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24 July 2012

TOP 20 MLP: FiM Moments/Episodes.


It's difficult to be a fan of anything during the time that nothing new is coming from what you are a fan of. May it be video games, football matches, or pastel colored ponies, the hiatus in between seasons and new releases is always difficult to bare. We go for anything that resembles what we love and create stuff with it. I make fanart, tons of it, but that's not enough, not close. So I think, and I think about things a lot, and I started to figure out that I could put some effort and do a little list. Then the more I thought about it the more the list turned into a big list, and this is what we have here right now. I know it's too early to call for favorite episodes, but Season 3 is taking a while and these lists I can do them fairly quick. Besides, there is already an eclectic amount of episodes to chose from, so I think I can pull this off, from a purely subjective point of view. And to make things even more interesting, I'm also including my favorite moment of each episode. That's how this list actually started. This was going to be a "TOP 20 MOMENTS FROM FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC" but then I realized that many of these moments belong to episodes that I loved. So I merged both lists together in an attempt to save everyone the trouble to read double.


Like I always do with my lists, I set a couple of rules to keep it organized and limited. That way I don't go bananas and I actually think about what to write, instead of just spewing typed nonsense until I get something finished. Consider them a guideline rather than a stoic set of rules. These are:

1.- One moment per episode: It's easy to go with several moments from a particular episode, but having only one moment per episode limits the list. Now these moments can be as long as ten minutes or as short as three seconds, as I don't put limitations to them.

2.- One song only: It's also very easy to fill an entire list just with songs from the show. Hell, you can put an entire list together with just musical moments from this cartoon! So I just went with one song. I'm sorry if yours is not on the list, but that's just my opinion.

3.- The moments MUST come from my favorite episodes (Honorable mentions at the end): Like I said, favorite episodes that come with my favorite moments. I love many moments from episodes I particularly don't consider my favorites, so those will go in the honorable mentions list at the end of this list.

And now, without further ado, let's take a look at these episodes and their respective moments!

20. - Look Before you Sleep.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I hear a lot of people referring to this episode as one of the least interesting episodes in the show. They often use the terms "too girly" or "too casual" to describe and I would be lying if I say I disagree with them. It is a very girly episode, well, it's a sleep over guys, what do you expect? I'm pretty sure they didn't have them watch "Steel Magnolias" because, for all we know, Equestria doesn't have DVDs or VCRs! But for me, that's the reason why I like this episode so much. It's a laid back fun time to see three characters and their relationships develop. Rarity starts the episode as an uptight snob, and by the end of it she proves to have no quarrel on getting dirty to get the job done; while Applejack starts as a stubborn act-first-think-later pony, and by the end she is acting in a more sensible, thoughtful way. To have this done with a very seamless rhythm and such relaxed tone takes effort. To me, this is one of those episodes I watch when I just want to chill. It's not heavy, nor filled with action or lots of characters. Just one very well written bottle episode, and those are always on my favorites lists. I am the type of person who likes to put a group of characters in a small space and see what happens. Thankfully, it all resolved peacefully.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"The ghost story"

I always liked this moment from the first time I saw it. It is a very funny, very well presented moment between Twilight, Applejack and Rarity. The three of them gathered around the feeble light of the lantern as Twilight narrates "The Legend of the Headless Horse". What makes it so funny is the ending, with Twilight throwing a blanket over her head and Applejack and Rarity hugging each other in terror. But recently I acquired a new appreciation for this scene since there is one very similar to it in the Generation 2 "My Little Pony Tales" episode called "Slumber Party". All the way down to the ghost story and the lightning scaring the ponies, which makes me wonder if they based this episode off of that one. A reference to previous gens should never go unappreciated, especially if it's so funny.

19. - Fall Weather Friends.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

Keeping it up with the whole conflict between characters idea, I always admired how this episode is thought out, and even more how it's performed. Allow me to say this right away, because the biggest reason why I like this episode so much is Ashleigh Ball's incredible voice acting. It takes a while to realize that she voices Rainbow Dash and Applejack, two characters so different yet so similar. One is stubborn and family based, the other is over confident and a free spirit. One is soft spoken and laid back, and the other is raspy and doesn't measure her words when talking. It goes to prove how good she is, when I forget that's a voice actress doing the voices and I just see individual characters. So just for that, this episode is, to me, incredible. But it doesn't end there. The conflict that grows between these two is more a clash of personalities rather than a fight to see who is really better. They are not fighting to be the best, they are fighting because their egos are bigger than their bodies, and in the end they both learn a lesson in humility. Earlier episodes dealt a lot with characters interacting with each other, clashing and getting angry, and this one is a bright example of the friendship between these two. That, and also the start of many, many, MANY shipping fanfics.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"The fudge dialogue"

This series has endless examples of machine gun dialogue, how I like to call it. It's dialogue that happens very quick and has little to no sense, and most of the examples happen to have Pinkie Pie as the deliverer. During the Running of the Leaves, Spike and Pinkie are doing the coverage of the race, when the dialogue happens:

Spike:

You know, Pinkie, these two ponies have a bit of a grudge match they're trying to settle. Trying to prove who's the most athletic.

Pinkie Pie:

Yes, and "grudge" rhymes with "fudge".

Spike:

Yes it... does. What?

Pinkie Pie:

And I like fudge. But if I eat too much fudge I get a pudge and then I can't budge.

Spike:

So... no fudge?

Pinkie Pie:

Oh, no thanks. I had a big breakfast.

What did that have to do with anything!? Spike's face mirrors ours so perfectly it's staggering. I will go to this dialogue endless times as an example of how funny the writing can get. Does it make sense? No. Does it add anything to the story? No. But it's both hilarious and an insight to how Pinkie Pie's brain work; very bad.

18. - It's About Time.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I often see people ignore talking about this episode during discussions about Season 2, and I think this is because it's kind of a sleeper episode. People know it exists, they know it's there but, aside from the tons of Future Twilight fanarts we got, there is not much else to it, at least from what I see in the fandom. I can see why. Like all the episodes written by M.A. Larson (expect to see that name a lot here, because I love his writing) it's all a huge build up for a very short pay off, and this one did that but not quite. There is a build up, and a pay off, but what we get in the end is probably the biggest anti-climax the whole series has ever had. Twilight spends so much time building up this possible disaster that by the end of the episode one expects the worst will come, but then in the end nothing happens. I would love to say it caught me off guard, but the truth is that it didn't. These time-travelling episodes never work for me because I always know what's going to happen, because my brain doesn't want to stand still. This is something that happens when you include such a heavy sci-fi element such as time travelling in a cartoon. It must sound like I should have put this episode in m least favorites, because you might be wondering "What does he like of this then?" Well, I like how relaxed this episode makes me feel. I can just sit down and enjoy how the situation unveils, how Twilight goes insane with worry, and how much science and study she puts into a theory that doesn't work in the end. It's another one of those chill out episodes, one that I can just put in, watch and go "Mmm, that felt good, I feel so relaxed now".

