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List of allusions/Season one

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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, season one. Entries on this page must follow the similarity guidelines.

Friendship is Magic, part 1

  • 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.
  • Moon Dancer, mentioned but unseen in the episode, shares her name with G1 and G3 Moondancer.
  • Twilight Sparkle resides in a literal ivory tower.
  • One of the costumes Twilight tries on in Rarity's boutique looks like the iconic Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
  • After their meeting with Rarity, Twilight calls Spike "Casanova", in reference to Italian adventurer and author Giacomo Casanova, who was well-known for his affairs with various women.
  • When Spike enters Twilight's room from the party, he is wearing a lampshade on his head which is considered a symbol of drunkenness commonly used in media.
  • One of the names Pinkie guesses to Nightmare Moon is "Hokey Smokes", a phrase used by Rocky the Flying Squirrel from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
  • Another one of the names Pinkie guesses is "Black Snooty", a reference to the famous titular character of Anna Sewell's 1877 novel Black Beauty.

Friendship is Magic, part 2

  • 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.
  • During the fight with Manny Roar, Applejack refers to the classic cowboy song Git Along, Little Dogies, also known as Dogie's Lament. In the language of the American West, a dogie is a motherless calf. There is another reference to this song in Applebuck Season.
  • Fluttershy pulls a thorn from Manny's paw, much like the classic Greek tale of Androcles and the Lion.
  • Steven Magnet's cry of "What a world! What a world!" is a reference to the 1939 fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland.
  • 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 Ticket Master

  • 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 show's director, Jayson Thiessen, believes The Wonderbolts were inspired by the US Navy's flight demonstration squadron, The Blue Angels.[1]
  • The plot of the entire episode is reminiscent of a My Little Pony Tales episode called "And the Winner Is...".
  • The tickets themselves may be an allusion to the Roald Dahl novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as one of five golden tickets was required to enter Willy Wonka's factory.

Applebuck Season

  • During the first stampede scene, Applejack again refers to the cowboy song Git Along, Little Dogies. This time the reference is more appropriate than the one in Friendship is Magic, part 2 because Applejack is now herding actual cows.
  • 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 1979 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​]​

Griffon the Brush Off

  • 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.

Boast Busters

  • The title of the episode is a play on the title of the Ghostbusters franchise.
  • The Great and Powerful Trixie shares her title with "The Great and Powerful Oz" from The Wizard of Oz, who also turns out to be far less powerful than initially portrayed.
  • Trixie's challenge to the audience echoes the phrase "anything you can do I can do better", which originated with the song of the same name from the 1946 Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun.
  • The ursa bears are named after the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
  • 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​]​

Dragonshy

  • 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 snoring, 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 hoard of jewels, 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.
  • Pinkie Pie's costume is similar to Daffy Duck's body in a scene from the Looney Tunes cartoon Duck Amuck.
  • 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).

Look Before You Sleep

Bridle Gossip

  • 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.
  • Poison joke is explicitly compared to poison oak, a poisonous plant.
  • When Zecora comes back to Ponyville, one of the ponies delivers the line "The horror, the horror..." for the second time in the series. The line originates from Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness and was later used in the Francis Ford Coppola film, Apocalypse Now.

Swarm of the Century

  • The title of the episode is a pun on the term "storm of the century", which refers to a particularly damaging weather event.
  • The parasprites have a similar shape and appearance to the fairies from the Legend of Zelda series.
  • The premise of this episode is similar to that of the Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles.
  • Writer M. A. Larson had Gremlins in mind when writing the episode.[2]
  • The "Princess Celest" banner is a reference to The Commitments.[3][4]
  • The scene in which Applejack uses her herding skills to collect together the parasprites features sound-alike music of the theme song from the television series Bonanza.
  • The infestation and Pinkie Pie's use of music to lure the parasprites out of Ponyville were adapted from the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.[5]
  • Twilight's plan to build a fake town is a reference to the 1974 Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles.

Winter Wrap Up

  • Winter Wrap Up is similar to spring cleaning, an event in which celebrants take care of whatever messes they produced and neglected during the winter.

Call of the Cutie

  • 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.
  • Applejack says, "Y'all come back now! Y'hear?", which is the last line of the end credits version of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" from The Beverly Hillbillies.

Fall Weather Friends

  • The title is a play on the term "fair weather friends", which means those who are only friends when circumstances are easy and pleasant.
  • The Iron Pony competition's name and purpose are similar to those of the Ironman Triathlon race.
  • When Applejack bucks the tree Rainbow Dash is sitting under, the apples fall onto Dash's head to the tune of Shave and a Haircut.
  • Rainbow Dash says Applejack's accusations of cheating sound like "sour apples", a parallel to the idiom sour grapes from Aesop's fable The Fox and the Grapes.
  • The Running of the Leaves tradition has its roots in the famous Running of the Bulls tradition in Spain.
  • The bell and phrase "and they're off" that starts the Running of the Leaves is also used in track horse racing.
  • Twilight's racing number 42 and Rainbow Dash's mention of "The Egghead's Guide to Running" both allude to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Suited For Success

Feeling Pinkie Keen

  • The episode was developed from the common phenomenon of rheumatism predicting the weather which was expanded into Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense.[6]
  • 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.
  • Twilight's "Latin" name for Pinkie Pie, "Pinkius Piecus," is similar in naming scheme to those used in Warner Bros.' Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons.

