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List of allusions

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The following is a list of allusions to other My Little Pony generations, works of fiction, people, places, events, and other cultural touchstones in the series My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. Entries on this page must follow the similarity guidelines.


Development

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic incorporates elements of classic fantasy, fairy tales, and mythology. Among the works mentioned by Lauren Faust as inspiration for the show are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Transformers, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Faust saw the inclusion of European and Greek mythologies as obvious, since the characters, unicorns and Pegasi, themselves draw from mythology.[1]

Multiple works

Character names and designs

Other names, titles, and design

Mythology

  • Lauren Faust and Rob Renzetti encouraged the writers to infuse mythology into the series.[4]
  • The show features dragons, griffons, unicorns, and Pegasi in multiple episodes, and several other mythological creatures detailed in individual episode sections below, like manticore, windigo, Hydra, cockatrice, a minotaur, and others.

Re-use of assets

Audio

Animation

Other

  • Dr. Hooves' descriptions on Enterplay's Mayor Mare & Time Turner trading card, in Gameloft's mobile game, and for Gaia Online's promotional item of him say, to varying effect, that he keeps Ponyville's clocks in sync, sets the hourglass for cider competitions, and takes care of all things "timey-wimey."[6] The phrase "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff" originates from the Doctor Who episode Blink. In the season five episode Slice of Life and the Korean broadcast of the season one episode Call of the Cutie, Dr. Hooves speaks the phrase "Allons-y!" a signature saying of his live-action counterpart, the 10th Doctor.

Episodes

Season one

Main article: List of allusions/Season one

Season two

Main article: List of allusions/Season two

Season three

Main article: List of allusions/Season three

Season four

Main article: List of allusions/Season four

Season five

The Cutie Map - Part 1

  • Pinkie's line, "Something is rotten in...whatever the name of this village is", is a play on the line "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" from Hamlet.
  • Starlight's rallying call "no pony left behind" in the song In Our Town mirrors the negative effects of the controversial No Child Left Behind Act that requires everyone meets a minimum goal but does not set higher standards for gifted individuals.
  • Twilight references Admiral Ackbar's line "It's a trap!" from the 1983 film Return of the Jedi.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​

The Cutie Map - Part 2

  • The staff shattering the cutie mark wall is a reference to the famous "1984" advertisement for Apple's Macintosh home computer.

Castle Sweet Castle

  • The title is a play on the phrase "home sweet home".

Bloom & Gloom

  • The title is play on the phrase "doom and gloom".
  • The Pest Control Pony makes his entrance making breathing sounds similar to those of Darth Vader from the Star Wars original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI).
  • The pest control equipment and twittermite-catching scene are designed like the ghost-catching equipment in Ghostbusters.
  • When Apple Bloom sees that the twittermites have escaped, a snippet of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" can be heard.
  • Scootaloo's daredevil outfit in her dream is similar to those made famous by the late American daredevil Evel Knievel.

Tanks for the Memories

Appleoosa's Most Wanted

  • The title is a play on the name of the former Fox/Lifetime reality series America's Most Wanted.
  • Trouble Shoes' voice was influenced by both Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh and Karl Childers from the 1996 film Sling Blade.[8]
  • The mudslide scene is an allusion to a similar scene from the 1984 action-adventure film Romancing the Stone.[9]
  • Sheriff Silverstar's squinting and the rodeo clown playing the harmonica alludes to several common clichés seen in the Western genre.​[​specify​]​

Make New Friends but Keep Discord

  • The name "Tree Hugger" is a term commonly used, sometimes derogatorily, to refer to environmentalists and nature conversationalists.
  • The Smooze is based off of the Generation 1 villain of the same name.
  • The title is a play on the phrase "make new friends but keep the old."
  • Discord briefly appears in a cardboard box with a red exclamation point over it—a reference to Konami's Metal Gear video game franchise.
  • The Smooze and Discord wear Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas's tuxedo and top hats from the 1994 comedy film Dumb and Dumber.
  • The symbol on Discord's cane is the Symbol of Chaos from Michael Morecock's Eternal Champion series of novels.
  • During his comedy routine, Discord imitates the comedy stylings of Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield and Gallagher.
    • Discord's first joke is a parody of the old vaudeville standby, "I just flew in from [insert location here], and boy, are my arms tired!"
    • Another one of Discord's jokes also references Jeff Foxworthy's "you might be a redneck" one-liners, but other characters' dialogue and the episode's musical score are laid over it.[10]
  • The scene in which a young colt sees a glowing door is a reference to the 1980 psychological horror film The Shining. The young colt himself resembles Danny Torrence.
  • Discord announces where Tree Hugger is going in the style of The Price is Right, including holding former host Bob Barker's microphone.
  • One of the images Discord shows is a play on Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory.
  • Another one of the images Discord shows is a ponified version of Grant Wood's American Gothic.

