|Cutie Mark Crusaders|
The Cutie Mark Crusaders (CMC) is a club consisting of Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle formed in Call of the Cutie, with Babs Seed joining in One Bad Apple and Imp joining in the IDW comics' My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #7. Their unity is based on mostly being "blank flanks", ponies who have not yet gotten their cutie marks; Imp, rather than being a blank flank pony, is a Mimicker who has not yet settled on one form. Each of the founding three fillies represents a different race, with Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle being an Earth pony, a Pegasus, and a unicorn respectively. Starting at the end of One Bad Apple, Babs Seed, Apple Bloom's cousin from Manehattan, joins them and says she will start a Manehattan branch of the CMC. In Micro-Series Issue #7, a Greater Equestrian Mimicker (Globulus Improbulus) to whom Scootaloo gives the name "Imp" joins them but is later taken back home. In Friends Forever Issue #2, the Crusaders accept Discord as an honorary member. The exploits of the Cutie Mark Crusaders are featured in several episodes in the series.
Depiction in the series
FoundingAlthough the three fillies only introduce themselves to each other in Call of the Cutie, the three make an appearance together in Friendship is Magic, part 1 huddling under a table in fear of Nightmare Moon. According to a layout artist, the scene was originally story boarded with Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle, but he was sent different characters for the shot. The artist assumed the different characters were sent by mistake, and used the Cutie Mark Crusaders instead. The three fillies meet at Diamond Tiara's cute-ceañera and form a bond, as all three don't have their cutie marks yet. Sweetie Belle suggests they found a "secret society". They each propose a name for it and Apple Bloom's suggestion–Cutie Mark Crusaders–is approved by everyone. The term Crusade refers to any military expedition undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th to the 13th century to reclaim the Levant, though it is commonly used as a metaphor meaning a vigorous movement for or against something.
DevelopmentThe society is not kept a secret, as the Crusaders later come to sing about it at a talent contest and often shout out the name of their group. The club's purpose is to "work together to find out who we are, and what we're supposed to be", and the Crusaders are very often, if not always, seen engaging in activities in pursuit of their cutie marks.
In The Show Stoppers, Applejack passed on her old clubhouse for the Crusaders to use. Initially the clubhouse is dilapidated, but Apple Bloom fully repairs it and the clubhouse becomes their headquarters.
The initiation speech, written by Scootaloo and read out in One Bad Apple by Sweetie Belle, is long and repetitive to the point where Scootaloo herself interrupts it and makes a note to revise it.
- Sweetie Belle: [reading] We, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, elect Babs Seed to join us as a sister, friend, [pronouncing wrong] confidante, ally, bossom buddy, gal pal, compadre, chum of chums...
- Scootaloo: [clears throat]
- Sweetie Belle: Well you wrote this.
- Scootaloo: Oh, uh, yeah...
- Sweetie Belle: [reading] Homegirl... Amiga... blah blah blah blah blah. Oh, yes, here. ...and fellow Cutie Mark Crusader! You are solemnly sworn in, here this day, in witness of your fellow sisters, friends, confidantes... bossom buddies... compadres...
- Scootaloo: Congratulations! [quickly, under her breath] Gotta remember to revise that.
ActivitiesThe Crusaders pursue various activities to discover their special talents. They briefly try carpentry and chicken-herding in Stare Master, and feature in a montage of pig farming, taffy making, hairdressing, mind-reading, mountain climbing, and underwater exploring in The Show Stoppers. Right after the montage, the three make a mess in Twilight's library in pursuit of a librarian cutie mark. Twilight enters with Cheerilee, who suggests the Crusaders appear in a talent show. The fillies excitedly suggest juggling, acting, magic tricks, square dancing, tightrope-walking, and tiger-taming, but Twilight advises them to try things they're already good at. They concur, but throughout the series they seem oblivious to their innate talents. The Crusaders' insistence on pursuing different activities seems to come from Rainbow Dash in Call of the Cutie, who suggests "[trying] as many things as possible as quickly as possible", however this view is not shared by Applejack, Cheerilee, or Twilight.