Sonic Rainboom

  • 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.
  • Spitfire's namesake comes from the Supermarine Spitfire, an iconic British fighter plane used by the Allies during World War II.

Stare Master

  • The title is a play on the American exercise machine company StairMaster.
  • The episode features a cockatrice, which is a creature of legend mentioned from antiquity to the Middle Ages.
  • When Rarity holds the cut gold silk, a violin shrieks in the same fashion as the famous shower scene in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Psycho.
  • The part where the CMC get themselves hammers one by one is a possible reference to a similar scene from the Three Stooges.​[​specify​]​

The Show Stoppers

  • Daniel Ingram, the show's music composer, describes the Cutie Mark Crusaders Song on his website as "cheesy '80s with 3 out of tune soloists". The song itself has very similar melodies to the 80's hits (I Just) Died in Your Arms, Holding Out For A Hero, Don't Stop Believin' and Alone.
  • The costume designs strongly reflect 1980s fashion. Apple Bloom dons a bandanna on her head, and both Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle dress in typical glam rock facepaint and body suits with big hair.
  • Scootaloo hitting her head against the piano while shouting "Never, never, NEVER!" parallels the same behavior by Don Music in Sesame Street.
  • The lighting during the first part of the Crusaders' song, showing only their faces surrounded by shadow, is similar to the music video from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

A Dog and Pony Show

  • 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.
  • Sapphire Shores' upcoming tour, Ziegfilly Follies, is a reference to the Ziegfeld Follies series of theatrical productions.
    • 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 Diamond Dogs take their name from David Bowie's famous concept album and its titular song, Diamond Dogs. Fluttershy also mentions scary monsters, another Bowie reference.
  • In Spike's fantasy, the Diamond Dogs attack with the characteristic slow-motion leap and 'bionic' sound effect from The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • Applejack's phrase "Kick 'em up, kick 'em out. Buck 'em up, buck 'em down" is a reference to Rawhide, a song performed by Frankie Laine.
  • Spike's chant, "Hi-ho Twilight! Away!" echoes the line "Hi-ho Silver! Away!" from The Lone Ranger.

Green Isn't Your Color

  • The color green, mentioned in the episode's title, is sometimes associated with envy.
  • Photo Finish wears the same distinct hairstyle and sunglasses as Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue magazine.
  • Photo Finish' name comes from a "photo finish", when two racehorses cross the finish line together and a photograph is used to determine the winner.
  • Photo Finish' deep voice and German accent were developed by voice actress Tabitha St. Germain, based on her experiences with an old Austrian lady whom she met on occasion.[7]

Over a Barrel

  • The main location of the episode, Appleloosa, takes its name from the Appaloosa breed of horse.
  • Fluttershy calling Spike "Huffy the Magic Dragon" is a reference to the 1963 folk song Puff, the Magic Dragon sung by the folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary.
  • 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.[8]
  • 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.

A Bird in the Hoof

  • 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.
  • Fluttershy stresses over how she looks and what to wear, and looks through a rack of dresses which carries the Grand Galloping Gala dresses from Suited for Success.
  • When Twilight imagines Fluttershy being thrown in a dungeon, it is the same dungeon the Diamond Dogs have in A Dog and Pony Show.
  • The scene where the ponies pursue Philomena is accompanied by sound-alike music to Yakety Sax, made famous in The Benny Hill Show's chase scenes.
  • 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 Runner Looney Tunes cartoons.[9]
  • 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.

The Cutie Mark Chronicles

  • "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.

Owl's Well That Ends Well

  • The title is a play on the phrase "All's well that ends well."
  • When Spike falls asleep in the punch bowl, Pinkie Pie says "And now the punch has been... Spiked!", a play on "spiking the punch", which means adding alcohol to the punch.
  • Pinkie Pie giving Spike other things that start with "q" other than "quill" is a play on a similar scene between Harpo and Chico Marx in the 1930 film Animal Crackers.
  • When Twilight's writing down about comets, her description nearly fits the first line of Calvin J. Hamilton's "Comet Introduction"

Party of One

  • 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's In 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.

The Best Night Ever

References

  1. Jayson Thiessen answering a question on Twitter (2011-12-16). Retrieved on 2012 September 18.
  2. Interview With M.A. Larson. Celestia Radio (2013-01-27). Retrieved on 2013 January 29.
  3. M. A. Larson answering a question (2012-11-06). Retrieved on 2012 November 6.
  4. M. A. Larson further clarifying the reference (2012-11-06). Retrieved on 2012 November 6.
  5. M. A. Larson discussing the title of Swarm of the Century (2012-06-03). Retrieved on 2012 July 28.
  6. Lauren Faust discussing different interpretations of Feeling Pinkie Keen (archived locally). 2011-02-11.
  7. Interview: Tabitha St. Germain. Everfree Radio (2012-07-31). Retrieved on 2012 December 19.
  8. Lauren Faust deviantArt comment about Over a Barrel's Native Consultant (2011-03-25). Retrieved on 2013 May 4.
  9. Q&A with lead storyboard artist Sabrina Alberghetti, 2011-09-02 

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