“Simple Ways” is often called out for the fact that it portrays Rarity as a lovestruck 14-year-old. However, it seems that few, if any, people notice that the episode is rather unsuitable for a Valentine’s Day special. Because the episode itself isn’t really about love, even though it appears to be. Instead, the episode gives us accurate examples of two possibly unhealthy types of attraction.
Trenderhoof and Rarity
From the moment Trenderhoof’s existence comes into the episode, Rarity seems to be deeply in love with him. However, her shrine and the fact that she’s never met him suggests something quite different. Rarity isn’t the least bit in love with Trenderhoof. She is merely an obsessive fangirl who is physically attracted, but not really in love, with her idol. It’s basically a more intense version of hero worship. It’s similar to how, in real life, a lot of people fantasize about meeting a celebrity they’re attracted to. These people aren’t at all in love with this celebrity. It’s a purely physical attraction. Rarity shows all the signs of being simply an obsessive fangirl, including the lock of hair in her shrine. Furthermore, there is obviously no love on Trenderhoof’s side of it. How often do celebrities fall in love with fans? It’s very rare because, as I stated before, it’s usually a purely physical attraction instead of actual love. Trenderhoof views Rarity as just another fangirl, which is most likely why he treats her in such a way.
Trenderhoof and Applejack
Did Trenderhoof fall for Applejack on the spot? No, he fell for farm life. In other words, he was in love with the idea of an actual working farm and Applejack just happened to be the physical embodiment of everything he found fascinating about farm life. It’s obvious by the way he completely ignores her after she changes her looks and asks Granny Smith to dance instead. Chances are that if Trenderhoof happened to be in love with, say, sports, he would have become infatuated with Rainbow Dash because she’s an athlete. Or if he was in love with books, he would have fallen for Twilight Sparkle. It’s impossible to fall for someone (or in this case “somepony”) right away. The most that can happen is that the person (or pony) gets a sudden attack of lust. Lust and love are two very different emotions, although they can manifest themselves in the same way.
I like to think that Hasbro demanded a Valentine’s Day episode and this is the writers getting their revenge.