Quickie Reviews: MLP:FIM Season 1

Standard

How this works: First comes the episode number, followed by the actual title. Underneath that is the “synopsis” or “plot” of the episode. Then come the “Pros” (the good stuff) about the episode. Next are the “Cons” (the bad stuff). Sometimes there will be “Neutrals” (things that can be either good or bad, depending on how you look at it). Finally there will be “Trivia”. A small fact about the episode that might not be known.

Note:  These are only QUICKIE reviews.  They are not in-depth.  

Episode 1-2: “Friendship is Magic”

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle is sent to Ponyville by her mentor Princess Celestia to supervise planning for the upcoming Summer Sun Celebration and, on the princess’s orders, “make some friends”. But Twilight is more concerned with the imminent attack of a mare known as “Nightmare Moon” than gaining friends.

Pros:
-Main characters introduced
-Decent story
-A great villain design
-Malevolent evil plan
-Plot of entire show established
-Rarity defies expectations
-Greek mythology

Cons:
-Kind of slow
-Predictable
-Friendships formed too fast to be completely believable
-Spike abuse right from the start

Neutral:
-Felt like a Disney movie
-First song of the series

Trivia: Originally, Nightmare Moon was going to seize control of the kingdom and remain in power for half of the season. But since the episodes were meant to be viewed in any order, the idea was scrapped.

 

 

Episode 3: The Ticketmaster

Synopsis: Princess Celestia sends Twilight two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala. Unluckily, Twilight must choose between her friends to decide which one deserves the ticket.

Pros:
-A good look at the characters’ flaws after the last episode showed us their strengths
-A Scooby-Doo style chase scene with Benny Hill-style music in the background
-Good humor
-Grand Galloping Gala “arc” established
-Little filler, despite the common storyline.

Cons:
-Cliche plot
-Celestia is either inattentive or a jerk
-Fluttershy out-of-character

Trivia: This episode helped create one of Princess Celesta’s two “alternate personas” in the fandom: Trollestia. The fact that she sent two tickets, knowing full well Twilight had made five friends, is considered her first instance of willingly hoodwinking Twilight and her friends for her own amusement.

Episode 4: Applebuck Season

Synopsis: When Big Macintosh is injured, Applejack is automatically in charge of harvesting all the apples in the orchard. She stubbornly refuses help from her friends, but the heavy workload quickly begins to take its toll on her sanity.

Pros:
-Big Macintosh speaks
-One of few Applejack episodes
-Interesting plot
-Relatable lesson
-Interactions between Pinkie and Applejack
-Good physical humor
-Plot hole filled instantly

Cons:
-Overuse of magic from Twilight
-Big Macintosh’s injury never explained
-Bunny stampede

Trivia: This is the first episode of the series not written or co-written by Lauren Faust. She later left the show in the hands of the staff to pursue other projects.

Episode 5: Griffon the Brush Off

Synopsis: Pinke Pie’s newly formed bond with Rainbow Dash suffers at the talons of Gilda the Griffon, an old friend of the latter.

Pros:
-Another good and relatable lesson
-Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash interaction
-Childish pranks, but the jokes hit their mark
-Celestia cameo
-More great physical humor
-Pinkie Pie’s crazy antics
-Griffons are canon
-Well-written minor antagonist

Cons:
-Gilda’s seventies way of speaking
-Arguably Pinkie is in the wrong
-Somewhat slow start

Trivia: Fluttershy claims that she’s a year older than Pinkie Pie. This is ironic, as they are both voiced by the same voice actress (Andrea Libman).

Episode 6: Boast Busters

Synopsis: The Mane Six are annoyed by the appearance of a boastful showpony named Trixie.

Pros:
-Twilight’s magical skills expanded on
-Spike’s mustache
-Minor continuity
-The Ursa Minor’s design
-Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash show off their skills

Cons:
-Snips and Snails aren’t punished for their actions
-The stupidity of Snips and Snails
-Twilight’s motive for holding back is ridiculous
-Lack of Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie

Trivia: The “Ursa Minor” is named after a real constellation, hence its odd design that resembles the night sky.

Episode 7: Dragonshy

Synopsis: Twilight and her friends are sent to deal with a sleeping dragon who is blowing smoke into Ponyville, but Fluttershy’s cowardice threatens to ruin the entire mission.

Pros:
-Assertive Fluttershy
-First full-grown dragon in the series
-Great comedy for each of the attempts to get the dragon to leave
-Character development
-A good lesson
-Mane Six in-character

Cons:
-Two instances of characters going against their element
-Fluttershy’s fear played up a bit too much
-A few gags that fell flat due to the above
-Angel Bunny’s bratty attitude

Trivia: The dragon resembles Smaug from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

Episode 8: Look Before You Sleep

Synopsis: Rarity and Applejack take up refuge in Twilight’s house during a storm. The two contrasting personalities clash in such close quarters.

