Friendship University  

88 members have voted

  1. 1. Like or Dislike?

    • Rarity: I don't like to judge solely on appearances, buuuuuut... *camera switches to show FU's gaudy façade* what kind of friendship school is this?! (I HATE IT! >__<)
    • Star Swirl: The only pony I see who is up to something is the pony in this picture, and it is not the princess I know. (I dislike it!)
    • Twilight *deadpan*: Sorry, "Plainity," but I'm pretty sure this…isn't enough of a disguise. *closes closet door* (…meh…)
    • Flam: Well, well, well, Miss Plainity, keep it up and you'll be ready for our next level in no time! *crowd gasps in awe as Plainity sits back casually with a big grin* (I like it!)
    • Twilight *reading postcard*: "Of course, if I ever go to a school again, I'll make sure it's yours. In friendship, Star Swirl." (I LOVE IT! <3)


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18 minutes ago, Querch said:

You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

Maybe it wouldn't have changed the resolution much, but having Neighsay in there ratcheted up the tension levels for Twilight and the audience. What could be worse than having a friendship school run by a couple of scammers? How about a friendship school run by scammers that is accredited and has the full approval of the chancellor when hers is not.

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This was a solid outing, and a simple plot. As someone who has continuously attended educational institutions my entire life, I enjoyed the subtext. Strangely enough, it's not a out and out con as much as it was IP theft. The students were actually learning, and the end result was to improve a legitimate business. Sort of the reverse of many Universities that use sports to raise funds for the academics and use that for finding research to get additional funding. 

This was the first grey area Flim and Flam episode since their initial appearance and it saved the characters for me. 

7 minutes ago, Truffles said:

Maybe it wouldn't have changed the resolution much, but having Neighsay in there ratcheted up the tension levels for Twilight and the audience. What could be worse than having a friendship school run by a couple of scammers? How about a friendship school run by scammers that is accredited and has the full approval of the chancellor when hers is not.

Enter the subtext about some issues with modern University business practices. Neighsay adds weight to that angle. 

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Oh look the episode's not very liked, must be because Starswirl was naive or Twilight did something wrong. Well, there are things that didn't go best for the characters but I think it was a great episode!

Seeing Starswirl after the pillars were near to non-existent makes the episode a great start but the continue is even more interesting.

Now, I know the School 6 are selected maybe the better among the others but such passion for studying and school is almost not believable.

 

Spoiler

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The Flim Flam brothers got to be my least favorite, boring and lame antagonists of all in any season. Just when they looked like they were about to do something big to spicy up the story, they just easily gave up before the power of Starswirl, that I understand but before the end of the episode?

Surprised Chancellor Neighsay did not do anything about it, UNLESS, the picture that the brothers took still got in his hands for future episodes! He was quite impressed to have Starswirl around either.

His xenophobia went well with his character, apparently trying to strike at the Princess of Friendship when he has opportunity.

Good that Twilight's undercover got busted, otherwise it would be ridiculous to not be recognized.

The naive Starswirl reminds me of other (girls main char) shows where the boss is naive in an episode and mislead until the main chars wake him up.

Im sorry, but this drawing... :D

Spoiler

MLPFiM-Se8-ep185-FriendshipUniversity2.thumb.jpg.856e6721e8745edc5874daaf77b8692d.jpg

 

So they are all going to Twi's school? What of the ratio and interactions, won't it have a lot more ponies for 1 of other creatures? We will see.

 

Spoiler

MLPFiM-Se8-ep185-FriendshipUniversity3.thumb.jpg.249102b9eb57c974978f323db7777313.jpg

 

 

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2 hours ago, Querch said:

And what was this about other creatures using friendship as a weapon against Equestria? I'd say he's senile but he has yet to explain himself in any detail whatsoever. That'll probably come in the finale. Here's hoping he'll be something far less annoying than a broken record.

Aren't the elements of Harmony all about using friendship as a weapon? EOH vs Discord = turned to stone, EOH vs Nightmare Moon = Banished to the moon, EOH vs Tirek = stripped of the magic he took and sent to Tartarus.

Edited by Senko
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Beautiful episode. I really like how the writers are emphasizing being assertive and knowing when something smells fishy. When will Flim and Flam ever learn. And when will Neighsay be exposed for his racism?

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Well, for an episode that saw the return of Star Swirl the Bearded, the Flim Flam Brothers, and Chancellor Neighsay, I was pretty impressed to see Star Swirl again. As for Neighsay, seems he still harbors a grudge against Twilight regarding the School of Friendship and its non-pony students, as he was pretty satisfied to grant Flim and Flam's Friendship University full EEA accreditation once he saw Star Swirl was enrolled there.

