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Episode Friendship University
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Star Swirl the Bearded: [voiceover] Dear Twilight, it is difficult to express how grateful I am to you for teaching me the power of friendship.
Rare Find: [grunts]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [voiceover] You would think after more than a thousand years, there would be nothing left to learn.
[wind whistling]
[clang!]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [voiceover] And yet, even a pony as old as I can continue to be surprised by how much there is to know.
[teleportation zap]
Twilight Sparkle: [reading] "I hope you find these postcards enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing you again, though I can't say when my journey will be complete. Your friend, Star Swirl.
Rarity: It must be gratifying to have your idol writing to you about the friendship lessons he's learning.
Twilight Sparkle: I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it. Of course, if he really wants to learn about friendship, he could just come to our school.
[door opens]
Cozy Glow: Professor Sparkle? The mailpony just came with, uh, a few things.
[door squeaks]
Rarity: Ooh! The sewing machines I ordered for my class!
Cozy Glow: These came, too. I wasn't sure what to make of them.
Rarity: These machines were costly, but I am quite certain the friendship lessons I can teach my students with them will be invaluable.
Twilight Sparkle: [sighs]
Rarity: Oh, don't worry, darling. I'll think of something. And I didn't use the school funds to buy these. I made the purchase entirely with my own bits.
Twilight Sparkle: It's not that. It's this!
Rarity: [reading] "Why waste your time at a friendship school that's just a school? Learn everything they teach and more at Friendship University"?!
[theme song]
Twilight Sparkle: Who would open another friendship school?
Rarity: Oh, pfft! I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. You're the Princess of Friendship. What could this other school possibly offer?
Smolder: It isn't just another friendship school. It's a university!
Ocellus: It says they teach the same lessons of competing schools in half the time. That's twice the learning!
Gallus: And it's in Las Pegasus? If Professor Rarity lets us skip her sewing class – road trip!
Young Six: [excited chatter]
Rarity: I think we need to look into this school.
Rarity: I don't like to judge solely on appearances. But... what kind of friendship school is this?
Student 1: Only the best friendship school in the west... and maybe all of Equestria!
[ponies cheering]
Twilight Sparkle: There's more ponies in here than at our whole school. Who is running this place?
[clank]
Flim: [echoing] Welcome, friends! You are about to embark on a journey of amazing magnitude! One that will change your lives forever!
Flam: [echoing] Prepare yourselves to embrace a new path and become students of...
Flim and Flam: Friendship U!
Twilight Sparkle: Flim and Flam. Of course.
[Flim]
If you're alone and you can't make friends
We understand your plight
[Flam]
Until now, there was just one way
Your friendships could take flight
[Flim]
There is a school real far away
That'll teach you what to know
But if you live here, you couldn't stay
[Flam]
You'd learn you have to go-o-o-o
Ponies: Awww...
[Flim]
Now, there is an alternative to all of that adversity
[Flam]
Not just a school, I'll have you know
[Flim and Flam]
But a whole university
At Friendship U, our aim is true
In a city, not some backwater
You'll learn the things you need to know
At our new alma mater
Flim: That's it, everypony, you heard correct!
Flam: Friendship U, the one and only university of friendship!
[Flim]
As you can see, we're a success
By any kind of stat
[Twilight Sparkle]
That may be so, for all I know
But I still smell a rat
[Flam]
Everypony, lookie here
That other school's headmare
[Flim]
Her presence is a testament
To the mutual respect...
[Flim and Flam]
...we sha-a-a-are
Twilight Sparkle: What?! No, it isn't!
[Flam]
It really is the final piece
To make our work complete
[Flim]
To have the Friendship Princess
Bless our school is such a treat
Flam: We're so honored!
[Flim and Flam]
At Friendship U, we teach to you (and you!)
All of our friendship knowledge
You'll learn it all in half the time
At the one and only friendship college
Twilight Sparkle: How can anypony learn friendship in half the time?
Flam: Our coursework is so accelerated, to take longer would be a crime!
[Flim]
The lessons that we teach have been
Reviewed and checked and edited
[Flam]
Which might explain why our new school's
[Flim and Flam]
About to be accredited
At Friendship U, oh, yes, it's true
Even the Princess of Friendship agrees
The only place in Equestria
To give out friendship degrees
Yeah!
[Ponies]
Friendship U!
