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Episode Common Ground
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Announcer: Highlights in the world of sports! Buckball fever has swept Equestria! What started as a backyard hobby for fruit farmers and the like has blossomed into a literal phenomenon, with something for everypony. Unicorns, Pegasi, and Earth ponies alike can't get enough of this breakthrough sport.
[fans cheering]
Announcer: And with its popularity still on the rise, buckball fans want—nay, demand—an institution catering to their new obsession. And the ponies of Appleloosa answered the call, delivering a state-of-the-art locale where fans Equestria over can celebrate their passion: the Buckball Hall of Fame. Though given the game's recent nature, the only inductees so far will be the members of the current championship team from Ponyville.
Pinkie Pie: [whispering loudly] Do you think they know we're here?
Rainbow Dash: I think they have a pretty good idea.
Snails: A pretty good idea about what? [chomps]
[theme song]
Fluttershy: I can't believe the ponies of Appleloosa built this place.
Pinkie Pie: Yeah, especially after their team lost to us. They must really love buckball.
Fan: [chuckles] Oh, my gosh! It's you! I can't believe you're you! I mean, here! I mean, Team Ponyville! Yeah!
Snails: Yep, it's us.
Fan: How much for an autograph?
Snips: Bits for autographs, eh?
[cha-ching!]
Snips: [whispering] Snails, you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?
Snails: What is the sound of one hoof clapping?
Snips: Yeah! I mean, uh, no! How many of you would pay for an autograph from my best friend Snails?
[ponies clamoring]
Male Pony: I can't believe I'm about to get his autograph.
Snails: Wow! That's a lot of writing.
Fluttershy: I'm so proud they decided to honor us. I never thought I'd get to be in anything like a Hall of Fame.
Pinkie Pie: Me, neither! Unless you count a Royal Order of Party Planners Memorial Library, which I don't, because every party planner gets one of those eventually.
[hooves clack]
[clamoring continues]
[bits jingling]
Fluttershy: I hope Snails finishes signing autographs soon. We can't play without him. And if we lose or forfeit one game, we'll be out of the tournament.
Rainbow Dash: Well, he better get his flank over here then! You have to win the first few games without me cheering you on.
Fluttershy: Oh, why?
Rainbow Dash: [sighs] Applejack was too busy to come, so she made me promise to go to all the museum exhibits and tell her about them. I'm gonna try to get in first and beat the crowd so I can get back to the tournament faster.
Pinkie Pie: Ooh! Then you'd better hurry. Looks like there's already a line.
Rainbow Dash: What?! [grunts] The doors aren't even open yet! What kind of sports fan camps out for a museum?
Quibble Pants: The real question is what kind of sports fan doesn't?
Rainbow Dash: [gasps] Quibble Pants?
Quibble Pants: Rainbow Dash, fancy meeting you here.
Rainbow Dash: Fancy meeting me? I'm a sportspony. Of course I'd be here. What's fancy is you being here. If "fancy" meant confusing.
Quibble Pants: There's nothing fancy or confusing about it. Y-You can't keep me away from that... that buckball rink. I'm... I'm the biggest fan there is.
Rainbow Dash: Uh, it's a buckball field. And you are?
Quibble Pants: Oh... sure. What w-with all th-the bucking and the balling, uh, uh, on the buckball field, w-which is where they play buckball. I-I-I wanted to be first inside to experience the grand history of the sport. I-I mean, I guess only a real fan would understand that.
Rainbow Dash: Whaaaa...?
Quibble Pants: Oh, perfect timing. Rainbow Dash, I'd like you to meet Clear Sky, the most amazing pony I've ever met.
Rainbow Dash: Um, you've met Daring Do, so that's probably an exaggeration. [to Clear Sky] No offense.
Clear Sky: None taken. When it comes to describing your special somepony, a little exaggeration's normal. [to Quibble] And I feel the same way about you.
Rainbow Dash: And who is this?
Clear Sky: This is my daughter Wind Sprint.
