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Winter wrap-up at BroNYcon
January 16, 2012 5:27 AM   Subscribe

BroNYcon, and New York gathering of the bronies, took place over the weekend of the 7th January. The frist Bronycon, in June 2011, was a relatively small affair, with around 100 guests. This one, held at the Hotel Pennsylvania, had 700, many of whom seemed to be faux-bewildered journalists.

The New York Post's "I talked to somebody dressed as what is apparently called a Pinkie Pie" is a decent example. See also Fox News' Red-Eye feature.

The con, along with the usual merch stalls, special guests (the voice actresses of four of the six core ponies and their enigmatic overpony, Princess Celestia, gave an hour-long panel discussion (link to mp3) for the Bronyville podcast) and cosplay, featured live music from My Little Pony metal band Neighslayer (here doing metal Sondheim at one remove) and a demo of Fighting is Magic, an in-development pony-themed 2D beat-em-up.

The impact of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been seen elsewhere. At Maryland's MAGFest over the same weekend, Ellen McClain was asked to read out a letter from GLaDOS to Princess Celestia, and last year's Comikaze saw cosplayers sexing up a group of ponies.

For those seeking to understand the bronies better, the 2012 Brony Census is now available. Meanwhile, the next BroNYcon has announced that Lauren Faust, Executive Producer and former showrunner, will be guesting.

Bonus reel: Guest Ashleigh Ball, who provides the voices of Applejack and Rainbow Dash, sings "A Song About California" in the Canadian indie band Hey Ocean.
posted by running order squabble fest (310 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
they meet every three months? That is a lot of enthusiasm.
posted by LMGM at 5:33 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


they meet every three months? That is a lot of enthusiasm.
Or a lot of loneliness.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:41 AM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


No. I refuse.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:42 AM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


what is this I don't even
posted by Happy Dave at 5:46 AM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I totally didn't pick up until now that there's a new My Little Pony cartoon that began in 2010. I'd thought all of this brony stuff around the intertubes was spontaneous nostalgia for the roaring 90s.
posted by XMLicious at 5:50 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still have so much time and respect for bronies and the unbelievable quantities of stuff they create. I've got to admit part of it is that I'm impressed by their their enthusiasm for the show - it's a fun series and a nice way to pass half an hour, but I can't imagine being so passionate about it. It's awesome that lots of people can.

On the other hand I am a total brony for alternate-reality series Friendship is Witchcraft. It's better-paced and written, and funnier, than any abridged/overdubbed fan series has any right to be. Also SWEETIE BOT.
posted by emmtee at 5:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


Is this one of those articles about men who never grow up?
posted by desjardins at 5:58 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this one of those articles about men who never grow up?

No it's one of those MetaFilter threads about people who don't read FPPs.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 AM on January 16, 2012 [20 favorites]


or people that have never experienced childhood due to war
posted by Meatafoecure at 6:04 AM on January 16, 2012


I have a hard time finding this anything but adorable, much like the show itself.

Rock on, bronies.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:13 AM on January 16, 2012


I promise my bewilderment is utterly genuine. I thought the bronies were a joke. Is it an elaborate prank? Or has irony doubled back on itself and collided in a shower of rainbows and lollipops?
posted by looli at 6:14 AM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


If your concept of maturity requires that you shun your attachment to cute cartoon characters then I suspect you're really nowhere near as grown up as you think you are.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:15 AM on January 16, 2012 [39 favorites]


I totally didn't pick up until now that there's a new My Little Pony cartoon that began in 2010. I'd thought all of this brony stuff around the intertubes was spontaneous nostalgia for the roaring 90s.

As a brony, I can honestly say this is the most common reaction I get from friends when I tell them, "no, seriously. It's my favorite show on TV right now." The upshot of this though, is that the most common response after that is, I send them a link to a few episodes on YouTube, and within a few days I talk to them again and they have told me some version of "Yeah so I have watched fifteen goddamn episodes in the last three days now."

One of the things I (hopefully) think TV execs have started realized in the internet and 300-channel cable plan era is that word of mouth is so important right now. You almost have to have friends telling you a show is good to get them to give it a try. MLP:FIM's facing two serious obstacles with this, in that A. the obvious: it's a kid's show meant for pre-teen girls, and B. it's on the Hub, which I have to tell people is a network that exists almost as much as the show itself.

I could write- and have repeatedly threatened to do so- pages upon pages of why this show just works. There is a MightyGodKing-style list in my head ("What is the Fucking Deal With My Little Goddamn Pony, #14:") about why I watch the show and why you should too.

But #1 really would just be: it's awesome. I mean, I know that's always the easiest and most obvious thing to say, but FFS just watch an episode. It's a kid's cartoon, usually designed to do nothing but sell action figures and sugary cereal, with amazing animation, well-written and thought-out characters, strong female roles and honest-to-god life lessons that don't talk down to the audience.

I call myself a brony, but I don't really know what else to say in regards to the overall brony "community." I've sort of accepted that anything with a fan base also has a contingent of socially awkward people, whether through psychological issues or honest to god medical conditions. I think it's a testament to the overall fan base though that in a lot of those FPP links, the comments- and we are talking about anonymous people on the internet here- have an amazing representation of otherwise-trolling outsiders saying "yeeeeeah, you know, I just can't find the heart to hurt on these people." Let's stop being upset there's a TV show so nice the internet can't even hate it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [49 favorites]


Or has irony doubled back on itself and collided in a shower of rainbows and lollipops?

Nothing ironic in my love for this show. The writing, voice, music, and animation talent are top notch. People love it because a lot of love and a lot of craft goes into making it. That's all.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:18 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


This just slaughters me, and I watched and enjoyed the first season. You all know this has sexual undertones, right? (Duh?)
posted by zeek321 at 6:22 AM on January 16, 2012


"With his 61-pound music rig, DJ-PON3 proves he’s the mane man at the BroNYCon."

"Kyle Pecorelli and Angela Long are no phonies when it comes to ponies."

Post reporter Reed Tucker looks about him, sees whats going on and says bring it the fuck on.
posted by griphus at 6:25 AM on January 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


The Compleat and Annotated List of Items Without Sexual Undertones:
posted by LogicalDash at 6:32 AM on January 16, 2012 [22 favorites]


Some savvy (sadistic) event planner should co-locate the Bronie event with the next gathering of the Juggalos. For entertainment purposes only.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:35 AM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just hope that the DJ plays some Einstürzende Neubauten.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:40 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bronies, while I'm not one, I love cartoons (or certain ones, anyways) so I can grok bronies. Juggalos, on the other hand, are like N. Korea, a completely alien culture, cut off from the rest of the world. Please please don't put the two together like that. Never.
posted by symbioid at 6:41 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Please please don't put the two together like that. Never.


Just for video purposes. And only for a day or two.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:46 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised Gathering of the Juggalos doesn't get more attention, specifically the missed opportunity that happens once a year when all the Juggalos are in one place.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:54 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or has irony doubled back on itself and collided in a shower of rainbows and lollipops?

A the end of the Great Pop Culture Wars, massive Irony Cannons were designed and deployed. When irony itself failed to break the opposing battle lines, the cannon were reconfigured for Meta-Ironic purposes, building shells out Hypercondensed Irony and Depleted Nostalgia. Eventually, the shells collapsed reality itself with a chain-reaction that destroyed the Irony sockpiles, and only Sincerity was left.

Coming soon: The Great Sincerity Wars.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Juggalos, on the other hand, are like N. Korea, a completely alien culture, cut off from the rest of the world.

The opposite is true for me. And the Juggalos have been and I think will be around a long time like Deadheads, whereas this seems to just be the latest talisman of 'quirk.'
posted by jonmc at 6:56 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if we'd be having the irony conversation if the show was about murdering people.
posted by The Whelk at 6:58 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some of the fanfic is. Are Cupcakes aficionados more or less sincere than fans of the actual show?
posted by LogicalDash at 6:59 AM on January 16, 2012


I wonder if we'd be having the irony conversation if the show was about murdering people.

no because death and mayhem and slaughter are ADULT ENTERTAINMENT so its okay to be appreciated by REAL ADULTS not like this stupid hugs and love bullshit

MOM WHERE DID YOU PUT MY SPAWNS I CAN'T FIND THEM GOD WHY DID YOU CLEAN UP MY ROOM AGAIN I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME IN HERE
posted by griphus at 7:01 AM on January 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


I wonder if we'd be having the irony conversation if the show was about murdering people.

I don't know, what did we say about Dexter?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:05 AM on January 16, 2012


The Whelk: "I wonder if we'd be having the irony conversation if the show was about murdering people."

But hugs and friendship and purple horses are LITERALLY WORSE than giant transforming robots or dudes kicking inflated balls about!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:06 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Zap! Pow! Ponies grow up!

(and receive grimdark cutie marks such as skulls and such)
posted by Artw at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2012


Wait why does the internet hate furries but love this?
posted by desjardins at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know, what did we say about Dexter?

That he has a really great lab, a gift for invention, and a super annoying sister?
posted by hippybear at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2012 [27 favorites]


When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. ~ C.S. Lewis
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:09 AM on January 16, 2012 [30 favorites]


grimdark cutie marks

HUGS FOR THE HUG GOD

FRIENDSHIP FOR THE FRIENDSHIP THRONE
posted by emmtee at 7:09 AM on January 16, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm waiting for the AskMeFi question about how many dates into a relationship one should spill the Brony.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


HUG FOR A WHILE
HUG FOREVER
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I could write- and have repeatedly threatened to do so- pages upon pages of why this show just works.

I already have. Although this is really a more general introduction to the phenomenon and the show.

The sexual undertones may or may not be intentional, for some conscious level of intentionality, but I tend to believe they aren't. You can read anything into anything if you overthink it long enough, and few things are overthought even close to as much as sex.
posted by JHarris at 7:14 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My knowlege of MLP:FIM is mainly due to watching each and every one of them multiple times over with a 5 year old, so I am FAUX-BRONY.
posted by Artw at 7:15 AM on January 16, 2012


For Generation 4, Hasbro went and did a weird thing. They handed the design of their toys over to an animator, Lauren Faust, who had previously worked at Cartoon Network making the extremely popular series Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. She also happens to be the wife of popular animator Craig McCracken, who created those shows, and which may be a case of talent attracting talent.

Thanks, JHarris; that quickly explains a lot.

Riebl, who estimates that about 25 percent of his school is into the TV series, is wearing a homemade sign around his neck that reads, “Free Hugs for Every Pony.”

“Online, I was seeing that a lot of people were depressed about not having any friends, and stuff like that,” he says. “So I’m here to hug everyone and make them feel better. About everyone I’ve met has taken me up on it so far.”


That's either brilliantly scheming or surprisingly empathic for a high school kid. Both, probably. Bravo.
posted by mediareport at 7:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Faux broney served with a light lemon ceviche and mixed seasonal greens.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ren and Stimpy was a cartoon on a kids' network that caused unexpected mass pandemonium on college campuses nationwide.

Hot Topic has Invader Zim shirts prominently displayed nine years after its initial TV run ended.

Warner Brothers hit the same target with Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Pinky and the Brain.

Many a grown-up has watched Sesame Street without a kid in the room. The DVD set of the first couple of seasons was explicitly re-released FOR adults rather than for modern kids.

Cartoon Network Studios has hit the adult-sized funny bone many times, notably from the Dexter's Lab / Powerpuff Girls / Foster's Home wing that directly led to the current MLP hubbub.

This is not a new phenomenon, though the ease of organization of the modern Internet helps spawn it faster these days. It all comes back to the same basic concept: produce shows that are entertaining and funny first, product sales second, and they will find audiences. Just not always the ones that were expected.
posted by delfin at 7:19 AM on January 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


That's either brilliantly scheming or surprisingly empathic for a high school kid. Both, probably. Bravo.


"Free hugs" is a very common sign at conventions, mediareport - a lot of people who both are short of human contact in everyday life and understand that others might be also have reached the same conclusion...
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2012


Many a grown-up has watched Sesame Street without a kid in the room.

It helps keep me up-t0-date on my counting and alphabet skills. I mark it down as "profesional development time."
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


Wait why does the internet hate furries but love this?

Treating this as a serious question, I imagine a common answer would be that furry culture is mostly associated with both sexual and non-sexual avatar fetishes, combined with a subculture of largely original art which is largely of really terrible quality. On the other hand, MLP is pretty much the most sterile thing ever to anyone who isn't actively choosing to find sexual connotations about it for, well, the purpose of teasing that there are sexual connotations to it.

Is there MLP porn? Well, no shit there is. There's popular slash/gorefic about it too and I'm sure everything else that also applies to every other piece of media ever created, ever. I get the vibe that for some sociological reason, people who aren't fans of MLP seem interested in creating a conflict about its nature because that's just easier for them than just not being part of a group and doing anything else with their life. In reality, the fans care more about the show than anyone and work their asses off to keep it safe.

One of the unofficial sigils of Brony culture is a determined Twilight Sparkle underneath the caption "I'm going to love and tolerate the shit out of you." It is, from what I've seen, a mostly effective self-policing group hug. As one who has observed media culture for over a decade now I can honestly say I have never seen a show that fights harder against the trollish and combative nature of the internet and 21st century media. The entire point of the show, and its unexpected fanbase, is to to make friends and not be assholes to everyone.

