shrunk, Spike dubs her "Appletini".
      • Both names are kinds of alcoholic drinks.
    • Seems to be a pattern with most (though not quite all) Earth Ponies; Pinkie hails from the Pie family, though makes her living with the Cakes; two of Equestria's founders were Chancellor Puddinghead and her secretary Smart Cookie; even Rose and Daisy could arguably count, since ponies have been seen multiple times eating flowers.
  • Edutainment:
    • During the first season, the show was broadcast with an E/I logo in the upper left corner, but the only real concession it makes to being educational and informative is to have And Knowing Is Half the Battle dialogue at the end of every episode. (These days, simply claiming to encourage positive social values is often enough to allow the use of the logo.) Cable channels aren't required to air E/I programming, but there may be conditions to the partnership between Hasbro and Discovery Channel to form the Hub that the audience doesn't know about. Still, a cartoon that manages to be Edutainment, Merchandise-Driven and genuinely entertaining even for adults all at the same time is a truly astonishing achievement.
      • The E/I mark goes back to the Discovery Kids days; the network adds E/I tags in electronic program listings to make it easier for parents to find actual educational children's programming. Since no other cable network (like Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network) uses the E/I tag, it's a really big advantage for The Hub to tag their shows E/I.
      • The show could be a Trope Codifier for Stealth Education. The writers are very talented at sneaking in educational tidbits without disrupting the flow of the show -- going all the way back to the pilot, where Twilight explains that being "on the precipice (or threshold, or brink) of disaster" means that "something really bad is about to happen", and that "imperative" means "important".
      • Hasbro has also released guidelines for some episodes for parents that want their kid to learn more.
      • The bug has been absent in Season 2 so far, which left certain fans wondering if Hasbro has ditched the Edutainment aspect of the show. Either that, or The Hub has since deprecated the practice all together.
    • The iOS Edutainment Game Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day is an interactive storybook with two types of educationally-beneficial minigames thrown in. The makers of the game have gone on to make another one, Ruckus Reader.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Ursa Minor and Major. True to the central theme of Lovecraftian Mythos, they cannot be truly defeated, only put back to sleep temporarily.
    • Discord may also count, as he's an ancient creature of primordial chaos that has to be sealed into a can, and who will only stay sealed until someone new takes up the Elements of Harmony, at which point he can break free again.
    • The Mare of the Moon is released on a very special event, aided by the stars when they are in the right position. "When The Stars Are Right" tend to be a classic release clause for many Lovecraftian entities.
  • Eldritch Location: The Everfree Forest is one to the ponies.
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 That place just isn't natural! The plants grow, animals take care of themselves, and clouds move, all on their own!

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  • Elemental Powers:
    • Rainbow Dash can manipulate water to create rain (her profession), and also to create rainbows, as seen most clearly in with her stunt in "Boast Busters" (also, her name contains the word "rain"), despite the fact that one might think that Rainbow Dash, as a great flyer, might also be associate with the air
      • This seems to be a common thing with all pegasi, considering that Derpy Hooves caused lightning by hopping on a cloud, and that weather control is the job of the pegasi.
    • Rarity can magically locate pockets of precious or semiprecious stones within solid rock, meaning that she, despite not being an earth pony, has earth-based powers.
    • Pinkie Pie, despite being, paradoxically, an earth pony, has a clear affinity for the air, as noted here, and her speed and apparent teleportation abilities are also suggestive of air-based powers, as is the fact that her cutie mark is a bunch of balloons.
    • Twilight Sparkle could be seen as either a fire elemental, given the way her mane and tail are transformed into flames at the party in "Mare in the Moon" and in her rage in "Feeling Pinkie Keen"; on the other hand, Twilight might also be seen as a fifth elemental, given her association with the stars; either designation would fit with her magical powers, especially since, in the classical schema of the elements, fire was seen as being the closest to the fifth element anyway.
    • Interestingly, all of these powers involve some paradox or ambiguity: Rainbow Dash, a pegasus and a great flyer, has water powers; Pinkie Pie, an earth pony, has air-based affinities and powers; Rarity, a unicorn, has earth-based magical powers; Twilight's status is not so much paradoxical as ambiguous: fire powers or fifth-element powers? Meanwhile, Applejack and Fluttershy don't easily fit the classical schema, although Applejack or Fluttershy might be seen as representing some sort of plant element, which was part of some elemental schema, especially in the far east.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Elements of Harmony. They only work for those who represent their Elements, stop working if the harmony between the users is broken, and can reform from being destroyed.
  • Epunymous Title: Episodes so far include:
  • The Erin Winters: The moment in "Magical Mystery Cure" when Twilight Sparkle is revealed to having become an alicorn provides the trope image. 
  • Everythings Better With Bunnies: Angel, as well as the bunny stampede from "Applebuck Season".
  • Everything's Better with Chocolate
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  Pinkie Pie: "Oooooh... chocolate fountainy goodness...!"

