|Secret of My Excess|
|Season episode №:||10|
|Overall episode №:||36|
|Original airdate:||December 10, 2011|
|Written by:||M. A. Larson|
|Storyboard:||Raven Molisee & David Dick|
|credits • transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
Sweet and Elite
Hearth's Warming Eve
Secret of My Excess is the tenth episode of the second season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the thirty-sixth episode overall. In this episode, Spike becomes greedy, which magically causes him to grow to a monstrous size. The title is a parody of The Secret of My Success, a 1987 film.
Development and theme
The episode was called "Giving Dangerously", then "Attack of the 50 Foot Dragon", before changing to its current title, a play on the phrase "secret of my success". The previous title hints more to the episode's "giant monster rampaging through the city" theme popularized by the 1954 film Godzilla, whereas the first title plays on the phrase "living dangerously." The kidnapping of Rarity and subsequent aerial assault on Spike draws parallels with the classic 1933 film King Kong.
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The Fire Ruby
The episode begins with Twilight Sparkle holding a "re-shelving day", which involves her taking all the Golden Oak Library books off the shelves and sorting them. While sorting books, she gets distracted by Spike, who is busy admiring his birthday present to himself, an almost-ripe fire ruby that has been "aging [for] months".
Rarity then walks into the library and spots Spike's fire ruby, going on excitedly about its qualities. Twilight complains about the interruption and Rarity apologizes, asking Twilight if she has "any books on historical fashion", but quickly returns to Spike and questions his intent to eat the fire ruby. Spike realizes that Rarity really admires the gem, so he gives it to Rarity, who gives him a kiss on the cheek to show her appreciation. She giddily skips out and Spike vows never to wash his cheek again.
- "Wow, Spike, that's one of the kindest, most generous things you've ever done. I've never seen Rarity so happy!"
- — Twilight Sparkle
Spike's birthday party
The next scene opens with Twilight just finished decorating the library for Spike's birthday. After, Twilight pulls out a washcloth to wipe Spike's kissed cheek, which has become smudged and dirty. Spike resists and tries to escape, but after Twilight uses her magic to teleport him back to her repeatedly, Pinkie Pie magically appears with a party tweeter, she blows it at Twilight's face and distracts Spike with a "happy birthday" and streamers, giving Twilight a chance to clean Spike's cheek.
Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Rarity arrive with gifts, and they pile them one by one into Spike's arms until the tower of presents collapses on the floor. He confusedly looks at the presents until Rainbow Dash asks him, "Don't you know you get presents on your birthday?" He replies that it's his first birthday in Ponyville and that he usually gets only one present from Twilight; a book. Twilight stops in her tracks and sheepishly hides her present, a book, behind her. Rarity then shows the ponies her new cape and says she's going to make one for each of her friends, inspired by Spike's generous ruby gift.
Spike sits amidst piles of numerous presents and thanks Applejack for the present she gave him and gives her a hug. Applejack reminds him that he's already thanked her fifteen times, and he explains that he is just so grateful for their kindness, and wishes for the party to last forever. Hearing this, Pinkie Pie tells Spike that the party can't last forever because he has to go to Sugarcube Corner so he can collect the special surprise that the Cakes baked for his birthday.
Spike hurries to Sugarcube Corner where the Cakes give him a sparkling, mouth-watering sapphire-studded cupcake. On his way home, he bumps into Cheerilee and drops the cupcake but manages to catch it with his long forked tongue. He apologizes to Cheerilee, then eats the entire cupcake and helps her gather her dropped items. When she learns it's his birthday, she gives him a feathered white fedora and wishes him a great birthday.
While walking through Ponyville, Spike reasons that when ponies learn of his birthday, they will shower him with presents. He comes across Lickety Split playing with a ball, and solicits his ball from him as envisioned. Spike then comes across Junebug and uses the birthday ploy as an excuse to ask her for the flowers she's carrying. Twilight interrupts his spiel by tugging at his "ear" and apologizes to Junebug for Spike getting carried away. When Twilight chides Spike, he appears to be remorseful and promises to give Cheerilee her hat back, but as soon as Twilight leaves, he puts the hat back on and asks "Who else has a present for Spikey-wikey?" The shot is accompanied by rattlesnake sounds, with Spike blinking with vertical eyelids and sticking out a wiggling forked tongue.