So strawman-ing here, but shorter version: go to a furry convention and you'll likely find a bunch of people dressed in animal costumes who might want to go off to a hotel room and fuck each other. Go to BroNYcon and you'll likely find a couple of kids with Asperger's discovering there are some nice people here to talk to. If you're not able to discern the difference in these two cultures you are deliberately trying very, very hard not to.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2012 [22 favorites]


Then I spell "professional" correctly on the reimbursement forms, because Sesame Street has also improved my spelling skills.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:27 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Great Sincerity Wars.

Fortunately the denizens of AskMe and MeTa are already battle-hardened veterans.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:29 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Free hugs" is a very common sign at conventions, mediareport

Hell, I've seen people with them in Union Square. I usually walk right up close and then say "Oh, I thought the sign said 'Free Drugs,'" and turn around.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


METAFILTER: the latest talisman of 'quirk'
posted by liza at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quirk Talisman provides + 10 resistance to Grump.
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Before reading the comments here, I first thought this was a convention for Bros (bro's?) who live in New York.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:43 AM on January 16, 2012


Wait why does the internet hate furries but love this?

There are plenty on the internet that do, indeed, hate this.
posted by Palindromedary at 7:45 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


no fair having fun with other people while im still alone, alienated, bitter and strange
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:52 AM on January 16, 2012


XQUZYPHYR puts it very well.
posted by JHarris at 7:53 AM on January 16, 2012


So I took XQUZYPHYR's advice and watched that episode...

OMG FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC!
posted by Blasdelb at 7:54 AM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


You don't like what I like and you dare to say it, so you must have all of the stereotypical characteristics of people the culture at large disdains, such as living with your parents at an advanced age and being lonely and without friends.

Oh, internet, don't ever change please, please change.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


Excellent, I will attend the next BroNYcon. I have been a fan of many things over the years, but nothing has come close to the sheer joy and exuberance of MLP:FiM and the bronies. Apart from the excellent show (which shows no signs of slowing down here halfway through 2nd season, and which, thank Celestia/Luna, is confirmed for season 3), the amount and quality of fan created art is awesome (or if you will, stupendous), be it music, images, animation, or my personal weakness, fiction. The show's creators play ball (but not too much) with the bronies, adding an extra layer to the show. It has been my experience that the bronies are a very positive and accepting bunch of people - I have seen very little of the bitter strife that can be found elsewhere. Now, if only there were more of us in Denmark...

Metafilter was my enabler btw, I learned about the show back in May through the My Little Brony post.
posted by bouvin at 7:56 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]




bouvin: "The show's creators play ball (but not too much) with the bronies"

Not just with the bronies.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:00 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel that MLP:FIM is best enjoyed in my jammies with donuts every Saturday OR Sunday morning, but no more - lest we run out of episodes and get grumpy. I say this without irony, and we are currently a child-free household.

This last Halloween episode was my fav. Spike was dressed up as a dragon - how meta! I'm debating getting the Junko Mizuno pony; after all, it combines two of my favorite things...

Anyway, this thread is giving me great cosplay ideas for the next AKON, so thanks for posting!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:13 AM on January 16, 2012


ArmyOfKittens: "Not just with the bronies"

Exactly! The well-known Dr. Whooves! Another fine example are these familiar looking bowling gentlecolts. Yes, my favourite girly cartoon show features The Dude.

An example of the bronies doing good is The Humble Brony Bundle, which managed to collect seventeen thousand dollars for the Humble Bundle indie software charity event.
posted by bouvin at 8:15 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I figured out why the brony phenom bothers me so much: I think that it's sometimes OK for kids to have their own things, if for no other reason that ownership over a thing makes them feel like they're in control of their lives, even just a little bit.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:35 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm indifferent to MLP, but as a grown woman, I know that I'm a much bigger fan of phineas and ferb than my 9 year old. And I was the gateway that turned him on to Dexter's Lab, Animaniacs, and classic Merry Melodies...so, I'm all for the Bronies finding their own. Yay, Bronies. Now, someone get back to me when we figure out what we're going to do today...
posted by dejah420 at 8:39 AM on January 16, 2012


I love the tone of the NY Post piece. It is a bit nervous and unsure of itself, the way that someone out-of-sync with Internet memes would be.
posted by Theta States at 8:42 AM on January 16, 2012


Hey, I tried to go to that. Too popular to get inside.

Wasted $26 on NJ Transit tickets to go to one of the best cities in the world.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:46 AM on January 16, 2012


You almost have to have friends telling you a show is good to get them to give it a try.

Strike the "almost". That's how I choose what movies/TV shows to watch and (fiction) books to read. In fact, I usually have to hear from 3 or more Real Humans within a few weeks, or more people in a few months, etc before I'll check something out. There's just so much stuff I can't even read the titles of it all, let alone decide if I might like to try it out.
posted by DU at 8:46 AM on January 16, 2012


Ren and Stimpy was a cartoon on a kids' network that caused unexpected mass pandemonium on college campuses nationwide.

Hot Topic has Invader Zim shirts prominently displayed nine years after its initial TV run ended.

Warner Brothers hit the same target with Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Pinky and the Brain.

Many a grown-up has watched Sesame Street without a kid in the room. The DVD set of the first couple of seasons was explicitly re-released FOR adults rather than for modern kids.


But did any of those series have multiple conventions dedicated only to that very series, with hundreds of people attending?

Or, if you want more recent examples: There's no Adventure Time con. There's no Dexter (the killer one) con. FIM is the odd one out, the question is why.
posted by ymgve at 8:48 AM on January 16, 2012


But did any of those series have multiple conventions dedicated only to that very series, with hundreds of people attending?

It's easier to produce a small con these days: easier for organizers to team and easier for the con to advertise to a tightly focused group of would-be attendees. Also, I think, there is more interest on the part of people in attending large gatherings at which they know few if any of the others. I blame the internet, but maybe there is more convention space on the market.

In the past (say early '80s), you would have had to attend a Doctor Who convention to get the latest anime laserdiscs dubbed to beta, and have to deal with Trekkies crashing the party, because there wasn't so effective a means of filtering the attendees.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 9:11 AM on January 16, 2012


The Internet does in fact hate Bronies, but is also faintly intimidated by them.

serious answer: furry hate only came about because of a slapfight on 4chan that went way out of control and consumed several other fora. the initial wave of bronies were aware of this, and brought their a-game, proving damned near impossible to troll effectively.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or, if you want more recent examples: There's no Adventure Time con. There's no Dexter (the killer one) con. FIM is the odd one out, the question is why.

As a wise friend of mine put it: Adventure Time and its ilk are more mainstream. MLP was explicitly and exclusively marketed to little girls for the previous 25 years. Adults and young men et al. who found themselves loving the modern incarnation may be more prone to overcompensating and taking their fandom waaaaaay over the top, especially when they encountered many other non-little-girl fans in the same boat.

Combine that with the nature of WHO are taking MLP fandom to the next level and beyond. Not all MLP fans self-identify as full-fledged cosplaying clopfic-writing bronies, kinda like how one can like Star Wars without owning a Chewbacca costume or like Star Trek without translating classic literature into Klingon in your spare time. Boards like 4chan were among the first to hop on the pony bandwagon, and it's both a blessing and a curse that 4chan provides massive reinforcement and support for Strange People Doing Strange Things.
posted by delfin at 9:15 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think that some of the grumbling (at least from us here on MeFi) is that MLP has gone from some vaguely remembered thing from decades ago to something we're being beaten over the head with.
posted by jonmc at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


...furry hate only came about because of a slapfight on 4chan...

I have no actual proof for this, but 4chan launched in '03 and I can recall people getting into a huff about furries earlier than that.
posted by griphus at 9:18 AM on January 16, 2012


I'd say the studio play ball a fair bit with the bronies. There's an interview with Linda Steiner, EVP of Current Series for Hasbro, here. You have to scroll through some preamble about what MLP:FiM is and how it works... but she seems to be quite aware of the power of the Bronies for good re: the brand:
You develop a show to make it the best show you can, and you hope the humour will translate to a broader audience. The young men and the overall cult success has been a very unexpected, amazing bonus! We all just look at each other in the office and can't believe what is happening out there with this show. I've been in the kids business for 25 years, and I've never seen anything like this following. It is truly one of the most exciting times I can remember with a show launch.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:19 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm still mystified, sorry. What, precisely, is it about a show made for preteen girls that attracts adult males? I have an easier time understanding Juggalos.
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have an easier time understanding Juggalos.

Juggalos are very easy to understand. It's like Alice Cooper fans or the Kiss Army, a bunch of young hormone-laden young people who like loud music dirty words and goofy makeup. Bronies are the latest way for trendy people to be cutesy.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on January 16, 2012


If Christie Blatchford finds out about this, she's gonna lose her shit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:23 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm still mystified, sorry. What, precisely, is it about a show made for preteen girls that attracts adult males? I have an easier time understanding Juggalos.

As someone earlier in the thread said, watch an episode. If you like, mentally substitute in accountants, construction workers, cups of sugar-free Jell-O or other non-threatening non-explicitly-girly objects for the ponies. Concentrate not on how pretty and sparkly everything is, but on the writing, the dialogue, the characterization, the lack of forcing the entire show to be (a) completely sanitized and saccharine or (b) a 22-minute commercial for a toy line.

If you do that and you still don't get why many adults find it enjoyable, that's fine; can't win 'em all. Understanding why it attracts adult males who then start up pony-themed metal bands or create their own ponysonas is left for the advanced course.
posted by delfin at 9:26 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, precisely, is it about a show made for preteen girls that attracts adult males?

Why Grown-Ass Men Love MLP So Much
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2012


How do the grown ass-men feel about it?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


How do the grown ass-men feel about it?

Reactions are mixed.
posted by darksasami at 9:49 AM on January 16, 2012


Where would you grow them?
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 AM on January 16, 2012


bloody firefox 8 stripping http:// from the url bar, grumble grumble
posted by darksasami at 9:51 AM on January 16, 2012


Bronies are the latest way for trendy people to be cutesy.

Or, maybe, we just enjoy the show. Honestly, jonmc, we aren't having fun just annoy you.
posted by SPrintF at 9:51 AM on January 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm not doing the Jem thing though - that is TOO FAR.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on January 16, 2012


Have all the fun you want, but enough already, 17 My Little Pony posts is enough.
posted by jonmc at 9:53 AM on January 16, 2012


Something which Lauren Faust mentions as a thing which was meant to be enjoyable for the intended audience I suspect is also attractive to the less macho end of young manhood ...

This is a show with, basically, no alpha males - you have Spike, but he is Twilight Sparkle's assistant, and so is rarely called upon to take charge and drive the plot. And, in the space where most shows have an alpha male (or at least a central figure) driving the plot, instead you have interactions between six different female characters.

Have a think about your favorite show, and think about how many of the characters are female, and about how much screen time they get. Then ask if the core of the show, if it is a show with a lot of female characters, is "women's interest" (like Sex and the City) or if the female characters have to be at parity because it's a show about couples (like Happy Endings).

So, for example, MLP:FiM gets to have two "butch/tomboyish" female characters, which I think is unique in cartoons and possibly unique on television, and they get to be butch in different ways - Rainbow Dash is a jock, showy, arrogant and fearless, and Applejack is effectively managing a small business: she's de facto co-running the family farm, and is pragmatic and a little mercenary, sometimes. The perspective character in the early episodes, Twilight Sparkle, is a bookish outsider, but isn't socially penalised for being so. Rarity, by some distance the most traditionally femme of the cast, runs her own clothing store and designs clothes....

So, you have a cast of characters who reflect a range of different forms of self-representation, who are all to a greater or lesser degree autonomous but who hang out together, and who generally like and help each other and don't compete for status or sexual success.

That actually sounds like quite an aspirational view of life for men in their early twenties who have already started to feel like the things they are supposed to be competing for are either beyond their reach or outside their interests.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:54 AM on January 16, 2012 [41 favorites]


TBH I'd sooner have 17 Jem posts than the umpteen billion useless blowhard political posts we're going to get over the next few months.
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Have all the fun you want, but enough already, 17 My Little Pony posts is enough.

I admire your desire to maximize the value of your five bucks, but you don't have to read them all.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


TBH I'd sooner have 17 Jem posts than the umpteen billion useless blowhard political posts we're going to get over the next few months.

Just picture Ron Paul touching his earring and yelling "SHOWTIME, SYNERGY!" and transforming into Mitt Romney in pink chiffon.

Now try to picture ANYTHING ELSE.
posted by delfin at 9:57 AM on January 16, 2012 [16 favorites]


ChurchHatesTucker, I love lots of things, like the Dictators, White Castle, Richard Price, foie gras and potato chips, but if there were 17 posts about any of these things a collective "enough already,' would be heard.
posted by jonmc at 9:58 AM on January 16, 2012


This is outrageous, truly truly truly outrageous.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe if you make 17 whiny posts in this silly thread then it will magically go away, proving that you have your own special pony power.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


TBH we're probably over peak pony posting now anyway, but you could always take it to Meta as a NO PONY REQUEST.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe if you make 17 whiny posts in this silly thread then it will magically go away, proving that you have your own special pony power.

What would the cutie mark of someone who's good at arguing even look like?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Or 17 whinny posts.
posted by The otter lady at 10:02 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


What would the cutie mark of someone who's good at arguing even look like?

A bloodstained fist.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on January 16, 2012


ChurchHatesTucker: "What would the cutie mark of someone who's good at arguing even look like?"

NOPONY KNOWS
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:07 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me put it this way:

If MLP:FIM's adult fanbase were primarily women, nobody would bat an eyelash. We'd all think it was because it was due to nostalgia for the 90s driving viewership of a clever, well-made update. There's a clear line of interest.