Friendship U!
Friendship U!
Flim: That's it, everypony! Let's hear it! Tell us again why it's the best!
[All]
It's the only university of Friendship U!
[Flim and Flam]
Yeah!
Twilight Sparkle: Accredited?
Flam: It means officially recognized or authorized.
Rarity: We know what it means. But who would accredit this place?
Chancellor Neighsay: Why, the EEA, of course.
Twilight Sparkle: Chancellor Neighsay?!
Chancellor Neighsay: The Equestria Educational Association has taken an interest in institutions that teach friendship in a pony-first environment. Surely you didn't think your school has a monopoly on the concept?
Rarity: Well, she did write the book on it.
Chancellor Neighsay: Ah, yes. How to teach friendship to creatures who will one day use it as a weapon against us.
Twilight Sparkle: How could they use friendship as a weapon?!
Chancellor Neighsay: You tell me. It's your book. Meantime, this university appears to be a promising option for ponies who'd prefer to stick to the EEA book on the subject.
Twilight Sparkle: You can't be serious. They're obviously up to something. It's Flim and Flam!
Flim: [gasps] Well, that certainly wasn't friendly.
Chancellor Neighsay: One would think the headmare of a school of friendship – albeit an unaccredited one – would behave differently. Unless she was trying to undermine the competition? Hmm?
[ponies gasp]
Twilight Sparkle: I— No! What?! I-I am not!
Audience Pony: I did think the Princess of Friendship would be friendlier.
Flam: Now, now, fillies and gentlecolts. Let's show the princess just how friendly we are by signing up for some classes!
[ponies cheering]
Flim: Why don't I show you around?
Twilight Sparkle: I'm sorry, but approval from the EEA won't convince me that this school is what you promise.
Flim: And what would it take to convince you?
Twilight Sparkle: Well, somepony whose opinion I respect, for one.
Flim: Really? Somepony like... this?
[door opens]
Twilight Sparkle and Rarity: [gasp]
Star Swirl the Bearded: Twilight?
Rarity: Uh-oh.
Twilight Sparkle: Star Swirl? What are you doing here?
Star Swirl the Bearded: Why, studying friendship at Flim and Flam's wonderful school!
Rarity: Oh, please. I think I know a disguise when I see one. Take off that ridiculous beard... Flam!
[stretching sound]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [screams]
Flam: How's it going in here?
[snap!]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [groans] It-It's really me.
Chancellor Neighsay: I'd heard rumors you've returned, but I didn't believe it until now. And if a pony of your stature is studying here, there really isn't anything else I need to see. I, Chancellor Neighsay, hereby confer upon Friendship University complete and unreserved EEA accreditation!
Twilight Sparkle: I... I don't understand. Why would you come here and not my school?
Star Swirl the Bearded: My travels brought me to Las Pegasus. I didn't come for the school, but Flim and Flam convinced me to try it out.
Twilight Sparkle: You can't trust Flim and Flam! They tried to con the Apples out of their farm! They sold fake health tonic! They run a resort in Las Pegasus!
Flam: Technically, our resort is a legitimate business.
Star Swirl the Bearded: I spent a thousand years thinking the worst of a "bad" pony. You taught me to look for the best in him. Whatever Flim and Flam's past may be, starting this school shows they want to change for the better.
Twilight Sparkle: I wish I could believe that.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Besides, what's untrustworthy about opening a school of friendship? They don't even charge for classes.
Twilight Sparkle: I don't know. But I know they're up to something. And until I find out, I'm begging you, come to my school instead.
Chancellor Neighsay: I understand feeling threatened by competition, but my word, Princess. I wonder if the ill manners of the creatures at your school aren't contagious. I think I will take my leave before I become infected.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Twilight, I promise I'll visit your school soon. But for now, perhaps it's best if you return there.
Twilight Sparkle: You don't think they're running an actual friendship school, do you?
Rarity: Darling, of course not. Which is why we have to investigate!
Twilight Sparkle: But we can't go poking around the school. Everypony'll think I'm still just "threatened by the competition".
Rarity: Only if we do it as ourselves.
[door opens]
[door closes]
[door opens]
[door closes]
Rarity: In these disguises, we could pass as students at out own school.
Twilight Sparkle: [muffled] I don't know, Rarity.
