• A Guide to Pony Tears - Season Three

    Howdy folks! My name is TheSlorg, and it's time to once again dive back into the world of pony tears. Most of you will be well aware by now that the characters in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic get emotional far more often than one might expect considering the target demographic. I've already counted the tears in season one and season two, and have been re-watching episodes whenever my crazy schedule would allow me to. Well the wait is over, and it's finally time to have a look at the shortest of all MLP seasons: season three!

    Will the shorter season mean fewer tears? Will Twilight Sparkle retain her crown as the Champion of Tears? If you want to know the answer to these questions, or just want something to pass the time for a few minutes, head on down below the break.

    Before We Begin

    As before, you may be wondering why we'd bother researching a topic like pony tears. I'll paste my explanation directly from the original post:

    As we are all aware, the characters we know and love are a complicated lot, with a much larger emotional spectrum than what you might typically find in a show targeting the demographic that it does. Tearful moments are but one small part of that spectrum, but they do tell us a lot about one's personality!

    Additionally, watching an entire season of a series in search of something as specific as tears can be a daunting task. You have to ask yourself what, exactly, counts as crying, for instance. For the purposes of this article, I have skipped over a lot of close calls, or instances where a character came close to crying, but didn't quite make it. I didn't skip them all, however, and will make a note of them as they appear. The rest of the moments I have listed will either have visible tears, or will have the character's eyes visibly shimmering.

    Finally, as much time as I put into trying to keep the list as accurate as possible, there is always the chance that I missed a moment or two. There will also likely be some who would contend what, exactly, counts as crying. If you find anything I missed, or wish to challenge a moment that is listed here, feel free to comment below. And now for what we've all been waiting for, let the tears begin!

    Season Three

    The Crystal Empire: Part One - As in season two, we begin with zero tears! With only thirteen episodes this season, will it be the one with the fewest tears? Let's see...

    The Crystal Empire: Part Two - Twilight Sparkle's bid to retain her crown as teariest pony starts out strong as she cries during a vision in which Princess Celestia forsakes her. Spike also tears up when his own vision of Twilight spurns him.

    Too Many Pinkie Pies - A Pinkie Clone cries when she realizes she can't be in two places at once. The real Pinkie Pie cries when she sees the clones ruining her friends' plans, and cries an additional two times when faced with the question of whether or not she truly is the real Pinkie Pie.

    One Bad Apple -
    Sweetie Belle cries in two separate scenes after being bullied by Babs Seed.

    Magic Duel - Pinkie Pie cries when Trixie casts a spell to remove her mouth and snout. Snips cries after being turned into a foal, and again after falling from a short height (still as a foal). Snips cries a third time, and Snails for the first time, after the are again turned into foals. Trixie tears up when she apologizes to Twilight for her behavior.

    Sleepless in Ponyville - Scootaloo tears up after blowing her greeting to Rainbow Dash with an epic fail. She cries twice more when trying to face her fear of disappointing Rainbow Dash.

    Wonderbolts Academy - Meadow Flower, a pink background pegasi, tears up from wind resistance on the Dizz-a-tron, as does Lightning Dusk a few moments later. Pinkie Pie cries when Rainbow Dash recognizes her.

    Just for Sidekicks - Spike tears up when he gives Pony Joe a gem, and again later on when Apple Bloom tickles him with one of Scootaloo's feathers.

    Apple Family Reunion - Applejack cries a record-tying five times throughout the episode as her actions lead to the collapse of the barn, proving just how much she cares about family. Two of these instances are debatable, but considering how much it takes to get her to cry, we're counting them.

    Spike at Your Service - Spike tears up after telling Twilight that he must leave her forever in order to serve Applejack.

    Keep Calm and Flutter On - Discord cries tears that aren't from laughter for the first time when he realizes that Fluttershy truly meant to be his friend.

    Games Ponies Play - Rainbow Dash tears up at the memory of Fillydelphia being chosen to host the Equestria Games over Cloudsdale.

    Magical Mystery Cure - Rarity tears up briefly during the song, 'Find a Way,' and Twilight cries at the song's conclusion. Rarity cries again during 'True True Friend,' when her magic causes chaos, and Applejack cries later in the song at her attempts at dressmaking. Twilight Velvet and Shining Armor both cry at Twilight Sparkle's princess coronation, despite what Shining Armor might say about liquid pride. Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy ALL cry when Twilight Sparkle mentions them during her coronation speech. 

    So Who Cried the Most? 
    Despite having the fewest episodes of any season, only one of those episodes failed to register any tears, making this season have the highest percentage of episodes with tears in them with a whopping 93%! Because of this, that means that through three seasons, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has shown a character crying in fifty-two out of sixty-five total episodes! That's good enough for an overall percentage of 80%.