If MLP:FIM's adult fanbase were adults comprised (roughly) evenly of men and women, there would be some interest in the crossover from the children's market to the adult market, but nobody would think it was at all curious. As was mentioned before, many a cartoon, from Looney Tunes to Peanuts to Ren and Stimpy to the Animaniacs to Powerpuff Girls has successfully attracted an adult audience.

But MLP:FIM appears to have a large adult male fanbase at the expense of a large adult female fanbase. Nearly all of what has been written about why people like MLP:FIM would also conceivably apply to women -- yet nearly all of the hysteria about the show is coming from men.

So the question is this: why would adult men embrace MLP:FIM disproportionately to adult women?
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 10:08 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still mystified, sorry. What, precisely, is it about a show made for preteen girls that attracts adult males?

Not just males. I'm thisclose to identifying as a full blown Pegasister. I have a 5-year-old daughter, and I watch the shows with her, but I also watch them by myself.

It's a great show. It's funny, it's well-paced and well-written, it has strong characters, and those characters are mostly female. The characters are actually CHARACTERS, not a combination of a quirk, a stereotype, and a color. And it is unabashedly kind, sweet, and caring, without being saccharine.

(Also, it shows rather than tells. In "Sisterhooves Social," we meet Rarity's parents for the first time, and their Tiki-tacky style and flat Dakota accents hint at a pretty interesting backstory for the uberposh Rarity, for example.)
posted by KathrynT at 10:09 AM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I thought this was also going to be a Jersey Shore thing or something. The world is always bigger than you think.
posted by Kwine at 10:10 AM on January 16, 2012


I EAT TAPAS: "But MLP:FIM appears to have a large adult male fanbase at the expense of a large adult female fanbase."

To be honest, most of the brony-centric places online have a bunch of women fans in them, too; they just don't get the attention because, well, them funny ladies liking ladystuffs.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:14 AM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


I like ponies because the colors are amazing and look like wedding cake/taffy made with the kinds of chemical food coloring that the FDA won't let you have.

Also, I like watching a cutesy, fluffy show to distract me from what philosophers call the absurd. I guess I could switch to woodworking or cars if it bothers you guys.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:15 AM on January 16, 2012


So the question is this: why would adult men embrace MLP:FIM disproportionately to adult women?

You almost had the answer there yourself.

Most women who like the show just like the show, no big deal. Men, especially young men, have to hide or justify it. This causes them to seek out like-minded men on the internet, and eventually to meet them IRL. That's how you can have a quarterly BroNYCon, or the weekly meetups that some local groups have. They're essentially support groups for young guys breaking gender expectations.

(I'm over-simplifying, obviously, and I don't mean to diminish the contributions of the female bronies, one of who organized BroNYCon in the first place.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, that Comikaze Link is awesome, and not so sexed up that I'm not going to show it to my daughter after she's done playing checkers with Dad.
posted by KathrynT at 10:17 AM on January 16, 2012


metafilter: seeking out like-minded men on the internet
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:19 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Also, it shows rather than tells. In "Sisterhooves Social," we meet Rarity's parents for the first time, and their Tiki-tacky style and flat Dakota accents hint at a pretty interesting backstory for the uberposh Rarity, for example.)

Also Pinkie Pie's family with their Puritan stylings made me intensely identify with her. With only five or so minutes of screen time!
posted by winna at 10:21 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Having only seen a few episodes (it is super charming, BTW) it's main appeal seems to be its the show that anyone worried about the presentation of gender roles on children's TV has been waiting for for years. Largely female but not competitive cast? Various forms of Butch/Femme presented without judgement? Athleticism/Bookishness/Artistic Ability all shown in an equally positive light? Hell yea.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


Have all the fun you want, but enough already, 17 My Little Pony posts is enough.

Have you...have you called the police?

You know, about the man holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read all seventeen?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


Startlingly appropriate for this thread.

Although I too think there have been a lot of pony posts lately.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 10:30 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also Pinkie Pie's family with their Puritan stylings made me intensely identify with her.

Assuming, of course, any of that scene actually took place anywhere outside of Pinkie Pie's brain. This is Pinkie Pie we're talking about.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:37 AM on January 16, 2012


So the question is this: why would adult men embrace MLP:FIM disproportionately to adult women?

Besides what people have already said (no news in females liking what is considered feminine anyways), i see and know way more women who love the show, draw fan art, etc than i do guys. I wouldn't call myself a brony, but when it's on i enjoy watching it, and get a knowing giggle out of the fan art. I am the only male i know who does, while i personally know ten females who do. Basically comes down to "OMG panic!! men liking what i consider girly shit!!!!!!" making the news. :P
posted by usagizero at 10:38 AM on January 16, 2012


Nobody ever seemed to get confused when I told them I like Spongebob or Avatar:TLA. They are good shows, they make me smile and laugh. It's not really a complex question.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2012


> Nobody ever seemed to get confused when I told them I like Spongebob or Avatar:TLA.

Yes, but those shows don't have this baggage.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:48 AM on January 16, 2012


Also Pinkie Pie's family with their Puritan stylings made me intensely identify with her. With only five or so minutes of screen time!

I have been learning to admire Pinkie Pie as one of the most boldly-written characters in the last decade of television after realizing that she is essentially the human avatar of the show.

Now, the remainder of the comment for those of you who haven't left after reading that.

By that I mean, of all the main characters, when the writers are trying to do something that "is what you might be doing," it's her. She's silly. She wants to have fun. She's the one that laughs and plays and gets to eat cake all the time. She is the Elmo in the show's respective world of Muppets. And then, of course, there's the inverse of that, which is what makes her such a special character to me and is one of the reasons I was talking about how this is such a powerful show. Because Pinkie Pie represents you, the viewer, she also reflects most strongly the message that you, the viewer, should be getting from her actions. And in a handful of episodes, those are daring to a level that most other shows, let along children's shows, won't touch.

The most recent episode, "Baby Cakes" focused on Pinkie Pie offering to babysit two newborn ponies. For the entire run of the show, we've seen that Pinkie's character is the one who just wants to have fun and doesn't have a care in the world--in many cases breaking the fourth wall and being the wackiest one of group. And what we see in the episode is at the start, the parents don't trust her. For the first time, we see Pinkie Pie wanting to prove she is a responsible person(pony). So she takes care of the babies. And it's fucking hard. That's actually amazing for a show because usually little girls and babies are reflected in dolls that wet themselves until the batteries run out. They don't cry non stop. They don't have lives in your hands. This is, again, a toy company telling little girls that babies aren't actually toys. That baby your sister had that you're playing with? You don't actually want to have one just because babies are cute.

Far more significant, however, are two episodes that both deal with a similar matter. "Swarm of the Century" is about a swarm of parasites invading Ponyville and destroying everything, and the only person who knows how to stop them is Pinkie. It turns out that they are distracted by music, and so the entire episode, she's running around frantically asking for trombones and drum kits and other non-sequitirs and everyone else is just looking at her like "not now, Pinkie, we don't have time for this." The second one is "Feeling Pinkie Keen," which deals with Pinkie having an innate sixth sense to detect danger and Twilight Sparkle not believing it. This episode was actually a little controversial since people viewed it as being an argument of religion vs. science but it actually had a bigger message: Twilight realized that her problem was she refused to listen to a friend just because she didn't want her argument to make sense. The idea that something was too hard or mysterious to simply be explained bothered her so she wanted to just deny it instead. That's not about religion, it's about something far, far more important.

What these two episodes deal with, both with the same character, is the message of listening. The underlying message of those two episodes, and to the parents watching them, is that there are possibly times in your life when your Pinkie Pie, your child, is trying to tell you about something that sounds silly, or impossible, or frighteningly horrible, and what you should do is believe them.

And I realize after writing all this, that there are likely people are already scoffing and giggling at plate-of-beaning a cartoon about magical ponies but I feel like if I said all that about, say, Sesame Street, it would carry more clout. Well, it took Sesame Street over 20 years to address the idea of letting children who have been abused/touched feel like they are safe to talk to grownups about it. This was handled in the 7th episode of My Little Pony. They should create a goddamn award just to give the producers for having the balls to do that and we're here debating if seventeen out of a hundred and eleven thousand threads is too much.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:52 AM on January 16, 2012 [30 favorites]


Female brony here. I think there are more women in the fandom than most people realize, it's just hey, on the internet nobody knows you're a dog girl mare.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:00 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


This installment of Teens React is interesting.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


For me the ones that have stuck out have been the curie mark episodes - peaking with hair rock anthems and pony origin stories - and the ticketmaster/beet night ever, which were all about the building up and dashing of expectations and dealing with that. I guess if you are an American then Best Night Ever is about prom, but it really could be about any highly anticipated party that turns out to be a bust, and it captures that so well.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR, thank you so much for articulating that. I think that Pinkie Pie gets a bad rap a lot of the time, because she does like to have fun. But she's a caring, loyal person. In the first episode we see her throwing a party for a new pony because she thinks it's important to be welcomed into the community. She is good with the little ponies- think about how much of the Cutie Mark Crusaders involves Pinkie Pie talking to them on their level. She makes the pony equivalent of Halloween fun for all the little ponies. But one of the most important things about her to me is how she relates to her job.

Pinkie Pie is a good model for caring about life outside of work and a joy of living. Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Applejack all get lost in their jobs to one degree or another all the time. But Pinkie Pie does not let her job control who she is in life. That's an important and subtle message to me, one that gets overlooked.
posted by winna at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I also really like that the ponies do have jobs. They have time to visit and play with their friends, but Rarity has deadlines and dresses to make, Applejack has to worry about getting the harvest in on time, etc... It's not all "it's FUN to be a fashion designer/gardener/etc", there's work involved, and responsibility, and in a lot of ways the ponies are more grown-up than Barbie, etc, who mainly have costumes, not careers.
posted by The otter lady at 11:28 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


My daughter has decided on "pony fashion designer" as a future career (that and comicbook writer). She draws up her designs and has actually made a few dresses for her toy ponies with only a little parental sowing assistance.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gah. Sewing. Thank you, sleep loss enducing second child.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on January 16, 2012


It took me nearly 5 minutes of reading to get past the idea that this was not a bro convention. My brain was unwilling to believe this was what it was, even after I saw the MLP logo.

As in, people icing each other, speakers on the best way to hit the gym, tanning for experts and how to do laundry, and then nightly high protein/low carb dinners that devolve into people yelling "SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS."
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 11:37 AM on January 16, 2012


The sports bars of Turtle Bay host Bro conventions every single night.
posted by The Whelk at 11:39 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pinkie Pie is a good model for caring about life outside of work and a joy of living

I dunno, she seems to do an awful lot of work for her fun. How much testing went into just the targeting system for the Party Cannon?

not that there's anything wrong with that
posted by LogicalDash at 11:50 AM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was pleasantly bemused to figure out BroNYCon was being held in the same run-down, periodically-endangered old hotel where the biannual Hackers On Planet Earth conference is held. Perhaps they will have left some magic behind for us.
posted by gusandrews at 11:53 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite things about the fandom is how many amateur animators that have been inspired to make fan videos for this show. Given the quality of the show's animation, it's no wonder the fans are dedicated to excellence with their own projects.

This video is an interesting example. It's a short, hypothetical deleted scene from last Saturday's new episode. What makes this video noteworthy, is the fact that despite featuring a baby pony character who had not been seen by the public until Saturday's episode aired, the animator premiered the video on the livestream of the episode as it was being broadcast, during one of the commercial breaks. That's got to be some kind of fan animation speed record.

He did as much work as he could before hand, based on what plot summaries of the episode had been released ahead of time, and rushed to drop the baby in place once he knew what the foal looked like. He already had the backgrounds and vector art of the other characters from his previous project of making a pitch-perfect MLP version of the YouTube series Epic Meal Time.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:53 AM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have been learning to admire Pinkie Pie as one of the most boldly-written characters in the last decade of television after realizing that she is essentially the human avatar of the show.

That's an interesting take on Pinkie, XQUZYPHYR, but I think the appeal of this show is that the wide range of characters means that the viewer can easily identify with one or more. You could probably have a pretty comprehensive personality chart based on the Mane Six. The GF is about a 50/40/10 Rarity/Twilight/Dash, for example.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:31 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know what? Screw Myers-Briggs. Someone needs to work on a standardized test for this pronto.
posted by delfin at 12:48 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know, about the man holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read all seventeen?

jonmc: "A-a-another pony thread! HOW DARE THEY! Yet another post on Metafilter about a silly girls' show that grown men enjoy! Wasting my time! What trash and rot and drivel!"

clicks through, reads every word

I have been learning to admire Pinkie Pie as one of the most boldly-written characters in the last decade of television after realizing that she is essentially the human avatar of the show.

This sentence makes a certain cyan unicorn cry.
posted by JHarris at 12:49 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


wilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Applejack all get lost in their jobs to one degree or another all the time.

Actually... what is Fluttershy's job? We know Equestria has money, how does she earn hers?
posted by JHarris at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2012


Actually... what is Fluttershy's job? We know Equestria has money, how does she earn hers?

She's a cult leader. Oh wait, wrong show.

She runs an animal shelter. She probably gets government funding.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:55 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Praise Lord Smooze!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:02 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


incidentally at the risk of my e-credupoints that guy earlier talking about getting all the juggaloes in one place creeped me out
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:04 PM on January 16, 2012


It is a thing that happens. Each time they sacrifice a minor celebrity, such as Tia Tequila.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on January 16, 2012


Fluttershy is like a park ranger/veterinarian. She went overboard in the episode where she steals Celestria's pet bird.
posted by winna at 1:18 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually... what is Fluttershy's job? We know Equestria has money, how does she earn hers?

