• Top 20 Pop Culture and Movie References from Season 4


    When watching an episode of Friendship is Magic for the first time, there is always a portion of my attention payed specifically to the background.  I think in some cases I actually watch that even more than the actual events going on with the main ponies.  The teams behind the show love their references, primarily when it comes to oldschool movies from the 70's, 80's and 90's.  I can't get enough of it! References rock

    Season four didn't disappoint at all, with hundreds of them both obvious and  subtle littered throughout.  Don't expect much from the former category here, we are just covering the major ones! Head on down below the break for our top 20 pop culture and movie references from the last season!

    (100% Trixie Free!)

    #20

    Batman - Bats! and Pony Signals


    This was one of the more minor, yet still visual references in the season.  Pinkie's Bat Signals were a pretty obvious shoutout to bat signals from the various generations of Batman.  Now we just need to steal her flashlight technology.  Can you imagine what you could do with a handheld giant light beam the size of a pen?  Who needs flare guns?





    #19
     
    Grumpy Cat - Rarity Takes Manehattan's Butt Symbol


    We can't have the internet without cats.  Don't tell anyone, but I really don't like cats.  They are hilarious and cute when they are causing trouble for other people sure, but lets keep it that way. Seeing them only through my computer monitor or phone on the go is perfectly fine.

    Grumpy Cat is one of many internet fireworks that exploded up a few years ago.  You can read about his permanently grumpy face over here. Why grumpy cat over the plethora of other internet celebs?  Ask Topdraw/DHX!




    #18

    Futurama -  The Twilight Time Foal


    Similiar haircut? Check.  Drinking green liquid? Check.  Cheeseburger cutie mark? Check. I'd say that counts as Fry from Futurama right there.  It seems like most of the internet agreed back when the episode aired too. 


    #17

    God of War - Trade Ya's Dangerous Animal Dealer


    This one actually had a bit of debate early on, but I think it's safe to say he's similar enough to be at least a majority reference. We are sticking it up at #17 anyway though, just in case.  EQD needs to cover it's ass after all.

    For those that aren't into the video game scene, one of the biggest Playstation characters of the last decade is the guy below.  Kratos bust into the world of video game antiheroes way back in 2005, completely changing the action-adventure genre.  The pony in particular shars a few things, namely the paint over his eye, his sandals, the beard, and the off white coloration.




    #16

    Dragon Ball Z (And other anime) - Twilight Kingdom Battle


    "Buuut Sethisto! Why is the most epic battle in MLP way at the bottom?!"

    Why, let me explain it before you rip us to shreds. 

    This is in the 15th slot because it's hard to really call it just a Dragon Ball reference.  When I asked for standout points on Facebook, pretty much everyone said it was, but is it really specifically Dragon Ball Z? It might be, but quite a few Japanese animations, as well as American and various other countries have had big exploding beams, blasts, and explosions between two supremely powerful beings.  All I know is, Twilight Sparkle is a badass. Lets just say it's a "reference to all of those cartoons we'd usually consider manly". 



    #15

    Coco Chanel - Rarity Takes Manehattan and Coco Pommel


    It may just be her name doing the parodying, which isn't too rare in Friendship is Magic, but how could anyone resist adding this adorable poni to the top list? Coco Pommel was almost more popular than the episode itself in some circles.  Her name is based on a French fashion designer named Coco Chanel.

    Seriously, Coco Pommel for best season 4 pony.  I like Maud and all for somehow being comedic, but Coco tugs those heart strings.  If that isn't the case for you, then you probably don't have one.  It happens.  



    #14

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Three's a Crowd Discord


    See Discord? He is that character most shows have that give the animators and storyboarders an excuse to cut loose and not lose their minds while grinding away on the frame-by-frame.

    Know what this means? Movie references.  So many movie references.  Discord was built for it.  

    This one in particular was a costume based on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  They even went so far as to copy the exact design on the glasses.  Who said ponies couldn't hit an R rating?



    #13

    Letuce Twins from Bioshock Infinite - Trade Ya BG Ponies


    This entire middle section is pretty much at the same level.  I never liked this part of top lists before.  Is a 6 really all that different than a 7?  Who invented top lists anyway?