However, once Twilight and Rarity discovered that Flim and Flam were not charging anything for enrollment, but were charging for the necessary supplies and materials as a means to gain the funds to expand their resort they acquired from Gladmane, all they had to do was reveal the truth to Star Swirl, and Flim and Flam had no choice after that but to close the Friendship University, refund everyone, and let Twilight convince the former students to enroll at the School of Friendship instead.

Star Swirl looks to be doing a good job adapting to modern Equestria, judging from all the postcards he had been sending Twilight beforehand. We got some nice cameos from characters like Tree Hugger, and the episode was pretty good in my eyes.

However, one has to wonder how Flim and Flam acquired a copy of Twilight's curriculum in the first place, and whether Cozy Glow was involved, and that's how Neighsay learned of Friendship University, its "ponies only" policy, and was willing to grant it EEA accreditation without further inspection once he was amazed to see Star Swirl there...

Possible foreshadowing for the finale...???

Other than that, this episode gets a 9/10 as my score.

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16 minutes ago, Senko said:

Aren't the elements of Harmony all about using friendship as a weapon? EOH vs Discord = turned to stone, EOH vs Nightmare Moon = Banished to the moon, EOH vs Tirek = stripped of the magic he took and sent to Tartarus.

Yeah, just look back on Episode 13 and see how well that worked out for Queen Chrysalis. They're called the Elements of Harmony for a reason. If just one of the bearers do not possess genuine generosity, kindness, etc, the Elements are rendered ineffective. What's more, the EoH only worked on NMM and Discord because they were corrupt. Granted, we've never seen the EoH used on innocent ponies. Again, either Neighsay knows something about the EoH that we do not or he is plain stupid to think that the EoH could be used against Equestria.

2 hours ago, Truffles said:

Maybe it wouldn't have changed the resolution much, but having Neighsay in there ratcheted up the tension levels for Twilight and the audience. What could be worse than having a friendship school run by a couple of scammers? How about a friendship school run by scammers that is accredited and has the full approval of the chancellor when hers is not.

Hm, he did add tension to the situation. Still, he's setting the bar really low as far as MLP villains go. A villain is supposed to do more than just add tension here and there. Other villains have done way more to challenge the Mane 6. Neighsay is just being a nuissance. Whether or not he'll sink lower than Chrysalis in Episode 13 remains to be seen.

Pfeh, I'll just have to wait and see if Neighsay will indeed turn out to the the broken record of empty controversy in 2018. 

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3 hours ago, Querch said:

EDIT: Oh, forgot to put this little cherry on top. You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

Neighsay was really integral. He planted the initially seed of doubt by accusing Twilight of monopolizing the Magic of Friendship to intentionally injure her and her school's reputations.

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3 hours ago, Jeric said:

Enter the subtext about some issues with modern University business practices. Neighsay adds weight to that angle.

Aside from the for-profiit "colleges" and "universities" that seem to have unhappy students and lots of lawsuits that this episode is most directly taking on, even regular public universities have their own gray areas (besides the sports you mentioned, which is its own thing entirely): Like the cost of textbooks and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) conflict-of-interest between the professors and the authors of those textbooks. Many of which cost $50-$90 - and that back when I was in enrolled almost 3 decades ago. o_o

 

2 hours ago, ImpctR said:

Now, I know the School 6 are selected maybe the better among the others but such passion for studying and school is almost not believable.

Heh, yeah. Gallus looks and behaves a little too eager in that scene when he's supposed to only be secretly interested in learning.

2 hours ago, ImpctR said:

So they are all going to Twi's school? What of the ratio and interactions, won't it have a lot more ponies for 1 of other creatures? We will see.

That thought crossed my mind as well. Twilight's school has a limited number of teachers who also have their own jobs to take care of so I'm not sure Twilight is equipped to handle such a large and sudden influx of new students. Of course, it also appeared it was just Flim and Flam doing all the teaching (because they were too greedy to hire any other professors - even fake ones) so I'm not sure how they managed all those students, unless they had really large class sizes of which we didn't see.

 

1 hour ago, Sonic5421 said:

As for Neighsay, seems he still harbors a grudge against Twilight regarding the School of Friendship and its non-pony students, as he was pretty satisfied to grant Flim and Flam's Friendship University full EEA accreditation once he saw Star Swirl was enrolled there.

No surprise he holds a grudge against her - she did something no other pony ever did: She broke his seal that was keeping her school closed. I'm sure he feels quite disrespected by her, even if she didn't mean any disrespect.