In way too long and alcohol-infused discussions with friends the closest I've come is that Equestria has a bizarre hybridization of government subsidy and free enterprise, notable by the societal need for capitalism in a consumer-based culture and the necessity of socialist infrastructure in the wake of a binarchial government that can perform actual miracles. Clearly the land is a kingdom without basic want, as there are visible "rich" ponies but no "poor" ones, implying that the accumulation of wealth is allowed while simultaneously providing for the utmost in health care, food, public transportation, education and literacy.

The Hearth's Warming Eve episode did a bit to clarify the limitations of magic in Equestria in that it appears Unicorns can magically manipulate objects and control the weather but cannot actually substantiate- in other words, the Earth Ponies still have to grow all the food. Likewise, the Pegasi are perpetually in charge of controlling the weather, the scheduling and regulation of which is referenced throughout the series.

While I doubt it was intentional, this actually helps clear a lot of the roles up, in that the "Mane 6" all adhere to aspects of a quasi-socialist government economy: Twilight is clearly under government student grant, Rarity and Applejack are private business owners, and Pinkie Pie is a charity case living under the watch of two other business owners.

That leaves the two Pegasi, and it's a little tricky, but I'm pretty sure that the indirect implication of Equestrian policy is that Pegasi are, in effect, the closest equivalent of the military. Given that Equestria appears to have no need for a standing army (or if it even has actual borders to defend) it appears that a la Israeli citizenship, to be a Pegasi in Cloudsdale is to be automatically enrolled in a sort of engineer corps. In the rare moments we see Rainbow Dash perform work, they involve weather manipulation.

Shunning Cloudsdalian residency, Fluttershy instead has taken to the meadows of Equestria, where she fulfills what is actually a necessary role given that shy of the Everfree Forest it appears nature itself is not self-sustainable. She is in charge of waking animals up in the Spring, for Christ's sake. In light of all the other reflections of a regulated socialist infrastructure, I can only imagine Fluttershy is where she is for one of two reasons:

1. Approval from the Equestrian high authority to manage the vital department of animal regulation, effectively making her a government employee like Rainbow Dash is, or
2. She's a hippie trust fund filly living off Mommyshy and Daddyshy's Weather Factory pension.

This all, as I'm sure you can imagine, ends up raising more questions than it does, mostly regarding what exactly Princess Celestia finds so important about having Twilight study magic when she herself appears to be immortal and omnipotent as well as who exactly "runs" Sweet Apple Acres.

No, seriously, where the balls are Applejack's parents? This is usually where we run out of bourbon.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:19 PM on January 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


Oh good lord, I guess MLP is on the sainted list of Things One Cannot Hate. Forgive me.

*posting on phone at bar spelling maybe not so good*
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess MLP is on the sainted list of Things One Cannot Hate.

Once you watch the Winter Wrap Up episode you'll realize that's the truest thing you've ever said.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:23 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate MLP. I hate all those horrible stupid ponies and hope that they get shot dead and their corpses are rendered at the glue factory.

It's ok to hate, just don't be a nag about it.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I ain't watching shit. That show was saccharine nonsense when I was a kid and it appeArs to be pc saccharine nonsense now.
posted by jonmc at 1:28 PM on January 16, 2012


want to come to my "the road" reading jonmc
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:29 PM on January 16, 2012


HATE DETECTED
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:29 PM on January 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Eventually MLP will do an episode where Pinkie Pie starts packin' on the pounds from all the sweets she eats, and her friends will have to help her get back in shape, because true friends are willing to fat-shame a friend for her own health, and then Metafilter can explode in chaos and strife. CHAOS AND STRIFE! (wiggles eagle and lion paws together)
posted by The otter lady at 1:33 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Winter Wrap-up is great because it's all about the importance of project management.
posted by winna at 1:40 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just told my bartender what I'm arguing about. He laughed like hell and poured me A free shot.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on January 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


hi jonmcs bartender hello from meta filter
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:48 PM on January 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


Clearly the land is a kingdom without basic want, as there are visible "rich" ponies but no "poor" ones...

Except for those sentenced to toil on the rock farms.

... what exactly Princess Celestia finds so important about having Twilight study magic when she herself appears to be immortal and omnipotent as well as who exactly "runs" Sweet Apple Acres.

Sweet Apple Acres is a family run small business. Granny appears to be the matriarch, but I suspect Big Mac takes care of the books with his "fancy mathematics."

Twilight, and by extension her friends, have been groomed for the roles they performed with the Elements of Harmony. There's an interesting logic that's implied, in that the Elements seem to 'imprint' upon those that use them. So, Celestia couldn't use them against Discord because the Mane Six had them, and before that she may not have been able to use them against Luna because both of them had used them against Discord the previous time.

I just told my bartender what I'm arguing about. He laughed like hell and poured me A free shot.

See? Magic.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:49 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Order one of these jonmc.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:52 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh good lord, I guess MLP is on the sainted list of Things One Cannot Hate.

It's important to make a distinction here. MLP is NOT MLP:FIM. Nearly all bronies have just as much distain for prior incarnations of the property as you would have. If you have those honeyjob prior versions in your head when talking about the show then no wonder you're having an abreaction.

There are some things however that, while okay to hate, it is unseemly to hate too strongly. Like, when someone tears into Occupy Wall Street with venom, he starts to look like he's grinding an axe, or affecting a pose. So it is with MLP:FiM. After those crucial early days on 4chan and SA, bronies started their own sites and so have ceased being pushy about their beloved cartoon horses in my experience. Of course media outlets are posting occaisional LOLWAT articles, but that can hardly be blamed on the fandom.

He on MeFi, there might have been a lot of pony posts, but its been over several months. There's plenty of non-ponyfilter around should you look for it.
posted by JHarris at 2:08 PM on January 16, 2012


[Time to maybe step away if all you have to say is how much you don't care. MeTa is your option, this thread is not.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:08 PM on January 16, 2012


OK, I watched one of the linked episodes. It's kind of pretty. I enjoy the old timey 2D animation a lot. The ponies creep me out, though.

I hate MLP. I hate all those horrible stupid ponies and hope that they get shot dead and their corpses are rendered at the glue factory.


Well now that's just mean. However, should such tragic events transpire, the result would surely be this.
posted by looli at 2:16 PM on January 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Order one of these

And have it in one of these.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:17 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Genre fandom is interesting in how different populations express their love for the thing in question in very different ways - cosplay, model-building, world building, fanvids, fanfic, gaming, and so on. MLP:FIM is no different, save that what I presume to be a male dominated community found the show first, and lobbied vigorously to give the show a chance.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:19 PM on January 16, 2012


And have it in one of these.

The question isn't if I'm going to buy an MLP pint glass now, it's which one?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2012


I get the young adult male thing, I do, and I get that concealed-culture==con-culture, but what I really can't wrap my head around is the 4chan part.
posted by gingerest at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2012


I get the young adult male thing, I do, and I get that concealed-culture==con-culture, but what I really can't wrap my head around is the 4chan part.

apart from /b/, 4chan is composed mainly of human beings and there isn't all that much trolling. if something is good and they enjoy it they like it. and because it's anonymous, they aren't going to be ashamed if, say, it's a TV show for little girls.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:40 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait why does the internet hate furries but love this?

You seem to have some real, uh, issues going on here.


Ren and Stimpy was a cartoon on a kids' network that caused unexpected mass pandemonium on college campuses nationwide.

Hot Topic has Invader Zim shirts prominently displayed nine years after its initial TV run ended.

Warner Brothers hit the same target with Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Pinky and the Brain.

Many a grown-up has watched Sesame Street without a kid in the room. The DVD set of the first couple of seasons was explicitly re-released FOR adults rather than for modern kids.


Boy stuff. Seriously, there's a bunch of raging sexism in the characterisation of MLP: FiM as not OK for adults. You like a girl things? Immature! Fag! You see it here, sometimes from people who were off to watch the Muppet Show movie.

I figured out why the brony phenom bothers me so much: I think that it's sometimes OK for kids to have their own things, if for no other reason that ownership over a thing makes them feel like they're in control of their lives, even just a little bit.

Do you rag on adults who enjoy the Muppets, Dark Crystal, Dr Who, and so on?

I think that some of the grumbling (at least from us here on MeFi) is that MLP has gone from some vaguely remembered thing from decades ago to something we're being beaten over the head with.

No-one makes you read them. You can just go back to whining in music threads that everything was better 30 years ago, you know.

Oh good lord, I guess MLP is on the sainted list of Things One Cannot Hate. Forgive me.

No, it means the no-hreadshitting rules apply to you. I know you have trouble with the idea you aren't that special, but there you are.

Applejack is effectively managing a small business: she's de facto co-running the family farm, and is pragmatic and a little mercenary, sometimes.

One of the nice things I like about Applejack and Big Mackintosh's relationship is the Applejack has the normal "Little Brother" role - runs the family farms and goes off on adventures - whereas Big Mac has the traditional "Big Sister" role of offering sensible advice and holding down the home front.

(Also, it shows rather than tells. In "Sisterhooves Social," we meet Rarity's parents for the first time, and their Tiki-tacky style and flat Dakota accents hint at a pretty interesting backstory for the uberposh Rarity, for example.)

Applejack and Pinkie Pie have a similar thing going on.

The most recent episode, "Baby Cakes" focused on Pinkie Pie offering to babysit two newborn ponies. For the entire run of the show, we've seen that Pinkie's character is the one who just wants to have fun and doesn't have a care in the world--in many cases breaking the fourth wall and being the wackiest one of group. And what we see in the episode is at the start, the parents don't trust her. For the first time, we see Pinkie Pie wanting to prove she is a responsible person(pony). So she takes care of the babies. And it's fucking hard. That's actually amazing for a show because usually little girls and babies are reflected in dolls that wet themselves until the batteries run out. They don't cry non stop. They don't have lives in your hands. This is, again, a toy company telling little girls that babies aren't actually toys. That baby your sister had that you're playing with? You don't actually want to have one just because babies are cute.

It was a very good episode - and to quote one of the Failheap bronies, "I expect a sudden drop in teenage pregnancies in about 10 years". It was a well-crafted episode.

but I'm pretty sure that the indirect implication of Equestrian policy is that Pegasi are, in effect, the closest equivalent of the military.

It's quite direct, I think: the Wonderbolts doing their King Kong thing with Evil Spike.

Winter Wrap-up is great because it's all about the importance of project management.

That's what my wife, the project manager, said. I, on the other hand, thought it looked dangerously like the moral was "if someone is no good at doing things, put them in charge!"
posted by rodgerd at 2:42 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I get the young adult male thing, I do, and I get that concealed-culture==con-culture, but what I really can't wrap my head around is the 4chan part.

Yeah, it seems odd until you realize 4chan is composed largely of disaffected young men. MLP turned out to be candy-coated crack to a large swath of them.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:45 PM on January 16, 2012


To be clear, by 4chan I meant /b/, which is where it was most contentious, but it was discovered on /co/.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2012


XQUZYPHYR: "No, seriously, where the balls are Applejack's parents? This is usually where we run out of bourbon."

Word of Faust says they're probably dead, but officially it's undecided.
posted by Gordafarin at 2:59 PM on January 16, 2012


No, seriously, where the balls are Applejack's parents?

I will mention that an upcoming episode in entitled, "The Last Roundup".
posted by SPrintF at 3:07 PM on January 16, 2012


*is* rather.
posted by SPrintF at 3:08 PM on January 16, 2012


I don't know if anyone remembers, but American cartoons from the 80's sucked and they still got a hell of a lot of love. The MLP:FiM is hitting the same market, and that market's kids, except shined up. Same premise (yes, it really is a preexisting premise) but with better writing and animating that would do wonders for any of the shows we watched back then.
I can see why a fandom sprouted up around the show, it's not that bad at all.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:10 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a long presentation on the MLP:FIM phenomenon (54 minutes, tl;dwYET, but it comes from a good source, the Cartoon Brew blog, which brags at being credited as an influence in the movement, after pointing out that MLP:FIM is one of the few "creator-driven" cartoon shows left)

Did I miss something or did nobody mention the previous example of a young-kids cartoon to gain a surprising adult following: Spongebob Squarepants? Of course, that 'phenomenon' lacks any gender crossover (except that Sandy, the girl squirrel in the diving suit is really the only grown-up at Bikini Bottom).

I personally still prefer McCracken/Faust's "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends", as less 'cutesy', as well as being the second-best depiction of Imaginary Friendship ever (the first? Calvin & Hobbes, duh), and having good female role models (but then, Coco the bird and Frankie the human are the smartest characters in the show, again), just not enough.

Yes, cartoonwise, almost everything between Star Trek The Animated Series (1975) and Galaxy High (1986) sucked badly (and I'm old enough to have grown up with original incarnations of Bullwinkle, AstroBoy and Yogi Bear) and The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy and MTV's Liquid Television saved the genre. Revisiting old franchises has produced more failures than successes - I'll include Super Friends and Muppet Babies in the fail category, and Duck Tales was surprisingly good, but still paled next to the Carl Barks comic books - but My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is the ONLY example I can recall of turning a crap franchise into something really good. Which is why I strongly recommend referring to it by its long full name or its 6-letter-and-a-colon acronym.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:47 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Sonic Rainboom episode features one of the most tightly-scripted and emotionally cathartic action-rescue sequences I've ever seen anywhere. It's fun to be able to respond to the doubters and haters with a "just watch it and get back to me."
posted by whuppy at 4:01 PM on January 16, 2012


Pinkie Pie gets a bad rap, because she is secretly a violent murderer. (Possibly NSFW/NSFL, recovered deleted tumblog)
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2012


Oneswellfoop, there are probably a lot of things that actually feed into it's success, and timing is a major part of it. Also, "crap franchise" to describe the original is a little hyperbolic. Any franchise going 30 years strong more than likely falls under the "successful franchise" title.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:11 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any franchise going 30 years strong more than likely falls under the "successful franchise" title.

