• A Guide to Pony Tears - Season Nine

    Howdy, folks! TheSlorg here with the final season installment of our Guide to Pony Tears, where we've explored just how often the inhabitants of Equestria and beyond shed tears, and the reasons behind them.

    What started as a curiosity way back in 2016—when we realized that our pony friends cry quite a bit more than anyone might realize—has led to each episode being studied thoroughly. Sometimes frame by frame!

    So which characters cry the most, and why? Which season was the teariest? For the answers to these questions and more, head below the break!

    Before We Begin

    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. This time around, I've also looked at why the characters cry, and will include an additional instance for each new reason they cry, even if the tears haven't technically stopped.

    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 Nine

    The Beginning of the End: Part One - No tears in the final season premiere. The first half of it, anyway.

    The Beginning of the End: Part Two - Rarity knows there will be plenty of tears in this final season, so she gets right to it and tears up at the thought of Sweetie Belle falling under King Sombra’s control. She tears up again upon seeing that her fears came true. Pinkie Pie cries over the Cakes being forced to bake the ugliest cake she’s ever seen. Later, Fluttershy tears up immediately upon seeing Discord be struck down by King Sombra. She tears up again during Discord’s speech, as do Pinkie and Twilight.

    Uprooted - For an episode that basically explored the concepts of loss and grief, there were surprisingly no tears shed.

    Twilight’s Seven - Nary a tear to be found in this episode.

    The Point of No Return - And here we are with yet another tearless episode. Honestly, people are going to wonder what took so long to count the tears this season if there were no tears to count at all.

    Common Ground - Quibble Pants tears up very briefly when he finally makes a connection with his stepdaughter, Wind Sprint. In an extremely easy to miss moment, he tears up again for just 2 or 3 frames when she says that liking books wouldn’t be so bad.

    She’s All Yak - Rarity sneaks in some quick tears when Yona belches in her face. Yona later cries after wrecking the dance. She is later found crying at the Treehouse of Harmony by Sandbar. Her eyes shimmer when she asks Sandbar to bring her food, but no actual tears fall or well up, so not counting it. Also, way to go Rainbow Dash for hanging a trophy on Yona’s horn. Jeeze.

    Frenemies - Cozy Glow does what she does best and turns on the waterworks to trick old Rusty Bucket. In another easy-to-miss one, Cozy wipes away a tear after laughing during her bonding session with Tirek and Chrysalis. It’s a tough one, as no actual tear can be seen, but it’s obvious by her hoof movements as to what she’s meant to be doing, so I’m counting it. Later, Tirek wipes away tears of laughter in the same scene.

    Sweet and Smoky - Spike tears up after getting lava up his nose thanks to Garble. He does so again immediately following this when he gets lava in his throat. He cries yet again when Garble stomps on his red velvet cupcake.

    Going to Seed - It’s an Applejack episode, so naturally there aren’t any—wait, what’s this? Applejack tears up when she gets stuck in her own trap in a flashback and misses out on helping with the harvest.

    Student Counsel - A unicorn student named November Rain tears up when Trixie slams Starlight’s office door shut before he can be seen. He’s shown again a few moments later still in tears while trying to get in the office, and one last time at the end of the scene. This is a tough one, as even though he shows up three times, he seems to still be in tears over the same thing, so we’re counting it as one.

    The Last Crusade - Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom all tear up when they discover Scootaloo has to move away with her parents. Apple Bloom later wipes away a tear as she calls together the “last meeting” of the CMCs. Seconds later, she starts crying again along with Sweetie and Scootaloo. Importantly, Sweetie and Scoots were teared up before this new crying session, so they get two apiece as this was a new reason to cry. Scootaloo gets an extra instance despite already having tearing eyes, because thinking about having to leave two friends causes her to start up again. Then Rainbow Dash shows up and they all start crying anew. Sweetie’s explanation to Rainbow Dash just gets them to start up once again. Scootaloo later sheds angry tears when her parents won’t listen to her, which later turns to sad tears when she explains how her entire life is changing without her input. She is later seen wiping away tears at the train station. Twice. She tears up again when Sweetie and Apple Bloom offer to accompany her to the home of her two aunts. Not satisfied with having already crushed Big Mac’s previous single-episode record, Scoots tears up and jumps into her parents forelegs when they finally understand that she should stay in Ponyville. Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty also tear up at this, because why not.