Quibble Pants: And she is pretty amazing, too!
Clear Sky: Wind, did you thank Quibble for camping out so we'd be first in line?
Wind Sprint: [unenthusiastic] Thanks.
Quibble Pants: No problem. I-I-I probably would have done it anyway. I mean, I... I can't wait to see the... [reading from a brochure] "evolution of the buck basket from farm to field"! That... That sounds just, I mean, oh, wow! There... There is a lot to see!
[crowd cheering]
Wind Sprint: I'd rather see the game.
Quibble Pants: Oh. Well, I... I mean, sure. T-T-That makes sense. We could just go to the tournament instead.
Clear Sky: No! Quibble planned this whole thing for us, and you could be a little more appreciative!
[door opens]
Rainbow Dash: [chuckles] I kind of wanted to skip the museum, too. But I promised a friend that I'd check out all the exhibits.
Wind Sprint: Ugh! All of them?
Quibble Pants: You, know, I-I'd like a chance to catch up with Rainbow Dash. Why don't we split up? We'll... We'll cover more ground that way, and...
Rainbow Dash: So... you and Clear Sky, huh?
Quibble Pants: Oh, yeah, she's great. Honestly, I've never been happier... [panicked] Which is why I need your help! I don't know what any of this stuff is!
Rainbow Dash: What do you mean?
Quibble Pants: See this? I-I don't know what it is.
Rainbow Dash: A ball?
Quibble Pants: W— And this? I-I— No idea!
Rainbow Dash: It's a basket. How do you not know what these are?
Quibble Pants: I'm not even a hundred percent sure what bucking is. I literally know nothing about buckball or any other sport!
Rainbow Dash: Well, I figured you weren't the sportiest pony in Equestria.
Quibble Pants: But Wind Sprint is, and her dad was some big athlete, too. I-I can't compete with that. I really want things with Clear Sky to work out, but if Wind doesn't like me, I-I might as well give up.
Rainbow Dash: Uh, why?
Quibble Pants: They're a family. Even if it's okay with Clear Sky, I wouldn't ask them to make me a part of it if Wind Sprint isn't on board. I thought if I could convince Wind I was a big buckball fan, we'd have something to bond over, but I'm... I'm pretty sure she's on to me.
Rainbow Dash: Here.
Quibble Pants: [grunting]
Rainbow Dash: Give it a shot. It's easy.
Quibble Pants: Aah! Aah! Oof!
[thud]
Rainbow Dash: Yeah, I don't think she's fooled.
Quibble Pants: Could... Could you talk to her? I-I mean, you're a famous sportspony. Y-You'd know what to say. Maybe you could talk me up a little.
Rainbow Dash: Ha! No problem. I've totally got your flank.
Quibble Pants: [grunts]
Rainbow Dash: [to Wind Sprint] Trust me, the game's a lot harder to play with apples.
Wind Sprint: You play?
Rainbow Dash: Who do you think taught them? Of course, being a Wonderbolt takes up most of my time, so I don't get to practice as much as I'd like.
Wind Sprint: Wait. You're Rainbow Dash? The Wonderbolt? Whoa, my dad was a great flyer, too.
Rainbow Dash: Hmm, you don't say. You know, Quibble's pretty sporty, too.
Clear Sky: [groans]
Quibble Pants: [grunts]
[thud]
Wind Sprint: [unconvinced] If you say so.
Rainbow Dash: I think I've seen enough of this museum for three Applejacks. Let's go watch some buckball!
Quibble Pants: That sounds awesome! Oh, but first, I got you [singsongy] a little surprise.
Wind Sprint: [unimpressed] Oh. A book.
[thud]
Quibble Pants: Oh, not just a book. It's a buckball almanac. This thing has every buckball fact and statistic ever recorded!
Wind Sprint: [sarcastic] Wow.
Quibble Pants: I know! I never realized there was so much math in buckball. I-I mean, this game's got more numbers than Ogres & Oubliettes. [laughs, snorts]
Wind Sprint: Thanks?