Rarity: Ah-ah. What did I say about using our real names?
[door opens]
Twilight Sparkle: Sorry, "Plainity". But I'm pretty sure this isn't enough of a disguise.
[door closes]
Student 1: Hey, strangers! Are you two new here?
Rarity: [blows bubblegum] We sure are. Completely new.
Student 1: Great! See ya in class!
Rarity: [squeals] Now, I've read enough Shadow Spade to know the key to going undercover is rehearsing your backstory. [clears threat, in affected voice] I'm "Plainity". and I love bland old normal stuff. No frills for me. [normal voice] Okay! Your turn.
Twilight Sparkle: [groans] My name's Eyepatch. I have an eye patch.
Rarity: Perfect! Now, how do we start our investigation?
Twilight Sparkle: I think we should split up. You enroll in some classes and find out what they're actually teaching. I'll look around and see what I can find, assuming I'm not recognized.
Flam: Welcome, newest students! Let's dive right in, shall we? One of the most important elements of friendship is being thoughtful. True or false?
[students chattering eagerly]
Rarity: If by "thoughtful" you mean "generous", I'd say true.
Flam: Correct! [laughs] It was a trick question. Very impressive, Miss...?
Rarity: Plainity.
Flam: Well, well, well, Miss Plainity, keep it up and you'll be ready for our next level in no time!
[students' sounds of awe]
Flam: Now, let's see if you can demonstrate for the class. What's something generous you could do for... me right now?
[zip!]
Flam: Class, Plainity here is now my star pupil. If any of you want a chance at studying with Star Swirl, I'd take notes on her every action.
[writing sounds]
[door creaks]
Twilight Sparkle: Hello? The door is open, so I'll just assume it's okay to come in and look around. Unless somepony says it's not. All right, then.
[door closes]
Twilight Sparkle: [reading] "The Element of Laughter and its applications." Okay, that seems pretty genuine. "When to support your friends' decisions and when to talk sense." Huh. That's actually kind of interesting. Aha! "Friendship University's true goal... is to help friends become better friends"? [groans] Where is the proof that it's all a scam?
Flam: There isn't any!
[click]
[camera flashes]
Flim: Twilight Sparkle! Did you really think an eye patch was enough of a disguise?
Twilight Sparkle: No, I didn't!
Flam: Well, then we agree that everypony will recognize the Princess of Friendship in this photo of you sneaking into our office.
Flim: I can see the headline now! "Princess of Jealousy! Twilight Sparkle Bent on Ruining Her Competition!"
Flam: So sad. A news story like that would destroy your reputation. Nopony will want to go to your school after that.
Flam: Just wait until the papers get a hold of this!
Flim: "Princess Unhinged!" It'll be the talk of Equestria!
Star Swirl the Bearded: Well, gentleponies, I've finished another stack. The lessons in these worksheets are quite fascinating. Twilight? What's going on here?
Flim: Oh, just your protégé getting caught snooping in our office in disguise! Well, sort of.
Flam: Oh, honestly, Princess Twilight, envy does not look good on you.
Twilight Sparkle: I'm not envious! I know these two are up to something. I'm just trying to find out what.
Star Swirl the Bearded: The only pony I see who is up to something is the pony in this picture, and it is not the princess I know.
Flim: Well, it's about to be the princess all of Equestria knows.
Flam: Unless... you decided to drop the whole "uncover the scam" thing.
Flim: Then we'll rip this silly picture up and not let it completely and utterly ruin you and your school.
Twilight Sparkle: [whimpers]
Rarity: You can be generous with all sorts of things. Gifts, compliments, your time.
[ponies chattering excitedly]
Rarity: Hey, Eyepatch! Where's your eye patch? [gasps] Was your cover blown?
Twilight Sparkle: You could say that. Flim and Flam took a picture of me sneaking into their office.
Rarity: Were we wearing our eye patch?
Twilight Sparkle: If I don't stop investigating, they're going to tell everypony that I'm trying to sabotage their school because I'm jealous.
Rarity: But-But-But that's ridiculous!
Twilight Sparkle: I don't know. Maybe I am just upset that Star Swirl came here instead of my school. Flim and Flam may have turned over a new leaf. We should probably just go home.
Rarity: Twilight, you are not the kind of pony to let your emotions cloud your judgment. If you think Flim and Flam are up to no good, you can't give up, even if their lessons really are impressive.
