|Season episode №:||23|
|Overall episode №:||49|
|Original airdate:||March 31, 2012|
|Written by:||M. A. Larson|
|Storyboard:||Sherann Johnson & Justin Nichols|
|Featured characters:|| Cutie Mark Crusaders|
| credits • transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
MMMystery on the Friendship Express
The episode opens just as school is getting out, with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo complaining about the compliments Featherweight is receiving for his new-found cutie mark, considering they have yet to find their own. Apple Bloom states that she has found the answer to all of their problems with the school newspaper, the Foal Free Press. But just as she begins to explain, she is called away by Granny Smith. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle decide to try out the idea, but they have completely misunderstood Apple Bloom. First, they try using the newspaper to make paper-mâché, bird's nests, and even sailing down the river in a newspaper boat, checking for a cutie mark on their flank with each attempt. After these feats, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle come to Apple Bloom to tell her how bad of an idea it was. Upon getting a chance to explain, Apple Bloom tells them that she meant for them to write for the Foal Free Press. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo fall over in defeat.
The Foal Free Press
The Cutie Mark Crusaders stay in the schoolhouse after class, for the Foal Free Press meeting. Scootaloo and Apple Bloom find trying to get their cutie marks in journalism to be "such a good idea." Miss Cheerilee goes on to start the meeting, explaining that the previous editor-in-chief graduated, and that the editor-in-chief is the one in charge of the whole paper. She also states that they have a new editor to replace the previous: Diamond Tiara. The entire class is surprised, and Diamond Tiara jumps right into the meeting. She explains that nobody takes the school paper seriously, and how she plans to "deliver [them] to new-found glory," with only a single agreement from the rest of the class, and immediately begins handing out orders to the staff photographer, Featherweight. Diamond Tiara states that there will be no more "Namby-pamby stories like last year's editor," referring to Namby-Pamby, the previous year's editor-in-chief. She demands that the rest of the crew go out and start reporting. Scootaloo suggests the Crusaders leave the school newspaper, only to be convinced by Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle that it can get them their cutie marks.
Looking for stories
Sweetie Belle's first story is an interview with Rarity while she's working on a project. But as she attempts to conduct the interview, her presence inspires Rarity to use her as a test model for the outfit she's working on that features large feathers. Scootaloo's story is about a nest of newly hatched baby birds, where she falls out of a tree and is seen attempting to fly (to the birds' delight), only managing to keep her flank out of the mud. Apple Bloom's story is about the history of Ponyville, as told by Granny Smith, but she must first convince the elder Apple to not focus on albums filled with Apple Bloom's embarrassing baby pictures.
Diamond Tiara's approval
The Cutie Mark Crusaders head back to the Foal Free Press room, bringing their stories with them. Each of their stories is shot down one-by-one by Diamond Tiara, as she corners them and badgers them for better, "juicier" stories. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are then thrown out of the back door of the news room, where Sweetie Belle happens to stumble across Snips and Snails fighting to get gum out of their coats, only managing to get themselves stuck together. She hurriedly calls Featherweight over to snap pictures of the scene and tells him that she will meet him during lunch. Unable to contain her excitement, Sweetie Belle tells Apple Bloom and Scootaloo about their next big story.
The word is out!
The newest edition of the paper is shown, with the headliner "Snips and Snails and Bubblegum Fails," which could be a reference to the nursery rhyme "What Are Little Boys Made Of" and the line "Snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails." There is then a profuse amount of laughing and giggling as the foals reading the paper begin making comments, all exclaiming how good the newest edition of the paper is compared to previous. Snips and Snails are proud of ending up in the newspaper, also showing that they got the gum out of their coats. Diamond Tiara is overjoyed at how popular the Cutie Mark Crusaders' column is. She wants more gossip from the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who signed the column with the pseudonym "Gabby Gums," representing all three of them as there was not enough room for their names. Diamond Tiara continues to praise them for their work on the column.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders are then shown sitting at a picnic table drinking what appears to be coffee, trying to think about what to write their next column about. Snips and Snails are seen stuck together with gum once more, attempting to be written about again.