The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone

  • Arimaspi is named after a race of one-eyed people in Greek mythology who fought with griffons over their gold.
  • Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie pass by two griffons playing a game reminiscent of Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Gilda's grandfather Gruff seem to be based on Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls, sporting the same elder appearance, wearing a red fez and gold-digging mannerisms.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​
  • The manner in which Rainbow and Gilda greet each other is very similar to the way Jerry Seinfeld and Newman meet on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​
  • The choice Gilda makes between saving Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash and recovering the Idol of Boreas is reminiscent of Indiana Jones' choice between escaping the Temple of the Sun and claiming the Holy Grail in the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Slice of Life

  • There are dozens of explicit references to Doctor Who in this episode when it comes to the character of Dr. Hooves in this episode.
    • First and foremost, Dr. Hooves has an interest in time travel in reference to the Doctor's role as a Time Lord.
    • His interest in creating gadgets mirrors the third incarnation, as portrayed by Jon Pertwee.
    • He wears a long multicolored scarf as a reference to the fourth incarnation, as portrayed by Tom Baker.
    • He says, "Allons-y!" which was the catchphrase of the tenth incarnation, as portrayed by David Tennant.
    • He is also seen next to Rose, which was the name of the ninth and tenth doctor's companion.
  • There are two references to the 1998 film The Big Lebowski.
    • Jeff Letrotski's cutie mark is a rug, specifically the scene where someone urinates on The Dude's rug. Walter's cutie mark is a briefcase, alluding to the film's ransom plot.
    • During the pan shot of the wedding guests during the Mayor's speech, Jeff Letrotski and Walter are visible in the third row on the right side. Donny is apparently absent, but Walter is holding a red coffee can with a blue lid. This alludes to the scene where Donny dies of a heart attack and Walter carries his ashes in a similar-looking coffee can.
  • Once again, the flower ponies say, "The horror! The horror!", which is a line from the novel Heart of Darkness, which was adapted into Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 war epic Apocalypse Now.
  • The music Octavia Melody plays on her cello is reminiscent of the 1842 tune "Wedding March" by German composer Felix Mendelssohn.
  • The scene in which DJ-Pon-3 and Octavia Melody race through Ponyville on a mobile DJ station and pick up several bystanders is based on a similar sequence in the Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil episode "Runaway Recital", which M.A. Larson also wrote.[11]
    • During this scene, DJ Pon-3's mobile DJ station jumps over a toy shark for a brief second. This is a reference to the phrase "jumping the shark", which refers to the point where a piece of popular culture, usually a TV series, declines in quality and gives in to programming gimmicks so much that it becomes unwatchable. The phrase originated from the Happy Days episode "Hollywood: Part 3" wherein Fonzie literally jumps over a shark whilst waterskiing with his leather jacket on.

Princess Spike

Party Pooped

  • Prince Rutherford says, "Yaks smash!", which is a parody of the Incredible Hulk's catchphrase, "Hulk smash!"
  • Pinkie Pie briefly appears in photographs with a band resembling the Beatles. In one of the photographs, Pinkie and the band recreate the Fab Four's American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. In another, Pinkie and the band are seen walking across a street, mimicking the album cover for the Beatles' Abbey Road. In yet another, they recreate the album cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Amending Fences

  • The title is a play on the term "mending fences".
  • Twilight mentions studying using the Hayscartes method. This refers to the name of the philosopher Rene Descartes.
    • In addtion, Moon Dancer mentions having a copy of Hayscartes' Treatise on Ponies, a reference to Descartes' Treaties of Man.
  • The glasses Minuette wears matches those of the logo of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant chain.
  • Pinkie Pie sitting backwards on Twilight while she is flying is reminiscent of the famous scene from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove where Major T.J. Kong (played by Slim Pickens) rides a falling nuclear bomb.
  • The bookseller pony at Moon Dancer's party bears a resemblance to the character Honey Lemon from Disney's 2014 animated superhero film Big Hero 6.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​

Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?