    Between Dark and Dawn - Princess Luna tears up at a performance of the pony version of Wicked. She tears up again after her argument with Princess Celestia.

    The Last Laugh - Cheese Sandwich cries after admitting to Pinkie that he lost his laugh. He later tears up with laughter in a flashback. Seconds later he tears up again in the present, fearing what ponies would think if they saw him like that. Cheese causes Sans Smirk to tear up in laughter late in the episode after he tells Sans a pun.

    2, 4, 6, Greaaat - Rainbow Dash makes Yona cry by insulting the cheer squad. And then does the same to Ocellus a moment later; though the tears aren’t shown she clearly runs off making crying sounds so I’m counting it.

    A Trivial Pursuit - Pinkie tears up after getting disqualified from trivia night.

    The Summer Sun Setback - Princess Celestia tears up at the final Summer Sun Celebration fireworks display. Though it’s only for a few frames, she tears up again when Twilight announces the Festival of the Two Sisters.

    She Talks to Angel - Angel causes the foal Cream Puff to cry when he is swapped with Fluttershy’s body and goes a little bonkers with talking to everypony. Fluttershy tears up when Angel offers to help around the sanctuary.

    Dragon Dropped - Surprisingly, despite a lot of moping from Spike and several dramatic acts from Rarity, there aren’t any actual tears in this episode.

    A Horse Shoe In - Trixie cries after getting scolded by Starlight Glimmer. The episode ends with tears when Trixie tosses Phyllis the Plant into the trash, causing an outburst by Starlight.

    Daring Doubt - Doctor Caballeron tears up before telling his side of the story to Fluttershy. Ahuizotl cries when explaining why he guards the artifacts and relics of the jungle.

    Growing Up is Hard to Do - A background filly described as “Unnamed Earth Filly #4” cries while the Cutie Mark Crusaders sing. There is no way I’m listing “Unnamed Earth Filly #4” in my official list, so I will call her Whirlwind and call it a day. The stationmaster pony named Loose Tracks tears up after laughing maniacally/having an asthma attack.

    The Big Mac Question - Mrs. Cake wipes away a tear when she realizes she unintentionally made a joke. Also why is a green apple hugging Scootaloo’s leg near the end of the episode? Applejack, Party Favor, Night Glider, Double Diamond, Burnt Oak, Grand Pear, Granny Smith, Goldie Delicious, Apple Rose, Auntie Applesauce, Spike, and Discord all tear up at Big Mac and Sugar Belle’s wedding. It could be assumed that Mrs. Cake teared up as well, as she was the only other guest at the wedding, but she’s not shown during the crying scene so we’ll never know.

    The Ending of the End (part 1) - The royal sisters, Luna and Celestia, both tear up as Twilight prepares for her coronation. Moments later, Spike tears up when Twilight appoints him as her royal advisor. Fluttershy finally remembers she was supposed to be a contender in this thing at one point in time when she tears up at learning of how Discord released the other villains. Finally, Twilight cries as she’s forced to leave her friends when they’re under fire from Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow.

    The Ending of the End (part 2) - Twilight cries during the recap, but we can’t really count that again, can we? Later, Fluttershy has angry tears for Discord when they are all trapped. Twilight cries after feeling like all her efforts are futile. She tears up again when her friends let her know the difference she’s made for everypony. In a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment, Shining Armor tears up when Twilight Sparkle implies that Flurry Heart must be protected as the next ruler should Twilight and her friends die. During the Battle for Equestria, Twilight briefly tears up when the Student Six explain how they rallied the races of Equestria together.

    The Last Problem - Twilight cries after thinking her friends aren’t upset that she’s leaving Ponyville. She starts up again a few moments later as she’s still talking. Pinkie, Rarity, and Applejack start their own crying sessions soon thereafter. Then Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Twilight have another go at it. Then Pinkie starts all over again. Soon, Fluttershy and Applejack join back in. Finally, they all cry together with Spike just staring at them all. Way to make things complicated, girls. Shining Armor can be seen crying during Twilight’s coronation. Rarity also sneaks in a quick tear moments before Twilight gets crowned. Rainbow Dash actually sheds tears of laughter after the coronation. Lastly, Twilight tears up as Luna and Celestia announce they are leaving Equestria, giving Twilight Sparkle the distinction of having cried the final tears of the show.