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40 minutes ago, Truffles said:

Many of which cost $50-$90 - and that back when I was in enrolled almost 3 decades ago. o_o

I just laid out $300 for one.

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6 hours ago, Querch said:

Neighsay is looking pretty one-dimensional here.

Neighsay: "Hey. Look. I'm a xenophobe. Hate me. Or just notice me."

How do you manage to be an even less interesting antagonist than Fim and Flam? That's... kind of an achievement in itself. 

And what was this about other creatures using friendship as a weapon against Equestria? I'd say he's senile but he has yet to explain himself in any detail whatsoever. That'll probably come in the finale. Here's hoping he'll be something far less annoying than a broken record.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to put this little cherry on top. You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

This was my exact reaction to Neighsay in this episode. His one dimensional portrayal annoys me given most other villains have more depth in the show but he was necessary to what Twilight was going through and I believe it will tie into the finale. 

Edited by StitchandMLPlover
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I'm straight up calling it Flim and Flam are related to Applejack from Bright Mac's side of the family. :mlp_smug: :mellow:

Cutie marks are apples and colours are almost identical to Bright Mac's (definitely Uncles).

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3 hours ago, Querch said:

Yeah, just look back on Episode 13 and see how well that worked out for Queen Chrysalis. They're called the Elements of Harmony for a reason. If just one of the bearers do not possess genuine generosity, kindness, etc, the Elements are rendered ineffective. What's more, the EoH only worked on NMM and Discord because they were corrupt. Granted, we've never seen the EoH used on innocent ponies. Again, either Neighsay knows something about the EoH that we do not or he is plain stupid to think that the EoH could be used against Equestria

They were also made by Starswirl and the others though who took a "Once evil, always evil" approach and there's still a lot we don't know about them. However my point was more we know more that all Neighsay proabably know's is that the mane 6 have repeatedly used weaponised friendship to defeat threats to Equestria now they want to teach it to "dangerous creatures".

Edited by Senko

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38 minutes ago, Senko said:

They were also made by Starswirl and the others though who took a "Once evil, always evil" approach and there's still a lot we don't know about them. However my point was more we know more that all Neighsay proabably know's is that the mane 6 have repeatedly used weaponised friendship to defeat threats to Equestria now they want to teach it to "dangerous creatures".

Something tells me, that we will find out one of two things : 1. Neighsay was a student of Starswirl's at the same as Celestia and Luna, which is why he would know about the elements and what they can and can't do.  or 2, He's distrust of non-pony creatures is a family trait passed down through generations, as part of an ancient vow to protect Equestria from all threats to pony kind.

Your thoughts.

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Two more interesting things I forgot to mention about this episode: 1) It was cool to see Twilight use Haycartes' Method again for the first time since "Amending Fences," and 2) It was interesting to actually have Tara Strong "singing" during the musical number. She wasn't actually singing a melody, but it's a first for her voice to be used in a song this way.

 

4 hours ago, Querch said:

Pfeh, I'll just have to wait and see if Neighsay will indeed turn out to the the broken record of empty controversy in 2018.

Indeed, the final verdict on the depth of his character will depend on whether his fears of other creatures is justified or not, and also it depends on how interesting (to the audience) his scheming is in regards to seeing his vision/ideology for Equestria come to fruition.

 

19 minutes ago, bwrosas said:

Neighsay was a student of Starswirl's at the same as Celestia and Luna, which is why he would know about the elements and what they can and can't do.

I haven't seen anything that says he's 1000+ years old, though there's nothing to discount that theory, either. That would be an interesting twist if that's the case. Though if he were really charged with protecting Equestria from evil creatures, I would think Celestia and Luna would have mentioned that in the season premiere.

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6 minutes ago, Truffles said:

Two more interesting things I forgot to mention about this episode: 1) It was cool to see Twilight use Haycartes' Method again for the first time since "Amending Fences," and 2) It was interesting to actually have Tara Strong "singing" during the musical number. She wasn't actually singing a melody, but it's a first for her voice to be used in a song this way.

 

Indeed, the final verdict on the depth of his character will depend on whether his fears of other creatures is justified or not, and also it depends on how interesting (to the audience) his scheming is in regards to seeing his vision/ideology for Equestria come to fruition.

 

I haven't seen anything that says he's 1000+ years old, though there's nothing to discount that theory, either. That would be an interesting twist if that's the case. Though if he were really charged with protecting Equestria from evil creatures, I would think Celestia and Luna would have mentioned that in the season premiere.

yes, but it could have been before their time, as said it could be a family trait passed through generations.