Pros:
-Rarity and Applejack interaction
-Character development
-Character analysis
-Passable humor
-Good lesson

Cons:
-Rather boring
-Predictable
-Cliche plot all around (for the most part)

Trivia: The story of the “Headless Horse” parodies the popular horror story about the Headless Horseman.

Episode 9: Bridle Gossip

Synopsis: The citizens of Ponyville are alarmed by a zebra named Zecora, whom they are convinced is an evil enchantress. Twilight attempts to talk some sense into them, but her own beliefs are shattered when it appears that Zecora has put a curse on her and her friends.

Pros:
-Zecora
-Flutterguy
-World expanded
-Amazing new voices
-Hilarious gags involving the poison joke
-Inclusion of Apple Bloom
-Mature undertones

Cons:
-Very predictable and cliché lesson
-Bad characterization of Rainbow Dash

Trivia: Spike refers to Applejack as “Appleteeny” after she is shrunk by the poison joke. In real life, an “appletini” is a popular alcoholic beverage.

Episode 10: Swarm of the Century

Synopsis: A plague of rapidly multiplying creatures descends on Ponyville.

Pros:
-Well-paced
-Character expansion
-Very good lesson
-Well-written Pinkie Pie comedy
-Everyone perfectly in character
-Zecora cameo

Cons:
-Pinkie Pie’s knowledge of the Parasprites never explained
-Noticeably short term solution not realized
-Lesson somewhat falls flat due to Pinkie’s lack of explanation for her actions

Neutral:
-Twilight Sparkle’s first “freak out”.

Trivia: Pinkie Pie’s method for stopping the parasprites mirrors a classic story entitled “The Pied Piper” in which a man utilizes music to free a town from a plague of rats.

Episode 11: Winter Wrap-Up

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle wants to help wrap up winter, but she cannot find a task that suits her. She wanders around town in search of the perfect job, but her efforts cause more harm than good.

Pros:
-Funny Spike and Twilight interaction
-Interesting and unique storyline
-Catchy song
-Good lesson
-Running gag that remains funny
-Good pacing

Cons:
-Spike’s antagonism
-Forced definition of the word “hibernation”
-Stupidity of the Ponyville citizens
-Uselessness of Mayor Mare

Trivia: This episode features the first song in the series to be performed by the entire main cast. In addition, it is widely considered one of the best songs in the entire show.

Episode 12: Call of the Cutie

Synopsis: Applebloom sulks about being the only pony in her class without a cutie mark. She tries to obtain one by trying out several new activities, but all in vain.

Pros:
-Two well-written bullies
-Several new characters introduced
-First episode with little focus on the Mane Six
-Cutie marks finally explained
-Funny humor surrounding Applebloom’s quest for her cutie mark
-Character expansion

Cons:
-A little too much filler
-Quick resolution
-Continuity error

Trivia: Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle act as if they’ve never met Apple Bloom before, despite the three of them having been huddled together in fear when Nightmare Moon appeared in the first episode. The error was discovered early on and the animators were going to replace them with three other fillies, but it was too late in the production for any changes.

Episode 13: Fall Weather Friends

Synopsis: Applejack and Rainbow Dash compete to find out which one of them is the better athlete. But as the competition wages on, desperation leads the ponies into the territory of cheating. When Rainbow Dash repeatedly and unfairly uses her wings to win, Applejack challenges her to a race during the annual Running of the Leaves. Rainbow Dash agrees, even when she is told that, to preserve fair play, she will not be allowed to use her wings.

Pros:
-Conflict established with characters in-character
-Character development
-Pinkie Pie’s comedic commentary
-Spike and Pinkie Pie interaction
-Fantastic animation in some parts
-Unanswered question from earlier episode addressed
-Ending not entirely predictable

Cons:
-A little boring in the middle
-Aired too late in the season
-Applejack a bit out-of-character

Neutral:
-Cartoon physics used to their full extent

Trivia: “Winter Wrap-Up”, a previous episode, took place during winter. However, “Fall Weather Friends” takes place during autumn. Due to this, “Fall Weather Friends” should have been aired before “Winter Wrap-Up”.

 

Episode 14: Suited for Success

Synopsis: Rarity proposes making her friends dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala. She is quickly buried underneath an avalanche of demands from her friends. Her desire to make the dresses perfect drives her to comply to her friends’ every order, regardless of how ridiculous they are.

Pros:
-Excellent Rarity episode
-Great song
-Cleverly metaphorical song lyrics and storyline
-Superb lesson
-Relatable scenario
-Continuity
-Interesting transitions
-Creative visuals

Cons:
-Fluttershy out of character
-Demanding Mane Six
-Over-dramatic Rarity somewhat annoying

Trivia: Rainbow Dash’s line in the episode (“Needs to be about twenty-percent cooler”) has become an Internet meme.