It might be successful, but the older MLP cartoons are basically one of the poster children for "why girls get fucked-up rubbish for entertainment".
posted by rodgerd at 4:15 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cartoon Brew blog, which brags at being credited as an influence in the movement, after pointing out that MLP:FIM is one of the few "creator-driven" cartoon shows left

*spit take*

They "pointed that out" by running this article slamming the Hub a week after it debuted.
The Hub, a network owned partly by toy company Hasbro, launched a little over a week ago with new animated series including Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures, G.I. Joe: Renegades, and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. The network’s debut closes the curtain on what has commonly been referred to as the creator-driven era of TV animation, which lasted from approximately the early-1990s through the late-2000s.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:16 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Successful franchise" and "great animated show" are two different things.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:20 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Without that dismissive Cartoon Brew article though, it wouldn't have been watched by all those proto/co/lts, which was key to the cult's formation. (I'm in it, so I can call it a cult.)
posted by JHarris at 4:33 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's actually a different article slamming MLP before it began than the one that was it's Metafilter debut.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on January 16, 2012


The infusion of 4chan definitely charged and changed the arc of MLP:FIM.

On the other hand, there's a web series, Teens React, that had an episode on teens reacting to My Little Ponies.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:41 PM on January 16, 2012


I really wish that video linked by oneswellfoop was a bit more watchable. Once they move to "the other room", the oblique angle makes watching the video clips and powerpoint slides basically impossible.
posted by hippybear at 4:45 PM on January 16, 2012


On the other hand, there's a web series, Teens React, that had an episode on teens reacting to My Little Ponies .

That is pretty much everyone's reaction to the opening theme the first time they see it. The show doesn't really break with expectations until it actually starts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:54 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad the letter from GLaDOS to Princess Celestia is part of this post, overwise it would probably end up in it's own post and you know the trouble we'd be in given it's both Portal AND Pony.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on January 16, 2012


Now you're thinking with ponies
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Without that dismissive Cartoon Brew article though, it wouldn't have been watched by all those proto/co/lts, which was key to the cult's formation.

I doubt it. /co/ was certainly aware of it already, as the CB article showed up almost a week and a half after the Hub's debut. You can find people defending the show in the comments on the same day it was published, like "Anthony D."
I loved the style, the animation, the story, the characters, and let’s not forget that this new incarnation of MLP was made by Lauren Faust (wife of Craig McCracken). Hell, I’m 20 years old and even I think the show was good.
That is pretty much everyone's reaction to the opening theme the first time they see it. The show doesn't really break with expectations until it actually starts.

They showed them more than that, but it was edited down for time.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:59 PM on January 16, 2012


XQUZYPHYR: I watched the episode you linked to, and it was cute except where I wanted to kill Fluttershy throughout most of the episode. Could she be more annoying?! I can't say I'm a convert, but it was enjoyable.

Also, you can make your own MLPs here. Here's mine.
posted by deborah at 6:13 PM on January 16, 2012


Just noticed that the "Teens React" segment has some outtakes as well.

XQUZYPHYR: I watched the episode you linked to, and it was cute except where I wanted to kill Fluttershy throughout most of the episode. Could she be more annoying?!

Both she and Rarity are pretty annoying at first, but they each have a couple episodes later in the first season where they really come into their own.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:22 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I EAT TAPAS: But MLP:FIM appears to have a large adult male fanbase at the expense of a large adult female fanbase.

Actually, based on my sales figures for this, it's got an extra-large adult male fan base, and a less populous but still significant medium adult female fanbase.
posted by sourcequench at 6:40 PM on January 16, 2012


Gah. The (shamelessly self-promoting) "this" link in my prior comment should have been this.
posted by sourcequench at 6:42 PM on January 16, 2012


Not one thing in this thread about Doctor Whooves (who happens to look like, in his most popular incarnation, vaguely like David Tennant)?

For shame.

posted by droplet at 6:48 PM on January 16, 2012


psst.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:52 PM on January 16, 2012


I doubt it. /co/ was certainly aware of it already, as the CB article showed up almost a week and a half after the Hub's debut. You can find people defending the show in the comments on the same day it was published, like "Anthony D."

You can find someone to defend almost anything. But there was a sense that a critical mass formed around PONY. It didn't hurt that there were several highly memeable moments in the first season: 10 seconds flat, 20% Cooler, Pinkamina, YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE ME, etc. If the article hadn't happened, it might still have become popular, but I don't see it exploding like it did.
posted by JHarris at 6:56 PM on January 16, 2012


Keep trying sourcequench, the suspense is killing me.

It didn't hurt that there were several highly memeable moments in the first season: 10 seconds flat, 20% Cooler, Pinkamina, YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE ME, etc. If the article hadn't happened, it might still have become popular, but I don't see it exploding like it did.

Maybe, but as you point out there was a ton of meme-ready material from jump (though most of the ones you cite are from the back half of the first season.) That article may have been contentious, but I don't think it was necessary for the fandom to explode. It was just an early iteration of what happened repeatedly again and again: people dismissing it without taking time to understand, or even look at, it.

The dam-buster seems to be when the fascination leaped to /b/, and from thence to Something Awful, Reddit, etc. That seemed likely to happen anyway.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:19 PM on January 16, 2012


Thanks, furiousxgeorge. Whoopsie!
posted by droplet at 7:52 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Keep trying sourcequench, the suspense is killing me.

The "this" was supposed to be a link to a pony-related t-shirt.

Since I'm reasonably sure I linked it right the second time, I'll file that under the category of "domains that somebody must've been obnoxious about linking to in the past, and this is why we can't have nice things". So pardon me for not making a third attempt.

But maybe I can link to the the design under my own domain. (Text NSFW)
posted by sourcequench at 8:05 PM on January 16, 2012


ZeusHumms: "On the other hand, there's a web series, Teens React, that had an episode on teens reacting to My Little Ponies."

I wish they had shown those kids a whole episode, and one of the ones with a strong moral like "Applebuck Season", rather than just the credits. You can't really judge the show based on the credits.

I'm also not sure many teenagers will "get" the show because they don't have enough experience yet. It takes real maturity to understand that true friendship, of the kind displayed by the ponies, really is magic. By which I mean that when I was an adolecent and young adult playing "Peace Love and Understanding" used to get me pumped up and angry. Now, with more life under my belt, I mostly get melancholy.

Either way, love the show or hate it, love and tolerate the bronies or loathe them, there is no denying that one could live by a worse philosophy than trying to live up to the Elements of Harmony.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:50 PM on January 16, 2012


sourcequench, not sure what you were doing, but the link wasn't stripped. Your link to I EAT TAPAS' comment in your first try was also blank, though I fixed that one.
posted by taz at 10:59 PM on January 16, 2012


ob1quixote, I have no idea how much the participants in Teens React are exposed to anything, but I'm guessing it's a bit more than the theme sequence, but not by much. Judging by their episode on Twilight, that's par for the course.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:32 AM on January 17, 2012


I'm also not sure many teenagers will "get" the show because they don't have enough experience yet. It takes real maturity to understand that true friendship, of the kind displayed by the ponies, really is magic.

Maybe so, but a good show is approachable to different populations by showing them different things. I think MLP:FIM does a pretty good job of that. Maybe, in a few years, we'll see if it made a difference with its intended audience.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:46 AM on January 17, 2012


Winter Wrap-up is great because it's all about the importance of project management.

That's what my wife, the project manager, said. I, on the other hand, thought it looked dangerously like the moral was "if someone is no good at doing things, put them in charge!"


There's a difference?

XQUZYPHYR: I watched the episode you linked to, and it was cute except where I wanted to kill Fluttershy throughout most of the episode. Could she be more annoying?!

I watched that episode too and I can see why it appeals to adults. The characterisation is done in broad strokes and the plot is completely predictable (obviously Fluttershy is going to overcome her fear/shyness and defeat the dragon, the only question is when and how) but there are enough clever touches there to keep your interest; it's all quite a bit more smart than it needed to be to satisfy its target audience.

Also also I wonder for how many (young) adults MLP:FIM is a sort of security blanket, half an hour spent in a world where nopony has to worry about unemployment, pollution that's not caused by dragons, war, the state of the economy or mortgages.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:37 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weirdly they completely forget that episode the next time Fluttershy encounters a huge dragon, which bothers me more than it probably should.
posted by Artw at 5:43 AM on January 17, 2012


I watched that episode too and I can see why it appeals to adults. The characterisation is done in broad strokes and the plot is completely predictable (obviously Fluttershy is going to overcome her fear/shyness and defeat the dragon, the only question is when and how) but there are enough clever touches there to keep your interest; it's all quite a bit more smart than it needed to be to satisfy its target audience.

I think this applies to a lot of the show though, and is another great example of how strong the writing and the characters are. Another example is "May the Best Pet Win," which had an ending the fans predicted before it even aired. Rainbow Dash wants a pet and spends the entire episode trying to figure out which one she wants, and anyone with active synapses will watch it and understand for 22 minutes of course she's ending up with that one. But it's amazing anyway because of how funny some of the moments are and how well they wrote it. People also buy tickets to the same Broadway show over and over; it's about enjoying the experience.

It's stuff like this that makes me so frustrated to hear Hasbro/ShoutFactory say that it's "economically unviable" for season DVD sets of the show. There is already mass replay value in them, and I'm basically offering to give them $60-80 for 26 episodes I already have saved on my computer.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:20 AM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


You're talking about Spike, Artw? When he was going through Dragon Puberty and stealing everything? Kind of a different situation than shooing a dragon out of a cave
posted by LogicalDash at 6:33 AM on January 17, 2012


Weirdly they completely forget that episode the next time Fluttershy encounters a huge dragon, which bothers me more than it probably should.

Part of Hasbro's mandate was that the shows be airable in any order. They actually subvert that more often than not, with two arcs written for the first season: the Gala arc, and the Nightmare Moon/Discord arc (the latter of which was split between seasons by the Hub.)

Anyone else following Friendship is Dragons? It's a Darths and Droids style "show as RPG" webcomic.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:00 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, this was the straw. My girlfriend and I watched most of the first season yesterday. It took a few episodes, but we are absolutely loving it now. My enjoyment was briefly marred by the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", the moral of which seemed only to be "superstition is on equal footing with science as long as you just believe". That upset me quite a bit and felt like a bit of a betrayal of Twilight Sparkle's character. But not so much that as to stop me from watching.

I will not label myself a "brony", though. I dislike the term. I'm not sure why fandom for this show should be gendered. I'm a fan, sure. My gender doesn't really matter.
posted by gilrain at 7:43 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


gilrain, I'm just gonna paste this comment from the wiki:
Twilight remains skeptical until she is presented with consistent evidence that Pinkie Sense is real, even if she doesn't understand the mechanism. This is exactly how science approaches the unknown (researchers then go on to investigate the mechanism). Keep in mind, this is a world where "magic" is commonplace, so predictive phenomena like those demonstrated are not outside the bounds of possibility. I actually though this was a pretty good representation of how skepticism and the scientific open mind should operate. The other ponies and eventually Twilight believe in Pinkie Sense because it is repeatedly demonstrated to actually work, which is actually in direct contrast to superstitions resulting from confirmation bias. I didn't see this as, "If you're a skeptic, pianos will fall on your head," I saw it as, "Biases can blind you to evidence right in front of your face," which is a REALLY important lesson a lot of researchers should learn.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:53 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Feeling Pinkie Keen does have some of that gilrain, but it is also one of the most cartoony, and funniest, episodes of the show. And it is Pinkie who is the source of her confusion. Ya know, the one who can beat the fastest pony in Equestria wherever she's going just because?

Not only that... but for thousands of years there were things scientists couldn't yet understand. And there are still things we don't understand to this day. I think Twilight wasn't so much giving up as saying "I'm not going to obsess over this," which as we've seen since in that episode and since, is something she's prone to doing.

Also: that hydra is great.
posted by JHarris at 7:54 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmm, well I'm not entirely convinced, but I can look at it that way to reduce the bad taste it left in my mouth. You may rest assured that it didn't spoil the show for me, just that episode. In fact, this morning, trying to get back into work after the long weekend, I think I'm feeling some pony withdrawal.
posted by gilrain at 8:36 AM on January 17, 2012


"Feeling Pinkie Keen" is not loved by most fans for pretty much the reasons you stated, gilrain, but for an interesting alternate view see XQUZYPHYR's take above.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:17 AM on January 17, 2012


I got over the apparent pro-religious, anti-science message of "Feeling Pinkie Keen" after Lauren Faust publicly apologized for it, saying, "Wow. It's so not what I ever hoped anybody would ever take away from that episode. It's a really awful message and I'd never dream of suggesting it."

