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Applejack being ladylike S1E01
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I believe that Amy Keating Rogers screwed up in a very big way when she wrote Fall Weather Friends. But let's back up a bit. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is my favorite show. Why? It would take me a very long time to explain every single thing I like about it, but the biggest reason might just be the show's writing. Why? A large part of it is the sheer lack of flaws; there simply isn't a whole lot that I can point to as being wrong with the show. If a show has no flaws, the only thing left is greatness. I don't even really dislike any of the episodes or the characters. A lot of people dislike Diamond Tiara, Gilda, Rainbow Dash, Silver Spoon, and The mysterious Mare Do Well, but not me though. All of the mistakes made by adult cartoons such as Family Guy, South Park, and The Simpsons are strangely absent from Friendship is Magic. It's just demoralizing when you watch a show for years and years and it keeps making the same mistakes over and over again, and it gets even worse when a lot of the cartoons you watch are like this. But My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is different; most of the time, the writers don't make annoying and stupid mistakes because they actually know how to write and this makes the show a very welcome breath of fresh air. Friendship is Magic is the best show I've seen in a very long time, and I would even go so far as to say it's better than Family Guy, South Park, and The Simpsons.

But Fall Weather Friends...Amy Keating Rogers screwed up royally when she wrote this episode. How? You don't know? There's nothing about that episode that doesn't make sense? Well, despite its glaring something-filled plot hole that mutilated the show forever, the episode itself is fantastic, as they all are. Fall Weather Friends depicts the characters Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing through several feats of physical strength and athleticism to prove once and for all which of them is Ponyville's greatest athlete. Have you figured it out yet? Have you figured out why Fall Weather Friends is a terrible, terrible episode?

Well let's start off with the first and most obvious reason. Applejack, a pony who's had to work on a farm every day since foalhood, competing against Rainbow Dash, a pony who almost never exercises her legs. Although the episode does imply that Applejack is the better athlete, there are still events where Rainbow Dash either comes close to, ties with, or outright beats Applejack. That doesn't make any sense. Applejack is used to a life of hard labor, Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, hardly ever exercises any part of her body that isn't her wings or her mouth. You'll notice that most of the time she flies everywhere she goes as opposed to walking (she's stronger than most Earth ponies and using their legs is all Earth ponies do). So you would think that at this point in her life, her leg muscles would be so severely atrophied that she would have no choice but to use her wings to get around, but no, they aren't; despite her complete lack of exercise, she's almost as good an athlete as someone who works out quite frequently. Why? How is she anywhere near Applejack? Applejack should've thoroughly and decisively annihilated Rainbow Dash in every single event they competed in. This leaves us with two possibilities. Either A) Rainbow Dash is some kind of freak of nature who's genes are so superior to Applejack's that she can barely exercise at all and be almost as good as a pony who's livelihood depends on her body and who comes from a long line of farmers who've had to work their entire lives, or B) it was bad writing. There is no reason for Rainbow Dash to be as strong as she is. We hardly ever actually see her do anything with her legs. Yeah, we see her show off that she's strong, but we never saw what she did to become that strong, unlike with Applejack. Some fans say she's in such great shape because she pushes and kicks clouds all day, but how much does a cloud weigh? Exactly. Even Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle get more exercise than she does, so realistically, she shouldn't even be that strong, let alone almost as strong as Applejack of all ponies. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. It will only get much worse as I explain the depth of Amy Keating Rogers' failure.

In addition to being a gigantic plot hole, having Rainbow Dash be in greater physical condition than ponies who get more exercise than her creates two major missed opportunities. The first is that having her so obsessed with flight that she neglected her legs would've added an interesting limitation to her character; to make her the pinnacle of awesomeness, but then to have her have this severe handicap that makes her inferior to everyone else. It also would've made the rest of the Mane 6 more unique, because it would've created situations where they would be able to shine because they would be able to do things that Rainbow Dash couldn't do. It would've given her character more depth, and they could've even made episodes about this.

You also have to think about what this means for Earth ponies. Let's face it: Earth ponies have gotten no love from the writers. Pegasi can fly, walk on clouds, and control the weather. Unicorns can perform any kind of spell you could possibly imagine as well as control the sun and the moon. As of right now, Earth ponies are equivalent to wingless Pegasi and hornless Unicorns. Yes, the show has stated that only they can grow the food, and Faust has said that they have a special connection to nature, but that's not enough. What is this special connection to nature? What stops Pegasi and Unicorns from burying seeds and pouring water on them? They haven't said. Had Fall Weather Friends not come along, this would have allowed the writers an opportunity to make Earth ponies unique. They could've taken the obvious road and made them stronger, faster, and all around more athletic than the other two races; that isn't much, but it would've been something. But because of Fall Weather Friends' existence, they can't do that. It's too late to go back and fix it because it's canon now. Rainbow Dash established that Earth ponies are not stronger than Pegasi and Unicorns. They're worthless now. Because of that one episode! Thank you, Amy Keating Rogers.

While Fall Weather Friends itself is a good episode, it's awful when you look at the impact that it has on the series, and you can't retcon it because retconning is bad and you should never do it. Amy Keating Rogers' thought process probably didn't go anywhere beyond "I want to write an Applejack/Rainbow Dash episode." She never looked at the big picture. Rainbow Dash and all the other characters could've had more depth! Earth ponies could've finally been special! And Rainbow Dash having legs almost as strong as Applejack's isn't just a plot hole for Fall Weather Friends either; it puts a plot hole in every episode where she does something with her legs that Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle can't do. The writer's can't have Rainbow Dash display feats of athleticism superior to Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle because it would make no sense, but at the same time, they can't not do it because that would be retcon. So now, the writer's have no choice but to write inconsistencies into almost every episode because of you, Amy Keating Rogers!