Top 10 My Little Pony Episodes
10. The Mare in the Moon Part 1
The first episode of the entire show undoubtedly needs to be on this list. Naturally, it's the one that drew in droves of adult males and caused them to fall in love with a children's show. Ingeniously conducted by Lauren Faust herself, this was our first glimpse into the world of Equestria, a magical, colorful land ruled and lived entirely by ponies and animals. It's the episode when we first meet all of the beloved characters, namely Twilight Sparkle, as they go about their business in Ponyville to prepare for a summer celebration in honor of their princess Celestia.
But trouble quickly brews as Nightmare Moon, Celestia's younger, evil sister, is finally set free from her exile and threatens to shroud Equestria in darkness forever. With Celestia mysteriously absent, this leaves Twilight and the other five ponies to battle this strange new evil alone, but together.
Since this was a To Be Continued episode, it left all the viewers hanging, but boy did it rope in a crowd. The characters were instantly identifiable, endearing, and engaging, and the unique view of this pony society were strangely interesting to us.
I put this one on the list mainly because of how important this episode was to the recognition of Lauren Faust's career, the quality of 4chan's obsessions, and the history of the entire My Little Pony franchise. Before Friendship is Magic debuted, My Little Ponies cartoons were (in my opinion) shoddily drawn, lumpy horse deformities from the '80s with pale colors and childish, girl-targeted agendas (though the toys were boss). But Friendship is Magic really kicked the whole dopey ponies idea to the curb with its sheik new style, hip references and relevant stories that could apply to any demographic, male or female. This is what started the craze, and it deserves to be mentioned.
9. Sonic Rainboom
At the very beginning of this episode we see Rainbow Dash tying to teach Fluttershy the art of proper cheering. Fluttershy, being the soft spoken pony that she is, doesn't quite seem to understand the concept, but we get to see her cute attempts at it anyway. Gotta give a pony points for trying!
Afterward we learn that Rainbow Dash has been invited to Cloudsdale to participate in the Best Young Flyer Competition, and she is training to perform a particular trick that will surely win her the first prize.
What made this episode so fun was because for the first time we were taken to Cloudsdale, a cloud-crafed, sky-bound city often spoken of but never seen before. Being that pegasus ponies are in charge of weather and other sky-related events, Cloudsdale claims home to a variety of different manufacturing plants for things such as snowflakes and rainbows (which taste spicy, by the way). Equestria is such a magical world and it was downright cool to see what the pegasus ponies do to help run it.
During this episode we see a pretty equal distribution of character interaction and memorable screen time, particularly with Rarity, who falls victim to her vanity when Twilight crafts for her a beautiful pair of delicate butterfly wings.
We also see the confident, prideful Rainbow Dash in the throes of a nervous breakdown due to a heavy case of stage fright - something unique to this episode. Rainbow Dash, being the most confident and arguably the most independent of the Mane Six, does not fall prey to "the shakes" easily. But through peer pressure she has been placed on the spot, expected to perform a particular acrobatics maneuver that she is only reportedly capable of, has supposedly only done once before, and for some reason can't seem to recreate prior to the contest. We are taken through Dashie's poor mental state as she shivers, terrified, in a corner before her turn during the competition. It is a refreshingly vulnerable look into her psyche - there are, after all, limits to every pony's strengths.
But in the end, Rainbow Dash pulls through and is able to complete her astounding trick for the crowd as she flies as fast as she can to save Rarity and the Wonderbolts from demise. It is one of the show's most dramatic scenes, and it gives me chills every time I see it, despite the fact that it is simple a cartoon.
In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series, Fluttershy is renowned as being skittish, soft-spoken, and repeatedly opposed to confrontation. She brings a healthy balance to the other ponies in the group, who are more confident and seem to have less of a problem facing the daily things that scare them. Because of her innocent, cautious nature, she has won many a heart in viewers both young and old, and continues to bring a modest cuteness to a show that would clearly not be complete without her.
However, despite her reserved personality and complete lack of self confidence, in this particularly episode we finally get a glimpse of just what all this demure little pony is really capable of.