  • The title is a play on the 1968 science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? written by Philip K. Dick.
  • In Rainbow Dash's nightmare, the sunflowers sing to the tune of the children's song "This Old Man".
  • Big McIntosh's transformation into an Alicorn is reminiscent of the transformation sequences from the 1992 anime series Sailor Moon, complete with sound-alike music.
  • Lyra and Sweetie Drops' fused dream form, being conjoined at the waist, is a reference to the characters Cat and Dog from the 1998 Nickelodeon cartoon series CatDog.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​

Made in Manehattan

The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows

  • The episode title is modeled after the nondescript episode titles of the 1994 sitcom Friends.

Films

My Little Pony Equestria Girls

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

  • The Dazzlings were inspired by the sirens from Greek mythology.
  • The video game controllers that Applejack and Rainbow Dash play with resemble those of the now defunct Nintendo GameCube system.
  • One of the outfits Rarity models during the rehearsal is similar to the suits the Beatles wore on the cover of their 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, an idea further suggested by Rarity calling it "old-fashioned."
  • During the Battle of the Bands, Snails goes by the stage name "DJ Snazzy Snails," similar to DJ Jazzy Jeff.
  • After Pinkie catches Trixie hiding, Trixie escapes leaving some hairpins behind much like Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes.
  • The arena where the final battle takes place looks similar to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, with a saddle replacing the dome.
  • The fight between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms near the finale is similar to the scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in which Pilgrim's band faces off against the Katayanagi twins.

Rainbow Rocks animated shorts

Prequel

Music to My Ears

Guitar Centered

Hamstocalypse Now

  • The title is a play on the title of the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now.
  • Fluttershy leading the hamsters into the habitat is an allusion to the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
  • Rarity names one of the hamsters Emilia Furhart, a reference to famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

Pinkie on the One

  • Pinkie's drumming style is reminiscent of that of Animal from the Muppets.

Player Piano

A Case for the Bass

Shake your Tail!

  • The Mane 6's facial makeup displaying their cutie marks resembles the band KISS' facial makeup.
  • Granny Smith, "Blueberry Cake," and "Rose Heart" do Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" dance.

Perfect Day for Fun

  • In a photo showing Twilight, Pinkie Pie and Rarity having fun on the carousel, Pinkie Pie is shown riding a carousel horse version of herself.

Encore

My Past is Not Today

  • The shot of Sunset letting her leather jacket blow away in the wind is similar to the shot of Elsa letting her cape blow away in the wind in the 2013 film Frozen.

Friendship Through the Ages

  • Each of the Main Six's attire as well as their respective backdrop represents a different music period: Twilight Sparkle in the 1950s, Fluttershy in the 1960s, Rarity in the 1970s, Rainbow Dash in the 1980s, Applejack in the 1990s, and Pinkie Pie in the 2000s.
  • The background scenery shown during Rarity's verse is reminiscent of the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine.
  • Rainbow Dash smashes her guitar at the end of her verse, which was a trademark of Pete Townshend of The Who.
  • The scene of the Rainbooms singing together on a darkened background is a reference to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video.
  • The scene where Sunset Shimmer is singing while on a spinning record is a reference to the opening sequence of Happy Days.

Life is a Runway

  • The title of the animated short alludes to Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway."
  • When Rarity gives Cheerilee a new look, she has pigtails tied with green flowers, like her G3.5 look.
  • Once again, Rarity does Gene Kelly's lamppost dance from Singin' in the Rain.

Friendship Games animated shorts

All's Fair in Love & Friendship Games

  • The title is a parody of the proverb "All is fair in love and war," which is often attributed to John Lyly's Euphues.
  • One brief scene of Lyra and Sweetie Drops fighting parodies old-school fighting arcade games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.
    • Another scene is reminiscent of a fight scene in episode 3 of the 2013 anime television series Kill la Kill.

IDW comics

Main article: List of allusions/IDW comics

Advertising

Television

Billboards

  • Billboards in Los Angeles, California that promoted the show in June 2011 reference the film Bridesmaids. It shows the main cast against a brick wall in poses similar to the women in the poster of Bridesmaids, under the parody title Bridlemaids.
  • Billboards for season 2 show Pinkie Pie with her hooves pressed against a "snow screen" TV with the caption "They're baaack!" This references the 1982 supernatural horror movie Poltergeist, which has a poster where the little girl, Carol Anne Freeling, has her hands pressed against a "snow screen" TV and the tagline "They're here" and its 1986 sequel Poltergeist II: The Other Side, which has the tagline "They're back."

