• "Slice of Life": Episode Followup

    Traditionally, one hundred episodes of any series is considered the threshold for said series to be viable for syndication. Some say the minimum is sixty five, which explains Magical Mystery Cure. It has something to do with maximizing returns on re-runs or something, because capitalism makes the world go 'round. Regardless, a hundred episodes is a significant achievement for any show.

    Rarely, though, is it a love letter.

    Quite a few years ago now, on a cartoons and comics board of an imageboard site that has no different of a reputation today than it did then, the first frames of this new show by a very well-known cartoonist appeared and sparked something unique, if not unprecedented. As always with such things, after a certain point they begin to take on a life beyond what their creators envisioned. An animation error was spotted for a brief moment in a crowded scene. The commenters named this horse, wrote stories about her, and grew attached to her- some ironically, some genuinely. They found certain pairs of horses seemingly always paired together in the background, and made stories about them, too. A pony with a particularly unique style always drew attention, even though the show was never about them.

    Their brief moments in the spotlight sometimes carried over into their being an integral part of the undercurrent of community that spawned around these personal small horses. Though the captains of the good ship My Little Pony certainly knew about them, they kept their acknowledgement of them to a minimum, almost always for the best.

    Once in a while, though, you can jump the shark and it's okay. The boat will keep sailing.

    Followups on Equestria Daily have always been about pointing out funny things in the background that you might now have noticed the first time around. They've grown a bit since then, but now we really get to go back to the roots.

    That said, you may recognize Twilight's pose here.

    That said... continuity! It's a thing that happens now.

    Honestly you could have ended the episode right here.

    Oh boy.

    Here we go.

    Just in case you weren't sure who helmed this episode. It's sort of hard to miss, but there you have it.

    Also, continuity! It's a... hell, if I have to say that every time, I'll be late for the season finale.

    That said, I rather like their second take on Der- I mean, Muffin's voice. It sounds smoother and more natural, though I didn't really have an issue with Tabitha's original performance in The Last Rounderp. She did a stellar job this time, too.

    She's still Derpy to me, though.

    I dunno, I'm having trouble placing this reference. It's a hard one.

    Maybe the rest of the episode will provide more clues.

    I want this as a sticker. I will pay actual money for this.

    No, wait, this.

    No, wait, this.

    I'm having the hardest time not taking a screengrab of everything Derpy does in this scene. You can tell the animator was having either a lot of fun or was silently banging their head on the wall trying to think of more expressions.

    We love you for it, really.

    I'm pretty sure I read a fanfiction like this once.

    I'd ask if it's weird to have your cutie mark on commercial merchandise, but we have those saddlebags.

    "She DO got da booty."

    Speaking of booty, here we have the real star of the show.

    If this episode can make obscure references, so can I.

    You may not have liked The Big Lebowski, but that's, like, your opinion, man.

    The wonders a second viewing can do. If you'll notice, The Dude's pony has a rug for a cutie mark.

    I think it really ties his character together.

    I have a degree in computer science, but I'm actually kind of terrible at math. I didn't know it was possible to get a double F in Differential Calculus, but there you have it.

    If there's a joke in this frame it's well beyond me. Although, if Cyle over at DeviantArt has anything to say about it, Friendship is Magic has actually not suddenly turned into the Simpsons.

    Confirmed: I'm just bad.

    Obligatory Octavia.

    "Maybe it's a friendship problem, and it'll all be cleared up in a half hour or so."

    If you needed a pitch-perfect line from Claire Corlett to hang this episode up by, look no further.

    "They're throwing pandas at us!"

    Yes, I am aware it's not a panda, but if I didn't include that line I'd never hear the end of it.

    I actually found this line about being the best organizer before Twilight rolled into town a little bit sad. I want to think it's commentary on the effect the main cast can have on things they don't expect, but I'm probably reaching a bit.


    Having the flower sisters fainting at the slightest thing was one of the smallest throwbacks they added, but you bet I appreciated the heck out of it.