Quibble Pants: I-I-I guess I could hold it for you. You know, so you don't have to carry it.
Wind Sprint: Can we go to the game now?
Clear Sky: Sure, honey. Listen, Q, this trip was a lovely idea, and the book was sweet, but you don't have to try so hard. Everything's gonna be fine. [kisses]
Quibble Pants: Not even my presents are in the ball court.
Rainbow Dash: Uh, do you mean "ball park"?
Quibble Pants: Do I?! I don't know! One thing's for sure: Wind is never gonna like a pony like me.
Rainbow Dash: Of course she will. She just needs to see your sporty side.
Quibble Pants: I don't have a sporty side.
Rainbow Dash: Everypony has a sporty side, and we're gonna find yours. By the end of the day, I am gonna turn you into the sportiest pony in Equestria!
Quibble Pants: Look, I'm not saying it's a terrible idea, but it's a terrible idea! You can't turn me into an athlete! It's impossible!
Rainbow Dash: It's either that or be yourself and bond with Wind over comic books and role-playing games.
Wind Sprint: Ooh! Ah! [laughs]
Quibble Pants: Uh, I have a 17 charisma, all right? Don't you think I tried? She doesn't even like Daring Do. She thinks she's not athletic enough.
Rainbow Dash: What?! Wow. We need to get started on "Operation: Sportify" ASAP.
Rainbow Dash: To figure out what your sporty side is, we just need to see what your skills are. Everypony's got something. Speed!
[zooming]
Rainbow Dash: Strength!
Quibble Pants: Whoa!
Rainbow Dash Agility! Heh. Of course, some ponies can do it all.
Quibble Pants: You're amazing, but what about me?
Rainbow Dash: Right. We should probably start small. I'll pass the ball to you, and you just pass it back to me, okay?
Quibble Pants: Okay. Uh-huh.
[music builds up]
Quibble Pants: And... buckball!
[thud]
Quibble Pants: Ow.
Rainbow Dash: Okay. Maybe agility's not your thing.
Rainbow Dash: Ready?
Quibble Pants: If I say no, do I still have to run?
Rainbow Dash: Yep.
Snips: Can we get on with this? Snails and I did so well with the autographs, we decided to expand. And these souvenirs are not going to sell themselves!
Rainbow Dash: Remember, think speed.
Quibble Pants: Got it.
Rainbow Dash: On your marks, get set...
Quibble Pants: Speed. Speed.
Rainbow Dash: Go! [blows whistle]
Quibble Pants: Speed! Speed! Speed! Speed! Speed! Speed! Speed! Speed! Whew! [laughs] Okay! What a race, right? Oh. So much for speed.
Snips: Eh, this was fun, but I've gotta get back to work.
Rainbow Dash: Come on, Quibble. You got this!
Quibble Pants: [strained voice] I... got... this! I... Ugh! This is hopeless. I... I don't have any skills. Not agility, not speed. I-I can't even lift more than one book, and I love books!
Rainbow Dash: If we had time to train, I know I could mold you into the perfect sportspony. [groans] Or at least a sportier pony.
Quibble Pants: Who knows how long that would take? I-I need to get Wind to like me now.
[crowd cheering]
Rainbow Dash: Maybe you're not the best athlete in Equestria, or the most coordinated, or the fastest, or... even a little bit strong.
Quibble Pants: I-I'm sorry, wait. Is this supposed to be making me feel better? Because it's not.
Rainbow Dash: But none of that matters because I just figured out how to sportify you!
[action theme]
[whistle blows]
[crowd cheering]
Game Announcer: And with that score, the stars of Team Ponyville advance to the next round. If they keep winning like this, they'll never get off the field.
Wind Sprint: Wow! The players from Ponyville are so good!
Quibble Pants: They sure are.
Clear Sky: Quibble, where have you been? I was hoping we'd all watch the tournament together.
