• "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows": Episode Followup


    The scene opens on a spacious, well-furnished New York apartment. On a couch in the center of the frame, Pinkie Pie is hardly able to sit still. She just found out some incredible news, and she can't wait for the rest of her friends to arrive so she can share with them what she just--

    "Ooh, wait, wait a minute! Is this what I think it is?"

    Suddenly, Pinkie Pie speaks up, seemingly to an empty room. As she looks towards the front of the room--or rather, beyond it--a really odd smile curls onto her face...

    "Omigosh, it is! This is the movie reference, isn't it?"

    This is... wait, hang on a second--

    "Or is it a TV show reference this time? This is supposed to be Friends, right? I love that show?

    Okay, no, stop. You're not supposed to--

    "Don't worry. I got this. How you doin'?"

    Look, at least let me--

    "We were on a break!"

    It kind of defeats the purpose if you just--

    "I'm a simple mare. I like pretty, dark-haired stallions and breakfast food!"

    That's not even from Friends, that's from Parks and Re... you know what, fine. FINE. I get the picture. Just start the stupid followup.

    My name is Aquaman, this is the "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" followup, and guess who's back, back again? (I'm back. Tell a friend.) Let's get down to business.

    Pound Cake is riding an alligator. Your several-paragraph episode review in the comments is now invalid.

    While this isn't the first time we've seen the two Fun-Sized Cakes pop up lately, it's worth noting that they seem to be house-trained now, for lack of a more tactful way of saying, "They're prancing around naked like normal horses." Related: it's interesting how non-weird typing that sentence feels after five seasons of this s[it's a secret]t.

    "For the last time, Pinkie, dear: 'monogamy' is too a real word, and I'm reasonably certain 'bae' is not."

    *noises of a very tiny horse who has just no idea what the hell's going on*

    Props are in order for whoever decided to just get the episode's reveal out of the way early--namely, G.M. Berrow, trading her FiM-official-novel-writing cap for a dapper first-episode-screenwritten-for-the-show-itself chapeau. If forcing an unwieldy metaphor is the wrong way to give her a shout-out for that, then I metaphorically don't want to be right.

    Oh, lighten up, Ponka Truck. It wasn't that forced.

    Getting back to narrative design for a second, though: I did appreciate this episode not dancing about the subject of Shining and Cadance's cake in the oven, so to speak. While we're on the subject, I reckon that kind of plot would've felt more than a little forced after 22 minutes.

    *noises of a still clueless very tiny horse who's pretty sure she's still helping anyway*

    Swiftly followed by *enraptured silence of a very tiny horse who's found the meaning of life inside Louder-Mommy's mane floof*

    "... that's not the Hub logo. That's not the Hub logo at all."

    Reason #n+1 why I should never be allowed to write for children's television: a not-significant part of me was really hoping the episode's subplot would be Pinkie Pie's friends trying to figure out why she's acting weird about babies, with their conclusion being that she'd somehow gotten herself knocked up. Questions of how, why, when, and no seriously how would've presumably followed.

    To be fair, though, this only reads at about a 37% on the Weird-Pink-o-Meter, so it's probably not unreasonable for the Mane 6 to be slower to that conclusion jump than me.

    I wonder if the giant Friendship Map table makes for awkward casual conversation. Must be odd having to shout across the entire country every time you feel like contributing.

    "We know the table's round and all, Rainbow, but technically, we're not knights."
    "Well, you're technically a buzzkill, Twilight."

    All right, maybe bumping up to a 42% reading now, but that's no reason to worry, Rares. Just smile back and double-check that your schedule's open for the next one to six hours.

    Okay, 46%. Maybe clear out tomorrow too.

    Even though it's just a one-joke callback, Pinkie Sense confirmed for a real thing that Pinkie absolutely doesn't abuse to get out of sticky interpersonal situations and/or jury duty. And moving on from that: Shining Armor confirmed for that one guy you know who thinks yard sales are for old people and/or forever betraying the ones you love by accidentally selling the Pokemon cards I totally never wanted to see again, MOM.

    (Kudos for the Clash Fortune --> Flash Gordon nod, though.)

    Retrospectively obvious design choice: horse war helmets have ear holes in the top. Don't look at me like that. I don't tell you how to crudely slap together your headcanons.

    Also retrospectively obvious: Spike is always--always--do you think this is a f[ssssshhh]king game buddy--the butt monkey.

