The My Little Pony brand describes its characters as ponies. The brand's toys, as the name suggests, usually consist of small colorful plastic ponies. The characters on the various My Little Pony television shows and movies are depicted with varying degrees of fantasy elements, like the ability to speak, fly, and use magic.
The show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic places the ponies in the "magical land of Equestria".
- 1 Three pony types
- 2 Other types of ponies
- 3 Nomenclature
- 4 Other equines
- 5 Horse-like stylization
- 6 Language
- 7 Gestures and mannerisms
- 8 Skeletal structure
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
Three pony types
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic divides ponies into three main "types" in the first episode: Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns. These are called the "three pony tribes" in the episode Hearth's Warming Eve. The storybook Under The Sparkling Sea adds seaponies, and previous My Little Pony generations included flutter ponies and breezies as well as sea ponies. Most, however, are absent from the Friendship is Magic series. The division into three types led the show's developer, Lauren Faust, to initially give them equal representation in the show's main cast and the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The powers of the Alicorns draws equally from the three types, according to the book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell.
Earth ponies have no wings or unicorn horn, and therefore most closely resemble real ponies. They are the kind first introduced by the My Little Pony brand. The chapter book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell mentions that one special trait is "the strength of a good, true heart of an Earth Pony." The main cast of the show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic features two Earth ponies: Applejack and Pinkie Pie.
Pegasi, or "Pegasus ponies", are ponies with wings and flight abilities – in the fashion of the legendary Pegasus. The term "Pegasi" is used in the episodes Sonic Rainboom and The Return of Harmony Part 1, and "Pegasus ponies" is used in the episodes Look Before You Sleep and Sonic Rainboom. When referring to a single pony, "Pegasus" is almost always used, with the exception of one "Pegasus pony" in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Pegasi can usually fly and interact with clouds. The main cast of the show features two Pegasi: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.
Two Pegasus royal guard ponies pull Princess Luna's chariot in Luna Eclipsed. The guards have tufted ears, bat-like webbed wings, non-hairy tail and crest, and wear dark purple armor. Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon identifies these Pegasi as "bat ponies". Other Pegasi with similar attributes, including Rainbow Dash, appear in an alternate timeline in The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2.
Unicorns are characterized by a magical horn on their foreheads, and they usually have magical abilities. The show's main cast initially features two unicorns: Rarity and Twilight Sparkle, but Twilight gains wings in the season 3 finale Magical Mystery Cure.
Other types of ponies
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are referred to as unicorns in the episode Friendship is Magic, part 1, and Princess Cadance is called a unicorn in the episode A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, all despite having both a unicorn horn and wings. They are called "Pony Princesses" in Hasbro's merchandise. Meghan McCarthy stated at the October 2012 New York Comic Con, between the airing of seasons two and three, that she had used the term "pegacorn" in the show's scripts, and mentioned switching to the term "alicorn". In the season three episode Magical Mystery Cure, Twilight Sparkle is described as an alicorn once she gains wings. Rarity, on the other hand, gained butterfly-like wings in the episode Sonic Rainboom without being called an alicorn. In the chapter book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, it is written that Twilight, and by extension at least also Cadance became "part of a special breed of pony called an Alicorn. This meant that Twilight was now able to harness the magical powers of the unicorns, the flight abilities of the Pegasi, and the strength of a good, true heart of an Earth Pony."
Crystal Ponies are introduced in the episode The Crystal Empire - Part 1. Crystal Ponies appear more "faceted" and "glittery" through a magic that links them with the Crystal Heart – this appearance carries on to all episodes that include the Crystal Ponies. While most possess neither wings nor a horn, at least one Crystal Pony guard is shown to have wings in Three's A Crowd; said wings share his body's crystalline appearance. The magic affects other characters temporarily in The Crystal Empire - Part 2, where Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, the Mane Six, and Spike all take on the texture and "coloration" of Crystal Ponies. A similar effect takes place in The Crystalling - Part 2 for the Mane Six ponies, Spike, Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Flurry Heart, Starlight Glimmer, and Sunburst. Celestia notes the importance of the Crystal Ponies when she tells Twilight that if their kingdom is "filled with hope and love, those things are reflected all across Equestria."