In the beginning of the episode we see Fluttershy tending dutifully to her bossy pet rabbit, only to learn that there is a detrimental cloud of black smoke emanated from one of Ponyville's nearby mountains. The Mane Six come to the realization that a dragon has moved in next door, and unless he moves, Ponyville will be shrouded in smoggy darkness forever! So they band together and take on the challenge of trekking to the top of the mountain, hoping to persuade the scaly beast into moving elsewhere.
Fluttershy's greatest strength is her seemingly innate knack with animals. Think of her as Hasbro's version of Snow White, but with hooves. She can get most animals to do what she asks simply by talking sweetly to them, and as seen in the episode Winter Wrap Up, she does not discriminate between bunnies or bats and is a lover of all creatures great and small. With one exception...
Fluttershy is absolutely, terribly, one-hundred-percently petrified of dragons. But the other ponies don't know this, and they drag her up the mountain with them in order to confront their unwelcome neighbor, assuming that her affinity with animals will assist their quest.
Understandably, Fluttershy is scared silly. She requires coaxing every step of the way, from scaling cliff faces, to jumping over tiny cracks in the stones, ignoring the fact that she herself has wings. And once they reach the dragon's den she becomes perfectly useless, hiding behind a boulder while all of her friends attempt the difficult task of getting a dragon to move. We see all the ponies' hilarious means of persuasion, from Twilight's levelheaded reason, to Rainbow Dash's brazen kicks of impatience, to Pinkie Pie's...whatever it is that she does. Eventually the dragon becomes enraged with the pony's bothersome antics, and emerges from his lair in a smoky fury.
This is where we witness the unthinkable. This is where Fluttershy's confidence is first beheld by viewers as she takes on a dragon, of all things, and WINS! Seeing her friends in peril, Fluttershy tosses off her insecurities in a fit of indignation and storms right up to the dragon's level, staring him straight in the eyes as she gives him a good piece of her mind! Fluttershy putting her hoof down is such an unbelievable turn of events that even a dragon quivers under her fury. It is truly an event to behold, and makes this episode one of the most loved by fans.
7. Green Isn't Your Color
This episode is Fluttershy and Rarity heavy, where poor Fluttershy is mistakenly pressured into a life of fame, which she only continues to pursue because she thinks Rarity wants her to. Rarity on the other hand is actually quite jealous of how Photo Finish, a top fashion designer, chose Fluttershy instead of her - yet in the end she defends her friend at her weakest moment. This is brilliant episode for both characters, particularly because both of them learn a valuable lesson and both of them have memorable scenes.
Fluttershy's answer to every confrontation is avoidance, even if it makes her life miserable, and sadly she falls victim to this fairly often. But at the end of this episode she finally musters up enough courage to tell Rarity what she fears will cause major disappointment. Rarity is actually relieved to hear it, but had already come to the realization that supporting her friend was more important than being recognized for own selfish gain. Again, we realize how strongly Rarity's Element shines.
Seeing Fluttershy all dolled up and even more cute-ified (as if that were even possible) in different outfits was a real treat for us fans, but I particularly liked this one because it features Rarity's dedication to her line of work. Plus, Spike admits that he has a crush on the diamond-flanked pony, which leads to a series of over-the-top Pinkie Pie antics as she tries to keep Twilight from spreading secrets amongst friends.
Pinkie Pie is generally considered to be capable of "breaking reality" in the show, as she is consistently in places where ponies would otherwise not belong or she arrives in a timely manner that ponies would not be expected to arrive in. In this episode we see Pinkie in a loofah pile, in an apple bin, and even inside a mirror (don't ask me how that works) which leads to both laughs and head scratching from us viewers. This is a very true to heart episode.
6. Suited for Success
Rarity is an often misunderstood character in the show. She is considered by many fan and onlooker alike as being stuck-up, materialistic, and dramatic. But I find her to be a charming, defining inclusion to the show, and one of my favorite aspects of it. She brings a lady-like balance to Applejack and Rainbow Dash's rough-and-tumble ways, and she knows what she wants in both life and love. She is good at what she does, and she holds high standards for herself and her work. I find these all to be excellent qualities compared to many of the other ponies' Shangri-La attitudes.