In One Bad Apple, the Crusaders build two floats for the Summer Harvest Festival (the first being destroyed by Babs Seed). The first is designed to look like a pumpkin, the second a golden apple. They build these in one of Sweet Apple Acres' barns. Similarly, for the Summer Wrap-Up Festival in comic issues #9 and #10, they construct a firework catapult, which over the course of the story misfires a few times, burning down the craft tent, destroying the hardware store, destroying the gazebo at Sweet Apple Acres, and giving Fleetfoot a concussion. According to Big McIntosh's scrapbook at the end of issue #10, they won the 'Most Destructive' award for this.
|Joint activities the Crusaders have attempted (and failed at) or mentioned|
One additional exchange from Stare Master has Apple Bloom and Scootaloo considering whether they could get their cutie marks in arguing. Another additional exchange from The Cutie Pox has Scootaloo joking about whether or not she could get her cutie mark in demolition.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders' clubhouse, formerly owned by Applejack, is located in a "secluded, private part" of Sweet Apple Acres. Since its first appearance in The Show Stoppers, the clubhouse has been seen in many episodes and used for different purposes, with furniture and equipment being added to suit the Crusaders' needs. It has a wide open space, large enough to practice dance moves in (The Show Stoppers), fit several ponies (The Mysterious Mare Do Well), and create large arts and crafts (Hearts and Hooves Day). It has multiple floors, joined by a staircase, and in some episodes an additional building higher up in its tree, connected via an outside ramp. While normally only occupied by the Crusaders, Scootaloo has previously used it to host the "Rainbow Dash Fan Club" in The Mysterious Mare Do Well, and in One Bad Apple, it was briefly occupied by Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, and Babs Seed but was reclaimed by the end of the episode. Things seen and used in the clubhouse are:
- Map of Ponyville: Scootaloo draws a basic map of Ponyville in The Show Stoppers, and it later appears pinned to the clubhouse wall. By the end of the episode, all of the key locations in it have been crossed out.
- Craft materials: In later episodes, pots containing paintbrushes and pencils can be seen on the clubhouse's windowsill.
- Posters: At least two posters of Rainbow Dash appear in the clubhouse in a couple of episodes, along with a poster of "Noi", wearing reporter getup, in Ponyville Confidential.
- Telescope: On the upper level or in the upper building of the clubhouse, the Crusaders have a telescope. They use it in Family Appreciation Day to spot the fourth sign of the zap apples.
- Great idea spot: A target painted on the floor directly below the lamp inside the clubhouse. While first used without a target in Family Appreciation Day, when Scootaloo leaps up into the air and hits her head on the lamp, turning it on, by the time of One Bad Apple, the Crusaders have turned it into a feature of the clubhouse (requiring a second pony to turn the lamp on when necessary).
- Podium: Used by Scootaloo during The Mysterious Mare Do Well for the "Rainbow Dash Fan Club" meeting, and again by Sweetie Belle during Babs Seed's initiation into the Crusaders in One Bad Apple.
- Drums: Used by Scootaloo during Babs Seed's initiation.
- Eating spot: Used by the three Cutie Mark Crusaders while they were trying to persuade Babs Seed to join the Cutie Mark Crusaders earlier on.
- Apple Bloom: Whoa! Hi, Scootaloo! Back already? You're amazin' on that scooter.
- Scootaloo: Thanks! Wow, Apple Bloom. You did all of this?
- Apple Bloom: Yep! I've fixed the broken shutters, sanded off the splinters, rebuilt the roof, painted...
- Scootaloo: That's so cool. What's Sweetie Belle up to?
- Sweetie Belle: [humming a song]
- Apple Bloom: There you are, Sweetie Belle! See? I told you we could find her by followin' her totally awesome voice.
The Crusaders demonstrate their talents very clearly in The Show Stoppers. Apple Bloom quickly and masterfully repairs the broken-down tree house that Applejack passes on to the Crusaders (construction), Sweetie Belle effortlessly composes rhymes and music for their "theme song" (singing), and Scootaloo performs spectacular maneuvers on her scooter (scooting). Later, Apple Bloom asks Sweetie Belle to be the singer in their act, but she opts for making the costumes and scenery; she asks Scootaloo to do the choreography, but she opts for singing; and Apple Bloom herself is left with the choreography. They each find their chosen task difficult, and get help from the other Crusader who is skilled at the task.Sweetie Belle tries her hand at sewing in Stare Master. She makes capes for the Crusaders, complete with a patch of the club's emblem. However the results are somewhat patchy and ragged. In the same episode, she breaks into song in a very theatrical and professional manner. In Friendship is Magic, part 1, when Twilight and Spike are looking for their copy of Predictions and Prophecies, one of the books Twilight gets out has an emblem similar to the Crusaders' emblem.