- "Spike, I'm worried about you. You're usually not so... grabby!"
- — Twilight Sparkle
The next morning, Twilight wakes up to find a larger, ganglier Spike sleeping under a pile of accumulated presents. He looks at his new limbs and claws, and in a brief shot from his perspective, valuable items in the library shimmer. Twilight tries to talk to him, but he gets distracted by a glistening globe. Twilight takes away the globe, but Spike grabs it back and stacks it on a pile of objects. He asks to take one of the books, but Twilight takes it away from him and comments on how grabby he is. When he replies, he finds his voice has deepened and becomes concerned about the changes.
Twilight takes him to the pediatrician Dr. Horse and then the veterinarian Dr. Fauna, hoping to find out what's wrong with him. However, neither has any experience with dragons, while Spike continues to hoard objects. Finally, she visits Zecora, who explains:
- "A dragon's heart is prone to greed, a steady diet to make growth speed. Then, the resulting bigger size only makes their hunger rise. If this trait should go unchecked, if Spike continues to collect, more growth will certainly occur – he is going to turn into a monster."
The frame expands to show everything from Zecora's hut missing, the door open, and Spike missing.
Attack of the fifteen-foot dragon
Twilight gallops back to Ponyville and finds Spike trying to pull Scootaloo's scooter from her grasp. Twilight lures him back to the library with an "amazing broom", and on his way, he grows larger and starts walking on all fours. She tosses the broom into one of the rooms and shuts the door; Spike struggles to break through but then goes quiet. When she comes in to check, she finds him clutching a pile of books. She removes all the books and closes the door again, but then she hears loud crashing noises and finds a Spike-shaped hole in the library wall, with Spike gone again. The scene wipes to Applejack wondering "Now who in Ponyville would steal my apples? For that matter, who would steal my leaves?" Twilight rushes to her and asks for her help to lasso Spike. Applejack laughs at the idea of Spike running wild, but then he runs past them with a pile of leaves and apples.
Twilight and Applejack chase Spike with a length of rope and lunge at him, but they miss and manage to tie themselves to a tree while Spike continues rampaging. Rainbow Dash spots them and laughs at their predicament when Fluttershy's distant scream cuts her short. The three find her hiding in a tree, and she tells them "a giant, rampaging dragon stormed through", who pulled her chicken coop out of the ground and filled it with "apples and stuff".
The ponies next hear Pinkie Pie scream, and they find her pelting Spike with cakes while he collects some of them into his chicken coop of stuff. Spike grows so large that he crashes through the ceiling of Sugarcube Corner. As the others chase after Spike, Applejack tows Pinkie along by the tail, who can only stare in shock at her half-destroyed workplace.
Attack of the fifty-foot dragon
While Rarity tries on her cape at Carousel Boutique, Spike's gigantic eye peeks through the window, and he reaches in to kidnap Rarity. The scene fades to alarm sirens going off, which Spike grabs. Ponies panic in the streets of Ponyville while Spike rampages and tears off the top of a water tower to stash his hoard in it. He roars at Rarity, who he has held captive with the end of his tail. Rainbow Dash hovers on one side of Spike, screaming at him to let Rarity go, while Fluttershy politely entreats him on the other side. Spike refuses to listen to them, turns around and swings Rarity at them. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy get caught up in Rarity's magenta cape, which tears off, sending the two falling into a river.
The Wonderbolts fly overhead and make some close fly-bys to Spike, accompanied by the sound of polishing blades. Spike spots a nearby steep mountain and climbs it, Rarity dangling along. The Wonderbolts fly even closer to him and one of them shaves off some of Spike's spines with sheer speed. Spike empties the water tower tank into a cave, uses it to catch the Wonderbolts, then lodges the tank into the side of the mountain to trap them inside.
