This is my review for the eighth season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It's a good season, with plenty of references to My Little Pony: The Movie (along with showing Mount Aris and Seaquestria, which are both locations introduced in the film), introductions of the Young Six as well as Starlight and Sunburst's parents and the Kirin (including Autumn Blaze), the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Sunburst getting called by the Cutie Map for the first time, the CMC becoming tutors at the School of Friendship, appearances from Queen Chrysalis, Lightning Dust and Lord Tirek, all of the Pillars finding their own occupations in the modern world, and Cozy Glow's true colours being shown while Chancellor Neighsay's true colours are changed. And I was also surprised to see Spike getting his wings, but I'm used to it now. However, there were so many episodes that weren't so good, especially with Twilight's character being messed up in a few of them. So, I wouldn't say that season 8 was as good as season 7 in my opinion.
The new intro was also amazing, where there were indeed a lot of changes, like that it was showing shots of the School of Friendship, as well as extra characters who didn't appear in the previous intros (and I so love seeing both Big Mac and Sugar Belle in one of the first shots), and Cadance, Shining Armor and Flurry Heart also appearing alongside Celestia and Luna in the throne room that has its design from the movie (and I see that starting from Marks for Effort, Spike still doesn't has his wings in the intro).
School Daze parts 1 and 2
This two-part episode was good, but not too enjoyable. There were lots of great references to My Little Pony: The Movie! I was surprised about that they said Tempest had left to go all around Equestria to spread the news of the Storm King's defeat, but I can understand that they did that because it would be so expensive to have popular movie actors like Emily Blunt reprise their roles from the movie. I also like all of the Young Six, while I'm not really a fan of Chancellor Neighsay in this episode since he was furious with Twilight and her friends trying to reopen the School of Friendship, as well as that he despised others who aren't ponies. Twilight was also kind of over the top trying to get everyone to run the school under the EEA's rules, and I was stunned to hear Ember accuse Thorax for causing Smolder to run away even though Ember and Thorax are friends (which the latter did point out). It was amusing how Ember told everyone to stop singing right after the song Friendship Always Wins, and that Rainbow Dash was concerned about the students thinking she is an egghead. And when Applejack had a picture on the chalkboard showing a pony with a long nose during the School of Friendship song, that seemed like a reference to Pinocchio. Starlight even had a great role trying to encourage Twilight into running the school under her own rules.
All right, but not so great. It's amazing that Maud has a boyfriend. I've also got kind of used to Mudbriar, but I don't like him too much, and I kind of couldn't cope with how Pinkie couldn't cope with him because of how he usually acts and always uses the word "technically", even though I could see why while that Mudbriar and Maud have plenty of things in common. Starlight's appearance was perfect, especially for when it contained a reference to Rock Solid Friendship, where Starlight and Maud were both flying kites (and actually, I do prefer Rock Solid Friendship to this episode). Pinkie's visions of the rest of the Mane Six acting the opposite way to their personalities was amusing, but I mostly thought that was the only time that the rest of the Mane Six would kind of appear; I wasn't expecting them and Spike to make actual appearances at the end. I give the episode a thumbs-up for featuring Limestone and Marble Pie; Limestone's one of my favourites after hearing she reminds my best friend of their own sibling. And I like those cameos of Lemon Hearts, Lyra, Bon Bon and Cheerilee.
My second least favourite episode of season 8. Part of it was good, and I liked that it was based on Fluttershy and featured the Rarity For You shop, even featuring most of the staff from The Saddle Row Review (including the raccoons), and there was a great selection of characters who were asked by Rarity to run her shop, like Big Mac and Maud; it was amusing how Maud suggested that Rarity should ask Boulder. I also like Angel, Sassy Saddles, Blueberry Curls', Moonlight Raven and Inky Rose's appearances, and Fluttershy's quote, "Um, who says that?" reminds me of a similar quote said by Rainbow Dash in My Little Pony: The Movie (in fact, both of those quotes were replies to Rarity). However, I wouldn't really say it's a good episode; Fluttershy becoming meaner with each identity as a different shopkeeper and even insulting the raccoons is just kind of out of character, even reminding me of Putting Your Hoof Down. However, I do like a few of the moments after that: Spike understanding the raccoons very well, and Pinkie being displeased when Fluttershy called the raccoons "rodents".
My third most favourite episode of season 8. It was an awesome Rainbow Dash episode, and it was better than Fake It 'Til You Make It; it was also better than I thought, since I now understand why it was so important for Rainbow Dash to go on the Wild Blue Yonder after I read the official synopsis, because every other Wonderbolt had been on it. It was awesome seeing Granny Smith, Auntie Applesauce, Apple Rose and Goldie Delicious all making major appearances, while also seeing the few scenes of both Rainbow Dash and Applejack; it was so hilarious how a vision of Applejack appeared at random times and Rainbow Dash finally said to "stop doing that!" I found it unexpected to see them use a different hot air balloon to the Twinkling Balloon, and I didn't think Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie would make cameos, but at least this marks the first season 8 episode not to have Twilight in it, plus I like the appearances of Soarin, the Young Six, Angel, Big Mac, Lyra and Bon Bon. I didn't see it during my first watch of the episode, but I'm so amazed this episode has pony versions of the titular characters from Rick and Morty, since I get to see at least a different version of the characters when I don't really watch adult animated shows like Rick and Morty. Jack Pot definitely looked like he was Trixie's dad, and I'm surprised they even confirmed he is actually Trixie's dad.
