Dark Ranters Presents: Top Ten Darkest Episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
With GearsX and ImpulsiveSpidercide
GearsX: Bronies and Pegasisters, welcome. This is GearsX clockin' in and . . .
ImpulsiveSpidercide: ImpulsiveSpidercide, ready to hit you with a dose of darkness!
GearsX: After reviewing the apocalyptic abomination that was School Days, we need to talk about something good again and we're doing something a little different too. Cartoon shows are known to be very family-friendly but there are times where cartoons will tread into dark toned waters. I'm talking about cartoons discussing issues without becoming overly preachy PSAs that moral guardians try to force down kids' throats, evil almost triumphing over good, and characters trying to overcome their personal problems. There were even times where cartoons discuss the topic of death. I've seen shows that went dark like Swat Kats, TMNT, The Real Ghostbusters, Legend of Korra, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. These shows aren't afraid to push the envelope when comes to personal issues and dark themes but still keep it within family-friendly boundaries. Even live action kids show Power Rangers went dark at times.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Indeed. The standout examples in Power Rangers are In Space (where the Red Ranger is the sole survivor of a colony taken over and decimated by the villains and his sister is a manipulated and later brainwashed agent of said villains), Lost Galaxy (which two-part opening ends with a planet being frozen in stone along with its population and has an anti-hero who won't let collateral damage or innocent bystanders get in the way of his revenge on the villains, and even has as a major part of the finale suicide bombers targeting the space colony ship the Rangers protect), Time Force (which opens with the Red Ranger being killed by the main villain and then goes on to deal with issues of genetic engineering-induced racism and a futile cycle of hate and revenge being a major motivator for many of the villains' actions, and even the heroes aren't perfect, as the team leader is initially motivated by revenge for the murdered Red Ranger who was her fiancé and the sixth Ranger becomes a Ranger chiefly for self-advancement, not to do good), Wild Force (where the main villain murdered the Red Ranger's parents out of jealousy that the Red Ranger's mother had chosen the Red Ranger's father over himself), and RPM (which, even if in a different continuity from the rest of Power Rangers, still has most of the human race being wiped out by an A.I. gone bad that forcibly infects any surviving humans it captures with a nanotech virus that slowly converts them into machines enslaved to itself, not to mention all the protagonists are haunted by war and death, to varying degrees of responsibility or guilt). Yeah, that was a long one, I understand, but I really had to make the point that even "kids' shows" can do darker stuff than what the parents' groups would usually like their kids seeing.
GearsX: I know all of you would be asking, "What does this have to do with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?" Much like the shows I've mentioned, My Little Pony has its share of dark episodes and episodes with dark moments. The Mane Six would face very difficult situations and try their best to solve them. Let's come together, fellow bronies and pegasisters, and be prepared as I say in a booming voice: This is THE TOP TEN DARKEST EPISODES OF MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC! Originally, we were gonna do this countdown in honor of the fifth season premiere but didn't get around to it due to chronic laziness.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Chronic laziness and life fucking with us.
GearsX: These episodes will be from the first four seasons and we're gonna break this down into two parts. We're gonna build this up from the episodes' darkest moments to the darkest episodes of the show. Let's get started.
No. 10: Party of One. While not a dark episode in and of itself, there is a dark moment where Pinkie Pie goes nuts and gets really angry at her friends. So much so, she throws a party with inanimate objects as her guests.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: It's because they're avoiding her for some reason and making lame excuses for it, so she feels like they don't want to be around her anymore. And that's when we see that Pinkie isn't a very emotionally healthy pony, in the sense that she's dependent on having people like and want to be around her, which is why she's so constantly cheerful and energetic. So when she feels like they don't want to be around her anymore . . .
GearsX: She goes crazy.
GearsX: It seemed like Pinkie wanted to commit acts of homicide on the others which spawned a really stupid internet meme.
GearsX: Yeah, that one. She had no idea they were planning a birthday party for her.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, which was what they really wanted to do, and they were keeping it a surprise. They just avoided her because they didn't want to accidentally spill the beans if she asked hard enough.
GearsX: She did come to her senses and was overjoyed about her friends giving her a birthday party.
No. 9: Bridle Gossip. Again, while not a dark episode in and of itself, there's a dark moment where Ponyville becomes scared of Zecora because they think she's this scary voodoo witch doctor.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Which also turns out to be a fine lesson in the perils of prejudice and assuming things about people before you actually get to know them.
GearsX: Twilight and the others ventured into this field of flowers and they began to experience mysterious problems. They got angry at Zecora because they thought she cursed them. Not to mention they assumed she ponynapped Apple Bloom to eat her or something. How did the Mane Six get "cursed"?
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Well, it's a long series of very unfortunate accidents and coincidences.
