|Season episode №:||4|
|Overall episode №:||30|
|Original airdate:||October 22, 2011|
|Written by:||M. A. Larson|
|Storyboard:||Kenny Park & Marshall Fels Elliott|
| transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
The episode was #1 in the We Heart Ponies Fan Favorite Mare-a-thon, in the leadup to Hearts and Hooves Day.
During the episode, a few notes from Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King plays occasionally, such as when Rainbow Dash is about to play her lightning prank on Twilight.
Character appearancesThis episode marks the first appearance of Princess Luna since Friendship is Magic, part 2, which premiered the same date a year prior. Luna has undergone a slight redesign that features a flowing mane similar to Princess Celestia's. The episode also marks Zecora's third appearance in the series, not including the flashback in The Return of Harmony Part 2.
This is the first episode in season two where one of the main characters is missing, in this case Rarity. She did feature in the episode's script, but her scene was cut. In the script, she is still working on her costume when Twilight takes Luna to her to get a makeover and help her look less intimidating. Rarity overdoes Luna's outfit so much that she tears it off. Pinkie, seeing Luna with a piece of dress in her mouth, leaps to the conclusion that she ate a princess and runs off terrified.
The aura the emanates from Twilight's horn when she performs magic has changed back from red to purple. Only this time, the color is slightly lighter than in season one. However, it is not consistent over the course of the episode, as it also shows up as red in certain scenes.
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The episode begins with Twilight Sparkle showing off her hoof-made "Star Swirl the Bearded" costume to Spike. He doesn't know who she's dressed as until she tells him, and she scolds him for not having read the book on obscure unicorn history she gave him. A group of trick-or-treaters comes to the door: several ponies including Pipsqueak, Granny Smith, and Pinkie Pie as the foals' chaperone, stating that she's never too old for free candy. Twilight asks Pinkie if she likes her costume, but is disheartened when Pinkie, although she thinks it's very nice, also doesn't recognize the design.Twilight, indignant that no one recognizes such an important historical character, walks through the market with Spike. Pinkie and Pipsqueak meet them, and show off their stash of candy. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash, dressed up as a Shadowbolt, covertly pushes a thundercloud over Pinkie Pie and causes it to fire off a very loud lightning bolt, scaring both Pinkie Pie and Spike. Howling with laughter, Dash tells a disapproving Twilight that Nightmare Night is the best time of the year for pranks, then takes off with her thundercloud to prank another group she has spotted. Twilight and Spike meet up with Applejack, who is running the apple bob, but this is ruined when Derpy, dressed in large paper bags, pops out of the tub and drains it. The Mayor then makes an announcement, telling the trick-or-treaters, which include the costumed Cutie Mark Crusaders, to follow Zecora to the statue of Night Mare Moon in order for a storytelling, to which Twilight and Spike tag along.
Zecora tells the legend of Night Mare Moon, and explains to the group that they she requires a donation of candy in order to please her. At just that moment, however, Princess Luna arrives, in a flurry of dark clouds and her own royal carriage chauffeured by two of her Pegasus guards, which scares everyone off but Twilight.
Princess Luna arrivesPinkie Pie and her group of foals run through town, as a cloaked Princess Luna arrives at the marketplace. Everyone bows down in fearful respect of the Princess. Twilight, however, shows no fear and is eager to meet her. After her cloak impressively disperses as a flock of bats, Princess Luna makes a speech in a very strong and dramatic voice, explaining that she only seeks the love and affection of her subjects, and wishes to improve the festival and the way it portrays her. Unfortunately, her presentation only serves to further intimidate everyone.
- "Citizens of Ponyville! We have graced your tiny village with our presence, so that you might behold the real princess of the night! A creature of nightmare is no longer, but instead a pony who desires your love and admiration! Together we shall change this dreadful celebration into a bright and glorious feast! "
- — Princess Luna in a booming voice
Fluttershy refuses to answer her door at first, exclaiming that she has no candy and that she doesn't want visitors on Nightmare Night. When Twilight reassures her there's nothing to be worried about, she opens the door, only to dash back inside at sight of the Princess. Twilight forces Fluttershy out of her home, and Princess Luna tries to ask her how to improve her tone, but only further scares Fluttershy. Twilight finally blocks the door and forces Fluttershy to briefly coach the Princess. When Princess Luna feels that her tone has improved, she thanks Fluttershy by hugging and exhaling her thanks at her but accidentally scared the wind out of Fluttershy and scares off Pinkie Pie and her group of fillies once again.
"Fun"The scene cross-fades to Ponyville, where the villagers enjoy the festivities, play games, and dance. The designs from The Best Night Ever of the "fancy band" that Pinkie Pie spots on stage are used again in this episode, wearing scarecrow costumes and colored differently. Their instruments are different, but of related classification: the grand piano is replaced with an upright piano, the brass instrument with a harmonica, the bowed instrument with a fiddle, and the harp with a banjo.
- "Fun? What is this "fun" thou speakest of?"
- — Princess Luna
Princess Luna and Twilight find Applejack in the town square, and Twilight asks her to offer suggestions to Luna on how to be more accepted. Her top tip is to have fun. Luna doesn't know what "fun" is, but she uncertainly tries her hoof at several carnival games. Enjoying the games, Luna shows her surprise and appreciation, and the town begins to regard her more warmly. She even goes so far as to tell her subjects to do away with the formality of "Princess" and simply call her Luna.
However, when Luna rushes to save Pipsqueak from drowning in the apple-bobbing tub, Pinkie Pie mistakenly thinks she is eating the foal, and once again the ponies draw away in fear. Luna tries again to obtain trust with fun but goes a bit too far and causes havoc across the town. Fed up and offended, she declares that Nightmare Night is canceled forever, out of anger caused by her failure to look good to her subjects.