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Twilight stands still"

There are lots of good moments in this episode, from the attack of Cerberus to Ponyville to the infiltration in the Canterlot library, and lets not forget about Gypsy Pinkie Pie. But out of all of them I think my favorite is when Twilight decides that the best course of action is doing absolutely nothing. I think we all know that, if something bad is going to happen, the last thing we have to do is nothing at all. Not only it's funny as hell, but it's probably the one that gives her the most punishment. Because getting a paper-cut or a flower pot to the head is one thing, but get tickled and then blasted a green fireball to the face, that's totally different. Which makes me wonder, wouldn't that green fireball send her head to Princess Celestia like in "The Godfather"? Mmm.

17. - Ponyville Confidential.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

TV shows, especially cartoons and live action shows for kids, have always had that one episode that feels like a children’s interpretation of the grown ups world. I think "Recess" was an entire series focused around that concept, how the playground was the miniaturized equivalent to today's society. This episode is pretty much that, how these little ponies (even more little than usual) take over an extra-curricular school activity like it's the job of their lives, the thing that will define their future. I don't know about you, but I used to do that as a kid. Oh, who am I kidding? I keep doing that as an adult! I write these articles like they are my bread and butter. So just for that, I did feel connected to the story. Another thing that caught me off guard in this episode is the characters. I don't know about you but I have always hated Diamond Tiara. She has always been portrayed as a bratty girl with no redeeming factors whatsoever, and I never liked her all that much. But then this episode came along and I was like: "Oh, she's trying to be like her father. She just wants to be as successful as he is". That made her more likable to my eyes, so that's another point in its favor. However, this episode is amongst my favorite most importantly because of how funny it is. M.A. Larson did a great job with the jokes in this one, especially near the end when the articles in the newspaper start getting mean. As soon as Rainbow Dash rushes through the door the episode is a complete chuckle fest, crowned by an equally funny and terrifying moment (look below). But after that it eases itself into the ending quite neatly. It's not like Larson's previous episodes where the ending felt rushed. In this one the resolution is given time to breath and develop, leading to a very satisfying conclusion in a very natural way.

So, what's my favorite moment: 


"Big Macintosh gets so angry he speaks"

Yes, this one is both parts scary and hilarious. Let's face it, up until now the most Big Mac has ever spoken was either concerned talk with his sister, or schmaltzy talking with Cheerilee, with the occasional badass one liner. But then the Cutie Mark Crusaders had to reveal his passion for little girl toys, and that made him mad enough to break his stoic silence and scold them in the angriest, most laid back tone I have ever heard in this show. There was a moment during the stream when the chat fell silent for almost half a minute, that's how shocking that scene was. For the next time, let's not piss off Big Mac. He might speak again, and when he speaks mountains break in half.

16. - The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

Oh hey look, another M.A. Larson scripted episode! What a surprise! I put his name up front because I must say that the title for this episode is absolutely deceiving. Early on during the premiere of Season 2 I kept trying to guess who wrote the episodes just based on the title and the synopsis, and from the looks and sound of it I felt Dave Polsky was going to write this one. The title seemed too happy with words like "speedy" and "squeezy", and the plot about a competition against the Flim Flam brothers made me wonder if we were going to have a wacky action scene with slides of cider and what not. To my surprise, it turned out to be the complete opposite. Not only is this episode severely grounded in reality, but it's also packed with some gut wrenching sad moments (read favorite moment at the bottom). This is the kind of episode that I think more shows should have. There is no villain, there is no world threatening danger, there isn’t even action sequences or change of locations. It's just a very harsh slice of life and it doesn't hold back on portraying the drama, even if it cranks it up way to close to "21 gramms" levels of vindictiveness. But then again, this is a kid's show, and there has to be a happy resolution, which it can be very satisfying for some but I personally still want to see the Flim Flam brothers getting chased out of Ponyville with a mob of angry ponies wielding forks and torches. At least it ends in the funniest moral delivery of the entire show. And aside from that it has a very catchy song. Rainbow Dash almost steals the show with her grudge of never being able to taste the cider, and it's very heartwarming to see Applejack accept the help from her friends, proving to have overcome her stubbornness.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"The Apple Family gets kicked out of Ponyville"

I spent a good while wondering why did I pick this moment in particular because, when I first watched it, I hated it. You have no idea for how many weeks I hated this particular moment, mostly because of how intentionally melodramatic it is. I swear that I didn't figure out why I liked it until recently. It's one of those few moments that I keep going back to in my head. Something that occupies my thoughts so much must be good. It's also a very well acted scene, not just from the voice acting point of view but also in the animation. It's one of the few times you will see characters cry in silence (except Pinkie Pie, she can't do anything in silence). I also consider important any moment that, when I am re-watching the episode, my inner voice screams "Oh boy, here we go!". But first and foremost, this is the kind of moment that makes me enjoy the characters more. The moments where they are at their lowest, because when they pull through (either by themselves or with the support of an entire town) it's way more epic, way more endearing, way more engaging. Yes, you can call me a sadist, but this is the episode that made me realize how much I like Applejack. And not only that, because many of those moments are usually very epic, or very fantastic, but this one in particular is very down to the ground. Like I said, this is probably the harshest slice of life moment of the entire series. It's not about facing a dragon after your friends have been knocked out, or throwing oneself to rescue a friend who fell from a castle made of clouds. It's about helping a family so they don't get evicted from their house. This is something that we are seeing every day nowadays, and for this cartoon to touch that subject it's pretty ballsy. But it doesn't try to prove any point or send any message, it's just there to help the resolution being all the sweeter. And, let's face it, I think we all mimicked the Ponyvillians when they triple-denied the Flim Flam brothers, and we all smiled when the dust settles and Applejack has the happiest face in the world.

Now that's a happy face.

15. - A Dog and Pony Show.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

Did you know that I like Rarity a lot? Keep that in mind, she will keep showing up in moments here and there, because she's wonderful, and I think I am not the only Rarity fan who really likes this episode. It's also pretty interesting because most of the times an episode revolves around Rarity or has her as the focus, there is also a great involvement of Spike, and the relationship between the two gets expanded upon. This one might be the one that started working on it though, giving Spike a more fawning fascination with Rarity's beauty, making him a brave little guy who just wants to save his damsel in distress. What he doesn't take into account is that Rarity is no damsel in distress, as she soon pulls off an over the top annoying routine on her captors, who end up so fed up with her that they have no other alternative but let her go. Unlike some people who complained that this episode portrays women as mumbling, crying and whining nuisances, I think the makers were trying to portray her behavior as a pacifist approach to attack her captors, kind of like a psychological assault rather than an up front physical confrontation. This theme runs in the series, as it's proven once again how violence never solves anything, and only through talking do things get solved (unless you are the Queen of the Changelings). Add to that some great slapstick and the funniest "what if" scenario ever (that sequence with Spike as a brave Knight is priceless) and you get one great episode to boot! Lots of Rarity, lots of Spike, a really badass group of bad guys, and hilarious slapstick is all you can expect from this one.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"But I thought you wanted whining!"

There is no surprise that this is my favorite moment. Spike's fantasy of being a courageous knight and saving his sweetheart is hilarious, but Rarity whining and crying is both hilarious and adorable. Tabitha St. Germain's acting is what makes this scene, managing to bring both the pathos and the chuckles. The animation on Rarity makes her even more adorable, what with her cute prancing and the stomping of her hooves, or that brief fourth wall breaking moment when she grabs the camera. You also feel sorry for the poor Diamond Dogs too! If you consider how high pitched Rarity's whining is, and how the caves can amplify that sound, for them it must feel like they are getting a dog whistle shoved right in their ears. Of course they would give in to her demands, they'd do anything to make her stop whining! And they better not call her mule, or else she will upgrade her whining into full on crying. And it will be even more adorable, goddamn it.