I like this episode because we are shown a very emotional glimpse of Rarity's overly gracious nature. Indeed, generosity is her Element, but before this episode we never really got a sturdy example of her using that gift. In this episode we see how caring she really can be, but her quest for perfect craftsmanship and her undying desire to please clash together to form a disastrous outcome. It begins where Rarity offers to transform Twilight's plain-Jane outfit into something more fitting for the formal ball that they are all attending. She then convinces Applejack to concede as well. And before she knows it, she is offering to make outfits for all five of her best friends, not to mention one for herself...
The problem begins when her friends are not satisfied with Rarity's original designs, and they ask her to make more and more changes until each other of their outfits are nitpicked to their approval and reformed into hideous concoctions of gaudy fabric and clashing color. Rarity's powerful desire to take on copious amounts of work, please all her friends, and wow a role model named Hoity Toity, is unfortunately threatened by the realistic limitations of her sanity and her friends' unfortunately ammeter tastes in fashion.
For me, this was ultimately one of the first episodes I fell in love with simply because the idea of ponies wearing clothes is for some reason fascinating to me. Watching Rarity cut and sew together beautiful works of art was both entertaining and marveling, and it was heralded by the first song that she sings in the series. In this episode, her friends basically throw her under the bus, but in the end they realize how disrespectful they had been. The episode climaxes with a fashion show that brilliantly captures each pony's personality and style in their respective dresses, which is sure enough to wow many viewers, not to mention Hoity Toity.
The lesson at the end of this episode was twofold, but one half in particular spoke out to me: if you try to please everyone, you often times end up pleasing no one, especially not yourself. This is a lesson that many adults, myself included, still have difficulty with and can definitely learn from.
I would also like to point out that this episode contains the one and only appearance of the renowned Pon-3, the show's only DJing pony (so far).
5. Party of One
As far as characters from the show go, Pinkie Pie is not necessarily one of my favorites, but I recognize her as being just as equally important to the Feng Shui of the show as the rest of them. Her outlandish enthusiasm for life is something we can all hope to strive for, and her seemingly unending happiness is a testament to the powers of optimism. However, everyone has their downfalls, and in this episode we finally see what brings poor Pinkie Pie to her breaking point.
Pinkie Pie's Element is laughter, and she is obsessively concerned about the well-being of every pony in Ponyville. She wants everyone to first and foremost have fun! She is Ponyville's party planner, and always throws the best ones in town. Since Pinkie Pie is the life of every party, parties have also become her life. So after putting on a successful birthday bash for her pet alligator, all her friends turn in for the night after praise for the delightful evening.
But the next day, Pinkie Pie's attempts to throw yet another party are met with awkward glances and polite (and sometimes not so polite) refusals from her intended guests. Pinkie Pie struggles with the awkward situation by second guessing herself and her very way of living. Why won't they party with her? Was it too soon to have another party? What else are they doing that would make them unavailable? Why are her friends avoiding her?
We watch as Pinkie Pie fights with her insecurities and suspicions until finally she is defeated by her own psyche and falls victim to the dreaded emotion of sadness. It literally deflates her entire outlook on life, and she becomes, as they say, "emo."
As uncharacteristic as it was for Fluttershy to approach a dragon in Dragonshy, seeing Pinkie Pie in this state is not only ten times more unusual, but it becomes down right creepy to be seeing such a thing unfold within a children's show. This episode sparked countless bizarre My Little Pony fan-created stories and spinoffs where Pinkie Pie plays a role as a psychotic homicidal killer. Upon watching this episode, you will see why.
As weird as parts of this episode get, it is also at the same time hilarious to see Pinkie Pie in action during her best, and her worst. Party of One belongs on this list, and any true Friendship is Magic fan's list due to the way it captures Pinkie Pie's personality so wholly, opens an entirely new window of the psychological workings of ponies, and ultimately cements the idea that good friends are good friends, and you should not be so hasty to doubt them.
