I don't know if really anyone will see this, but I felt like putting it up anyway. These are my personal Top 20 episodes of the show as of now. Since I'm terrible at making these kind of decisions, this list will probably be subject to change in the future, maybe, I don't know. Anyway, this is NOT a list stating that these are the BEST episodes, even though a lot of them would probably be considered the best, but I digress. These are MY personal favorite episodes to watch as of Season Four, and if you disagree with it, then I guess we could never truly be friends. ;)
Winter Wrap Up is a great episode that's pretty enjoyable to watch. But I mostly love it for the amazing song, rather than what actually happens in the episode, so it just missed making my Top 20.
20. Applebuck Season
When I first started watching this show, I wasn't really trying to see if it was good or not. I just heard it was good from people on the interwebs, so I decided to give it a shot, and I wasn't expecting much, and even to this day I don't really let my expectations get too high. Too much hype can be a bad thing, so I try to avoid it most of the time. Anyway, I was just going through the show, enjoying myself, so I didn't really pay attention to what episodes were better than others.
Going back though, this one is a lot better than I remember. This is definitely AJ's best, showcasing a legitimate character flaw, and showing how each of the other ponies react to it. It's the first episode Big Mac talks, which back then wasn't a huge deal, but now it's like WHAT! It's also the first truly funny episode of the show. All of the gags with AJ getting KO'd, the trophy scene, and that Lion King reference, help make this a very memorable episode and the first sign of greatness from this show.
19. Suited For Success
This episode premise would probably fail in any other show. But this show does a great job of making the episode about the characters and their personal conflicts, and not so much about the "girly" or uninteresting topic. They were able to take an episode about dresses, and make something truly great. Suited For Success definitely has a slightly unique feel to it from other episodes. It's animation is definitely a step-up from most episodes in Season One, and maybe the interior of Rarity's boutique gives the whole episode a kind of different color scheme and overall feel. Usually this episode or A Dog and Pony Show is the one that turns people over to Rarity's character, but it was definitely this one for me. We actually get to see her as a passionate, creative, generous, artist, and not just "the prissy one". This episode is also pretty funny, Pinkie's cat lady line being my favorite. Also, Art of the Dress is pretty good song, with a great reprise, and who could forget the birth of 20% cooler? Between that and Vinyl's first appearance, this episode was definitely a huge influence in the fandom.
18. Sonic Rainboom
Like I said before, when I was first watching this show, I was just kind of going with the flow, not really thinking too much about it. I ended up not watching it for over three months after Episode 15. I just kind of forgot about it once other things in life came up. I decided this summer to start watching again, and I asked myself, "Why was I watching this show in the first place?" Then, I watched this episode and I was like, "Oh yeah...that's why."
This is certainly a highlight of the series, with the iconic "Yay" intro, "Kevin", and of course, the Rainboom itself. This is a pretty much perfectly told story from beginning to end. Rainbow has her struggle with her nerves slowly creeping up on her the entire episode, showing that under the cocky exterior she's pretty self-conscious, culminating in a mental breakdown right before the competition. Rarity was shown to be generous in being the test subject for the spell, but we also see her vanity take control once she starts getting too much attention, showing that she didn't just 180 from Suited For Success, and she's still a 3-dimensional character with her flaw still being present. This conflict between these two characters was played so well throughout the entire episode. Rarity's performance costume was hilariously stupid, and her wings burning up was a great reference to mythology as well as great karma. On a bit of a more serious note, when Dash hit the Rainboom, and I watched her soar across the screen at supersonic speed, something clicked. It felt like all the elements that make the show great were all finally on display, and I knew this show was going to be something special. This is in my opinion, the best episode up to this point in the series, only topped by three other Season One episodes that you'll see coming up.
17. The Best Night Ever
While not being my personal favorite of Season One, this is still a very solid episode. The build up to The Gala was there since Episode 3, and the fact that they actually held continuity throughout the season to build up to the finale showed that the creators actually respected those viewers who tuned in every week to watch.