14. - Hearts and Hooves Day.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

This cartoon has had a lot of episodes to develop the main characters, but very few episodes to develop the universe and the secondary characters that surround them. Don't get me wrong, I love the Mane Six, as they are the engine that moves the series forward, but I think their episodes while entertaining are usually going to have a more or less predictable structure. However, when the episode is about the world around them it gets very interesting and even insightful. This is one of those episodes. I think it's genius that we are told the Pony equivalent of Valentine's Day from the perspective of three kids, who try to have their teacher find a very special somepony. It tells us how the celebration started, how it happens, and it includes a great song that's both parts heartwarming and hilarious. I still can't get over the "tubs of jelly" lyric. I will always believe that Daniel Ingram and Meghan McCarthy had a bet with someone from Studio B that they wouldn't include such a ridiculous line in the song. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are awesome in this one, with some of their best moments in the entire series. And Peter New and Nicole Oliver just nail it with their acting. If only we had a video of Nicole losing it in the recording booth. I have to admit though, the episode loses some momentum nearing the third act, and it turns into a more slap-sticky kind of set piece, with Big Macintosh bouncing and dragging everything he gets tied thanks to with the power of love. But then again, it has a really great start. The first five minutes are incredible, with the CMC giving Cheerilee that giant heart, the aforementioned song, or the cute background events like that heartbroken pony. It's understandable that an episode that starts with so much energy ends up losing some of it half way through. In this one's case, it takes a bit longer for the rhythm to deflate, which is already an accomplishment. So I totally excuse the third act since the first and second are good enough to be an episode all by themselves.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"AW COME ON!"

I think this one is not just mine, it's pretty much every body's favorite moment of the whole episode. We are all familiar with how good the timing of this series is, and we get evidence of this all the time. We are also given evidence that Sweetie Belle might be the funniest character in the entire show, mostly because how well she mixes adorableness with hilarity. So there's no doubt that her best moment only has three words. I was watching this episode late at night, I was unable to catch the stream, so I managed to get my copy later after it. When Sweetie Belle popped from the bushes, I had to bite my tongue, and even with that I had to stop the episode and grab a pillow so I could laugh in it. I consider it so funny that, if I'm ever down or tired, all I have to do is think of it and then I cheer up. Great stuff.

13. - Read it and Wheep.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I think there are two possible explanations: A short one and a long one. The short one is: "It has an entire segment dedicated to an Indiana Jones parody, why the hell wouldn't I put this here?" I will give you the long answer, I think it's only fair. I love Rainbow Dash. She my favorite of the Mane Six next to Rarity. She's brash, brave, bold, and many other adjectives that start with "b", most of all badass. She's an athlete and a complete tomboy, and I love every second of it. The only problem is that she either has amazing episodes or just good episodes. Which is a problem because those amazing episodes make the just good episodes look less good. I won't make any metaphors, you know what I mean. This one however is one episode that is really, really good but doesn't go into the terrain of Earth-shattering awesomeness concentrated in raindrops (we'll talk about that later). This episode is purely dedicated to flesh out and develop Rainbow Dash's character, by giving her a trait that has nothing to do with her talent. The way she discovers her passion for reading is so relatable that you could put "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" instead of "reading" and you will have the origin story of every brony out there in a nutshell. How she gets into it, how she realizes it hooked her, how she tries to hide it from her friends, and how they tell her it's okay when they find out (well, that part is more subjective, but you know what I mean). It's an episode that doesn't just promote reading as a great source of entertainment and invites kids to develop their imaginations. It's also an episode that tells us we can be more than we already are. That we can always discover something good about ourselves.

So, what's my favorite moment: 

"The ending"

For a good while I had all the sections of Daring Do in this spot. They are really cool, with the filter, the music, Daring Do is a total badass, it actually does have a sense of intrigue, it's funny and also very memorable. But after a long time thinking, and this is totally true, I think my favorite part of this episode is the ending. Rainbow Dash finishes the first Daring Do book. Then she closes it, hugs it and throws herself back on her bed. Then she reaches for the second book, reads the title and, unable to hold back her enthusiasm, she rocks her legs and says: "Awesome!". How many of you had that reaction when getting into something? Books, TV shows, movies-Hell, most of us bronies did this when we first got into this cartoon! If we liked the first episode and we are told that there's more of it, all we can do is cheer and watch the next one. It's those five seconds that make Rainbow Dash a more relateable character. We've all been there, and they captured the emotion so well it warms my heart.

12. - Party of One.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

Okay, we'll get this out of the way first. I love, love, LOVE, the chat reactions to this episode. I just love them. When Rainbow Dash shows up to get Pinkie Pie to her birthday party and all the bronies start screaming: "NO! DON'T MAKE IT CANON!" is just hilarious. That is probably one of my favorite moments this fandom has ever had. But now about the actual episode. I think I'm not the only one who uses this episode to show to his friends that My Little Pony is not what it used to be. There are a lot of mental break downs in this show, every pony has already experienced one (some of them even two or three), but I think this one is the mother of all pony break downs. Pinkie Pie is the force of this one, she's hilarious and terrifying in equal levels. Even before she went nuts she already made me jump out of my chair when Rainbow Dash goes into the bell. I had to literally pause the video and sit back down on the chair, that's how much it startled me. I am still wondering how Rainbow Dash didn't die of a heart attack right there. But all scariness aside, for the moment, this is a really well written episode that gives us an unknown insight on Pinkie's life and behavior. I know this is for kids, and most precisely little girls, but the makers did put the effort to connect Pinkie Pie's depressing state of mind to how she looked like as a filly before discovering parties. It was the very first time I noticed a consistency with the characters in the show, aside from the fact that Twilight likes books and is Celestia's student. Besides, broken ponies are always the best ponies, like I said, when they are at their lowest.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Pinkie Pie goes full nutty"

This scene is superbly killer for me. Pinkie Pie falls into a depression so deep that she develops multiple personality disorder and sets a party where she is the only guest. I'm not going to read much into it, because there is no need to. It's all right there! We enter into her demented imagination where all the objects are talking and bouncing, and then we cut to a scene of her moving the objects and making their voices as her eyes have almost fully rolled into her skull. Yes, it's a pink pony. Yes, it's a cartoon for little girls. Yes, it's promoting a Hasbro toy. But just look at that scene! I was crawling on my chair from how unease I was feeling. The music, the twisted strings, the slanted camera angles, the splotched backgrounds, the overall uncomfortable feel of being trapped into someone's psyche. It's just too well done to ignore it. To quote "Firefly": "This must be how going insane feels like".

