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Storyline and Aesop reactions/interpretations

  • Accidental Aesop:
    • "Winter Wrap-Up" seems to have the message "If you have no talent, and are good at nothing, go into management," even though Twilight wound up the All-Team Organizer because she actually is good at getting things organized (and everypony else stinks at it).
    • "Suited for Success" provides the explicit moral of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and the implicit moral of "if you hire a professional to do a job, let THEM do the job they're paid for."
    • "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was interpreted by many as the triumph of religious dogma over skepticism. According to Lauren Faust, this was totally unintentional, and she was a little freaked out when folks on DeviantArt started complaining about it.
    • The moral of "The Show Stoppers" was probably intended to be "Be Yourself, and embrace your natural talents," but to some fans it came off as "Don't waste your time trying new things. Just stick to what you're good at, even if you hate it."
    • "A Dog and Pony Show" can be misinterpreted as "Whining will make everyone bend to your whims!"
      • Or alternatively, "If someone accuses you of whining, pull the Rarity card!"
      • Also, "Just ignore it when your friend gets kidnapped; they can probably handle themselves."
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles" is about "be patient and be yourself and you'll learn who you are", and "Sweet and Elite" is about "don't be ashamed of where you come from" but both have the sub-lesson of "city people are shallow, snobby, and sneer down their noses at anything outside their experience, so don't let their opinions sway you."
    • "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Lesson Zero" both have "if you blow off your friend's concerns/feelings/freakouts, it will cause more trouble", which apparently means Aesop Amnesia as Twilight learned it in the first and then freaked out in the second.
    • Celestia's amendment at the end of "Lesson Zero" sort of turns the moral into "if your friend has a psychotic breakdown, you're obligated to share her homework load. Even if you don't go to school."
      • It may also be interpreted as "you will take OCD seriously, or terrible things will happen".
      • The episode also has the lesson the CMC should've learned: "If someone offers you something you really don't want, you can politely turn it down and not trying to dance around avoiding accepting it to avoid hurt feelings. Honesty is the best policy."
    • The moral of "Cutie Pox" is about having patience and that good things come to those who wait. While this is a valid aesop, it's not the real aesop of the episode, which was earning what you want and not cheating by taking short cuts and being dishonest.
    • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" many fans seem read this one as "it's okay to humiliate your friends to teach them a lesson of humility." It wouldn't be the first time a lesson about hubris fumbled slightly.
    • "Sweet and Elite" seems to say "Lying gets you out of every situation, gets you everything you want, and there are no negative consequences."
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles", "The Best Night Ever" and "Sweet or Elite" all have the secondary lesson of "If you're from a quaint and sweet little provincial town, all the rich big city people are going to be shallow snobs who sneer at you and your "country" ways." So far the only exceptions have been Hoity Toity from "Suited For Success" (who was fairly impressed with Rarity's original designs for the dresses she made) and Fancypants from "Sweet and Elite" (who seemed to think that Rarity's Ponyville friends were "charmingly rustic")
    • The pageant in "Hearth's Warming Eve" seems rather anti-authoritarian, depicting all the rulers of the pony tribes (be they aristocracy, the military, or elected officials) as selfish, stubborn, and/or incompetent.
      • Fridge Brilliance: No matter one's race, color, or creed, we all question the sanity of upper management (at least sometimes). Notice that the "assistant" ponies bonded over shaking their heads at their superiors' foolish actions.
    • "A Friend In Deed" seems to teach kids "If someone doesn't want to be your friend, bug them until you find out why."
    • "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" could be taken to teach the lesson that market competition is a good thing, because it was clear that, the way things were, the Apples were unable to serve the needs of the market. The Flim-Flams were definitely bad, but them introducing competition did force the Apples to innovate and make enough cider for all.
  • Accidental Innuendo:

  "Are you ready for the birds and the bees and the apple trees / And a whole lotta foolin' around?"


 Are you saying my mouth is making promises my legs can't keep?

    • Rarity getting to bed in "Look Before You Sleep" makes noises that, when taken out of context, make this scene look... interesting.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Rarity is lounging in a hot tub, with a look of sheer bliss on her face. Cue Pinkie rising out of the water in, um, questionable proximity to Rarity...
      • Alternatively: "I have located the water jet."
      • In the same episode, Twilight Sparkle's horn becomes floppy with blue dots on it. The way it flops around is reminiscent of, well... you get the picture.
    • Due to where Spike is sitting during Twilight's first verse in the "Winter Wrap-Up" song, it's easy to see how he might be doing something else entirely. The way he bounces while Twilight is walking along does not help.
    • A squicky example occurs in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" when ponies are running away from hydra, and Spike is seen sitting on Twilight's head right in the place where her horn should be, which is nowhere to be seen, and there's an expression of pain on his face. (not to mention he's positioned there suspiciously firmly considering they were running uphill at high-speed)
    • "Sonic Rainboom", which ends with Rainbow Dash flying off with two (male) members of the Wonderbolts and declaring "... I've got plans!", could be taken as this.
      • That same episode also opens with Fluttershy recapping "the elements of a good cheer": "loss of control", "screaming and hollering", and "passion". Taken out of context, it kinda sounds like she and Rainbow Dash are talking about... something else. Not to mention that it's given out of context, with no explanation until afterwards.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders in "Stare Master"

 "Well if I ever saw one of them cock-a-thingies face to face, I'd laugh at how silly it was!"

"Who would want a picture of a hammer on their flank anyway?"