The episode starts off fairly slow, with some pretty good jokes here and there, but once they get to The Gala, things really get moving. The song is really well-done, having everyone sing a verse about what they're going to do, and the chorus build up at the end helped it end with a bang. It let you know things were about to go down. This whole episode is pretty much non-stop shenanigans and fun after that, and I love it. All six stories are told extremely well within a 22 minute time-frame, and even though I wouldn't consider it the best of the season, it's still a satisfying conclusion.
16. Princess Twilight Sparkle
This was definitely different from a lot of the 2-parters. There was no clear-cut antagonist this time. Sure the vines were a problem, but the real conflict was interpersonal, between the Mane Six.
Twilight is still trying to grasp the fact that she's an Alicorn Princess, and spends the first part of the episode away from her friends. This episode does a good job of addressing the problem of Twilight's position of power conflicting with her daily life. In the end, the episode shows that the Mane 6 will never be separated, because they need each other. Nothing is going to break them apart, and that's what the show is all about.
The flashback scenes are pretty intense as well, ESPECIALLY the banishment scene. That literally almost made me cry. It wasn't really a funny episode, but it didn't really need to be. Discord's role here as Twilight's trolling, yet subliminally helpful teacher is an awesome touch. Overall, this is a great introduction to Season Four.
15. Maud Pie
Maud is amazing. There's nothing else that needs to be said about her. With so few words and emotions, we somehow got an awesome, well-rounded character. Pretty much everything she said was funny, and the way all of the others played off it was hilarious. The scenes with each of the ponies trying to become friends with Maud are great, and it was also cool to see Pinkie actually talk about her family for once.
The whole scene where the others tell Pinkie that they aren't having any luck with Maud, and Pinkie's mane deflates as she retreats back into the store, is so well done, and I felt so much for everyone's perspective. Pinkie's crazy event she built was pretty funny, and the part where Maud completely obliterates the boulder left me in awe. The train scene in the picture above was really touching, and it might very well be the first scene involving Pinkie that didn't have a joke in it somewhere. Nice job, DHX. In the end, we learn that Maud really does love her sister a lot, and it was a great way to end a great episode.
14. Too Many Pinkie Pies
This episode is freaking hilarious from start to finish. Pretty much every single gag or joke in this episode hits a bullseye. From Pinkie's head ticking, to the facial expressions, to the forgotten name gag, to the entire paint drying scene, everything was so dang funny in this one! Who could forget Pinkie's inflating fingers and G3 face? But, this episode wasn't all laughs though. There were actually a few scenes where Pinkie was actually questioning wheter or not she was the real one, since she knows no one would be able to tell the difference anyway. And she's not wrong. All of the clones look EXACTLY alike. For all we know, Twilight could've accidentally sent the real Pinkie back to the Mirror Pool, but we're pretty sure she didn't....right? All jokes aside, we get the real Pinkie back, everything is okay, and this crazy episode finally comes to a satisfying close.
13. The Crystal EmpireThis episode is a little controversial amongst the fans. Some say it was a great episode, and others say it was a letdown. And as you can see, I'm part of the former. I just persaonally don't see why this episode left so many people disappointed.
For starters, the animation right off the bat took a huge leap from Season Two It looks a lot more official, sometimes even movie quality, and it improved even more in Season Four. We also get a season-long arc that's not shoved in our face. It's subtly hinted at throughout the episode, and it makes you feel like something big is going to happen. Moving on to the Crystal Empire itself, it honestly looks pretty amazing. The style of architecture looks really cool, and it has this grand feel about it.
Another thing people were disappointed with was the villian, and while I can see where they're coming from, I don't feel the same way. The entire argument is that he didn't have enough screen-time to be developed. But from my point of view, he didn't really need to be developed much. He was an evil guy, and that's pretty much all there is to it. I think the fact that the mere thought of him causes the kind of reaction it gets from the citizens is more than enough to solidify that this was a threatening dude. Either way, episode wasn't really even focused on him; it was about Twilight's story and the journey she and Spike went on, which by the way was pretty awesome. The "worst fears" scene was extremely intense and touching, and the climax with Spike getting the heart and Shing Armor chucking Cadance into the air was pretty entertaining. The way the heart powered up and exploded out of the tower was an amazing display of animation, and the ending reprise of the first song leaves me with immense satisfaction.
