• A Guide to Pony Tears - Season Four

    Howdy folks! TheSlorg here. As most of you know, the characters who populate Equestria are an emotionally complex bunch—much more so than one might expect given the target demographic of the show. As such, I thought it might be interesting to see which characters cry the most and why. I've already done this for seasons one, two, and three, and now it's time to count the tears in season four.

    It was during season four when I first truly began to notice just how often characters cried within the show. Will this season prove to have the most tears, and will Twilight Sparkle hold onto her crown as teariest pony? Head on down below the break for the answers!

    Before We Begin

    As usual, I will paste the following explanation from the previous posts in this series:

    So why bother with researching such a thing as pony tears? 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 Four

    Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1 - No crying!! What is it with season premieres generally avoiding tears? Will the trend continue in season 5?

    Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 2 - Twilight continues her efforts to retain her title when she cries after Celestia falls in battle to Nightmare Moon. Celestia sheds tears as she banishes Luna to the moon. Discord’s portrait of Twilight cries in his attempt to mock her. Twilight cries again when her friends send her back to Ponyville in order to protect her.

    Castle-Mania - Fluttershy tears up when Angel gets separated from her and Rarity. Rarity cries when a tapestry falls onto her. Fluttershy cries again when she thinks Angel has been crushed by a pillar.

    Daring Don’t - A close call or two, but no actual tears.

    Flight to the Finish - Scootaloo cries after quitting the flag carrying team. She cries again when explaining to Rainbow Dash why she quit. She cries a third time when faced with the question of whether she will ever be able to fly.

    Power Ponies - Mane-iac wipes away a mostly false tear when tormenting the Power Ponies. Spike cries when Twilight defends his usefulness.

    Bats! - Rainbow Dash tears up at the prospect of no cider.

    Rarity Takes Manehattan - Rarity cries when she realizes she forgot her dresses for fashion week. She tears up twice more at Suri Polomare’s betrayal. She tears up again when her friends show her understanding and kindness despite her earlier treatment of them.

    Pinkie Apple Pie - Not a single tear was shed!

    Rainbow Falls - Bulk Biceps cries after Fluttershy accidentally punches him in the face with a horseshoe.

    Three’s a Crowd - The fourth tear-free episode already!

    Pinkie Pride - Pinkie tears up at Rainbow Dash’s enthusiasm for having Cheese Sandwich arrive in town. She cries again on the bridge during Pinkie’s Lament. The tears flow again when Pinkie forfeits the goof-off.

    Simple Ways - Rarity cries a literal river of tears when Trenderhoof confesses his interest in Applejack.

    Filli Vanilli - Fluttershy cries when Pinkie describes performing on stage in horrid detail. Angel bunny tears up when Rarity tries to convince Fluttershy to sing. Fluttershy cries again when exposed as Flutterguy on-stage. She cries again when Pinkie once again goes overboard with a description of her performance. Even more tears are shed when Fluttershy admits that being caught performing on stage really WAS ‘that bad.’

    Twilight Time - Several close calls, but no true tears.

    It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies - Spike cries when he feels it’s his fault the breezies’s breeze is disrupted. The breezie Seabreeze cries when thinking about getting home.Fluttershy cries after forcing the breezies to leave. Seabreeze’s wife (unnamed) tears up when he returns home. Fluttershy also tears up, as do Breezette and Windfall, two background breezies. Fluttershy cries yet again just before leaving the breezies.

    Somepony to Watch Over Me - No tears!

    Maude Pie - No tears, though Pinkie comes very, very close.

    For Whom the Sweetie Belle Tolls - Sweetie Belle cries twice as a filly in flashbacks when she thinks Rarity is stealing her spotlight Rarity cries in a ‘flash forward’ when Luna shows Sweetie what will happen if she doesn’t make things right.

    Leap of Faith - No tears again!

    Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 - Again, no tears!

    Trade Ya! - Teddie Safari, a collector of Daring Do goods, tears up when Rainbow Dash explains how nothing is more valuable to her than her friends.

    Inspiration Manifestation - Rarity tears up when told that her first design ideas for a puppet show are awful. She cries again while back at the Carousel Boutique. After a short interlude she is found to be crying yet again when Spike returns from the Castle of the Two Sisters.