Episode 15: Feeling Pinkie Keen

Synopsis: Twilight notices Pinkie Pie acting crazier than usual and discovers it has to do with her “Pinkie Sense”. She is skeptic of the idea that Pinkie Pie can predict future events based on body spasms, but all of her friends seem to believe in the phenomena despite not being able to explain it. Not convinced, Twilight tries use science to unravel the secrets of the “Pinkie Sense” and its questionable existence.

Pros:
-Excellent physical comedy
-Twilight and Pinkie Pie interaction
-Greek mythology
-Character development

Cons:
-Lesson can be taken the wrong way
-Twilight Sparkle viewed as the antagonist
-Unexplained absence of Rainbow Dash

Trivia: There was a small controversy surrounding this particular episode. Several fans misinterpreted it as being a “science vs. religion” type of storyline, with Twilight Sparkle playing the role of the unbelieving scientist and the “Pinkie Sense” representing religion itself. The lesson, many fans wrongly assumed, was that one should be more inclined towards blind faith than facts. The writers never dreamed that the episode’s message would be taken this way and have claimed that they never meant the episode to imply anything about religion.

Episode 16: Sonic Rainboom

Synopsis: Rainbow Dash struggles with the elusive “sonic rainboom”, a fantastic trick that has only ever been performed once in history, for the Best Young Flyers Competition. Her confidence wavers as the competition looms closer. Meanwhile, Rarity basks in the attention she earns after one of Twilight’s spells gives her a pair of beautiful wings.

Pros:
-Excellent episode for Rainbow Dash fans
-Character expansion
-Character development
-Breathtaking animation
-Roman architecture
-A look at Cloudsdale
-Great Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash interaction

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy for some Rarity fans
-The bullies

Episode 17: Stare Master

Synopsis: Rarity, who is in the middle of an important order, allows Fluttershy to take over the responsibility of taking care of the CMC. Fluttershy, unaware that taking care of children and taking care of animals are completely different, is overwhelmed by the hyperactive antics of the children.

Pros:
-The return of the Cutie Mark Crusaders
-Character expansion
-Mythology
-Fluttershy’s singing voice

Cons:
-A rather dull episode
-CMC somewhat annoying
-Mostly cliché babysitting plot

Trivia: “Hush Now, Quiet Now” is Fluttershy’s first solo performance in the show.

Episode 18: The Show Stoppers

Synopsis: The Cutie Mark Crusaders enter a talent show to get their cutie marks. Unfortunately, they misinterpret Twilight Sparkle’s words and do not play to their strengths as she suggested.

Pros:
-Enjoyable background music
-Excellent comedic montage
-Great comedy from the CMC and their antics
-Slight foreshadowing
-Possible glimpse at CMC’s special talents
-Good song, despite the bad singing

Cons:
-A lot of filler before the main plot
-Very forced title drop
-Bad performance
-Stubbornness and ignorance of the CMC

Neutral:
-Two CMC episodes in a row

Trivia: Michelle Creber and Madeline Peters, who voice the Cutie Mark Crusaders in their singing roles, kept getting called back into the recording studio for the terrible performance the CMC give near the end of the episode. Apparently they couldn’t sing badly enough for the performance to be as terrible as it was intended to. In the end, it had to be auto-tuned to make it sound even worse.

Episode 19: A Dog and Pony Show

Synopsis: Rarity is kidnapped by “Diamond Dogs” who wish to use her gem-finding ability to their advantage. Spike and her other friends, under the impression that she is a completely helpless damsel in distress, are desperate to rescue her. Unbeknownest to them, Rarity is steadily manipulating the Diamond Dogs in order to escape.

Pros:
-A perfect episode for Rarity fans
-Extremely good lesson
-Character expansion
-An episode that defies expectations and stereotypes
-Clever mockery of a classic plot device
-Truly amazing voice acting from Tabitha St. Germain

Cons:
-Lesson could be taken the wrong way
-Arguable Spike abuse

Trivia: The Diamond Dogs are not officially named in the episode, but in merchandise and on the script they are referred to as “Spot”, “Rover”, and “Fido”.

Episode 20: Green Isn’t Your Color

Synopsis: Rarity hopes that Photo Finish, a renowned fashion photographer, will help her achieve her dreams. Unfortunately, Photo Finish takes an interest in Fluttershy and hires her as a model. Fluttershy, being timid, hates all the unwanted attention she receives as a famous model, but keeps the profession to make Rarity happy. Rarity herself does not express the fact that she is secretly jealous because she in turn believes that Fluttershy wants to be a model when in reality the shy mare is doing it for Rarity’s sake.