Near the end of The Show Stoppers, Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash visit the Crusaders backstage. While Applejack and Rarity are Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle's older sisters, respectively, Rainbow Dash is not related to Scootaloo. However, Scootaloo idolizes and looks up to her, as seen in The Cutie Mark Chronicles.
Babs Seed's talent has not yet been shown.
In the cold open of The Return of Harmony Part 1, they argue over what the "statue" of Discord represents. Apple Bloom says it represents confusion, Sweetie Belle says it represents evil, and Scootaloo says it represents chaos. After a brief scrap between the Crusaders, Cheerilee assigns them to each write an essay explaining the meaning of "discord".
They are the initial victims of Twilight Sparkle's shenanigans in Lesson Zero when she gives them a doll in hopes that they will fight over it, allowing her to stop them and get in her friendship report on time. She casts a "want it need it" spell on the doll and shows it to the girls. The girls' pupils eyes turn to hearts and they begin fighting over it. Twilight, unable to break up the fight, gets Big McIntosh to take the doll away from them, but the spell affects him too, and subsequently causes dozens of ponies to fight over the doll. Princess Celestia eventually undoes the spell.
They make brief appearances in Luna Eclipsed, dressed up as the three classic Universal Studios horror movie monsters: Sweetie Belle as Dracula, Scootaloo as the Wolf Man, and Apple Bloom is the Bride of Frankenstein rather than the monster.In Hearts and Hooves Day, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are trying to find a stallion in Ponyville that would be perfect for their teacher, Cheerilee, for Hearts and Hooves Day. They are also featured in the song The Perfect Stallion in this episode, where they choose Big McIntosh as Cheerilee's "special somepony".
In Ponyville Confidential, the Cutie Mark Crusaders become reporters for their school newspaper, under the group name, "Gabby Gums." They print several scandalous stories in a gossip column, and the column is initially well received by the towns' citizens. However, when articles about the Crusaders' friends are published, their friends feel extremely hurt. Word gets out that "Gabby Gums" is none other than the three fillies, and they are shunned by the town and their friends. The Crusaders apologize to the town in an open letter and regain their friends' trust.appear together in One Bad Apple. They invite Apple Bloom's cousin Babs Seed to join them, but she refuses and instead bullies them. The Crusaders sing about her as they worry. Later on in the episode, Applejack explains to the Crusaders that Babs Seed was bullied back in Manehattan, when the CMC passed her their booby-trapped golden apple float. After the following events, (CMC tries to save Babs Seed, before she fell into the mud, they manage to push her out but fall into the mud themselves) she apologizes and joins the Crusaders, promising to found the Manehattan branch of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. In Apple Family Reunion Babs Seed mentions to Apple Bloom that there are two other blank flanks at her new school who might be interested in joining the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
The Ponyville Cutie Mark Crusaders enter as a group into a competition to represent their town as flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Equestria Games in Flight to the Finish. Despite a rough patch when Diamond Tiara plays on Scootaloo's insecurities concerning her inability to fly, the group end up being selected to represent their hometown after a special audition in The Crystal Empire. Ms. Harshwhinny tells the Crusaders that it was the most spectacular routine she had ever seen.
In the episode Twilight Time, the trio are being taught by Twilight Sparkle; Apple Bloom in potion-making, Scootaloo in mechanics, and Sweetie Belle in magic. Though they use their proximity to Twilight to boost their popularity, and as a consequence fail to practice, by the end of the episode they are all able to display these abilities to a degree of competence.
Depiction in films
Equestria GirlsIn My Little Pony Equestria Girls, human counterparts of the Cutie Mark Crusaders pass by Twilight and Spike at Canterlot High, surprising them. They next appear in the library, dancing to their pony versions' cutie mark song (that they've uploaded to a video sharing site) on a computer station, but a human resembling Cheerilee scolds them and confiscates the computer amp. They go to do something comical, inspired by an insulting comment to their video and ignore a warning from Twilight as they pass her. This is a nod to The Show Stoppers where their pony counterparts got the same idea after the talent show. They next appear at the Fall Formal dance. They are part of the students hypnotized by the demonic Sunset Shimmer (although offscreen and evidenced when they appear being one of the students released from the trance). As the dance resumes, the human Scootaloo is picked up by the human Rainbow Dash (with wings that appeared during the battle with Sunset Shimmer), and Rainbow Dash flies her through the gym.
Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
DJ Pon-3 passes by the Crusaders while listening to her music.