- See also: Pony of Shadows
During King Sombra's diary flashback in My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1, he is told by his mother that he is an umbrum, a shadow pony, and that an army of umbrum is buried below the Crystal Empire city. Sombra enslaves the Crystal Ponies to raise his umbrum army, but he has second thoughts and refrains from releasing them. In Siege of the Crystal Empire, Radiant Hope helps Sombra free the umbrum army, believing that they deserve to be liberated. However, having witnessed the umbrum reign over the Crystal Empire, Queen Chrysalis fears that their influence on Equestria will leave it unfit for her kind. The umbrum can use magic, but they are vulnerable to the power of the Crystal Heart.
A sign mentioning the Umbrum appears on page 6 of My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel Issue #4. Cute Umbrum and True Umbrum are characters in Gameloft's mobile game, serving as enemy minions and bosses, respectively, during the Siege of the Crystal Empire and "Reflections of Harmony" events. Cute Umbrum's in-game description states, "This Umbrum disguised itself so that ponies would be more likely to trust it! What does it really look like? let's agree to never think about that!!!"
Seaponies and mermares
Seaponies, named very similarly to G1 Sea Ponies, first appear in the storybook Under the Sparkling Sea, where the main characters go to the underwater kingdom of Aquastria. They resemble sea horses and are referred to as "cousins" of the earth-based ponies. Mermares, named somewhat similarly to G3.5 Mermaid Ponies and to G1 Fancy Mermaid Ponies, first appear in the same book and have fish fins, tail, and scales, and they are presented as the seaponies' competitor in the kingdom of Aquastria. Mermares are described as more introverted, bigger, and faster than seaponies. Neither kind of submarine ponies bear a cutie mark. Coral and Arrow are seaponies; Electra is a mermare.
Seaponies including Princess Skystar and Queen Novo appear prominently in My Little Pony The Movie, having previously been Hippogriffs. More seaponies later appear in seasons eight and nine of the show.
- See also: List of Kirin
Kirin[note 1] are a type of pony first mentioned on an expanded map of Equestria in a location called Kirin Grove. They are formally introduced in the season eight episode Sounds of Silence. Kirin are described as a peaceful tribe "known for their kindness and truth-speaking". But when they lose their temper, they transform into beasts of fire and rage called Nirik—"Kirin" spelled backwards, pluralized as "Nirik" or "Niriks". After their tempers resulted in the accidental destruction of their home, the Kirin leader Rain Shine forced them to step through the Stream of Silence and suppress their voices and emotions so that it doesn't happen again. Included among the Kirin is Autumn Blaze, the first Kirin to free herself from the Stream of Silence's effects.
Compared to normal ponies, Kirin have bushier manes that wrap around their heads, slightly longer ears, curved/branching horns, scaly carapaces on their muzzles and backs, thin tails, and tufted, cloven hooves. They have a large culture, with lots of singing, dancing, musical theatre, and stand-up jokes. Like unicorns, Kirin can also use telekinesis.
The term "My Little Pony" – and more often "My Little Ponies" – is used a few times in the show, such as by Twilight Sparkle in The Show Stoppers, Princess Celestia, Cheerilee, and Discord in The Return of Harmony Part 1, and Pinkie Pie in Fall Weather Friends, always in conversations concerning at least one pony. "Foals" is used in a few different contexts in the show, and "colt" and "filly" are used to refer to young ponies too, while "baby ponies" is used to refer to the youngest ponies. Apart from the above terms, others are sometimes employed: Trixie boasts in Boast Busters that she is destined to be "the greatest equine who has ever lived"; Sapphire Shores mentions "Clothes Horse magazine" in A Dog and Pony Show; and Braeburn refers to other ponies as "horses" in Over a Barrel. In The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flam states that "Any horse can make a claim and any pony can do the same." In Flight to the Finish, Scootaloo precedes a song by saying about her and her friends "we may just be little ponies, but we have hearts as strong as horses!"
