Chapter 3, Part 3: Season 1, Back Half!

Chapter 3, Part 3:
Season 1, Episodes 14-26

continuing the summaries of every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

(Continued from Chapter 3 Part 2, Season 1 – Episodes 3-13)

(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)

The following continue very short summaries of the rest of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes.  These sections will outline the characters, craziness and memes that have come out of each episode. More non-episode-based memes will be explained in Chapter 9. If you want further information on the episodes, more detailed synopses can be found at http://mlp.wikia.com/ .

SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!

Suited for Success
Also Known As: Rarity rocks at dress making, even though her friends are nit-picky about it
Rarity wanted to help her friends by making them new dresses for the Grand galloping Gala.  She takes pride in her work, so when they said that her designs weren’t what they expected, she became determined to make each and every one their perfect dress.  This involved a lot specific instruction from everypony, and their ideas were at odds with Rarity’s fashion sense.  When they were completed to the ponies’ satisfaction, Hoity Toity, a high fashion representative, made a surprise visit to look at Rarity’s new work.  The fashion show was a failure and her friends realized that their ideas may have gone overboard.  Rarity was shamed into hiding, and believed her fashion career was over.  Her friends decided to finish Rarity’s original dresses, not only to get Rarity out of her depression, but also because they realized that these were in fact the perfect dresses.  They also convinced Hoity Toity to come back and look at Rarity’s real designs, which he was impressed with.

Meme maker:
·         This episode provides a brief cameo of a female DJ unicorn who was adopted by the fandom as Vinyl Scratch.  Once she was named, fans spent months debating what color eyes were behind her purple goggles(22).
Pop Culture references:
·         Rarity’s Dressmaking Song is based on the song Putting it Together by Sondheim, from the musical “Sunday in the Park With George”.
·         Hoity Toity bears a strong resemblance to Karl Lagerfeld, head designer and creative director for the Chanel fashion house.
·         The musical opening of Rarity’s second fashion show is similar to the opening of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Feeling Pinkie Keen
Also Known As: Pinkie is even stranger than we thought
Pinkie Pie informs Twilight Sparkle that she has a sixth sense for disasters about to strike, such as predicting something falling, scary things, imminent danger, etc..  Twilight Sparkle refuses to believe that Pinkie can predict the future and believes there has to be a logical explanation.  Her analysis is fruitless and then Pinkie predicts danger at the Froggy Bottom Bog.  There they find a four-headed hydra and do battle.  At the end, Twilight accepts Pinkie’s craziness.  Some things are better left alone.

Meme maker:
·         Gummy, Pinkie’s toothless alligator familiar, is introduced.  He is often depicted in outfits and is a fan favorite due to his adorable toothless bite.
·         The wall-eyed pony from the first episode that had been nicknamed Derpy Hooves was seen moving items in this episode, adding to her repertoire.
Pop culture references:
·         In true Looney Tunes fashion, Twilight is hit by a falling anvil and a piano.
·         At one point, Twilight gets so angry she bursts into flames of anger and looks like the Pokémon Rapidash.

Sonic Rainboom
Also Known As: Rainbow Dash has a badass talent
Rainbow Dash entered into the Best Young Flyer Competition,  in the hopes of winning a a day with her idols, the Wonderbolts.  However, the only way she knows to win is to use her signature move, the Sonic Rainboom, which she had only successfully done once in her life.  Rainbow Dash thinks that having friends to cheer her will help to repeat the trick.  She tries to teach Fluttershy to cheer with no success (due to Fluttershy’s quiet voice), so the other ponies decide to use flight spells to get them up to Cloudsdale to cheer, too.  Twilight uses a spell to give Rarity butterfly wings, but then she doesn’t have the power to do more.  Instead, the others are given a spell to allow them to walk on clouds.  They take Twilight’s balloon up to Cloudsdale and, after a tour of the city, watch the competition.  Unfortunately, even with their support, Rainbow Dash has no confidence because her childhood bullies once again harass her.  Rarity, who meant to support Rainbow Dash, entered the contest after becoming extremely vain about her new wings.  During her show, Rarity rises so far up that the sun melts her magic wings and she plummets toward the ground.  The Wonderbolts try to save her, but are knocked away due to her flailing.  Rainbow Dash panics and accelerates to save Rarity.  When she catches her, Rainbow Dash simultaneously creates a sonic rainboom and wins her dream of a day with the Wonderbolts.

