The image of Luna and Celestia working together to keep the day and night cycle in balance is similar to the famous Yin-Yang symbol of Taoism.
The episode's title that appears in Hasbro's viewing guide, and Nightmare Moon's "book" name, The Mare in the Moon, is a play on the mythical Man in the Moon. The man's image is actually composed of Lunar maria, the darker sections of the moon's surface.
In the opening moments, with Nightmare Moon apparently victorious, the Mayor shouts, "Seize her!" and Nightmare Moon replies, "Stand back, you foals!". This is a near-literal quote ("fools" replaced with "foals") from a famous moment in the 1959 Disney film Sleeping Beauty, when the evil witch Maleficent disappears after cursing the newly born Princess Aurora.
The magic of the Elements of Harmony manifests as a rainbow that reverts Nightmare Moon into Princess Luna. The scene is reminiscent of the Rainbow of Light from the 1984 My Little Pony pilot episode Rescue from Midnight Castle, where the human protagonist Megan destroys the demon Tirek in a similar fashion.
The episode's title is a play on the American ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster.
Rainbow Dash calls one of her flying stunts "The Buccaneer Blaze". Historically, buccaneers were pirates who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the 17th century. The word has also come to connote ruthlessness and recklessness.
Fluttershy's line "Loons and Toucans and Bitterns, oh my!" echoes the quote "Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!" from The Wizard of Oz.
When Rarity is done with Spike's makeover, the harpsichord tune playing in the background is the beginning of J. S. Bach's Two-Part Invention in F major, BWV 779, except transposed to E major, and with an altered middle/end.
The end result of Spike's makeover puts him in a blue suit with blond hair and sailor's cap. This was a similar fashion worn by the titular character in the 19th century children's novel Little Lord Fauntleroy. The outfit is also similar to the one worn by Shirley Temple in the 1934 film Bright Eyes, where she performed her signature song "On the Good Ship Lollipop".
Fluttershy is humming the My Little Pony theme when Twilight Sparkle finds her cleaning the library.
The scene where Twilight and Spike are chased by a mob of ponies features bluegrass style sound-alike music of Yakety Sax from The Benny Hill Show. This music would often be used at the end of Hill's show, over a sped-up chase scene comparable to the one Twilight and Spike are involved in.
The second stampede scene features bunnies running around a pony lying on the ground in a down shot, much like the scene in The Lion King when Simba's father, Mufasa, is killed by the antagonist, Scar, by being thrown off a cliff into a wildebeest stampede.
During the bunny stampede, one of the background ponies, Rose, delivers the line "The horror, the horror!", which is from Joseph Conrad's 1899 novel Heart of Darkness and also used as the main antagonist's dying words in the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now that was based on this novel. This line is repeated in Bridle Gossip.
When Applejack says "Are you sayin' my mouth's making promises my legs can't keep?", she references a phrase used in the 1986 film Top Gun.[specify]
The episode title is a play on the expression "given the brush off".
When Pinkie Pie is chasing Rainbow Dash, she uses the same bounding gait as Pepe le Pew uses when chasing his unwilling paramour in the Looney Tunes cartoons. The music heard is also in the same style as in the aforementioned chase scenes.
Spike hums the My Little Pony theme song when gathering scrolls at the town hall.
When Gilda crashes into Fluttershy, she quotes the famous line "I'm walkin' here!" from Midnight Cowboy.
Snips and Snails's exchange in which Snips asks "You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?" and Snails replies "Why is it they call it a flea market when they don't really sell fleas?" is an homage to Pinky and the Brain. A running gag in Pinky and the Brain was that Brain, the smarter and shorter one, would ask Pinky, the taller and stupider one, "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?", and Pinky would reply with a bizarre non sequitur.
Twilight Sparkle's lullaby to the Ursa Minor is created when she casts a spell to call up the wind. She uses the wind initially to snap the stalks of the cattails growing in a nearby pond and then to play a soothing melody by having it blow across the broken reeds. This echoes a scene from Disney's 1937 Academy Award winning short The Old Mill. At the 6:10 minute mark, the rising wind from an approaching storm snaps several cattails and blows across them, playing a haunting melody.[dubious – discuss]
As the Mane 6 are getting ready to confront the dragon, a sound-alike version of the theme from the classic 1980's action series The A-Team plays.
When Fluttershy hears the dragon's snores, she stiffly falls to the side accompanied by a goat bleat, alluding to the behavior of some breeds of goat to stiffen and fall over after being startled, called Fainting Goat Syndrome.
When Rarity is flattering the dragon and its horde, the praise she uses is similar to that used famously by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit to buy time when faced by the dragon Smaug.
The dragon himself bears a striking resemblance to Smaug, who is a red dragon laying on a treasure hoard inside a mountain.
When the dragon kicks Rainbow Dash out and she flies out rolling like a ball and strikes the other ponies down, they fall apart without changing their standing positions, like bowling pins, and the strike has the same sound (briefly after the bullet sound).
The title of the episode might be a pun on the term "idle gossip" or "gossip's bridle", also called a "scold's bridle", which is a medieval punishment and mild torture device used on women who were verbally abusive or unpleasant.
After having been affected by the poison joke, Rarity's coat and mane resemble the fur of a Komondor or a Puli, two Hungarian breeds of dog with matted locks of fur.
The nickname Spike gives to Applejack, "Apple Teeny", is pronounced the same as the name of an alcoholic drink appletini, paralleling her original name which is also the name of an alcoholic drink.
The episode title is either a play on the phrase "call of duty", or on the title of the classic novel The Call of the Wild, which tells the story of a dog trying to find its true identity.
