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Fall Weather Friends

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Fall Weather Friends
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Season №: 1
Season episode №: 13
Overall episode №: 13
Original airdate: January 28, 2011
Written by: Amy Keating Rogers
Storyboard: Andy Bartlett & Francisco Avalos[1]
See also
transcriptgalleryallusions
animation errorsstatisticsspeculation
Episode guide
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Call of the Cutie
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Fall Weather Friends is the thirteenth episode of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, season one. In this episode, Applejack and Rainbow Dash's sportsmanship are put to the test as they face off in an Iron Pony Competition to see who the better athlete is. The title is a play on fair weather friends, which refers to people who are only friends when it is convenient (when weather is fair) and will abandon their friends at times of strife.

Summary

Iron Pony competition

Main article: Iron Pony competition
File:Rainbow Dash and Applejack S01E13.png
The episode begins at Sweet Apple Acres during a routine game of horseshoes. Applejack bests Rainbow Dash by a ringer (when the inside of a horseshoe spins around the pin). While the farm pony assures her that it was all in good fun, the Pegasus quietly expresses her dismay, saying she hates to lose. She decides to challenge her friend to an Iron Pony Competition, a set of events where their athletic skills are put to the test. Twilight Sparkle is picked as the judge of the casual competition while Spike acts as announcer and Fluttershy with score tally.

In the first event, the Barrel Lead, Applejack makes it through by 22 seconds (including a 5-second penalty for bumping into one of the barrels); Rainbow Dash is able to brush through flawlessly by 18 seconds, earning one point. In the Strength Test, Rainbow Dash hits the bell at the top; however, Applejack completely obliterates it, earning her the victory point. She kicks the tree Dash is sitting underneath, and apples fall on Dash's head to the tune of Shave and a Haircut. Spike ends up being a "volunteer" for Bronco Buck and Calf Roping, in which Rainbow Dash and Applejack respectively win each. Halfway through the competition, both ponies are tied 5-5, and most of Ponyville has eventually joined in spectating the two mares.

File:Rainbow Dash using her wings to win at Tug of War S01E13.png
Applejack is willing to remain a good sport, but that does not last long. Refusing to lose, Rainbow Dash starts winning more events using her Pegasus wings to her advantage. She hovers during a push-up event to remain in the air, hovers again in the Long Jump to gain a few more inches, and carries a group of chicks on them in a race across the mud. In the last event, a game of Tug-o-War, Rainbow Dash flies up and tricks a persistent Applejack into letting go of the rope, falling into the mud below. With a staggering 15-5, Rainbow Dash "won" the competition. Applejack is unimpressed, and calls out her friend for cheating via her wings. Rainbow Dash brings up the fact that she never said not to use her wings, but Applejack responds that she shouldn't have to. It is at this point that the farm pony challenges her to take part in the annual Running of the Leaves, under the condition that she does not use her wings at anytime. Eager to taste victory again, the Pegasus accepts the terms, and a rivalry is formed.

The Running of the Leaves

The Running of the Leaves start line S01E13

Ready... Steady...

After Applejack and Rainbow Dash agree to race in the Running of the Leaves, the scene cuts to black and fades to Twilight and Spike walking to the race. Spike mentions he wants to be the race's announcer, but the frame pans to Pinkie Pie in a hot-air balloon, who already took the role of announcer. She explains that the competition is one of Ponyville's traditions, which purpose is shaking the leaves off the trees.

Competitors

File:Golden Harvest 00 S1E13.jpg
Several numbered competitors feature in the episode:

At the starting line

Twilight Rainbow and Applejack getting ready S1E13

Twilight joins the race, much to Applejack's and Rainbow Dash's amusement.

Pinkie Pie invites Spike to join her in commentating for the event. As all the racers gathered, Applejack makes sure Rainbow Dash kept good on her promise, by tying her wings up like a "trussed turkey". To their surprise and amusement, Twilight Sparkle decides to join in the festivities, giving them the opportunity to mock their "egghead" friend, especially considering she had never been in a race before, but instead read on the subject.

The race begins

File:Applejack hits RD S01E13.png
The marathon is soon underway and Rainbow Dash and Applejack are already out in front, determined to win once and for all. Although she struggles, Rainbow Dash begins to pick up the pace. They are neck and neck before Applejack tripped over a rock, accusing her rival of doing the tripping. With the exception of Twilight Sparkle, who is casually strolling behind and enjoying the scenery, the rest of the ponies rush past her. The farm pony manages to make it back in front later, eventually passing Rainbow Dash once more. This time, the grounded Pegasus trips over a stump and falls second-to-last next to Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle reminds Rainbow Dash that this is just a game. Too stubborn to believe her apple-bucking friend would never stoop to such acts, Rainbow Dash decides to play dirty. Pinkie Pie and Spike still narrate from above, and Pinkie goes on a tangent about hotdog eating contests. She says she enjoys hotdogs with mustard herself–in Over a Barrel, Pinkie says the ponies' diet is completely vegetarian.

Catching up to Applejack, the two use the environment of Whitetail Wood to their advantage, from branches, to bees, to tree syrup. Along the way, Rainbow Dash flips an arrow sign, which points Applejack to dead-end up a nearby mountain. All the racers after Applejack continue on the original path and run past Rainbow Dash while she leans on the sign laughing. When Twilight stops by, she mentions to Dash that all the other racers just ran past her. Dash exclaims "horse apples!" and gets back in the race. The exclamation is similar to "road apples", which means dung. Meanwhile Applejack reaches a dead end and realizes Dash tricked her, and asks Pinkie Pie and Spike to give her a lift.