Meme Maker:
·         Fluttershy’s quiet ‘yay’ has been used to emphasize excitement.  Many songs and videos use the clip, some on loop.
·         When RD wins, she mutters OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!, which is another overused sound clip to show excitement.
Pop culture references:
·         Not only are Rarity’s wings a shout out to the G1 Flutterponies, but it also mimics the tale of Icarus from Greek mythology.
·         The blue swirling sequence during Rarity’s wing attachment may be similar to the  Disney movie, the Swan Princess or Japanese Anime hero transformation scenes such as Sailor Moon.

Stare Master
Also Known As: Fluttershy does have a mean side!
Rarity sent her sister, Sweetie Belle, and her friends to Fluttershy’s for a sleep over.  While Fluttershy wanted to do cute girly things like having tea and doing makeovers, the Cutie Mark Crusaders (CMC) instead raised a ruckus, making messes and horsing around in their quest to find their talents and get cutie marks.  After many mis-starts, Fluttershy settled them to bed, but once she was gone the trio slipped away to find a lost chicken in the Everfree forest.  After a bit, Fluttershy noticed and rushed out to find the girls and Elizabeak the chicken.  Meanwhile, the CMC found Twilight Sparkle, but she had been turned to stone!  A cockatrice(23)  was on the loose and the girls mistook it for the lost chicken.  Fluttershy came to the rescue and stared the Cockatrice down, demanding that it return Twilight to normal while simultaneously fighting off petrification herself.  The beast yielded and they all lived happily ever after.

Meme maker:
·         Apple bloom makes fun of Scootaloo, calling her a chicken.  This has become a common nickname for the short-winged blank flank.
·         The mean gaze Fluttershy gave to misbehaving creatures led to many images of her raging and images of disapproval which were used to display those emotions on forums.
Pop culture references:
·         Sweetie Belle says “who wants a hammer on their flank anyway”, which may be a reference to another of the HUB’s cartoons, Transformers, where a group called the Wreckers have a hammer over their usual Autobot symbols.

The Show Stoppers
Also Known As: A horrible show unless you lived through the 80’s
The Cutie Mark Crusaders are once again the focus of this episode.  Twilight and their teacher Cherilee suggest that they create an act for the upcoming talent show.  Although the CMC are urged to use talents they are already good at, they mix up their roles for their act.  Sweetie Belle does scenery instead of singing, which Scootaloo does instead.  And instead of Scootaloo doing the choraeography, Apple Bloom tries it out.  They ‘sing’ a 80s Glam Rock ballad, complete with glitzy costumes and makeup.  This results in a rather epic fail on stage. They are disappointed, but still win a prize for ‘best comedy act’.

Meme Maker:
·         Snips and Snails did a magic trick at the talent show, showing their idolization of Trixie.
·         The fact that the CMC avoided tasks that they like may be a hint at what their true talent and cutie marks may be.  Speculation continues, but many fans never want to see their marks, as these adventures do add a bit of childish wonder to the show.
Pop culture references:
·         Scootaloo plays the piano similar to the Peanuts’ Schroeder.
·         The verses of the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ rock song sound similar to Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For a Hero, from Footloose, and the refrain is similar to Irene Cara’s Fame. There also may be  influence from Cutting Crew’s (I Just) Died In Your Arms.
·         Their outfits also are similar to 80’s glam bands, and perhaps is a shout out to the Misfits group from Jem and the Holograms.
·         The lighting at the beginning of the song is similar to the video for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
·         The reaction of the audience to their failed talent performance is similar to The Producers.