Pros:
-Rarity and Fluttershy interaction
-Photo Finish
-Character development
-Funny Pinkie Pie antics
-Good lesson
-The Mane Six are perfectly in character

Cons:
-Somewhat rushed resolution
-Spike abuse
-Bad Spike and Rarity interaction (on Rarity’s part)

Trivia: Photo Finish’s design might be based off of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.

Episode 21: Over a Barrel

Synopsis: Applejack and her friends try to transport an apple tree to a distant town called Appleloosa, but it is stolen by a tribe of buffalo. It is revealed that the Appleloosans are part of an ongoing feud with the buffalo over the land where the apple trees are planted.

Pros:
-New sentient species introduced
-References to the Wild West
-Great humor
-Realistic conflict
-New location
-New Apple family member

Cons:
-Silly battle scene
-Lesson ruined by knowledge of American history
-Obvious solution overlooked until the end
-Potentially disastrous meddling

Trivia: This entire episode is based on the conflict between Native Americans and cowboys, except the ending in which everything is resolved by a compromise.

Episode 22: A Bird in the Hoof

Synopsis: Fluttershy is deeply astonished when she meets the princess’s pet bird Philomena, who appears to have fallen gravely ill right under the princess’s nose. Sorry for the sickly creature, Fluttershy kidnaps the bird and tries to nurse him back to health.

Pros:
-Mythological creature
-Mane Six and Princess Celestia interaction
-Character expansion
-Angel Bunny being kindhearted
-Most of the Mane Six are in character
-Surprising ending for some people
-Beautiful phoenix design

Cons:
-Logic of the lesson not sound in the circumstances
-Unrealistic paranoia from Twilight Sparkle

Trivia: Philomena is voiced by Tabitha St. Germain, who does the voice of Rarity along with many other characters.

Episode 23: The Cutie Mark Chronicles

Synopsis: The Mane Six relate the events that led to them getting their cutie marks and discover a connection.

Pros:
-Mane Six history revealed
-Excellent animation for the Sonic Rainboom again
-Good filly and colt designs
-Sudden, but well-performed, song
-Continuity
-Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash interaction
-Spike’s origins explained
-Complex plot
-World-building

Cons:
-Cheesy and unrealistic lesson
-Rather forced moral

Trivia: The two bullies from “Sonic Rainboom” return. Although they claim that the sonic rainboom is a myth, they were competing in a race with Rainbow Dash at the time that she successfully performed it. This is because neither of them actually witnessed the feat. Both of them were knocked off course at some point and were not able to see the extraordinary feat.

Episode 24: Owl’s Well That Ends Well

Synopsis: Spike has always considered himself Twilight’s “Number One Assistant”. This title is challenged when she adopts an owl to be her second assistant. A paranoid Spike believes that the owl is after his top spot.

Pros:
-Spike episode
-Spike and Twilight interaction
-Heartwarming ending

Cons:
-Not a very strong episode
-Missed chance for character development
-Spike’s ego

Trivia: The dragon whose cave Spike stumbles upon is a recolored version of the dragon from “Dragonshy”.

Episode 25: Party of One

Synopsis: Pinkie Pie comes to believe that her friends are hiding something from her.

Pros:
-Strong Pinke Pie episode
-Character expansion
-Exceptionally good humor
-Both heartbreaking and heartwarming
-Good animation, especially near the end
-Unique Pinkie Pie episode
-Pinkie Pie’s antics

Cons:
-Predictable ending
-Unrealistic revelation
-Conflict resolved too quickly
-Overused joke

Trivia: This episode is believed to have inspired the infamous “Cupcakes” fanfiction. In reality, the fanfiction was written several months before the episode premiered. The episode itself was written before the fanfiction and no one in the fandom had any knowledge of it before its premiere. Therefore, the similarities between the episode and the fanfiction are completely coincidental.

Episode 26: The Best Night Ever

Synopsis: The Mane Six finally attend the Grand Galloping Gala, but their “best night ever” quickly goes bad. Twilight Sparkle’s hopes of speaking with Princess Celestia are dashed due to the princess’s duty of greeting all the guests. Rarity is forced to endure the rudeness and egotistical behavior of Prince Blueblood. Applejack struggles to sell her products to the “hoity-toity” crowd. Pinkie Pie’s childish party antics are not welcome at the sophisticated event. Rainbow Dash fails to attract the attention of the Wonderbolts. Fluttershy finds that the woodland creatures are scared of her for some reason.

Pros:
-Good lesson
-Continuity
-Expectations defied
-Realistic conflicts
-Realistic minor antagonist
-Fantastic song
-Allusions to classic fairy tales

How this works: First comes the episode number, followed by the actual title. Underneath that is the “synopsis” or “plot” of the episode. Then come the “Pros” (the good stuff) about the episode. Next are the “Cons” (the bad stuff). Sometimes there will be “Neutrals” (things that can be either good or bad, depending on how you look at it). Finally there will be “Trivia”. A small fact about the episode that might not be known.