    • When the episode first aired, some fans got a little carried away with the fact that "Twilight went to Zecora's house and got stoned, then snails left a trail of goo across her face"
    • "Over a Barrel" gives us Rainbow Dash and her now-infamous "wing-boner".
    • Spike remarking in "The Best Night Ever" "I gotta show Rarity the crown jewels."
      • In the same episode, to get the Wonderbolts' attention Rainbow Dash catapults a male pony into the air and "saves" him from the fall by catching him on her back... and if you cut the last scene out of context, it suddenly starts looking completely different. It doesn't help that Rainbow's expression looks really dirty.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight tries some Armchair Psychology on Rainbow Dash when she thinks Rainbow is angry at Applejack, and tells her "Oh, Rainbow Dash, you don't have to hide your feelings from me." TwiDash shippers took notice.
    • In "The Cutie Pox", some amused fans noted "Apple Bloom gained the pony equivalent of puberty, and Applejack was kept awake during the night due to loud clopping coming from Apple Bloom's room".
    • In "May the Best Pet Win", Rainbow Dash tells Twilight that her inability to understand the difference between "coolness", "awesomeness", and "radicalness" is why she would never qualify to be her pet. Errmmm...
    • In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", the sounds of Amethyst Star opening a jar of peanut butter off-screen, can sound... different. Let's leave it there.
    • A line from the Theme Tune Extended (included as a sing-along on the DVD The Friendship Express) mentions fun and laughter being "as easy as Pinkie Pie".
    • A Singinginthe Rain tribute (in "Hearts and Hooves Day") wound up being mistaken by some for a pole-dancing joke. What made this particularly foul was that the tribute was done by Sweetie Belle, of all characters.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: "Griffon the Brush Off" and "Green Isn't Your Color" set us up to believe the Aesops "a prank is only fun if everybody is laughing" and "don't be jealous" are coming. Twilight instead ends the episodes with "a bad friend will eventually make themselves known" and "be honest about your feelings." Both are decent Aesops which fit their episodes and could also be a subversion or double subversion of stock Aesops.
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" could be said to not only preach "You shouldn't let glory go to your head and turn you into a braggart", but also "Fame is fleeting", based on how quick the ponies of Ponyville were to celebrate Mare Do Well and almost completely ignore Rainbow Dash. And given that Mare-Do-Well is actually four of the other members of the Mane Six, who manage to accomplish more than Rainbow Dash could alone, it teaches a lesson about the Power of Teamwork.
    • A different Aesop that can be taken from the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" then the one given at the end can be taken as "You don't NEED a 'very special somepony' to be happy, even on a day dedicated to having one."
  • Author's Saving Throw: the early seasons got criticised for portraying the Ponies as superior morally and physically to the other Loads and Loads of Races featured in the setting, with members of other species usually being villains, jerks or just plain ineffectual. Even Spike, the Token Heroic Dragon, was often portrayed as incompetent and clumsy compared to the ponies. Later seasons (and the Comics) show a variety of good characters from other races (Gilda (post-Heel-Face Turn), Gabby, Thorax, Ember, Mina, Ocellus, Silverstream, Smolder, Yona, Gallus and Sandbar), gave Spike more character development (and the comics made Spike an Adaptational Badass) and show every race has its strengths and weaknesses. In season 8, they even feature a Fantastic Racist villain in the form of Chancellor Neighsay who goes through a Heel-Face Turn in the finale.
  • Broken Base: The implication in the series finale that Applejack and Rainbow Dash become a couple. Some don't mind, but others are annoyed that Rainbow Dash potentially liking girls is not only annoying stereotypical, but goes completely against Lauren Faust's intentions for the character.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment:
    • In the pilot episode, Twilight says "All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!" By the end of the season, every mane character has suffered a nervous breakdown at some point. And then in the season 2 episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight goes completely (if temporarily) over the edge.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Spike gives Rainbow Dash the nickname "Rainbow Crash", due to her temporary clumsiness. In "Sonic Rainboom", we learn that this was the very name Rainbow Dash's childhood bullies labeled her with for years.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Knowledge of astronomy and a close look at the Ursa Major's tail in Boast Busters may tip you off early that it's actually an Ursa Minor.
    • The scene in "Winter Wrap Up" with the two hedgehogs embracing and accidentally sticking each other with their spines is a reference to the hedgehog's dilemma theory of psychology.
    • Look at the chalkboard in the beginning of "Call of the Cutie". These kids are learning damn astrophysics!
      • Or at least physics [1] and vector calculus. [2]
    • Gilda's maltreatment of the ponies actually borders on Fridge Brilliance when you realize that in mythology, griffons and horses were mortal enemies.
    • Rarity re-enacts the story of Icarus at the Young Flyer's Competition.
    • At the end of the second episode (part two of the pilot), "The Elements of Harmony": two foals lay a wreath of red and white roses around Princess Luna's neck. This might seem like a conventional way of honoring and welcoming a princess, but consider that, at the end of the War of the Roses, Henry VII took as his symbol a red and white rose, combining the Lancastrian red rose and the Yorkist white rose. So red and white roses together are a symbol of reconciliation following a civil war within a royal family for control of the kingdom, or principality in this case.
    • In "The Best Night Ever", Spike mentions Princess Celestia has a golden apple tree. In certain Greek and Norse mythos, golden apples grant immortality.
      • They are also, in Greek mythology, a symbol of DISCORD... one golden apple in particular led to the Trojan wars, and the sacking of Troy-- and the death of a dozen or so legendary Greek heroes.
      • The Apple(s) of Discord return in the second season's first episode, where they are used to sow discord among the mane six, fittingly, right at the start of the challenge.
    • Twilight's mentioned Star Swirl the Bearded created an "amniomorphic spell". "Amnio-" as a medical term deals with the fetus, so "amniomorphic" potentially deals with the development of babies, which is essentially what Twilight did when she hatched Spike.
      • Actually, it's highly possible that the spell's name refers to "lamb-shape". Which would make Star Swirl the inventor of a spell that turns ponies into sheep.
    • Also in "Luna Eclipsed," Luna keeps using old-fashioned, "formal" versions of the second-person personal pronoun: thou, thee, thy, thine, etc., even though she supposedly wants (much like her sister, in a way) a closer, warmer relationship with her subjects. But actually, thou, thee, thy, and so forth are actually the informal, personal versions of the second-person personal pronoun, much like "tu" in French or Spanish, or "du" in German. You, your, and so forth are the formal forms. When Luna addresses the other ponies as "thou," she's basically saying that she considers them to be close friends.
      • This makes sense if you consider that she has been trapped in isolation for a thousand years. Thou, thee, thy and thine are Early Modern[3] English, which was still in use a thousand years ago.
      • Which is also why she would not know the meaning of the word fun (in this case amusement) which in the real world has only had that meaning since the 1700s.
    • Both Princesses wear collars. Celestia, who wears the larger collar, is older, more mature, and more experienced... and has born (and still bears) most of the burden of ruling Equestria. Luna, whose collar is much smaller, is the younger, less mature, and more impulsive sister... and is still adjusting to 1000 years' worth of progress. Factor in the purpose and benefits of the real-world horse collar harness, and decide for yourself if the symbolism was intentional or not.
    • If you have any interest in color theory, Celestia's mane might be of great interest to you. Sky Blue is the main color, and one of the stripes bears a shade of cyan called Celeste. The third color present is Orchid, a shade of magenta. Why Orchid? Because the orchid is one of the flowers representing the Chinese Four Gentlemen. It symbolizes spring, the season in which the sun warms the earth so life can continue.
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is seen looking over a chalkboard covered in equations, which are apparently real equations for the effects of time dilation.
    • Oh, how is this for genius: in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1", during the song "B.B.B.F.F", there is actually a double meaning (which Daniel Ingram has confirmed):

 The song is in the key of Db Major (just like winter wrap up!) . That means that the root chord is a Db major chord. Usually, a Ab major chord will lead into a Db major. This is the V-I chord progression and it is also known as the Authentic Cadence (stick with me here). Now, it seems to resolve to a sadder chord at the end of the phrase. Instead of ending on Db major around 1:16, it lands on Bb minor: the relative minor of Db major. Now, when a chord progression seems to be heading to the root chord but lands on the relative minor instead, that is called a...


Deceptive Cadence

Also worth noting, listen to how Twilight sings the last "forever" in the song. Her little cadenza (I am seriously not making these words up) quotes the opening notes of the theme song.

  • Girls Need Role Models: One of the biggest messages the show has to offer is that there is no wrong way to be a girl.
  • Growing the Beard: A lot of fans consider the very early episodes weaker than the rest of the show. Depending on who you ask, the series hit its stride either on "Applebuck Season" or halfway through the first season. Some contend that it didn't really take off until season two.
    • Regardless of one's opinion on the writing, there's been some definite Art Evolution when comparing Season 1 to Season 2.
  • Hard to Weld Work: It would have extremely hard to incorporate the show into the short-lived Hasbro Comic Universe.  
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering the episode was produced long before Cupcakes was written, Pinkie Pie's psychotic break in "Party of One" is rather eerie, doubly so considering Rainbow Dash is the pony to visit her during her episode.
    • Twilight Sparkle's line "All the ponies in this town are crazy!" is either a lot less funny or a lot more funny, given the episodes in which one of the mane cast suffer some sort of breakdown.
    • Scootaloo has been called a chicken by Apple Bloom and a dodo by Sweetie Belle, which means that her two best friends are taunting her by calling her the names of flightless birds. Now keep in mind that Scootaloo is a flightless pegasus who idolizes and wants to be like Rainbow Dash, a pegasus that's known for her flying ability, and think how painful that must be for her.
    • Most people thought that Twilight's panic attack about Princess Celestia possibly being upset about Ponyville being destroyed by the Parasprites in "Swarm Of The Century" was pretty funny. Now look at Twilight's nervous breakdown in "Lesson Zero" along with Princess Celestia's appearance in the end, and see if you can laugh at Twilight's nervousness about staying on Princess Celestia's good side.
    • The entire story presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve" becomes really creepy for those who are familiar with the mythology surrounding Wendigos.
    • Fan interpretation of Derpy Hooves as a Doctor Whooves companion will sometimes lead up to the tearful farewell that Doctor companions go through in canon - this is speculated to have almost become a reality with the backlash over Derpy's big scene.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: See here.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "Swarm of the Century": see Poor Communication Kills on the main page.
    • Also, "Look Before You Sleep" has Twilight Sparkle so obsessed with having a slumber party, she doesn't even sensibly react to half of a tree crashing through her bedroom window.
      • Although, that might not be Idiot Plot so much as Twilight Sparkle specifically holding the Idiot Ball. Most likely from the concussion she got from the tree hitting her.
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", Rainbow Dash uses her ability to fly to cheat in various events. Until Applejack points it out, none of the ponies think it unfair, and neither do they bother rerunning the events she cheated in. Let's face it, when even Twilight Sparkle doesn't object to Dash LIFTING APPLEJACK INTO THE AIR DURING A TUG OF WAR, this trope is definitely in play.
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the Flim Flam brothers are either holding the Conflict Ball or the Villain Ball, but either way a lot of what they do triggers one of these. If either of them had possessed an ounce of business sense, or at least hadn't been so arrogant during the contest, the episode would have been much shorter.
  • It Was His Sled: Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, Nightmare Moon was defeated and turned back into Luna. There are toys of her and she came back in one episode of Season 2 (she even gets mentioned in the Season 2 première). The reveal at the end of the second episode isn't much of a spoiler anymore.
  • Less Disturbing in Context: Fluttershy's song from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" includes the lines "Oh, what a magical place!/And I owe it all to the Pegasus race!" If heard out of context and without the accompanying visuals it may sound like Fluttershy is propagating Pegasus supremacy. It doesn't help that the mentions of wild animals, bees, and trees might be mistaken for a reference to "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"...
  • Nightmare Fuel coupled with Fridge Logic: Many of the situations in the series, although portrayed as saccharine, in reality are unmitigated nightmare fuel incarnate. Some examples that come to mind are the mind rape of the Mane 6 by Discord (As well as implied with everypony in Equestria), or the Nightmare Moon arc's threat of eternal night.
  • Never Live It Down: It doesn't appear that any fan will soon forget, or forgive, the fact that Grogar in Season 9 was just Discord in disguise.
  • Older Than They Think: Thorax was not the first good changeling featured on the show, Kevin showed up in the Season 4 Finale Twilight's Kingdom part 2 and Season 5 episode Slice Of Life. He was named in the Card Game.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Anypony you see on the screen may be a changeling. Any one at any given time. Much worse in-universe.
  • So Okay It's Average: The opinion of many fans about "Owl's Well That Ends Well", largely because it aired a week after the more widely-loved episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: It can happen a few times, most notably in "Lesson Zero." Even if you don't consider something to be a huge problem, it's still important to your friend so you should sit down and listen to them.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Any time Pinkie Pie starts singing. Thankfully, her songs are presented in an ironic fashion; breaking into song impromptu is one of Pinkie Pie's personality quirks in-universe. The rest of the cast reacts appropriately ("Tell me she's not..." "(sigh) She is."). Thus, instead of being the Narm that one might expect from this franchise, this subtle Fourth Wall lampshading allows the Periphery Demographic to feel at ease watching the show.
    • You think Pinkie Pie's songs are that? When Fluttershy sings, it's the equivalent of syrup flooding the room!
    • In general, watching this show has been known to cause cavities.
    • The fact that the 6 main ponies have had nervous breakdowns tends to lessen the sweetness.
    • The whole show could be considered a huge subversion/aversion (compared to expectations), which is why it has the popularity and fanbase that it does.
    • Still, the theme song... Let's just say it remains embarrassing.
      • And yet still pretty catchy at the same time.
      • Some people think it's okay. That said, some people do feel a need to turn down the volume when someone's in the room for the theme song.
        • When the "Teens React" show used the intro, the reaction from both the teens and the bronies responding to that was fairly predictable.
    • The ending to The Cutie Mark Chronicles was even further on the sweet side than usual for this show, but well-written enough for come off as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. It didn't stop Scootaloo and Spike from Lampshading how sappy it was, though.