A Dog and Pony Show
Also Known As: Rarity always takes center stage, even as a hostage
Rarity and Spike went out gem hunting, as she was good at finding them but didn’t want to get her hooves dirty, while Spike loved eating gems and would gladly work for his crush, Rarity.  They were ambushed during their hunt and Rarity was dragged underground by some gangly dogs.  Spike ran off to get the other ponies and form a rescue party. While they searched through a myriad of holes and tunnels, the Diamond Dogs tried to enslave Rarity by making her find gems for them.  Yet she whined and complained when they tasked her to dig and drag a cart, as it messed up her pedicure and beautiful coat, etc., which began to drive the captors mad.  The sound of Rarity’s whining draws in her friends, and the dogs beg Rarity to leave and to take all their gems along with her.  Once back above ground, Rarity tells the others that she planned her control over the dogs from the start, proving a sharp mind can be decisive in dangerous situations.

Meme maker:
·         This episode showed Rarity’s personality and created many fans, as did Suited for Success.
·         Rarity’s “This is whining” quote has been used to annoy people both in conversation and online.
·         Spike daydreamed that he was a prince rescuing his princess, Rarity.  These images, as well as his ‘grown up’ anthropomorphic dragon vector, have been used by many fans in art and writing.
Pop Culture References:
·         The Diamond Dogs gang name is based off a David Bowie album and song.
·         The dogs look similar to Gollum from Lord of the Rings, and even call their jewels ‘precious’, like the One Ring.
·         Rarity’s jeweled costume resembles those that Elvis wore.
·         The holes in the ground may be a shout-out to Holes by Louis Sachar.

Green isn’t your color.
Also Known As: Fluttershy is beautiful shy model
Rarity asks Fluttershy to be a model for her line of clothing, with Photo Finish as the photographer.  Though hesitant, Fluttershy agrees.  The session goes out of control, as Photo Finish, in love with Fluttershy’s pouty mood, hires her as a model and completely forgets about Rarity’s line.  After a short while, Fluttershy becomes terrified of her stardom and the rabid fans that now chase her around Ponyville.  She hides in Rarity’s shop, but Rarity is jealous and only pretends to be supportive.  Twilight Sparkle was independently told by both of them that they don’t like Fluttershy’s modeling, but Twilight swore secrecy and Pinkie Pie was enforcing her promise.  Twilight tries to hint to each that they are in agreement, but it fails.  In the end, they both admit to each other that the entire thing was a mistake, and Photo Finish is dismissed.

Meme Maker:
·         Photo finish has a Germanic accent, and quotes such as “It is time to make DE MAGICKS” and “I GO” were used in forums and meme art images.
·         Pinkie Pie’s threats of breaking a promise end with losing a friend “forever”.  She says it in such a creepy way that it’s a commonly quoted soundboard that is used not only to threaten, but to imply ‘once a Brony, always a Brony’.
·         One of the photographs of Fluttershy had her looking sad with black streaks in her hair, which  led to ’emoshy’ becoming a short lived meme.
Pop Culture References:
·         Photo Finish tells Fluttershy that fashionistas will be “silently judging you”, which is  a reference to the Silently Judging meme.
·         In one of the photos of Fluttershy she is slumped similar to Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

Over A barrel
Also Known As: Random episode in a completely different town (somewhere in the Wild West)
Applejack wanted to give an apple tree to her relatives in Appleoosa, but on the train ride over, the caboose sleeper car containing Spike and the tree was stolen by a young female buffalo during a stampede!  Rainbow Dash tried to stop her, but she was beaten by this Little Stongheart, and RD swore vengeance.  Pinkie Pie went out to look for the buffalo when RD and Spike didn’t make it to Appleoosa.  The buffalo found her and were about to attack, but Spike recognized her and told them to stop.  The buffalo listened to Spike because he was an unwilling victim (and a dragon to boot).  The Buffalo explained that they were attacking the ponies because Appleoosa took over their ancient and traditional stampeding grounds without their permission.  Once the ponies understood this, they went back to try to explain to the town why there were such harsh feelings.  Negotiations took place, but they collapsed and the buffalo chose to destroy Appaloosa and take back their grounds.  War was waged, with the buffalo head-butting and the ponies fighting back with pies.  When the buffalo Chief tasted the pie, he loved it and decided that if they could have some of the pie every year, they would call a truce. The ponies agreed and cut a road through the orchard for the stampede.

