|On Your Marks|
|Season episode №:||4|
|Overall episode №:||121|
|Original airdate:||April 9, 2016|
|Story by:||Dave Polsky|
|Written by:||Dave Polsky and Josh Haber|
|Storyboard:||Ward Jenkins and Hanna Lee|
|Featured characters:||Tender Taps|
|Song:||Out On My Own|
|credits • transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
The Gift of the Maud Pie
Gauntlet of Fire
On Your Marks is the fourth episode of season six of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the one hundred and twenty-first overall. The title is a reference to "on your marks, get set, go", the expression used to start a race.
The episode's "art nerd references" were by Charmaine Verhagen and Kora Kosicka. Furthermore, the "Tree Hugger masterpieces" during the art class scene in Out On My Own were designed by Verhagen, Kosicka, Fernanda Ribeiro, Kristen Lobb, and Matt Herring.
This is the first episode that marks the complete absence—outside of the My Little Pony theme song—of the entire Mane Six and Spike; they are merely depicted via drawings, and Rarity is also mentioned.
Post-cutie mark meeting
At the Cutie Mark Crusaders' clubhouse, Apple Bloom calls to order their first meeting since receiving their cutie marks. Unfortunately, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are so enamored with their cutie marks that they are unable to focus. Before Apple Bloom also gets distracted by her own mark, she proposes they go out and try new things, such as square dancing and mountain climbing.
- "And the more things we try, the more chances we'll have to finally get our cutie marks!"
- — Apple Bloom
However, as Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo point out, the Crusaders already have their cutie marks, much to Apple Bloom's embarrassment. The three fillies realize that crusading for their marks is all they have ever done, and they wonder what to do next. Apple Bloom suggests they do what their cutie marks symbolize: helping other ponies find out or rediscover what makes them special.
Finding ponies to help
The Crusaders travel around Ponyville to find ponies with cutie mark-related problems—from Big McIntosh to Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake to Mayor Mare—but all of the ponies they meet appear to be perfectly content with their special talents and lives. As the Crusaders start to question how special they truly are, they encounter Bulk Biceps, who says he has a cutie mark problem.
The Crusaders invite Bulk back to their clubhouse—despite the cramped space—and he explains that his cutie mark is a dumbbell, but he has lifted every dumbbell in Ponyville. When they suggest he find other things to lift, he asks what to do after that. The Crusaders then suggest that he teach other ponies to lift things, and this quickly satisfies him.
Apple Bloom worries that there aren't many ponies in Ponyville with cutie mark problems and those that do have problems are too easily solved. Because of this, she wonders if the Cutie Mark Crusaders have any reason to exist.
The Crusaders take stock of their situation—too few ponies to help and easily solvable cutie mark problems—and Apple Bloom proposes expanding their search to all of Equestria. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo believe that's too much for them to handle and they should instead focus on helping ponies in Ponyville. Until then, they can just do things for fun without the pressure of getting their cutie marks.
The three fillies try out several activities around town, such as scootering and singing, but they find it difficult to think of something they are all interested in. Despite Apple Bloom's reservations, the three decide to pursue separate interests. Suddenly on her own, Apple Bloom tries to find something fun to do, all while singing a heartfelt ballad. Unfortunately, she can't, particularly because she doesn't have Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to do it with.
For a brief time, Apple Bloom discovers an interest in dancing in a class taught by Hoofer Steps, and she substitutes for a shy student named Tender Taps. Due to her lack of dancing talent, however, she struggles to fit in. As Apple Bloom leaves, she talks with Tender Taps, who has a lot of tap-dancing talent but suffers from stage fright.
- "I bet some day my cutie mark will even be about performing! But I could never dance in front of an audience the way I do in class. That's t-t-t-t-terrifying!"
- — Tender Taps
You don't need to be good
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo return to the Crusaders clubhouse after an afternoon of fun spent crocheting and bungee-jumping. Inside the clubhouse, they find Apple Bloom sitting alone in the dark. After trying dozens of activities and failing to find anything that interests her, Apple Bloom despairs about finding happiness now that she and her friends don't hang out anymore. Scootaloo corrects her by stating they can still hang out, but they don't have to do everything together.
Apple Bloom admits that she did like dancing, but she wasn't very good at it. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo tell her she doesn't need to be good in order to have fun. When Apple Bloom mentions Tender Taps and his performance troubles, Sweetie Belle asks if he had his cutie mark.
