Grogar's history as an ancient tyrant and creator of monsters resembles that of Morgoth, villain of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. His title of "Father of Monsters" is also similar to that of the Greek Titan Typhon, husband to the Mother of All Monsters Echidna.[dubious – discuss]
Grogar's lair resembles the Hall of Doom from various DC animated media.
After King Sombra captures Shining Armor, Princess Cadance, and Flurry Heart, he says "Kneel before Sombra", which is a direct reference to General Zod and his signature line, "Kneel before Zod", from DC Comics.
After Rarity mentions "cakewalk", Pinkie Pie does her version of a "cakewalk", which is a variation of the moonwalk with cake made famous by Michael Jackson.
When she is about to dig, Rarity yells, "Show me the muddy!", a parody of Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s catchphrase "Show me the money!" from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.
Twilight Sparkle declares "You may knock us down, but we're gonna get back up again!" as she confronts King Sombra, alluding to the chorus of "Tubthumbing" by the alternative rock band Chumbawamba.[dubious – discuss]
A little filly and a wolf that briefly appear outside the buckball stadium are a reference to the 1985 Disney film The Journey of Natty Gann, in which Meredith Salenger (the voice of Clear Sky) made her film debut.
The security ponies refuse Pinkie Pie entry to Cheese Sandwich's factory with the line "nopony ever comes out, and nopony ever goes in", almost identical to a line in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
At the beginning of the episode, Discord, Spike, and Big McIntosh appear in costumes similar to those of the title characters in the 1986 film Three Amigos.
Granny Smith's outer space dream with Grand Pear, Mudbriar, and Discord is a reference to Star Trek, including paraphrasing the franchise's tagline "Where no man has gone before". Coincidentally, William Shatner, who played James T. Kirk in Star Trek, voiced Grand Pear in The Perfect Pear, and John de Lancie, who played Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation, voices Discord.
Apple Bloom noticing the apple monster's approach by seeing ripples in a bucket of water is a reference to the 1993 film Jurassic Park.
Twilight's line "The same thing we do every time, Pinkie - try to save the world!" is nearly identical to the line "The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!" spoken by the Brain in the opening sequence and every episode of Pinky and the Brain.