My fourth most favourite episode of season 8. It was amazing how this was the first time the Cutie Mark Crusaders were summoned by the Cutie Map, plus that the friendship problem was located around Mount Aris and Seaquestria, locations that were both from My Little Pony: The Movie. There were even good references to the movie, and it was awesome how Mount Aris had a new train station as well as having some of the hippogriffs living there again. I could already see why Queen Novo was only mentioned despite some scenes set in Seaquestria, obviously being because she and Princess Skystar were voiced by guest stars.
While it was a CMC episode, I love that Twilight also made a big appearance, having to go with the Cutie Mark Crusaders despite not being called by the Map herself, because she would have to be their chaperone. It's like that both my most favourite Mane Six member (Twilight) and my most favourite Cutie Mark Crusader (Apple Bloom) make big appearances in the same episode! Having the Cutie Mark Crusaders in seapony form was so awesome (along with Scootaloo swimming around like she was wanting to fly), even showing what Twilight's seapony form looks like in Flash animation! The song Your Heart Is in Two Places is also good, though I was surprised it ended with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo arguing, as well as that Scootaloo had a different singing voice. I also like the cameos of Bon Bon, Twinkleshine and Lemon Hearts.
My second most favourite episode of season 8. I like that this episode is focused on Twilight while also featuring Princess Celestia and giving all of the other main characters and Starlight speaking roles. It was nice hearing more about Celestia's past and personality; I never even knew that she would use a royal voice just like Luna. Spike's quote, "Wait, what?", and Applejack feeling irritated with Pinkie bringing a huge party cannon were also amusing, as well as Fluttershy making references to Filli Vanilli and Rainbow Dash making another sonic rainboom. Twilight's wide smile even reminded me of when she did that in both My Little Pony: The Movie and Equestria Girls: Forgotten Friendship. Her yelling which then resulted in revealing Celestia's bad acting did remind me of when she argued with Pinkie in the movie, plus I was shocked by Celestia's falling-out with Twilight, but I did feel a bit better when they made amends and saved the play; Applejack was kind of right to remind Twilight that she had to be honest, while it was good seeing Spike narrate the play after he narrated in Hearth's Warming Eve. Celestia's joke at the end with the quote, "Gotcha!" also reminds me of when she said that in A Bird in the Hoof. The appearances of other characters were also good: cameos of Luna, Fancy Pants, Fleur de Lis and Twinkleshine; minor appearances of the Young Six; speaking appearances for two of the Method Mares; and a mention of Trixie.
Very good. It was perfect having both Starlight and Sunburst called by the Cutie Map to their old village, and I love the title's reference to Disney's The Parent Trap movies (in fact, I watched the 1998 The Parent Trap film after I first watched this episode)! I have to say, it's so awesome getting to see Starlight's father and Sunburst's mother! I mean, I was also expecting Starlight's mother and Sunburst's farther to also appear, since Discovery Family's official documents clearly said that both Starlight's parents would appear in season 8, but only her father appeared in this episode, so I'm expecting her mother and maybe Sunburst's father to appear in a later episode. It was also awkward with Spike bragging a bit and everyone's reactions to all of his quotes, like Twilight reminding him that he was only called by the Cutie Map once in Triple Threat, but I was kind of relieved when Sunburst later admitted that he and Starlight should've brought Spike to the village after all, and it was surprising and amazing that once again, like in Triple Threat, the friendship problem was created by the summoned characters themselves.
My least favourite episode of season 8. While I like that this is focused on my most favourite pairing, Rainbow Dash and Applejack (because they both have the same voice actress), I couldn't really cope with all of their arguments. It's like that their rivalry has gone a bit too far after only more than seven seasons, and I was surprised that they argued again at the end. Other than that, the episode was good, as I like how all of the main characters and the Young Six appeared, I love Spike's reaction to seeing all the multiple pictures of Fluttershy for the Teacher of the Month award, and Pinkie showing and mentioning a flower pot when she was mentioning her friends. It was even spectacular of the Young Six working together to save Rainbow Dash and Applejack when they were in trouble.
My most favourite episode of season 8. I loved seeing more of Big Mac and Sugar Belle's relationship, simply because they are my most favourite couple, and there were great moments showing Spike, Discord and the Cutie Mark Crusaders. This is also one of my most favourite episodes because of how emotional it was to me, as I can get quite emotional about breakups. I felt both shocked and sorry for Big Mac throughout the episode when it was assumed that Sugar Belle was planning to break up with him, I was heartbroken when Discord encouraged him to break up with her first, and I was a bit worried about what might happen at the end, but I felt so relieved it all turned out to be a misunderstanding and that Big Mac and Sugar Belle are still together in the end; I would've been slightly heartbroken otherwise, because I just adore them as a couple, and I was concerned that it might be a response to all the fans who don't like them as a couple. The moral (which was about how wrong eavesdropping is) was pretty good (and I shall keep it in mind), and I think that Sugar Belle having a part-time apprenticeship under Mrs Cake might mean more appearances of her and Big Mac in the future. I also give a big thumbs-up to Big Mac talking more, especially to Sugar Belle, and Spike trying to teach Discord the importance of love. Plus, it was nice that Discord helped Big Mac and Sugar Belle get back together at the end, thus teaching him the importance of love.
The subplot focusing on the Cutie Mark Crusaders was also great; I love that joke about "Belle" being used in both Sweetie Belle and Sugar Belle's names when the smudged label on Big Mac's package supposed to be sent to Sugar Belle made the CMC think that a mystery pony sent the pie inside to Sweetie Belle; it was actually Master Templar Shay's wish come true after they wanted it to happen in Hard to Say Anything. Pipsqueak, Button Mash, Snips and Snails were great choices for when the Cutie Mark Crusaders were trying to find who was Sweetie Belle's secret admirer; having Button Mash as one of the choices seemed like an in-joke to some bronies shipping him with Sweetie Belle, while I chuckled a bit when Sweetie Belle secretly hoped that Snips and Snails didn't send the pie to her.