Other kinds of equines and equine-like creatures are featured in the show.
Zecora is a zebra and explicitly stated not to be a pony – despite being the only other creature to feature a cutie mark.
In The Journal of the Two Sisters, young Luna and a manticore named Melvin encounter other zebras in a dark part of the Everfree Forest. Like Zecora, they have cutie marks and all speak in rhyme. Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare also features a villainous male zebra named Braze. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #89 features Zecora's childhood friend, a female zebra named Marini.
Donkeys and mules
A resident Ponyville mule is used as a visual gag in Applebuck Season, Hurricane Fluttershy, and One Bad Apple; Mulia Mild is another mule. One of the Diamond Dogs refers to Rarity as a "mule" in A Dog and Pony Show, and she acts deeply upset about it.
The Breezies are tiny, magical fairy-like creatures that have distinct pony attributes and body shapes, whilst also having large, clear wings and antennae. In the third generation of the My Little Pony toy line, Breezies were originally considered an official pony type, as previous generation Breezies had cutie marks, whilst in contrast the fourth generation Breezies are completely blank-flanked.
Abada are equine-like creatures from the zebra country of Farasi. They are similar to unicorns, except they have two curved horns (one in front that's shorter than the other), thin and slightly angular bodies, backswept ears, and thin tails. Two of Zecora's childhood friends are abada named Dust Devil and Cactus Rose.
In African mythology, the abada is an animal similar to a unicorn that has two crooked horns instead of a unicorn's single straight horn.
The show's developer, Lauren Faust, wanted the ponies to act in ways characteristic of horses and avoid human conventions that wouldn't fit with their stylization, like human poses, holding items in their hooves, sitting in chairs, and driving vehicles such as cars and trains.atural horse". Faust wanted the characters to "evoke the feeling of a natural horse". Faust specifies a few attributes in one of her interviews: the back of the ponies' heads streamlines down their neck and to their back; the manes fall to one side of the neck like a real horse; and they have authentic horse trots and gallops. Despite this, season two and onwards saw the show incorporate more human-like stylization as new artists joined the show.
Use of instruments
- See also: Forum:Speculation/Spears
Most of the time, ponies hold objects with their mouths, with their "wrist", between their hooves, by using magic or wings, or simply just with a single hoof: ponies hold shovels in their hooves in Winter Wrap Up, and Octavia Melody and Fiddly Twang "hold" their instruments' bow with one hoof. In Pinkie Pride, Pinkie Pie uses a sticky tape-like substance to hold a bubble blower onto her hoof. In The Saddle Row Review, Plaid Stripes invents "spoon clothes" to help Earth ponies hold spoons. In Viva Las Pegasus, Trapeze Star uses a hoof-strap tool to apply lipstick.
Equestria's spoken and written language is referred to in Sounds of Silence and Gameloft's mobile game as "Ponish", the archaic version of which is called "Old Ponish"[note 2] in A Health of Information, Marks and Recreation, Uncommon Bond, and Shadow Play - Part 1; either Olde Ponish or another language is called "Pony Latin"[note 3] in A Flurry of Emotions. Modern Ponish is largely identical to the real-life English language and alphabet; Olde Ponish is loosely similar to real-life Old English.