Quibble Pants: Oh, I've just been arranging for us to hang out with a few of my close friends. From Team Ponyville. That is, if Wind's up for it.
Clear Sky: This is wonderful, Q, but I still feel like you're trying too hard to get Wind's approval.
Wind Sprint: This is so great! Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy are the best players out there!
Rainbow Dash: Well, you can thank Quibble. Wonderbolts, buckball stars... He's friends with the sportiest ponies around, so he must be pretty sporty, too, right?
Pinkie Pie: Ooh, so this is Quibble Pants. Rainbow Dash told us all about how you two spent a whole Daring Do convention geeking out together about books!
Fluttershy: And even though at first she thought you were the most annoying fanpony she ever met, you two eventually became friends.
Quibble Pants: Uh...
Clear Sky: I guess even sportsponies agree. Quibble's a pony you like more and more over time.
Wind Sprint: Ugh. Knowing sportsponies isn't the same as being one. [to Fluttershy and Pinkie] What's it like playing in front of all those fans?
Fluttershy: Um...
Rainbow Dash: I guess you'll find out.
Wind Sprint: What do you mean?
Quibble Pants: Yes, what do you mean?
Rainbow Dash: I think it's time we told Wind about your next surprise.
Clear Sky: Q, Wind really doesn't need any more surprises.
Wind Sprint: Is it another book?
Rainbow Dash: A – books are awesome. And B – this is way more awesomer than that! For the tournament halftime show, you and Quibble are gonna play a game of buckball against Team Ponyville!
Quibble Pants: We're what?!
[distant crowd cheering]
[whoosh, thud]
[whirring, thuds]
Rainbow Dash: Uh, you should probably stretch.
Quibble Pants: No amount of stretching is gonna make this okay! What were you thinking?!
Rainbow Dash: Look, you wanted to impress Wind Sprint, and this just made sense.
Quibble Pants: Really? How does me making a fool of myself in front of her, Sky, and a billion buckball fans make sense?
Rainbow Dash: Don't worry, I've got your flank. I already talked to Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. They're totally gonna make you look good.
Quibble Pants: Oh. Okay, well, maybe this isn't the absolute worst idea ever.
Game Announcer: Mares and stallions, foals and colts! Put your hooves together for today's halftime presentation, as buckball's biggest stars take on a team of fans just like you!
[crowd cheering]
Referee: [blows whistle]
[whoosh]
[thud]
[crowd cheers]
Game Announcer: And that's one for the Ponyville champs! Looks like these fans don't know what they signed up for!
Referee: [blows whistle]
[whooshing]
Fluttershy: [flatly] Oh, no. Quibble's wide open, and I'll never get there in time to block.
[whoosh]
[slow motion noise]
[crowd awwws]
Game Announcer: Ooh! Looks like our fan team needs to work on their passing!
Referee: [blows whistle]
[whooshing]
Fluttershy: [gasps]
Pinkie Pie: Hee-hee!
[crack]
[smack]
[thud]
Fluttershy: [gasps]
Pinkie Pie: [gasps]
Game Announcer: And the fan team finally scores! ...For the other side. That makes three! Team Ponyville wins!
[smack]
[thud]
Quibble Pants: It says very clearly on page six-forty-seven of the expanded buckball tournament rules that "a goal is scored when an Earth pony sends the ball into a basket". But it doesn't say which basket!
Rainbow Dash: Yeah, I'm pretty sure everypony knows you're not supposed to score in the other team's goal.
Quibble Pants: But the rules don't say that! If that goal is ours, it's only two-to-one, and we can keep playing.
Wind Sprint: I don't want to! You're not a sportspony! It's not fun playing this game with you!
Quibble Pants: I was just... trying to get her to like me.
Clear Sky: I know! But I told you you didn't need to. You and I have to rethink all of this.
Quibble Pants: [whimpers, sighs]
Rainbow Dash: What are you doing out here?
Quibble Pants: Apparently this book is as close to sports as I'll ever get.
