Friendship is Meme

I recently had a revelation about My Little Pony. That while the show is excellent, and I will always continue to watch it, it has one of the most annoying fan communities in the world. I don’t know why I associate with them, I really need to stop it.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, that comment is mostly inspired by a comment I heard regarding one of my favourite games of all time: “Portal is the only game I’ve been unable to fault in…[but] In the time since then and the release of Portal 2, you’ll be pleased to hear that I eventually did come up with a criticism for Portal 1: it’s got the worst fucking fans in the world. Nothing ruins a good thing quite like knowing you share your opinions with mindless little tits who bray like mules if you so much as mention the word ‘cake,’ and the good thing in question can never be the same again. This is technically known as the ‘Knights Who Say ‘Ni’ Effect.'”

I’m getting the same feeling with regards to My Little Pony. How so?

  • Twenty Per Cent Cooler
  • Ten Seconds Flat
  • Scootaloo’s a chicken
  • Derpy loves muffins
  • Pinkie Breaks the Fourth Wall
  • Doctor Whooves
  • Lyra Heartstrings wants to be human
  • Trollestia (Celestia’s a troll…whatever that means)

Need I go on?

Now, some may ask why this is a problem. It’s a problem because it’s lazy. It disables creativity, and it’s not even funny or clever, and often it doesn’t make sense. Let’s begin by explaining a few of them.

“Twenty Per Cent Cooler” and “Ten Seconds Flat” were phrases spoken by Rainbow Dash in two separate episodes, and never at any point since. But they are repeated ad nauseam by the fans because they think it’s funny. It’s not! “Ten Seconds Flat” wasn’t even that funny when it was first spoken, but “Twenty Per Cent Cooler” was funny because of context. Rainbow Dash wanted Rarity to improve a dress she was making, but Rainbow, not knowing exactly what to improve, but only knowing she wanted it to be cooler. So she tried to quantify it. See, it was funny in the original context, but the problem is people take it out of context, where it’s not funny. It’s like cake.

Other things, like the “Pinkie Breaks the Fourth Wall” gag, is built on a faulty premise. Most accept this because of a few scenes when people think Pinkie looked directly at the camera. However, the production staff has since confirmed these moments to be simple animation errors. However, there are some visual gags that involve her sticking her head from outside the frame and reacting to iris wipes. But if you ask me, those are one-shot visual gags that don’t really reflect the actual perception of the characters.

Not to say it isn’t a good source of comedic inspiration, especially when it’s played with.

We all know!

In that comic, all the characters interact with the audience, so it’s not an innate attribute of Pinkie specifically. I like that.

Then there’s Derpy’s love of muffins. I think people think it’s the only aspect to her character, so instead of just enjoying baked goods, she apparently has sex with them. I don’t know. Liking any type of baked goods is fine, but being obsessed with them seems ridiculous for any character. Also, muffins aren’t really a specific product, but a class. Basically, I’m saying banana muffins are not the same as bran muffins. Only one is delicious.

Of course this is all thanks to the “Meme culture” which is something I hate with a passion. Memes tend to be based on the idea of: if a joke’s funny once, it’s funny a thousand fucking times. Now, that’s just false. Comedy needs to remain fresh. A joke tends to stop being funny after five or six or a hundred times. Not to say a joke can’t be rejiggered a few times to remain fresh. But copied verbatim is not the same thing. Change the punchline, change the setup, change the context, do something! But at the very least put it in a context.

Here’s the thing: if a joke isn’t funny on its own, it isn’t funny. References are not funny. Not to say joking about the news isn’t funny, like they do on The Daily Show, but often times you don’t need to see the original story it’s referencing in advance to get the joke. If I need to look up what a joke is referencing to get the joke, it’s not a very good joke.

I’m pretty critical, of course, but that’s only because I know we can do better. We can create comedy that is funny, clever and original.

Anyway, now, once again, I’m going to move on to the more pressing issue. The latest episode of Ponies. This week, Rarity takes centre stage as she goes to the Equestrian capital of Canterlot to…um…I’m not sure. She claims she’s there to pick up some fabric, but that’s a day trip at most, you wouldn’t need accommodations and ten pounds of luggage for that. Perhaps the trip alone takes so long, you would want to make a round trip in one day. But in previous episodes when someone was commuting between the two locations, such as in Best Night Ever, or any of the dozens of visits Celestia has made to Ponyville, there was no mention of accommodations. Not only that, you can see Ponyville from Canterlot, and vice versa. It’s not that far away. They needed to come up with a better reason for her to be there. I got one: She was going to try to sell some dresses at some of the local boutiques. I just came up with that. Come on writers, get it in gear!!! You’re making the rest of us look bad!

Anyway, Rarity ends up staying in Canterlot for a bit longer than she intended after a few of the local aristocrats end up taking an interest in her, so unwilling to miss such a grand opportunity, she ends up spending most of the time schmoozing. Even after she promises Twilight an elegant dress to wear for her upcoming birthday party. So her priorities end up a bit skewed. She’s too busy hobnobbing to make the dress which is telegraphed early on.

There’s an odd sequence at the beginning where two snobs with their heads up their ass call Rarity a hick (I’m paraphrasing). Going from memory I thought their comment were what inspired Rarity to make Twilight’s dress, which would add a bit of irony to the episode, but looking back, she came up with the idea before they opened their fat mouths.

Anyway, what am I getting at is, these people are pricks. She ends up entering the Canterlot social scene because Fancy Pants, one of the many aristocrats in Canterlot, takes an interest in her after she mentions she personally knows Princess Celestia. I’m sure if it didn’t come up, he wouldn’t have given her a second glance. But these people have their heads up their ass, as I’ve already mentioned.