In Friendship is Magic, part 2, The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide is sorted under "E" on the Golden Oak Library shelves. In Swarm of the Century, Golden Harvest and Berryshine write "Welcome Princess Celest" on a banner, with the rest of Princess Celestia's name unable to fit. In The Cutie Pox, Scootaloo initially mistakes one of Apple Bloom's fake cutie marks for the letter "O". In Family Appreciation Day, Granny Smith recites the alphabet while jumping over watering cans. In Rainbow Falls, Pinkie Pie says "Gimme a 'P' for 'Ponyville'!"; on The Journal of the Two Sisters' The Journal of Friendship page 18, Rainbow Dash writes "A for effort! And they represent the home team of Ponyville. And as Pinkie says, 'Pee for Ponyville.'" In The Cutie Map - Part 1, Pinkie says "If we were at the end of Equestria, we'd be sitting on a big 'A'!" Enterplay collectible card game Canterlot Nights #36 U gives Hayseed Turnip Truck an "'A' For Effort".
Gestures and mannerisms
In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Games Ponies Play, and Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, respectively, Rainbow Dash, Ms. Harshwhinny, and Applejack move their hooves to imitate air quotes; as part of the point of air quotes is that the two fingers of each hand represent the two curved lines of the quotes, this gives the impression of single quotation marks (') rather than double quotation marks ("). In Parental Glideance, Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles plug their ears using their wings, Spitfire and Fleetfoot use their wings to salute, and Rainbow Dash counts off on her wing feathers like fingers. In The Washouts, Rolling Thunder uses a wing to wrap a bandage around one rear leg while gesturing with her front legs.
Ponies applaud in the series in two different ways. The first is by clapping their front hooves together, like Twilight Sparkle in Look Before You Sleep, Hoity Toity in Suited for Success, and Apple Bloom's classmates in Family Appreciation Day. The second way characters applaud is by stamping their front hooves on the ground, first done by the theater audience in The Show Stoppers; other examples are the applause by the fashion show audience and Rarity in Green Isn't Your Color, and by crowds in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, The Last Roundup, and Putting Your Hoof Down.
A hoof-bump, also known as high-hoof or brohoof, imitates either a handshake, high-five, or even a fist bump. Ponies bump their hooves in several instances in the series:
- Look Before You Sleep: Rarity declines a hoof-bump by Applejack since she spits on her own hoof before offering it. Later, the two of them do a hoof-bump after Twilight declares her slumber party a success.
- Fall Weather Friends: Applejack and Rainbow Dash do a spit-soaked hoof-bump before competing against each other before the Iron Pony competition and before the Running of the Leaves.
- A Bird in the Hoof: Rainbow Dash and Philomena hoof/wing-bump toward the end of the episode.
- Sisterhooves Social: Applejack and Apple Bloom hoof-bump (referred to by Sweetie Belle as a "high-hoof") after corralling sheep.
- A Friend in Deed: Pinkie Pie uses the term "hoof-bump" during the Smile Song.
- Ponyville Confidential: The Cutie Mark Crusaders do a three-way hoof-bump several times throughout the episode.
- A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, The Crystal Empire - Part 1, Games Ponies Play, and The Times They Are A Changeling: Twilight and Princess Cadance do a double hoof-bump in their "sunshine, sunshine" dance.
- Wonderbolts Academy: The term "hoof-bump" is once again used, this time by Rainbow Dash.
- Games Ponies Play: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump during the "Equestria Games Inspector's" visit to the Crystal Empire.
- Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1: Twilight and Pinkie Pie hoof-bump as they and their friends put on the Elements of Harmony.
- Castle Mane-ia: Applejack and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump while agreeing to stay in the castle to prove who is the most daring pony.
- Flight to the Finish: The Cutie Mark Crusaders hoof-bump while agreeing to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's challenge. Scootaloo and Granny Smith also hoof-bump after Scootaloo regains her confidence.
- Equestria Games: Helia and Parasol do wing-ups and hoof-bumps at the same time.
- Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump in the Castle of Friendship during Let the Rainbow Remind You.
- Castle Sweet Castle: After Rarity and Rainbow Dash reject Applejack's quilts, they both perform the hoof-bump while saying "Together!"
- Party Pooped: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump after Rainbow makes a blanket of snow for Prince Rutherford and the other Yakyakistan delegates.
