The show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic places the ponies in the "magical land of Equestria".
Three pony types
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic divides ponies into three main "types" in the first episode: Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns. These are called the "three pony tribes" in the episode Hearth's Warming Eve. The storybook Under The Sparkling Sea adds seaponies, and previous My Little Pony generations included flutter ponies and breezies as well as sea ponies. Most, however, are absent from the Friendship is Magic series. The division into three types led the show's developer, Lauren Faust, to initially give them equal representation in the show's main cast and the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The powers of the Alicorns draws equally from the three types, according to the book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell.
chapter book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell mentions that one special trait is "the strength of a good, true heart of an Earth Pony." The main cast of the show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic features two Earth ponies: Applejack and Pinkie Pie.
Pegasus. The term "Pegasi" is used in the episodes Sonic Rainboom and The Return of Harmony Part 1, and "Pegasus ponies" is used in the episodes Look Before You Sleep and Sonic Rainboom. When referring to a single pony, "Pegasus" is almost always used, with the exception of one "Pegasus pony" in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Pegasi can usually fly and interact with clouds. The main cast of the show features two Pegasi: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Two Pegasus royal guard ponies pull Princess Luna's chariot in Luna Eclipsed. The guards have tufted ears, bat-like webbed wings, non-hairy tail and crest, and wear dark purple armor. Other Pegasi with similar attributes, including Rainbow Dash, appear in an alternate timeline in The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2.
Rarity and Twilight Sparkle, but Twilight gains wings in the season 3 finale, Magical Mystery Cure (see next section).
Other types of ponies
- Main article: Alicorns
Crystal PoniesCrystal Ponies are introduced in the episode The Crystal Empire - Part 1. Crystal Ponies appear more "faceted" and "glittery" through a magic that links them with the Crystal Heart – this appearance carries on to all episodes that include the Crystal Ponies. While most possess neither wings nor a horn, at least one Crystal Pony guard is shown to have wings in Three's A Crowd; said wings share his body's crystalline appearance. The magic affects other characters temporarily in The Crystal Empire - Part 2, where Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, the main ponies, and Spike – who is a dragon – all temporarily possess on the texture and "coloration" of Crystal Ponies. Princess Celestia notes the importance of the Crystal Ponies when she tells Twilight that if their kingdom is "filled with hope and love, those things are reflected all across Equestria."
- See also: Pony of Shadows
During King Sombra's diary flashback in My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1, he is told by his mother that he is an umbrum, a shadow pony, and that an army of umbrum is buried below the Crystal Empire city. Sombra enslaves the Crystal Ponies to raise his umbrum army, but he has second thoughts and refrains from releasing them. In Siege of the Crystal Empire, Radiant Hope helps Sombra free the umbrum army, believing that they deserve to be liberated. However, having witnessed the umbrum reign over the Crystal Empire, Queen Chrysalis fears that their influence on Equestria will leave it unfit for her kind. The umbrum are able to use magic, but they are vulnerable to the power of the Crystal Heart.
Seaponies and mermaresSea Ponies, first appear in the storybook Under the Sparkling Sea, where the main characters go to the underwater kingdom of Aquastria. They resemble sea horses, and referred to as "cousins" of the earth-based ponies. Mermares, named somewhat similarly to G3.5 Mermaid Ponies and to G1 Fancy Mermaid Ponies, first appear in the same book and have fish fins, tail, and scales, and they are presented as the seaponies' competitor in the kingdom of Aquastria. Mermares are described as more introvert, bigger, and faster than seaponies. Neither kind of submarine ponies bear a cutie mark. Coral and Arrow are seaponies; Electra is a mermare.