But I still don't like it much, because Twilight is so dumb! One of the things that drew me in to the show immediately was that Twilight herself was, and was allowed to be, very intelligent--and it's shown, not just told. In the opening two-parter, her handling of Rainbow Dash, and then the way she bluffs Nightmare Moon with zero preparation time and not even a hint of exposition, reveal a mind that is working furiously behind the scenes. I can only justify her behavior in Feeling Pinkie Keen to myself by noting each instance of severe head trauma in the episode, and assuming that her apoplectic fit at the end is in fact a stroke, which in turn leads to her behavior in "Lesson Zero."
posted by darksasami at 11:43 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Feeling Pinkie Keen" doesn't work for me because it requires Twilight to forget that she can teleport (thus removing the whole "leap of faith" problem).

On the plus side: Ditzy Doo/Derpy Hooves gets to drop heavy objects on her. The spirit of Loony Toons lives on!
posted by SPrintF at 12:12 PM on January 17, 2012


But I still don't like it much, because Twilight is so dumb!

You're going to hate Lesson Zero.

All of the primary ponies are kind of written from a 12-year-old's level of worldliness, except the elusive, manipulative Celestia herself. But even the main cast are about one or two points smarter than the general citizens of Townsville Ponyville, who like every other episode are sent galloping around in a blind panic away from some imagined terror. In that respect at least, they're like real horses.
posted by JHarris at 12:21 PM on January 17, 2012


Damn unclosed strike tag; that was supposed to end after Townsville.
posted by JHarris at 12:23 PM on January 17, 2012


"Feeling Pinkie Keen" doesn't work for me because it requires Twilight to forget that she can teleport...

No, she pretty explicitly says that Magic A is Magic A [warning: TV Tropes] from the get-go. The point is that Pinkie uses Wrong Context Magic [Ditto, but the page references this episode.]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:31 PM on January 17, 2012


I, too loathe Feeling PinkieKeen, and I wasn't a big fan of the episode that introduced Zecora, simply because it was a bit ham-fisted.

On the other hand, I felt similarly hostile about Rarity's goal in Ticket Master, but that was rescued, in spades, by the Best Night Ever episode. I loved the Cinderella demolition.
posted by rodgerd at 2:33 PM on January 17, 2012


This isn't at all what I imagined!
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on January 17, 2012


ChurchHatesTucker, that's not the problem. The problem is that at the end of the episode Twilight could have just teleported across the gap instead of having to jump.

While we're all complaining about FPK, the Wrong Context Magic quotes this line, to which I'm appending Pinkie's rejoinder:
Twilight: ... magic is something you study and practice. It only happens when you decide to do it, and it's meant to make something specific that you choose to happen, happen. With you, uh, it makes no sense at all!

Pinkie Pie: That's so not true, Twilight! Sometimes it's a bunch of random things happening to my body at random times that supposedly predict the future. I call 'em combos!
Is it just me, or is it really obvious that Twilight's line is supposed to be, "With you, it's just some random thing happening to your body at a random time that supposedly predicts the future!"? Because that bothers me every time. It feels like the show has its shirt tag hanging out the back of its collar and it's really glaring and I want to fix it but I can't.
posted by darksasami at 2:59 PM on January 17, 2012


1. "I call 'em combos" is a seriously funny line.
2. On Twilight's forgetting she can teleport, there might be any number of reasons she couldn't. Maybe she can only teleport a limited number of times a day, or can't always do it in a stressed situation, or maybe she has to be standing on a leyline, or something like that.
3. On the nature of magic, even though Twilight doesn't even appear in Family Appreciation Day, the episode strongly hints that her understanding of magic is flawed. It brings us another example of magic that comes from the Everfree Forest, the Zap Apples, which the earth ponies of Applejack's family had a kind of affinity -- earth ponies cannot use unicorn-style magic, but they seem capable of understanding other kinds of magical effects. Granny Smith (as a filly) ends up deducing how the apples can be grown using a process that would make Twilight proud, but the result is more like ceremonial magic than cast-it-from-memory magic.
posted by JHarris at 4:44 PM on January 17, 2012


The problem is that at the end of the episode Twilight could have just teleported across the gap instead of having to jump.

Oh that. It's not clear that Twilight can teleport at will (she says something to that effect during Ticket Master) although arguably that would be a good time for it to unconciously kick in.

Is it just me, or is it really obvious that Twilight's line is supposed to be, "With you, it's just some random thing happening to your body at a random time that supposedly predicts the future!"?

Well the point is rather that it does predict the future, repeatedly and reliably. What drives Twi nuts is that she can't figure out how. While you can, unfortunately, take away the idea that you shouldn't try to figure it out, what they were going for is that you shouldn't deny what's obviously happening.

And on preview JHarris raises a good point about the scope of magic in this world. Earth ponies seem to have a magic of their own, possibly akin to Zecorra's. (Likewise, pegasi may have an inherent magic which allows them to fly with their rather tiny wings and walk on clouds. ) Pinkie may be a particularly gifted earth pony after all.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not clear that Twilight can teleport at will

Granted, in FIM 2, she teleports instinctively and likely doesn't even realize what's happened (she was a little preoccupied at the time). And, yes, in Ticket Master she's surprised when it happens. But in the very next episode, Applebuck Season, she teleports bang! bang! bang! just like that during her argument with Applejack.

And then she doesn't do it again for the rest of the season. (Although, you could make the argument that she teleports every week during the opening credits.)

She teleported again in Lesson Zero with no apparent problem.

Teleportation is probably a dream for animators; saves you all that tedious moving from one place to another. But it's a real problem for writers, since inevitably you encounter situations (as in Feeling Pinkie Keen) where you'd rather she couldn't do it.

I like to think that jonmc is reading this right now and thinking shut up! shut up! shut up!. Take care, jon. Laugh!
posted by SPrintF at 7:07 PM on January 17, 2012


Teleportation is probably a dream for animators; saves you all that tedious moving from one place to another.

I dunno. That discontinuity seems to be another problem, although I haven't tried to animate it.

I like to think that jonmc is reading this right now and thinking shut up! shut up! shut up!. Take care, jon. Laugh!

*Waves to Bartender*

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:21 PM on January 17, 2012


I'm not sure teleporting without proper preparation is all that good an idea...

"Equestria, what we got back didn't live long... fortunately."
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we going to need Gordon Freeman pony?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:10 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are we going to need Gordon Freeman pony Freepony?

From the Icrontic article linked upthread: I’ve never seen a group of people rise around something and create content to the extent that the My Little Pony fanbase does.

So wait--the author's never heard of Star Trek or Star Wars? Boy, is he in for a treat!

Snark aside, I think bronies are just fine, though I haven't gotten into the show (I watched the first episode and thought it was okay but not extraordinary, though now I hear that it's not the best jumping-in point, so I'm going to try some of the episodes people have linked in this thread.) I'm a little bemused by the idea that fandom is a new or extraordinary thing, but I don't fault bronies for that; most of the problem seems to be with outside coverage of the "phenomenon."

There's a cliche that slash and other fanfiction/fanart etc. primarily focused on friendships and relationships between men is mostly created and consumed by straight female fans (though I don't know that there's any proof of this, or even a good method to get a conclusive statistic), and there's a lot of explanations for why this might be (the reality is probably a combination of several factors; Fandom Wiki has a good bibliography, for the curious), but I think part is that it provides a neutral space to examine and celebrate friendship and love without having to navigate a lot of potentially contentious ideas about femininity (which can and has led to, ah, controversy.) And so, yeah, I can sort of see the converse holding true as well: when you're talking about a group of brightly-colored cartoon girl ponies, that removes some of the baggage about masculinity that guys this age encounter when they try to talk frankly about friendship and feelings. Because hey, it's ponies from a show subtitled "Friendship is Magic"; there's nothing weird about talking about friendship and feelings in those circumstances. It's almost required.

sorry for beanplating all over your show, bronies
posted by kagredon at 11:34 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an interesting question there, and one I've tried to answer on my own: which is the best episode to introduce people to the show with?

I'm pretty sure it's neither of the first two, although they should be watched early if just to provide setting for the others. Ticket Master isn't a bad one, but not the best either.

1-7: Dragonshy is one I've suggested in the past, but that's mostly because it's got some good action in it and I think the dragon is hilarious and awesome in his majestic Smaugness.

I think 1-20: Green Isn't Your Color is the best-written episode of the series to date, from a mechanical standpoint, it effortlessly weaves three subplots in with the main one (Twilight's secrets, Pinkie's doomsaying and Spike's crush), uses all its characters to great effectiveness, introduces a funny minor character in Photo Finish, finds an excuse to dress Fluttershy up in a series of funny outfits, and even gives us our first glimpses into Equestrian economics and marketing.

Others I'd suggest for newbies (which excludes some excellent episodes): Suited for Success, Feeling Pinkie Keen (problems aside, it's hilarious), The Stare Master.
posted by JHarris at 12:45 AM on January 18, 2012


First season, I usually recommend Suited for Success. You get a feel for each of the Mane6, some great lines, and my favourite song of the season. For the more ambitious, the Gala Trilogy (Ticket Master, Suited for Success, and The Best Night Ever) is a great way of summing up the show in one hour. The way the mares' hopes are realised over the course of three episodes is indeed a delight, as noted above.

Second season? That's much more difficult. Not because the show has deteriorated (on the contrary, I think it has become even better), but it generally requires some prior knowledge to fully appreciate. I think I would go with Sisterhood Social, which is a marvelous episode in its own right, even though its cast is more limited (this is btw one the strengths of Season 2 - we don't have to have every mare in every episode).
posted by bouvin at 5:36 AM on January 18, 2012


If I'm not sure how they'll feel about it I usually send them DragonShy first because it's one of the best to show off all of the characters in a short time. I would also recommend Sisterhooves Social for a new viewer, only because to me it's the best combo of a good story and less saccharine, clearly-for-kids lesson learning that could turn the uninitiated off.

If I'm pretty sure they'll end up being into the show I just start them with the first episode because as a two-parter it'll pull them in to wanting to see more and because if they make it to the first Fluttershy scene, they've turned already.

Teleportation is probably a dream for animators; saves you all that tedious moving from one place to another. But it's a real problem for writers, since inevitably you encounter situations (as in Feeling Pinkie Keen) where you'd rather she couldn't do it.

They cheat a little with Unicorns having telekinesis, but I think one of the best running gags of the show is how they have to cut to "reaction shots" of ponies watching other ponies doing things offscreen because they don't have opposable thumbs and actually doing it is impossible to do, let alone draw. The most recent episode required a carefully-cropped shot of a Pony changing a baby's diaper, entirely with his mouth.

Which I would say is the most disturbing thing I've seen on the show, but honestly I'm still more puzzled as to why mugs and teacups even exist in Ponyville. Or for that matter, holes in bowling balls. I enjoy the bizarre semi-serious fan theory that Equestria is the remnants of a post-apocalypse human civilization a la Planet of the Apes and various aspects of their technology were based on archaeological finds.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:05 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


So wait--the author's never heard of Star Trek or Star Wars? Boy, is he in for a treat!

The closest fandom in terms of creative output is probably Potterdom, and that took years to get to the point that brownies got to in months.

The slash/shipping phenomenon is fascinating. It seems like a feminist thought experiment come to life. "What if straight guys did this too? What would that look like?" It'd look like Lyra and Bon Bon.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an interesting question there, and one I've tried to answer on my own: which is the best episode to introduce people to the show with?

Stare Master and Swarm of the Century are both pretty fantastic, in my opinion. If you really want to underscore the difference between old ponies and new ponies the adventure episodes really help, but also I might recommend Boast Busters (adventure element, but also really underscores one of the things I love about the show, which is that the smart girl, while anxious, is socially accepted and *solves important problems with her smarts*), or Fall Weather Friends, which is again a big departure from a lot of the roles girls are presented with, with the ponies being fiercely physically competitive.

Second season? That's much more difficult.

Well, I'd flat out discount the Twilight-goes-nuts episode as been very mediocre and fanservicey, for starters. I actually think Family Appreciation Day is a really good episode, but it's perhaps no as good at making clear how much of a departure the series is. Secret of My Excess has the adventure thing going for it, as well as the culture references for adults.
posted by rodgerd at 7:23 AM on January 18, 2012


Luna Eclipsed was a big favorite in our house, because she does a funny voice and because it's like Hitler coming to tea (and being the only one who gets your jokes).
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR: [...] a Pony changing a baby's diaper, entirely with his mouth [...] is the most disturbing thing I've seen on the show

Why does Twi have a saddle if there are no humans? Wouldn't that be fetish-wear? Why is she wearing it out in public for winter wrap-up?

For that matter, what's up with those bridles on the dress forms in Rarity's boutique? That's fairly kinky for something on prominent display in a dress-maker's shop.

The ponies keep (and converse with) cows. Okay, fine, you need milk to make cupcakes. Chickens, while apparently non-sentient in the Ponyverse, sure. Feathers for writing quills. Eggs for cupcakes. Sheep: yeah, wool for clothing, whatever.

Why are those pigs there? Do they... Is that... IS THAT A HAM SANDWICH APPLEJACK IS EATING IN S01E22? What the clopping clop?!
posted by sourcequench at 7:36 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


sourcequench: Why are those pigs there?
I have wondered about that myself. My fanon conjecture is that they prepare the fields by rooting through them at some point. Possibly suppliers of bristles for the well-known Equestrian broom industry? Other uses for a live pig?
posted by bouvin at 8:03 AM on January 18, 2012


Why does Twi have a saddle if there are no humans? Wouldn't that be fetish-wear? Why is she wearing it out in public for winter wrap-up?

She carries Spike in multiple episodes. Including the Winter Wrap-Up one. Ponies are also often seen with saddles but more for the saddlebags to carry stuff. Nevertheless, lesser/smaller creatures riding Ponies exists as a concept.