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    • And
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  Pinkie Pie: "Hold on a second! Eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain, you guys! Chocolate. Rain!"

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  • Et Tu, Brute?: Lampshaded by Rarity to Sweetie Belle in Ponyville Confidential, after discovering her sister was the gossip columnist who put her diary in the paper.
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  Rarity: "Et tu, Gabby Gums?"

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 Rainbow Dash: What the hay--you said no flying!

Applejack: No, I said no wings.

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 Rainbow Dash: But I said whoever crosses the finish line with me gets to be my pet.

Pinkie Pie: You did! You did say that! She did say that, that was the rule!

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 Applejack: I said I'd tell you at breakfast, and I didn't come to breakfast.

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  • Expanded Universe
  • Expy: Rainbow Dash is a lot like Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls, another show that Lauren Faust worked on. She's also a Captain Ersatz of one of the G1 pony Firefly.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Spike can eat fruit, grass, gemstones… and was the only one unaffected by Applejack's toxic muffins. In fact, he liked them so much that he went through the trouble of rescuing the "baked bads" from the trash so he could eat them all.
    • Oddly, he rejected an apple in "The Ticket Master" for having a worm. Maybe he wasn't in the mood.
    • Pinkie Pie is an Extreme Herbivore at least. The wormy muffins made her sick (she was the only major character to appear in the infirmary, in fact), but she has no problem eating cupcakes that are badly burnt or covered in hot sauce.
    • Pumpkin Cake from the episode "Baby Cakes" is probably just being a baby and chewing on everything in sight as they are prone to do, but it's possible for her to grow into this down the line.
    • The Parasprites can eat ANYTHING, especially after Twilight Sparkle magically changed their diet from food to non-food.