This episode features a few interesting revelations. Revelation #1: Rarity’s a fucking liar. For starters, she says Rainbow Dash is the Wonderbolts’ trainer, which is the opposite of true. This may be the only reason she is able to rise in status as she does, but anyone who’s sane should realize this is likely to bite her in the flank in the future. Lies can eventually become unravelled.

Revelation #2: The Wonderbolts are racers, not an aerial acrobatics team. Or maybe they’re both. I don’t know what’s real anymore.

Here’s a question: Why doesn’t the castle’s valet have a cart of some type? He’s carrying ten pounds of luggage, he should get a cart!!! I guess it wouldn’t be as funny. But I didn’t laugh to begin with so…

Revelation #3: Ponies have airships. I remember reading a fanfic where it was stated the only airships were owned by the Diamond Dogs, because the ponies don’t need it, after all, one-third of their population can fly. Now, that does make sense, but still, two-thirds can’t, so this doesn’t surprise me.

So just as Rarity is about to go back to Ponyville, after schmoozing with the aristocracy for what we can assume are a few days (because they are featured in a montage/musical number), she is invited to a garden party at the castle by the two assholes who fucking pissed her off near the beginning of the episode.

This party is apparently a major social event, so it would be a big faux pas to not attend, but due to the laws of temporal mechanics, she’ll miss Twilight’s birthday party if she goes. Of course, Rarity decides to go to the garden party. Which I don’t blame her for, I mean let’s be frank here, she’s sees Twilight on a regular basis, these new pricks could mean big business for her, she can’t give it up. Missing Twilight’s birthday wouldn’t be that big a loss, and she could make it up to Twilight at a later date. Free day at the spa! Of course, instead of explaining this to her very understanding and caring friend, she decides to lie…again.

Seriously Rarity, are you physically incapable of telling the truth? It’s not difficult, see, I’m doing it right now! You suck! See, it’s easy! To a certain extent I can see lying to ponies you don’t care about, but lying to your best friends is just wrong, and it’s not like her lies are necessary. Besides, they’ve put up with your bullshit in the past, do you really think they’d stop now!?

So at this moment, her lies do begin to bite her in the flank, as Twilight arrives in Canterlot, because she wanted to move the party there to accommodate her dear friend Rarity. So Rarity covers up her lies with more lies and feline torturing. I know my cat hates being wet. Does this girl learn nothing!?

Twilight notices her incomplete dress sitting on Rarity’s dress form, and assuming it was the completed model, she praised it, because she likes simple and practical. Really? Because Twilight was also the one who designed a gaudy, over-complicated, piece of shit in Suited for Success. This drove most of the plot in that episode. Not only that, the dress isn’t just simple, it’s too simple, it’s a piece of fabric, it looks more like a nightgown than a proper dress. Also, doesn’t Twilight notice that simple isn’t really Rarity’s style?

So anyway, the whole gang holds Twilight’s birthday party in the castle, right across from the garden party. A big window separates the two. So Rarity, looking out on the aristocrats, decides to jump between the two parties, and uses more lies to cover it up.

Revelation #4: Purple unicorns can’t dance, specifically Twilight Sparkle. Which is odd because she danced pretty well in Party of One. It’s like the rhythm part of her brain was recently damaged or something.

Eventually, Rarity’s lies are revealed and either one of two things happen: Twilight approves of Rarity’s cunning, and Rainbow Dash decides to help out by having the whole gang join the party as well; or Twilight lies, she doesn’t approve, and gets Rainbow to sabotage Rarity’s efforts. They had to have known only Rarity has the skills to pull that kind of thing off. Switching between the two differently styled venues. One a party of cake and piñatas, and the other a party of fine wine and hors d’oeuvres. I’d love to use the terms upper-class and lower-class, but that sounds pretentious.

Basically, I’m saying, I would have expected them to be more pissed at the lying.

So Fancy Pants, the same pony that took an interest in Rarity at the beginning, notices Twilight’s dress and asks where she got it. As the two pricks are commenting on how it sucks. Twilight reveals Rarity’s involvement and after a short yet impassioned speech by Rarity, the aristocrats seem to be pretty accepting. With the exception of the two pricks. By the way, they don’t actually have names, they are just called ‘the two pricks,’ or at least that’s what I’m going to keep doing.

Then Fancy Pants silences the two pricks by saying he find them “charmingly rustic.” Which might be a bit condescending…I think. Some apparently think this means he’s a good guy. I think it means he doesn’t want to burn bridges with a friend of the Princess!

So with that, another Rarity episode comes to a close. Her second this season. I think it’s worth pointing out that Applejack, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie still do not have their own episodes this season. I guess we’ll have to wait a while though, because summaries for all remaining episodes to the mid-season finale have already been released.

Next week, Spike has a growth spurt that threatens to crush Ponyville. I assume he will drink some potion or it will be in some way his fault. Even though it would likely be funnier if he wasn’t at fault, and it was just a random event. Then, there’s the obligatory Christmas episode. Where the origin of Equestria’s founding is revealed. …I got nothing. All I ask is that they better not suck.

A few final thoughts, Rarity’s coat isn’t actually white, it’s more of a grey, and Celestia’s coat has a pink tint to it. I noticed this when they were standing side by side. So it turns out the toys are more accurate than I once thought. On that note, I’m quite amused by Celestia’s embarrassment at Rarity’s groveling. It’s a classic comedy moment. Finally, am I the only one who noticed that, when Rarity wakes up at the 12:25 mark, Pinkie’s dialogue is taken verbatim from Griffon the Brush-Off, and doesn’t make sense in this context? I just want to be sure.

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