Upon tripping over Sweetie Belle's saddlebag, an annoyed Rarity picks it up to move it. The bag falls open as she picks it up, revealing a copy of the Foal Free Press. Just as Rarity is reading the paper, Sweetie Belle walks in to catch her in the act. She is surprised that Rarity actually likes the school paper, and gives in to Rarity's pleading to show it to her friends. Sweetie Belle rushes out as Rarity is asking questions about Gabby Gums, not answering any of them. She runs to meet with Apple Bloom and Scootaloo at the school playground, stating that they should give up trying to "squeeze" stories out of the school, and how they need to expand to writing stories about the residents of Ponyville. Excited, the Cutie Mark Crusaders tell Featherweight to work overtime. Their first Ponyville story is about Mr. and Mrs. Cake; a snapshot is shown of them holding their crying foals while Diamond Tiara narrates the headline: "Pound and Pumpkin Cake, Trip to the Store Ends in Tears." Just then, Truffle Shuffle runs in exclaiming how the Ponyville Newsstand wants to carry the Foal Free Press, with an ecstatic Diamond Tiara ordering and encouraging the Cutie Mark Crusaders to keep writing the gossip columns. A montage is shown of the process of writing and printing the paper, as well as ponies grabbing the paper as soon as it is off the press.
Great gossipTwilight, Spike, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie are being treated at the spa, when Rainbow Dash rushes in with the Foal Free Press. Rarity insists that Rainbow sit down and have a hooficure, but Rainbow resists stubbornly, saying that the day she gets a hooficure is the day she turns in her daredevil license. Twilight explains she enjoys reading Gabby Gums too, but that she finds her a little mean. Reading the headline "Celestia: Just Like Us," Twilight says Gabby Gums doesn't value anyone's privacy. The others brush it off as "harmless gossip" and laugh at a few of the other headlines. Twilight also explains how she feels sorry for the ponies featured in Gabby's columns, and Rainbow shoots it down as it being "awesome" to get your name in the paper. Rarity again insists that Rainbow should join them in getting a hooficure, which she reluctantly accepts, just as Featherweight steps into the doorway with a camera. Upon the spa pony's attempt to file Rainbow's hoof, Rainbow flies away in fear, stating that she hates ponies touching her hooves. Then she says that she "would love it if Gabby Gums did a story on [her]." Spike responds that Gabby Gums already did a story on himself.
Back to the basicsTrying to go a different route, the Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt to write about an interview with Spike. They are shot down by Diamond Tiara, and decide to go back to their "usual gossip." Sweetie Belle realizes that they might be hurting other ponies with their gossip, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo agree, saying they didn't want to say anything because everybody loved it so much. Sweetie Belle opts for giving the public what they want, that being gossip, and the others reluctantly agree.
Not so harmless anymoreThe next edition of the Foal Free Press features a gossip column about Applejack being asleep on the job, and Big McIntosh hiding something, with a picture of Big McIntosh sitting down with Smarty Pants. There is also a column about Twilight titled "Twilight Sparkle: I Was a Canterlot Snob," detailing how Spike told Gabby Gums Twilight's supposed opinion of Ponyville. Spike claims Gabby Gums made it up, and Rarity reiterates her opinion about how Gabby Gums is just a harmless newspaper columnist.
The next story is about Fluttershy, who slowly sinks under the table at the announcement of the headline "Fluttershy Has Tail Extensions." Pinkie Pie, being outraged at first, reluctantly admits that the headline "Pinkie Pie is an Out of Control Party Animal" is true. The Cake family rushes in as Twilight reads the headline "The Cakes are Breaking Up!" Rainbow breaks through the door with a large pile of newspapers, upset about being called a "Super Softie" in the headlines, and wails over being a laughing stock. Rarity, still saying that the gossip is harmless and all of the other ponies are over-reacting, finally finds the headline "The Drama Queen Diaries." Gabby Gums reprinted her diary, Rarity says that she will destroy her.
Twilight suggests that they should talk to Sweetie Belle to get to the bottom of Gabby Gum's identity. Rarity defends her sister, saying that she would never associate herself with someone as "beastly" as Gabby Gums. Upon arriving home, she opens Sweetie Belle's saddlebag to find her diary, astonished by her sister's treacherous act. From this, Rarity concludes that Sweetie Belle is indeed Gabby Gums.