    "No, I'm not sick, Fluttershy! Just in the mornings sometimes. Every once in a while. It's fine. I'm fine. No secrets here."

    I've waited way too long to get to say this again: and then there's Rarity.

    If I have but one criticism of the first five and a half minutes, it's that somebody somewhere missed a golden opportunity to have a little "TILT" sign pop up once Pinkie finished bouncing around the room. Never, ever miss an opportunity to make a callback to the Looney Tunes, kids.

    "You think Pinkie's actin' weird, Rainbow?"
    "I mean, it's at least breaking 50% on the meter, AJ."
    "Wanna stew on it over the commercial break and then wait all day before explicitly bringing it up again?"
    "Eh. Good a plan as any."

    Pinkie Pie thinking out loud is a little bit terrifying. You get a sense of exactly how fast her brain moves, and it seems like a train of thought you'd get whiplash trying to board.

    Pictured: screeching metaphorical brakes.

    Also pictured: Leaning on the Fourth Wall like nopony's business. 

    Is it just me, or did Mr. Cake just go full Smurf on us and substitute "cake" in for a less family-friendly alternative term?

    You know me too well, Carrot-senpai~

    Derpy sighting, complete with Dinky accessory. Somebody knows all of us a little too well.

    It shouldn't come as a surprise to see the buttmark-upgraded CMC, but dangit, the high from last week still hasn't completely mellowed out yet. That being said, I can't be the only one who heard the undertone of "Well, we've fulfilled our childhood-defining purpose finally, so now what the hell do we do all day?" in their conversation with Panka Pone.

    "We swear the baby shower was already on fire when we got there."

    "Say 'baby' again. Say 'baby' again. I dare you, I double-dare, motherf[baby]ker, say 'baby' one more moondamn time."

    I have never wanted to know an origin story more than I do at this very moment, looking at this very screencap.

    In retrospect, Conan the Barbarian was a little bit off the mark. Polka music dubbed over a montage of Pinkie in hyperdriven stealth mode is what is best in life.

    At the same time, though, we're back down to sub-30% on the meter at this point. Unpowered flight is just about standard for Pinkie these days.

    Also on the horn for an unexpected cameo: Thunderlane and Rumble both. Sorry about the cute butt thing, Cereal.

    Oh, what's up, Not-Trixie. That's a bit of an oddly long focus in on you. Wonder if you'll have a speaking part or some other role later on in the--


    Don't just stand there all self-referential, thinking you can get away with calling out that visible conscience trope and casually tossing in a show title drop right beforehand, though. I'm on to you, Penko. You and your on-the-nose Twilight-assisted list both.

    "Wait, this isn't my list. Secret formula for making a... what in Equestria is a Krabby Patty?"

    Liberalness with Pinkie Promises aside, something interesting to note on a rewatch: all three of the ponies Pink Horse has to go help are totally already in on the secret too. It's not just coincidence that they all remind her of what she's trying to keep bottled up (oh, you better believe that pun was intended): they're also all fellow participants in the scavenger hunt Shining set up for Twilight in the third act. They know what's going on just as much as Pinkie does; they're just (Mayor Mare excluded, of all ponies) better at keeping their heads screwed on about it.

    If you heard a thud and someone cursing in German, that was Freud slipping somewhere nearby.

    Fun fact: this is actually the first time Featherweight's spoken in the show. He's shown up as a foreground character before, but never with a voice all his own. Or, y'know, mostly his own. Definitely shades of Snails in there, if you smell what I'm cooking.

    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No, Mr. Weight. I expect you to party."


    "'Cougar' doesn't mean what I thought it meant, does it, Mayor?"
    "That's for you to ask, and me to find out."

    It might be cliche to just put WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MARE in all caps and call it a day on this caption, but a day that involves a WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MARE is still a pretty okay day.

    What's wrong, Pooka? You look like you've seen a ghost, or an unfocused cutaway gag used as an excuse to fill airtime with an absurd one-off joke. That reminds me of the time I made two consecutive captions center around a WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MARE as some kind of metatextual reference to the act of referencing itself.

    Anyway, here's Totally-Not-Carrot-Cake's-VA, totally not summing up my life with his closing line.

    Oh, geez. We skipped right through the 60% range and rocketed straight up to a 72% reading. That's past "hide your artificial sweeteners" and verging on "don't make eye contact and pray for a flour shortage". 