11. - A Friend Indeed.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

This one episode me and my friends like to call it "Continuity: The Episode", but not for the reasons you'd expect. It was obvious from the first season that Hasbro wanted a slice of life show that everyone could watch out of order, thus allowing new comers to get into the show without needing to watch previous episodes. However, this didn't happen much with season 2. There are some episodes where stuff happens and we are never explained why, and that's because it happened in previous episodes and so they don't need explaining. In this episode's case we see several things that happened in other episodes. Like Pinkie Pie taking care of Pound and Pumpkin Cake. We see Zecora, the zebra shaman that lives in the forest, walking by without anyone being terrified. Or we see Rainbow Dash, speed demon extraordinaire, hanging out in the library reading a book. Little touches like that give a very rich sense of variety to the world, it makes you feel like you really are watching something real, instead of colored pastel equines. I also love episodes that introduce new characters, especially when they are done right. This is something that doesn't always happen in this cartoon (I'm looking at you "Dragon Quest"), but when it happens it's very memorable, and often times it's Amy Keating Rogers the one behind the helm of the writing. In this one we have what many consider (me included) an equine version of Carl Friedricksen from Pixar's "UP". He is a grumpy, surly, embittered donkey called Cranky Doodle, and when Pinkie Pie takes on the mission to cheer him up nothing can stop her. I agree with those who say that Pinkie should have left him alone, but I can understand why she didn't. You have to understand that for her, seeing someone sad or depressed is something unnatural, it's something she can't comprehend, and that she can't let go until she rights it. And you know what? She does right it, in what is probably one of the biggest tear-jerkers of the show. Once again this cartoon proves it can give a story arc to a new character in twenty two minutes without leaving the universe around it unattended.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Smile, Smile, Smile"

I had to pick one song for the entire series, and boy was that hard. Well, not hard when it comes to what my favorite song is, but hard in the sense that I will disappoint so many bronies when they don't find theirs on this list. At least I hope they agree with my description for this song because, wow. You know a song so happy, so positive and so encouraging that it makes you cry with joy? Well, this song is exactly like that. Many songs are usually preachy, or try to tell a story. In the old generations of My Little Pony they were downright blatant when it came to deliver-I mean, shoehorn a moral. This one however, it's the complete opposite. It's laid back, it's light-hearted, it's sweet, it's silly, it's funny, it's touching, it's simple, it's catchy, it's just perfect from start to finish. It's the perfect song to listen to and feel your spirits lift up like a balloon, swelling your chest with warmth and pulling your heart strings. I know I always lose it when Pinkie Pie is being carried by her five friends and she sings "Come on everypony, smile, smile, smile" and then the town follows her in a chorus. How beautiful is that? If you are not in tears and smiling by the end of this song...well, that means you are not me, but if you are not smiling by the end of it, you should do some soul searching because you might be missing something.

10. - Boast Busters.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

It goes without saying that I think this cartoon is fantastic. The quality of every single aspect shines in every episode, regardless of my opinion of it. But when did my opinion shifted from "This is ponies, this is for girls, this doesn't have the right to be good" to "Oh my God, I love everything about this show"? I have to say, it wasn't with the pilot episodes. Come to think of it, it wasn't with any of the first five episodes. I don't mean they are bad, they definitely were good enough for me to kept watching, and they gave me the impression that this show wasn't like the original, that this was a new approach with a lot more emphasis on character and story. But when I watched episode six of season one I realized how amazing this show is. It's the kind of episode that has the structure of a game changer. This episode says "This isn't just about rainbows and hearts and girly stuff, this is about magical girls vanquishing giant monsters!". And boy it was good. It was fantastic. I remember sitting down on my chair, my hands together over my mouth, not even blinking, as I couldn't believe what I was watching. When the episode ended I had to stand up and move away from my computer for a couple of hours, as I did my best to digest what I just saw. I'm not even kidding. It escaped me how could My Little Pony, the show that had spiraled into an abyss of complete awfulness, had reached the level of the best western animation up there with Avatar: The Legend of Aang, and Futurama (again, my opinion). It seems like I'm just talking about the effect the episode had on me, but keep in mind that without it I wouldn't have turned into a brony. But that aside, there are a lot of genuinely good things in it. I think it goes without saying that The Great and Powerful Trixie is a very well written character, who follows the typical formula of boaster who then turns out to be a complete bust (see what I did there?). She is a prepotent trollop who fawns for attention but when the shit hits the fan she humbles herself and admits her lies, something that gives her some humanity. Twilight is given a lot of personality in this episode too, presenting her as an insecure character who's more concerned about what would others think than about proving she is better than somebody else. Besides that, there are a few other moments that are just silly but enjoyable. Like Rarity trotting away like a real horse for the first and last time in the whole series, which is a bit odd, but it's also very adorable. Or when Twilight summons a door to shut Spike up, which turns into another great example of how good the timing is in this series. But all and all, they all get trampled by my favorite moment.

So, what's my favorite moment:


"Twilight vanquishes the Ursa Minor"

This was the scene that made me blink and realize the quality of this show. The entire episode had a great build up to get to this scene, engaging us with Twilight's dilemma and making us connect with the character. So when things turn for the worst, I was glued to my seat, wanting her to succeed. It's a classic moment. The moment the hero is risking her life to save the town, the pain she goes through, the strain of the battle, it's all so well captured in such a minimalistic moment with Twilight just clenching her teeth and using her magic. I personally love those moments because they make me sympathise with the protagonist a lot more, as you may have already noticed in this list, and this one is this high on it because I didn't expect this show to have them. It's a great moment for a great character that gives closure to her fears and strengthens the bond she has with her friends.

9. - Lesson Zero.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I think it was Sethisto the one who said this for the first time. Broken ponies are the best ponies, and he is right. Anytime a character goes through a mental breakdown in this show it's always sadistically entertaining. Once again it goes to the typical formula of a hero falling down to the lowest only to rise, remove the mud off of his or her face, and then save the day. Every super hero movie has that moment, I'd say every movie has that moment actually. But I rarely see this trope being used for comedic effect, and let me tell you, there is a lot of comedic effect going on in this episode. You know how I already said (and I will say again) how the character's conflict makes you connect with her a lot? Well, in this episode's case there is no connection whatsoever, and that is mostly because of how they approached it, which I think it's a good thing. It's not pleasant to be in a tight time schedule to meet a deadline, especially when you don't know what the results are going to be, so making it into a screwball comedy so we could laugh at it is a very good idea, one that I personally appreciate a lot. I've always had problems meeting deadlines, and nowadays even more with bills and mortgages and what not, so having a cartoon that allows me to laugh at it and get some levity from it is actually very appreciated. Besides that, the voice acting in this one is just amazing. There is no doubt why Tara Strong picks this episode as the one she had the most fun with. She just went borderline Harley Quinn with this performance of a very psycho, very random, very tardy Twilight Sparkle who is both funny and terrifying. Seriously, half the times she pops in the screen I wondered how they could get away with it. She is downright scary. But that only makes the funny bits even funnier.

So, what's my favorite moment:


"The best line read ever in the history of this series."

Oh this episode has so many great moments. The countless crazy Twilight faces. The endless stream of crazy poured by Tara Strong's voice. The earth shatteringly hilarious routines. Rarity and her fainting couch. Fluttershy breaking the spine of the bear and twisting its neck. Pinkie Pie's basket of balloons. The epic sonic rain-nuke. Big Macintosh going crazy for a doll. So many moments. So many good, hilarious, amazing moments. But, I didn’t pick any of them. I’m sorry. I just can’t, because even with all that, even with all those moments, my favorite one of the entire episode is this:


I'm serious. I'm not even joking. This is not an attempt to try and make a silly joke and then tell you what my actual favorite moment is. This is the real thing. I seriously love this line read. It doesn't matter how many times I listen to it, I will always start laughing so hard I will have to pause the episode. I am unable to watch it all in one sitting, that's how much I laugh with this line. The first time I saw it I almost peed myself with laughter, that's how funny I think it is. And the fact that is Tabitha St. Germain delivering just makes me like it even more.