    I had to use a GIF for this one.  While a lot of pony references usually hit something from the mid 2000's at the lastest, this was surprisingly recent considering Infinite only released just last year.  For those once again outside of the video game world, these two follow you throughout the game, offering backstory in a quirky sort of way






    #12

    Terminator 2 - Twilight's Kingdom's Discord Cop 



    Someone compiled this image up to show exactly how this reference works, and I am not complaining. Want to hear something really sad? I've never actually watched an entire Terminator movie before.  Not that I don't like them or the concept, I just never got around to it.

    Anyway, have a reference from that! You earned it.


    #11

    Mary Poppins - Twilight's Kingdom


    If you don't know what Merry Poppins is, I'd be surprised.  For anyone that doesn't though, go read the wiki and have a screenshot! You might even be like me, and not really remember the specifics.  Those songs though... you can't escape them.  Stuck in your head forever.

    Some other notes from this scene include a shoutout to the biographical war film Patton, along with the Littlest Pet Shop scooter he leaves on. I'd go get screenshots of those, but this post is totally taking way longer than I thought it would to compile.  I really need to get some minions to do the research and gathering portion of these. 




    #10

    Slenderman - Pinkie Apple Pie


    This one actually took a while for people to pick up on (so a day, yeah "a while" is a long time in pon land).  Slenderman started as a Youtube series of creepy videos and eventually evolved into a full on indie game where you run around in a creepy dark forest and search for pages while stalked by a creepy guy "thing" in a suit.

    Some animator out there decided to sneak a ponified version of him into the background here.  Color me slightly creeped out. I already lost enough sleep watching the Slenderman series back in the day. 




    #9

    Mad Men - Rarity Takes Manehattan


    I really tried to give this show a shot.  I almost made it all the way through the first season even.  It just never hooked me like other reality TV series.  Does anything ever actually... happen? I was waiting for someone to snap and go on a murderous rampage or something.  This is AMERICA. I demand ACTION.

    For those of you who are fans though, a few of the background ponies throughout the city reflect characters from that show.  Someone over on Pinterest dropped the image below to show a somewhat similar painting in comparison to two of them. I've been told this is a pretty big deal, and since it does cover quite a bit of the background, it hits a higher slot on the list!




    #8

    TRON - Bats!


    I love me some TRON.  What better way to celebrate it than by using BEST PONY's magic? Twilight Sparkle jumped right up to the top of my list for a few minutes until Flutterbat returned for the victory in the end here.  She even pushed out some very TRON: Legacy style background music to go with it.  The nerd in me exploded twice. Season one confirmed for science.

    This is number 7 due to dat BGM.  Has it ever been expanded? Get on it people.


    #7

    Star Wars - A New Hope - Discord's Song


    Chances are, your parents grew up with this one, then made you watch it as a kid.  That's two generations right there. The second major reference in the Discord song is a direct reference to A New Hope. Discord is Luke Skywalker, Twilight (who looks like she really shouldn't be standing like that, but does manage to pull off the flowing cloak via a wing [Seriously look at that pony {is this even how brackets work?}]) is Princess Leia, and Cadance represents both C-3PO and R2-D2.  I have a feeling a few people on staff love them some Star Wars. 




     #6

    Harry Potter - Discord's Song Again! - Wizard Edition


    Discord's big musical number was absolutely overflowing with vague references, from Aladdin and Pinocchio to things I doubt many of you were even aware of via the tuba pony and Ricola lozenges. This was the first of two big ones, and probably the same tier as the Star Wars one above. 

    I doubt any of you that were born in the last 25 aren't aware of what that is referencing.  Harry Potter was pretty much the millennial version of Star Wars.

    This particular scene covers Twilight as Harry Potter himself, Discord as Dumbledore, and Cadance rockin either Ron or Hermoine.  I used to pronounce her name the same way you say "hormone".  That was the most awkward conversation after a book report ever. 

    UPDATE: A few people sent this over in email.  It looks like each character represents a different house, making Discord someone from Slytherin, Cadance someone from Ravenclaw, and Twilight is still Harry.  