12. Pinkie Apple PieI don't really have a whole lot to say about this one, but I love it so much. It's such a simple episode, but it packs so much fun into it that I can't help but love every second. The whole episode is hilarious throughout, with the Apple Family banter and Pinkie's comments and non-sequitors. The running gag of Pinkie's picture taking gets funnier and funnier the more the episode goes on. Not to mention that awesome song! It's probably my second-favorite song of Season Four. It's extremely catchy, and really heartfelt. I also really like how they left Pinkie's relationship to the Apples open-ended, but gave us the hint using Goldie Delicious's gravity-defying jenga books like Pinkie did with the scrolls in the beginning. This episode is without a doubt one of the most sincere and heartfelt in the entire show.
11. Testing Testing 1, 2, 3
This episode is just so chill. Literally nothing happens in this episode besides Rainbow passing a test. This is the kind of episode we need a few more of. There is so much room for funny shenanigans and the shows strongest element, interesting and fun character interaction. And this episode is packed to the brim with it.
Rainbow and Twilight's teaching scene in the treehouse is so well done, and so calm too. The whole thing just feels natural to what would really happen in a situation like that. If there was ANYTHING in this episode that was a little underwhelming, it would probably be Fluttershy's animal play, and even that was pretty funny. Pinkie's rap rocked my world so hard the first time I saw it. I was cracking up throught the whole thing, and had to pause the video to tell my parents what I had just witnessed, a pink technicolor pony rapping 90's style with Run DMC clothes, Flavor Flav clock, 4:3 aspect ratio and everythin! That was definitely a highlight of the entire series for me.
The great animation is definitely on display here, with this episode feeling a bit more crisp and varied than a lot of the episodes this season. The fact that Rainbow does the whole catalogging thing while she's flying is pretty cool, and actually very convenient now that I think about it. The whole scene where they try to help Rainbow learn at the end was pretty entertaining and cool that all of those other ponies would help out. This is definitely an episode I can watch over and over and always be entertained.
10. The Cutie Mark ChroniclesIt goes without saying that this is pretty much a perfect episode. We get all of the Mane 6's backstories of how they got their cutie marks, my personal favorites being Pinkie's and Rainbow's. We get a really cool tie-in to all of them, being connected by the Rainboom. And most importantly we get an ever-enertaining, lore-filled episode packed to the brim with the kind of content that could drive any fandom into mass analysis and theoryzing, a perfect recipe for a fantastically put together episode. Unfortunately, there isn't really much else to say about it without delving into too much detail. It's just an amazing episode that had an amazing impact, and added so many new layers to the show we love so much.
9. Lesson ZeroThis episode...is definitely something. This episode let all of us know that the show was trying to take things to the next level this season, if the premiere didn't convince you of that already. Everything that happens in this one is so crazy and unexpected. This is the kind of stuff that you don't normally get in shows of any kind, complete, gradual mental breakdowns. And this show clearly knows how to make them terrifying and hilarious at the same time.
Between the Sonic Rain-Nuke, Fluttershy snapping Harry's neck, Spike's creative fourth wall breaks, and Twilight going completely insane, you have one crazy, awesome episode. What made Twilight's breakdown so much more funnier and interesting, was the way they handled it through the episode. It was gradually getting worse and worse, and we all witnessed it boil up into a complete psychotic break that created town-wide chaos that needed Celestia to calm it back down. On another note, Spike was actually really good in this episode. I think this and Equestria Girls are his best roles. Also the fact that this episode realized the problem of Twilight being shoehorned into episodes she didn't need to be in, opened so many new doors for more creative and new episodes. It definitely helped Season Two become my favorite season, while being an extremely memorable and amazing episode in itself as well.
8. Party of OneHilarious. This episode is hilarious. From the smallest jokes to the biggest ones, this has me going from chuckling to cracking up the whole time. What makes this episode so unique, is that you have NO idea what's coming next. Sure, most people probably could have predicted why the others were avoiding Pinkie, but I think you know what I'm talking about when I say, things were "unexpected".