 Spike: Gross! When did you get so cheesy?

    • Some have noted that Baby Cakes is this trope incarnate.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In "Dragon Quest" Spike wants to learn about dragons during "The Great Dragon Migration". Good, but then the plot goes into him being picked on teenaged dragons, earning their respect and then finding out they're just mean bastards. It could have been better spent building a mythology of the place of dragons in Equestria and add in that the bullying subplot could have just been easily done with stallions in Ponyville. Season 6 however went a ways in correcting this, featuring a deeper look at dragon culture.
    • An episode about Rainbow Dash breaking her wing? That's an amazing idea! Think of the drama she would go through, wondering when she would fly again, being forced to live the life of an Earth pony until it heals... or it could be about her getting addicted to reading. Uh, sure, that might work too, I guess.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Applying the "idealism" end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism to Cowboys and Indians meant "Over a Barrel" had this in spades, especially as it seems to be based on a historic event with much higher stakes and a much more gruesome ending.
    • The ending of "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was even less well received. The way Twilight worded the intended moral did not help. Perhaps not coincidentally, it had the same writer as "Over a Barrel".
    • Pinkie Pie's family, as seen in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", is apparently based on Amish communities, and paints a rather unflattering stereotype of them being drab, joyless, and humorless. Even considering Pinkie's "skill with storytelling," this isn't all that well-off.
    • Spike's relative age, lack of formal schooling and status as Twilight's "research assistant" (as well as whatever else she might need) has some people bringing up child labor issues.
      • Speaking of Spike, "Green Isn't Your Color" show him acting as a personal pincushion for a pony he loves, who doesn't seem to return the favor. While Twilight does at least ask if he's feeling pain (he isn't as a scaled dragon, but asserts he wouldn't care if he did) nopony seems to mind that Rarity is manipulating Spike's affections in an extremely degrading way.
    • Sapphire Shores's voice actress essentially makes her the pony equivalent of a Sassy Black Woman, the exact archetype for which, in some circles, "sapphire" is a pejorative term.
    • Twilight's element of harmony, magic, is clearly treated as the best and most special (Season 2, episode 1 especially 'most powerful and elusive of all'). Seems power or made up mystical ability is way better than being honest, loyal, or generous. It takes a while to realize that it's supposed to be a stand-in for Friendship...
    • This was probably not done intentionally by the creative team, but mention is still warranted. While the ponies come in all colors of the rainbow, they come across as eurocentric, with other nationalities represented by entirely different (and stereotypically indigent) species. Granted, even if they didn't, the implications would probably still be unavoidable.
    • Derpy Hooves' first spoken scene caused a split in the fanbase as to whether or not it fit this trope. Her character was confirmed to be a cross-eyed, Simpleton Voice-Voiced Walking Disaster Area, and she was viewed as a burden by one of the main characters. This, coupled with the fact that "derp" was originally an insult directed at the disabled, did not go over well, to say the least.
      • A redub intended to rectify the implications raised a host of different implications, from "the disabled have no place in society" and "blondes are morons" to retracting claims of support for a prominent chunk of the fanbase.
    • The infamous "mental patient" pony from "Read It and Weep," who barks like a guard dog and sports a screw for a cutie-mark.
    • Some of the things Angel does to Fluttershy in "Putting Your Hoof Down" when he's unsatisfied with his meal are close to Domestic Abuse, including slapping her across the face and kicking her out of the house. He is a Vague Age Tsundere, maybe a smidge older then Spike, that swings between Hypercompetent Sidekick and Bratty Half-Pint when it comes to his "needs." He is also a rabbit, so take that all as you will.
    • Spike "adopting" a baby phoenix named "Peewee" at the end of "Dragon Quest". It's supposed to parallel Spike being Happily Adopted by ponies. Cute, until you remember that Spike is well-aware of who Peewee's parents are and could simply have just returned the baby phoenix to his parents. In other words, Spike is pretty much guilty of kidnapping.
      • Likewise, the main conflict of the episode is that Spike wants to learn more about his dragon heritage. The problem? About the only dragons Spike interacts with are a bunch of teenage bullies and the episode implies that all dragons act like this. When you consider the Real Life conflicts between cultures and how various ethnicities have been stereotyped over the years as being "evil", it's not exactly a good way to teach the kids a lesson about "What you are doesn't determine who you are".
    • In "Secret Of My Excess", it's revealed that Spike's greedy behavior is normal for dragons. Fair enough. Yet the episode treats this like it's a bad thing. Let's just say a few members of the fandom were quick to notice parallels between this and how some people try to keep a wild animal as a pet by attempting to hinder its natural instincts and leave it at that.