    These numbers are all well and good, but how do the individual tears stats add up? Let's have a look!

    Below is a list of characters who cried in season three, from least to most:

    • Twilight Velvet -1
    • Lightning Dusk - 1
    • Meadow Flower - 1
    • Pinkie Pie Clone - 1
    • Snails -1
    • Shining Armor -1
    • Discord -1
    • Trixie -1
    • Fluttershy -1
    • Sweetie Belle - 2
    • Twilight Sparkle - 2
    • Rainbow Dash - 2
    • Snips -3
    • Scootaloo - 3
    • Rarity -3
    For the first time so far, the top three teariest characters are not all members of the Mane Six. Not only that, but the two previous champions, Rarity and Twilight, are both missing from the top three list. But then, who could possibly top the charts...

    Top Three
    • Spike - 4
    • Pinkie Pie - 6
    • Applejack - 7

    Wait, WHAT!? Applejack? 

    That's right, it took the shortest of the seasons to get AJ crying, but once she got started she didn't stop until she had it in the bag. With seven total instances of tears from her, she takes the crown this season. And with most of her tears coming in a single episode, it shows that while she may normally cry on the inside, if she does something to disappoint her family, the tears will flow! 

    Coming in at a close second was Pinkie Pie, who could potentially steal the crown off Applejack's head if we disallow the two debatable instances of crying from AJ. Pinkie has jumped from fourth in season one, to tied for third in season two, and now second in season three. Is this a sign of things to come? Only season four can say for sure!

    Well, season one featured 31 instances of characters crying, and season two ramped it up to a whopping 66. Though it was a short one, season three managed a total of 41 instances of character tears, beating season one and taking second place overall so far! At this rate, had it been a full twenty six episodes, there would have been 82 instances of tears, which would have easily beaten season two's total!

    Overall, there have been a total of 138 times that characters shed tears over a total of 65 episodes.

    So Applejack wins this time, but what are the current overall totals, and has anypony taken Twilight's crown as teariest pony? Let's have a look.

    Here is the list, again from least to most.

    • Steven Magnet - 1
    • Daisy - 1
    • Gilda - 1
    • Red dragon - 1
    • Brown dragon - 1
    • Berry Punch - 1
    • Vera - 1
    • Princess Luna - 1
    • Princess Celestia -1
    • Harry Bear - 1
    • Noi - 1
    • Granny Smith - 1
    • Cream Puff - 1
    • Sea Swirl - 1
    • Lemon Hearts - 1
    • Shoeshine - 1
    • Shining Armor - 1
    • Cranky Doodle - 1
    • Queen Chrysalis - 1
    • Lightning Dusk - 1
    • Meadow Flower - 1
    • Pinkie Pie Clone - 1
    • Snails - 1
    • Trixie - 1
    • Discord - 2
    • Twilight Velvet - 2
    • Lyra Heartstrings - 2
    • Apple Bloom - 2
    • Piña Colada - 2
    • Pound Cake - 2
    • Pumpkin Cake - 2
    • Big Macintosh - 2
    • Snips - 3
    • Scootaloo - 3
    • Sweetie Belle - 3
    • Princess Cadance - 3
    • Spike - 9
    • Applejack - 9
    • Rainbow Dash - 10
    • Fluttershy - 12
    • Pinkie Pie - 15
    • Rarity - 16
    That means that the teariest pony of all, and still the reigning champion, is:

    • Twilight Sparkle - 17

    Twilight only cried twice in season three, but it was enough to retain her title. With poor showings from both top contenders Rarity and Fluttershy, at only 3 and 1 instance of shedding tears respectively, it wasn't too difficult for Twilight to retain her spot at the top. However, Pinkie Pie shed enough tears to bolt up into third place overall, easily booting Fluttershy down into fourth place. With Applejack's victory this season, she shoots up from near the bottom of the pack up to take 6th overall in a tie with Spike, who nearly doubled his own overall total this season. 

    Interesting things to take note of: Twilight Velvet joins Lyra Heartstrings and Piña Colada, who are still tied as the teariest background ponies, despite not crying at all this season. Spike has grown his lead as the secondary character who cries the most, tripling the totals of Princess Cadance, Sweetie Belle, Snips, and Scootaloo, who are all in a 4-way tie for second place in that category. Speaking of Scootaloo, she ties Sweetie Belle as the teariest Cutie Mark Crusader with three instances of crying in a single episode. 

    And that wraps it up! There were plenty of tears in season three, but remember: it wasn't until season four that I really took notice of the number of times characters cry in the show. Does this mean the next season will take the top spot? If so, will Twilight maintain her spot at the top? Do any of these totals surprise you? Of course they do. Applejack won, for pony's sake!

    Let me know in the comments below who you think will be at the top when all is said and done!