Do they... Is that... IS THAT A HAM SANDWICH APPLEJACK IS EATING IN S01E22?

Fake and/or a soy/oat-based product. Ponies are vegetarian, per show canon.

Why are those pigs there?

The same reason there are no graveyards. Yeah deal with it
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been wondering: Have any other fandoms made such a huge deal of developing names and personalities for background characters with few or no lines? MLP Fandom has a dozen-and-a-half (or more) Figwits all in one.
posted by Gordafarin at 8:12 AM on January 18, 2012


Why are those pigs there?

Waste disposal/fertilizer. Plus, they have to be somewhere. There really aren't any wild animals in Equestria proper.

Have any other fandoms made such a huge deal of developing names and personalities for background characters with few or no lines?

I've been trying to think of another franchise that has such a large, recurring, and identifiable background cast. MLP may be unique there.

This page lists all the ponies (bold names are canon) and includes entries like, "Epona / Clockwork, Only seen from the back."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:24 AM on January 18, 2012


According to TVTropes, Word of God has it that ponies really like truffles. It's insanely hard to find anything in Ms. Faust's deviantart page, though, since nine billion bronies comment on it a day, so I can't provide a cite.

My favorite WTF animal moment is in Sisterhooves Social, when AJ and Apple Bloom herd the sheep roughly into a pen, and one of the sheep says, "You could have just asked."
posted by darksasami at 9:53 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is indeed housing and truffles.

It took me a while to find that cite, and in the process I came across this collection of Faust's dA notes on the show (looks like it goes up to last March.) It's interesting that some of them have already been superceded by events in this season, such as the location of the Everfree Forest.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:35 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


ChurchHatesTucker: It is indeed housing and truffles.

Thanks for the links.

And yeah, that's what Faust tells the kidlets. The real truth slipped out during S01E13, when one Pinkamena Diane Pie revealed that not only does she eat hot dogs, she participates in hot-dog-eating contests frequently enough that she has developed a specific strategy.

"Truffles." Make sure you say it in that tone of voice. You know, the one you use to say "Cupcakes". [Not Safe for Any Context Whatsoever]

What would the cutie mark for a pony whose special talent is sausage-making even look like?
posted by sourcequench at 11:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't abuse your brain.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:27 AM on January 18, 2012


ChurchHatesTucker: It is indeed housing and truffles.
That makes a lot more sense</AppleBloom>
posted by bouvin at 1:45 PM on January 18, 2012


What would the cutie mark for a pony whose special talent is sausage-making even look like?

That is easy! Like a hand-crank meat grinder!
posted by winna at 1:50 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tofudogs, surely.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:22 PM on January 18, 2012


furiousxgeorge: Tofudogs, surely.

The fundamental offence to sensibility here isn't that a pony might be eating meat, it's that any kind of creature is putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Celestia banished her own beloved sister to the moon for attempted omnicide, but she's going to let that condiment choice go unpunished? Monster.
posted by sourcequench at 2:59 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Worst cutie marks:
-meat grinder
-glue
-france
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on January 18, 2012


The fundamental offence to sensibility here isn't that a pony might be eating meat, it's that any kind of creature is putting ketchup on a hot dog.

I've had hot dogs in which the ketchup was the only thing that allowed me to swallow it.
posted by JHarris at 3:13 PM on January 18, 2012


Since they like Sondhiem so much maybe Pinkie Pie could discover that the secrect ingredient to making delicious pies is PONY FLESH.
posted by The Whelk at 3:16 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to see that Equestria Daily, the largest MLP fan site, is blacking out their posts in protest of SOPA/PIPA. Check out today's art roundup.

My favorite WTF animal moment is in Sisterhooves Social, when AJ and Apple Bloom herd the sheep roughly into a pen, and one of the sheep says, "You could have just asked."

Even better is the end of "Boast Busters." After Twilight magically milks a barn full of cows to fill a water tower, you can hear one of the cows say, "Call me!"

The fundamental offence to sensibility here isn't that a pony might be eating meat, it's that any kind of creature is putting ketchup on a hot dog.

What are you, fancy?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:17 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Worst cutie marks:
-meat grinder
-glue
-france


Mah trophy wife's speaking in fancy!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:26 PM on January 18, 2012


ChurchHatesTucker: "The fundamental offence to sensibility here isn't that a pony might be eating meat, it's that any kind of creature is putting ketchup on a hot dog.

What are you, fancy?
"

All real Americans love the sting of battle, and detest ketchup on their hot dogs. — Gen. George S. Patton, according to my Old Man

cf. Sudden Impact
posted by ob1quixote at 3:35 PM on January 18, 2012


The Whelk: Since they like Sondhiem so much maybe Pinkie Pie could discover that the secrect ingredient to making delicious pies is PONY FLESH.

Attend the tale of Pinkie Pie
With long straight hair and a gimlet eye
At Sugarcube Corner she makes her lair
And all of the pony-folk better beware
To make excellent cupcakes she'll certainly try
---Will Pinkie Pie
The Demon Pony of...

Uh, I got nothin'. Ponyville? I mean seriously. I can't even work with that.
posted by sourcequench at 4:07 PM on January 18, 2012


the line "fleet street" is separate and consciously incongruous with the meter, so you could slip in Poney VILLE in there or whatever.

Now think of By The Sea for a pony mashup.
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on January 18, 2012


XQUZYPHYR: "I enjoy the bizarre semi-serious fan theory that Equestria is the remnants of a post-apocalypse human civilization a la Planet of the Apes and various aspects of their technology were based on archaeological finds."

I've laid out my theory here before.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:14 AM on January 19, 2012


Unlock Your Inner Brony in Skyrim
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on January 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait, they modded the dragons? So you can hunt Fluttershy?

That's effed up.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2012


Here you go, ChurchHatesTucker, this mod by the same author uses ponies to replace the horses instead of replacing the dragons. Seems to be limited to a single character becoming the replacement of all the in game horses at the moment, but that limitation will be correctable when the Skyrim Creation Kit is released, I'm sure.

Though, because Shadowmare uses a different 3D mesh, that modder did put out a Princess Luna Shadowmare replacer as well.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:00 PM on January 19, 2012


This thread is still open so:
HOLY CRAP HOW ABOUT THAT EPISODE WHERE THEY MADE DERPY CANON AND RAINBOW DASH USED PINKIE TO INTERROGATE APPLEJACK OMG I NEED TO SIT DOWN FOR A WHILE.
posted by JHarris at 8:17 PM on January 23, 2012


Agreed.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:00 AM on January 24, 2012


Yeah... not exactly fond of the canonization of "Derpy".
posted by kmz at 8:48 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't have a problem with Derpy's name, but I'm a little disappointed that they went with that characterization. The fan interpretations have been varied, but most of them are more interesting: struggling single mother, absent-minded genius, the Doctor's companion, etc.

I think I'd prefer her to be left in the background. She's ours, and we've treated her better.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:33 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I liked her better left to our imagination (and I was super fond of her, too - the only piece of pony merch I've ever bought was a Derpy tote bag).
posted by Wolfdog at 9:37 AM on January 24, 2012


I am very surprised they did go with the name Derpy - I'm not exactly sure the origins of the word 'derp' but it always felt a smidgen questionable to me. It might have been better if they had left her as 'Ditzy Doo' from Winter Wrap-up.
posted by Gordafarin at 9:50 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The origin of "derp."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:22 PM on January 24, 2012


Eh, there's nothing wrong with the new characterization. It didn't directly contradict any of the fan-decided aspects of the character. There's all kinds of fan stuff out there that'll never get appropriated into the show (who will weep for Lyra's weird human fixation?), but it IS something few other shows would even consider doing.
posted by JHarris at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2012


who will weep for Lyra's weird human fixation?

That's one of the better fan inventions, actually. I don't know how it plays in fics, but the comics are priceless. Here's one that manages to incorporate both that and Inventor Derpy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the moment, I too felt the characterization of Derpy in S02E14 was a little mean-spirited and frankly not the way ponies should get treated on My Little Pony.

On sober reflection, I think my reaction has a lot to do with my mental map of the character being built around someone else's headcanon.

(Aside: The character name "Derpy" went from headcanon to fanon for some months prior to Saturday, and became ascended fanon thereafter.)

Now, excuse me while I go pour one out for Discord.
posted by sourcequench at 8:33 PM on January 24, 2012


A question i would very much like answered: Why The Hell Isn’t There A My Little Pony Comic Book?
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Artw: Why the Hell Isn't There a My Little Pony Comic Book?

Simmer down there, sugar cube. That which you seek indeed exists. And if that particular implementation doesn't polish your apples, it's only a matter of time.

(Still waiting for the Alan Moore / Neil Gaiman joint. TO SAVE EQUESTRIA, ONE OF THESE PONIES WILL DIE!)
posted by sourcequench at 6:45 PM on January 25, 2012


Twilight Of The Sparkle Ponies
posted by The Whelk at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


My own favorite MLP conflation right now is to confuse it with a certain board game. Princesses Celestia and Luna scheme and conspire against each other, causing unrest at different sites throughout Equestria to topple their municipal governments in their favor, but without raising the world security status to Discord One in the popular Cold War sim-game: TWILIGHT SPARKLE STRUGGLE.
posted by JHarris at 7:41 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still waiting for the Alan Moore / Neil Gaiman joint.

They're both writers. Doubt if it'd work.

Get Carlos Ezquerra onboard and we'll talk.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:27 PM on January 25, 2012


>> Still waiting for the Alan Moore / Neil Gaiman joint.
> They're both writers. Doubt if it'd work.

Well, Pratchett/Gaiman worked. Where there's ponies, there's hope.

Maybe Moore / Ezquerra / Gaiman / Mignola would be the right team?
posted by sourcequench at 10:04 PM on January 25, 2012


Where there's ponies, there's hope.

Words to live by.
posted by Theta States at 5:47 AM on January 26, 2012


This is just the Periodic jonmc Memorial Pony Thread Revival Comment.

S02E15 "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" airs tomorrow.

Synopsis: "Flim Flam brothers challenge the Apples to a Cider Making Contest, but the winners of the contest get to keep the farm."

Sounds gripping. I'm excited. Everypony else excited too?

Check your local listings.
posted by sourcequench at 3:17 PM on January 27, 2012


Well, if they lose at least they have some cherry farming experience now.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:31 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have any other fandoms made such a huge deal of developing names and personalities for background characters with few or no lines?

Not to my knowledge, although the Star Wars universe has a plethora of characters who are only named in ancillary materials.

There's Derpy of course, her supposed roommate Carrot Top, Lyra (my personal favorite) and Bon-Bon, Doctor Whooves (both in primary form and in a number of "regenerations," pictures further up-thread), Octavia and DJ P0N-3 (acknowledged in a Hub commercial), up-and-coming second season pony Fleur De Lis ("the cigarette made from costlier tobaccos!"), the nurse whose name I forget, and of course Pinkie's family, whose fan-names seem calculated specifically to make me chuckle: sisters Blinkie and Inkie, along with parents Clyde and Sue.
posted by JHarris at 6:27 PM on January 27, 2012


Speaking of comics, I came across this before I got into the show. I'm twice as amused now, since I can appreciate how show-accurate it is.

Nurse Redheart, JH?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:36 PM on January 27, 2012




Dear Princess Celestia: I didn't learn anything. I was right all along!

WINWINWINWINWINWINWIN.

posted by Wolfdog at 10:48 AM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Street art found at The big Feench Comics festival"

Wait... what's that between her... OH GOD
posted by Gordafarin at 12:56 PM on January 28, 2012


her pinkie pie
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on January 28, 2012


Y'know, I'm more annoyed that it's a Gen 3 pony.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:35 PM on January 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Neigh! Neigh! Pinkie looks like a Lady!
posted by Artw at 3:39 PM on January 28, 2012


Another metal pony song: Luna's Caps Lock.
posted by JHarris at 1:39 AM on January 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Y'know, I'm more annoyed that it's a Gen 3 pony.

G4 Rainbow Dash responds to G3 Rainbow Dash.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:04 PM on January 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just to blather about MLP fanfiction for a bit:

I actually don't like most of it. If it involves shipping, grimdark or sad it seems out of the spirit of the show, and some other fanfics seem to have difficulty with getting either the writing or the tone right. The Michael Bay fanfic I posted to the front page (probably going a bit too far in retrospect) some time back worked as a parody, but that was an exception.

But as an example of fairly well done fanfiction, I suggest this MLP/Discworld crossover, My Little Binky, in which Pinkie (who else) moonlights as the horse of DEATH. It's particularly notable for not being too crazy for the source material, as stuff like that happens in Discworld all the time, and for getting the tone of the Discworld parts right:

Perhaps at this point in the narrative, it is worth explaining the concept of convergent evolution. The phrase defines the set of circumstances that causes two unrelated lifeforms to independently acquire the same, or similar, biological traits. One well known application of this is the 'parallel universe counterpart', which has, by necessity, independently acquired a near-perfect copy of whomever it is acting as the counterpart of.

Less known, however, is that the same can also be true of non-parallel universes, and even universes with no real relation whatsoever. The multiverse is a strange place, and such things happen with shocking regularity.

You see, there lives, on the Discworld, a medium (really more of a small), known only as Mrs. Evadne Cake. Naturally clairvoyant, Mrs. Cake makes a living talking to the dead, which she finds an entirely natural thing to do. Everyone dies sooner or later, but that shouldn't stop you having a good natter with them. This puts her at odds with most major religions, which is often seen as a blessing to the collective priesthoods of said major religions, as Mrs. Cake ranks up high on the list of divine punishments, alongside such old favourites as famine, pestilence, and loss of all left socks.