Character reactions/interpretations

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: At this point, it's easier to just say this has been applied to every character in the show. Every villain and jerk has been put in a leather saddle, every heroine has been turned into a pony eater, and everything in between. The less screentime, the better! Fans like turning the show and the characters on its head.
  • Awesome Ego: Trixie and Rainbow Dash.
  • Badass Decay: Lord Tirek. Unstoppable in Season 4, Demoted to Dragon in Season 9. Though in fairness, Discord was helping him in Season 4 while he was sabotaging and manipulating him in Season 9.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Pick a pony, anypony. There will be people who love them and people who think they're the worst character on the show and ought to be removed. Yes, even THAT Pony.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders tend to divide fans between those who find them cute and those who just think they're annoying. Scootaloo especially, because of her total lack of interest in anypony's cutie mark story except Rainbow Dash's in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
      • On the other hoof, they were somewhat Rescued From the Scrappy Heap in the eyes of some haters, since without them "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" wouldn't have happened. But, that doesn't go for everyone.
    • Also if you look at all the things said about the Crusaders, no one actually dislikes them so much as they're just a little annoyed with their supposed Spotlight-Stealing Squad status.
      • The fact that by fighting in the presence of Discord's statue prison (i.e., creating discord), they offer the means for his escape doesn't help them.
      • It may have helped them a little to see them playing together in "Lesson Zero" and not doing anything at all cutie mark related.
      • However, they return to their condition of divisive characters in later episodes.
      • Basically, if the Crusaders don't cause any trouble and are just acting like kids, their haters seem to be okay with them. When the episode focuses on them finding their cutie marks or they cause trouble, that's when things get messy.
    • Gilda. Some view her as a Jerkass Woobie, others as just a Jerkass.
      • Then there's those who remember mythology and build Fridge Horror around the fact it is gryphons' very nature to hate horses, and Gilda was merely a victim of her species' characteristics.
      • Same goes for Trixie.
    • Pipsqueak. Some adore him, others hate him.
    • Amethyst Star, the unicorn pony who competed with Dinky during the race in "Sisterhooves Social". While most of the fandom came to embrace her, several complained about her ruining their fandom for Dinky and Derpy.
    • Derpy, after her first voice appearance. Most fans were excited and went nuts, though a portion thought she was a mockery of the mentally disabled.
      • It only got worse when she got a new voice.
      • Some fans just thought it was crossing a fanservice line by turning an In Joke into... well, something that's not an in joke, and didn't appreciate it.
      • Some weren't offended by Derpy herself, but by the way Rainbow Dash, a protagonist for impressionable young children to learn from, derided her and treated her like a burden. When you compare this to shows like South Park, an adult show full of Dead Baby Comedy, in which the protagonists treat their mentally handicapped colleagues equally to everyone else, it's not hard to see where they're coming from.
    • Twist: Is her lisp cute or annoying?
    • Fluttershy's Character Development during Season Two has become this. While many fans enjoy the more confident and assertive Fluttershy of this season, other fans miss the more timid and Shrinking Violet Fluttershy of Season One.
    • Redeemed villains usually bring this up, with fans debating whether the characters were more interesting as a villain or as a friend.
    • King Sombra is quite a big one. He's either Evil Is Cool or a Generic Doomsday Villain. There's also how he's been portrayed in EU media (which paints him as a Tragic Villain) and whether that's a more interesting portrayal.
    • However, none of them can hold a candle to Starlight Glimmer.
      • When she was first introduced, she was either an interesting Visionary Villain or a step down from the powerful Big Bads that had preceded her.
      • When she was redeemed, she was either a spoiled Karma Houdini who was forgiven way too quickly compared to the arguably less evil Nightmare Moon or her redemption was understandable and the punishment fit the crime.
      • Starlight being the star of Season 6's finale. A fun Suicide Squad like setup or Character Shilling given how the Alicorns were worfed? A point of agreement on both sides however is that this divide wouldn't have been so bad if the show had dedicated more time to showing how the Changelings had captured everyone.
      • Did Starlight steal Sunset Shimmer's role? And Trixie's to a lesser extent (though they ended up becoming friends in the end)?
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Rainbow Dash is incredibly similar to Sonic the Hedgehog. Both of them are cartoon animals who can break the sound barrier, have spiky hair, have an "attitude", and have a tendency to boast about their speed. To drive the point home, both of them are idolized by orange-furred children (Scootaloo for Rainbow, Tails for Sonic).
    • Pinkie Pie and Kirby, mainly because their both pink heroes with huge appetites and also inflate there bodies at certain points (Kirby to fly, and Pinkie Pie during some of her random cartoon physics most noticeable during her Pinkie Sense when she found out that Twilight believing in her abilities was the doozy she predicted). They also have had trouble with dealing with bird based characters (King Dedede for Kirby and Gilda for Pinkie) so these characters do have a lot in common.
  • Crazy Awesome: Pinkie Pie practically defines this trope.
    • Lauren Faust has also reached this status with a lot of the fan base for saving the My Little Pony franchise in general.
    • Discord, considering he is the embodiment of chaos.
    • Tank. A cool tortoise with Super Strength who can fly using a personalized Magitek helicopter.
    • In "Family Appreciation Day" Granny Smith says and does a number of strange things which turn out to be very important for the harvesting of Zap Apples and the creation of Zap Apple Jam.
  • Creepy Awesome: Discord practically wrote the book on this trope.
    • Apparently, Queen Chrysalis wrote the sequel.
  • Designated Protagonist Syndrome:
    • Twilight Sparkle was viewed as such during the show's first season. She had her quirks, but she was largely a vehicle to explore the wacky antics of the other five. Season 2 did away with this by showing more of Twilight's character flaws and exploring the cast as a whole.
    • Sandar among the Young Six in Season 8, for being the only pony among the multispecies group. His genericness is lampshaded more than once by his friends.
  • Dudette, Not Funny!: Rainbow Dash, considering that some of her actions and pranks fall under this description.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Why else would Discord and Nightmare Moon have such huge fanbases?
    • Daybreaker, Celestia's version of Nightmare Moon.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Nightmare Moon, kind of. To some people, anyway. And that's not even touching that voice of hers...
    • Queen Chrysalis to an extent, for some. Some of her fan-art has been quite... provocative.
  • Face of the Band: For the band that played at the Grand Galloping Gala, Octavia is the most popular and always in the center of the band (or near it at least) during "The Best Night Ever" and the first to appear on-screen when they show up again during "Sweet and Elite".
  • Genius Bonus: Remember that rather prominent stars that were shining through the Ursa Minor's body? When the whole thing was perfectly standing still and straight, guess what stellar formation they gave off.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff / Americans Hate Tingle: If Nico Nico comments on Japanese fansubs are anything to go by, Gilda is more sympathetic to Japanese audiences and Trixie less so.
    • To the Japanese fandom, Big Mac, Cheerilee, and Fluttershy are the top three most popular ponies. Big Mac is usually known by the honorific "Aniki" ("Big Brother"), Cheerilee is greatly respected for her teaching skills (earning her the nickname "Cheerilee-Sensei"), and Fluttershy has been regarded as an “Honorary Japanese” because of her personality.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Luna, with the emphasis on "jerkass" in season 1's first two episodes, and the emphasis on "woobie" in "Luna Eclipsed". [4]
    • Trixie is also often seen in this light, mainly because she loses her home after her debut episode.
    • Gilda is interpreted this way by some fans.
    • Rainbow Dash in some of her lower points. To some extent, all the mane cast have moments in the spotlight that involve them acting arrogant or reckless, and paying a heavy price for it (and yes, even Fluttershy a couple of times).
  • Magnificent Bastard: Discord is one sly trolling bastard in his two-part episode.
    • Magnificent Bitch: Princess Celestia. Yes, her. If her plans throughout Season 1 didn't qualify her, then out gambling Discord by sending Twilight some letters certainty does.
    • Queen Chrysalis is as cunning as them both.
  • Memetic Badass: Fluttershy. No, seriously.
    • Spike is showing signs of this, as shown by this video.
    • Also Angel.
    • Ace, the tennis player pony. Here is a Chuck Norris Facts-esque list about him.
    • Princess Celestia, memetic goddess. All but omnipresent even on this wiki. Things such as her defeat by Chrysalis almost immediately getting blamed on the Worf Effect and discussions of whether or not Princess Cadence is even a "real" alicorn can be pretty straightforwardly traced to this.
    • "The Great and Powerful" Trixie is one. In show, she's displayed as being somewhat talented, but rather pathetic in terms of power. The fandom likes to think of her as a worthy rival to Twilight who is equal in terms of power.
  • Memetic Bystander: Derpy Hooves began as an extra... rivals the Mane Six in popularity.
  • Memetic Loser: Twist.
  • Memetic Molester: Along with "Trollestia", another Alternative Character Interpretation fans like to give to poor Celestia is "Molestia", where she sexually abuses her subjects. The variant with victim being Luna is called "Incestia".
    • The Diamond Dogs, mainly because of the way they swarm around Rarity when they first see her and then kidnap her along with the constant I Have You Now, My Pretty vibes they give off, complete with spanking Rarity later on have earned them this title in spades.
    • With the advent of "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle of all ponies now bears this title (this coincidence only adds to the hilarity).
      • The fact that next episode she used candy to lure Pinkie Pie into a dark alley, then pins Pinkie down and makes her promise not to scream hasn't helped.
    • Discord has also gotten a bit of this, mainly due to his No Sense of Personal Space with Twilight Sparkle, especially the scene were he runs his paw across her cheek. Of course, unlike the previous two, Discord is actually evil and nasty enough for this to have at least some degree of validity.
    • Queen Chrysalis is quickly gaining steam. On top of essentially being a G-rated succubus, she, like Discord, has No Sense of Personal Space, placing her hoof on Twilight's chin (What's with villains and touching Twilight's face?) and getting really close to Shining Armor (As both fake Cadance and in her true form!).
  • Memetic Sex God:
  • Moe:
    • Especially when Fluttershy or Apple Bloom is concerned.
    • Fillyshy. Even with disproportionately long, skinny legs (she's obviously going through a growth spurt), she's still as cute as ever, if not more so, in this "ugly duckling" form. Plus, she sings.
    • Pinkie Pie is almost as cute as Fluttershy.
    • Most of the fillies would qualify, especially the mane six in their youth.
    • To the people who like him, Pipsqueak is adorable.
    • Sweetie Belle has her moments too.
    • Believe it or not, Derpy Hooves as of "The Last Round-up", thanks to her utterly Adorkable voice and unintentionally destructive mannerisms.
    • Princess Cadence to an amazing degree.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The gang of dragon bullies from Dragon Quest collectively cross this when they attempt to steal the seemingly-defenseless phoenix hatchlings. Spike, on the other hand, stays on the safe side of the horizon by refusing to shatter the remaining egg when pressured into doing so.
    • Fake!Cadance/Queen Chrysalis leaving Twilight trapped in the caves beneath Canterlot, which no one remembers even exist, meaning she'll likely never be found! As if that wasn't enough, Chrysalis taunts her with that very fact! She probably crossed it even earlier by doing the same thing to Cadance!
    • {{spoiler|Lord Tirek crosses it in "Twilight's Kingdom" when he drains everyone's magic.
    • Discord is an inversion. He seemed to have crossed the horizon in "The Return of Harmony" when he corrupted the Mane 6. In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", he promises to use his powers for good… most of the time. In "Twilight’s Kingdom", one would think that betraying all of Equestria would bring him back across the MEH. But then Tirek drains his chaos. Discord actually shows remorse, bringing him back on the good side.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Princess Celestia banished somepony into the Moon only once (reluctantly even) within the series' canon. The princess is now notorious within the fandom for banishing anyone or anything she dislikes into the Moon.
    • We have this to thank for most of the "TO THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" stereotypes associated with Celestia.
    • Given that the first episode of season 2 reveals she dealt in a similar fashion (albeit with a different form of punishment) with another ancient evil, there may be more truth to this than fans ever imagined. Though in her defense, Luna helped do that one and Discord probably earned it.
    • The candid photo of Celestia gorging herself on cake is another thing nobody will get over. At this point, any brony humor relating to Celestia is almost guaranteed to involve cake, banishment, or both.
    • The photo of Mayor Mare dying her normally pink mane silver in "Ponyville Confidential"
    • Really, a character does anything in this show entire memes will spawn and Fanon forged around it, especially background ponies. One of the most famous examples is Derpy's muffin obession is based on a line heard in "Applebuck Season". However she's among a group of other ponies that are also there for free muffins, some of them drooling, and she's among three ponies whose mouths flap in the scene.[6]
      • For another such example, Lyra Heartstrings' fanon personality revolves around her obsession with humans. This is based on her human-like posture in the background in one episode.
    • Pinkie Pie turned "Pinkamena"[7] only once in the entire series yet this is one of the things that she is known for.
      • And is portrayed as Homicidal when it happens, instead of self-destructive.
    • Princess Luna being useless due to her absence from the Wedding's events has started to gather fan works already.
    • Scootaloo is known for being called a "chicken" even though she was called as one only once and it was because she and Applebloom were bickering on how to call a chicken.
      • Another thing that made this popular among the fans was due to the fact that Scootaloo doesn't seem to be able to truly fly even though she has wings. Just like a chicken.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Nightmare Moon, ironically.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Discord is capable of shapeshifting. That's paranoia fuel enough for younger audiences (specifically, the target audience). He could be any stranger you meet!
    • When Pinkie Pie is chasing after you, go ahead and hide. No matter where you go, you can never escape. She will find you. Even when you're in a place that she couldn't possibly reach, yup, she's there.
    • The Changelings have the explicit ability and tactic of turning into your loved ones, and they can use mind control to keep you from noticing or fighting back.
  • Replacement Scrappy: A major complaint about Starlight Glimmer is that many view her as an inferior substitute to/copy of Sunset Shimmer and even Trixie to a lesser extent. It died down overtime, as Starlight was given less prominence, but never fully went away.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Some people take the whole "Celestia is pony Hitler" thing a little too seriously and a little too far.
    • Pinkie Pie also gets painted as a cold-blooded murderer thanks to a certain fanfic and fans interpreting her breakdown in the episode "Party of One" based on said fanfic.
    • For all the horrible things that Cozy Glow did, she was still a child when she was Taken for Granite and that was all some needed to demonize the heroes.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Prince Blueblood & Gilda. To be fair, the writers want you to dislike them, but many fans wanted to dismember them after what they did in their respective appearances.
    • Owlowiscious is a better example of a character that is unintentionally disliked by a handful of the fandom.
    • When Princess Cadance was first revealed to be an upcoming toy, there was a lot of hate for her mostly because she was a pink alicorn. Fortunately her proper appearance in the show seems to have won fans over, in part to her wonderful singing voice and the finale being all around well liked, even if her status as a Winged Unicorn isn't really addressed.
    • After his behavior in "Putting Your Hoof Down" Angel launched himself squarely into this territory.
    • Another scrappy from "Putting Your Hoof Down" is Boxxy Brown, the cherry salescolt, who took advantage of Fluttershy's desperation to try to extort huge amounts of money from her, only to rub it in her face when somepony else bought his last cherry. Making things worse, as far as we know he didn't get a well-deserved taste of "New Fluttershy's" wrath
    • People did not like Tori Spelling hosting the premiere of "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2".
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Ursa Major cuddling its Ursa Minor cub? Equal parts hideous and precious.
    • With her braces and ugly 80's style, younger Cheerilee was definitely less attractive than her current adult self.
    • Even the vultures are adorable and Fluttershy loves them.
    • Snips and Snails also count.
    • And even Discord for some people.
    • Some fans have hoped and prayed for a return appearance of the Diamond Dogs for this very reason.
    • What about the scraggly, doe-eyed mule in brief appearances in "Applebuck Season" and "Hurricane Fluttershy"?
    • Queen Chrysalis may count due to her enormous green eyes and Cute Little Fangs.
      • As well as her changeling army, to a certain degree.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Grogar makes a long-awaited return in Season 9. Only he's not Grogar. He's Discord masquerading as Grogar. It was essentially MLP's version of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3.
  • Uncanny Valley: The pony's faces look extremely human-like when viewed from the front, and, when combined with the horselike ears, can look quite unsettling.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • There have been two ponies so far (Lickety Split from "Secret of My Excess" and the young earth pony who gets a bowling Cutie Mark at the beginning of "The Cutie Pox") who have male-looking head shapes, but also have eyelashes which are only visible when their eyes are closed or not fully open.
    • Rainbow Dash can qualify for this. Besides being primarily blue (a typically masculine color), she often behaves in a boyish manner and is voiced with a classic example of the young-boy-portrayed-by-female-voice-actor voice. You could probably come up with a good Drinking Game. Just take a swig every time you have to correct yourself for thinking of Rainbow as a him.
    • Viewers who didn't know about Derpy prior to The Last Roundup wouldn't be blamed for thinking her (original) voice was that of a male. Tabitha St. Germain who voiced her even said she didn't know she was a girl and that the voice was inspired by a neighbor's son.
  • Wangst:
    • Played for Laughs in "Suited For Success". After Rarity's fashion show ended in disaster (thanks to trying too hard to give her friends "perfect" dresses), suffering a brutal review by a fashion critic and getting laughed at by the other ponies, she locked herself in her shop and cried out in shame and depression.