    Obligatory Lyra and Bon Bon.

    The animators wasted zero time getting these two into a pose.

    Also, [voice style="Cinema Sins"]misleading bedroom eyes.[/voice]

    It just tickles me that throughout this episode there are an inordinate number of ponies that just take monster attacks as a regular occurrence and just roll with it.


    Wait, hold on. Stop.

    What the actual f[buy some apples!]k.

    Imagine you were following instructions to bake a cake, and it started out with wheat flower instead of white flower, and you found that a little strange but kept rolling with it. Then, a page turn later, the recipe calls for driving to Wisconsin and finding a spectral wolf to lead you to the Arc of the Covenant.

    That's kind of what happened in this scene.

    I love it.

    This little dance was adorable, but I'm still not sure who this pony is supposed to be.


    [horse noise]

    Also, if that's not a White Russian he's holding, I'll eat my hoof.

    Matilda proving that Rarity isn't the only one capable of freakouts.

    This one rivals Derpy in how far back it goes. In his original appearance in the show's pilot, Youtube's automatic caption generator famously placed the words Steven Magnet over this character, and the name stuck. It's his official canon name in toys and the Enterplay cards, and now it's in the show.

    My brain hurts.

    Ever since Octavia showed up, we've just sort of accepted that it's possible to play a string instrument with a hoof.

    Does this... does this, like, bother anyone else a tad? It's just me, isn't it.

    She's so committed to this that she does a finger quotes gesture without fingers. It's-

    Oh, I get it, that's the joke.

    Obligatory Octavia and Scratch.

    I'm really alright with Scratch being the Teller in this pairing. I think the decision to never have her speak makes this interaction all the better, even if it is, in the end, just a shoutout.

    The kind of shoutout you need earplugs for, but, y'know.

    "She DO got da booty."

    Times this episode has just said "screw it": 1

    Times this episode has j-

    You know what, no. They know exactly what they're doing here.

    You remember earlier I mentioned jumping the shark?



    Points for the King Kong reference.

    Obligatory Button Mash, jam pony, and a horse I don't recognize.

    Obligatory Davenport, mover pony, and Raindrops.


    Hold on, are we just going full hog on the alcoholic Berry Punch thing? Yes, comments section, it could just be some regular punch, but given everything that's happened so far I think reality checks have left the building.

    Certainly this can't get weirder.


    Are we... can we just... I can't...

    What is... what...




    Courtesy of Tetrapony.

    Throwbacks are always wonderful, but seeing these two act like sisters is something we haven't seen much of. All siblings bicker, and seeing the two royal sisters do it was a nice treat.

    Seen above: Cadance regretting certain life choices.

    Here's a visual bench joke to go with the spoken one from the last scene with these two.

    Also, did they seriously just do that?

    Oh! Now I recognize who this guy's supposed to be.

    It's Daniel Radcliff, how silly of me.


    There's a lot going on in this panning shot, but if you look above Button Mash you can pretty clearly see that Walter's pony has a coffee can. I'm not going to give that one away, but they're seriously getting their money's worth in Big Lebowski references.

    Thanks to Marty Kelley for pointing this out to me!

    Obligatory Changeling.

    Look. It's Rose. Get it? It's Rose.

    We got it, Larson.

    And one last shot to remind us that Tabitha voiced three other characters and not Rarity.

    A lot of you are probably telling me I missed a pretty big hidden frame during the jumping the shark sequence. I didn't, I was just saving it for last.

    From left to right, top three to the bottom two, we have:

    Tim Packford, Big Jim (@TheBiggestJim), Jayson Thiessen (@goldenrusset), Katrina Hadley (@isitlunchyet_t), and Ishi Rudell (@ishiH3Art). All show staff, and all people you should thank profusely on Twitter.

    It's fitting, I think, to end with a quote from Mayor Mare's speech: "It makes you realize that everypony is the star of their own story. And it's not just the main characters in our stories that make life so rich! It's everypony – those who play big parts and those who play small."

    Till next time, guys.