The Mrs. Cake of Ponyville was also clairvoyant. This was not widely known, as the question of the afterlife was one that most citizens of Equestria did not often contemplate. On the other hoof, being able to see roughly ten seconds into the future was an invaluable skill when your lodger was Pinkie Pie. It had saved Mrs. Cake's well-being (and Sugarcube Corner's fire insurance) more than once over the years.

posted by JHarris at 12:31 AM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, for the grimdark stuff, at least, being outside the spirit of the show is kind of the point. It's much in the spirit of a mashup, making two unlike things work together. I totally get if it's not anyone's cup of tea, since I imagine the same argument is behind the Rule 34 stuff, and I avoid that like plague blankets.

"Mrs. Cake" is just brilliant. I don't read a lot of fanfics, but that's going on the pile.

For a fic that gets the tone right, though, it's hard to beat the Doctor Whooves story Number 12.

He circled Twilight, looking her up and down. "Why, you're purple aren't you? A purple horse, imagine that. Although, perhaps you're not a horse, judging from the very large cranium and severely shortened snout. Those ears of yours don't quite mesh either, now do they? Not to mention your hair is remarkably human for a horse."

"I-I'm not a horse." Twilight managed to get the words out.

The stallion jumped back "Fascinating! It seems to have gained the power of speech!"

"It!?" Twilight yelled, offended. "Look Mr. You're the on that cashed into my house an I want some answe-"

"Well what do you expect me to call you?"

"....What?" Twilight's head was spinning.

"If not 'It', what? Judging from the voice you're female, what do you want to be called? How do you feel about the name Georgia?"

"No!!" Twilight yelled, trying to get a grip on things. "No! My name is Twilight Sparkle, I just want to kno-"

"Twilight Sparkle?" The stallion raised an eyebrow. "I like Georgia much better."

"I just want to know what's going on here!" Twilight paused. "And it's a fine name I'll have you know!!"

"I'm sure it is by this world's standards, though it would have quite a different connotation on my side of the pond."

Twilight just stood there mouth slightly ajar.

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fic link is broken. Is this what you were wanting to link to?
posted by JHarris at 11:30 AM on January 30, 2012


Dang it. Yes.

And I didn't realize there was a sequel, so that's a better link.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:36 AM on January 30, 2012


Discworld and Doctor Who work because those properties consider alternate worlds and universes as part of their premise. But then I hear about a ponified crossover with Dexter (not he of the Laboratory) and I wonder, how and why.

A non-crossover fanfic I liked was Tonight I Shall Be Laughter, although it involves a Season 1 Luna before any of us knew her official (and awesome) personality.
posted by JHarris at 11:49 AM on January 30, 2012


Discworld and Doctor Who work because those properties consider alternate worlds and universes as part of their premise.

Discworld does, obviously, but does Doctor Who? I thought the latter did more Hodgkin's worlds.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:13 PM on January 30, 2012


Maybe, but there's nothing saying, if there were a pony world or dimension out there, that the TARDIS couldn't go to it. Remember E-space back in the 4th doctor? Hodgkin's worlds, to my understanding, are examples of convergent evolution, but they don't make it impossible for pony worlds to exist, and the TARDIS is still capable of traveling to them. (Explaining the Doctor's horse regeneration is rather trickier, but I haven't actually read the story yet.)

(About the TARDIS, it's function is rather weird all told. It's supposed to travel more-or-less randomly, but that would plop it down in empty space far more than 999,999,999 times out of 1,000,000,000. And when it does find a world to land on, it's Earth far more than is statistically likely, which is practically impossible, although admittedly it happened a lot more in the early seasons with their historical serials. The show kind of handwaves that away.)
posted by JHarris at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2012


About the TARDIS, it's function is rather weird all told. It's supposed to travel more-or-less randomly, but that would plop it down in empty space far more than 999,999,999 times out of 1,000,000,000.

I thought that the TARDIS went where it was needed. Admittedly, my Who knowledge is rather spotty.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:51 PM on January 30, 2012


If the Second Doctor can take the TARDIS to The Land of Fiction, then I think pretty much everything is fair game.

Also, I'm just going to drop a link to this wonderful moment from Saturday's episode, because it's somewhat on the current topic.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:04 PM on January 30, 2012


Actually the fanfic I linked to first is properly called Binky Pie. My error.
posted by JHarris at 12:52 AM on January 31, 2012


"CR!" from That Guy with the Glasses has a couple videos that do a good job of explaining the appeal of MLP:FiM. The first part covers the earlier iterations, and the second part covers the current show. They're each about twenty minutes long.

Separately, here's an online version of a presentation on the classical influences on MLP:FiM that was supposed to be given at BroNYCon but wasn't due to technical difficulties. That one runs about an hour.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:16 PM on January 31, 2012


This is the monthly jonmc memorial thread bump.

Just wanted everypony to know that I just made cherrychangas (chimicherries?) according to this recipe on Ponibooru (which site is filled with completely normal people).

Yr. humble correspondent wishes to report a fierce sugar buzz, and being more in touch than ever with his inner Pinkie Pie. Also, leave out the corn syrup because seriously, nopony needs that HFC crap, and use the big burrito tortillas. The little ones I had on hand were a pain in the plot.
posted by sourcequench at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thread's still open for four more days, hmmm....

In the same vein as Epic Legends of the Hierarchs, there's now a TVTropes page for Daring-Do, the fictional pony that Dash was reading about in "Read It In Weep." It's more extensive than many other show pages, even though the book series is entirely fictional and only one book is ever shown on-screen. (BTW, it seems the working title for the episode was "Reading Rainbow," but Hasbro's legal department shot that down.)
posted by JHarris at 2:18 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Daring-Do's Tropes page is impressive, but I'm more tickled by the fact that Vinyl Scratch / DJ-P0N3, has gone from being a pony with 2-3 seconds of screen time and no dialogue in a single episode of the first season, to getting mentioned by name in the show's ads, to being available as a toy this fall in a Toys 'r Us exclusive gift set.

Other ponies in the set? The Great and Powerful Trixie, and Nightmare Moon, the first time a major villian from any MLP cartoon has been made into a toy. (Oh, and Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are also in the set, but you can get them any old time.)
posted by radwolf76 at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2012


But does it have Lyra or Derpy?
posted by JHarris at 3:34 PM on February 12, 2012


Alas, no Derped one, but have some Lyra (or Heartstrings, if they use the same name as the blindbag size.)

And I almost forgot, Show-Accurate Princess Celestia, same price as the "Girls' parents only buy pink toys" version, another a T'rU exclusive. Also in that shot, Zecora, in the lower right spot.

I'm personally hoping that the white Celestia sells so fast that Toys 'r Us can't keep them in stock. It'd show retailers that it doesn't have to be pink to sell. Also suggesting that any Brony who buys it for themselves buy a second one, if feasible, to donate to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. As Luna would say, the buying power HAS BEEN DOUBLED! We'll be moving them off the shelves twice as fast, which would send a clear message to the industry, and some lucky little girl will get a girls toy that isn't a stereotypical color. I call it Operation: White Celestmas.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


A full-sized glow in the dark Zecora will also be available for ten bucks. I've never had any interest in the "brushable" ponies, but the idea of a mohawked My Little Pony tickles me so much that I'll probably get one (or two, as radwolf suggests.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:32 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Show-accurate Princess Celestia? My daughter will be so pleased. When are they going on sale? - not until the fall? The Zecora next to her is pretty sweet-looking as well.

The amount of product Hasbro is putting out for MLP feels like a LOT, much of it feels not-very-show-accurate? and it was really hard to find some stuff - discontinued already. I was happy to finally find just a basic set of all 6 ponies with brushable hair for Xmas (the Royal Ball set). I like the small size - what I think of as the regular-size ponies are doing nothing for me - but there is an even smaller size with molded hair. I suppose this is forced-duplication evilness from Hasbro. My daughter got a Pinkie Pie ferris wheel, of all things - I don't recall this from the show - and I guess it's for the tiny size ponies; it looks like the small size should fit, but they are too big.
posted by flex at 8:04 AM on February 13, 2012


My daughter wants a Nightmare Moon and a Zecora like Gollum wants the Ring. And apparently, there are boy ponies to be released? She has three male friends (of the traditional demographic age) who will be THRILLED. TO. BITS. Lily has pony playdates with them all the time, and while they make do and/or pretend that their ponies are boys, there is definitely a sense of being left out there.
posted by KathrynT at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The duplication in various sizes isn't entirely due to Hasbro. Retailers like it when toy lines offer a variety of price points so that they can market to varying customer budgets. Of course, to hit the target price points, that means different sizes and variations in other features (molded hair vs. brushable hair, sparkly plastic or cloth wings, accessories like a pet, wagon or saddle).

Hasbro does a better job of handling it with their Transformers line, with price point labels like "Deluxe Class" and "Voyager Class" that persist from year to year, but that's not really helpful because Transformers don't really come with separate playsets that could be marketed as "compatible with Deluxe Class Transformers". With My Little Pony, there are a couple of playsets, but no list of what types of ponies should go with it.

From what I've seen of the photos from Hasbro's display at Toyfare 2012, the new male pony we're getting this fall is Prince Shining Armor. He'll be in the Princess Cadence Playset.

Other male ponies are available in the blindbag packs: Big Macintosh, Golden Grape, Meadow Song, and Noteworthy in Wave 3, Royal Riff, Chance-A-Lot, Twilight Sky, and Mosely Orange in Wave 4, but the blindbags are hard to get your hands on to start with, and you have no way of knowing what pony you're getting until after the purchase. (Except, I understand, in Europe, where you can tell whats in the bag by a number discreetly stamped on the seam.) On the upside, the blindbags are cheap.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:10 AM on February 13, 2012


I'm torn that introducing more male ponies is going to come through... a wedding playset; not only a wedding - a princess wedding. I love MLP:FIM but if they're going to do this plotline it gives me a sad (just like when after a few seasons of Dora they felt the need to girlie-it-up with "Princess Dora" plots and so forth).
posted by flex at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2012


Except, I understand, in Europe, where you can tell whats in the bag by a number discreetly stamped on the seam.

Those aren't on the US bags? My understanding was that these are "Wave One" blind bags, which use the same codes (click on the picture to see them.) There's two other "waves" that we've yet to see stateside.

I love MLP:FIM but if they're going to do this plotline it gives me a sad

I'd expect them to subvert it somehow, like they did with the Gala at the end of season one.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:58 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had to go investigate this personally, since I was going on what I had been told, and it turns out the person who told me these didn't have numbers just didn't know where to look. The ones at my local Wal-Mart do have the embossed seam codes after all.

If you're after a particular one, this handy chart will tell you which wave and seam code to look for. This other chart, which is wave one only, shows where on the packaging the embossed seam stamp can be found.

On the subject of Shining Armor and Princess Cadence and the wedding playset and associated upcoming episode, while I'm hoping that Studio B resisted the push to make it vapid girly toy advertising, the fact that show creator Lauren Faust (who was more involved with the story ideas side of things for season two and less with the actual episode produciton) hadn't initially intended for Cadence to be an allicorn like Celestia and Luna points to at least some show meddling on Hasbro's part. Worrisome, yes, but then, on the other hand, there's speculation among the fans that Toys 'r Us was willing to gamble on selling Show-Accurate Celestia, because Princess Cadence meant they had a different pink allicorn to sell, so I'm somewhat torn over the issue.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:37 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, let's see wha they do with them. There's no need to exclaim OH NOES just yet. I have been a fairly vocal critic of Hasbro in the past, but for the most part they've done right by PONY.
posted by JHarris at 9:52 PM on February 13, 2012




the fact that show creator Lauren Faust (who was more involved with the story ideas side of things for season two and less with the actual episode produciton) hadn't initially intended for Cadence to be an allicorn like Celestia and Luna points to at least some show meddling on Hasbro's part.

There's not a lot of contact between Studio B and Hasbro's toy division. That said, they do try to get featured playsets worked into the show (I'm sure the reason that train showed up in the S2 opening is that they have a train line of toys this year.) I suspect that what happened with the new Prince and Princess is that they were informed that they had to feature them, but didn't realize the designs would be alicorns until they got the art approved (by which time Lauren had been phased out of an oversight role.)

Ideally, the toy division would take its cues from the show, but since its usually the other way around this kind of out-of-step development is the best arrangement that we're likely to get.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:16 AM on February 14, 2012


So, since we've got two more days on this pony thread, let me share Cartoon Network's MAD's sketch, My Little War Horse, featuring guest voice Tara Strong. Not quite as insane as the MLP themed Cowboys & Aliens spoof they did previously, but still rather out there.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:25 AM on February 14, 2012


The pink princess pony bride is also a third alicorn... considering Celestia and Luna are deities that rule over the day and the night, just who exactly is this Cadence chick going to be?

But I'm tickled pink over the DJ PON3, Lyra, and Trixie toys. Zecora looks wicked cool as well. With the white Celestia on top of it, it's obviously a brony-geared release.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:52 AM on February 14, 2012


Current theory is that her responsibility is raising the sales figures in the fourth quarter, but they haven't given us much to go on yet,
posted by radwolf76 at 12:00 PM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Last post! Ha!
posted by JHarris at 8:38 PM on February 15, 2012


nope
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 PM on February 15, 2012


Filthy ponies.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:41 PM on February 15, 2012


Brushable manes
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on February 15, 2012




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