  Rarity: Leave me alone! I vant to be alone! I want to wallow in... whatever it is that ponies are supposed to wallow in! Do ponies wallow in pity? Oh, listen to me! I don't even know what I'm supposed to wallow in! I'm so PATHETIC!!!


  Rainbow Dash: AAAUUGH! What do I do?! Everypony's going to see me fail! The Wonderbolts will never let a loser like me join! Princess Celestia would probably banish me to the Everfree Forest! MY LIFE IS RUINED!

  • The Woobie: Each of the main characters have taken their share in the sympathetic spotlight. This show is not afraid to Break the Cutie.
    • Jerkass Woobie: The large majority of time in the Slice of Life stories however, said character brings it upon themselves out of arrogance or stubborn refusal to get out of an often easily escapable scenario and are handed An Aesop at the end of it all.
    • Iron Woobie / Jerkass Woobie: Luna in "Luna Eclipsed", a little more so the former then the latter. All she wants is a little of the respect she never had, but her Antiquated Linguistics and outdated etiquette just scare everypony away. She does get a bit angry, but she's never, ever sad.
    • Stoic Woobie: Zecora takes being completely ostracized in Ponyville pretty calmly.
    • The tortoise Tank from "May the Best Pet Win". He tries so hard to please Rainbow Dash. This makes it all the sweeter when he becomes her pet.
    • Its somewhat worth noting that the Alternative Character Interpretation is so vast in the fandom that if a character doesn't actually qualify as a Woobie in show, fans can and most likely already have made fanworks turning them into one. Celestia for example is often seen as a lonely, heartbroken ruler, Ditzy Doo is constantly bullied because she's "different", and Scootaloo is commonly seen as an orphan because she so far doesn't have any canon parents.
    • Princess Cadance in the second season finale. She was kidnapped and imprisoned in long forgotten mines under Canterlot by a psychopathic Shapeshifting succubus who wants to steal her identity so she drains her beloved husband dry to gain enough power to conquer Equestria. Then when she finally gets free, her aunt gets her flank kicked by that very shape-shifter and Canterlot gets invaded. What could be worse than that? How about the fact all of this happened to the poor girl on her Wedding Day!
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Played with. Every time she used her adult walker, Granny Smith was the butt of a joke.
    • Oddly enough, the one time a character was actually in a wheelchair (Twilight after she fell down some stairs), it was treated as Amusing Injuries.
    • When Gilda terrifies her into thinking there's a rattlesnake, she gimps away as fast as she can. Which is no faster than she usually moves. You just don't do that sort of thing to someone as old as Granny, which explains some of the hatred towards Gilda.