F

  • Face Fault: The other ponies in "Dragonshy" when Fluttershy is to scared to go in the cave.
    • Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom", again because of Fluttershy. This time because she just can't get an outdoor voice "yay" from her.
  • Facehoof: Twilight's typical response to the strange happenings around her, though some other ponies get one in now and then, too.
    • Angel can be seen to facepaw at Fluttershy's clueless moments.
    • Now compiled in this handy compilation!
  • Face Plant: Happens to most of the main characters at one time or another.
    • Applebloom has this as a running joke in Hearts and Hooves.
  • False Camera Effects: There is a Lens Flare in the opening animation.
  • Fandom Nod:
  • Fantastic Drug: Pinkie Pie's laughter-inducing apple cookies from the German magazine comic Wundersame Apfelkekse.
  • Fantasy Axis of Evil:
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To some extent. The aesthetics of pegasus society and Canterlot -- especially architecture -- seem to be based on Ancient Greece, with Disney's Hercules being a particular source of inspiration. Of course, the Pegasus is a creature from Greek mythology to begin with.
    • This also explains Rarity's inspiration for Rainbow Dash's custom dress.
    • The Appleloosan settler-ponies and the buffalo herd are quite obvious analogues to Wild West settlers and Native Americans, respectively.
    • Canterlot seems to be inspired by France with a dash of Britain.
  • Fan Service: Of the non-sexual variety. After Derpy Hooves took off within the fandom, animators started including her more and more often, sometimes in a scripted event and other times as a Funny Background Event - to the point that spotting her has become a Where's Waldo-esque game in some circles. Bassist Octavia being the only returning member of the fancy band (as well as the harpist with her) in "Sweet and Elite" can't be a coincidence, either.
    • However, by far the largest example of this is in "the Last Roundup", when the name Derpy for Derpy Hooves was made canon, as well as giving her a voice!
    • Octavia may actually be a cellist, though admittedly it does appear to be a bass based on visuals as evidenced here.
    • Played straight whenever Tara Strong decides to troll the fandom.
  • Fashion Shop Fashion Show: Twilight and Fluttershy go through this, courtesy of Rarity. Though Twilight doesn't buy anything and Fluttershy was just modeling.
  • The Fashionista: Not only is Rarity the proprietor of the Carousel Boutique, but there's an entire fashion industry in Equestria including designer Hoity Toity, photographer Photo Finish, print advertising campaigns, and trend-following audiences at fashion shows who can't seem to form opinions of their own.
  • Feather Fingers: This was averted initially. Ponies use their mouths, magic, or sometimes even tails to manipulate objects as long as it can be made to work. However, later season 2 episodes features ponies using their hooves as hands more often, or in the case of Pegasus characters (Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy), a literal feather finger.
    • In, Hurricane Fluttershy, the titular character tries to improve her flying by training, including doing wing 'push-ups'
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Twilight Sparkle suffered this after accidentally drinking some hot sauce. Even her tail and mane were on fire.
    • Gilda suffers this, too, during her Humiliation Conga. Pinkie Pie used the fire to roast some marshmallows.
    • Pinkie Pie discovers that rainbows don't really taste like Skittles, or vice versa, in "Sonic Rainboom".
  • First-Name Basis: Pretty much anypony who refers to Twilight Sparkle simply calls her "Twilight." Interestingly, Princess Celestia is the only character to refer to her by her full name with any regularity.
    • Averted with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. The former can be either Pinkie or Pinkie Pie (and in one Full Name Ultimatum, "Pinkamena Diane Pie"), while the latter can be called by first name, last name, or both, with equal familiarity.
  • Flat Character: Diamond Tiara. Lampshaded; her cutie mark matches her crown. This also applies to her BFF Silver Spoon.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Cutie Mark Crusaders' attempts to gain their cutie marks always fail, because otherwise there couldn't be more episodes about them attempting to gain their cutie marks.
  • Foil: Interestingly enough, each of the mane six acts as a foil to another one. The most obvious pair in this regard is Applejack and Rarity; their scenes together emphasize Applejack's more blunt and tomboyish side while highlighting Rarity's mildly obsessive-compulsive girly-girl nature. Similarly, Fluttershy's soft-spoken and gentle personality wrapped around an iron core amplifies Rainbow Dash's personality as a loud, brash, and reckless pony with a soft center. Twilight's straight-laced no-nonsense approach to most things and love of organization contrasts particularly with Pinkie Pie's free-wheeling and scatterbrained pursuit of fun, as well as Pinkie Pie's sometimes irrational behavior against Twilight's preference for logic. These contrasts are almost certainly intentional, and used to help advance a less overt aesop about friendship; the mane Six can be such close friends and an effective team because of their differences, not in spite of them.
    • These are the more obvious pairings, but you could probably find contrasting behaviors between any two ponies that allow them to act as foils. Dashie's brash and reckless act-first-think-later MO, for instance, contrasts nicely with Twi's more careful think-first-act-later nature.
  • Food as Bribe: Twilight is faced with this several times throughout "The Ticket Master" by her friends in attempts to gain an extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, but Twilight manages to turn away the bribes each time despite stating several times how hungry she is. Pinkie Pie also uses this against Spike in "Party of One" as part of her Perp Sweating sequence.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As the camera follows Twilight Sparkle when she's dictating her letter to Celestia in the pilot episode, the hourglass distorts everything behind it like you'd expect, but replaces the unicorn head sculpture outside with Nightmare Moon's head.
    • In the same episode, Rarity is choosing decorative ribbons. Upon selecting a particularly glittery one, she declares "Sparkle always does the trick!".
    • Also in the same episode, Twilight exclaims, "the fate of Equestria does not depend on me making friends." By the end of episode 2, it's pretty clear that it does.
    • Listen closely to the music playing at Pinkie's surprise party in episode one. It's almost identical to the tune of her song in episode 2.
    • When Nightmare Moon shows up at the festival, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are briefly shown cowering in fear next to each other, despite the fact that this episode was before "Call of the Cutie."
    • The camera also pans across each of Twilight's friends as she lists each of the Elements of Harmony as they correspond to each pony.
    • In "Call of the Cutie," Rainbow Dash tells Apple Bloom that she got her cutie mark after her first race. In "Sonic Rainboom," she says that she's only done a sonic rainboom once before, when she was "just a filly." These are, in fact, the same event, which is shown in detail in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles."
    • "The Show Stoppers" hinted what each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' special talents are. Apple Bloom's is designing, Sweetie Belle's is singing/song-writing, and Scootaloo's is dancing.
    • In "Party of One," what happens at Gummy's birthday party is mostly Fauxshadowing, but one of Pinkie Pie's lines is true Foreshadowing.
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 Pinkie: I can't tell you that, silly--then it wouldn't be a surprise!