Diamond Tiara's "cute-ceañera", "a party celebrating me and my fantastic cutie mark", borrows its name and purpose from the Latin American celebration quinceañera, a coming-of-age party for girls reaching the age of fifteen.
Pinkie Pie's line "I love something. Something's my favorite" echoes the line "I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite" from the film Elf.
When Rarity considers exile she says, "Where would I go? And what would I pack?" in a fashion that echoes a line by Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 classic film Gone With The Wind: "Where shall I go? What shall I do?"
The sequence where Rarity has locked herself in her room and says "I vant to be alone" with an Eastern European accent echoes the famous phrase associated with actress Greta Garbo from the 1932 film Grand Hotel.
The episode was developed from the common phenomenon of rheumatism predicting the weather which was expanded into Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense.
Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense" is similarly named to Spider-Man's spider-sense.
Twilight's line "what in the wide, wide world of Equestria" is a reference to a similar line spoken in 1974's Blazing Saddles ("What in the wide, wide world of sports..."), which is itself a reference to the long-running TV sports program.
Rarity's hubris, leading to the loss of her wings to the sun, echoes the story of Icarus from Greek mythology. In the story, Icarus attempts to escape Crete by means of wings that his father Daedalus has constructed from feathers and wax. Overcome by his pride, he ignores Daedalus's warnings not to fly too close to the sun, which melts the wax and causes him to fall to his death.
The music that plays during Rarity's performance is a rearrangement of the waltz from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
The episode title is a pun on sonic boom, which is the shock wave created by an object traveling faster than the speed of sound.
The Cloudiseum's name, the area where the Best Young Flyer Competition was held, is a reference to the Roman Colosseum.
The phrase "a dog and pony show" originated in 19th century America as a term for small traveling circuses that toured through rural areas. The modern usage refers to an over-staged performance. Typically, the term is used to connote disdain, jocular lack of appreciation, or distrust of the message being presented or the efforts undertaken to present it.
The episode's plot is reminiscent of the O. Henry story The Ransom of Red Chief, in which a young boy's antics drive his kidnappers so crazy that they end up paying his family to take him back.
Her title, "The Pony of Pop" is an allusion to Michael Jackson's title, "The King of Pop."
The bejeweled costume bears a very striking resemblance to the jumpsuits worn by Rock & Roll Legend Elvis Presley during his 1970s heyday, with a large heavy collar, flared wavy cuffs, and a golden belt.
The battle scene at Appleloosa when a buffalo strikes a haystack with an anvil behind it is a reference to a gag from the 1953 Bugs Bunny cartoon Bully for Bugs, in which a bull hits an anvil behind Bugs' toreador cape. A bit earlier, one of the buffalo is sharpening its horns on a grindstone wheel, which is done by the bull in the aforementioned cartoon.
At the start of Pinkie Pie's song, she rises out of a giant clam shell, reminiscent of The Birth of Venus - an iconic Renaissance painting by Sandro Botticelli and a recurring motif in artistic media.
The buffalo wear traditional Native American headdresses. The crew worked with a Native Consultant and did revisions to the episode according to his notes.
Rainbow Dash poking at her head with her hoof and saying "Think, think, think" is a reference to Winnie the Pooh, who shares the same mannerism.
The episode's title is a play on the phrase "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
The scene with Angel holding a pocket watch references Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which one of the characters is a white rabbit that carries a pocket watch and is always running somewhere due to being late. In addition, Fluttershy's remark "I'm late for a very important date!" is a quote from Disney's 1951 film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
The scene where Fluttershy attempts to feed birdseed to Philomena was storyboarded to look like a talk show, and Philomena's bird-seed-eating gag was styled after similar gags from the Road RunnerLooney Tunes cartoons.
Fluttershy, thinking Philomena has been fooled, looks into the camera with a smirk and declares "Always works!", a reference to Billy Dee Williams' famous tagline in the old Colt .45 Malt Liquor commercials in the 1980s.
Hummingway, Fluttershy's hummingbird, is a play on the surname, Hemingway.
Fluttershy hums the My Little Pony theme song in this episode again.
"Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns" is similarly named to X-Men's "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters" in Marvel Comics.
The Orange family's name is a reference to the phrase "apples and oranges", a comparison of two very different things, much like how Applejack does not appreciate the Orange family's very different lifestyle.
The positioning of the sun over the rock that Rarity was led to in the episode is similar to the positioning of the sun over the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The title comes from the term "party of one", which is used when booking a reservation for a single person at a restaurant or hosting establishment.
The scene where Rainbow Dash is trying to get away from Pinkie Pie but Pinkie appears everywhere Rainbow goes is similar to some Droopy cartoons, where Droopy pursues a wolf in this manner. The bouncing exhibited during this is similar to the way Pepe le Pew of Looney Tunes fame would chase after Penelope Pussycat.
Pinkie Pie's chant to Gummy: "Go Gummy! It's your birthday! Go Gummy! It's your birthday!" is a paraphrase of hip-hop artist 50 Cent'sIn da Club.
One of Pinkie's imaginary friends, a pile of lint, is named Sir Lints-a-lot, a possible reference to the fictional knight of Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table.
A heap of rocks named Rocky who speaks with a Brooklyn accent and calls Rainbow Dash a "chump" makes an appearance as a reference to the Rocky film series.
At the party near the end of the episode, when Spike tries to dance with Rarity, he does a dance move made famous by the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever.
Fluttershy's plan to catch the animals, complete with maniacal laughter and the phrase "I'll catch you yet, my pretties", somewhat echoes the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton, from the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.