8. - Hurricane Fluttershy.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

If amongst the rules that I self-imposed to write this list I had included "Use one word only to describe each episode", the word I would use to describe this episode is "strong". Another good word would be "powerful". This is the kind of episode that takes an already established character and focuses on another aspect of his or her personality that hasn't been dealt with yet. We all know Fluttershy is not the most open character of the show. She's reclusive, she likes loneliness, she doesn't have much strength when it comes to stand her ground, but let me ask you this: When have we ever seen her face a crowd of ponies? For what I recall, never before this episode I have seen her facing her fears about being in public. This episode does, and thanks to a terrifying set up it's quite easy to make me feel invested in what she goes through. The training montage scene is both funny and endearing, and the ending with the giant tornado is a ton of fun to watch. I am a sucker for tornadoes, one of my favorite movies ever is "Twister", so seeing a massive pegasi powered tornado in the show was very thrilling. But it's not only the tornado and Fluttershy's internal dilemma that makes me love this episode, though they are a big part of it. I love how Rainbow Dash is portrayed here. I think that, next to "Read it and Weep" and "Sonic Rainboom" this is her best episode. She's determined and brass, but she's also supportive and shows a lot of concern for her friend, to the point that she stops caring about the tornado and setting up a new record and she's more focused around pulling Fluttershy from the dumps. I loved the many cameos of Derpy, who was everywhere in this one always looking adorable. I loved Twilight and her nerdy techno babble. And I loved Snowflake. Just...Just that guy, I mean come on, how can you not like him? A great episode filled with great stuff, surely one of the series' best.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"The eye hallway"

I think I won't get tired of using the "I never expect to see this in this cartoon but..." formula, because there are just so many moments I don't expect to see in a cartoon like this. They can be either scary, funny, shocking, sad, or just plain awesome, but definitely not moments that one would relate with the old My Little Pony cartoon. It's funny because, prior to this moment the episode keeps a very jokey, kind of light hearted tone about what's going on. Fluttershy playing sick with the painted dots, or pretending to trample and injuring her wing are something we have seen in episodes similar to this one. Even her flashback to the flying camp feel light hearted, most I blame it on how adorable Fluttershy looks. However, things change when we get to this scene. When the eye hallway happened I skipped a heart beat. That is the best and most accurate cartoon representation I have seen of a panic attack. It's suffocating, it's oppressive, it's all around her and doesn't allow her to escape or run away from it. It surrounds her and envelops her in a four foot thick blanket of terror, and we are in there with her. That is probably the scariest thing I have ever seen in a cartoon, by difference, and I mean ever. Eyes terrify me, so I think if I ever had a panic or an anxiety attack I'd react the exact same way. But it's not a meaningless scene, or a throw away moment, because thanks to it the stakes rise to the top. Now that I feel connected with Fluttershy, the tone of the episode changes completely, and if it doesn't end well then things are going to get bad, very bad. It just goes for show how a very well executed, very well placed shock scene can do for the narrative. Timing is not just for comedy, you know?

7. - Suited for Success.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I will say right away, from this moment on the list is going to be very Rarity heavy, which is kind of funny because when I watched the cartoon for the very first time she was my least favorite character. I thought she had the personality of a soaked piece of paper and my opinion of her stayed very low up until this episode. This is one of those episodes that I see myself perfectly reflected in the character. I am Rarity, from top to bottom. I always try to make everybody happy. I always try to get everything done. I always am the kind of person who goes "I will do it like you say it" and then regret I said those words. I have had so many bad experiences, so terrible in so many different ways, with people who asked artwork for me, and people who gave me a very harsh time for a pay off that in the end wasn't even worth it. What Rarity goes through in this episode is something so real, something so true, that it gives a very fly on the wall feel to the whole. Besides the moral and the story, which are brilliant in case I didn't stress that enough, we have a fantastic musical number that only got moved out of my number one favorite by "Smile, Smile, Smile". The designs of the dresses are amazing as well, even the ugly ones. One of my frustrated callings was costume designer for movies, so I always admire and appreciate costume design. The looks, the details, the feel, it all interests me. I wasn't expecting My Little Pony to ignite that passion again, to the point where I decided to go back to make some dresses for my pony dolls, with all the details and all (it's a start after all). I even liked the character of Hoity Toity, even just as a guilty pleasure of mine, mostly because of how cool he looks with the glasses and those cuffs. But you can take everything away because the best aspect of this episode is how engaging it is. Like I said, I didn't like Rarity prior to this episode, like not one bit. But by the time it was over I was completely attached to her. I was there with her in spirit, how she struggled, how she was losing and sacrificing her vision because she wanted to please her friends. That's me right there. If this show taught me something, this was one of the first lessons I started to apply into my daily live, and so far it has had possitive results.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"I want to wallow in whatever it is a pony's supposed to wallow in!"

It's funny that I pick this one in particular, because I bet many of you are already imagining the reason why I picked it. "Oh she looks cute when she's wallowing, it's so adorable, oh my God I want to go there and give her a hug and tell her everything will be fine!" Well, yes I want to do that, but who doesn't? That's not the reason why I picked this scene. I picked this scene because I have been there as well. I have been there so many times and in so many ways, feeling like I was worth jack, that I wasn't good and that I wasted my time and effort into something empty and meaningless. So it's actually cathartic that the makers of this show take that and make it somewhat light hearted and enjoyable. It takes the levity and the weight and makes it something very relevant and yet very funny to look at. It's not vindictive, and it's not sadistic. It's so over the top and goofy that instead of feeling bad for her I was shaking my head and saying "Come on, come on, it's temporary. It won't always be like this". I wish I had come to that conclusion the endless times I went through the same fit of rage. Besides, Tabitha St. Germain poured her heart and soul in this scene, as well as the animators. The whole rant feels more like a real flesh and bone character speaking than a cartoon, and you forget that there's a person behind that voice. Without a doubt, one of the best episodes of this show.

6. - Family Appreciation Day.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

Remember when I said a few episodes ago how much I liked season 2 because they were building more on the world around the characters and exploring more aspects of it? You remember I also said there was another episode on this list that did that too. This is that episode. "Family Appreciation Day" is not only one of the best written episodes, but it's also one of the best executed ones. It starts with the very simplistic story of Applebloom taking Granny Smith to show and tell in school, while the Zap apple harvest takes place in the background. By the end of the episode both story lines have switched places and I can't tell when this happens. It connects both in such a smooth and subtle way, without over explaining everything and without spoon-feeding it to the audience that it warms my heart. This is the makers of the show treating their target audience like intelligent people, and when an episode is written so well you know the periphery demographic is going to go nuts for it. But besides the story structure, there are many other great things of this one. The acting, as usual, is incredible. Tabitha St. Germain steals the show as Granny Smith, delivering a performance that's both funny and endearing. Michelle Creber and her carry all the weight of the episode, and I also have to give kudos to Nicole Oliver, Chantal Strand (Diamond Tiara) and Filthy Rich's voice actor for such great work. Although, in the end, it all boils down to the exact same reason why I love so many of these episodes. In this series there are two types of episodes: Adventure episodes, and character development episodes. While I enjoy adventure as much as anybody else, I always find character development a lot more interesting, most importantly because when the adventure happens I feel attached to these characters, making it more engaging. This is a very good character development episode with a perfect measure of everything, from the laughs to the sad to the touching.

