When Spike straps into Twilight's back with a seatbelt, it is a reference to how Bernard and Miss Bianca ride on the back of Orville the albatross in the 1977 Disney film The Rescuers.[dubious – discuss]
Spike's regret about not taking the train also alludes to lines said by Bernard in The Rescuers.
Spike says, "Holy new personas, ponies!" like Burt Ward's role as Robin in the 1960s live-action Batman TV series. In addition, the color scheme of Spike's superhero costume is similar to that of Robin's.
Fili-Second's name is derived from the word "millisecond".
Though it is embellished with a lightning bolt, the pink trail of light left behind by Fili-Second strongly resembles the trails of colored light produced by the Light Cycles in the TRON films, particularly noticeable in the distant camera shots where it can be seen changing directions at only right angles.[dubious – discuss]
How the Mane-iac walks with her long mane and the manner in which she uses it as appendages is based on that of Doctor Octopus (aka Otto Octavius) from the Spiderman comics.
In the Manehattan equivalent of Times Square, there is a billboard with two pony eyes with pony silhouettes in them, like the logo for the Broadway musical Cats. There is also a juice box above it that is a take on the Coca-Cola logo.
Before Apples to the Core starts, the clanging of the pans and the clattering of the cart resembles the beginning to "The Open Road" song in the 1983 Cosgrove Hall film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.
During the song "Apples to the Core", Pinkie Pie says the lyrics "Swim, not sink" and throws a kitchen sink that she found from the cart. This is a reference to the common phrase, "everything but the kitchen sink", meaning that someone packed too much stuff.
Pinkie Pie pounces on Applejack in the same fashion Tigger pounces on Pooh in the Winnie the Pooh series.
The four photos taken on the waterfall are in the style of photos seen at Splash Mountain in the Disney Parks.
At 17:04, when Pinkie pounces Applejack, a featureless white pony in a suit and red tie resembling the Slender Man can be seen hiding behind the bushes in the background for a split second.
The name of "Weird Al" Yankovic's character is "Cheese Sandwich". Cheese is a recurring motif in many of Weird Al's songs. The character incorporates many attributes of Weird Al's work and his persona:
The colt version of Cheese has a "Jew 'fro" and large glasses, and an alternate version of Cheese in a police lineup has a technicolor shirt and mustache, much like Al did before he got laser eye surgery.
Pinkie finishes off the episode by saying "I never did catch that pony's name" as Cheese Sandwich trots off into the sunset, further cementing the comparison. Alternatively, she may be referring to the closing "I never did know your name" of High Plains Drifter, also directed by and starring Eastwood as a mysterious and unnamed stranger.
The song Pinkie the Party Planner resembles the song "Belle" from the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast in that it features the protagonist singing about what she enjoys while the townsfolk sing about the protagonist.
The center image carved into the wooden booth used by the Pony Tones during the mayor's ribbon-cutting ceremony is of Groucho glasses, a novelty disguise based on the stage makeup worn by the caricature comedian Groucho Marx.
Applejack saying "For corn's sake", a line originally written for Fall Weather Friends, is a reference to the character Fred Mertz from the 1951 sitcom I Love Lucy.
She also says to Big Mac, "You've got some 'splainin' to do", a line attributed to, but never actually said by, Ricky Ricardo from the same show.
Pinkie climbing up the wall to Fluttershy is an allusion to the Marvel superhero, Spider-Man.
The reveal of Fluttershy singing behind the curtain is similar to the ending of the 1952 film Singin' in the Rain.
Maud is said to be working on her "rocktorate in rock science", a play on the doctorate degree awarded by universities.
Rainbow Dash's line describing Maud—"a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an igneous"—is a reference to the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill's 1939 statement about Russia's initial role in World War II—"a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".
Sweetie Belle's line "Ooh, dresses, dresses, dresses, dresses!" is delivered in a similar cadence to Jan Brady's famous catchphrase on The Brady Bunch, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"[dubious – discuss]
The title is a common phrase used by musicians to test the volume levels of a microphone.
Twilight mentions Princess Celestia's favorite flight pattern as being the "Icaranian Sun Salutation," a reference to the mythological story of Icarus, who fashioned his own makeshift wings and fell to his death after flying too close to the sun.
During the rap song "The rappin' Hist'ry of the Wonderbolts," Pinkie wears an alarm clock on a chain, a reference to Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav, who often wears a huge clock on a chain during performances. She also wears a hat similar to the ones worn by the members of the American hip hop trio Run–D.M.C.. Furthermore, it is reminiscent of '80s hip-hop, or early '90s rap, music videos.
When Pinkie Pie confronts Discord about how he knows what Twilight is feeling, he says a line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet: "woe is me."
Rare Find walking down a deserted alleyway carrying oranges, only for him to become Tirek's first victim, is a "sly" reference to the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather, in which oranges are associated with death and misfortune.
Discord's appearance when capturing the Earth ponies with a fishing rod is slightly similar to the character Quint in Jaws.