    So Who Cried the Most?

    Of twenty-six episodes, only five were tear-free. This means that the final series total is 167 out of 221 episodes contained some form of crying or tears. That's just shy of 76% of all episodes.

    But who cried the most? Let's have a look.

    Here is a list of all who cried in season nine, from least to most tears:

    • Ahuizotl - 1
    • Apple Rose - 1
    • Aunt Holiday - 1
    • Auntie Applesauce - 1
    • Auntie Lofty - 1
    • Burnt Oak - 1
    • Cream Puff - 1
    • Discord - 1
    • Doctor Caballeron - 1
    • Double Diamond - 1
    • Goldie Delicious - 1
    • Grand Pear - 1
    • Granny Smith - 1
    • Loose Tracks - 1
    • Mrs. Cake - 1
    • Night Glider - 1
    • November Rain - 1
    • Ocellus - 1
    • Party Favor - 1
    • Sans Smirk - 1
    • Starlight Glimmer - 1
    • Tirek - 1
    • Trixie - 1
    • Whirlwind - 1
    • Cozy Glow - 2
    • Quibble Pants - 2
    • Shining Armor - 2
    • Cheese Sandwich - 3
    • Princess Celestia - 3
    • Princess Luna - 3
    • Rainbow Dash - 3
    • Yona - 3
    • Apple Bloom - 5
    • Applejack - 5
    • Spike - 5
    • Sweetie Belle - 5
    Hm, we're already seeing much larger tear totals than in season eight. They must have gone all-out, because we haven't even got to the top five yet! Who will it be?


    • Pinkie Pie - 6
    • Fluttershy - 7
    • Rarity - 7
    • Twilight Sparkle - 10
    • Scootaloo - 12

    For the first time ever, a Cutie Mark Crusader takes the crown as teariest pony for season nine with 12 instances of crying! Scootaloo had a lot of reasons to cry, that's for sure. What's even more impressive is every tear she shed this season was done so in a single episode, cementing Scootaloo as the all-time winner for Most Tears in an Episode! She deserves some hugs!

    Coming in second place with 10 instances was Twilight Sparkle. She needed a lot of tears to catch Rarity, and she got them. However...
    Rarity comes in third place with 7. As if anypony really had a chance to dethrone her, darling. But what's this? Fluttershy ties Rarity for third place with her own showing of 7.

    Finally, in fifth place was Pinkie Pie with 6.

    Some solid performances! In all, season nine featured 107 instances of tears, completely destroying the previous record of 78 by season seven. Season nine was one heck of an emotional ride, and the numbers back it up.
    Here are the final season rankings:

    • Season Nine - 107
    • Season Seven - 78
    • Season Five - 70
    • Season Eight - 68
    • Season Two - 66
    • Season Six - 50 (90 and 2nd place counting the changeling horde)
    • Season Four - 47
    • Season Three - 41
    • Season One - 31
    • Major Movies - 25
    This gives us a final total of 558 scenes depicting tears of some kind over 221 episodes, not counting the movies. (598 if you count the changeling horde in season five).

    So what are the final totals of every character over every season, and who takes the crown?