The appearances of Lyra, Bon Bon, Cranky, Matilda, Maud and Mudbriar were brilliant (and I like that Cranky and Matilda have created a Disney reference to Lady and the Tramp by eating the same piece of spaghetti), along with Derpy again being a delivery pony, and the references to Dungeons & Discords and Discordant Harmony (when Spike mentioned Discord having tea parties with Fluttershy), and the mentions of Fluttershy and Rarity by Spike. Also, it's great that this is the first time where Spike makes a big appearance without Twilight appearing! (And I was even reminded of this episode when I watched Wreck-It Ralph 2.)
My sixth most favourite episode. This is pretty great. It's one of the best Spike episodes, where he was experiencing the "molt effect", a common thing with dragons when they grow up, and was afraid of having to leave Ponyville, being what Smolder said since she's also a dragon. I also loved Twilight and Spike's reactions when they noticed Spike had a lot of spots around his head, and it was good to see Peewee finally returning after Just for Sidekicks had shown that Spike had returned him to his parents, and also nice seeing those moments of Spike and Rarity (although I remember your opinion about that, Mega Sean 45). I didn't even think that Rarity would temporarily get hearing problems from being around phoenix feathers for too long. It was awesome getting to see Zecora, and it was amusing when Pinkie shouted excitedly to Spike and Smolder after Spike shouted because of his "molt effect". It took me some time to get used to that Spike has now got wings, because I've enjoyed many of his scenes without them, and this was kind of not like when I eventually got used to Twilight getting her wings in Magical Mystery Cure (funnily enough, that happened in a season finale rather than in the middle of a season). However, I found it nice that Spike also had to get used to keeping his flight under control just like that Twilight had trouble flying in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and Princess Twilight Sparkle. And I immediately thought, just before Twilight said it, that Spike didn't have to ride on her anymore when he did. Plus, I'll always want to think of the times when he was wingless, like in The Break Up Break Down and My Little Pony: The Movie. I've also enjoyed the references to It Isn't the Mane Thing About You and Secret of My Excess, and I was amazed that Blueberry Curls was seen in the tour group.
My third least favourite episode of season 8. At first, I wasn't sure if this episode would be any good (even after seeing a promo showing Twilight telling the Cutie Mark Crusaders to come to her office), but as I got to the end of the episode, I actually found it very good. While the Cutie Mark Crusaders were trying to become students at the School of Friendship, I didn't see any point after Twilight told them that they didn't need to because they already know about friendship, and she even had a great point about that the Cutie Mark Crusaders were supposed to study at Cheerilee's school. But then, I started to like the episode even more when I saw how helpful the Cutie Mark Crusaders were on teaching Cozy Glow about friendship. While I was not surprised that Cozy Glow failed her test, being because I kind of heard spoilers saying she was an antagonist, I was shocked when Twilight scolded the Cutie Mark Crusaders and banned them from coming to the School of Friendship because she thought they gave Cozy Glow bad friendship advice; it was not something I was expecting from Twilight to say to the CMC after I watched the promo for the episode. And because I briefly read a bit of spoilers saying Cozy Glow was an antagonist, I was not really expecting that the only reason she failed her test on purpose was because she wanted the Cutie Mark Crusaders to get into the School of Friendship as well. At the end, it was awesome that after Cozy Glow told Starlight about what she did and then they told the Mane Six, Twilight made the Cutie Mark Crusaders tutors at the School of Friendship! I think that is the perfect job for them in the school, assisting students on friendship (and Starlight was right about them being better as teachers), and that's why I found the episode good! However, I have to say that it might've been better if Twilight apologised to the Cutie Mark Crusaders, because my best friend dislikes the episode all because of Twilight being so harsh and not even saying sorry to the Cutie Mark Crusaders after hearing about what Cozy Glow did (which anyway, I do not really consider the episode as a "most favourite"), and I do not even like that Twilight would give such a punishment to the CMC when she's known them for a long time. However, I do understand how the writer Nicole Dubuc said here on her Twitter page that "she apologized with her actions."
Seeing that Spike does indeed have his wings, I could see that he still had to get used to them when they were in the way of the projector. While I thought it was a bit awkward that he was showing off to the students and then Twilight spotted him, I'm glad that at the end, Twilight felt amused at Spike blushing after he accidentally tripped over and the diplomas landed next to the CMC. And I also like how Rarity nicknamed her sister "Repeatie Belle", Starlight finally understood why she was the guidance counsellor, and that there was a moment showing the CMC and Fluttershy and Pinkie. I also kind of like Cozy Glow, and her struggling to interact with other ponies she was unfamiliar with is kind of like me, feeling unsure about talking to new people. I even like the cameos of Pipsqueak, Angel, Lemon Hearts and the Young Six, as well as how Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops and Mrs Cake both had speaking roles. And my most favourite scene is the one showing Big Mac and Sugar Belle; they are my most favourite couple, and it was nice that Cozy Glow did Big Mac's chores for him so that he could spend time with Sugar Belle!