Twilight Sparkle: Wait, what?!
Rarity: Which reminds me. Can you get a message to Spike? I want to return those sewing machines. I need the bits if I'm going to keep advancing here. Tuition's free, but the worksheets sure aren't. [laughs]
Twilight Sparkle: Flim and Flam are charging for these?
Rarity: Well, they have to cover expenses, and Flam insists that everything extra goes to improving the school and—
[beat]
Rarity: This is the scam, isn't it?
Twilight Sparkle: Let's find out.
Star Swirl the Bearded: These lessons are so valuable. Are you sure I can't give you more?
Flam: Ah-ah-ah! Unnecessary! Being able to share them with a pony like you is our real reward. [to Destitute Pony] Oh, my. And you want to study alongside Star Swirl, hmm?
Destitute Pony: It's all I have.
[paper rips]
Flim: Come back for the rest when you can afford it.
Destitute Pony: W-Wait! I'll sell the shirt off my back!
Flam: And that's the kind of determination that'll get you to the next level, student whose... name I know!
Rarity: [whispering] Twilight, maybe I should take over the investigation. Think of your reputation!
Twilight Sparkle: My reputation isn't worth much if I won't risk it for what I think is right. Besides, I have a plan.
[door opens]
[door closes]
[door opens]
[cranking sounds]
[door slams]
[door opens]
[bits jingling]
Flim: Well, brother of mine, we've got almost all the bits we need to expand our resort. If we add another level of classes and worksheets, we'll be there.
Flam: Maybe we should add two levels, just to be safe.
[beep!]
[powering-up sounds]
[water running]
Flim: [sighs] It's a thing of beauty. But I was thinking. What if we added another extreme pool slide here?
Flam: Mmmm... Sure, as long as the pipes for the musical chocolate fountain go through... here.
Twilight Sparkle: But shouldn't it go closer to the pudding hot tub here?
Flim: Fair point, but— What?!
Twilight Sparkle: I knew your school was a scam!
Flim: Well, well, well, if it isn't the Princess of Jealousy. I guess we'll be going to the papers after all.
Twilight Sparkle: And I suppose I'll just lead your students into this secret room of bits and resort expansion plans!
Flam: Uhhhh... l-let's not get hasty. You have something on us. We have something on you. Let's just call it even.
Twilight Sparkle: I don't think so. You can destroy my reputation if you want, but using your students' bits to expand your resort is wrong, even if the lessons you teach are good ones.
Flam: Of course they're good. We copied them from your book.
Flim: We just skipped every other page. All the lessons, half the time!
Twilight Sparkle: [groans] Fine. If you really want to call it even, give back the bits and stop charging for my lessons. Then you can teach them as much as you like.
Flim and Flam: Nah!
Flim: Running a school is more work than we thought. Besides, we almost have everything we need.
[zip!]
Rarity: I think not!
Flam: Plainity? My star pupil?
Rarity: [affected voice] Not Plainity, but... [normal voice] Rarity!
[beat]
Flim: Who?
Rarity: We decided to bring somepony else here to listen to everything you just said!
Flim: [stutters] Hey, Star Swirl. We were just about to—
Star Swirl the Bearded: Return the bits you've collected from your students and close your school?
Flam: [gulps] Yeah. That.
[bits jingling]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [sighs] It seems I'll never stop learning from your example, Twilight. It is a valuable lesson to stand up for what you know is true. I wish I had known it, too.
Student 4: Thanks for returning our bits. But how are we going to learn about friendship now?
[disappointed murmuring]
Star Swirl the Bearded: Well, I can refer you to a fairly reputable establishment just outside of Ponyville. I'm quite certain the headmare would consider letting you in.
Twilight Sparkle: [giggles]
[students cheering]
Twilight Sparkle: [reading] "Of course, if I ever go to a school again, I'll make sure it's yours. In friendship, Star Swirl."
Rarity: I still don't understand how Flim and Flam could have gotten a copy of your book.
[door opens]
Cozy Glow: Uh, I finished straightening up in the library. Professor Rarity, I just wanted to make sure you're definitely keeping these.
Rarity: But of course, darling. If there's one thing I learned at Friendship University, it is not to give up when you know what's right. And I know teaching friendship through sewing is right! I just need to figure out how.
[credits]