Rainbow Dash: Come on. That goal you scored for the other team was amazing.
Quibble Pants: [sighs] Thanks for trying, Rainbow Dash, but I think we can both agree the whole sportify idea was a big flop.
[thump]
Rainbow Dash: What?! We haven't even gotten started! I've got, like, seven more top-notch ideas to turn you into a super-sporty pony!
Quibble Pants: [sighs] Wind's already made up her mind, and so have I. Time to throw up the towel.
Rainbow Dash: It's "throw in the towel". And that's ridiculous! You can't just give up!
Quibble Pants: Wind and Sky deserve a pony they both like in their lives. Besides, Sky wants to "rethink things", so I'm just beating her to the lunch.
Rainbow Dash: It's "beating her to the punch", and it's barely a sports reference. How do you not know that?
Quibble Pants: Because... I! Don't! Know! Anything! About! Sports! And pretending I did just made things worse.
Rainbow Dash: So you should stop pretending! Look, you are terrible at sports. You're uncoordinated, slow, weak—
Quibble Pants: Okay, again, not really making me feel better.
Rainbow Dash: And you're completely clueless about anything having to do with athletics. But maybe I'm not the pony you should've come to for help.
Quibble Pants: Oh.
Wind Sprint: I wish we didn't even come here.
Clear Sky: Quibble thought you'd like it.
Wind Sprint: Well, I don't, and I don't like him. Why do you like him?
Clear Sky: Because he's kind, and smart, and his friends certainly seem to care about him, which is always a good sign.
Wind Sprint: I don't care how many ponies care about him. They're not gonna make me forget about Dad.
Clear Sky: Oh, sweetheart. I know Quibble's trying too hard, but he doesn't want you to stop loving your dad. He just wants you to like him. And I think maybe there's enough room in your heart to do both.
Quibble Pants: Hey, there. Glad I found you, because I have a confession to make. I know it's hard to imagine, but I'm... really not all that sporty.
Clear Sky: [mock horror] [gasps] No!
Quibble Pants: I'm sorry I was trying so hard to convince you otherwise. I just really wanted us to get along, but I guess it backfired. Do you think we could start over? Maybe we could watch some of the tournament together, and you could teach me some sports stuff?
[whoosh, thud]
[crowd cheering]
Wind Sprint: Okay. That's their ball.
Quibble Pants: I'll try to remember that if I ever decide to play buckball again. But I probably won't. Oh, look. Pinkie Pie's gonna flip and triple bounce the ball into the goal.
[springing]
[thud]
[crowd cheers]
Wind Sprint: How did you know that?
Quibble Pants: It's right here. Pinkie flips and triple-bounce bucks over eighty percent of her shots from the northwest section of the field when the wind is blowing from the east.
Wind Sprint: Huh. I guess this book's kind of cool after all.
Clear Sky: [slurping]
Quibble Pants: Look, Sky, I know you're thinking of calling it quits between us, and after today, I don't blame you. But Wind and I just made a connection!
Clear Sky: Calling it quits? What are you talking about?
Quibble Pants: You said you wanted to rethink things.
Clear Sky: Yeah! Things like having your friend help you pretend to be a sportspony so Wind would like you.
Quibble Pants: Wha— I-I don't— I— Oh! I-I didn't... What?!
Rainbow Dash: Say wha—? [nervous laugh] Wha...?! Hah! Nah!
Wind Sprint: Mom, look what Quibble showed me! [reading] "When Fluttershy flies higher than the other Pegasus, Pinkie scores ninety-two percent of the time," and it just happened!
Clear Sky: Wow! You better watch out, or you're gonna start to like books.
Wind Sprint: I guess that wouldn't be so bad.
Clear Sky: Huh. Looks like you didn't need sportiness, famous ponies, or lavish gifts to bond with Wind after all.
Rainbow Dash: Technically, he still needed to buy her the book, but that's it.
Quibble Pants, Clear Sky, and Wind Sprint: [laughing]
[credits]
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