The term "My Little Pony" – and more often "My Little Ponies" – is used a few times in the show, such as by Twilight Sparkle in The Show Stoppers, Princess Celestia, Cheerilee, and Discord in The Return of Harmony Part 1, and Pinkie Pie in Fall Weather Friends, always in conversations concerning at least one pony. "Foals" is used in a few different contexts in the show, and "colt" and "filly" are used to refer to young ponies too, while "baby ponies" is used to refer to the youngest ponies. Apart from the above terms, others are sometimes employed: Trixie boasts in Boast Busters that she is destined to be "the greatest equine who has ever lived"; Sapphire Shores mentions "Clothes Horse magazine" in A Dog and Pony Show; and Braeburn refers to other ponies as "horses" in Over a Barrel. In The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flam states that "Any horse can make a claim and any pony can do the same." In Flight to the Finish, Scootaloo precedes a song by saying about her and her friends "we may just be little ponies, but we have hearts as strong as horses!"
Other kinds of equines and equine-like creatures are featured in the show.
In The Journal of the Two Sisters, young Luna and a manticore named Melvin encounter other zebras in a dark part of the Everfree Forest. Like Zecora, they have cutie marks and all speak in rhyme. Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare also features a villainous male zebra named Braze.
Donkeys and mules
A resident Ponyville mule is used as a visual gag in Applebuck Season, Hurricane Fluttershy, and One Bad Apple; Mulia Mild is another mule. One of the Diamond Dogs refers to Rarity as a "mule" in A Dog and Pony Show, and she acts deeply upset about it.
The Breezies are tiny, magical fairy-like creatures that have distinct pony attributes and body shapes, whilst also having large, clear wings and antennae. In the third generation of the My Little Pony toy line, Breezies were originally considered an official pony type, as previous generation Breezies had cutie marks, whilst in contrast the fourth generation Breezies are completely blank-flanked.
Character designThe show's developer, Lauren Faust, wanted the ponies to act in ways characteristic of horses and avoid human conventions that wouldn't fit with their stylization, like human poses and holding items in their hooves. Faust wanted the characters to "evoke the feeling of a natural horse". Faust specifies a few attributes in one of her interviews: the back of the ponies' heads streamlines down their neck and to their back; the manes fall to one side of the neck like a real horse; and they have authentic horse trots and gallops. Despite this, season two and onwards saw the show incorporate more human-like stylization as new artists joined the show.
Use of instrumentsMost of the time, ponies hold objects with their mouths, with their "wrist", between their hooves, by using magic or wings, or simply just with a single hoof: ponies hold shovels in their hooves in Winter Wrap Up, and Octavia Melody and Fiddly Twang "hold" their instruments' bow with one hoof. In Pinkie Pride, Pinkie Pie uses a sticky tape-like substance to hold a bubble blower onto her hoof. In The Saddle Row Review, Plaid Stripes invents "spoon clothes" to help Earth ponies hold spoons. In Viva Las Pegasus, S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #7 uses a hoof-strap tool to apply lipstick.
ApplausePonies applaud in the series in two different ways. The first is by clapping their front hooves together, like Twilight Sparkle in Look Before You Sleep, Hoity Toity in Suited for Success, and Apple Bloom's classmates in Family Appreciation Day. The second way characters applaud is by stamping their front hooves on the ground, first done by the theater audience in The Show Stoppers; other examples are the applause by the fashion show audience and Rarity in Green Isn't Your Color, and by crowds in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, The Last Roundup, and Putting Your Hoof Down.
HairIn addition to the above, ponies use their manes and tails to pick up, hold, and manipulate objects or perform various activities, most commonly Pinkie Pie. In Boast Busters, Applejack uses her tail to wield a lasso. In Party of One, Rarity uses her tail to carry a cake box. In The Cutie Pox, Apple Bloom uses her tail to spin a loopty-hoop, and Zecora uses hers to hold up the Seeds of Truth. In Power Ponies, the Mane-iac uses her mane and tail to walk around and hold various objects. Pinkie Pie holds a flashlight with her mane in Bats!, a camera with her tail in Pinkie Apple Pie, and a flyer with her tail in Three's A Crowd. In Rainbow Falls, Applejack uses her tail to fling an Apple Brown Betty into the air. In Buckball Season, Fluttershy uses her tail to catch and fling the ball in the sport of buckball.