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    • In the first episode, Twilight proclaims that "all the ponies in this town are CRAZY!". By the time the first season ended, all the mane characters had had a mental breakdown at least once.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Spike mentions that Twilight has a cape, and that he and Twilight dropped it off at the cleaners. In the next episode, "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight wears a cape as part of her Nightmare Night costume.
    • In Party of One during the infamous Pinkamena insanity scene, an odd rendition of Discord's theme can be heard briefly in the background.
    • In "Return of Harmony Part 1", after Rainbow Dash says that she'll always be loyal to the princess, Discord ominously says "We'll see about that...". He later gives her a Sadistic Choice and inverts her sense of loyalty.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: Rainbow Dash NEVER forgets this, and is rarely seen walking on the ground. Fluttershy, however, is a mediocre flyer at best, and rarely flies if she doesn't have to, and on occasion, doesn't even remember she can. The other ponies occasionally forget that two of them (Although in practice, only one of them) can fly. In one instance, this trope is inverted, as Twilight Sparkle asks if she can help with weather duty, forgetting she needs to be able to fly to do that.
    • Applejack forgets that her friends can fly when she attempts a Train Escape in "The Last Roundup".
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: After episode two, the ponies' Elements of Harmony powers and jewelry did not appear until the two-part Season 2 opener. They'd probably be overkill, anyway.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: The theme song uses I-IV-vi-V.
  • Fourth Wall Mail Slot: On March 9th, 2012, to promote that month's McDonald's toys, HappyMeal.com interviewed Pinkie Pie with ten questions submitted by fans.
  • Flower Pot Drop: Every episode involving "Pinkie Sense" has used this:
    • In Feeling Pinkie Keen, when the already horribly-injured Twilight Sparkle is assuring Spike that something is not going to fall, a flowerpot then crashes on her head. Then an anvil. Then a hay wagon. Then a grand piano. They all turned out to have fallen out from a delivery truck that Derpy Hooves was working at.
    • In The Mysterious Mare Do Well, during The Reveal that Mare Do Well is some of the Mane 6 teaching Rainbow Dash a lesson, Pinkie Pie says she stopped the building collapse with her Pinkie Sense. She then detects a falling flowerpot with it, and dashes away to avoid it.
    • In It's About Time, when Twilight asks the gypsy Pinkie Pie if she can use her Pinkie Sense to detect what will happen in the future, Pinkie explains that it's only for immediate emergencies. Cue flowerpot to Twilight's head.
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 Pinkie: Like that. (pause) Where did that even come from?