Episode 1-2: “Friendship is Magic”

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle is sent to Ponyville by her mentor Princess Celestia to supervise planning for the upcoming Summer Sun Celebration and, on the princess’s orders, “make some friends”. But Twilight is more concerned with the imminent attack of a mare known as “Nightmare Moon” than gaining friends.

Pros:
-Main characters introduced
-Decent story
-A great villain design
-Malevolent evil plan
-Plot of entire show established
-Rarity defies expectations
-Greek mythology

Cons:
-Kind of slow
-Predictable
-Friendships formed too fast to be completely believable
-Spike abuse right from the start

Neutral:
-Felt like a Disney movie
-First song of the series

Trivia: Originally, Nightmare Moon was going to seize control of the kingdom and remain in power for half of the season. But since the episodes were meant to be viewed in any order, the idea was scrapped.

Episode 3: The Ticketmaster

Synopsis: Princess Celestia sends Twilight two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala. Unluckily, Twilight must choose between her friends to decide which one deserves the ticket.

Pros:
-A good look at the characters’ flaws after the last episode showed us their strengths
-A Scooby-Doo style chase scene with Benny Hill-style music in the background
-Good humor
-Grand Galloping Gala “arc” established
-Little filler, despite the common storyline.

Cons:
-Cliche plot
-Celestia is either inattentive or a jerk

Trivia: This episode helped create one of Princess Celesta’s two “alternate personas” in the fandom: Trollestia. The fact that she sent two tickets, knowing full well Twilight had made five friends, is considered her first instance of willingly hoodwinking Twilight and her friends for her own amusement.

Episode 4: Applebuck Season

Synopsis: When Big Macintosh is injured, Applejack is automatically in charge of harvesting all the apples in the orchard. She stubbornly refuses help from her friends, but the heavy workload quickly begins to take its toll on her sanity.

Pros:
-Big Macintosh speaks
-One of few Applejack episodes
-Interesting plot
-Relatable lesson
-Interactions between Pinkie and Applejack
-Good physical humor
-Plot hole filled instantly

Cons:
-Overuse of magic from Twilight
-Big Macintosh’s injury never explained
-Bunny stampede

Trivia: This is the first episode of the series not written or co-written by Lauren Faust. She later left the show in the hands of the staff to pursue other projects.

Episode 5: Griffon the Brush Off

Synopsis: Pinke Pie’s newly formed bond with Rainbow Dash suffers at the talons of Gilda the Griffon, an old friend of the latter.

Pros:
-Another good and relatable lesson
-Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash interaction
-Childish pranks, but the jokes hit their mark
-Celestia cameo
-More great physical humor
-Pinkie Pie’s crazy antics
-Griffons are canon
-Well-written minor antagonist

Cons:
-Gilda’s seventies way of speaking
-Arguably Pinkie is in the wrong
-Somewhat slow start

Trivia: Fluttershy claims that she’s a year older than Pinkie Pie. This is ironic, as they are both voiced by the same voice actress (Andrea Libman).

Episode 6: Boast Busters

Synopsis: The Mane Six are annoyed by the appearance of a boastful showpony named Trixie.

Pros:
-Twilight’s magical skills expanded on
-Spike’s mustache
-Minor continuity
-The Ursa Minor’s design
-Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash show off their skills

Cons:
-Snips and Snails aren’t punished for their actions
-The stupidity of Snips and Snails
-Twilight’s motive for holding back is ridiculous
-Lack of Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie

Trivia: The “Ursa Minor” is named after a real constellation, hence its odd design that resembles the night sky.

Episode 7: Dragonshy

Synopsis: Twilight and her friends are sent to deal with a sleeping dragon who is blowing smoke into Ponyville, but Fluttershy’s cowardice threatens to ruin the entire mission.

Pros:
-Assertive Fluttershy
-First full-grown dragon in the series
-Great comedy for each of the attempts to get the dragon to leave
-Character development
-A good lesson
-Mane Six in-character

Cons:
-Two instances of characters going against their element
-Fluttershy’s fear played up a bit too much
-A few gags that fell flat due to the above
-Angel Bunny’s bratty attitude

Trivia: The dragon resembles Smaug from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, both in looks and personality.

Episode 8: Look Before You Sleep

Synopsis: Rarity and Applejack take up refuge in Twilight’s house during a storm. The two contrasting personalities clash in such close quarters.

Pros:
-Rarity and Applejack interaction
-Character development
-Character analysis
-Passable humor
-Good lesson

Cons:
-Rather boring
-Predictable
-Cliche plot all around (for the most part)

Trivia: The story of the “Headless Horse” parodies the popular horror story about the Headless Horseman.