4. The Best Night Ever
When it comes to cartoon TV shows, songs aren't always something people think of as being memorable aspects of them, but I must say, Friendship is Magic manages to sport a wonderful collection of well written tunes that I find myself incapable of not listening to over and over again. This particular episode hails what I think to be one of the greatest songs in My Little Pony history, which features voices from all the Mane Six and manages to incorporate the style of each individual pony into the 20-second or so time slot each one is granted. I particularly enjoy how during each pony's different lines, the instruments change accordingly to fit their personality. This is most noticeable during Rainbow Dash's part, which is typically regarded as the most "awesome" point of the song. I eagerly await the day when Hasbro releases a soundtrack for the show.
In this episode, all the girls are finally attending the Grand Galloping Gala, a magnificently formal ball, where each pony has lavish expectations of what they hope to accomplish. Unfortunately, as anyone who has attended a big event knows, things rarely turn out they way they are planned. But this does not necessarily mean disaster... Unless you are a group of six ponies, of course.
All characters are represented evenly in this episode, and each one has a different way in which they handle themselves in face of disappointment. In determined attempts to make it the best night ever, they do their best to force it to be the best night ever, which of course ends in chaos. It's always great fun to see a bunch of ponies all dressed up in fancy wear, but I think it's even more fun to see a a bunch of ponies in fancy wear tossed into disarray. Fluttershy easily steals the show by going more bonkers than we have ever seen or thought a pony could go, and Rainbow Dash manages to single-hoofedly destroy an entire portion of the palace.
Ensuing of course is much entertainment as we watch the girls each try to tackle their own idea of happiness, only to realize that in the end, being together is way better than a stuffy old suaré with strangers. This is one of my all-time favorite episodes because all characters are given great screen time, but mostly because of Fluttershy's absolute insanity.
3. The Return of Harmony Part 2
It had only been one season, and already us fans felt as though we had been watching this show for years. The characters we know and love have become our friends; little gems in a world that is often so gray-scale and droll, reminders of what good life has to offer us. The beginning of season two was a much anticipated event after months of ponylessness, and we were not in the least bit disappointed.
This is the continuation of the premiere of the second season (hence the Part 2), where a strange creature named Discord steals the Elements of Harmony and sends Equestria into...well...discord. Discord is befittingly voiced by John de Lancie, and is in effect the same character in My Little Pony as Q was in the Star Trek series. The results of this idea were genius interactions between the Mane Six and Discord's rapscallion, all-powerful character as he manages to sabotage each pony's strength.
Twilight is left relatively uninhibited, but trying to infuse cooperation between her estranged friends proves to be a stressful, thankless, and seemingly worthless effort. This eventually drags her down into a state of defeat, and she, like the others, succumbs to hopelessness.
This episode is golden because of just how absurd things become between the group. The Mane Six lose the strengths that power their Elements, and so they turn into practically photo negatives of themselves. Applejack starts lying about everything, Pinkie Pie becomes a sourpuss, Fluttershy turns into a jerk, Rarity is violently selfish, and Rainbow Dash deserts the group entirely! Every fan got a kick out of seeing their favorite character acting out of character, and with de Lancie's laughter punctuating the background, it really set the mood for this episode. One understands why Twilight gives up in the face of this disaster - everything is a mess!
Thankfully with the help of Celestia, Twilight is reminded of just how much her friends have cared for her, and each other, over the time they have known one another. Through thick and thin, they battled the worst in each other and still managed to come out on top. It is this realization that pulls Twilight out of Discord's spell, and because of her unfailing determination and ingenuity, she forces her friends to see the truth too.
This was the only My Little Pony episode that made me emotional. It is a little embarrassing to admit, but I am a female, so I suppose it's acceptable on some scale. For such a hopeless situation to turn into such a happy ending was nearly tear jerking, with the importance of friendship ringing true to my heart.
2. Sweet and Elite
This story begins with Rarity visiting Canterlot for a short time, but the longer she stays there, the more she allows herself to be sucked into the socializing typical of the town's higher society ponies. Romanticized by fashion and formality, Rarity strives to fit into the rich lifestyle, shirking the promises she had made to her friends and neglecting to complete a dress she had intended for Twilight's birthday party.
And yet again, My Little Pony dazzles with a new song! This is another one sung by Rarity, and it is one of my very favorites.