At the Ponyville dance theater, the Crusaders find Tender Taps backstage, and Apple Bloom tries to convince him to perform. When Tender Taps expresses fear from performing in front of an audience, Apple Bloom says she'll perform with him so he'll look good by comparison.
While Sweetie Belle provides them with costumes and Scootaloo assists with the stage backdrop, Apple Bloom and Tender Taps perform a tap-dancing act together. Apple Bloom mostly embarrasses herself, but Tender Taps manages to overcome his stage fright and impress the audience with his dancing. As the ponies cheer for him, he earns a tap-dancing cutie mark.
Tender Taps thanks the Cutie Mark Crusaders for helping him realize his tap-dancing potential. He tells Apple Bloom that he hopes she continues dancing, and Apple Bloom says she will. Apple Bloom apologizes to her friends for being so silly about them trying new things on their own, and Sweetie Belle says by doing so, they'll be three times as likely to find ponies to help.
- "Well, one thing is for sure. The Cutie Mark Crusaders will never be the same. We'll be better!"
- — Apple Bloom
- For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
- Apple Bloom: This is ridiculous! We need to go out and do somethin'!
- Sweetie Belle: Wow, you're right!
- Scootaloo: Yeah, we need to go try new stuff like we used to!
- Apple Bloom: Exactly.
- Sweetie Belle: Like square dancing!
- [square dancing music]
- Scootaloo: Or mountain climbing! [stock yodel]
- Apple Bloom: Or square dancin' on the mountain we just climbed!
- Sweetie Belle: But are you sure you feel content?
- Big McIntosh: Eeyup.
- Scootaloo: Not even a tinge of dissatisfaction?
- Big McIntosh: Nnnope.
- Apple Bloom: Not even the slightest naggin' sensation that you don't really know what your purpose is in life or why you have a big apple as a cutie mark?
- Big McIntosh: [grunts] [spits] [annoyed] Nnnope.
- Sweetie Belle: [blows tone] Do... Mi... So... It's just a simple harmony.
- Scootaloo: Harmony, huh?
- Sweetie Belle: [tapping with stick] And a-one, and a-two, and a-one two three! [on-key] Do...
- Apple Bloom: [simultaneously, off-key] So...!
- Scootaloo: [simultaneously, very off-key] Mi! Wow, that was simple!
- Apple Bloom: ...and even though Scootaloo thinks bungee jumping is the bee's knees...
- [pen squeaking]
- Apple Bloom: ...Sweetie Belle would rather keep bees.
- Apple Bloom: I don't see how I'm supposed to be happy that we're not hanging out anymore!
- Scootaloo: Wait, I never said that. I just said we don't have to do everything together.
- Sweetie Belle: Like when there's something one of us wants to do that the others don't.
- Apple Bloom: Oh. [beat] Well, I guess that changes things.
- Apple Bloom: Well, one thing is for sure. The Cutie Mark Crusaders will never be the same. We'll be better!
- Jim Miller (2016-04-09). Big Jim on Twitter: "SB's costume is loosely based on one of Dolly Parton's. #MLPSeason6". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 April 9.
- Jim Miller (2016-04-09). Big Jim on Twitter: "Art nerd references courtesy of @charmainevee and @kkosicka. #MLPSeason6". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 April 9.
- Jim Miller (2016-04-09). Big Jim on Twitter: "@InmanAlex It's our design team! @kkosicka @charmainevee @fe_rib Kristen Lobb and Matt Herring!". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 April 12.
|Equestria Girls||Rainbow Rocks||Friendship Games||Legend of Everfree|
|My Little Pony The Movie|
|Dance Magic||Movie Magic||Mirror Magic||Forgotten Friendship|
|Rollercoaster of Friendship||Best Gift Ever||Spring Breakdown||Rainbow Roadtrip|
|Sunset's Backstage Pass||Holidays Unwrapped|
|Rainbow Rocks shorts||Friendship Games shorts||Summertime Shorts||Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 1)|
|Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 2)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 1)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 2)||Equestria Girls Minis|
|Baby Flurry Heart's Heartfelt Scrapbook||Rarity's Peek Behind the Boutique||Fundamentals of Magic||My Little Pony Established 1983|
|Friendship is Magic shorts||Hello Pinkie Pie||Stop Motion Shorts|