Episode 9: Bridle Gossip

Synopsis: The citizens of Ponyville are alarmed by a zebra named Zecora, whom they are convinced is an evil enchantress. Twilight attempts to talk some sense into them, but her own beliefs are shattered when it appears that Zecora has put a curse on her and her friends.

Pros:
-Zecora
-Flutterguy
-World expanded
-Amazing new voices
-Hilarious gags involving the poison joke
-Inclusion of Apple Bloom
-Mature undertones

Cons:
-Very predictable and cliché lesson
-Bad characterization of Rainbow Dash

Trivia: Spike refers to Applejack as “Appleteeny” after she is shrunk by the poison joke. In real life, an “appletini” is a popular alcoholic beverage.

Episode 10: Swarm of the Century

Synopsis: A plague of rapidly multiplying creatures descends on Ponyville.

Pros:
-Well-paced
-Character expansion
-Very good lesson
-Well-written Pinkie Pie comedy
-Everyone perfectly in character
-Zecora cameo

Cons:
-Pinkie Pie’s knowledge of the Parasprites never explained
-Noticeably short term solution not realized
-Lesson somewhat falls flat due to Pinkie’s lack of explanation for her actions

Neutral:
-Twilight Sparkle’s first “freak out”.

Trivia: Pinkie Pie’s method for stopping the parasprites mirrors a classic story entitled “The Pied Piper” in which a man utilizes music to free a town from a plague of rats.

Episode 11: Winter Wrap-Up

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle wants to help wrap up winter, but she cannot find a task that suits her. She wanders around town in search of the perfect job, but her efforts cause more harm than good.

Pros:
-Funny Spike and Twilight interaction
-Interesting and unique storyline
-Catchy song
-Good lesson
-Running gag that remains funny
-Good pacing

Cons:
-Spike’s antagonism
-Forced definition of the word “hibernation”
-Stupidity of the Ponyville citizens
-Uselessness of Mayor Mare

Trivia: This episode features the first song in the series to be performed by the entire main cast. In addition, it is widely considered one of the best songs in the entire show.

Episode 12: Call of the Cutie

Synopsis: Applebloom sulks about being the only pony in her class without a cutie mark. She tries to obtain one by trying out several new activities, but all in vain.

Pros:
-Two well-written bullies
-Several new characters introduced
-First episode with little focus on the Mane Six
-Cutie marks finally explained
-Funny humor surrounding Applebloom’s quest for her cutie mark
-Character expansion

Cons:
-A little too much filler

Trivia: Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle act as if they’ve never met Apple Bloom before, despite the three of them having been huddled together in fear when Nightmare Moon appeared in the first episode. The error was discovered early on and the animators were going to replace them with three other fillies, but it was too late in the production for any changes.

Episode 13: Fall Weather Friends

Synopsis: Applejack and Rainbow Dash compete to find out which one of them is the better athlete. But as the competition wages on, desperation leads the ponies into the territory of cheating. When Rainbow Dash repeatedly and unfairly uses her wings to win, Applejack challenges her to a race during the annual Running of the Leaves. Rainbow Dash agrees, even when she is told that, to preserve fair play, she will not be allowed to use her wings.

Pros:
-Conflict established with characters in-character
-Character development
-Pinkie Pie’s comedic commentary
-Spike and Pinkie Pie interaction
-Fantastic animation in some parts
-Unanswered question from earlier episode addressed
-Ending not entirely predictable

Cons:
-A little boring in the middle
-Aired too late in the season
-Applejack a bit out-of-character

Neutral:
-Cartoon physics used to their full extent

Trivia: “Winter Wrap-Up”, a previous episode, took place during winter. However, “Fall Weather Friends” takes place during autumn. Due to this, “Fall Weather Friends” should have been aired before “Winter Wrap-Up”.

Episode 14: Suited for Success

Synopsis: Rarity proposes making her friends dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala. She is quickly buried underneath an avalanche of demands from her friends. Her desire to make the dresses perfect drives her to comply to her friends’ every order, regardless of how ridiculous they are.

Pros:
-Excellent Rarity episode
-Great song
-Cleverly metaphorical song lyrics and storyline
-Superb lesson
-Relatable scenario
-Continuity
-Interesting transitions
-Creative visuals

Cons:
-Fluttershy out of character

Trivia: Rainbow Dash’s line in the episode (“Needs to be about twenty-percent cooler”) has become an Internet meme.

Episode 15: Feeling Pinkie Keen

Synopsis: Twilight notices Pinkie Pie acting crazier than usual and discovers it has to do with her “Pinkie Sense”. She is skeptic of the idea that Pinkie Pie can predict future events based on body spasms, but all of her friends seem to believe in the phenomena despite not being able to explain it. Not convinced, Twilight tries use science to unravel the secrets of the “Pinkie Sense” and its questionable existence.