Rarity launches into an angry diatribe, culminating in taking the remnants of her ripped cape and declaring it a "crime against fashion". Spike notices the fire ruby that she is wearing, and Rarity, seeing that it got his attention, tells him she won't let him have this gemstone: "This was given to me by my dear friend Spikey-wikey... the kindest, sweetest, most generous dragon ever. And it is too precious to me to give to a greedy old beast like you!" Spike looks at the gem wide-eyed and flashes back to the moment when he gave her the ruby and how she kissed his cheek. He touches his cheek and starts quaking, then winces and zaps into his old self. The tiny Spike and Rarity remain airborne for several seconds before plummeting. Rarity, shocked, realizes that Spike was the rampaging dragon.
Spike tries to confess about his crush, but Rarity stops him and smiles, her eyes welling with tears and Spike smiles back. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy speed towards the two with the ripped cape from the river and catch Spike and Rarity in the air, safely lowering them to the ground. With the emergency over, the shot cuts to the water tank on the mountainside which peels off revealing the Wonderbolts huddled together, shivering. They notice that the tank fell off, strike a gallant pose to the sound of a hunting horn, and fly off.
- "Spike, I just have to tell you how absolutely proud I am of you."
- — Rarity
Spike sits sadly on the bridge and places his hand in one of the giant footprints he made. Rarity comes up and says she's proud of him for stopping himself from destroying Ponyville, calling him her hero and giving him a kiss. The scene cross-fades to Spike narrating and writing a letter to Princess Celestia about the values of kindness and generosity, which are "more valuable than anything in the world. Well... almost anything." He turns to face the other way to reveal his cheek to the camera with Rarity's kiss framed like a picture. The episode ends with a kiss-shaped iris wipe on Spike's cheek.
- For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
- Twilight Sparkle: No distractions. Today is too important. Re-shelving day.
- Spike: Hey, you took my advice! Just use the whole floor as one big shelf.
- Spike: Gosh... You really like it, huh?
- Rarity: Like it? It's magnificent.
- Spike: I will never wash this cheek ever again.
- Rainbow Dash: Don't you know you get presents on your birthday?
- Spike: Well actually, this is my first birthday in Ponyville. I usually just get one present... From Twilight... a book.
- Spike: Applejack, I can't thank you enough for this great blanket, I really needed a new one.
- Applejack: Come on Spike! You've already thanked me fifteen times! I'm startin' to get a little embarrassed!
- Spike: Who else has a present for 'Spikey-wikey'? [hisses]
- Scootaloo: You're NOT getting my scooter!
- Twilight Sparkle: [sing-song voice] Come on, big boy! Look at this incredible broom!
- Spike: Spike WANT!
- Applejack: Now who in Ponyville would steal my apples? For that matter, who would steal my leaves?
- Twilight Sparkle: Applejack, help! Spike's running wild and I need you to lasso him!
- Applejack: [laughs] Oh, that's a good one, Twilight. Sweet little Spike, runnin' wild. Ha, what a laugh.
- Spike: [stomping]
- Applejack: Twilight, get my rope.
- Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie Pie! Stop giving him cake!
- Pinkie Pie: I'm not giving him cake, I'm assaulting him with cake!
- Spike: [grunts]
- Pinkie Pie: How dare you take the cake!
- Spike: [roar]
- Rarity: How rude.
- Rainbow Dash: Put her down, right now!
- Fluttershy: If you wouldn't mind, that is!
- Rainbow Dash: I mean it dragon boy!
- Fluttershy: We'll be ever so grateful if you'd be so kind as to possibly consider...
- Rainbow Dash: Drop her, scaly!
- Rarity: Oh no. You are not getting THIS gemstone! This was given to me by my dear friend Spikey-wikey, the kindest, sweetest, most generous dragon ever. And it is too precious to me to give to a greedy old beast like you!
- Spike: Rarity? I need to tell you something! Just in case we don't make it! I've always sort of had a crush–
- Rarity: Spike, I just have to tell you how absolutely proud I am of you.
- Spike: Proud of me?
- Rarity: Yes. It was you who stopped... w-well, you, from destroying Ponyville. You are my hero, Spikey-wikey!
- Raven Molisee's DeviantArt journal (2012-02-23). Retrieved on 2012 February 23.
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