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    • Twilight then has to wear a white blindfold over her head due to the injury for the rest of the episode. Which turned out to be the reason Future Twilight was wearing one.
  • 42: Twilight's racing number in Fall Weather Friends, but it also turns out to be the number of points on the stars of her Cutie Mark. Additionally, 101010, which is 42 in binary, is the date the show first premiered.
    • Additionally, Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark has seven stars with six points each, adding up to 42 total points.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In "Griffon the Brush Off": When Rainbow Dash and Gilda race to a cloud, each claims to have been first, but Pinkie Pie claims Rainbow Dash won by just a little bit. To the naked eye it looks like a draw, with both arriving in a flash at the same time, but freezing the image at the right time shows Pinkie is actually right.
    • In "Sonic Rainboom": When Twilight Sparkle casts the wing-making spell, an outline of Rarity with her butterfly wings appears for a couple of frames in the explosion of light, several minutes before we get to see the results of the spell properly.
    • In "Stare Master":
      • When her friends dismiss the broken table as who wants a hammer for a cutie mark, Apple Bloom looks dreadfully upset.
      • Just before Sweetie Belle starts singing, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom cover their ears.
    • In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles": During Fluttershy's flashback, at the end of her song, if you watch the upper-left corner of the screen carefully, you can see Rainbow Dash just as she hits her first Sonic Rainboom. See here.
    • In "May the Best Pet Win!": You can spot Derpy in the hen house during the Let's Duet sequence as the song ends. (There's a visual pun hidden there.)
    • In "Secret of My Excess":
      • The dog anatomy pictures in the Vet's room all have the outline of Winona, Applejack's dog.
      • When Spike recovers his normal size and Rarity says "YOU were the rampaging dragon?" Spike grins and strikes a "let me explain" pose for half a second before plummeting to the ground.
    • In "Baby Cakes": If you look closely during the opening, the babies in the nursery have the same or similar color schemes as other ponies, though most of them match more than one other pony (two that can be pinned down are the ones matching Rainbowshine and Medley).
    • This promo from the Hub riffs on the 'There's an App for That' adds from Apple. Every pony app shown has an appropriately punny name and a matching icon (e.g. Wikiponia, Hooftube, etc.), proper use of pony terminology for various app functions, and even the 'PNN' news article with tiny text which flashes by at the end is fully coherent and readable. Someone at The Hub obviously knew that that the Periphery Demographic would examine every frame for details like that, going so far as to give a Shout-Out to popular Pony Blog Equestria Daily.
  • Freudian Trio: Really more of a Freudian Sextet:
    • Twilight Sparkle: Intellectual, driven, conscientious, principled, and dutiful, but also obsessive-compulsive, and at least initially cold and impersonal. (Superego)
    • Rarity: Driven, ambitious, orderly, meticulous, and also can be obsessive-compulsive. (Also superego)
    • Applejack: Responsible and sensible. (Ego)
    • Fluttershy: Also generally responsible, and tries to mediate conflict within the group, and in general. (Also ego)
    • Rainbow Dash: Brash, arrogant, voluble, but also lazy and prone to selfishness. (Id)
    • Pinkie Pie: Chaos incarnate. (Also id)
  • Furo Scene: There have been several scenes where the main characters bathe communally at the local spa, although these really aren't that exciting considering that they're just cartoon ponies who rarely wear clothes anyway.
  • Furry Confusion: On top of the usual ponies, this world also boasts talking cows, mules, sheep, and donkeys, along with non-talking birds, bunnies, dogs, cats, and equines.
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 Pony 1: (Looking back at the carriage he's pulling) Okay, you pull now.