It's okay; I like that it features Queen Chrysalis, and I'm so relieved that she's still evil by the end of the episode. Her plan was also interesting, creating evil clones of the Mane Six using their DNA, and the fake Mane Six's personalities even remind me of what Discord did to the real Mane Six in The Return of Harmony, although it can actually be a bit annoying to me along with how Chrysalis was being reminded by the fake Twilight that she could've done everything herself, even being pathetic at trying to get the fake Mane Six. It was a bit amusing how the fake Mane Six interacted with the real Mane Six, in which different members of each group met other members of that opposite group (such as the fake Rarity being greedy and taking all of the real Applejack's things, the fake Applejack telling lies to the real Rarity and Starlight, and the mean Fluttershy causing the animals to think that the real Fluttershy is mean too), and then when all of the real Mane Six were reunited, they complained about their behaviour until Twilight decided they could call the camping trip off so they wouldn't have to argue anymore. But there were two things I was mostly surprised about: no one finding out about that it was their evil clones who caused all of the trouble, and the real Mane Six and Starlight didn't even learn that Chrysalis had returned. That was also kind of something I did not expect from the evil clones, trying to betray Chrysalis, but at least I'm glad that it didn't reform her even when they got defeated and she went off to somewhere, because I like her as a villain. And I like how she made references to Starlight defeating her in To Where and Back Again - Part 2, Applejack referenced Bridle Gossip with the mention of poison joke, and Rarity made a small reference to Sleepless in Ponyville when saying she was only taking a small bag full of essentials compared to the number of items in Applejack's wagon.
Not very good. It's nice to see Starlight taking charge of the School of Friendship while the Mane Six are absent; it shows who would be the substitute principal if all of the teachers have been sent to do something like solve a friendship problem. Plus, many of the moments of Starlight and Spike are so great; I even thought about how Mega Sean 45 would like this because he wanted to see more scenes of both Spike and Starlight. However, I do have to say that Discord was over the top in this episode, scaring all of the students with the kind of chaos he was causing, and even casting a spell to send the Mane Six, even Fluttershy, on a fake friendship mission so he could try and become the substitute principal. I know that he can get a bit mischievous because he used to be evil, but this was a bit too much, and at least I'd prefer his character in The Break Up Break Down. That scene of Starlight banishing Discord from the school grounds was also so intense, even when I think about how they both helped defeat Chrysalis in To Where and Back Again - Part 2, but I still liked how Starlight learnt a friendship lesson about thinking about her usual role as the guidance counsellor. Plus, the episode's helped me decide who is my most favourite Young Six member: Sandbar (because I like how he was unsure if the Spell-venger Hunt was a "pony thing", he is an Earth pony like my OC, and was also loyal to his friends). Plus, there was plenty of great humour:
- Gallus telling Silverstream she's been underwater for too long
- Gallus having secretly seen Spike hiding one of the artifacts and telling Silverstream not to tell anyone he had been paying attention in class
- Rarity fainting and being caught by Fluttershy
- Twilight offering Starlight a pile of work for the next six months
- Spike saying "everypony" when Starlight noticed he was only saying goodbye to Rarity
- Discord mentioning the School of Friendship song
- Discord creating a Twilight wig and putting it on Starlight's head (like a clever in-joke to some fans comparing Starlight to Twilight from the first few seasons)
- Discord answering a telephone while it was inside a banana, and then eating the telephone, before Trixie then answered another telephone inside a banana
- Trixie scolding Discord as usual, after their arguments in To Where and Back Again - Part 2
- Spike saying, "Watch the wings!" when Discord was cuddling him (that made me laugh)
- Discord saying, "Oh, poo", like in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2 and Three's A Crowd
I even like how the Young Six, Cozy Glow, Iron Will, Cranky Doodle Donkey, Trixie, Spitfire, Maud and Derpy all made appearances, and that there were also references to Princess Spike (even though that's not one of my most favourites) and Dungeons & Discords. There was even a good mention of Clover the Clever, and I like how one of those dragonsneeze trees from Princess Spike appeared, Twilight and Spike did a high-five, Starlight self-levitated herself like in The Cutie Re-Mark, a bugbear looking like the one in Slice of Life was created by Discord, a flying pig from To Where and Back Again - Part 2 and an ursa major like the one from Boast Busters came out of Trixie's hat due to Discord's magic, twittermites also appeared outside of Apple Bloom's dream in Bloom & Gloom, and Discord bringing along a marmoset kind of reminded me of real marmosets like the ones in the movie Rio.
It was okay, but not so great. It is an interesting Christmas episode (even though it's been aired in the middle of the year), and it sure is great to see an episode focused on all of the Young Six while only three of the main characters (Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Spike) appear in the episode, as well as being a good parody of the movie The Breakfast Club (which I haven't actually seen). Now, it was a bit complicated how Twilight said that whoever was responsible for creating the mess would have to stay behind and learn extra friendship lessons, but I'm glad she wasn't as angry as she was with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in Marks for Effort, while Spike's character was great too. However, it was still a bit too much that she still decided to punish Gallus after hearing him tell his friends about his past. The Young Six's backstories were great as well; my most favourite was Sandbar's, followed by Gallus'. I also have to kind of like Gallus more. It may not be very appreciate that he was the one who caused the mess, but I understand that he only did it because he wanted to spend Hearth's Warming Eve with his friends when he had no one to celebrate Griffonstone's Blue Moon Festival with, not even a family (and it was surprising how it turned out Grampa Gruff does not actually have grandchildren despite being called "Grampa"), and I have to feel sorry for him because of him being alone in the past. I also like how Gilda and Gabby both appeared in Gallus' story, while pictures of Queen Novo and the Storm King were featured in Silverstream's story (which that made another good reference to My Little Pony: The Movie), and it was nice to see Yona and Sandbar's families. And there was plenty of good humour too:
- Twilight saying "Now, if you did this, raise your hoof. Or claw. Or whatever."