Other uses that ponies have made of their manes and tails include sweeping (Sweetie Belle in The Show Stoppers), covering up one's flank or cutie mark (Babs Seed in One Bad Apple; Pinkie Pie in The Cutie Map - Part 1; Starlight Glimmer in The Cutie Map - Part 2), drilling (Pinkie in Bats!), and rotating like a helicopter's rotors to fly (Pinkie in Amending Fences).
Hoof-bumpA hoof-bump, also known as high-hoof or brohoof, imitates either a handshake, high-five, or even a fist bump. Ponies bump their hooves in several instances in the series:
- Look Before You Sleep: Rarity declines a hoof-bump by Applejack since she spit on her own hoof before offering it. Later, the two of them do a hoof-bump after Twilight declares her slumber party a success.
- Fall Weather Friends: Applejack and Rainbow Dash do a spit-soaked hoof-bump before competing against each other before the Iron Pony competition and before the Running of the Leaves.
- A Bird in the Hoof: Rainbow Dash and Philomena hoof/wing-bump toward the end of the episode.
- Sisterhooves Social: Applejack and Apple Bloom hoof-bump (referred to by Sweetie Belle as a "high-hoof") after corralling sheep.
- A Friend in Deed: Pinkie Pie uses the term "hoof-bump" during the Smile Song.
- Ponyville Confidential: The Cutie Mark Crusaders do a three-way hoof-bump several times throughout the episode.
- A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, The Crystal Empire - Part 1, Games Ponies Play, and The Times They Are A Changeling: Twilight and Princess Cadance do a double hoof-bump in their "sunshine, sunshine" dance.
- Wonderbolts Academy: The term "hoof-bump" is once again used, this time by Rainbow Dash.
- Games Ponies Play: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump during the "Equestria Games Inspector's" visit to the Crystal Empire.
- Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1: Twilight and Pinkie Pie hoof-bump as they and their friends put on the Elements of Harmony.
- Castle Mane-ia: Applejack and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump while agreeing to stay in the castle to prove who is the most daring pony.
- Flight to the Finish: The Cutie Mark Crusaders hoof-bump while agreeing to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's challenge. Scootaloo and Granny Smith also hoof-bump after Scootaloo regains her confidence.
- Equestria Games: Helia and Parasol do wing-ups and hoof-bumps at the same time.
- Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump in the Castle of Friendship during Let the Rainbow Remind You.
- Castle Sweet Castle: After Rarity and Rainbow Dash reject Applejack's quilts, they both perform the hoof-bump while saying "Together!"
- Party Pooped: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump after Rainbow makes a blanket of snow for Prince Rutherford and the other Yakyakistan delegates.
- The Hooffields and McColts: During the Hooffield and McColt families' reconciliation, Big Daddy McColt and Ma Hooffield do a spit-soaked hoof-bump.
- On Your Marks: Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo perform a hoof-bump while Scootaloo assures Apple Bloom that they will solve problems getting cutie marks in Ponyville.
Hoof-shakeA hoof-shake is a friendly form of greeting or acknowledgement between ponies, akin to a handshake. Ponies and other non-pony characters in the series use a hoof-shake to greet each other in numerous instances in the series:
- Friendship is Magic, part 1: Applejack greets Twilight Sparkle with a vigorous hoof-shake when they first meet at Sweet Apple Acres.
- The Ticket Master: Rainbow Dash shakes Soarin's hoof in her fantasy of impressing the Wonderbolts.
- Griffon the Brush Off: Pinkie Pie pranks Gilda, and Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie later prank each other, with a "hoof-shake buzzer".
- The Best Night Ever: Twilight Sparkle shakes the hooves of "Sir Pony Moore", Fine Line, Perfect Pace, Shooting Star, and Star Gazer" at the Grand Galloping Gala.
- Luna Eclipsed: Princess Luna offers a hoof-shake to Pinkie Pie in an attempt to "make peace", but Rainbow Dash scares Pinkie away before they can do so.
