• Top 10 Best Morals in My Little Pony


    Talk about subjective, am I right? Still, it's a fun topic to talk about.

    This fandom loves well-constructed morals. Time and again, it's one of the most frequently used metrics for how good an episode is. And with the advent of Twilight's school of friendship this season, now's as good a time as any for some boning up on past lessons!

    While not all of them received a friendship letter, these are the lessons worth writing to Celestia about. Share your own favourites below the break.


    #10. Legend of Everfree: It's Okay to Ask for Help with Financial and Mental Stress

    Sunset Shimmer: "So if anyone understands what you're going through, it's me. I can help you, Twilight. And the rest of our friends can be there for you, too. But not if you run away."
    Gloriosa Daisy: "Thank you. For everything. Oh, if I'd just asked for help in the first place..."
    At first glance, this one might not seem all that impressive. Another version of Applebuck Season drawn out for 90 minutes?

    But as Gloriosa deals with financial burdens and Twilight something that's been compared to P.T.S.D., it becomes a more adult story. This movie demonstrates how keeping your demons inside, whether real or imagined, can wear away at you, and asks viewers to reach out when they're struggling most, which I have to imagine is one of the big ones in terms of lessons you can teach about friendship.

    It's still a standard message, but an important one at any age.

    #9. Wonderbolt Academy: Your Dreams aren't Worth Endangering Yourself and Others

    Rainbow Dash: "No disrespect ma'am, but there's a big difference between pushing yourself as hard as you can, and just being reckless. And if being reckless is what gets rewarded around here, if that's what it means to be a Wonderbolt, then I don't want any part of it."
    When a character has been dreaming and waiting to fly with those great ponies to achieve a dream for the bulk of 3 seasons, it's huge for them to step away from it. When that character is Rainbow Dash, all the more.

    She wasn't the first pony you'd expect to stand up for her principles over her desires, but that's exactly what she did, and in doing so sent a strong message. Endangering yourself and others isn't what it should mean to push yourself, and this coming from Rainbow "Danger" Dash. 

    #8. School Daze: How Understanding Rulez, and Prejudice Droolz

    While never explicitly saying its moral, it would probably go something like: Diversity and appreciating each other’s differences leads to understanding. Also, assuming that a creature’s species (person’s race) means they’re out to hurt you is a false association.
    We had a killer editorial on this one by Platonic, but praise where praise is due, this managed to sneak in some accuracy with Neighsay's prejudice.

    Racist Snape is the textbook definition of confirmation bias: he's always looking for other creatures to do something wrong so he can use it as evidence against them. And even in the wake of the Storm King, just as a creature's species ≠ malicious intent, correlation ≠ causation.

    On top of that, the student six are at first pretty wary of each other, but in time grow to bond over their differences and understand one and other. Even if you're the type who doesn't like "diversity for diversity's sake," the show itself explains why all this diversity's worth including.

    #7. Daring Done?: Even if you're fighting for a good cause, you're responsible for the consequences of your actions.

    Daring Do: "But I'm glad I realized that even if you're fighting for something good, you're still responsible for your actions."
    Rainbow Dash: "And if something bad happens that you didn't intend, you shouldn't give up hope or lose faith in yourself."
    Pinkie Pie: "Yeah! All you gotta do is make it right."
    Okay, this is like the best moral in the show, but it's so low on the list because no one (myself very much included) remembers it when we think about this episode. All we think of is



    Yeah that.

    Even still, I had to give it a spot because it's so well stated, and well... read it back. Just because you're fighting for a good cause, doesn't mean you're not responsible for your actions. You can't let it steer you from what you believe in, but it's also on you to make it right.

    It's so nuanced and relevant to the times, I love it. The Sphinx is pretty alright, too.

    #6. Flight to the Finish: Ability doesn't define worth. Your contributions can still be spectacular.