Fandom reactions

  • Americans Hate Tingle: According to various queries, Russians hate Rarity - she fares only on par with one-off and background ponies, way behind the mane cast. CMC and Spike are even worse. "Lesson Zero" is considered one of the worst episodes, same for all CMC episodes. Surprisingly, "Sisterhooves Social", despite being heavy on CMC and Rarity, is rated very high... two negatives equal positive?
    • Comments left on Japanese fansubs indicate that Trixie is not thought of very highly over there - her bossiness and show-offiness makes her seem (even more) disrespectful and unsympathetic.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Most old-school My Little Pony fans reactions when the show was first announced: "Oh Hasbro is redesigning the ponies, that's nice I guess... Wait, Lauren Faust is at the helm of the new cartoon? They're bringing back Applejack? Villains return to MLP for the first time in nearly two and a half decade!? Yay!"
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Considering its huge Periphery Demographic, it's safe to say this is an aversion.
  • Animation Bump: Some episodes have really high quality animation that stand out among the others, such as "Sonic Rainboom" and "Cutie Mark Chronicles".
  • Award Snub: According to this article, the fandom was not pleased to hear that this show received no Emmy nominations, while its rival Transformers Prime received six.
  • Awesome Art: Many fans love the style of the show, and it's wonderful use of color.
  • Broken Base:
    • With the fandom as large as it is, this is inevitable. Some dividing factors include the Aesop of some episodes coming off the wrong way to some fans ("The Mysterious Mare Do Well" being a prime example), the portrayal of fan-favorite characters, and whether or not Fandom Nods are good for the show. It's probably best to leave it at that.
    • The Expanded Universe is often Darker and Edgier and features a deeper look at politics while indulging in more World Building. Does this betray the ideals of the show or does it appeal better to the Periphery Demographic while also allowing the B-Listers more time to shine?
  • Canon Fodder: The fanfiction community for the show is one of the biggest and fastest growing fanfiction communities in all media fandoms. One of the many reasons is the many gaps in the details about the history of the FiM universe. Fanfic writers have a field day answering questions such as "What turned Luna into Nightmare Moon?", "What happened between the founding of Equestria and the rule of Discord?", "Where does the Hearts and Hooves Day backstory fit into this?", and so on.
  • Complaining About People Not Liking the Show: Some of the Fan Dumb can be quite vocal about folks genuinely not liking the show or any of its aspects, and it's probably best to leave it at that.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: This might be the first time a show owes a good deal of its popularity to this trope. For starters:
    • The whole fandom kicked off because of an article on Cartoon Brew — written before the show even started airing — saying that the very existence of the Hub represented (exact words) "The End of the Creator-Driven Era". How ironic when Friendship Is Magic turned out to be proof of how dramatically a creator-driven approach can improve a Merchandise-Driven franchise. The article's hubris attracted a lot of attention from 4chan's comics-and-cartoons board, whose visitors decided to watch the show for themselves just to spite the writer.
    • The dispute between Kathleen Richter and Lauren Faust that played out in Ms. Magazine's blog.
    • Additionally, it's been an uphill climb for people spreading the news about how good the show actually is. The first discussion thread at Something Awful was a veritable mine field of Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch. Oddly, the second thread, after having been going strong without too much trolling and attracting dozens and dozens of new fans to the show for almost 150 pages (!!!), and generating over a thousand dollars in account, avatar, and banner purchases, was unceremoniously deep sixed. The moderators explained that they disliked having to patrol a thread in which people talk about how much they enjoy a cartoon directed at elementary school-age girls. Incidentally, the Star Wars Clone Wars thread is still okay...
      • This decision was actually good for both sides: The posters in that thread simply moved their discussion to an off-site forum. The ponygoons now have a whole forum to themselves while the non-fans don't need to be annoyed/creeped out by said ponygoons. It's also caused a bit of a Streisand Effect: Why on earth would a show that's as innocuous as My Little Pony cause such a commotion?
      • A word of warning for those who want to post on their forums: They loathe Ponibooru and will ban anyone who posts a link to it (because of its NSFW nature). They suggest using their own image site, Bronibooru. Which is free from NSFW images and images of terrible quality.
    • A similar incident occurred on 4chan on February 27, 2011[10], when (presumably) a moderator acting on his own, without warning, decided to place an autoban filter on the website, making everyone who posted the word "pony" or "ponies" receive an automatic one day ban. People who were not posting anonymously received a 2 week ban. However, Pony Threads on /co/ were accumulating, on average, one post every fifteen seconds, twenty-four hours a day, constantly, for weeks, resulting in hundreds being banned. No real justification was given, other than "pony threads were shitting up 4chan." Many pointed out the hypocrisy in that just as many threads were constantly posted about Batman or Homestuck on /co/, and that the rules of /b/ stipulated that users can post anything they please. The moderator(s) refused to listen, so for about 12 hours, all of 4chan was incapacitated due to angry bronies protesting (as well as people who didn't like/watch the show but thought this whole thing was stupid). Eventually the moderators relented and removed the autobans (but didn't unban anyone that was banned), placing rules in place that the "bronies" had essentially already been imposing upon themselves. This historic event became known as "The Great Pony War", which bronies are sure to tell their children for years to come.
      • Also as a cautionary warning, anyone posting ponies outside of /b/, /mlp/, /co/'s pony thread, and apparently /v/ will have the ban hammer unleashed upon them.
      • And like Something Awful's ban, this also resulted in a spinoff site being created, Ponychan.
      • A group of haters on 4chan pressured moot, the owner of the site, into placing another autoban on anything pony-related. Luckily, moot himself holds no ire towards the show, and thus did nothing to enforce the bans when the bronies inevitably circumvented the system.
    • A radio show in Pittsburgh made fun of this article about the fans. Another radio show also lambasted the show and its fans, at one point claiming it was causing the decline of society. Not long after, a TV "news" team followed up a report of a man filing for government unemployment benefits because he was too busy with some fandom he was in to get a job... with a brief blurb about bronies that heavily implied that they do the same thing.
      • One such radio show ("True Capitalist Radio", hosted by a fella under the alias "Ghost") has since become a frequent target of internet troll raids due to Ghost's tendency to do acrobatic pirouettes off the handle in reaction to just about anything that draws his ire.
    • NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and Redeye (A Fox News opinion program) also poked fun at the fans, but were considerably gentler about it. The latter asked "how ashamed" bronies should feel, and one of the guests did imply that bronies were drug users.
      • On the other hand, In Living Glover stated the above-mentioned baseless idea that bronies are taking disability because they like My Little Pony too much to actually work as fact.
  • Contested Sequel: Everything post-Season 1, and Lauren Faust's departure, is liable to be this.
  • Creator Worship: Lauren Faust, to the bronies. Apparently, she can fly.
    • Daniel Ingram, the show's composer, gets some of his own worship for composing the series' Awesome Music.
    • M.A. Larson is one of the more well-received writers on the staff, most famous for "Sonic Rainboom", "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Discord's debut two-parter, and the full-fledged introduction of Princess Luna.
  • Dude, Not Funny: MLP has spawned its own variation of Rule 34 (without the porn part, the actual MLP porn notwithstanding) where everything gets ponified. And then images appear on gallery sites and search engines that show, among others, Celestia photoshopped into a picture of one of Hitler's parades. Or the mane cast appearing in the American Civil War. Or most infamously, Rainbow Dash becoming a Holocaust victim.
  • Epileptic Trees: For a show where the creators claim they don't "hammer logic very hard", the fans sure like to speculate on stuff. Just look at our own massive Wild Mass Guessing pages. Yes. Pages. Massive pages.
  • Fan Disillusionment: There are many reasons why, ranging from Fan Dumb ruining the show for them to simply getting tired of seeing ponies everywhere, but there's an unfortunate number of haters who used to be fans themselves.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The fanfiction community for FiM is huge. In addition to the Canon Fodder described above, the show has the tendency to drop things that serve as good starting points for fanfiction.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Some Fan Dumb of FiM are pissed that it got snubbed at the Daytime Emmys for Transformers Prime, however for the most part Transformers fans and My Little Pony fans get along, which makes sense if you consider most male Pony fans probably grew up watching Transformers instead of Ponies. Also, both properties are owned by Hasbro, so there is a natural brother/sister dynamic. In fact, the Transformers fanbase and the "old" MLP fanbase, the one who existed even before FiM came along, have historically had good relations.
    • There is also a bit of vitriol between FiM and Homestuck; for quite a while, whenever ponies appeared on Homestuck image boards, everyone would flip out, and vice versa for pony image boards. However, after the Homestuck Image Board hit a Hard Reset and lost all of its comments, the pony-Homestuck battles have lessened considerably (though they haven't disappeared completely).
    • In certain places, a noticeable hate towards Sonic the Hedgehog seems to be developing. Equestria Daily has had a ban on FiM/Sonic crossover content of ANY kind for a while now. This is due to negative reactions from staffers and beta readers, along with the volatile reactions whenever Sonic related content was initially posted. There are recent exceptions to this: a fan-made Sonic style Super Mode for Rainbow Dash has made it onto the Drawfriend posts and one fanfic that only featured Dr. Eggman/Robotnik and OC ponies got past the beta readers, only to get the same level of venom as expected in the comment box. Some theorize that the bronies hate Sonic out of the fear of becoming like the Sonic fanbase (and, at worst, they can come off as not being too far off). Meanwhile in the Sonic fandom, opinions of FiM are just about the same as you'd get elsewhere, although some of the saner Sonic fans will remark on how the brony Fan Dumb makes the Sonic Fan Dumb look easier to deal with in comparison. Despite this, there are plenty of crossover pictures and fanfic to be found (even shipping Sonic with Rainbow Dash). And, yes, at least one Awesome Music mashup.
    • Fandom Rivalry even exists within the franchise. Scuffles are known to pop up between some of the Fan Dumb and those who're fans of G3/G3.5 and Tales from time to time. And it's probably best to leave it at that.
  • Fandom Specific Plot: See here.
  • Fanon:
    • Rainbow Dash is considered by many in the fandom to be the "lesbian" pony (probably due to her boyish appearance, rainbow motif, and attitude... which happens to be exactly the stereotype that Lauren Faust dislikes).
    • After Lyra Heartstrings was shown sitting human-style on a bench, she was portrayed as having a marked interest in humans, even wanting to be one in certain works.
    • Derpy Hooves is depicted as a letter carrier who is somewhat obsessed with muffins, has a unicorn daughter named Dinky, and is anywhere between Inspirationally Disadvantaged and merely a space cadet.
    • Thanks to a popular fanfic, Progress, Luna has an abacus which she treats as her baby.
    • Discord is at least one of the following:
    • Pinkie Pie is a Fourth Wall Observer. Word of God has denied this several times, to no avail.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • To some, the Equestria Girls franchise simply does not exist.
    • Twilight becoming an Alicorn to those who felt that it took her from "interesting" to "Canon Sue." A minority even says that it could have been the show's ending.
    • Starlight Glimmer proved such a Base Breaker that some stopped watching when she joined the Mane Cast.
    • The comics get this from some fans, usually based on the differing tone.
      • King Sombra's return in Season 9 opener forced comic readers to either disregard his Heel Face Turn in "Siege of the Crystal Empire" or the events of the premiere given their fundamental incompatibility.
      • Among the comics themselves, the "Accord" and "Cosmos" arcs are the most popular candidates for this. The former due to Starlight Glimmer saving the day and the latter due to whitewashing Discord and revealing him to have been Good All Along.
  • Fan Yay: Big Macintosh, anyone? There's an abundance of gay-themed Rule 34 of him, including as a Petting Zoo Person or as a Race Lifted human male.
  • Filk Song: Covers of songs from the show, original songs, songs based on fanfics, with genres ranging from dance music to metal to orchestral arrangements.
  • Fountain of Memes: Pinkie Pie is the primary source of the show's reaction faces.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Quite friendly with Transformers as a whole but Transformers Prime in particular as both shows were flagships for the Hub. The ponies and the Cybertronians eventually got an official crossover in 2020.
    • With Doctor Who thanks to "Doctor Whooves." It peaked on November 23rd 2013, the day of both the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the Season 4 premiere.
    • Was quite friendly with the Marvel Cinematic Universe at first but it's lowered in prominence since 2013. Going by, the lessening association seems to be due to fans feeling that the directions both franchises have gone in have made crossing over more difficult.
    • The instant Discord showed up, the show became very friendly with Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation in particular. If you took a shot every time a comic issue makes a Star Trek Shout-Out, you'd be dead from alcohol poisoning before the halfway point.
    • Is very friendly with Harry Potter as well.
  • Girl Show Ghetto: A lot of male fans, though most people would argue it hasn't broken out of it. Lauren Faust's words on the subject:

 "When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people — without even watching the show — to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I'm doing my job right, I think you’ll be surprised."

  • Hype Aversion / Hype Backlash: ...Let's just say that "IT'S FOR LITTLE GIRLS" is not the only reason so many people write off this show.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Bring up "Feeling Pinkie Keen" on the adult-fan websites. Fans argue over the intended message and if it was a good message to have in the first place.
    • Also the episode "Over a Barrel" seems to have this effect. These episodes were both written by Dave Polsky, which is probably no small coincidence.
    • Bronies were in quite an uproar over several toys apparently based on background ponies. More specifically, they were mad about the "official" names; see Broken Base above.
    • Do not bring up "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" on any of the fan websites, unless you want to send everyone into a heated discussion over things like whether or not the episode was any good.
      • For that matter, DO NOT mention Merriwether Williams on any fan site. Not only will every thread drift back to MMDW, but things will always degenerate into a Flame War over whether she should still work on the show, whether she's gotten better, and whether or not she's wrecked the show.
    • Mention Derpy's behavior in "The Last Roundup" if you have to - but make sure you're wearing asbestos underpants if you want to stick around for the Flame Wars between the "There's nothing offensive about her character, she's just acting silly" camp and the "She's an offensive stereotype of the mentally handicapped" camp. Amy Keating Rogers even received a bit of hate mail for Derpy's depiction claiming she was offensive and a jab at mentally-challenged people, even though other characters in the show are depicted as similarly dopey.
    • And then fans started causing a ruckus due to worries that Hasbro was taking Derpy down, based on iTunes removing the episode "The Last Roundup" (though The Hub's and later Hasbro's temporary online uploads still included it, and it's still on Shout Factory's DVD The Friendship Express) and WeLoveFine removing and/or renaming their licensed merchandise (though in some cases only temporarily, as it turned out).
      • iTunes later re-added TLR with edits to Derpy's scene: she's no longer referred to by name, her voice sounds completely different, and her eyes have mostly been un-crossed. No, the fanbase did not take it well. At all. Even later, this edited version went on to be aired by The Hub.
  • I Wish It Were Real: Some bronies wished the show's ponies were real (either to show their fondness to the characters or they genuinely wished they exist in real life). Fan works depicting them as pets, friends or them popping out of TV screens/monitors or coming to life from paper drawings are common within the fandom (with Pinkie Pie being depicted quite often for obvious reasons).
    • Longing for Fictionland: The reverse is also prominent within the fandom. Fan works and discussions about what would happen if they get transported to Equestria are quite common. Often it involves turning into ponies themselves.
  • Pandering to the Base: After months of "PMVs" popping up on the Internet, the Hub decided to make one of their own — and incorporated references to not only "DJ Pon-3" but "bronies" as well! And the Fandom Rejoiced.
    • Derpy's Ascended Fanonization (having started with shirts and promos, with it all but confirmed in The Last Roundup) is one massive catering to the Brony community.
    • A number of seemingly minor interactions by the background ponies are a result of Ascended Fanon, such as Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon hanging out together, Berry Punch continuing to be an implied alcoholic, and Derpy having a muffin pin on her carry bag.
  • Periphery Demographic: And how! The very existence of this and the main page's Troper Critical Mass is evidence enough to the point where this trope is a dead on certainty. You can browse any forum and bring up this show and be nearly guaranteed that members of said forum will say that they regularly watch and enjoy the show.
    • As unlikely as it is, fighting game forums are surprisingly resistant, with most thread dying within a page or two. But then again, having your main interest be in beating the crap out of your opponents up close and personal is probably as far away to bringing the magic of friendship as possible... and yet we have Fighting is Magic in the works...
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Being half the length of a normal season, Season 3 was seen as a step down from Season 2 along with having rather average episodes and a... controversial finale.
    • After the well-received fourth and fifth seasons, the sixth was much less so. The divisive redemption arc of Starlight Glimmer really didn't help things.
    • Season 8's "School of Friendship" premise was not very well-received.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: When it was first released, the show received great praise for its optimistic tone and the diversity of its cast, both relating to race and gender stereotypes. In 2010, compared to the shows from the previous generation, like Invader Zim, this was very refreshing. By 2013, with shows like Steven Universe and Adventure Time, some fans couldn't see why MLP exploded onto the scene like it did in 2010.
  • Scapegoat Creator: It used to be Dave Polsky, but since then Merriwether Williams has become the prime target for fandom scorn. To be fair, her first aired episode was not the best hoof to start out on. But since then, arguments have mutated from her just not getting the show, to more than a few fans pinning everything they dislike about Season 2 on Merriwether's shoulders. Merely mentioned her name on many fan sites can cause an immediate Flame War. Never mind that she's just the writer, and has to go through editors and other members of the production team before her episodes are aired, or that she's helped write great episodes on other shows before FiM *cough Band Geeks cough*. No, she's just a bad writer that doesn't "get the show."
    • This hits incredible levels of Fridge Logic when you consider that her next episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" was extremely well received by a majority of the fanbase.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To most of the previous incarnations, but especially the direct-to-video releases of the 2000's.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The lead up to the "Royal Wedding" made many fans angry over just about everything. Of course, most fans agreed it was much better than expected.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The flexible art style has resulted in a number of cute moments. See: Fluttershy.
  • Testosterone Brigade: The famous bronies.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The pony names from the toys; see Broken Base above. To say that the fans weren't happy is understating things.
  • Vocal Minority: Most fans enjoy it and will recommend the show to anyone, but that's as far it goes. The ones that obsessively push it are viewed as embarrassing to everyone.
    • Game Informer took a very lighthearted and harmless jab at the show in their Timeline feature, which led to an oversensitive brony sending an angry letter ranting about how the ponies are badass and "not frilly". They poked some lighthearted fun at him while sincerely acknowledging the show's quality... which led to more oversensitive bronies sending hate mail. By then, they could've easily ripped the bronies a new one and no one would've blamed them — yet incredibly, they took the high ground and vowed not hold a grudge against the fanbase. Instead of publishing any of their hate mail, they published a couple of letters from levelheaded bronies apologizing for the idiots in the fanbase. GI also specifically stated that frilly does not equal bad or lame — a sentiment Lauren Faust would agree with 100%.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: Although the show was made for kids, some of the things that they put into the show makes you wonder. See this show's own Getting Crap Past The Radar page, and its entry in What Do You Mean It's for Kids? for specific examples.