Meme Maker:
·         High noon was set as the time of the battle, as is often shown in classic Westerns.
·         Buffalo are introduced as another sentient race in the realms of Equestria (or at least in the Pony universe).
Pop culture references:
·         The western theme might be a reference to the 1966 film “The Appaloosa,” a western where a buffalo hunter returns home to find his appaloosa stolen and fights to get it back.
·         Fluttershy called Spike “Huffy the Magic Dragon”,reference to the folk song Puff the Magic Dragon by  Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow.
·          Anvils were in some of the pies and hay bales used to defend Appleoosa. It gave the fight a Looney Tunes feel.  In addition, the buffalo sharpen their horns using a grinding wheel, similar to what occured in “Bully For Bugs”.
·         Bloomberg is the name of the apple tree, a possible shout-out to the mayor of New York City,  Michael Bloomberg.

A Bird in the Hoof
Also Known As: Celestia’s bird is a troll, too
At a brunch the mane 6 attended with Princess Celestia, Fluttershy noticed that Celestia’s pet bird, Philomena, looked incredibly sick: she  had only a few feathers and a horrid dry cough.  Celestia had to leave on an emergency errand but left Philomena behind.  Fluttershy, being the kind veterinarian she is, took the bird home with her and tried everything she knew to heal it.  Twilight Sparkle came over and realized that this could look like Fluttershy stole the Princesses’ bird, but before they could tell anyone,  1.) The Royal guards came searching for the ‘criminal’ and 2.) Philomena escaped.  Everypony looked for her, but when she was found she fell from her perch and did, then turned into a pile of ash.  Celestia magically reappeared and laughed after everyone apologized about killing Philomena, because the bird is a Phoenix.  Philomena rises from the ashes and was made to apologize for tricking the gullible ponies.  Celestia also chided the ponies, saying they need to just ask before taking matters into their own hooves.

Meme maker:
·         Celestia’s guards behave like the British Royal guards, and are trained not to react to anything Rainbow Dash tests this in the show, and comics and stories have been based off their stoicism.
·         Images of Fluttershy crying over Philomena’s death were often used for macros, and as reactions to either sad or humorously not cruel things.
Pop culture References:
·         Though Phoenixes are in a lot of popular fiction, this relates to the scene in Harry Potter where he also thinks he killed a bird, before learning she was a Phoenix.
·         Fluttershy says “I’m Late for a very important date,” which is what the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland says.  Fluttershy’s white rabbit, Angel, also holds a gold pocket watch in Alice fashion.
·         A few close-ups in this episode may have been inspired by Ren and Stimpy, including a close-up shot of Philemena’s crusty eyes.

The Cutie Mark Chronicles
Also Known As: the greatest spoiler and backstory episode ever.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders realized that they could ask the other ponies how they got their marks, and Scootaloo automatically wanted to ask Rainbow Dash, her idol.  They go looking for her, but first run into Applejack. She tells a story of going to Manehattan to live a more sophisticated life, but the city folk are so aloof that she realizes she misses and loves her family’s apple farm. Next, they meet Fluttershy, who explains that she was a weak flyer and was knocked off a cloud while refereeing a race that Rainbow Dash was in.  She was caught by butterflies, saw how many wonderful creatures were on the ground, and vowed to take care of them all.  Rarity is encountered next, and she was lead to a rock in the middle of nowhere by her horn.  This rock cracked open during a rainbow explosion, and revealed gems which she used to great success in her sewing projects.  Twilight explained her origin(24), and added that when she had to hatch Spike out of his egg, she was so nervous that she nearly gave up.  Suddenly her magic exploded and not only hatched Spike, but grew him to the size of the building!  When Celestia had calmed  things down, Twilight noticed that she had her cutie mark.  Pinkie Pie told an odd story about growing up on a grey rock farm, where all they did was move rocks from one field to another.  Back then, she had straight, boring hair, but one day she saw a shimmering rainbow in the sky, which filled her with joy and the desire to share that with everyone.  Finally, they found Rainbow Dash, who bragged about racing two bullies and beating them by performing the Sonic Rainboom, which also marked her flank.  After hearing these stories, all the ponies realized that their magic was tied to the Rainboom in some way, and that it meant they were friends even before they met.

