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Episode A Horse Shoe-In
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Starlight Glimmer: I think you really spruce up the office, Ms. Philodendron. [gasps] Oh! I'm gonna call you Phyllis! [baby talk] Don't you look good, Phyllis!
[knock on door]
Starlight Glimmer: [baby talk] Come in!
[door opens]
Starlight Glimmer: [clears throat] I mean, uh, come in!
Spike: Uh, were you just talking to someone?
Starlight Glimmer: No! Why? [nervous laugh]
Twilight Sparkle: Starlight, I have something very important to discuss with you.
Starlight Glimmer: If this is about leaving early yesterday, I didn't have any students on my schedule, and Trixie was having a magical emergency, which actually turned out to be nothing—
Twilight Sparkle: [giggles] It's not anything like that.
Spike: [clears throat, reading] "Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship, in light of her impending ascension to the throne of Equestria and in anticipation of her many duties and responsibilities forthwith, does hereby intend to make good on her previous offer to you, Starlight Glimmer, of replacing her as headmare of the School of Friendship!"
Twilight Sparkle: I want you to take over the school when I move to Canterlot.
Starlight Glimmer: I know! It's just so... amazing! I'm a little... Do you think I'm really up for it? Of course you do. I've covered for you every time you've had to run off and save Equestria, but... I mean... Yes. Of course! Thank you! [squeals]
[thud]
Twilight Sparkle: [straining] You're welcome. And I can't think of anypony who'd be better for the job.
Starlight Glimmer: I'm a little nervous. And excited. I'm mostly just nervous.
Twilight Sparkle: I understand. Of course I'll have a lot of important responsibilities as ruler of Equestria, but I'll always be available to help whenever you need.
Spike: [gags, belches]
[poof!]
Spike: Are you supposed to be at a royal etiquette lesson with Celestia and Luna right now?
Twilight Sparkle: Right! [sighs] Can't underestimate the important responsibility of royal napkin placement.
[teleportation zap]
Starlight Glimmer: Wow. I mean, no biggie. Right, Phyllis? I've totally got this.
[shatter!]
Starlight Glimmer: [nervous laugh]
[theme song]
Trixie: You know I'm nothing but proud that you've been officially offered the position of headmare...
Starlight Glimmer: Thanks...?
Trixie: ...but I can't help wondering if it's gonna cut into our social schedule.
Starlight Glimmer: What do you mean?
Trixie: Take now, for example. Instead of heading to the delightful lunch I had planned, we're striding with determination toward what I can only assume is Twilight's office.
Starlight Glimmer: Obviously our lunch is super important, but so is taking over the school. And the only pony who's really run the School of Friendship is the Princess of Friendship. And I'm worried about doing it all alone, so I want to get as much advice from Twilight as I can while she's still here.
Trixie: But Twilight's never really done anything alone. She always has her friends.
Starlight Glimmer: But that just gave me an idea! Thanks, Trixie! You can give good advice when you don't mean to.
Trixie: Uh, thanks? Are we still doing lunch?
[door opens]
Twilight Sparkle: Getting royal place settings just right is a lot harder than it looks.
Starlight Glimmer: Okay... Uh, I know how busy you are, but I wanted to talk to you about running the school because, honestly, I was a bit worried about taking it over all on my own. But I just realized you never did it alone.
Twilight Sparkle: Having a friend help out is pretty great.
[magic humming]
Starlight Glimmer: Exactly! So, what do you think about me hiring a vice headmare to help run things?
Twilight Sparkle: I trust you to run the school any way you want. And if that means hiring a vice headmare, I think it's a great idea.
Starlight Glimmer: Really?
Twilight Sparkle: Like you said, I've always had ponies around to help. And don't worry. You can always call on me to—
Spike: Uh, Twilight? Rarity says you were supposed to be at the boutique five minutes ago for your second fitting for the coronation gown.
Twilight Sparkle: Ugh. How many fittings are there gonna be?
Spike: A lot?
Twilight Sparkle: Anyway, good luck finding your vice headmare. I know you'll pick the right pony for the job.
[teleportation zap]
Trixie: Wow. I heard the whole thing. And all I can say is I am humbled.
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, why?
Trixie: I hadn't ever considered it, but hearing you say it out loud made me realize what a great and powerful vice headmare I'll be! Plus, we get to work and socialize at the same time!
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, well, sure, that would be fun, but I can't just give you the job.
Trixie: Oh, oh, no, of course not. I imagine there's a lengthy "process" to go through before you inevitably hire the "best pony" for the position. Wink.