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9 hours ago, Querch said:

Neighsay is looking pretty one-dimensional here.

Neighsay: "Hey. Look. I'm a xenophobe. Hate me. Or just notice me."

How do you manage to be an even less interesting antagonist than Fim and Flam? That's... kind of an achievement in itself. 

And what was this about other creatures using friendship as a weapon against Equestria? I'd say he's senile but he has yet to explain himself in any detail whatsoever. That'll probably come in the finale. Here's hoping he'll be something far less annoying than a broken record.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to put this little cherry on top. You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

I liked Neighsay's addition because I like the idea of EEA trying to undermine Twi's school by instantly backing the next alternative they see.

As for using friendship against Equestria. I think a certain method is pretty obvious actually. If you teach someone how to make bonds, then your enemies could make those bonds with each other and use them to overwhelm Equestria. You're teaching someone how to make allies.

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1 hour ago, gingerninja666 said:

I liked Neighsay's addition because I like the idea of EEA trying to undermine Twi's school by instantly backing the next alternative they see.

As for using friendship against Equestria. I think a certain method is pretty obvious actually. If you teach someone how to make bonds, then your enemies could make those bonds with each other and use them to overwhelm Equestria. You're teaching someone how to make allies.

I kind of liked that remark from Neighsay. He does have a point that if other creatures learn friendship than there's a good chance it will unite them internally. But he automatically assumes the worst and that they will attack Equestria as a unified front. (Although some like Dragons and Changelings have shown hostility in the past)

Look at the Griffins, they've completely fallen into decline. But if they ever united and rebuild their home they could be a formidable competitor.

Same goes for the Dragons, and especially the Changelings. Even now they're reformed I can imagine most of ponykind still harbors a distrust towards them.

It really comes down to ideology. Twilight believes that teaching friendship will make other creatures friends or allies of Equestria, while Neighsay believes all these creatures will make friends with each other and then ally themselves against Equestria. 

Edited by JH24
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Quote

Rarity: I still don't understand how Flim and Flam could have gotten a copy of your book.

*then get interrupted by Cozy Glow...*

Yeah, Cozy Glow is a SPY. :yeahno:

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4 hours ago, JH24 said:

I kind of liked that remark from Neighsay. He does have a point that if other creatures learn friendship than there's a good chance it will unite them internally. But he automatically assumes the worst and that they will attack Equestria as a unified front. (Although some like Dragons and Changelings have shown hostility in the past)

Look at the Griffins, they've completely fallen into decline. But if they ever united and rebuild their home they could be a formidable competitor.

Same goes for the Dragons, and especially the Changelings. Even now they're reformed I can imagine most of ponykind still harbors a distrust towards them.

It really comes down to ideology. Twilight believes that teaching friendship will make other creatures friends or allies of Equestria, while Neighsay believes all these creatures will make friends with each other and then ally themselves against Equestria. 

Not ALL Dragons are reformed. There's Garble and his Gang. He still harbors a hatred for Ponies, and Spike, especially. If anything, Ember could force his gang to hug EVERY Pony and Creature they pass, and not answer why!

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21 minutes ago, YoshiAngemon said:

Not ALL Dragons are reformed. There's Garble and his Gang. He still harbors a hatred for Ponies, and Spike, especially. If anything, Ember could force his gang to hug EVERY Pony and Creature they pass, and not answer why!

Hmmm I'm now picturing Neighsay's reaction to her forcing Garble to hug him.

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6 hours ago, gingerninja666 said:

As for using friendship against Equestria. I think a certain method is pretty obvious actually. If you teach someone how to make bonds, then your enemies could make those bonds with each other and use them to overwhelm Equestria. You're teaching someone how to make allies.

Then wouldn't the smart thing to do be to make allies with them before a real threat does? So far it seems like Equestria is on the path of forming good diplomatic relations with these other creatures. Their leaders are either on board or are getting on board with the ponies. After that, it'll be a matter of winning the hearts of their people. Why risk ruining these relations and possibly turn these creatures against Equestria like Neighsay did in the season premiere? If there is a real threat out there, the time for Equestria to make allies is now! Is Neighsay also forgetting who is teaching friendship here? Ponies!

Honestly, Neighsay's xenophobia wouldn't be so annoying if there were some actual strategic value to it. He's making a conflict where there wasn't one in the first place. In fact, he's getting in the way of forging good relations with these other creatures.