Newsprint

  • On January 8, 2012, a full page ad ran in the LA Times, referencing the opening to AMC's award-winning drama Mad Men. It shows Rainbow Dash in silhouette, wearing a suit, falling in front of pictures of the main cast, with the parody title, Mad Ponies.[16]

Merchandise

Chapter books

Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell

  • Chapter 1 makes mention of a place called San Franciscolt, a play on San Francisco, California.
  • Two books in Twilight's library are titled "The Princess Bridle," a reference to The Princess Bride, and "Purple Reign," a reference to the song Purple Rain.
  • A line by Pinkie Pie in chapter 6 mentions "Sparkle's Six," a reference to Ocean's Eleven. Alternatively, this could be a reference to the title characters referred to as the "Mane Six."
  • Rarity mentions a place called Mythica, Neigh York, a play on Ithaca, New York.
  • There are two allusions to the brony fandom: Twilight Sparkle calls Cadance her "pegasister-in-law," and Cadance says that her destiny was to lead other ponies with "True Love and Tolerance."​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​

Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party!

Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror

  • Pinkie Pie makes mention of "Canterlot Idol," a reference to reality television series American Idol.

Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare

  • A landmark in the new Daring Do book is called Mount Vehoovius, a play on Mount Vesuvius.
  • Applejack mentions a place called South Amareica, a clear play on South America.

Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity

  • Chapter 1 makes mention of a place called Neigh Mexicolt, a play on the U.S. state of New Mexico.
  • Rarity imagines herself as a fairytale character named Raponyzel, a play on Rapunzel.
  • In chapter 5, Charity mentions having studied abroad in Mare-is, Prance, a play on Paris, France.
  • In chapter 7, Charity mentions buying a sun hat from Neighcy's, a play on the Macy's chain of department stores.

The Journal of the Two Sisters

  • Granny Smith's entry begins, "Four cores and seven seeds ago..." a play on the famous opening words of the Gettysburg Address.

Applejack and the Honest-to-Goodness Switcheroo

  • Rarity mentions PegasUs Weekly, a reference to the magazine Us Weekly.
  • Two of the apples trees are named after people who work on the show. Steffan is named after orchestrator Steffan Andrews and Big Jim is named after director "Big" Jim Miller.
  • Pinkie Pie sings a ditty to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad."
  • Rainbow Dash mentions a Pegasus named "Darwing" after talking about "Survival of the Leafiest," a reference to British scientist Charles Darwin and his studies on evolution.
  • Pinkie Pie mentions a writer of one of Twilight's books named Cart Bacon, whose name is a reference to American astronomer, Carl Sagan.

Daring Do and the Marked Thief of Marapore

  • Marapore is a play on Mayapore from the Indiana Jones franchise.[17]
  • Two of the villages at the base of Mount Vehoovius are called Ponypeii, a reference to Pompeii, and Lusitano, a reference to the Lusitano breed of horse.

Daring Do and the Eternal Flower

  • The story shares numerous similarities with the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, such the main character's search for a missing family member, an ally that later turns out to be an enemy, and a priceless treasure being hidden in plain sight among various fake or misleading treasures.

Fluttershy and the Fine Furry Friends Fair

  • Flim and Flam introduce themselves as Farnum and Failey, a reference to Barnum and Bailey, two circus personalities who, along with Ringling Bros., created the famous circus, The Greatest Show on Earth.
  • One of the ponies thinks that Fluttershy, when dressed as a shepherd, is acting as Little Pony Peep, a reference to the nursery rhyme, Little Bo Peep.
  • Twilight mentions Trotland and Bales, parodies of Scotland and Wales.
  • Applejack's last line, "That'll do, Fluttershy. That'll do." is a reference to the line "That'll do, pig. That'll do." from the book The Sheep-Pig or Babe, the Gallant Pig as it is known in the United States, and its film adaptation, Babe.

Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves

  • The country of Monacolt is a reference to the country of Monaco.
  • The part where Celestia asks her students to tear up their essays is a reference to the late Robin Williams telling his students to tear out the introduction of their textbooks in the film Dead Poets Society.
  • Rainy Air says, "I like raindrops on roses. But that's more a favorite thing than a fun thing." This is a reference to a lyric from "My Favorite Things" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.

Discord and the Ponyville Players Dramarama

  • There are several parodies of Broadway musicals in this novel.
    • The Singing Stallion, the play that the Ponyville Players put on, is a parody of Meredith Willson's The Music Man.
      • The lead character of Professor Hayloft Shill is a parody of "Professor" Harold Hill, the role originated by Robert Preston.
      • The song "Fifty-Six Trombones" is a parody of this musical's showstopper, "Seventy-Six Trombones".
      • The role of Mare-ion Pear is a parody of the female lead, Marion "The Librarian" Paroo, as originated by Barbara Cook.
      • The song "Bubbles" is a parody of the Act I song "Ya Got Trouble".
    • Discord hopes to get the role of Captain Von Scrapp in Hinny of the Hills, a parody of Captain Von Trapp in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music.
    • He also hopes to get Pone Valpone in Les Miser Stables, a parody of Jean Valjean from Les Misérables.
    • He also hopes for Corny Cauliflower in Manespray, a parody of Corny Collins from Hairspray.
  • Cheerilee's audition song is "Fillies Just Want to Have Fun", a parody of Cyndi Lauper's hit song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".
  • Discord's audition song is "Singin' in the Chocolate Rain", a parody of the 1920's song "Singin' in the Rain", later made famous by Gene Kelly's rendition in the film of the same name.
  • Discord's pony alias is "Tony Stana", a parody of Tony Danza, most famous for his TV role in Who's the Boss, and who recently did a stint on Broadway in the stage musical adaptation of Honeymoon in Vegas.
  • Discord's goldfish is named Quincy, or "Q" for short, a reference to John de Lancie's Star Trek role.

Collectible card game

  • A couple of cards that have "Cheese Sandwich" quotes are actually lyrics from "Weird Al's" song, "Albuquerque," specifically, "Hey... you've got weasels on your face." and "Do you have any bear claws?"
  • The quote "... and when DJ PON-3 starts spinning different tunes, I'll see the Dark Mare of the moon." from the Canterlot Nights expansion set card #41 C of Purple Waters is a possible reference to Pink Floyd's song "Brain Damage".

See also

References

  1. Lauren Faust panel - Equestria LA 2012 (2012-11-05). Retrieved on 2012 November 6.
  2. Lauren Faust panel, Equestria LA 2012 (2012-11-05). Retrieved on 2012 November 6.
  3. M.A. Larson confirming the reference to Las Vegas (2012-05-24). Retrieved on 2012 May 24. Archived locally.
  4. M. A. Larson discussing mythology in Friendship is Magic (2012-05-02). Retrieved on 2012 July 28.
  5. Jayson Thiessen on Twitter (2012-12-01). Retrieved on 2013 January 23.
  6. MLP: Time Turner Companion. Gaia Online. Retrieved on 2013 December 7.
  7. Cindy Morrow (2015-04-30). FYI Tank was never meant to die & the story outlines the stages of grief. Kids relate to loss as much as adults. Isn't just about death.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 May 27.
  8. Jim Miller (2015-05-02). Big Jim on Twitter: "@Samusforce That and Karl from 'Sling Blade'". Twitter.
  9. Jim Miller (2015-05-02). Big Jim on Twitter: "Enjoy this 'Romancing the Stone' reference. #mudslide #MLP5". Twitter.
  10. M.A. Larson (2015-05-17). A deleted @natashalevinger joke: As Discord's comedy fails, he starts to panic, says this: http://t.co/3wtRbrZN55. Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 May 17.
  11. M.A. Larson's Deconstruction of Episode #100 Panel: MLP-MSP (2015-06-17). Retrieved on 2015 June 17.
  12. In Topic: Equestria Girls (2013-06-19). Retrieved on 2013 June 21. Archived locally.
  13. Jayson Thiessen via Twitter (2013-07-28). Retrieved on 2013 July 31.
  14. https://derpiboo.ru/385521
  15. https://derpiboo.ru/357296
  16. My Little Pony spoofs Mad Men in newsprint ad Mad Ponies (2012-01-13). Retrieved on 2012 April 19.
  17. G.M. Barrow (2014-10-20). Since people keep asking.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 October 20.

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