- Silverstream suggesting to play a game about who cleans the fastest
- The changelings in Ocellus' story playing "pass the parcel" forever
- Gallus saying that Yona's family does a lot of smashing
- Sandbar screaming in slow motion in his story
- Gallus stopping his friends from arguing
- Sandbar mentioning his story about spilling grape juice
- Gallus passing Yona's offer of having her braid feather
I even like how Sandbar and Silverstream sang a part of the song Hearth's Warming Eve Is Here Once Again.
It was good, but not one of my most favourites. It's very awesome how we've now got a Twilight/Rarity episode, when I liked both their moments in Friendship is Magic - Part 1 and The Ticket Master. Plus, I'm amazed to see Star Swirl the Bearded, Flim and Flam all appear, even though I don't like Flim and Flam a lot. Once again, we've had the Flim Flam Brothers appear in every even-numbered season after their images were seen in Grannies Gone Wild, and I like how this time, it's not Applejack who interacts with them, but Twilight and Rarity instead. However, I was surprised to see Chancellor Neighsay, as he's not really one of my favourites, and I already see that he still criticises having schools for creatures other than ponies. I also wasn't expecting Star Swirl to be studying about friendship at the Friendship University, nor even the university being at Las Pegasus. But I did like the bit of humour where Twilight could only find an eye patch and sticky note for her disguise while calling herself, "Eyepatch". And it sure was interesting to see that Flim and Flam have never changed, trying to use the money given from the students to expand their resort. I even liked how Cozy Glow made another speaking appearance, while the Young Six also appeared, and Tree Hugger made a cameo in Star Swirl's flashback, plus Seaward Shoals (from the episode P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View)) appearing in the flashback too. There were also great references to The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Leap of Faith and Viva Las Pegasus all put in the same sentence by Twilight. And I liked that song Friendship U, even how Twilight's singing voice actress Rebecca Shoichet wasn't credited, which means that Tara Strong must've done Twilight's "singing" lines.
My fifth least favourite episode of season 8. I mean, the episode was good, especially as it's focused on both Rarity and Rainbow Dash, as well as that it has a good moral about that two people can still be friends despite not having much in common, but it's just not one of my most favourite episodes because I just couldn't cope with Rarity and Rainbow Dash arguing with each other and deciding that they shouldn't be friends anymore. Plus, I did already predict that their search for the Amulet of Aurora was fake because Twilight tried to get them to rekindle their friendship. But I did like the humour in it, like Rainbow Dash trying to get glitter off her hooves (because I don't like getting glitter on me), Starlight demanding her and Rarity to stop arguing, everyone at the cafe listening to Rainbow Dash and Rarity arguing about the books they were supposed to be reading, Rarity not being the only one to dislike the Bufogren's breath, and Rarity using one of the nicknames she sometimes uses for Spike ("Spikey-wikey"). It also had nice appearances for the Young Six, Rose, Lyra and Bon Bon along with Spike making a surprise appearance at the end, and nice mentions of Daring Do, Dr. Caballeron, Shadow Spade and Scootaloo along with Daring Do appearing on a book cover, and clever references to both Sonic Rainboom and Rarity Investigates! (and an in-joke to A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, which my best friend (who actually enjoyed this episode) pointed out that Rainbow Dash mentioned dresses that weren't aerodynamic like the one she wore in A Canterlot Wedding).
My fourth least favourite episode of season 8. It was all right, but I just didn't really like it. I just can't believe that Pinkie would get super depressed all because her friends tell her that playing the yovidaphone is causing many disruptions and she isn't so good at it. I even couldn't believe that as the result of feeling very depressed, her mane would go back to its original style and she is no longer pink, plus that she makes flowers wilt, balloons pop, or whatever happens to anything she walked past. However, I do like the humour caused by Angel and Maud, and even Applejack making a reference to Horse Play when she reminded Twilight to be honest with Pinkie after what happened with her not being honest with Celestia about her acting, as well as that it marks the first time Yakyakistan is shown but Prince Rutherford does not make an appearance. I also find Spike's character being much better than in The Parent Map and Marks for Effort (and I didn't even expect him to appear in the middle of this episode). The humour of Pinkie's friends not getting any answer from a silent Gummy is so useful, because it shows how they are more aware that Gummy doesn't really give answers when Pinkie thinks he's answering her. And I also like the episode having cameo appearances for Apple Bloom, Big Mac, Granny Smith, Lemon Hearts, Moonlight Raven, Lyra Heartstrings, Rainbow Stars, the Wonderbolts (especially Spitfire) and the giraffe from Fluttershy Leans In.
Now, I think this episode might've been better if, as suggested by my best friend, it was about the Young Six having to deal with Yona not playing the yovidaphone so well, but then have to learn a friendship lesson, while Yona told Prince Rutherford about her issue, and he helped her improve herself on playing her yovidaphone.
Good. I always like an episode about both Starlight and Trixie, since I'm a fan of their friendship. It's even lovely to see them both sing a song together for the first time! Although I was shocked by how they both argued because of how they criticised each other for something such as already using bits for other food as well as that Starlight gave Trixie's wagon to Hoo'Far without Trixie's permission, I am glad they rekindled in the end after mailponies, who got along thanks to the song, convinced Starlight to go back to Trixie and give Hoo'Far his own wagon back. It gives great development for the two reformed mares' friendship, after Trixie said in All Bottled Up that she would still have Starlight as her friend even if she sometimes gets angry. I loved seeing Cadance and Flurry Heart in the cold open; I've been wondering if they and Shining Armor would actually appear in a season 8 episode after they were in the season 8 intro. It was also nice seeing Twilight and Cadance doing their "sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake" dance, and I chuckled a bit at how Starlight and Trixie were unamused by that; I also didn't know that they did their own version of the dance when they were convincing Hoo'Far that they were friends again. The fact that Saddle Arabia was mentioned and one of its residents was Hoo'Far reminded me of Magic Duel, which is course where Trixie made her second major appearance in the show.