- The Hooffields and McColts: During the Hooffield and McColt families' reconciliation, Big Daddy McColt and Ma Hooffield do a spit-soaked hoof-bump.
- On Your Marks: Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo perform a hoof-bump while Scootaloo assures Apple Bloom that they will solve problems getting cutie marks in Ponyville.
A hoof-shake is a friendly form of greeting or acknowledgement between ponies, akin to a handshake. Ponies and other non-pony characters in the series use a hoof-shake to greet each other in numerous instances in the series:
- Friendship is Magic, part 1: Applejack greets Twilight Sparkle with a vigorous hoof-shake when they first meet at Sweet Apple Acres.
- The Ticket Master: Rainbow Dash shakes Soarin's hoof in her fantasy of impressing the Wonderbolts.
- Griffon the Brush Off: Pinkie Pie pranks Gilda, and Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie later prank each other, with a "hoof-shake buzzer".
- The Best Night Ever: Twilight Sparkle shakes the hooves of "Sir Pony Moore", Fine Line, Perfect Pace, Shooting Star, and "Star Gazer" at the Grand Galloping Gala.
- Luna Eclipsed: Princess Luna offers a hoof-shake to Pinkie Pie in an attempt to "make peace", but Rainbow Dash scares Pinkie away before they can do so.
- Games Ponies Play: Ms. Peachbottom greets Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack each with a hoof-shake at the Crystal Empire train station.
- Daring Don't: Daring Do offers Rainbow Dash a hoof-shake before Rainbow Dash hugs her.
- Rarity Takes Manehattan: Prim Hemline shakes Suri Polomare's hoof to commend her fashion line presentation at Manehattan's Fashion Week.
- Three's A Crowd: Discord shakes Twilight Sparkle's hoof to congratulate her for passing his "friendship test".
- Simple Ways: Golden Harvest shakes Rarity's hoof to congratulate her for being chosen as the Ponyville Days pony of ceremonies.
- For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: In Sweetie Belle's dream, S04E19 Unnamed Earth Mare #1 shakes her hoof to congratulate her for her award acceptance.
- Slice of Life: Matilda meets Steven Magnet at the Ponyville Day Spa by shaking his large hand.
- Princess Spike: "Joe Pescolt" and "March Gustysnows" shake hooves as part of their mutual agreement during the Grand Equestria Pony Summit.
- The Hooffields and McColts: Twilight Sparkle meets Ma Hooffield with a hoof-shake, and "Turner McColt" and "Hilly Hooffield" shake hooves to celebrate the union of their respective families.
- The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2: Starlight Glimmer and Applejack shakes hooves during Friends Are Always There For You.
- The Crystalling - Part 1: Spike shakes "Golden Väs" when the latter mentions he's a "big fan".
- The Times They Are A Changeling: Thorax greets Twilight Sparkle with a hoof-shake while disguised as "Crystal Hoof".
- The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: Gabby greets Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo with a vigorous hoof-shake.
- Viva Las Pegasus: Gladmane greets Fluttershy and Applejack with a hoof-shake when they arrive at his Las Pegasus resort.
- Sounds of Silence: Autumn Blaze greets Fluttershy with a hoof-shake.
Ponies use their manes and tails to pick up, hold, and manipulate objects or perform various activities, most commonly Pinkie Pie. In Boast Busters, Applejack uses her tail to wield a lasso. In Party of One, Rarity uses her tail to carry a cake box. In The Cutie Pox, Apple Bloom uses her tail to spin a loopty-hoop, and Zecora uses hers to hold up the Seeds of Truth. In Power Ponies, the Mane-iac uses her mane and tail to walk around and hold various objects. Pinkie Pie holds a flashlight with her mane in Bats!, a camera with her tail in Pinkie Apple Pie, and a flyer with her tail in Three's A Crowd. In Rainbow Falls, Applejack uses her tail to fling an Apple Brown Betty into the air. In Buckball Season, Fluttershy uses her tail to catch and fling the ball in the sport of buckball.
