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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

Main article: List of allusions/Season five

Season six

The Crystalling - Part 1

  • "Crystalling" has the same cadence as "christening," a Christian rite with outstanding similarities to the titular ceremony in principle and purpose.
  • Starlight Glimmer remarking that the Castle of Friendship looks "smaller on the outside" is a reference to the TARDIS of Doctor Who lore.

The Crystalling - Part 2

  • Starlight exclaiming "We have to go back!" is a reference to the ABC mystery drama series Lost.[7]

The Gift of the Maud Pie

  • The title is a reference to O. Henry's short story The Gift of the Magi. Pinkie Pie's trade of her party cannon is a reference to the story's plot.
  • During the sightseeing trip, the trio visits a toy store where two ponies are playing a duet on a foot-operated electronic keyboard, which is a reference to a famous scene from the 1988 movie Big. The tune they are playing is the beginning of the My Little Pony theme song.
  • The skating rink is modeled after the rink at Rockefeller Plaza.
  • Maud begins the story of how she met Boulder with the line "It was a dark and stormy night", which is attributed as originating as the first sentence of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel Paul Clifford, and was further popularized by Snoopy in his persona of "The World Famous Author" in the comic strip Peanuts.
  • In the jewelry store, Rarity is dressed as Holly Golightly from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

On Your Marks

Gauntlet of Fire

No Second Prances

Newbie Dash

  • When imitating Twilight, Rainbow suggests the nickname "Reading Rainboom", a reference to the TV series Reading Rainbow.
  • When imitating Fluttershy, Rainbow suggests the nickname "Care Mare", a reference to the Care Bears line of toys.

A Hearth's Warming Tail

  • The story A Hearth's Warming Tale is based on Charles Dickens' novella A Christmas Carol.
    • The characters are parodied as follows:
      • Starlight Glimmer/Snowfall Frost: Ebenezer Scrooge
      • Rainbow Dash/Snowdash: Bob Cratchit
      • Applejack: The Ghost of Christmas Past
      • Pinkie Pie: The Ghost of Christmas Present
      • Princess Luna: The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come
    • In addition, Featherweight appears holding a crutch in reference to the character of Tiny Tim, and Octavia appears in the role of the Fiddler at Fezziwig's party.
  • Snowfall Frost's teacher Professor Flintheart is based on Severus Snape from the Harry Potter film franchise, as portrayed by the late Alan Rickman.​[​dubious – discuss‍​]​
  • The duck doll seen throughout the episode has the same color scheme as Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.
  • Pinkie and Featherweight's tap-dancing routine is almost similar to the one with Gene Kelly and Jerry Mouse in Anchors Aweigh.
  • During Say Goodbye to the Holiday, a little filly is seen modeled after the title character from the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Little Match Girl".

The Saddle Row Review

Applejack's "Day" Off

  • The scene in which Twilight is suspended over the pigpen and stops falling just short of the ground mimics a scene in the 1996 film Mission: Impossible, complete with a similar-sounding musical score.

Flutter Brutter

  • Zephyr Breeze tricking Spike into cleaning the throne room windows is a reference to Tom Sawyer who gets a boy to paint a fence for him in the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • An Earth pony stallion in Ponyville bears a resemblance to Link from The Legend of Zelda video game series. This pony wears a green cap, has a Heart Container for a cutie mark, and appears pulling a cart of gems resembling the games' Rupee currency.
  • When Zephyr Breeze tries living in the woods, he starts talking to his mannequin and names it Wigford, referencing the 2000 Tom Hanks film Cast Away, in which Hanks' character has an imaginary friend that he makes out of a volleyball and names Wilson.

Spice Up Your Life

Stranger Than Fan Fiction

The Cart Before the Ponies

  • The title is a reference to the idiom "putting the cart before the horse".