Depiction in the comics
In the first arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are kidnapped by Queen Chrysalis and imprisoned in the changeling kingdom. During their imprisonment, the fillies quickly grate on Chrysalis' nerves.
In the Nightmare Rarity story arc, the Crusaders take part in the battle against Nightmare Rarity and the Nightmare Forces.
In Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair, the Crusaders try getting their cutie marks in pyrotechnics but end up destroying several buildings in Ponyville with their fireworks displays.
In My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy, pirate versions of the Crusaders appear in a tavern singing.
In My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #7, the Crusaders find and befriend a greater Equestrian mimicker and name her Imp. The four have fun together, but when their bickering nearly creates a rift between them, the Crusaders return Imp to where they found her.
In My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #2, the Crusaders work with Discord, who makes a reality bubble for them and creates various scenarii in which they might earn their cutie marks. When Discord's reality bubble nearly covers all of Ponyville, the Crusaders put a stop to it. They thank Discord for his efforts and make him an honorary Cutie Mark Crusader.
Other depictionsTwo toy sets focus on the three Cutie Mark Crusaders. The set Pony School Pals & Cheerilee features them and Cheerilee similarly to The Show Stoppers, with the description "Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo really want to earn their cutie marks, and they're not afraid of getting on stage to perform at the school talent show! Their teacher, Cheerilee, is there to cheer them on!" The Pony Wedding set Wedding Flower Fillies features them similarly to their appearance in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, with the description "Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo have never been to a wedding before. They can’t wait to dress up and wear flowers in their hair!"
Apple Blooms großes Abenteuer, one of the comics in the German magazine, is about the first meetup of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, evidently taking place at some point after the club's founding. In the comic, the three fillies go to the lake and subsequently try riding a banana boat towed by four Pegasus ponies. Afterward, the Crusaders get muddy, and the comic ends with the three of them taking a bath together as Applejack, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle watch. The Crusaders also appear on a poster in the same issue, as well as on the issue's cover. In Einfach rufus, a comic in another issue of the same magazine, a portrait of the three Crusaders is shown on the wall of Sweetie Belle's room.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders are shown together in My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Discover the Difference, appearing in the Call of the Cutie and The Show Stoppers images. All three of the Crusaders are available characters in the Hasbro version of Castle Creator, the Valentine's Day version of Card Creator, and both versions of Twilight Sparkle's Royal Invitation Designer.A promotional image from a page on the MiniMini+ website and from the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Facebook page shows the Cutie Mark Crusaders along with seven other characters from the show, and a promotional image from Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page shows the trio dressed in their flower filly outfits from A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2. On October 27, 2012, The Hub's website began offering a PDF file containing seven recipes, each themed to either Littlest Pet Shop or My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, with accompanying illustrations. The "Cutie Mark Crusaders Chocolate Popcorn" recipe's accompanying illustration depicts the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom wearing a chef's hat as in Call of the Cutie. Prior to a revision in early November 2012, a different illustration was used depicting grown-up versions of the Cutie Mark Crusaders with cutie marks: Apple Bloom's being an apple heart, Scootaloo's being the same butterfly as her G3/G3.5 counterpart's, and Sweetie Belle's being the same heart as her G3/G3.5 counterpart's. This illustration was drawn by show layout artist Kat Stenson prior to her work on the show.
- Apple Bloom image gallery
- Scootaloo image gallery
- Sweetie Belle image gallery
- Babs Seed image gallery
- Creatures image gallery
- ↑ Chris Sims (2013-08-19). The Cutie Mark Crusaders Meddle With Forces They Do Not Understand (Again) In ‘My Little Pony Micro-Series’ #7. ComicsAlliance. Retrieved on 2013 August 19.
- ↑ FiM layout artist discussing the Cutie Mark Crusaders appearing together in the first episode, 2011-07-28
- ↑ Dictionary.com definition of "crusade". Retrieved on 2012 April 2.
- ↑ Lauren Faust Comment on dA - Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo aren't related. Retrieved on 2011 July 31.
- ↑ William Anderson (2012-07-19). MLP FIM Poster. Retrieved on 2012 July 19.
- ↑ LPS-PPP-recipe-1 (2012-11-02). Retrieved on 2012 November 5.
- ↑ Hub Media Using Fanart. Equestria Daily (2012-10-27). Retrieved on 2012 November 5.
- ↑ Kat Stenson (2011-02-09). Cutie Mark Crusaders. Retrieved on 2012 October 28.