Pros:
-Excellent physical comedy
-Twilight and Pinkie Pie interaction
-Greek mythology
-Character development

Cons:
-Lesson can be taken the wrong way
-Twilight Sparkle viewed as the antagonist
-Unexplained absence of Rainbow Dash

Trivia: There was a small controversy surrounding this particular episode. Several fans misinterpreted it as being a “science vs. religion” type of storyline, with Twilight Sparkle playing the role of the unbelieving scientist and the “Pinkie Sense” representing religion itself. The lesson, many fans wrongly assumed, was that one should be more inclined towards blind faith than facts. The writers never dreamed that the episode’s message would be taken this way and have claimed that they never meant the episode to imply anything about religion.

Episode 16: Sonic Rainboom

Synopsis: Rainbow Dash struggles with the elusive “sonic rainboom”, a fantastic trick that has only ever been performed once in history, for the Best Young Flyers Competition. Her confidence wavers as the competition looms closer. Meanwhile, Rarity basks in the attention she earns after one of Twilight’s spells gives her a pair of beautiful wings.

Pros:
-Excellent episode for Rainbow Dash fans
-Character expansion
-Character development
-Breathtaking animation
-Roman architecture
-A look at Cloudsdale
-Great Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash interaction

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy for some Rarity fans
-The bullies

Episode 17: Stare Master

Synopsis: Rarity, who is in the middle of an important order, allows Fluttershy to take over the responsibility of taking care of the CMC. Fluttershy, unaware that taking care of children and taking care of animals are completely different, is overwhelmed by the hyperactive antics of the children.

Pros:
-The return of the Cutie Mark Crusaders
-Character expansion
-Mythology
-Fluttershy’s singing voice

Cons:
-A rather dull episode
-CMC somewhat annoying
-Mostly cliché babysitting plot

Trivia: “Hush Now, Quiet Now” is Fluttershy’s first solo performance in the show.

Episode 18: The Show Stoppers

Synopsis: The Cutie Mark Crusaders enter a talent show to get their cutie marks. Unfortunately, they misinterpret Twilight Sparkle’s words and do not play to their strengths as she suggested.

Pros:
-Enjoyable background music
-Excellent comedic montage
-Great comedy from the CMC and their antics
-Slight foreshadowing
-Possible glimpse at CMC’s special talents
-Good song, despite the bad singing

Cons:
-A lot of filler before the main plot
-Very forced title drop
-Bad performance
-Stubbornness and ignorance of the CMC

Neutral:
-Two CMC episodes in a row

Trivia: Michelle Creber and Madeline Peters, who voice the Cutie Mark Crusaders in their singing roles, kept getting called back into the recording studio for the terrible performance the CMC give near the end of the episode. Apparently they couldn’t sing badly enough for the performance to be as terrible as it was intended to. In the end, it had to be auto-tuned to make it sound even worse.

Episode 19: A Dog and Pony Show

Synopsis: Rarity is kidnapped by “Diamond Dogs” who wish to use her gem-finding ability to their advantage. Spike and her other friends, under the impression that she is a completely helpless damsel in distress, are desperate to rescue her. Unbeknownest to them, Rarity is steadily manipulating the Diamond Dogs in order to escape.

Pros:
-A perfect episode for Rarity fans
-Extremely good lesson
-Character expansion
-An episode that defies expectations and stereotypes
-Clever mockery of a classic plot device
-Truly amazing voice acting from Tabitha St. Germain

Cons:
-Lesson could be taken the wrong way
-Arguable Spike abuse

Trivia: The Diamond Dogs are not officially named in the episode, but in merchandise and on the script they are referred to as “Spot”, “Rover”, and “Fido”.

Episode 20: Green Isn’t Your Color

Synopsis: Rarity hopes that Photo Finish, a renowned fashion photographer, will help her achieve her dreams. Unfortunately, Photo Finish takes an interest in Fluttershy and hires her as a model. Fluttershy, being timid, hates all the unwanted attention she receives as a famous model, but keeps the profession to make Rarity happy. Rarity herself does not express the fact that she is secretly jealous because she in turn believes that Fluttershy wants to be a model when in reality the shy mare is doing it for Rarity’s sake.

Pros:
-Rarity and Fluttershy interaction
-Photo Finish
-Character development
-Funny Pinkie Pie antics
-Good lesson
-The Mane Six are perfectly in character

Cons:
-Somewhat rushed resolution
-Spike abuse
-Bad Spike and Rarity interaction (on Rarity’s part)

Trivia: Photo Finish’s design might be based off of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.