28 Pranks Later

The Times They Are a Changeling

Dungeons & Discords

  • The title is a reference to the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, which has had two in-universe counterparts—Oubliettes & Ogres and Dragons & Dragons—introduced in the IDW comics.

Films

My Little Pony Equestria Girls

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games

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!

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 facing each other before the contest mirrors the character placement and on-screen display of early arcade fighting games.
  • When Lyra and Sweetie Drops face off, one shot is posed and staged almost identically to a shot in the 2013 anime television series Kill la Kill, during the fight sequence between Satsuki Kiryuin and Ryuko Matoi in episode 3 where the two characters are viewed in silhouette against a pure white background, with Lyra taking the place of Satsuki (the combatant leaning back) and Sweetie Drops standing in for Ryuko.
    • Additionally, two subsequent close up shots of Sweetie Drops' and Lyra's feet (respectively) when they launch at each other mirror two shots of Ryuko and Satsuki (respectively) launching themselves at one another.[13]

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.[14]

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 the 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.[15]
  • 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 of Mare-ion Pear is a parody of the female lead, Marion "The Librarian" Paroo.
      • The song "Bubbles" is a parody of the Act I song "Ya Got Trouble".
      • The song "Fifty-Six Trombones" is a parody of "Seventy-Six Trombones".
    • 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 1920s song "Singin' in the Rain", later made famous by Gene Kelly's rendition in the film of the same name.
  • Fluttershy's line "There are no small parts, only small ponies" is paraphrased from an expression commonly attributed to Konstantin Stanislavsky: "There are no small parts, only small actors."
  • Discord's pony alias is "Tony Stanza", a play on actor Tony Danza's name.
  • Discord's goldfish is named Quincy, or "Q" for short, a reference to John de Lancie's Star Trek role.

Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon

  • In chapter 5, the Cutie Mark Crusaders ask the Mane Six if they are playing Monopony or Settlers of Canterlot, but Pinkie responds they are playing Whisk. These are parodies of the board games Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, and Risk respectively.
  • The title of chapter 8, "Dreamwalking in a Winter Wonderland", is a reference to lyrics in the 1934 Christmas song "Winter Wonderland".
  • In chapter 10, Apple Bloom references the "Deal with it" meme when she puts on a pair of moonglasses and says this phrase.
  • In chapter 13, Rarity mentions the department store chain Bloomingtail's, a play on the real-life department store chain Bloomingdale's.
  • In chapter 16, Pinkie says the Tarax Hippo is "hungry! Like... hungry, hungry!" This is a reference to the Milton Bradley game Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Lyra and Bon Bon and the Mares from S.M.I.L.E.

  • The title is a reference to the 1960s spy TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
  • Chapter 3 is titled "True Lyra", a parody of the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger action comedy film True Lies.
  • Icons and landmarks in Manehattan mentioned in chapter 4 include the Neighcy's Harvest Balloon Parade, the Crystaller Building, and the Stockyard Exchange, which allude to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Chrysler Building, and New York Stock Exchange respectively.
  • Many of the agents working for S.M.I.L.E. are named after the NATO phonetic alphabet, such as Alpha Hoof, Bravo, Foxtrot, and Tango.
  • Chapter 7 is titled "Mares in Black", a reference to the popular UFO conspiracy theory about "Men in black", which, in turn, inspired a successful comic and film franchise of the same name.
  • The Saddle Hawkins dance is a parody of the Sadie Hawkins dance, in which girls ask boys to the dance. The tradition originated in the comic strip Li'l Abner.
  • Chapter 12 is titled " It's Element-ary, Dear Bon Bon", a reference to the phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson", often attributed to, but never actually said by, Sherlock Holmes. (Even though he never says it in the novels, he says it in the film adaptations starring Basil Rathbone.)

Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden

Collectible card game

  • Premiere
    • Card α #21 R of Gala Appleby has the quote "Sweet Apple Acres is the place for me... Keep Manehattan, just give me that countryside!", a reference to the theme song for Green Acres.
    • Card α #59 R of Rare Find has the quote "Never tell me the odds", a line spoken by Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Card α #136 C, Foal Free Press, has the Diamond Tiara quote "I want pictures! Pictures of ponies!", a reference to an internet meme commonly attributed to the Spider-Man character J. Jonah Jameson.
  • Canterlot Nights
    • Card #16 R of Pipsqueak has the quote "I wanted a real Red Rider sword for my birthday, but mum said I'd put my eye out", a reference to the 1983 film A Christmas Story.
    • Card #41 C of Purple Waters has the quote "... and when DJ PON-3 starts spinning different tunes, I'll see the Dark Mare of the moon", a possible reference to Pink Floyd's song "Brain Damage". In fact, Purple Waters' cards contains various references to the former bassist/vocalist of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters. Their names are alike, and Purple has made an album called 'The Fence', parodying the Pink Floyd album 'The Wall'.
    • Cards #102 R, Critter Stampede, and #141 C, Joe's Doughnut Shop, have the Cheese Sandwich quotes "Hey. You've got weasels on your face." and "You got any bear claws?", references to "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Albuquerque".
  • The Crystal Games
    • Card #27 C of Sheriff Silverstar has the quote "I AM the law!", a possible reference to comic book character Judge Dredd.
    • Card #59 U of Top Marks has the quote "He just kept talking in one long, unbroken sentence, moving from topic to topic. It was really quite hypnotic...", paraphrased from a Captain Picard quote in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Timescape".
  • Absolute Discord
    • Card #27 U of Princess Luna has the song lyric "Princess Luna, bring me a dream! Make him the cutest that I've ever seen!", a reference to the Chordettes song "Mr. Sandman".
  • Equestrian Odysseys
    • The name of card #135 R, Rolling Tones, is a play on the band The Rolling Stones.
    • The name of card #138 U, Special Beam Cannon, is the name of a technique used by Piccolo in the anime/manga franchise Dragon Ball.
  • High Magic
    • Card #44 U of Dance Fever has the song lyric "Disco filly, coming through! That filly is you! Ooh ooh! Ooh ooh!", a reference to the Disney Channel original series Gravity Falls and the fictional song "Disco Girl".
  • Marks in Time
    • Card #24 R of Discord mentions "an evil interdimensional triangle wearing a tophat", specifically alluding to the Gravity Falls character Bill Cipher.
    • Card #70 U, Unplanned Guests, Very Animated, has the quote "Oh, it looks like Heero and Duo couldn't make it. They must be busy tonight...", a reference to Heero Yuy and Duo Maxwell of the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
    • Card #87 C, Repulsor Blast, has the quote "All of Princess Celestia's unicorn soldiers are trained in this defensive technique, along with the offensive spell Uni-beam." Repulsor Blast and Unibeam are two techniques used by Iron Man in the Marvel vs. Capcom game series.
    • Card #93 U, Time Warp, has the quote "Let's NOT do the time warp again, Twilight", referencing the song "Time Warp" from the 1973 rock musical The Rocky Horror Show.

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. Josh Haber (2016-03-26). Lost reference! #MLPSeason6. Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 March 26.
  8. Josh Haber (2016-05-21). @ImperfectXIII @nickconfalone the direct address "interstitial" moments reminded us of the show Parks & Rec.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 May 21.
  9. In Topic: Equestria Girls (2013-06-19). Retrieved on 2013 June 21. Archived locally.
  10. Jayson Thiessen via Twitter (2013-07-28). Retrieved on 2013 July 31.
  11. https://derpiboo.ru/385521
  12. https://derpiboo.ru/357296
  13. Fanmade collage for clarification/confirmation
  14. My Little Pony spoofs Mad Men in newsprint ad Mad Ponies (2012-01-13). Retrieved on 2012 April 19.
  15. G.M. Barrow (2014-10-20). Since people keep asking.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 October 20.

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