I also laughed at Granny Smith coming out of the trunk, Starlight saying the Mane Six would sing a song about excitement before she then sang one with Trixie, and Starlight snoring loudly, while I also found it funny that Starlight decided not to pack a raft in Trixie's small wagon, and the pony who told the story of Somnambula in Daring Done? had been in the trunk the whole time in the second half of the episode. I even liked what locations appeared in the episode: Somnambula, the Ghastly Gorge, and the Flame Geyser Swamp, while Our Town was mentioned when Starlight mentioned pretending that bears were attacking the village. I even liked Cozy Glow appearing in the line of students waiting for Starlight in the School of Friendship, how Starlight thought about bringing the board game from Uncommon Bond, and Trixie referred to some handcuffs as "hoofcuffs".
I also didn't notice, until reading Otherside86's comment posted on September 23, 2018, that the mailponies also appeared in one of the previous episodes, The Break Up Break Down.
Okay, but not so enjoyable, which is why I'd describe it as being both cool and intense. While I love that Lightning Dust has returned after the season 3 episode Wonderbolts Academy, I was surprised that she is still the same reckless pony she was in Wonderbolts Academy, although I do like how she and Rainbow Dash made plenty of references to that episode. One thing I kind of didn't enjoy about the episode was that Scootaloo became more interested in the Washouts than Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts all because she thought the Washouts do better stunts and that she couldn't be like Rainbow Dash because of her inability to fly, when she did want her to be her sister figure. I know that Rainbow Dash didn't want to see Scootaloo get hurt, but I kind of couldn't cope with how she felt jealous of Scootaloo becoming more interested in the Washouts. While Lightning Dust is one of my most favourite minor characters, she kind of deserved her comeuppance (and I didn't understand at first that she said, "Rivals for life!", which means she'll probably remain reckless for a while). The moral Twilight gave to Rainbow Dash was also pretty good, being about letting others choose something on their own. I even like that Twilight had to carry Scootaloo so she could look through the CMC's clubhouse window and see her own fan club being hosted by Rainbow Dash.
It was very puzzling that Scootaloo didn't know that Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust know each other, even though she obviously mentioned Lightning Dust's name in Parental Glideance. To add to that, Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles even made appearances at the end of this episode as members of Scootaloo's fan club. However, there can be a few solutions for that, as CandiCookie said Scootaloo might have thought that Lightning Dust was just a random teammate, while Shadow2436 said that Scootaloo was in "a fangirl phase" and never met Lightning Dust in person. However, I do like how the writer, Nick Confalone, briefly used the same moral from his other episode, The Break Up Break Down, about eavesdropping not being a good thing to do.
The episode also had so much good humour:
- Scootaloo saying "twenty bajillion percent cooler" like how Rainbow Dash would say "20% cooler"
- Scootaloo making the grin from the beginning of Twilight Time
- Applejack being suspicious about Apple Bloom liking bananas more than apples
- Twilight almost saying "pretty amazing" and then saying "UNamazing" when she noticed Rainbow Dash glaring at her
- Pinkie's squeeing and how she brought different cupcakes to each show
- Rainbow Dash's jaw dropping when she sees the Washouts performing, before Twilight responds by closing her mouth
- Scootaloo feeling nervous about saying a few words to the Washouts, like how she got scared in Sleepless in Ponyville and Campfire Tales
- Short Fuse getting angry about his sandwich
- Spitfire being her usual self and shouting at Scootaloo (even being a reference to Saturday Night Live, even though I don't watch that show)
- Lightning Dust imitating Spitfire before Rainbow Dash said, "That doesn't even sound like Spitfire."
- Scootaloo saying at the end that it isn't weird eavesdropping on her fan club, even though everyone else said that it is weird
It's also cool how both this episode and The Mysterious Mare Do Well both show Rainbow Dash's fan club in the cold opens, and Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle do not appear alongside Scootaloo and the Mane Six in both episodes.
I also like the number of characters who appeared. Since I already mentioned Spitfire, Bow and Windy, I liked seeing most of the Young Six and Moonlight Raven in the grandstands at the Washouts' shows; Lemon Hearts, Twinkleshine, Lyra and Bon Bon appearing the background; Snips and Snails being part of Rainbow Dash's fan club; and Big Mac and Sugar Belle walking out of the stadium after the Washouts' first show (and it only took me five days to hear that they actually appeared, thanks to ImperfectXIII pointing it out). Rolling Thunder and Short Fuse were also nice characters.
It was a great episode! It was awesome to see an episode focused on one of the Pillars, and how Rockhoof had to deal with living in the modern world, while Twilight and Applejack had to help him throughout the episode. I do like how Twilight didn't even want to turn Rockhoof to stone when he requested her to, and how Yona tried to help Rockhoof realise who he really is and that she wanted to be like him. Spike's character was also great, like how great he was at being a substitute teacher for Twilight's students, and it was interesting to hear that he and Smolder like to do fire-breathing contests. However, I do have to say, I did get a bit frightened by that the tree Rockhoof got for Zecora had a beehive, since I have a fear of bees.