Episode 21: Over a Barrel

Synopsis: Applejack and her friends try to transport an apple tree to a distant town called Appleloosa, but it is stolen by a tribe of buffalo. It is revealed that the Appleloosans are part of an ongoing feud with the buffalo over the land where the apple trees are planted.

Pros:
-New sentient species introduced
-References to the Wild West
-Great humor
-Realistic conflict
-New location
-New Apple family member

Cons:
-Silly battle scene
-Lesson ruined by knowledge of American history
-Obvious solution overlooked until the end
-Potentially disastrous meddling

Trivia: This entire episode is based on the conflict between Native Americans and cowboys, except the ending in which everything is resolved by a compromise.

Episode 22: A Bird in the Hoof

Synopsis: Fluttershy is deeply astonished when she meets the princess’s pet bird Philomena, who appears to have fallen gravely ill right under the princess’s nose. Sorry for the sickly creature, Fluttershy kidnaps the bird and tries to nurse him back to health.

Pros:
-Mythological creature
-Mane Six and Princess Celestia interaction
-Character expansion
-Angel Bunny being kindhearted
-Most of the Mane Six are in character
-Surprising ending for some people
-Beautiful phoenix design

Cons:
-Logic of the lesson not sound in the circumstances
-Unrealistic paranoia from Twilight Sparkle

Trivia: Philomena is voiced by Tabitha St. Germain, who does the voice of Rarity along with many other characters.

Episode 23: The Cutie Mark Chronicles

Synopsis: The Mane Six relate the events that led to them getting their cutie marks and discover a connection.

Pros:
-Mane Six history revealed
-Excellent animation for the Sonic Rainboom again
-Good filly and colt designs
-Sudden, but well-performed, song
-Continuity
-Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash interaction
-Spike’s origins explained
-Complex plot
-World-building

Cons:
-Cheesy and unrealistic lesson

Trivia: The two bullies from “Sonic Rainboom” return. Although they claim that the sonic rainboom is a myth, they were competing in a race with Rainbow Dash at the time that she successfully performed it. This is because neither of them actually witnessed the feat. Both of them were knocked off course at some point and were not able to see the extraordinary feat.

Episode 24: Owl’s Well That Ends Well

Synopsis: Spike has always considered himself Twilight’s “Number One Assistant”. This title is challenged when she adopts an owl to be her second assistant. A paranoid Spike believes that the owl is after his top spot.

Pros:
-Spike episode
-Spike and Twilight interaction
-Heartwarming ending

Cons:
-Not a very strong episode
-Missed chance for character development
-Spike’s ego

Trivia: The dragon whose cave Spike stumbles upon is a recolored version of the dragon from “Dragonshy”.

Episode 25: Party of One

Synopsis: Pinkie Pie comes to believe that her friends are hiding something from her.

Pros:
-Strong Pinke Pie episode
-Character expansion
-Exceptionally good humor
-Both heartbreaking and heartwarming
-Good animation, especially near the end
-Unique Pinkie Pie episode
-Pinkie Pie’s antics

Cons:
-Predictable ending
-Unrealistic revelation
-Conflict resolved too quickly
-Overused joke

Trivia: This episode is believed to have inspired the infamous “Cupcakes” fanfiction. In reality, the fanfiction was written several months before the episode premiered. The episode itself was written before the fanfiction and no one in the fandom had any knowledge of it before its premiere. Therefore, the similarities between the episode and the fanfiction are completely coincidental.

Episode 26: The Best Night Ever

Synopsis: The Mane Six finally attend the Grand Galloping Gala, but their “best night ever” quickly goes bad. Twilight Sparkle’s hopes of speaking with Princess Celestia are dashed due to the princess’s duty of greeting all the guests. Rarity is forced to endure the rudeness and egotistical behavior of Prince Blueblood. Applejack struggles to sell her products to the “hoity-toity” crowd. Pinkie Pie’s childish party antics are not welcome at the sophisticated event. Rainbow Dash fails to attract the attention of the Wonderbolts. Fluttershy finds that the woodland creatures are scared of her for some reason.

Pros:
-Good lesson
-Continuity
-Expectations defied
-Realistic conflicts
-Realistic minor antagonist
-Fantastic song
-Allusions to classic fairy tales

Cons:
-Some out-of-character moments
-Unrealistic (although hilarious) behavior by Fluttershy

Trivia: One of the Wonderbolts who appears in the VIP section is named “Surprise”. Originally, Pinkie Pie was going to be a pegasus named “Surprise” based on a G1 pegasus of the same name. When that idea was dropped and Pinkie Pie turned out to be an Earth pony, Surprise was made a member of the Wonderbolts. She is never referred to by name in any of the episodes she appears in and she is never seen without being almost completely covered by her uniform, but her body color and hair reveal that she is indeed Surprise.

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