Other uses that ponies have made of their manes and tails include sweeping (Sweetie Belle in The Show Stoppers), covering up one's flank or cutie mark (Babs Seed in One Bad Apple; Pinkie Pie in The Cutie Map - Part 1; Starlight Glimmer in The Cutie Map - Part 2), drilling (Pinkie in Bats!), and rotating like a helicopter's rotors to fly (Pinkie in Amending Fences).
In Read It and Weep, Doctor Horse X-rays Rainbow Dash's broken wing. In Bloom & Gloom, Apple Bloom's skeleton is briefly visible when she gets zapped by twittermites. In Scare Master, a decoration modeled after a unicorn skeleton is hung in a window in Ponyville, and Applejack discovers a skeleton dummy in a rocking chair dressed up to resemble Granny Smith. In Newbie Dash, Rainbow Dash's skeleton is briefly visible when she gets struck by lightning. In Dungeons & Discords, the Squizard has an army of Earth pony, Pegasus, and unicorn skeletons, and unicorn Big McIntosh's skeleton is briefly visible when he and Spike are zapped by the Squizard's magic. In The Break Up Break Down, Skellinore is introduced as a Level 18 Bone Warrior in Squizard's mage army. In Father Knows Beast, Twilight Sparkle's skeleton is briefly shown to indicate she is heartbroken.
In Friendship is Magic #12, Buck Withers's skeleton is briefly visible when he gets zapped by a disco ball. In Annual 2014, two mummy minions' skeletons are briefly visible when they get struck by Zapp's lightning. In FIENDship is Magic #5, unicorn bones are seen in a magic pond. In Friends Forever #28, Thestra uses her magic to make her and her friends' skin and muscle invisible, exposing their skeletons underneath.
- Apple Bloom
- Big McIntosh
- Derpy Hooves[sic]
- Granny Smith
- Pinkie Pie
- Princess Celestia
- Rainbow Dash
- Sweetie Belle
- Twilight Sparkle
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- Misspelled as "Kiran" by Syfy Wire and as "Karin" by ET online.
- Spelled as "Old Ponish" in Gameloft's mobile game, A Health of Information's broadcast script, and Discovery Family closed captioning and as "Olde Ponish" in Marks and Recreation, Uncommon Bond, and Shadow Play - Part 1's scripts.
- Formatted as "Pony Latin" in A Flurry of Emotions' broadcast script and Discovery Family closed captioning and as "Pony-Latin" in A Health of Information's locked script.
- New York Comic Con 2012 MLP Panel (2012-10-12). Retrieved on 2012 October 15.
- Jim Miller (2016-12-29). Big Jim on Twitter: "Please refer to the pinned tweet on my page.… ". Twitter. Retrieved on 2018 July 22.
- Equestria LA 2015 My Little Pony creator's panel featuring Lauren Faust and Bonnie Zacherle (2015-09-03). Retrieved on 2019 August 3.
- Lauren Faust panel at BronyCon 2012 (2012-06-30). Retrieved on 2012 July 7.
- "Extended interview with Lauren Faust", Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, 2013
- Interview: Raven Molisee at Everfree Northwest 2013. The Round Stable (2013-07-16). Retrieved on 2013 July 16.
- Review: MLP:FiM Micro-Series issue #2: Rainbow Dash. Louder Yay (2013-03-21). Retrieved on 2013 March 31.
- My Little Pony Lifestyle Lifestyle Lookbook Shoot Behind-the-Scenes | MIGHTY LOOKBOOKS. YouTube (2020-08-17). Retrieved on 2020 August 17.
- My Little Pony (Series 1) - Freeny's Hidden Dissectibles | mighty unboxxing (live first look). YouTube (2020-08-12). Retrieved on 2020 August 17.
- Sharon Yang (2021-06-10). Introducing Series 2 of Freeny’s Hidden Dissectibles: My Little Pony. Mighty Jaxx. Retrieved on 2021 June 12.