It starts off as such an innocent thing with everyone having a good time at Pinkie's party. That's also how it ends, but you the viewer, are in a TOTALLY different state of mind. It's like the two halves of this episode are two different episodes completely. The first half is innocent and pretty entertaining, and the second half just completely 180's into this intense, crazy, hilarious, literal emotional roller coaster that leaves questioning what you just watched. But it leaves you curiously wanting more, because you're thinking what you just witnessed was either the most amazing thing, or the most insane (considering the circumstances of this being a pony show). Maybe it's both. Either way, this is a MUST SEE episode that really adds so much to Pinkie's character, and a lot of things maybe you didn't think you'd ever see in a show like this.
7. A Friend In DeedI F***ING LOVE THIS EPISODE! I don't have a whole lot to say in detail, so I'm just gonna give the gist of it. First of all, Pinkie is so awesome in this episode. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's her adorable and funny facial expressions. Maybe it's her unwavering optimistic desire to be friends with Cranky. Maybe it's her hilarious naivete and crazy antics. Maybe it's all of those things combined. Any way you slice it, Pinkie is in top form for me in this one.
Second, THIS SONG!!!!!!!!!! This is BY FAR my favorite song in the show. LOOK AT ALL THE CAPS I'M USING! It's so nice to listen to from the second it starts to the second it ends, while giving us everything we need to know about what drives Pinkie to wake up every morning and be the amazing, crazy party girl we all know and love.
Lastly, I don't know why, but the message really gets to me. Maybe it's the way she says it or the way it's written, but to me, it's the only lesson to actually make me smile every time I hear it. Maybe it's because I connect to it so well. I feel like I'm Cranky's personality on the outside, but Pinkie's personality on the inside, and maybe it's the combination of those two sides of my character that make me love this episode so much.
6. Magical Mystery CureA cotroversial episode to say the least, but I couldn't help but put it in this spot. Season Three could have been complete garbage, (which it wasn't, despite what some of the more "outspoken" fans say) and this would have made the entire season completely worth it. Oh, and any logical problems you have with the episode could be solved with a look at [review.]
Sure the pacing may be a little wonky, (and I will stand by this until my dying day - or until we get something even better than my #1 pick - if this episode was split into two parts and given the right amount of time to flow like the other 2-parters, this would without a doubt be the best episode of the entire show) with Twilight figuring out how to complete that spell pretty coveniently, and most of the episode flying by, but I can look past that because of how awesome this episode made me feel. That was this episode's whole goal, feels , and it completely succeeded in my eyes. The musical angle this episode took helped give it that "emotional rollercoaster" feel. "Morning In Ponyville" was pretty happy and upbeat. "What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me" is a funny, yet still kind of emotional impact song to get the ball rolling. "I've Got To Find A Way" is the feels punch in the gut. "A True, True Friend", my favorite of the bunch, is so full of energy and emotion, culminating in that huge, entire town participation finish that's always great to see. "Celestia's Ballad" makes me all misty-eyed every single time I hear it. And "Life In Equestria" is a fitting, upbeat end to an amazing ride.
This episode also did something really cool for the whole series. It made the whole journey feel real. Twilgiht's character arc was an actual plan from the beginning, and it adds another aspect to the show on top of all of the other amazing things it does. This gave all previous episodes and lessons a real, chronological purpose in the grand scheme of the show, and it's really awesome to see how far it's come since the beginning. This episode reminds me of why I love this show every time I watch it.
5. Hurricane FluttershyThere isn't an enormous amount to say about this one. It's just perfect, no doubt about it. I can not find a single thing that could be wrong with this episode. It's perfectly paced. All of the characters are in top form, especially Rainbow Dash. There aren't a whole lot of funny moments, but the ones that are there are great, namely Fluttershy's "sickness", Bulk Biceps, and the Fluttershy tree joke. This episode also has quite a few intense or sad moments, getting me all misty-eyed over here.