The confrontationRarity kicks open her bedroom door and finds Sweetie Belle reading through her notepad on the floor. Sweetie Belle is surprised at Rarity finding out, and asks how, to be informed that her reprinting of her big sister's diary was her giveaway. Rarity then reiterates Twilight's point earlier on, about how gossip can be a very hurtful thing, and how it can be an invasion of privacy, just like when Rarity searched through Sweetie Belle's saddlebag. Sweetie Belle explains that they are only doing this because of how badly they want their cutie marks, and Rarity explains that making people feel horrible is not something to want as a destiny.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders continue to confront Diamond Tiara about quitting, and are again shot down. Diamond Tiara says she doesn't care about other ponies' feelings. The Cutie Mark Crusaders try to quit again, only to be confronted with embarrassing photos taken by Featherweight, from when they were working on their first stories, that Diamond Tiara threatens to print instead if they don't come up with a story.
Finding a way outThe Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt to find a way out of the situation but ask around for stories for the moment. They first try asking Rainbow, only for her to push a raincloud over their heads. Next, they try Fluttershy, and when arriving at her house, notice a puddle leaking under the door. Angel opens the door, and Fluttershy is seen crying in the background. Angel then slams the door in their faces. They then head to Twilight's library, only to discover that a force field has been placed around it. Spike yells at the trio that Twilight had anticipated such a visit and had put the barrier up. Lastly, they try Applejack and Big Mac, who are still mad at them due to their feature in the paper. In a reversal of character, Applejack is laconic while Big Mac explains why the Crusaders should be ashamed of themselves and tells them to leave them be. As the Cutie Mark Crusaders walk through town, everyone turns their head away from them and closes their windows and shutters. They regroup at their club house, where they discuss the situation, and how Diamond Tiara will publish their blackmail pictures the next day if they do not meet their deadline. They decide that they will not leave the clubhouse until they figure out a solution.
Too lateJust as the sun rises, and Diamond Tiara instructs to have the unopened file of blackmail pictures printed, the Cutie Mark Crusaders run in with a Gabby Gums column. Diamond Tiara, in a hurry to get the next edition out on time, does not read the column before sending it to the press. As she exits the schoolhouse, she catches Dinky Doo reading the newest edition of the paper, and pulls it out of her hooves to read it. Astonished at the title, Diamond Tiara sets out for revenge, and vows to print their blackmail photos the next day. The column that the Cutie Mark Crusaders submitted instead is an open letter of their apology to all of the residents of Ponyville for the pain and embarrassment that they caused, and also reveals who Gabby Gums is, being Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom. The column explains their reasoning for writing the previous gossip columns, being that the popularity of the column made them ignore the feeling of wrongness it caused, and asks for Ponyville's forgiveness. They conclude it by signing off for the last time as Gabby Gums.
The resolutionEveryone in Ponyville forgives the Cutie Mark Crusaders after reading their letter, and Cheerilee admits her mistake in that she might've given too much power to a first-time editor. Diamond Tiara is demoted to working on the printing press while "Shady Daze" is promoted to staff photographer, and Featherweight is instated as editor-in-chief of the Foal Free Press.
- For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
- Diamond Tiara: Alright, listen up. The Foal Free Press is a joke.
- Students: Huh?
- Diamond Tiara: Nopony at this school takes it seriously. Well I, the editor-in-chief in charge, am going to deliver us to new found glory!
- Truffle: Yay!
- Snips: Oh! Get it off me, Snails!
- Snails: Yeah, you get it off me, Snips?
- Snips: Aah! Stop it! You are making it worse! Nah! Oh, great.
- Snails: I'll get it. [grunt]
- Snips: Aah!
- Snails: Get it off! Get it off!
- Sweetie Belle: [starts laughing] Hey, Featherweight, c'mere! Take a few pictures of this then meet me during lunch.
- Snips: Our mothers always told us we'd end up in the papers someday.
- Snails: Yeah, and look! We finally got the gum out!
- Diamond Tiara: Your column is a sensation!
- Rarity: You really shouldn't be snooping, Rarity. [pushes the bag away] oh, but it's so much fun, Rarity! Hello... what's this? Gum on their bum! [laughing] Too rich! [continues laughing]
- Sweetie Belle: Can you please keep it down with all the laughter? I'm trying to... hey!
- Rarity: I-I was just–
- Sweetie Belle: Are you snooping through my saddle bag? How DARE you!
- Rainbow Dash: The new Gabby Gums just came out! “The Great and Powerful Trixie's secrets revealed!”