So, what's my favorite moment:


"The Story of how Ponyville was founded"

I should also add "...and everything after that", because that's pretty much right. We have had moments of back story during this series, like the Nightmare Moon debacle that opened the show, the Hearths Warming Eve celebration, The tale of Discord, but we never got explained how Ponyville, the place where pretty much all of seasons 1 and 2 happened, came to be. How was it founded? Who founded it? Well, all those questions get answered in a flashback whose best points are the music, the visuals and the narration. I love how it starts with a very minimalistic tale of a family moving to a better place, then meeting Princess Celestia who gives them a patch of land, and thanks to that they start their first farm. How thanks to Granny Smith's bravery when going into the Everfree Forest they found the Zap Apples, thus creating the first economic boom in the area, and so building a whole town around it. What gets to me is that it's such a small story, and yet it's treated like the most epic of tales. The music is just epic when the tale reaches its end. It's around that point when I start crying uncontrollably. But then we fade from the flashback back the present, to all the fillies and colts looking agape at her, as if they can't believe that if it hadn't been for Granny Smith, probably the less noticeable of all secondary characters, Ponyville wouldn't even exist. And then, like the brat that she is, Diamond Tiara insults Granny Smith calling her "cooky old lady", which gets Applebloom to stand up, go to her grandma and shout: "She's not a cooky old lady! She's the most amazing pony in all of Ponyville!" and then hugs her. Why did you do that to me episode? I was crying hard enough when the flashback ended, now I just can't stop and never will! That was such a touching moment just the memory of it makes me weep. It a fantastic combination of a big story told in a very close and relateable way, something this show does way too well.

5. - The Cutie Mark Chronicles.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I think you've figured out by now that I love origin stories. I think "Batman Begins" is still the best Christopher Nolan Batman film, and that "X-Men: First Class" is an enthralling tragic tale of friendship with mutants as just one trait of the characters. So I think it's obvious why do I like this episode so much. It's a good start when the writer for this one is M.A. Larson, my favorite writer of the show (and before we go any further, this top 5 is going to get M.A. Larson heavy, so be advised). Not only he does a very good job at bringing all the six stories together, but he also manages to keep it tied within the show's continuity. It's also a very unique type of episode, sort of like "Six Degrees of Separation" or "Magnolia", as one massive event affects the lives of six different characters without them knowing until the end, and each story has one or several elements that add either quirkiness or adorableness. This is one of those episodes where I can't find anything to complain about, I like every aspect, and I love a bunch of them, so I won't be speaking about them here, but on the section below. But most important of all, I love the moral. This is my favorite moral from this show. If you don't have friends yet, don't give up, you will eventually find them and who knows, maybe you both were watching the same stuff you were watching years ago. I speak from personal experience since this is how I met my best friend, the one I can call brother, so I perfectly relate to Twilight and her friends. It didn't involve a Sonic Rainboom, but there were a lot of variables to take into account, so it's just as rare. You will meet a lot of people in your life, but your true never you will never see them coming. That's why you always have to be open to make new friends.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!"

It is so hard to pick just one. Even when I reviewed this one I had to make a list of the moments I liked the most. There is Applejack and the upper class ponies in Manehattan. There is Rarity getting dragged by her horn, and then when she creates the super shiny costumes. There is Fluttershy and her song. There is Pinkie Pie discovering parties and cheering up her family at the rock farm. But by far, and again this was a tough choice, my favorite moment is when Twilight finds her cutie mark. She turns around, looks at her butt and goes: "My Cutie mark!" followed by the cutest, most sugary adorable, diabetes inducing, adorableness overloading, heart meltingly, tearjerkingly, giggling inducing array of "yeses" in the world. She bounces and bounces around the table just saying "YES!" over an over again and it's just-I can't take it. It's too much. It's amazingly cute, to a point that I just can't believe how something so cute can exist. And the moment when she lands on the ground and all the town is looking at her is just outrageously funny. There is no doubt that, in the dictionary, next to "adorkable" there is a picture of Twilight Sparkle.

4. - Luna Eclipsed.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

This show is very funny. There are a bunch of episodes that have a bunch of funny moments, with very funny developments and even funnier resolutions. However I found it difficult to point an episode that I would consider completely funny, up until this one. In my most humble opinion, this is the most hilarious episode of the entire series. It's not just funny. It's really funny. You know you are off to a good start when the first thing you see is Twilight cosplaying as a literary character instead of a classic monster or a scary creature. And it only gets better from there. Pinkie Pie dressed as a chicken, Pipsqueak with his adorable and over the top English accent, Rainbow Dash as a Shadow bolt dropping thunders over every pony she sees, Derpy in the tub, the Zombie Princess, Spike dressed as a dragon, it's just a lot. But it doesn't lose its focus, which is Princess Luna, and I honestly think she couldn't have had a better episode. The moment she first spoke I knew I was in love with her canon personality. It worried me, because it could have gone every way the fandom was pointing. She could be evil and gloomy, or maybe she is all emo and weepy, or maybe she is just dorky and clumsy, or maybe she is traumatized and scared of everything. But thankfully we were all wrong. This Princess Luna is booming, and regal. She is elegant and talks in a very refined manner. Her behavior is played for laughs, and it does work very well, as with her Royal Canterlot Voice she causes me to have snort attacks and cackle attacks every time I watch this episode, while also keeping the powerful tone around her. It's incredible how quickly they flexed her personality, which comes to a ponified version of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. They even give her an arc, how at the start of the episode all the other ponies are scared of her, but it's not until she faces her dark side and proves to them that she is not what she used to be, that she can integrate back in society as the whole town receives her with open arms. This is even more endearing since something similar happened in the fandom. Canon Princess Luna was first feared as it might ruin all of our theories! But when we saw she kicks flank, all we wanted to do was embrace her. And that's how "Caps Locked" turned into "activate Royal Canterlot Voice".

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Fluttershy gives lessons to Princess Luna"

Like I said, this is the funniest episode of the entire series, so it's full of hilarious moments. I said a few up there, but this one is, by far, my favorite of them all. If you want comedy gold, put two characters that are complete polar opposites and have them talk to each other. The jokes write themselves. It's a segment that comes right after Luna meeting up with Twilight Sparkle, so the funny tone is already settled, and when it starts is just wisecrackingly awesome. The exchange between Luna and an over the top freaked out Fluttershy is to be seen, mixing the authority tone of the princess with the meek and soft voice of the timid pegasus. It's cute, it's funny, it's silly, it's just Friendship is Magic's comedy at its best. It doesn't matter how bad my day has been, because I can pop in this scene alone and immediately cheer up and get better.