    Scootaloo: "But flying is what Pegasus ponies are supposed to do! You flew when you carried the flag in the games!"
    Rainbow Dash: "But that was me! You're you! And it just doesn't matter if you can fly or not. Your routine was amazing because it represented exactly what makes Ponyville special."
    Scootaloo: "But Rainbow Dash... what if... what if my wings never grow? What if I never fly?"
    Rainbow Dash: "Listen, Scootaloo. Maybe you'll fly someday, or maybe you won't. You're all kinds of awesome anyway."
    The episode works really well as an allegory for disability, if not a straight up depiction. It's not my place to say if it's a good one, but I think it acknowledges that even if she can't go about it in quite the same way, Scoots can still work to contribute great things.

    While the episode acknowledges how hard it is for her to accept it initially, Scootaloo's character was never defined entirely by her ability or inability to fly, and that's how it should be. She's awesome either way. 

    #5. Inspiration Manifestation: Speak up when a friend is doing something wrong.


    Spike: "Today I learned how important it is to be honest with your friends when they're doing something that you don't think is right. A true friend knows that you're speaking up because you care about them."
    Supporting your friends very much includes pulling them off of a dark path. It was clear as day here that Rarity was headed towards something horrible (subtle, dark magic ain't), but in most situations it isn't. 

    Even still, it's a hell of an important moral to keep in mind, and good on Spike for speaking up when he needed to. You can't always assume "good" people will make good choices, even if you love them.

    #4. Dragon Quest: Who you are is not the same as what you are. You get to decide.

    Dear Princess Celestia,
    Seeing the Great Dragon Migration made me wonder what it meant to be a dragon, but now I realize that who I am is not the same as what I am. I may have been born a dragon, but Equestria and my pony friends had taught me how to be kind, loyal, and true. I'm proud to call Ponyville my home, and to have my pony friends as my family.
    Yours truly,
    Spike 
    This is one that always stuck with me, specifically the phrase "who I am is not the same as what I am." It's simple, but that's why it's so powerful.

    In a show where determinism and fated friendships rule the day, there's still some power in deciding who you are. Plus, Spike deciding to consider himself a pony is cute as all get out and central to who he is as a character going forward. Cuteness wins.

    #3. Amending Fences: Don't let one rejection define you.



    Hey remember that one time a character was hurt by a childhood friend leaving and vowed to never let anyone hurt her like that again?

    This is that concept done exceedingly right, if you ask me.

    The moral is simple: don't let one heartbreak define your life and be aware that your actions have consequences. As much as I love Starlight and had fun with the Cutie Remark, Amending Fences is a gorgeous execution of the same concept a few episodes earlier.

    #2. The Perfect Pear (/Castle Sweet Castle): Share in memories from the past and make new ones to heal from loss.

    Note to self: Don't watch episodes about trees. They end in tears.
    Apple Bloom: "Findin' you and learnin' all about Mom and Dad, I feel like I found a piece of me I didn't even know was missin'." Applejack: "Hearin' their story makes me feel closer to them somehow."Granny Smith: "I'm sorry. I should've told you all about 'em sooner."Grand Pear: "And I should've been here. Ah, I can't believe I let a silly feud keep me from my family."
    Rarity: "So we've made something that celebrates the memories we've made with you since you moved to Ponyville. [...] We were hoping that being able to look at your beautiful, old memories would inspire you to make new ones."
    Cheating? That's not very moral of me. 

    But, look, these two episodes tell the exact same moral in two different ways. They each talk about loss and sharing in old memories, but in one case these memories are remembered to inspire new ones, and in the in the other, they're honoured and acknowledged in full in order to fully heal.


    Take your pick, really. The Perfect Pear delivers it best for me, but I can't deny the tears I shed watching Castle Sweet Castle.

    #1. Rainbow Rocks/My Past is Not Today: You can earn your redemption.

    "My past does not define me/ my past is not today."
    You guys really shouldn't let me write these lists. Sunset wins every time. 

    But I really and truly think that the reason Sunset's redemption was so well-received (aside from coming before redemption fatigue started to set in) was because the execution drove home the point so well. 

    Sunset had to earn every bit of acceptance she got which makes the music video of her contemplating her past as the sun rises over Canterlot City a satisfying extension of her growth in Rainbow Rocks. 

    Everyone wants to learn and grow as a person from who they were yesterday. I can't think of any better moral than one that tells you you can, if you work hard enough. Here's to learning!

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