Starlight Glimmer: Exactly. I'll probably interview several ponies.
Trixie: Of course. "Several". Wink.
Starlight Glimmer: Why do you keep saying "wink"?
Trixie: I'm not saying "wink". Wink.
Starlight Glimmer: [nervous laugh]
Starlight Glimmer: I'm glad you all decided to be a part of the search for the School of Friendship's vice headmare.
Spoiled Rich: Honestly, if you're looking for somepony to fund-raise, I can bring in enough bits to have several buildings named after me.
Starlight Glimmer: Well, that's not the primary responsibility of the vice headmare. But anypony is welcome to apply. I think the selection process I've come up with is pretty special.
Trixie: [whispering] Albeit unnecessary. Wink!
Starlight Glimmer: [clears throat] Since you all have to prove you have what it takes to be vice headmare, I've designed the interview in three stages. Each stage will test a different skill the vice headmare needs. Only those who do well will move through the stages until finally the best candidate rises to the top! So, without further ado, it's time for stage one – substituting for the teachers!
All but Starlight Glimmer: [excited murmuring]
Trixie: Once the students get a sample of my great and powerful instruction, they might not want to go back to the regular faculty.
Starlight Glimmer: [groans]
Ocellus: Wow, that seam is so straight! You really learned how to sew from mending apple sacks on the farm?
Big McIntosh: Eeyup!
Spoiled Rich: Obviously, loyalty is the foundation of friendship and trust. But nothing gets more loyalty than a big stack of bits! This book on business will teach you all how to earn your own. Chapter one – Equity...
[instruments playing]
[students laughing]
[yovidaphone blaring]
[bass guitar sounds]
[students laughing]
[bubbling]
[balloon inflating]
[fan whirring]
[snip!]
[drip!]
[sounds of awe, cheering]
Trixie: In the Pre-Equestia Era, year thirteen twenty-two, Abraxius the Bold did... [muttering] ...ooh, a bunch of boring stuff... [muttering] ...for a really long time. Okay, I know history is important, but I never learned any of it, and look how I turned out.
[students groaning, yawning]
Gallus: [snoring]
[students snoring]
Trixie: [whispering] Wink! [snoring]
Starlight Glimmer: [groans]
Starlight Glimmer: Okay, Phyllis. Obviously those three are moving on. But what about the rest? Mm-hmm. I think we're in agreement on this one. [sighs] I know what you're gonna say. But it would be so much fun to have my vice headmare be a friend. She just needs a little more hoof-holding than some of the others, but it could still work out, right?
[door opens]
Trixie: Starlight, I've given this a lot of thought. And even though I still believe naps are a valid use of class time, you'll be the one running the school. So if you say no naps, then no naps! And I know I can be a little stubborn and not the best listener, but I just can't wait for us to tackle this job as a team. Two great and powerful friends taking on the world! And I know you still have to go through all this "interview" stuff – wink! – but I just had to tell you how excited I am!
[door closes]
Starlight Glimmer: See? I told you it could work. [groans]
Starlight Glimmer: All right, remaining vice headmare candidates. Welcome to stage two! All of you are here because you performed well – or well enough – to face your next challenge – parent/teacher conferences! The vice headmare will need to be a master communicator, and I can't think of a better test of that than meeting with our students and their parents or guardians.
Dr. Hooves: I eagerly look forward to sharing my love of science with both progeny and progenitors!
Octavia Melody: Indeed. An orchestra is made up of different parts, and good communication is the key to harmony.
Big McIntosh: Eeyup.
Trixie: A lifetime on stage has taught me that good communication is essential to holding your audience's attention, which is why Trixie is also known as a great and powerful communicator!
Octavia Melody: Life at the School of Friendship is like a song, and although she started out singing her part pianissimo, Ocellus is now soloing fortissimo!
Dad Changeling: That's good, right?
Octavia Melody: [nervous laugh] Indeed.
Dr. Hooves: The science curriculum at this school is somewhat lacking, but Yona has taken to the subject like a yak to smashing! If fostered, I believe she could easily blaze a trail and expand our understanding of science itself!
Yona's Mom and Yona's Dad: Yaks best! Yaks best! Yaks best!
Trixie: Gallus is a fantastic student. He's even taught me a thing or two about napping.
Grampa Gruff: [yawns] Is that why you're putting me to sleep?
Trixie: Um, excuse me?
Grampa Gruff: I don't know why I have to come to these things.
Trixie: Well, most parents or guardians want to be involved in our students' lives. Maybe we should find a different representative from Griffonstone to be Gallus' guardian.