Rainbow Dash & Applejack surprised S1E13

As if both tying for LAST wasn't embarrassing enough, Twilight "The Egghead" Sparkle had beaten Rainbow Dash and Applejack by placing 5th.

As they approach the home stretch, the farm pony and Pegasus fight harder than before to finish first. Applejack accidentally unties Rainbow Dash's ropes, allowing her to break her promise at the last second and fly towards the end. Applejack intercepts her before they both cross the finish line at the same time, causing them to argue who finished first. To their shock however, their constant clash had caused them to fall behind and tie for last place. Even more shocking is that Twilight Sparkle was ahead of them. She explains that she had paced herself throughout the race, before going all-out when most of the racers were worn out. She only finished in 5th place, but she did technically beat the two rivals who had made fun of her at the start. Overall, Twilight thinks this is a good effort for a first-time racer.

Epilogue

As Rainbow Dash and Applejack feel sorry for their own embarrassingly poor sportsmanship, they meet with Princess Celestia, who was watching the entire event as Fall was one of her favorite seasons. She forgives them for their antics, justifying the fact that anybody can get swept up in the competitive spirit, but also points out that they missed some of the leaf-laden trees because of it. Realizing that friendship is more important than any competition, the two last place racers run off together to finish with the rest of the trees.

Quotes

Rainbow Dash: Looks like this pegasus can pitch better than the workhorse!
Applejack: You're a mighty good athlete... I'm just better.
Twilight Sparkle: So you two are doing what-now?
Applejack: An Iron--
Rainbow Dash: Iron Pony competition.
Applejack: See, we've set up a bunch of events to decide which one of us is--
Rainbow Dash: The most athletic pony ever! [grunt]
Twilight Sparkle: And I'm here to...?
Rainbow Dash: [grunt] I don't know. Why is she here?
Applejack: To be our judge and keep score.
Rainbow Dash: Ready for another Pony Ride?
Spike: No!
Twilight Sparkle: Go!
Twilight Sparkle: Rainbow Dash wins the Bronco Buck!
Spike: And I lose!
Rainbow Dash: What?! You're not an athlete, you're a... well... you're an egghead.
Twilight Sparkle: I am not an egghead! I am well-read.
Rainbow Dash : Egghead...
Applejack: [snickers] But have you ever run a race?
Twilight Sparkle: Well, no. But I do know a lot about running.
Rainbow Dash: And you know this from...
Twilight Sparkle: Books. I read several on the subject.
Rainbow Dash: What did you read... the Egghead's Guide to Running? Did you stretch up your... eye muscles to warm up? HA HA HA HA! Get it? "Eye muscles"!
Pinkie Pie: Welcome to the official coverage of the Running of the Leaves! You know, Spike, despite its name, the leaves don't do any of the actual running. No, that's left to my little ponies.
Spike: Why... yes, Pinkie! It's the running of the ponies that causes the leaves to fall.
Pinkie Pie: Urgh... Those lazy, lazy leaves.
Spike: You know Pinkie, these two ponies have a bit of a grudge match they're trying to settle, trying to prove who's the most athletic.
Pinkie Pie: Yes, and "grudge" rhymes with "fudge".
Spike: Yes it... does? Wha?
Pinkie Pie: And I like fudge, but if I eat too much fudge I get a pudge and then I can't budge.
Spike: So, no fudge?
Pinkie Pie: No thanks, I had a big breakfast.
Applejack: Not so easy without wings, is it?
Rainbow Dash : Come on, Rainbow. Show 'em a little "dash"!
Spike: I don't believe it! After a huge setback, Applejack is back at the front of the pack!
Pinkie Pie: She's the head of the pack, all right. The pick of the litter! The CAT'S PAJAMAS! Oh, wait! Why would Applejack take some poor kitty's PJs? That's not very sporting of her.
Spike: Oookay... Let's get back to the race.
Twilight Sparkle: Remember, Rainbow. This is just a game.
Rainbow Dash : Yes. But the rules have changed. And two can play at that game.
Spike: And Spike. Looks like Rainbow is doing her best to catch up.
Pinkie Pie: I'm not sure how ketchup is going to help at this contest. Now, in a hot dog eating contest it can make them dogs nice and slippery. But personally, I prefer mustard. How about you, Spike?
Spike: Uh... I like... pickles?
Pinkie Pie: Aaand it looks like Applejack has found herself in quite a 'pickle' as Rainbow overtakes her.
Twilight Sparkle: Oh my, Whitetail Wood is just lovely. Hey, Rainbow, shouldn't you be up ahead?
Rainbow Dash: [chuckling] I'm sure I'll win now.
Twilight Sparkle: Except that the other racers just passed you.
Rainbow Dash: Oh horse apples... See ya!
Pinkie Pie: I must say, Spike, that this has been the most interesting Running of the Leaves in Equestria history!
Spike : With the most interesting announcing...
Rainbow Dash: Look, ma, no wings.
Twilight Sparkle: Forgive me, girls. I know I'm not an athlete, but shouldn't the Running of the Leaves actually involve running?
Rainbow Dash: You know, I think Twilight's right.
Applejack: You do?
Rainbow Dash: Yeah! If you wanna beat me, you better... RUUUN!
Rainbow Dash: I don't believe it. Twilight beat us!

Gallery

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Fall Weather Friends image gallery

References

  1. Raven Molisee's deviantART journal (2012-02-23). Retrieved on 2012 February 23.

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