    Equestria Games - Spike cries when he finds out Twilight assisted him with lightning the Equestria Games torch.

    Twilight’s Kingdom Part 1 - Fluttershy is shown crying in a flashback to It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies.

    Twilight’s Kingdom Part 2 - Twilight sheds a tear after Celestia, Luna, and Cadance all sacrifice their magic so that she can keep it safe. Fluttershy cries when Discord betrays her and her friends. She cries again when he apologizes.

    So Who Cried the Most?
    Interestingly enough, despite this being the first season where I really took notice of characters crying, it is thus far the season with the fewest episodes depicting tears! Out of twenty-six episodes, nine of them were completely tear-free. That brings the show's total up to sixty-eight out of ninety-one episodes showing at least one instance of crying. But does fewer episodes depicting tears really mean fewer tears overall?

    Here's a list of who cried in season four in order from least to most.

    • Mane-iac - 1
    • Bulk Biceps - 1
    • Angel Bunny - 1
    • Seabreeze - 1
    • Seabreeze's Wife - 1
    • Breezette - 1
    • Windfall - 1
    • Teddie Safari - 1
    • Princess Celestia - 1
    • Rainbow Dash - 1
    • Sweetie Belle - 2
    • Scootaloo - 3
    • Spike - 3
    • Pinkie Pie - 3
    Hmm... that doesn't seem like a very big list this time around. As usual, however, the top three spots are occupied by members of the Mane Six. But wait, there are four members of the Mane Six missing from the list above. That means somepony didn't shed any tears at all this season. Let's have a look...

    • Twilight Sparkle - 4
    • Rarity - 10
    • Fluttershy - 12

    Well there you have it. After a poor performance in season three, Fluttershy comes back this season and hits everypony right in the feels with a record-breaking twelve instances of crying! She was many readers' pick to win overall when I asked in the season one post, and she makes a strong case for it here.

    Not surprisingly, Rarity—another favorite— comes in at second place with ten instances of crying. Last season's champion, Applejack, was nowhere to be found this season, going back to her cry on the inside roots. Our current overall champion, Twilight Sparkle, only cried four times, so her crown may be in jeopardy.

    Season four featured 47 instances of crying, putting it in second place behind season two's 66 times tears were shown. While it may seem like a lot, season four only beat season three by six instances, as season three had 41. Season one remains in last place with characters only crying 31 times. This brings our grand total to 185 moments showing tears within 91 episodes, for an average of more than twice per episode.

    Fluttershy takes the victory for season four, but what about the grand totals? Was her showing here enough to topple Twilight Sparkle? 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
    • 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
    • Mane-iac - 1
    • Bulk Biceps - 1
    • Angel Bunny - 1
    • Seabreeze - 1
    • Seabreeze's Wife - 1
    • Breezette - 1
    • Windfall - 1
    • Teddie Safari - 1
    • Princess Celestia - 2
    • 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
    • Princess Cadance - 3
    • Sweetie Belle - 5
    • Scootaloo - 6
    • Applejack - 9
    • Rainbow Dash - 11
    • Spike - 12
    • Pinkie Pie - 18
    • Twilight Sparkle - 21
    • Fluttershy - 24

    Looks like Twilight Sparkle lost her crown! But it wasn't to Fluttershy, who was beaten by none other than:

    • Rarity - 26

    Surprise! Rarity has come back to claim her title as the teariest pony in Equestria. She and Fluttershy were both early favorites to claim the overall title, and now they are both in first and second place, respectively. Can Twilight come back in season five?

    With few tears from Rainbow Dash, and none from Applejack, Spike has landed himself into the Top 5. In a bit of a surprise, Scootaloo's performance this season has helped her surpass Sweetie Belle as the teariest Cutie Mark Crusader. The only background characters to cry this season were new characters, so Lyra, Twilight Velvet, and Piña Colada are still tied as teariest background ponies. The Mane-iac continues the tradition of new villains shedding tears, but Tirek doesn't have any time for that.

    And that does it for this season! With Rarity back on top, who thinks she will remain in that spot when the Guide to Pony Tears - Season 5 comes out? Did any of these totals surprise you? Which episode was the most emotional for you, and why? Let me know in the comments below!