Pony 2: (Leaning out the carriage window) Aww, we just switched!

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 Twilight: Oh... right.

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    • Fluttershy's initial reaction to Spike suggests that in their world he's seen more like an animal.
      • Further backed up when you remember that in "Dragonshy", Fluttershy is brought along to deal with a fully sentient and talking dragon because of her "way with wild animals".
    • Winona. Diamond Dogs. The latter are meant to be troll analogues, but still.
  • Furry Reminder: Many. Lauren Faust wanted it to be clear that the ponies were ponies, not pony-shaped humans. In fact, her reaction to the Bridlemaids ad was, "HUMAN POSES!!! AAARRRRGH!!!" Even the slight Anthropomorphic Shift of Season 2 doesn't stop the reminders from coming.
    • When faced with a threat and it looks like Violence Is the Only Option, most of the horses lower their head, snort, and paw at the ground before charging. The pawing part alone is sometimes used to indicate displeasure.
    • "I heard Zecora eats hay." "Pinkie, I eat hay. You eat hay!"
      • Pinkie remembers this later when singing to the buffalo: "We all eat hay and oats--why be at each other's throats?"
    • When the ponies are getting ready for the Gala, Rarity won't let Spike come in because they're getting dressed. Applejack reminds her, "We don't normally wear clothes."
    • Rarity's song about dressmaking includes a line about cutting out the parts of the dress: "Piece by piece, snip by snip/Croup, dock, haunch, shoulders, hip".
      • In the same song there are the lines: "Making sure it fits forelock and crest/Don't forget some magic in the dress/Even though it rides high on the flank/Rainbow won't look like a tank"
    • In "The Ticket Master", Twilight picks off a flower's petals to determine which of her friends she gives the gala ticket to, gives up after one round... and then proceeds to eat the fallen petals.
    • At one point, Pinkie rolls around in the grass. You may think it's just her randomness, but real horses do that a lot.
    • In the episode "Over the Barrel"" there's a saloon in Appleloosa called "The Salt Block" where ponies serve salt to customers. This may seem bizarre but if you're familiar with real horses then you would know that salt is an important source of nutrition for horses (usually served in a form of solid blocks of salt). It also helps them keep cool especially in hot areas (like the desert environment where Appleloosa is) through the minerals the salt they consume provides.
    • You can hear Big Macintosh let out an authentic neigh towards the end of "Lesson Zero".
      • You can also occasionally hear neighing and other horse sounds being uttered through out the show.
    • Pinkie makes a very horse-like snort of exasperation at (unsuccessfully) trying to get the infant twins she's babysitting to eat.
    • In "A Friend In Deed" Rose tosses a flower at Pinkie Pie, who catches it in her mouth and eats it.
    • In "A Friend In Deed" Cranky Doodle Donkey occasionally brays when something surprising happens.
    • Ponies have been known to buck or rear as signs of excitement or annoyance.
    • In some adventure/quest-based fanfics, (like It's A Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door), the ponies don't pack as much food as one would think, as they can eat the surrounding grass and leaves to conserve their supplies or in case of emergency.

G

  • Gentle Giant: Turns out both the manticore and the sea serpent in episode 2 are actually friendly and easy-going beings.
    • Big Macintosh also qualifies for this, given his huge build, calm personality, and how he patiently puts up with Applejack's stubborn nature.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Unusual Euphemism "Oh, horse apples!" does this literally; "horse apples" is a slang term for horse dung. Also, see Stealth Pun on the Q to Z page.
  • Ghibli Hills: Surrounding Ponyville and Fluttershy's house.
  • Giggling Villain: While Chrysalis can certainly pull off a full blown Evil Laugh, she does tend to giggle creepily when amused.
  • Gilligan Cut: Done without a cut in "Call of the Cutie", when Apple Bloom declares that she won't go to Diamond Tiara's cuteceañera, which, thanks to the Rule of Perception, turns out to have already started Behind the Black. The show Justifies this by Apple Bloom forgetting Pinkie was hosting and she was already where the party was set to be held.
    • Used more conventionally to omit any explanation for how the Cutie Mark Crusaders ran into Twilight Sparkle in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles":
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 Scootaloo: Come on, girls! We need action! We need Rainbow Dash!