It was great to see most of the other Pillars (Flash Magnus, Mistmane, Somnambula and Mage Meadowbrook) appearing and what they are doing all over Equestria, while Star Swirl the Bearded was also mentioned and Stygian was shown on a book cover. I gotta like how Flash Magnus is a drill sergeant like Spitfire, only he is one for Celestia's royal guards. I was also glad to see Minuette, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts, Shoeshine and Cattail in the background, and it was interesting to see Professor Fossil, the pony resembling Indiana Jones, Seaspray and some hippogriffs appear. I even liked how the flashbacks showed Cranky Doodle Donkey, Lotus Blossom, Bulk Biceps and Zecora. I also liked all the references to Campfire Tales, Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2 and School Daze.
All of the humour was also amusing, like Rockhoof eating a wooden apple and not realising it is wooden, Smolder saying: "Except maybe stand on stage," Applejack assuming that the old schools in the past did not have breakable classrooms, Pinkie using a surfboard, Spike not needing to hear about Rockhoof delivering to Cranky, Rockhoof taking a nap after Somnambula said to do anything he wants, Applejack wondering why hippogriffs use ships when they can turn into seaponies, Spike already noticing Gallus trying to trick him into giving everyone field trips and not handing out homework, and Spike asking Twilight if she can actually make Rockhoof the official keeper of tales when she decided to.
It was very good, seeing another episode about the Young Six, and their quest of finding each other and getting out of the secret cavern underneath the School of Friendship was awesome. It was so hilarious how Smolder kept unintentionally coming back to the room where the two ponies hosting a tea party were in, and that she reluctantly wore a dress when she joined them. I also liked how Gallus woke Yona up from her nap, Sandbar was faced with either going on a friendship adventure or finding his friends, Ocellus had the form of Chrysalis even though she didn't want to after she took the forms of Twilight and Applejack, and Silverstream believed some rocks to be the shadows of the Storm King and Storm Creatures. And it's interesting how it was the Tree of Harmony that gave the Young Six the task of using their friendship skills, as well as that the episode is foreshadowing when Cozy Glow was looking down at the secret cavern ominously. And there were good references to The Return of Harmony, Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, Shadow Play, My Little Pony: The Movie and School Daze.
My fifth most favourite episode of season 8. It was very great, marking the first time that the Cutie Map has summoned two of the same ponies who already got summoned together before (even Twilight pointed that out!), being as Applejack and Fluttershy were already summoned in Viva Las Pegasus, and they were summoned again in this episode. Autumn Blaze's also such an amazing character; Rachel Bloom is just perfect for her voice, and the song A Kirin Tale was so lovely, especially with a reprise of it sung at the end of the episode!
The inanimate objects that Autumn Blaze used for her own friends while having to live away from her village made an amusing gag, and the faces on them kind of remind me of the volleyball named "Wilson" in the movie Cast Away. Rain Shine also reminds me of Princess Celestia, partly because of their heads' shapes. The ticket-selling pony's maniacal laughter was very amusing, and it was interesting to see that some things can still scare Fluttershy, especially after her nervousness was shown in My Little Pony: The Movie.
Applejack using a knock-knock joke to try and get the Kirin to speak was a very good moment, and I do like how Autumn Blaze preferred to sing instead of talk when it comes to revealing the Kirin's backstory, as well as how Applejack and Fluttershy explain that arguments usually don't end their friendships. Plus, it was cool to see Lemon Hearts and Cherry Berry at the very beginning, Angel and Rockhoof being mentioned, and some Fly-ders appearing during Applejack's journey back and forth.
It was very good, being another good episode about Spike while he wondered who he really was after being told by Smolder that Twilight wasn't teaching him how to fly like a dragon. Now, I know that it may be kind of similar to Dragon Quest, but I still liked it. It had a nice reference to Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1, when Twilight mentioned Rainbow Dash teaching her how to fly perfectly. I already started to wonder if Sludge was actually Spike's dad or not, partly because of how the official synopsis used quotation marks, and I was beginning to feel more convinced that he wasn't Spike's father when he made that evil laugh and wicked smile at the end of Just Can't Be a Dragon Here. I found Spike being a bit too harsh when he assumed that Twilight doesn't like the fact that he has a real parent, and the shot of Twilight's heart breaking inside her skeleton reminded me of the shot of Big Mac's heart shattering in The Break Up Break Down. But I do see that Spike wasn't acting right because he didn't know that Sludge wasn't really treating him like a son, and even if Sludge eventually confessed that he's not really Spike's father, I'm still glad that Spike realised who he really is and apologised to Twilight for his behaviour as well as considering her as a part of his real family.
Even if he lied about being Spike's father so to spend some time inside a castle, I think Sludge is a very good character. In the scenes where he was injured, it took me a bit of time to realise that he was reacting to his pain when I thought he was trying to prevent himself from sneezing and accidentally releasing his dragon breath. It was cool how he and Spike pretended to celebrate Hearth's Warming Eve by giving each other presents while Rainbow Dash and a few other Pegasi poured fake snow outside Twilight's castle. Smolder was also great in this episode, showing Spike who he is really is, and telling Sludge that he shouldn't pretend to be Spike's father or even treat him like a servant. It was also a bit hilarious how she wasn't completely amused by Spike giving her a "thank-you" throw pillow for helping him to fly perfectly. It was very cool how Smolder was the only Young Six member to appear in the episode while she also told Spike that she and her friends live in the School of Friendship. I also like that montage of the Mane Six assisting Sludge while he was injured; it was cool seeing the Wonderbolts (at least two of them) appear, I kind of chuckled when Angel was forced to lend a pillow to Sludge, and I enjoyed Big Mac's cameo. Granny Smith looked great as a referee in the scene where Spike and Sludge played buckball, I liked that picture of Twilight and Starlight, and it was cool how Torch was in the fake backstory about Sludge looking for Spike's mother. I also love how Starlight was thrown out of the castle by Sludge while she was taking a bath, and how Pinkie made a gasp that was longer than her friends' gasps while she pointed out that Spike is not just well-known around the Crystal Empire. It even had a lovely reference to My Little Pony: The Movie when Sludge mentioned Mount Aris before Pinkie mentioned Klugetown, along with Twilight mentioning about the Storm King when she explained about the Hippogriffs.