The story and conflict are also a lot more real this time around as well. We get an extremely real, relatable problem that Fluttershy has, and flashbacks to back it up. Her whole journey through the episode feels very natural and real. I'm saying that a lot, but that's what this episode is, very real, and an excellent connection to a lot of people that could be watching. The way Fluttershy finally overcomes her past and triumphs in the end is really nice, and the moral at the end seals the deal. It's amazing how many times this show can make me go through all the emotions in a span of twenty minutes.
4. The Return Of HarmonyDiscord is such a boss. He's one of everyone's favorite characters, and for good reason. His debut in this episode was freakin' awesome. John de Lancie gave an amazing performance here as always, and Discord himself was an amazing thing to see in general. He certainly isn't something we expected when Season One ended. Actually, I don't think anyone expected this kind of episode at all from this show after seeing the first season.
They definitely stepped everything up in Season Two, and it showed from the very first episode. This premiere took me along with everyone else by surprise the first time we saw it. How could you not be taken by surprise? This episode is so good in so many ways. We have a really cool, interesting, joker-esque villain with untold powers that can ONLY be defeated by the Elements of Harmony. And the best part is, he's not even really evil. He never intentionally wantd to hurt or injure people. He just loves being a huge troll and f**king things up. It's awesome! We also get a really interesting conflict, having Discord manipulate all of the Mane 6, and the only way to save themselves and the rest of the world is to remember the whole point of the show. And that's pretty cool that they really try to reinfornce the message of the show in the premiere like that. This is truly an episode you need to see for yourself, and that Star Wars ending sealed the deal for me. [awesome]
3. A Canterlot WeddingI don't particularly like calling myself a brony, because I don't really find it necessary, or labels in general. But, technically I am one, and this is the episode that finally put the nail in the coffin. I was having such a blast watching Season Two, and this one completely blew me away and made this one of my favorite shows of all time. I was already loving this show, but this is the one that finally did it.
They just pulled out ALL the stops in this episode. You have this premise of the "Royal Wedding" completely turned upside down into this really engaging "invasion" story about love, trust, friendship, believing in your instinct, etc. You have the cool-looking villain, who honestly would have won if it wasn't for the Power Of Love-Ex Machina. You have the amazing "This Day Aria" and extremely effective ending song, "Love Is In Bloom". You have the crazy fight scenes, which I never thought I'd get from this show. You get your really intense and sad moments. This episode is such a rollercoaster, and I love every bit of it. It gives me all kinds of different feels every time I watch it, and once those credits roll, I'm reminded once again why this show is so awesome.
2. Pinkie Pride
Crazy? Insane? Weird? Over the top? Yes! Yes! Yes! And Yes! This one is so good, and everyone knows it. Everything you could ever want and more from a Weird Al guest performance is on display here. The Cheese/Pinkie dynamic is pure genius, and the musical format works extremely well here. It's hilarious. It goes through all the emotions. It's thoroughly entertaining from the second it starts to the second it ends. It's everything we could have hoped for. It's something you need to see to believe. It's #2 on this list, and I don't know what else I can say besides Everyone and their mother needs to watch this! Now, let's move on to the only episode that can top this master work of cartoon entertainment.
1. Twilight's KingdomThis...is a masterpiece. The only real issue that people seem to have with this is the Rainbow Power, and I could honeslty care less about that. They really didn't look THAT bad, and they got the job done so it's fine by me.
Besides that however, this really is a masterpiece. Unless DHX can completely shatter all my expectations again, this is probably the best they can do with a show like this. The story is amazing and very well-done. The writing and directing was in top-form this episode. "You'll Play Your Part" has got to be one of the best songs in the show, and is my personal favorite of Season Four. Tirek is an amazing villain. I don't know if they can top him. He was such an effective character, that clearly posed a HUGE threat to the entire world. And he wasn't playing around like Discord was. This was clear, malicious intent. The fight scene was extremely intense and well-choreographed. And the ending song with the snap of the picture left me immensely satistfied, and SO HYPED for Season Five.
I didn't go into too much detail about this one, because it's truly something you should watch for yourself, instead of reading my every little thought about everything I liked. If I did that, this would be way too long. Just know that this was really something special, and this finale further cemented this show as one of my favorites.