Grampa Gruff: Oh, that'd be great. If you find one, [echoing] let me know!
Sky Beak: I'm so confused. You're saying Silverstream is exuberant?
Big McIntosh: Eeyup.
Sky Beak: And enthusiastic?
Big McIntosh: Uh, eeyup.
Sky Beak: But aren't those the same? And are they good? I mean, you could be trying to tell me she's unfocused, but then you might just be explaining that you appreciate her high energy.
Big McIntosh: Eh, nope. Uh, eeyup. Uh... mmmaybe?
Sky Beak: There seems to be a lot of nuance here, and I just want to make sure I understand exactly what you're saying. So what are you saying?
Big McIntosh: Uh...
Grampa Gruff: Gallus doesn't need to know I'm proud of him! And he certainly doesn't need me trekking all the way to Ponyville!
Trixie: Good! Because you're no longer welcome!
Grampa Gruff: Ohhhh! Well, fine with me!
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie, what happened?!
Trixie: I'm not sure. But we'll have one less conference to worry about next semester.
[smack!]
Starlight Glimmer: I really appreciate your honesty, Big Mac, and you're right. Parents expect a lot of detailed communication when it comes to their kids. And if you aren't comfortable with that, vice headmare probably isn't the job for you.
Big McIntosh: Yeah, nope.
[door opens]
Trixie: Starlight, I know why you wanted to see me, and you don't have to worry.
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, good.
Trixie: It's thoughtful that you'd want to check in on me after my shocking confrontation with Grampa Gruff. But never fear. I shall recover.
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie, that's not exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. You can't get into a shouting match with parents or guardians. For the final stage of the interview process, you'll each have to put together a field trip. And if you really do want the job, I need yours to be exceptional. Because if I had to pick a vice headmare right now, it wouldn't be you.
Trixie: Oh, I see what you're doing! Obviously you're not going to give the job to somepony else, but you want to see my best. Well, message received! Wink.
Starlight Glimmer: [groans] Trixie, I—
Trixie: The Great and Powerful Trixie is about to pull out all the stops! I hope you're ready for the most exceptional field trip to ever grace this school!
[poof!]
Starlight Glimmer: Is it wrong for me to think she might actually pull it off?
[beat]
Starlight Glimmer: [groans] Don't answer that.
Gallus: [yawns]
Starlight Glimmer: Not looking forward to the performance?
Gallus: I know Octavia loves music, but a field trip to a classical music performance isn't my idea of an exciting time.
[dubstep cello]
[ponies cheering]
Gallus: Okay! I take it back!
Dr. Hooves: When I heard we'd be arranging field trips, I knew right away I wanted to take you all to my lab. I can think of no better trip than one through the quantum field! I am referring to time travel! I've been working on a temporal transportation device!
Smolder: A chair?
Dr. Hooves: And three... four... five... Congratulations! You are now five seconds into the future! You see, we are all already time travelers! Hmm? Who's next?
[beat]
Smolder: Uhhh, now what?
Dr. Hooves: Oh. I actually hadn't thought that much beyond this.
Smolder: Ugh.
[poof!]
Trixie: [coughs, clears throat] Ponies and other students! Welcome to the greatest and most powerful field trip of your lives!
Yona: Where Yona and friends going?
Trixie: I am thrilled you asked. Because today we're not doing a normal, old, boring field trip where you go somewhere.
Yona: So... not field trip.
Trixie: Au contraire. I could have easily taken you to Froggy Bottom Bogg. But we don't need to leave the comfort of the classroom for our field trip. I can bring the field trip to us!
[teleportation zap]
[crash!]
[students gasp]
[crack!]
[electric sounds]
[flash bees buzzing]
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie, what did you do?!
Trixie: Well, I found the perfect little patch of bog to teleport into the school. I guess I just didn't consider the possibility that a hive of flash bees might have nested there.
[zap!]
[flash bees buzzing]
[students yelling]
Trixie: [yelping] Who told you bees to nest in my patch of field trip bog?!
[poofing]
[electric sounds]
[students yelling]
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie, go with the students! I'll handle this!
Trixie: I was only trying to give them an exceptional field trip experience! Which you have to admit I did.
[flash bees buzzing]
Starlight Glimmer and Trixie: Aah!
Starlight Glimmer: We'll talk about it later!
[magic sounds]
[boom!]
Trixie: Um, Starlight?
[clattering]
Trixie: Hey, there. So, um, they're gone?
Starlight Glimmer: [bitterly] Yes.
Trixie: Nice! Teamwork, am I right?