    #5

    Applelicious - Pinkie Apple Pie


    If you have spent any time at all following the pony crazes in the last few years, you probably ran into the "licious" meme at least once.  Blame Tara Strong for starting it.  Apple Bloom decided to surprise us all with her near complete version of it in the actual show.

    Remember back in the day when people were worried about the brony fandom influencing the show? I was never one of them. I pretended I was though! Sorry people I lied to all those years! This was awesome.  




    #4

    Doctor Who and Rose - It Ain't Easy Bein Breezies


    Why is this so high up on the list? Because it's a testament.  We took a background pony with an hour glass to such extreme heights, that he is now pretty much the official Doctor Who of the pony universe in everything.  In the actual show though, it wasn't until this scene that he was irrefutably a Doctor Who reference.  That is awesome. 

    For those not aware of the long-standing Doctor Who series, the revamp debuted with a character going by the name of Rose as The Doctor's companion in the first and second seasons (and my personal favorite).  The above is our very own Doctor Whooves traveling along with Rose, complete with his oldschool 3D Glasses.





    #3

    Super Heroes in General - Power Ponies


    I really wish Power Ponies was a longer episode.  It was obviously difficult to cram an entire super hero arc from power discovery to villain defeat into 22 minutes.  Maybe we will see more of these guys in the future? I'm crossing my fingers.

    Power Ponies was one big ol' reference in itself, earning it a spot in the top 3:

    • Applejack's Mistress Mare-velous had a very Wonderwoman or Batman vibe with her tools and lasso. 
    • Rarity was most likely based on Star Sapphire/The Green Lantern with her ability to create any object she damn well pleases.  The best power pony power in my humble opinion.
    • Fluttershy was, of course, The Hulk.  
    • Pinkie Pie's Filli Second was obviously The Flash
    • Rainbow Dash used powers similiar to Storm from the x-men, though her necklace does have a bit of a Thor vibe as someone pointed out in Facebook. 
    • Spike was Robin, saving the day with ingenuity rather than super powers.  
    • The only somewhat mystery character was Twilight Sparkle.  Some say Cyclops, but with freeze ray instead of eyebeams. 
    These guys weren't the end of it though. A lot of people thought Mane-Iac would actually go by "Maredusa" when we saw the teasers, considering her powers are incredibly similar to Sedusa from Power Puff Girls. 




    #2

    Weird Al - All of Pinkie Pride


    We weren't going to include this one until we realized how dumb it would be to not add the episode that was literally one giant pop culture reference.  They convinced Weird Al to guest star, and he blew that request out of the water. We had an entire song in his Polka style, complete with loads of stuff going on in the background, and a mini remix of Smile Smile Smile near the end.  Concentrated awesome is what this is labeled as. 

    Some of the more specific ones outside of the polka include The Man with No Name from all of those oldschool westerns, along with Pinkie Pie dropping a 3:10 to Good-Off somewhere in there. 



    #1

    Flavor Flav, Run DMC, and Rap in General - Pinkie Rap


    Confession time again! I've been doing that a lot with this post.  I never actually liked rap as a kid or through most of high school at that.  This fandom converted me over early on.

    We fought over topping this list off with this or Pinkie Pride for a while, but it eventually won.  I still think they should both be at the top, but that's not how lists work is it?

    The 80's and 90's invaded once again, along with a bit of Flava Flav to top it off in the form of the clock necklace when Pinkie Pie started rapping.  We even got some Don't Copy That Floppy in there. You wouldn't steal a car.  This was probably one of my favorite scenes from season 4.  I've re-watched it, along with Rainbow Dash's followup, at least 30 times.  I for one require an entire PINKIE RAP ALBUM!



    And that right there covers it.  Hopefully you all enjoyed the background events of this season.  I know I did.  Here's to hoping the 5th one rocks it even harder!

    To close this off, I want to let you all know that we do in fact realize there were quite a few others.  When I said hundreds, I did mean it.  That's what the comments are for though! Go drop whatever we missed down there.

     Sethisto out!

    >MFW the angry emails from people that don't read that last paragraph


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