School Raze parts 1 and 2
My seventh most favourite episode of season 8. Very good. The story was cool, with the fact that magic was fading away from Equestria. Due to seeing posts online that were posted months before this due to season 8 being leaked in late 2017, I kind of expected Cozy Glow to be an antagonist, but after I've watched this episode, I have different opinions on her and Chancellor Neighsay. Cozy Glow used to be one of my favourite characters, but not anymore, seeing that she is a foal who turns out to be wanting to conquer Equestria. But Neighsay has grown on me now, after he now trusts other creatures who aren't ponies, thanks to the Young Six freeing him after Cozy Glow tied him up. It was quite cool to experience that while Cozy Glow had captured Starlight and the Mane Six and Spike were trapped in Tartarus with Lord Tirek, the Young Six and the Cutie Mark Crusaders are the only ones left to stop her, even though the Cutie Mark Crusaders didn't get to at the end due to Cozy Glow locking them up in the closet, but it was still nice that Equestria was saved thanks to the Young Six and the Tree of Harmony seeing their friendship is strong. Plus, since he's my most favourite Young Six member, I like that Sandbar is the one who talked to a few of the other pony students and asked the Cutie Mark Crusaders to help. I also like how Yona still believed in Sandbar when he pretended to betray his friends, and how Smolder (my second most favourite Young Six member) was suspicious of Cozy Glow because she knew Starlight was meant to be left in charge of the school while the Mane Six were gone, and I was interested by how Cozy Glow was ominously trying to be friends with Lord Tirek after she got imprisoned. It does make for a good cliffhanger.
For the characters who appeared in the episode, I liked the appearances of these:
- Derpy at the beginning, delivering mail to the school
- The two OCs who appeared in Part 1 thanks to HASCON 2017 having raffle entries
- Other students at the School of Friendship having speaking appearances.
- Princess Luna finally speaking in season 8
- Cadance getting her second appearance (and it's marked the first season where Cadance and Flurry Heart have appeared without Shining Armor, despite him appearing in the season 8 intro, and also the first even-numbered season not to have Daring Do appearing physically, and the first season not to have Diamond Tiara)
- Star Swirl the Bearded, Discord and Sapphire Shores all being mentioned, where there were also references to "A Matter of Principals" when Cozy Glow and Spike talk about Discord
- Lord Tirek, Cerberus, a cockatrice, bugbear and manticore all being in Tartarus
There was also good humour in both parts:
- Twilight panicking when she realised her class' field trip was meant to occur
- Gallus teasing Yona about being scared
- Yona telling Ocellus that she liked flying, not falling
- Twilight assuming that Starlight did her spell wrong, then finding out that she lost her magic as well before Starlight sarcastically commented that she also did her spell wrong
- Spike being unable to burp out Celestia's letter right away
- Rarity thinking Twilight will go on her own when Twilight said her friends were coming too
- Cozy Glow saying Starlight doesn't like mustard
- Smolder feeling annoyed with being given homework
- Rarity refusing to shoo flies away with her tail (which at first, I thought they were Fly-ders until she actually called them "flies")
- Pinkie disliking both a bad cupcake and the smell of Granny Smith's "Apple Core No-Bite-No-More"
- Pinkie wearing the same pizza costume from Rock Solid Friendship
- Pinkie still looking at the cockatrice's eyes and not turning to stone
- Rarity giving Fluttershy a towel while Cerberus was licking Fluttershy
- Sandbar having to throw other objects that aren't apples at Apple Bloom's bedroom window while trying to get her attention
- Sandbar not understanding Apple Bloom's rhetorical question when he asked her for help
- Gallus saying "IF he comes back" when Smolder hoped Neighsay wouldn't tie them up again
- Spike always correcting Tirek that there are seven of him and his friends trapped in Tartarus, not six (and it's actually my most favourite moment in the episode, as I did laugh when he shouted, "SEVEN!")
- Pinkie using her hyperactive behaviour to get Tirek to lend some of his magic for helping the Mane Six and Spike escape from Tartarus
- Gallus telling his friends he was studying when they stared at him
- The Young Six doing practice for graduating because they thought they'd graduate after they saved Equestria (which actually reminded me of when Starlight graduated after defeating Chrysalis in To Where and Back Again)
- The Break Up Break Down
- Horse Play
- Grannies Gone Wild
- Surf and/or Turf
- Sounds of Silence
- Molt Down
- School Raze parts 1 and 2
- What Lies Beneath
- A Rockhoof and a Hard Place
- The Parent Map
- Road to Friendship
- Father Knows Beast
- Friendship University
- School Daze parts 1 and 2
- The Mean 6
- The Hearth's Warming Club
- The Washouts
- A Matter of Principals
- The Maud Couple
- The End in Friend
- Marks for Effort
- Fake It 'Til You Make It
- Non-Compete Clause