Meme maker:
·         Rarity being dragged by her horn is a common video, as well as her shouting “A Rock?” in disgust at her talent find.
·         The sonic rainboom is a symbol of the fandom.
·         Pinkie’s grey past develops, and her original personality has been extended into many alternate reality stories and art.
·         Young Twilight cheers “yes” on loop when she sees her mark.  This has been looped in the fandom music and videos as well.
·         Young fluttershy looked like the design of flutter ponies, and led to art in the thinner style being created and posted online.
Pop culture:
·         The folks of Manehattan have been embraced by those in the real New York City and they use that name for their geographic area..
·         When rarity finds the rock, it is displayed as the monolith in 2011: A Space Odyssey was shown.
·         “Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns” is similarly named to X-Men’s “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters”. Also, Twilight’s surge of uncontrolled magic use is similar to Dark Phoenix.

Owl’s Well that Ends Well
Also Known As: Spike gets jealous of a creepy Owl
Although Spike is Twilight’s favorite assistant, he is threatened this episode by an owl that has begun helping Twilight at night, while Spike is asleep.  Owlowiscious, as Twilight calls him, always appeared to be staring at Spike  which bothered the dragon.  Spike began to see the owl as outdoing him at every errand Twilight requested.  This drives  Spike mad with anxiety and he decides to frame the owl using a toy mouse and catsup, whilst messing up Twilight’s house. Twilight catches him red handed and chides him.Dejected, Spike runs away from home.  He finds himself in another dragon’s cave and is attacked, but Owlowiscious and Twilight save him.  They all apologize and make up.

Meme maker:
·         This owl was often questioned as being a real familiar, or just in the episode for comic relief.  In season two, the fan’s questions were answered.
Pop culture references:
·         The owl’s cry “Hoo,” is taken to be “Who?” by spike, a common play on the animal’s call. This may also be a reference to the video ‘Hu’s on first?’, where President George W. Bush was confused by the Chinese President Hu Jintao’s name.
·         Spike’s overreaction maybe similar to comedic villains like Dick Dastardly or Snidely Whiplash.

Party of One
Also Known As: the episode where Pinkie Pie goes CRAZY.
Pinkie Pie holds a surprise birthday party for Gummy, which all her friends go to, although they do have other things they should be doing.  The next day, Pinkie invites them all back for an ‘after party’, but they all turn her down.  This seems fishy to Pinkie and she spies on them.  When they begin to notice, she chases them down and demands to know what is going on.  They refuse to say, and Pinkie Pie dejectedly turns away.  Her mane flattens and she looks like the grey Pinkamena of her childhood.  She goes on with her planned party, and replaces her friends with inanimate objects such as a turnip and rocks.  She talks to them as if they are real, and is convinced by them that her friends were worthless.  When her friends try to get her to come with them to Sweet Apple Acres, she refuses and acts up, forcing Rainbow Dash to drag her there.  It turns out that the barn is the site of Pinkie Pie’s surprise birthday party, and they needed to set it up since they didn’t have time the day before.  Pinkie immediately snaps out of it and laughs the whole drama off.