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Twilight Sparkle: As a young filly in Canterlot, I always wanted to go to the Summer Sun Celebration....

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  • Giving Up on Logic: The episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen" is all about Twilight Sparkle trying to find a logical reason how Pinkie Pie has the strange ability called "Pinkie Sense". By the end of the episode, Twilight Sparkle gives up, and learns that not all things need to be completely understood to be considered real or true.
  • Goal in Life: Discovering your purpose in life creates your cutie mark on your flank. Given how permanent those things seem to be, one has to hope there's no pony equivalent to a mid-life crisis.
    • The cutie mark just represents that particular pony's special talent, which often goes hand in hand with their chosen occupation. For example, Rainbow Dash's cutie mark signifies that her special talent is high-speed flying. She definitely enjoys it, and plans to make a career out of it by joining the Wonderbolts, but she's also shown great skill in weather control (clearing the sky in ten seconds flat, etc.). Another good example is Pinkie Pie. Her special talent, as shown by her three-balloons cutie mark is organizing parties. However, she's also an excellent ice skater and is able to play several instruments at once, which don't have any direct relation to parties.
  • Gosh Hornet: Twilight Sparkle has disturbed a bee's nest and been covered with stings twice: in "Winter Wrap-Up" and "Feeling Pinkie Keen". Rainbow Dash was chased by a swarm of bees in "Fall Weather Friends", but managed to get away from them. Interestingly, there's a beehive hanging from one of the upper branches of the library where Twilight lives.
  • Gonna Fly Now Montage: An almost literal one for Fluttershy in Hurricane Fluttershy, where she trains herself to be a stronger flyer (with her animal friends acting as motivational trainers).
  • Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Fluttershy to Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom":
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 Fluttershy: But Rainbow Dash, just because you failed the Sonic Rainboom a hundred thousand times in practice doesn't mean you won't be able to do it in front of an entire stadium full of impatient, super-critical sports fan ponies!

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  Photo Finish: Nervous? Don't be ridiculous. You're only facing a large crowd of ponies who will be watching your every moves and silently judging you.

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  • Green Rooming: Princess Luna and Zecora both got entire episodes dedicated to introducing each early on in Season One, but neither really got any further screentime until Season Two (barring one quick scene for Zecora in the episode immediately after hers).
  • God Save Us From the Queen: The Big Bad of the season 2 finale is Chrysalis, queen of the Changelings.
  • Gross Up Close-Up: A few relatively tame ones.
  1. according to Happy Meal.com's Pinkie Pie interview, she "celebrated by having the best Hearts and Hooves party ever with every pony in Ponyville!"
  2. she was in the script but was cut out
  3. Although Aesop's wording was a little different, as he was talking about hominids rather than small horses.
  4. the Ponyville library, named in the Stuck On Stories storybook, in the Sparkle World story Spooky Slumber Party!, on a Treehouse TV web page, at a Hasbro seminar, and in a Swedish book; also given an alternate name in The Hub's Club Hub
  5. the Friendship Express Train's usual first car, named in the toys
  6. the Friendship Express Train's usual second car, named in the toys
  7. the Pie family's rock farm outside of Ponyville, named in the licensed merchandise
  8. Pony Joe's donut store in Canterlot, named in the licensed merchandise
  9. the Ponyville schoolhouse, named in the toys
  10. the Sweet Apple Acres barn, named in the toys
  11. the hot air balloon, named in this toy commercial and in the toys
  12. who would later appear in "Boast Busters", "Bridle Gossip", "Feeling Pinkie Keen", "The Best Night Ever", "The Return of Harmony Part 1", and "Putting Your Hoof Down"
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