    Grand Totals

    • Ahuizotl - 1
    • Apple Rose - 1
    • Aunt Holiday - 1
    • Auntie Applesauce - 1
    • Auntie Lofty - 1
    • Autumn Blaze - 1
    • Berry Punch - 1
    • Braeburn - 1
    • Breezette - 1
    • Bulk Biceps - 1
    • Brown Dragon - 1
    • Bunny - 1
    • Cardinal - 1
    • Caretaker - 1
    • Cloudy Quartz - 1
    • Cracked Wheat - 1
    • Cranky Doodle - 1
    • Daisy - 1
    • Doctor Caballeron - 1
    • Double Diamond - 1
    • Dragon Lord - 1
    • Dream Foal - 1
    • Flam - 1
    • Firelight - 1
    • Fluffy Clouds - 1
    • Gabby Griffon - 1
    • Giraffe - 1
    • Goldie Delicious - 1
    • Hacksaw McColt - 1
    • Harry Bear - 1
    • Imaginary Spike’s Mom - 1
    • Lemon Hearts - 1
    • Lightning Dust - 1
    • Lily Lace - 1
    • Loose Tracks - 1
    • Mane-iac - 1
    • Meadow Flower - 1
    • Mint Flower - 1
    • Mrs. Shy - 1
    • Night Glider - 1
    • Noi - 1
    • November Rain - 1
    • Otter - 1
    • Pinkie Pie Clone - 1
    • Plaid Stripes - 1
    • Princess Skystar - 1
    • Queen Chrysalis - 1
    • Racoon - 1
    • Random Yak - 1
    • Raspberry Beret - 1
    • Red Dragon - 1
    • Royal Guardpony - 1
    • Sable Spirit - 1
    • Sans Smirk - 1
    • Seabreeze - 1
    • Seasbreeze's Wife - 1
    • Shoeshine - 1
    • SkyStinger - 1
    • Sludge - 1
    • Snails - 1
    • Star Swirl the Bearded - 1
    • Storm Guard - 1
    • Storm King - 1
    • Sunburst - 1
    • Teddie Safari - 1
    • Tempest Shadow - 1
    • Timber Spruce - 1
    • Vera - 1
    • Whirlwind - 1
    • Windfall - 1
    • Yak Guard 1 - 1
    • Yak Guard 2 - 1
    • Zephyr Breeze - 1
    • Zipporwhill - 1
    • Angel Bunny - 2
    • Burnt Oak - 2
    • Cream Puff - 2
    • Countess Coloratura - 2
    • Flim - 2
    • Gilda - 2
    • Matilda - 2
    • Mrs. Cake - 2
    • Party Favor - 2
    • PiƱa Colada - 2
    • Prince Rutherford - 2
    • Quibble Pants - 2
    • Rockhoof - 2
    • Scouts Honor - 2
    • Sugar Belle - 2
    • Star Tracker - 2
    • Stellar Flare - 2
    • Tirek - 2
    • Twilight Velvet - 2
    • Windy Whistles - 2
    • Bow Hothoof - 3
    • Cheese Sandwich - 3
    • Flurry Heart - 3
    • Lyra Heartstrings - 3
    • Moon Dancer - 3
    • Ocellus - 3
    • Pound Cake - 3
    • Pumpkin Cake - 3
    • Silverstream - 3
    • Snips - 3
    • Steven Magnet - 3
    • Sunset Shimmer - 3
    • Diamond Tiara - 4
    • Discord - 4
    • Grand Pear - 4
    • Princess Cadance - 4
    • Yona - 4
    • Cozy Glow - 5
    • Thorax - 5
    • Granny Smith - 6
    • Pear Butter - 6
    • Princess Luna - 6
    • Shining Armor - 6
    • Trixie - 6
    • Princess Celestia - 9
    • Apple Bloom - 10
    • Big Macintosh - 12
    • Sweetie Belle - 12
    • Scootaloo - 20
    • Starlight Glimmer - 23
    • Spike - 24
    • Applejack - 25
    • Rainbow Dash - 27
    • Changelings in Disguise - 40
    • Fluttershy - 40
    • Pinkie Pie - 49
    • Twilight Sparkle - 57
    It was a valiant effort, Twilight Sparkle, but in the end there can be only one.

    • Rarity - 65

    Rarity took first place away from Twilight Sparkle back in season four, and she's remained there ever since. Many have tried, but in the end, nopony could outcry the Queen of Drama. As such, she deserves her crown.

    The final season of MLP shattered records, with it becoming the teariest overall season, the season with most tears by one individual (Scootaloo), and the season with the episode containing the most tears by an individual (also Scootaloo).

    Well, this is usually the part where I point out some interesting facts about the tears within the season, but this is the final Guide to Pony Tears, right?

    Well, no. It's the final one regarding seasons, but there are some specials we missed. Best Gift Ever and Rainbow Roadtrip, as well as the EQG movie specials: Forgotten Friendship, Rollercoaster of Friendship, and Sunset's Backstage Pass. Since the tear count for these probably won't be very high, I'll do one final Guide to Pony Tear - Specials to cover these, and I'll add in some interesting notes and "awards" in that guide, including a highlight of our top teariest characters!

    And that's all for now! Does your favorite character cry a lot? Did you cry during the series? Let me know in the comments, and keep an eye out for the final Guide to Pony Tears a bit later!