- Games Ponies Play: Ms. Peachbottom greets Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack each with a hoof-shake at the Crystal Empire train station.
- Daring Don't: Daring Do offers Rainbow Dash a hoof-shake before Rainbow Dash hugs her.
- Rarity Takes Manehattan: Prim Hemline shakes Suri Polomare's hoof to commend her fashion line presentation at Manehattan's Fashion Week.
- Three's A Crowd: Discord shakes Twilight Sparkle's hoof to congratulate her for passing his "friendship test".
- Simple Ways: Golden Harvest shakes Rarity's hoof to congratulate her for being chosen as the Ponyville Days pony of ceremonies.
- For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: In Sweetie Belle's dream, S04E19 Unnamed Earth Mare #1 shakes her hoof to congratulate her for her award acceptance.
- Slice of Life: Matilda meets Steven Magnet at the Ponyville Day Spa by shaking his large hand.
- Princess Spike: "Joe Pescolt" and "March Gustysnows" shake hooves as part of their mutual agreement during the Grand Equestria Pony Summit.
- The Hooffields and McColts: Twilight Sparkle meets Ma Hooffield with a hoof-shake, and "Turner McColt" and "Hilly Hooffield" shake hooves to celebrate the union of their respective families.
- The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2: Starlight Glimmer and Applejack shakes hooves during Friends Are Always There For You.
- The Crystalling - Part 1: Spike shakes "Golden Väs" when the latter mentions he's a "big fan".
- The Times They Are A Changeling: Thorax greets Twilight Sparkle with a hoof-shake while disguised as "Crystal Hoof".
- The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: Gabby greets Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo with a vigorous hoof-shake.
- Viva Las Pegasus: Gladmane greets Fluttershy and Applejack with a hoof-shake when they arrive at his Las Pegasus resort.
Ponies' bones are featured in several episodes and IDW comics.
In Read It and Weep, Doctor Horse X-rays Rainbow Dash's broken wing. In Bloom & Gloom, Apple Bloom's skeleton is briefly visible when she gets zapped by twittermites. In Scare Master, a decal of a unicorn skeleton is displayed on a window in Ponyville, and Applejack discovers a skeleton dummy in a rocking chair dressed up to resemble Granny Smith. In Newbie Dash, Rainbow Dash's skeleton is briefly visible when she gets struck by lightning. In Dungeons & Discords, the Squizard has an army of Earth pony, Pegasus, and unicorn skeletons, and unicorn Big McIntosh's skeleton is briefly visible when he and Spike are zapped by the Squizard's magic.
In Friendship is Magic #12, Buck Withers's skeleton is briefly visible when he gets zapped by a disco ball. In Annual 2014, two mummy minions' skeletons are briefly visible when they get struck by Zapp's lightning. In FIENDship is Magic #5, unicorn bones are seen in a magic pond. In Friends Forever #28, Thestra uses her magic to make her and her friends' skin and muscle invisible, exposing their skeletons underneath.
In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Rainbow Dash moves her hooves to imitate air quotes, even though part of the point of air quotes is that the two fingers of each hand represent the two curved lines of the quotes. Ms. Harshwhinny and Applejack also perform the same gesture in Games Ponies Play and Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, respectively. In Parental Glideance, Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles plug their ears using their wings, Spitfire and Fleetfoot use their wings to salute, and Rainbow Dash counts off on her wing feathers like fingers.
- ↑ New York Comic Con 2012 MLP Panel (2012-10-12). Retrieved on 2012 October 15.
- ↑ Lauren Faust panel at BronyCon 2012 (2012-06-30). Retrieved on 2012 July 7.
- ↑ "Extended interview with Lauren Faust", Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, 2013
- ↑ Interview: Raven Molisee at Everfree Northwest 2013. The Round Stable (2013-07-16). Retrieved on 2013 July 16.
- ↑ Review: MLP:FiM Micro-Series issue #2: Rainbow Dash. Louder Yay (2013-03-21). Retrieved on 2013 March 31.