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12 minutes ago, Querch said:

Then wouldn't the smart thing to do be to make allies with them before a real threat does? So far it seems like Equestria is on the path of forming good diplomatic relations with these other creatures. Their leaders are either on board or are getting on board with the ponies. After that, it'll be a matter of winning the hearts of their people. Why risk ruining these relations and possibly turn these creatures against Equestria like Neighsay did in the season premiere? If there is a real threat out there, the time for Equestria to make allies is now! Is Neighsay also forgetting who is teaching friendship here? Ponies!

Honestly, Neighsay's xenophobia wouldn't be so annoying if there were some actual strategic value to it. He's making a conflict where there wasn't one in the first place. In fact, he's getting in the way of forging good relations with these other creatures.

Because Neighsay believes that Equestria is strong. That no matter what the other races do, they have the power to overcome it. The only way these races could truly defeat Equestria is if Equestria itself props them up and MAKES them stronger. Which is what he thinks is happening by teaching the other races friendship. It's a thing he thinks these cultures don't naturally have, so giving it to them will only make them stronger.

It's irrational racist thinking. It doesn't matter if Ember SAYS she's friends with Equestria. It doesn't matter if Rutherford SAYS they'll be friends with ponies for a thousand moons. In his eyes, it's all a deception that gullible ponies like Twilight are walking right into. If you believed in a conspiracy, would someone telling you "There is no conspiracy." convince you there wasn't one?

Edited by gingerninja666
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24 minutes ago, gingerninja666 said:

Because Neighsay believes that Equestria is strong. That no matter what the other races do, they have the power to overcome it. The only way these races could truly defeat Equestria is if Equestria itself props them up and MAKES them stronger. Which is what he thinks is happening by teaching the other races friendship. It's a thing he thinks these cultures don't naturally have, so giving it to them will only make them stronger.

I need only two words to dismantle this argument: Soft Power.

Even if these other creatures do become stronger because of friendship (not even sure how that works) it won't come without a price. Equestria isn't just bringing friendship to these other creatures, Equestria is bringing their friendship first and foremost. Soft power is all about getting the other party to want what you want. Forging good relations in a manner as seemingly unilateral as the ponies are doing really isn't giving the other creatures much wiggle room for setting the conversation. If Equestria plays their cards right, they could even assimilate these other creatures eventually and, in the best case scenario, by their own consent. 

1 hour ago, gingerninja666 said:

It's irrational racist thinking. It doesn't matter if Ember SAYS she's friends with Equestria. It doesn't matter if Rutherford SAYS they'll be friends with ponies for a thousand moons. In his eyes, it's all a deception that gullible ponies like Twilight are walking right into. If you believed in a conspiracy, would someone telling you "There is no conspiracy." convince you there wasn't one?

"Irrational" would be putting it very generously. Given what I've just said, the only party that could be said to have a conspiracy would be Equestria. If anything, Neighsay should be some other creature paranoid of Equestria subverting their way of life with "friendship," not the other way around. If Neighsay truly cared about Equestria's "way of life," he should be overjoyed at the idea of "converting" other creatures. In the extreme case, it could eventually turn these other kingdoms into de facto colonies.

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18 hours ago, Querch said:

Neighsay is looking pretty one-dimensional here.

Neighsay: "Hey. Look. I'm a xenophobe. Hate me. Or just notice me."

How do you manage to be an even less interesting antagonist than Fim and Flam? That's... kind of an achievement in itself. 

And what was this about other creatures using friendship as a weapon against Equestria? I'd say he's senile but he has yet to explain himself in any detail whatsoever. That'll probably come in the finale. Here's hoping he'll be something far less annoying than a broken record.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to put this little cherry on top. You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

Yeah, that's one thing I'm not liking too much about this season - Neighsay is just a generic racist for the sake of plot. I think they're trying to justify it by having him be fearful of the other races waging war against them, but it's not very convincing. 

At this point I'm actually seriously considering the idea that Neighsay might just be Chrysalis or Tirek in disguise (since we know they'll be returning later in the season, if not the series).

--

I've never really been one to consider scams at IRL universities- I personally loved my school and tended to assume they act in good faith even in terms of things like high tuition costs- but it's been interesting to hear what you all have to say about scandals in the education world. 

I'm betting, however, that the writers aren't making this an analogy to any specific universities- MLP has always tended to exercise caution around being political, unless it directly has to do with friendship. Some of the show staff tend to be rather vocal on Twitter about their political opinions (which I totally support their right to do), but I think for the most part they keep any political commentary out of the show. I think they once denied that a certain episode was an analogy to a specific event that I can't recall...or I could just be mixing that up with a Gravity Falls episode and a tweet from Alex Hirsch. 

It honestly also makes sense from a business standpoint for Hasbro. Any political opinion,  no matter how on-point, likely will alienate some of their viewerbase.

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