- Rarity: We already read that one, Rainbow Dash.
- Applejack: She's not mean, Twilight, she's a hoot!
- Twilight Sparkle: "Celestia, just like us"?
- Rarity: Rainbow, why don't you join me in one of these delicious hooficures?
- Rainbow Dash: It's that good, huh? Well, maybe just one little hoof.
- Rainbow Dash: [yelps] Forget it, I don't like ponies touching my hooves. Man, I'd love it if Gabby Gums did a story on me.
- Spike: She did one on me!
- All main characters: [all together surrounding Spike] WHAT?!
- Applejack: "Applejack, asleep on the job!" Can y'all believe this?! And this one: "Big McIntosh – what's he hiding?" Who the hay does this Gabby Gums think she is?
- Twilight Sparkle: Listen to this one. "Twilight Sparkle: I was a Canterlot snob. A well-placed scaly source close to the prissy pony says Twilight Sparkle thinks Ponyville is nothing but muddy roads and low-class rubes."
- Rarity: Everypony, please! She's just a harmless schoolpony engaged in a little idle gossip. You're really making too big a deal out of this.
- Twilight Sparkle: But it's all lies! Gabby Gums prints whatever she wants, she doesn't care whose reputation she destroys! "Fluttershy has tail extensions!" "Pinkie Pie is an out-of-control party animal!"
- Pinkie Pie: What?! [crying] It's true! I do have a problem!
- Twilight Sparkle: Oh look! According to this one, the Cakes are breaking up!
- Mrs. Cake: We are?!
- Rainbow Dash: [muffled] Well, my life is officially over. Gabby Gums has made it to Cloudsdale.
- Twilight Sparkle: "Rainbow Dash: Speed demon or super softie?"?!
- Rainbow Dash: I grabbed as many copies as I could, but it was too late! [crying] I'm a laughing stock!
- Twilight Sparkle: See, Rarity? Your so-called 'harmless gossip' can be very hurtful!
- Rarity: Honestly, you ponies have no sense of humor. So she tweaks a few ponies every now and then, maybe they dese- [gasps] I'll destroy her! "The Drama-Queen Diaries"... she's reprinted my diary! How could Gabby Gums possibly get access to my private diary?!
- Twilight Sparkle: We've got to put a stop to this once and for all. Sweetie Belle's on the newspaper staff. Maybe she knows who Gabby Gums is!
- Rarity: [gasps] My sister would never associate with anyone as beastly as Gabby Gums! I resent you even suggesting such a thing, Twilight! Why, she's the most innocent, most lovely-
- Rarity: -most evil pony in Equestria! How could my own sister steal my private diary?! How could my own sister be... Gabby Gums?
- Rarity: Et tu, Gabby Gums?!
- Sweetie Belle: [gasps] You know?! How'd you find out?!
- Rarity: The gilded pages of your betrayal!
- Sweetie Belle: Oh yeah.
- Rarity: How could you do this to me???
- Apple Bloom: Aw, c'mon, Applejack! You're not mad at us too, are you?
- Applejack: Eeyup.
- Apple Bloom: You're not even gonna talk to us?
- Applejack: Nope.
- Big McIntosh: You should be ashamed of yourself, humiliatin' your sister 'n' me like that. We don't wanna talk to any o' y'all right now, so take your little gossip column and your embarrassing photographs and just go away!
- Sweetie Belle: Stop the presses!
- "Shady Daze": Uh... they haven't started yet.
- Scootaloo: We have a Gabby Gums column!
- Diamond Tiara: Hmph, you're lucky I'm nice.
- Cheerilee: I'm sorry, Diamond Tiara! I have to strip you of your title!
- Diamond Tiara: [growls in anger]
| Episode 1|
| Episode 2|
The Best of the Worst
| Episode 3|
| Episode 4|
How Applejack Got Her Hat Back
| Episode 5|
Bad Thing No. 3
| Episode 6|
Pinkie Pie: Hyper-Helper
| Episode 7|
The Trial Less Trotten
Death of a Sales-Pony
| Episode 8|
The Fluttershy Effect
| Episode 9|
The Fast and Furriest
| Episode 10|
The Master of Instructions
| Episode 11|
A Camping We Will Go
| Episode 12|
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|Rainbow Rocks shorts||Friendship Games shorts||Summertime Shorts||Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 1)|
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