- "Since you choose to fear your princess rather than love her and dishonor her with this insulting celebration, we decree that Nightmare Night shall be canceled! Forever!"
- — Princess Luna in a booming voice
Twilight once again sets out to find Princess Luna, and finds her walking sadly across a bridge, disappointed by her inability to win the hearts of her subjects. She rejects Twilight's help at first, so Twilight finds another method. Luring Pinkie Pie into an alleyway with a trail of candy, she tells her that Princess Luna is no longer evil, and to stop shrieking in fear whenever she sees her. Pinkie Pie agrees to this, but as she is about to shake hooves with Princess Luna and make peace, Rainbow Dash inopportunely plays her lightning prank, scaring Pinkie Pie, who believes it is Princess Luna who made the lightning. Twilight blocks Pinkie Pie's path by teleporting in the way and pins her down, adamantly telling her that Princess Luna has not come to harm them. However, Pinkie Pie tells her that she is in fact fully aware that Luna won't actually "gobble up" anyone, but she is only being scared because it is fun to be scared. This sets off a plan in Twilight's mind.As the ponies clean up the mess in the town square, Zecora and the Mayor remind the foals that they still have their offerings of candy to give to Night Mare Moon. Once they have left their offerings at the statue of Night Mare Moon, Princess Luna makes a dramatic appearance in her darker aspect, and scares them once again. Once they have been scared off, she transforms back into Princess Luna, but is still afraid that Twilight's plan did not work. However, Pipsqueak then tugs on her mane to ask her something: even if there's not going to be any more Nightmare Nights, could she still come back next year to scare them? Princess Luna looks past him only to see all the other foals looking hopefully at her from a bush. To her puzzlement, Pipsqueak confirms that the way that she scared them is really fun, and that for him Nightmare Night is his favorite night of the year. Smiling, Luna proclaims that Nightmare Night will have to be reinstated; Pipsqueak tells her that she's his favorite Princess with a hug, and when he tells the other foals that she agreed, a delighted cheer goes up. Twilight tells her that they really do like her after all.
Back in town, Luna participates in more carnival games, personally accepts more candy offerings from the foals, and also has fun scaring some more ponies. At the end of the episode, Rainbow Dash once again shows up with her thundercloud, and when she is eagerly about to scare Twilight and Spike with lightning, Princess Luna gives her a taste of her own prank and scares off Dash in exactly the same manner.
Twilight learned that one of the best things about friendship is to give it to others and help it find themselves. Also, everyone in Ponyville learned that even if someone is a little intimidating or even scary, when you offer them their friendship, they'll discover a whole new pony underneath.
The following is a sortable chart of costumed characters that appear on the episode, by time of first appearance. Times are approximate.
Ace and Granny Smith don't wear costumes despite going to the festival. Fluttershy isn't costumed either, while holed up at home. Princess Luna wears a "costume" only briefly, when she uses her magic and some fake fangs to appear as Nightmare Moon.
- Fillies: [sing-song voice] Nightmare Night! What a fright! Give us something sweet to bite!
- Twilight Sparkle: Happy Nightmare Night, Granny Smith!
- Granny Smith: I should've been asleep five hours ago.
- Pinkie Pie: [chicken squawk] Enough chit-chat! Time is candy!
- Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie Pie, aren't you a little old for this?
- Pinkie Pie: Too old for free candy? [chicken squawk] Never!
- Twilight Sparkle: Rainbow Dash, that wasn't very nice.
- Rainbow Dash: Lighten up, old-timer. It's the best night of the year for pranks!
- Applejack: Howdy Spike. Hey Twilight. Nice costume.
- Spike: Thanks, I'm a dragon.
- Twilight Sparkle: She means me, Spike.
- Twilight Sparkle: Princess Luna? Hi, my name is --
- Princess Luna: Star Swirl the Bearded. Commendable costume! Thou even got the bells right...
- Twilight Sparkle: Thank you, finally! Somepony who gets my costume!
- Twilight Sparkle: You kinda sound like you're yelling at me.
- Princess Luna: But this is the traditional royal Canterlot voice! It is tradition to speak, using the royal we, and to use [booming voice] this much volume when addressing our subjects!
- Fluttershy: [yelling] Go away! No candy here! Visitors not welcome on Nightmare Night!
- Twilight Sparkle: [laughing] Fluttershy, it's me, Twilight!
- Fluttershy: It is you. Oh, and Night Mare Moon. [gasps] Night Mare Moon? [scream] [door slam]
- Princess Luna: Twilight Sparkle hath spoken of the sweetness of thy voice. We ask, thou teachest to us to speak as thou speakest.
- Fluttershy: [quiet] Okay.
- Princess Luna: [booming voice] Shall our lessons begin?
- Fluttershy: [quieter] Okay.
- Princess Luna: [booming voice] Shall we mimic thy voice?
- Fluttershy: [quiet] Okay.
- Princess Luna: [booming voice] How is this?
- Fluttershy: [hurriedly] Perfect. Lesson over.
- [runs, but then slams into the door after Twilight shuts it before she could get back in]
- Princess Luna: Ha ha! The fun has been doubled!
- Pipsqueak: Help! My backside has been gobbled!
- Princess Luna: 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!
- Pinkie Pie: Aaaaah-! [tackled and muffled by Twilight]
- Twilight Sparkle: No! No shrieking! No screaming or squealing either, okay?
- Pinkie Pie: [muffled] Mokway!
- Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie Pie! You're a genius!
- Pinkie Pie: No I'm not, I'm a chicken. [squawk]
- Princess Luna: [sarcastic] Forgive me if I withhold my enthusiasm.
- Princess Luna: Can it be true? [booming voice] Oh, most wonderful of...! [normal voice] I mean... Oh, most wonderful of nights.
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