    See? Told you she could fly, though.

    Best horse here with "Best horse" face #[Best Horse], by the way.

    Pencil in the Discord-esque demonic balloon heads for the position of "Most Unexpected Callback to Several Seasons Ago", though. That went from 0 to Black Swan real quick.

    Pinkie's brain is a dark and vaguely caramel-scented place.

    "Maretonia" is far from the worst conversion-to-pone location name I've seen, but I'm drawing a blank as to what it's supposed to be gleaned from. "Macedonia" is a bit of a stretch, but that's the best guess I've got. In any event, this episode continues its trend of not stretching its conflicts longer than they can bear straight into the third act. I can dig it.

    And evidently, so can these two impeccably subtle lovebirds.

    And then *pause for collective sigh* there's Spike.

    You'd think with her eyeballs that close to the paper, Pinko Commie Bastard would've been on the up for the whole scavenger hunt thing already. Then again, Pinkie being aware of things is a dubious prospect even on a non-75%-plus-on-the-meter day.

    If we reach 80%, we're gonna need cherry tarts for bait, a really big flyswatter, and a lot more hooves than that, Shining.

    The Captain of the Royal Equestrian Guard, ladies and gentlemen.

    Rainbow Dash is the kind of pony I identify with. Food first, a bunch of dumb athletic stuff second, and food third through fifth or sixth depending on how motivated I feel to do writing or whatever. But enough about that: Pinkie's under-her-breath remark about exactly what Shining and Cadance have to take care of is in the running for line delivery of the season, and I'll gladly bore to death talking about Premier League football anyone who disagrees with me on that.

    No, see, what's great about the 4-5-1 is that it provides width in the midfield without sacrificing attacking potential, especially if you have a pacey winger with real tenacity inside the box...

    I've heard of having stars in your eyes, but this is... well, actually, yeah, those are just literal stars inside her pupils. I'm not sure where I was going with this one.

    "I'm gonna make this scavenger hunt my confetti-laden little b[seriously Twilight hurry up]h."

    I mean, I don't even have to say it anymore. Everypony's on my level with this.

    You know what? Sometimes, a screencap alone is worth a thousand captions.

    Now that we've all poured one out for yet another underscored "Applejack's parents are dead" moment, her birth certificate's an odd one to choose out of everypony else's in there. You think Shining spent a lot of time mulling over which friend of Twi's to go with, or just figured "Applejack" rhymed with a lot more stuff than "Rarity"?

    "Don't make me go 90% on your Mayor-I'd-Like-To-Friend behind."

    "Don't be embarrassed, Applejack! It's a cute picture!"
    "Sugarcube, I've been to more reunions with more family members than I care to name. Clan wars have been started over cuter pictures than that."

    You know, there's pacing, and then there's Pinkie Pie dragging the rest of the cast through the third act because she's at 92% Over-Pink and would love to live long enough to not see 95%. Both have their merits. I'm down with whichever.

    "So... wait a minute, Pinkie. Does that imply you did get knocked up, or..."
    "One more word, Twilight. I swear to Celestia."

    "Books, Shining?"
    "No, Twilight. You're a Princess now. You can read all the books you want."
    "But... but books?"
    "Oh, boy. If we get to 97% before this parses, Cadance, tell my mom I still haven't forgiven her for the Ponymon cards."

    Or maybe 98%...


    99.5%, Twilight...

    Oh, thank God. The Weird-Pink-O-Meter's dropping. Thermonuclear Pinkonation averted at 99.8%.

    She'll, uh... she'll be fine, kids. She's a trooper.

    In all seriousness, though, it's been one hit right after the other in terms of major developments for secondary characters. Shining and Cadance starting a family together puts another mile marker down for how much this show's matured (well, y'know, as much as any cartoon can or will) over the years. Plus--sluggish search for a clue notwithstanding--Twilight's excitement rings pretty genuine to me. She's still got a bit of growing up to do herself, and I'm sure having a nephew or niece to get way too focused on books with will be good for her. I mean, maybe for the kid too, but let's be real: they and the Cake twins all are gonna be three-way partners in the baffling world of "Grownups Are Weird, Man".

    And just to close with something a little more my style: here's these two dorks hoofbumping over being the only male characters in the country to have canonically gotten it on.

    That's all I got, folks. Tune in again next week two weeks from now.