3. - Secret of my Excess.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

I have never been too keen or even interested in the character of Spike. To be honest with you, I don't really like him all that much. It's not that he is a bad character, he is a good character. He was weaknesses, but he can also be useful and give support to Twilight and the other ponies. I just don't have an interest in dragons, even well written ones, which is funny because I had a moment of my life when I was all about dragons. What I always felt towards Spike is that he needed an episode of his own, an episode where he could shine through, and up until this episode he hadn't had one. Once more, this is M.A. Larson's work shinning through in the story and character development, as well as his clever inclusion of pop culture references. You know you have a good pop culture reference when you notice the reference, but it doesn't distract you from what you are watching. This gives us one of the most memorable moments of the series with a mix between King Kong and any Godzilla movie ever, with The Wonderbolts acting like a trio of attack biplanes. But it's not only action scenes in this episode, as it has a great build up to it, and it's not just focused around Spike. If you ask me, I think this is the first (and hopefully not last) episode that delves into the relationship between Spike and Rarity. We all heard and said the exact same things: "Oh he's a baby dragon and she's a pony", "It's all impossible", "It's against nature", blah, blah, blah. I am so glad this episode proved that there can be romance, that it can be touching, and still be completely innocent. It's not only in the way it's approached, very much like how kids will fall in love with each other, very harmless and naive, but also in the tone it's delivered. It uses the romance to establish the whole "give and receive" motif that moves the episode, and that will culminate in a soul melting climax at the end. This story is not just about how Spike learnt how to stop being greedy and love the sharing, but also about how Rarity discovered the big heart that is inside that little dragon. A great balance between two great characters in a great episode.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"Spike's confession"

Once again it all comes down to ten seconds of pay off after an entire episode of build up, and this one does have a special place in my heart. This moment helps define the series in the tone that it's trying to achieve. Just so you know, I come from the X-Files school of shipping, so you can imagine the neverending teasing I had to endure between Mulder and Scully and the endless cascade of "what ifs". So seeing a show, and a cartoon show nonetheless, being so forward about love is refreshing and touching. It's impressive how they built around this romance ever since the series started. I thought it was going to turn into a throw away joke that we'd end up forgetting about. Instead it became the key element to the climax of this episode. When Spike reverts back to his normal form, while still carrying Rarity with him, they both plumet to a certain death by free fall, as neither of them can fly. It's a very bleak scenario when you think about it, made only bleaker by how Spike starts wording his confession. It will all be okay, we know they will be saved, this is My Little Pony after all, nobody dies in this show. They either get hurt or turned into stone. However, what I didn't expect was Rarity's reaction, as she puts a hoof on Spike's mouth and stops him from telling his love to her. Then she smiles at him as she starts crying. She doesn't let him finish because she doesn't need to hear it. She knows. Love is not something you say, it's something you feel. Those ten seconds of them falling to their death in silence have a lot more emotion than many of the romantic movies in the last decade, and it's a great reward after watching so many episodes where Spike fawns over Rarity and looks like she doesn't even care. Here we know that she does care for him, that all the love he professed meant something to her, even the silliest things. Once more, not only this scene treats its target audience like smart kids, it also gives us adults something to warm our hearts to, and shows that, as flimsy as it is, a continuity exists within the Friendship is Magic universe. This relationship would be addressed in future episodes, with Spike still dreaming with Rarity and all that, but this episode was the highlight of it, as one of the most adorable and believable love stories in animation.

2. - Sweet and Elite.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

You know how people in the Internet are like super heroes? Let me explain this a little better. We all have two lives in this day and age. We have our daily life where we go to work, we live with our families, we go out with our friends, and then we have our Internet life, where we either show our work, spend time playing video games or we send money to charity (yes, I know I could be talking about searching porn as well). What I mean to say is that we all have two sides on our lives, and it's always very hard to balance them since both sides have very different people whose only thing in common is yourself, which presents you with a lot of doubt and dilemmas which revolve more around "Who am I going to disappoint this time?" rather than "Who am I going to make happy this time?". It's hard. It's difficult to balance two lives and still feel like you own either of them, which is something this episode touches to a big degree. Not only I love this episode for being all about Rarity, but also because it has it's morals where they should be. This episode doesn't tell you that being successful at something is bad, it tells you that you shouldn't forget where you come from, no matter how successful you get or how sucky your origins were. It also set a precedent regarding male characters in this show. Up until this point, all the male characters we have had have either being too gentle (Big Mac, Braeburn) or unbearable (Prince Blueblood, the pegasus bullies). There wasn't a middle of the road character who's level headed and nice, but also part of the high society, which is something Season 1 did unintentionally. It demonized the higher classes, presenting them as something to be afraid of and run away from (Photo Finish, The Orange family, Diamond Tiara). In Season 2, we have Fancy Pants to destroy those preconceptions. He is such a great character and such a nice guy that as I was watching the episode for the first time I was thinking "Okay, this is where he turns out to be a jerk, this is where his fa├žade falls appart". That moment never happened, as he is how he is, a very nice gentlepony with good manners who treats everyone with the same level of respect, regardless of their origins. He embodies the moral of this episode real well, and I like him so much I think I could spend an entire day talking about how awesome he is. But if I want to talk about my favorite part of this episode, well, there's a section for that.

So, what's my favorite moment:

"The entire second half of the episode"

I know, I know this is kind of like cheating but I just can't decide! The entire second half, from the moment the song starts to the very end is just so full and loaded with good stuff that I can't pick just one moment. It's easier for me to say that the overload of happy that I got with this entire segment is indescribable. Right away we have a Rarity song. Brilliant. I loved it, I think it's amazing, and Rarity looks gorgeous in it. I know it's odd to say that, but when she turns her head wearing the tiara at the start of the song I always mutter "That's beautiful". Then we have Salvador Dali inspired pony art, which is something that I as a Spaniard and an artist appreciate a lot. Then we have cameos from Photo Finish and Hoity Toity, and that made me happier than it should have. Then we have flying air ships and we see that Fancy Pants owns one of them. Then Twilight and her friends show in the most adorable surprise ever. Then Rarity puts Opal under the shower to make them think she's ill in one of the most satisfying moments of the whole show (I don't like Opal, just saying). Then Twilight sees her dress and she loves and she looks even more adorkable when wearing it. Then Pinkie Pie pulls a party canon and in that moment my brain had to reboot itself because-what!? Then Octavia shows up again and I squeed like a total fan girl when I saw her. Then we have the classic back and forth between both parties, which resolves in a trope breaking dialogue with Twilight telling Rarity to go an enjoy her party with the high society ponies. Then the five ponies crash the high society party and Twilight shows her dorky dancing skills in a dance I will totally do if I ever go to a disco. Then Rarity stands up for her friends and Fancy Pants backs her up, demonstrating how cool he is. And finally we end in a gratifying moral delivery. All of that in ten minutes, and all of it just downright amazing. How am I going to pick just one moment out of all those? It's not like the rest of the episode is not good, there are some great moments like Rarity taking her sadness and turning it into a beautiful dress design, or when she meets with Fancy Pants for the first time. But that second half totally runs over the first half, making it my favorite moment of this episode. And I don't care if it's a bunch of moments put together, I didn't say I couldn't do that in the rules!

1. - Sonic Rainboom.


So, why do I like this episode so much?