GearsX: Turned out they were exposed to a blue flower called Poison Joke. Here's what happened: Twilight's horn went limp and got covered in blue zits, Rainbow Dash became clumsy at flying, Pinkie Pie's tongue was also covered in blue zits and she had to spit in order to talk, Rarity had dreadlocks, Fluttershy spoke in a deep voice, and Applejack became a tiny walking alcoholic reference.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Deep-voiced Fluttershy was surprising to hear. Rarity with dreadlocks? Eh, with some of her usual style, she could totally work them. Twilight Sparkle's horn went limp? There's an obvious joke.
GearsX: Dick joke aside, the Mane Six were cured as they and Ponyville learned it's not cool to jump to conclusions about anyone or anypony of different ethnic background.
No. 8: Lesson Zero. Twilight Sparkle and Spike do a series of errands and she has to turn over a friendship report to Celestia. But here's the problem, she has nothing to report.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Which was kind of meant to address the whole "edutainment" genre that MLP: FIM initially fit into. The idea that every episode had to be capped with a summation of a valuable life lesson, as learned by Twilight in her quest to understand friendship.
GearsX: Her penchant for problem-solving actually caused her to have a mental breakdown.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: So if she couldn't find a problem to solve, she'd make one!
GearsX: By casting a spell on her old doll, Smartypants, and causing everypony to go gaga over that ratty toy like it was the next entry in the Pokémon series. Very unbecoming of a princess, Twilight.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: She wasn't a princess yet.
GearsX: My point still stands, though. Luckily, Princess Celestia showed up to clean up Twilight Sparkle's mess before everypony could kill each other over that doll. Of course, Big Macintosh got to keep Smartypants all to himself. Even descended into madness and looking disheveled, Twilight Sparkle was still cute.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, you'd wanna snuggle her up and get her somewhere warm and comfy if you weren't completely put off by the crazy eyes.
GearsX: Celestia did get upset and gave Twilight a stern lecture about causing a problem just to solve it. Lesson learned: write a friendship report when there's something to write about.
No. 7: Magic Duel. Trixie Lulamoon returns for revenge on Twilight for exposing her as a braggart and a fraud. She buys a powerful amulet filled with dark magic. The Alicorn Amulet, as it’s called, grants Trixie more powerful magic than she’s ever had on her own, but it is also slowly corrupting her. She challenges the unicorn student to a contest of magic and Twilight loses. She gets the boot and goes to Zecora for help. Twilight learns about the Alicorn Amulet and uses the only magic to get Trixie to remove the demonically powerful necklace: deception. Like I said before in the Princess Twilight Special, she would've been a excellent criminal mastermind.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Uh-huh. She definitely would've, and in the meantime, the Alicorn Amulet-corrupted Trixie has turned Ponyville into her personal dictatorship, with all sorts of irrational new orders and edicts. Oh, and abusing her helpers Snips and Snails.
GearsX: Oh, They deserved it for being so stupid. Trixie would show remorse for her actions and stuck around to do a magic show for Celestia and the delegates from Saddle Arabia before disappearing. And finally, we get to last part of the countdown. Which episode gets the sixth spot? Here we go.
No. 6 is . . . Luna Eclipsed. This episode isn't just dark because it's Halloween-themed. Why is this episode dark?
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Because we see just how much of a toll Luna's evil self, Nightmare Moon, took on her and on Equestria.
GearsX: Guess some ponies in Ponyville still didn't forgive the beautiful princess of the night for the atrocities and chaos she caused back in the first episode of the first season. Since she was banished to the moon all those years ago, Luna was out of touch with modern-day Equestria with her mannerisms. Shouting when addressing the citizens of Ponyville and saying "we." Even Pinkie Pie and her small band of trick-or-treaters being constantly frightened didn't help matters either.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: And it didn't help when Pinkie turned out to be pretending to be frightened in the spirit of the holiday, but that pretense of fright just cemented it for Luna that she would never be forgiven or accepted by her former subjects.
GearsX: Luna was so pissed off about it, she permabanned Nightmare Night, which got a lot of ponies upset.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, and guess who talked her out of it.
GearsX: Twilight Sparkle.
ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yep, which would establish a pattern for the series to follow in future episodes, especially when Twilight became a Princess of Equestria herself.
GearsX: And Pipsqueak did convince Luna to come back to scare everyone the following year. He and the other kids gave her all their candy. Luna learned Nightmare Night was about tricks and treats. Luna even pranked Rainbow Dash toward the end.
This concludes part one of our top ten countdown of MLP's darkest episodes. In part two, we cover spots five through one plus five honorable mentions. Which dark episode will be number one? Stay tuned and find out, Bronies and Pegasisters. This is GearsX clockin' out and in the words of Razorfist, "God-fuckin'-speed!"
ImpulsiveSpidercide: And ImpulsiveSpidercide, signing off with a "Hell, yeah, ponies!"