Meme Maker:
·         Pinkamena as a character was further fleshed out as an alter ego of Pinkie.
·         Pinkamena is crazy.  Words cannot express the crazy of this episode, so watch it and see a ton of faces and quotes that have spawned since.
Pop Culture reference:
·         Pinkie Pie and Gummy wear Groucho Marx glasses, complete with human noses.
·         50 Cent is referred to when Pinkie chants: “Go Gummy! It’s your Birthday! Go Gummy, it’s your birthday!”
·         While at the party Spike pulls out dance moves from Saturday Night Fever.
·         When Pinkie Pie stalked down her friends, James Bond style music played in the background.

The Best Night Ever
Also Known As: the Revenge of Celestia
The ponies now have tickets and dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala, and are expecting it to be the most amazing wonderful bestest party in all of Equestria!  Each of their expectations are individually crushed throughout the episode: Twilight wants to spend the night catching up with Celestia, but the Princess has to greet her subjects the entire time.  Applejack tries to sell her apple goods, but the party-goers are too ‘sophisticated’ to eat “commoners’ food”.  Rainbow Dash wants to hang out with the Wonderbolts, but she gets pushed away by others.  Fluttershy tries to call to the animals outside, but only finds a creepy old gardener, while the animals stay hidden from her.  Rarity meets her Prince, but he is so stuck up that she has to open doors for him and pay for everything, instead of getting the chivalry she desires.  Pinkie Pie wants to have fun, but everyone is chatting and the music in the background is classical and quiet.  Pinkie Pie refuses to give up, and begins to make the band try and play faster music, to which she sings.  It makes the others upset, and Rainbow Dash ends up making the decorations fall while trying to get the Wonderbolts’ attention.  Everypony stampedes out, and the mane six are left dirty and dejected while Celestia laughs.  The Princess hoped that they all would liven up the “always awful” party, and they succeeded.  Thus, best night ever.

Meme maker:
·         Fluttershy, mad with rage at the hidden animals, yells “You’re going to LOVE ME!!” This is often quoted by Bronies, and also shows Fluttershy’s alter ego, Flutterbully/Flutterage(25).
·         Spike appears to get high/drunk off donuts, saying after being asked if he’s had enough, “Another donut, extra sprinkles!”
Pop Culture references:
·         This movie has Disney / Fairy Tales all over it.

o   The ball is in a castle.
o   Twilight tries to make a horse drawn carriage for them all out of an apple and field mice, similar to the one made in Cinderella.  At the end, Rarity drops one of her glass slippers, and when Fluttershy says that the prince might find her if she leaves it, Rarity crushes it, not wanting to be Blueblood’s Cinderella.
o   Fluttershy whistles like Snow White does when calling for birds.
o   The large song for this episode used the score from Sondheim’s Ever After.
o   Pinky sings the ‘pony pokey’ which is their version of the ‘hokey pokey’ dance, and ‘I’m at the Grand Galloping Gala’ was to the tune of ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.

Thus ended Season 1.  There was a large break between Seasons 1 and 2 and one of the secrets to the fandom’s success, in my opinion, was that the fans rallied together to keep their momentum going over the break.  They hosted contests and encouraged fan works to keep the spirit of pony alive.  Many of these fan labors will be explained further in Chapter 5 and onward.

Footnotes

(22) The fan answer is that Vinyl Scratch has red eyes.

(23) A Mythological creature which has the head of a chicken, but the body of a snake, whose gaze could turn living creatures to stone, similar to Medusa.

(24) For a refresher see Chapter 2 – Pony Basics: Characters.

(24) Or the less publicly correct name of Flutterb****.

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About isaunter

I'm 30 years old and I have been living in the District for six years now. I love all things geek: from tabletop to video gaming; from computers to manga. I am a brony. I wear glasses, have short hair and sport a dragon tattoo (gasp!). I enjoy wearing tall socks and short skirts, and tend to dress more goth and Lolita than chic. It's just a fun thing.

Posted on February 6, 2012, in Chapters and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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