Starlight Glimmer: Are you kidding? I don't know what team you're on, but it isn't mine. This was a disaster. It was dangerous.
Trixie: I think the words you're looking for are "great and powerful".
Starlight Glimmer: It wasn't even acceptable! You went from not taking it seriously to blowing things so out of proportion you put everycreature in danger! And I wanted to work with a friend so much, I ignored the fact that you would never be right for the job!
Trixie: I'm confused. What are you saying?
Starlight Glimmer: I'm saying you'll never be vice headmare!
Trixie: But... But I thought you created the position for me.
Starlight Glimmer: Why would you think that?! I created the position because I need help! But I can't think of any way that you would ever help me!
Trixie: Twilight's friends always helped her.
Starlight Glimmer: Oh-ho. That's because Twilight's friends are competent! They care about what they are doing! And they know how to do it!
Trixie: Well, I guess I won't take up any more of your time, Headmare Starlight.
[thud]
Twilight Sparkle: Starlight? I just thought I'd check in to see how the search for a vice headmare was going.
[magic sounds]
Starlight Glimmer: A lot better now.
Twilight Sparkle: Okay...
Starlight Glimmer: I really wanted it to be a friend, so I ended up pushing aside some pretty big signs that it wasn't gonna work out.
Twilight Sparkle: Not everypony is right for every job, but everypony has something to contribute. The trick is figuring out what.
Starlight Glimmer: What if you and your friend can't figure it out?
Twilight Sparkle: If you have a job to do, you have to decide what's best and be upfront and honest, even if that means you can't work with a friend on it.
Starlight Glimmer: So, I guess that means talking to them at the beginning instead of stringing them along until you get so frustrated you totally lose it and say a bunch of really awful things?
Twilight Sparkle: Pretty much.
Starlight Glimmer: [sighs]
[knock on door]
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie? I know you're in there.
Trixie: Well, you're wrong!
[clatter!]
Trixie: [coughing]
Starlight Glimmer: I'm sorry for all those things I said. I just really wanted it to work out, even though I knew it probably wouldn't. I should have said something sooner.
Trixie: Obviously we can't have what we want, because I'm terrible at everything and could never help you with anything!
Starlight Glimmer: You aren't terrible. And you have a lot of great qualities. Maybe not vice headmare qualities, but great and powerful friend qualities.
[door opens]
Starlight Glimmer: Well, you really stand by the ponies you care about. Gallus even said nocreature's ever stuck up for him the way you did with Grampa Gruff. It would have been nice to run the school together, but not everypony is right for every job.
Trixie: I know how you take your responsibilities seriously. And maybe I should've known I wasn't exactly a perfect fit.
Starlight Glimmer: If it makes you feel any better, nopony was.
Trixie: What do you mean?
Starlight Glimmer: Well, Dr. Hooves has decided to go back to his experiments, and Octavia is worried the responsibilities of vice headmare will take too much time away from her music. Maybe getting a vice headmare was a bad idea.
Trixie: Starlight, obviously you'd like some help, and hiring a vice headmare is a great idea.
Starlight Glimmer: But who could it be?
Trixie: Well, you need somepony who's responsible like you and detail-oriented like Twilight. And... smart, obviously. It is a school after all.
Starlight Glimmer: It would be nice if I got along with them, since having it be a friend can't work out.
Trixie: Maybe it can.
[poof!]
Sunburst: ...And I knew as soon as I read Trixie's scroll that it was the exact right thing for me to do.
Starlight Glimmer: But what about being Flurry Heart's Crystaller?
Sunburst: Well, honestly, now that Flurry Heart's a little older, there really isn't much for me to do outside of the occasional tradition or festival. And working at a school is what I always thought I'd do. I mean, if you'll have me.
Starlight Glimmer: Are you kidding?! You're hired!
Trixie: I had a feeling this would work out.
Starlight Glimmer: Oh, Trixie, thank you so much.
Trixie: Between being insightful when I want to be and giving good advice when I don't mean to, I suppose I can be a pretty good friend.
Starlight Glimmer: More than that, actually. You really did give good advice. And you helped me talk through the problem of finding the right pony for the job. And we know you care about the students.
Trixie: Trixie the Great and Powerful Advice Giver, Problem Talk-Through-er, and Student Care-About-er! Eh, I think I'll go with "friend".
Starlight Glimmer: "Friend" is perfect. But there's a position here at the school you might be right for, too. What would you say to being the School of Friendship's new student counselor?
Trixie: I'd say this office needs a bit of redecorating. Potted plants scream desperation.
[thud]
Starlight Glimmer: Phyllis, no!
[credits]
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