It's hard for me to speak about why do I like this episode so much without talking about my favorite part of it. I like to keep both sepparated so I will do my best, since there are many parts that I love in this episode besides my favorite moment. I think the most important part of this one is the story arc that Rainbow Dash goes through. Up until this point in the series we have seen Rainbow Dash as a daredevil, speedster who's afraid of anything and has a lot of self confidence. We never saw her scared, or at least, we never saw her doubting or hessitating. She always was that one dimensional character obsessed with winning and being the very best. Which is one reason why this episode took me by surprise, as it presented Rainbow as still one confident and brave character, but who would break under pressure if things didn't turn out the way she'd want. When she starts having doubts about pulling off the mythical and titular move, she begins to crack, fear takes over her, and all her brass attitude just flies out the window. It doesn't get any better when her friends show up. This is a part of the episode that I also love. It's great how Rarity is the one who pushes Twilight to find a flying spell so they can go and cheer Rainbow Dash, but when the prissy unicorn notices how pretty she looks with her new butterfly wings the looks get to her head, and she focuses more on dragging attention rather than cheering up Dash. That's something very human. There have been a lot of times when a friend wanted to help out another, and all she did was making things worse for the friend, which made me relate to both Dash and Rarity, one for being affected and the other for failing at what she was doing. But they are not the only ones with an arc going on. Even the bullies, those rude and obnoxious male pegasi that insult Dash start the episode like a bunch of jerks, and by the end of it they are apologizing to her and telling her she is, indeed, awesome. Somebody from the show once said that you can only put so many things in just twenty two minutes and not make it feel crammed or crowded. This episode doesn't feel crammed or crowded, it feels light and strong, focused and to the point, with a narrative powered by what M.A. Larson does best. And that's my favorite moment.

So, what's my favorite moment:


"The mother of all build ups"

You know how I always say that M.A. Larson's episodes are always a huge build up to a big pay off? It's always been like that. You can track his episodes and you will realize that every single aspect of every single episode that he has written works towards making the climax the most satisfying and good thing of it. And I think that the episode that makes it best is this one. From the get go, we are told that Rainbow Dash once pulled the Sonic Rainboom, and that it was a long time ago. It's been so long ago that she has forgotten how to pull it off. No matter how many times she tries, she never managed to do it again. She trained, and she exercised, but it never worked. Fluttershy even tells us that she tried to do it a hundred times, but that she never got close to even do it. Things don't get better when the bullies tell us that that's just an old mare's tale, and that there is no such thing as a Sonic Rainboom. At this point, Rainbow Dash's insecurity is also ours, because we are wondering "Will she actually be able to pull it off? What's going to happen here?". When Rarity and her wings get in the way, things only turn for the worst. Rainbow Dash has her confidence at minimun, and when the competition starts she ruins her first two demonstrations, which only powers up our doubts and hers about her chances to pull the Sonic Rainboom off.

And then we enter into the climax.

Rarity flies up into the sky and her wings catch fire, making her free fall to her death. The Wonderbolts fly to save her, but her frantic flailing knocks them out. The music builds up. Rainbow Dash looks behind her and sees her friend falling to her death. Orchestral string. Rainbow turns around and throws herself like a bullet to save her. The music keeps building up, getting louder and more frantic. Then we see the mach cone forming around Rainbow's hooves. Rarity gasps. Her friends gasp. Rainbow Dash closes her eyes, her body stretches, the music gets to nerve racking levels, Dash is just a thin line of light and then- BAM! Sonic Rainboom. An explosion of light, music and color as the prismatic halo expands behind her and all her friends drop their jaws in surprise. All except Fluttershy who breaks her typical meekness to cheer like crazy. Then Dash, leaving a Rainbow trail behind her, saves Rarity and the Wonderbolts, returning them to safety on Cloudsdayle, only to be received with a rain of confetti and the Young Fliers Competition winner award. Few times I had something build up so well and reward my patience so much. It's the perfect example to never give up on what you were doing, no matter what other people will try to say to discourage you. There can be doubt, and there can be moments when you think it's not worth it. But you have to ignore that and keep your head high. That's what I take from this episode, and from my favorite moment of this show.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

- These come from episodes that I also like, but not enough to consider them on my top twenty. Remember, there are no bad MLP:FiM episodes, there are just episodes I don't like as much as others.

- The James Bond parody in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express"

I love James Bond. It's one of my favorite things ever. But the episode overall felt a bit forced, and so it didn't make the cut for my top twenty.

- Pinkie Pie coming from the mirror in "Green isn't your color"

This one was about to be on the top twenty, but Pinkie's party of one is better in terms of crazy ponies.

- "I don't wanna talk about it" from "Bridle Gossip"

Flutterguy's debut is one of the moments that made me snap about how this good and new this TV show is. It didn't make the list just by a feather.

- Derpy Hooves is now cannon from "The Last Round-Up"

I loved her cameo, but besides that the entire episode felt a bit flat. There was too much action and too little story going on.

- The Construction site action scene in "The Mysterious Mare-do-Well"

I didn't put this in here because I think that "I like Spiderman 3" is not the best argument to defend this episode.

- Twilight gets Discorded in "Return of Harmony, Part 2"

I was about to include this one when I realized I had half the list full of scenes with crying ponies in them.

- "Pinkie...Pie..." from "Baby Cakes"

Again, I was getting very tear-jerky with my choices so this one didn't make the cut. Besides, the episode was just okay for me.

- Tank Smiles in "May the best pet win"

The song is great, but I think that Tank is the best thing of the entire episode, and the part where he smiles for the first time is just so touching.

- Queen Chrysalis' transformation in "A Canterlot Wedding, part 2"

I was going to put this one, but then I realized I had to relate it with the first part. And I don't like the first part.

- The arts and crafts project from "Sisterhooves Social"

This one was on the list for the longest time, and I took it down for length issues. How can something be so funny yet so heartbreakingly sad?

- Fluttershy makes Rarity and Pinkie Pie cry in "Putting your hoof down"

This one is another of those scenes that at first I hated but now I kind of like it. It tickles my inner sadist, but I removed it because I predicted myself getting mean towards Shy.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Wow, that was one huge list, don't you agree? It took me a while to finish it, but that's because I love typing about ponies, it's just so much fun! I want to thank you all for checking it out, and after this brief message you can check the honorable mentions. Thanks a bunch, talk to you all later.

3 comments:

  1. You do have some great moments here - but there is one that you have not mentioned, which happens to be my favorite moment from the entire show! In 'The Best Night Ever', when Rarity and Prince Blueblood go to Applejack's Stall, they both stand there pointedly clearing their throats at each other... until eventually Rarity, with a face like thunder, says "I'm going to have to pay, aren't I?" And then Applejack says, "It's ok Rarity - I got ya covered."
    I *Love* that line.
    Because Applejack and Rarity are not exactly what you would call close, and poor Applejack has been waiting there all night, hardly making any money at all... and yet when she finally does get some customers, she lets them have the food for free, because Rarity is her friend.
    I know it's only a simple little line, but it's absolutely wonderful, and every time I hear it I can't help but feel moved, and humbled. For me, it sums up everything I love about Friendship is Magic... in fact, I think I'll go and watch that episode again, right now!

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  2. Great job. Wow what detail in the reviews, made me question some of my picks!!

    Here's my top 25 if you ever want a second opinion. :D

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  3. My opinion: whenever Big Macintosh's angry like the way he was in "Ponyville Confidential", he makes the Incredible Hulk look and sound like a kitten!

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