Despite the show being focused on friendship and very little romance outside of seeing a few married couples, shipping is quite popular. Especially Les Yay Shipping, probably due to there being so few males. Popular ships (or at least ships that have had fanfics/fanart)

  • Broken Base: As in any fandom, some fans think everypony should be gay or lesbian, some get angry if a character is anything but heterosexual, and some get angry that shipping exists at all, citing the fact that it's a kids' show and that Lauren Faust specifically invoked No Hugging, No Kissing. And even more only subscribe to filly/adult pony ships or incestual ships.
  • Cargo Ship: Rarity x "Tom," a boulder nearly twice her size which she is hypnotized into believing is a diamond.
    • Big Mac and "Smarty Pants".
  • Crack Pairing: Most Discord ships are viewed as this, except Discord/Celestia, which is just straight up Foe Yay.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Dry Docked Ship: Many people in the fandom say that Discord is Celestia's ex.
    • Some also say similar things about Rainbow Dash and Gilda.
  • Foe Yay: Twilight Sparkle and the Great and Powerful Trixie is a popular ship. Oddly enough, they hardly interact with each other directly in "Boast Busters".
    • You would think that with his grotesque form and his Moral Event Horizon crossing that Discord would not get a lot of shipping. You'd be wrong. Doesn't help that at one point he strokes Twilight's cheek. Discord/Celestia seems to be gaining the most steam, probably because of them being ancient enemies and both being Trolls.
    • Apple Bloom/Diamond Tiara for the Toy Ship variety.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Mind Game Ship: One of the many reasons that Discord is a Launcher of a Thousand Ships.
  • OTP: Lyra Heartstrings/Bon Bon, two background ponies that are often seen with each other when Lyra is up to her wacky antics. Of all the shipping pairings in this fandom, there seems to be some unwritten law of fanart/fanfiction that these two are not to be shipped with anypony but each other. They eventually got hitched in the show.
    • How extensive is this? The first reaction to any other pairing is cries of "Lyra is cheating on Bon Bon!" and vice versa.
    • Then there's the background scene in "Putting Your Hoof Down" where Lyra is seen sitting dejectedly at a table, only to perk up when Bon Bon arrive. Or the fact that Bon Bon's saddlebags have Lyra's Cutie Mark on them...
      • Lyra/Doctor and Bon Bon/Caramel are slowly picking up popularity, perhaps in an attempt to create more hetero-ships or shake things up a bit.
    • Octavia/Vinyl Scratch is almost the fandom's second OTP. It's kinda like a Straight Man and Wise Guy sort of relationship.
  • Shipping: For pairings that don't fit anywhere else:
  • Shipping Goggles: Most of the pairings mentioned in this folder? With the exception of Spike/Rarity, which is usually played for laughs in the show, not a single one of them has any real canon evidence supporting it and some of them haven't even met! Just shows how much the fans look into this show.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Discord/Chrysalis quickly gained steam despite the only thing connecting them is their ability to shapeshift and their threat to Equestria.
    • Soarin' once bought an apple pie from Applejack. This alone is the basis for the rather popular Applejack/Soarin' ship.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Try and ship Lyra Heartstrings with someone besides Bon Bon, or vice versa. It may not end well...
    • When the episode synopsis of "Hearts and Hooves Day" was released, Twimac and Fluttermac (and perhaps Caramac) shippers started to go on the war path due the the possibility of Big Mac/Cheerilee becoming canon. The episode ends with a very ambiguous Maybe Ever After.
      • Although the Caramac shippers were still on the warpath after the CMC song about finding Cheerilee a date showed Caramel with a girlfriend. It doesn't help that even for those who don't pair him with Big Mac, Fanon in general tends to portray Caramel as a coltcuddler.
    • The Hub released an image of "A Canterlot Wedding" that shows what looks likes to some as Rarity flirting with Fancy Pants. Spike/Rarity shippers began to mobilize the fleets.
  • Toy Ship:
    • The fandom really likes to pair up Spike with Apple Bloom.
    • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Spike has apparently been paired off with each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and some of their classmates in certain parts of the fandom.
      • The fact that Spike and Sweetie Belle were shown dancing together at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2" helps.
    • Snails/Twist has gained some popularity for the combined Adorkable factor.
    • And now Apple Bloom/Snips is gaining some steam, ever since "The Cutie Pox".
    • Pipsqueak/Dinky for some reason has become popular. Theme Pairing, perhaps?


  1. based on the magnetic permeability symbol
  2. Based on the gradient sign.
  3. read ‘Shakespearian’
  4. Wherein she just wants to be admired yet everypony else is running away from her.
  5. Does it makes any difference? They're both voiced by Nicole Oliver
  6. In fact, it could be argued the line better fits Sea Swirl/Seafoam and Minuette/Colgate's mouth movements, but that's over analyzing at its finest.
  7. they call this state as "Pinkamena" due to the fact that Pinkie Pie's appearance dramatically changes similar to when she was a sad straight maned filly in her family's rock farm. This was also the time we learn of her full name for the first time.
  8. It shows not only the few main characters, but also the bronies' favorite secondary characters and background ponies. Not only that, but right in the middle, Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon are standing next to each other and exchanging glances. While Hasbro were already Pandering To The Periphery Demographic, they also grouped the three easily scared flower ponies Daisy, Rose, and Lily with the cockatrice, put DJ Pon-3 a.k.a. Vinyl Scratch next to Octavia (both have no dialogue and at the time only a few seconds of screen time in one episode), Doctor Whooves up in the front row with the other speaking characters, oh, and Derpy is derping. And Rainbowshine.
  9. They had to use OCs in place of the then-mysterious "balloon ponies" because "The problem is that, in the original poster, it is impossible to actually tell who is in the basket. I know now who one of the characters are since I spoke to one of the people who work on the show, but the other character is a season 2 character that can't be revealed, unfortunately." (The characters in question have since been revealed to be Cherry Berry and Pipsqueak.)
  10. ironically, almost exactly one year after Robot Unicorn Attack day on /v/