I fancied this episode because it was entirely about Rarity, and as such, included a bunch of new pony outfits for me to ogle at. This episode also tackled a sticky situation that I have found myself as an adult contemplating on many occasions - to attend and impress a group of "popular" people, or participate and retreat to a group of well-loved but less-than-kosher friends? It is indeed the question of this episode, and we see Rarity battle with her conflicting goals and eventually impossible schedules.
I have mentioned it before, and I will say it again - Rarity is unfairly misunderstood. But this episode out of all episodes I think once and for all proves to audiences that deep down she is just as devoted a friend as any other. Despite the fact that in Canterlot she seems to have all of her dreams come true, she is granted recognition and fame for her thoughts, style, outfit designs, and overall presence, she shows that beneath all that glitter and glam she is still true to her origins. She does what I know many people in the same situation could not do: she stands up to her role models and brazenly admits in front of them that, yes, the ponies embarrassing themselves like drunken hillbillies at the most important garden party are, in fact, her best friends. In the face of ridicule she puts her entire reputation on the line by siding with her "ruffian" Ponyville sisters, and that takes true courage.
Rarity certainly is the type of pony everypony should know.
1. May the Best Pet Win!
Being a lover of animals and an advocator of pets, it is perhaps no surprise that this episode holds such a special place in my heart.
Here we come to find that of all the Mane Six, Rainbow Dash is the only one without a pet at her side: Pinkie Pie has an alligator, Rarity has a cat, Fluttershy has a bunny, Applejack has a dog, and Twilight has an owl. So, feeling a little left out, Dashie decides that she should pick out a pet for herself as well. This is, of course, where Fluttershy shines her brightest.
With enthusiasm unbridled, Fluttershy is more than happy to show Rainbow Dash around her farm in a decided attempt to find her friend the most perfectest pet. To date, there has never been an episode where Fluttershy was more happy than she seemed to be in this one, and you can finally see her in her element, rather than being forced to comically adapt outside of it. In fact, she even sings a song about it... And I must say, it's my favorite one from the show so far.
I always appreciated the fact that Friendship is Magic seemed to include animals that were less-than-pleasat to most peoples' eyes, such as bugs, vultures, and bats, all of which are present on Fluttershy's farm. There are also the typical cute things like bunnies, otters, kittens, and squirrels, but all of these animals are not up to Rainbow Dash's expectations, for she wants the "coolest" animal she can find.
With lack of a better way to choose, she decides to hold a contest for the various animals so that she can easily pick the winner as her new pet. It sounds easy enough, but a bumbling tortoise with the lifelong dream of being a pet is goaded by Fluttershy into entering, despite the fact that Dashie clearly stated she wanted a pet that could fly.
It is adorably pathetic seeing the tortoise try its very best at the various obstacles set up for the purpose of weeding out the lesser contestants, and one easily feels sorry for the poor guy. Rainbow Dash is unfazed, however, and remains dead-set on acquiring the best flyer for her new companion. However, during the last test, all eligible contestants end up abandoning Rainbow Dash in her time of need due to their competitive nature, and she is left with only the reptile to rely on.
As slow as molasses and as acrobatic as moss on a log, the tortoise is the exact opposite of just about everything that Rainbow Dash thinks is "awesome," but she eventually finds that maybe, just maybe, there is more to a companion than them looking or acting cool.
In the end, perhaps predictably, Rainbow Dash chooses the tortoise over the falcon, even though the latter was the fastest flyer. This is a great example of her loyalty, which happens to be her Element. She even finds a way to help her new pet become airborne, which is a great compromise.
I find the representation of reptile pets in the Friendship is Magic series to be a refreshingly progressive view on the "acceptability" of certain domesticated animals. More often than not, pets in the media are strictly cats or dogs, and I appreciate the variety seen here. On an entirely different note, I was also quite pleased to hear The Ride of the Valkyries as background music during the final test. What a wonderful way to educate the new generation in classic music! All in all, this episode became my favorite because of emphasis on animals, the passion in Fluttershy's voice, and the sweetness of Rainbow Dash's relationship with her new chelonian chum.
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