PinkiePie97

Holiday Special - Best Gift Ever

Best Gift Ever  

93 members have voted

  1. 1. How did you like the special

    • “Ew Glitter” - Hated it
      1
    • “Bah Humbug” - Not a fan
      2
    • “Sorry but we delivered your Halloween episode to the wrong series” - it was okay
      0
    • “A surprising gift worth receiving” - Liked it
      20
    • “Puuuuuding!” - Instant Classic / Loved it
      70


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It was so nice we had a special like this but my question is... how did it only happen now? its been long overdoo... we could have had 7 at this point XD

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Since it is now past Thanksgiving, it is finally legal for me to watch this episode. I enjoyed it, it had everything I'd expect from a Christmas special. The ending was a bit of a foregone conclusion, but there was some surprises in the details. In particular it struck me how asymmetrical the gift situation ended up being, with some ponies actually getting gifts despite everything falling apart, but not others. The writing in this episode came across as particularly self-aware. This could be could as it led to some very funny moments like the Reindeer-Ex-Machina, but at times it felt like I was watching another episode verbatim, like when Fluttershy calmed the Winterzilla. Sparity is really getting old, but I actually liked how they used it this episode. Finally, I'm disappointed Flurry Heart reverted back to demon spawn this episode. 

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13 hours ago, Ganondox said:

Sparity is really getting old, but I actually liked how they used it this episode. 

Yeah, but when you think about it, this may be the way they make Sparity, semi-canon/official as the series nears it's final seasons (10 would be just right).

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Netflix now has the special on it's service, but you have to search for it.

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I feel a little sorry for Pinkie having to go from buying gifts for the entire town to just one friend has to be hard for her. Applejack and Fluttershy appear to be nearly as bad at acting as Celestia.

EDIT

I just realized this year Twilight celebrated with her friends, brother and sister in law rather than opening her castle to the entire town who instead went to the town hall. Interesting.

Edited by Senko

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I just rewatched this special because I enjoyed it so much, and on the second go-around, I noticed something that totally blew my mind!

Check this out!

Spoiler

1403259212_MarblesHeartbreak.thumb.jpg.e5ded2c75fc747bd926d890c1b51d94e.jpg

:o  HO-LY CRAP, DUDE.  The whole freaking fandom shipped MarbleMac when those two first met, but there was no canon evidence of anything between them....until now.  So, Marble likes Big Mac, and she's heartbroken that he's taken now!  Mind blown.  That poor thing.  I feel so sorry for her.  And between you and me, I think Sugar Belle is an airhead.  She's weird and ditzy and I don't like her.  I wish that Big Mac would dump that bimbo and start dating Marble.  But then again, I've always thought that Big Mac was kind of a dork.  Perhaps Marble can do better?  Anyway, I think it's really cool that they stuck this detail in.

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17 hours ago, Senko said:

I feel a little sorry for Pinkie having to go from buying gifts for the entire town to just one friend has to be hard for her. Applejack and Fluttershy appear to be nearly as bad at acting as Celestia.

I donT GET WHY PONIES ARE WONDERING ABOUT IT  (-caps). To me, it was clear they did so in order to get clear attention from the crowd.

 

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On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

And what do these characters do, exactly, especially considering these great abilities that they apparently possess? Have they just been sitting in their house at the north pole, in secrecy, doing nothing in particular for the whole run of the show?

I suppose if their temporal abilities are limited to only gift-giving, there might not be much reason for them to get involved in the dire circumstances Equestria has been involved in over the course of the show. However, their helping with others pick a gift might be a useful service they could provide to the larger population of the land, but maybe it would take the fun out of buying a gift for loved ones if someone was around to always give the perfect suggestion?

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Boy, that's some strong parchment that Twilight used for her big list that Spike's hauling around.

Somehow, it's credible for Twilight to use extra-strength fibers in her scroll paper. XD

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

If Twilight is grading midterms just before Hearth's Warming Eve, then that must mean that Friendship School classes span at least both of what we would consider the fall and spring semesters.

Which means "Non-Compete" with it's implied 9 month school span must take place in late Spring/early Summer, depending on the length of vacation time between school years.

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Also, was it really necessary to draw everyone's cutie marks (or Spike's wing), rather than just, you know, writing people's names? It reminds me of how, in "The Break Up Break Down", Big Mac addressed his boxed pie to Sugar Belle by drawing pictures of sugar cubes and a bell, rather than writing her name (and her address!).

It's unusual for sure, since most written  text we see is that distorted version of the Western alphabet. Since MLP is an international show, it may have been done to make it clear to all audiences that character identifiers were written on each of those sheets. What is interesting is Spike's symbol goes against the commonality of Twilight using cutie marks as the symbol, since "Triple Threat" made it clear his spines are his "cutie mark." But since he has wings now it may have been simpler for her to draw a dragon wing rather than try to indicate his spines.

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Since seemingly no one else besides Applejack has done a gift exchange before, I half-expected someone to draw his/her own name and just go with it, not realizing that everyone is supposed to be buying gifts for someone else.

I was surprised no one got their own name, since in our family that used to happen a lot before I wrote a program to do the picking. XD I suppose with the fully-packed story, however, it would have been a subplot that didn't really encompass the themes the episode was trying to depict and would have been a distraction.

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

When Spike asks Applejack if it's against the rules to trade names, he gives an example of "Like if I had a better idea for somepony special? I mean specific?", but that's a strange thing for Spike to be saying, since later on it's revealed that Spike has no ideas for what to get Rarity.

He may have just been using that as an off-the-cuff excuse to help sway AJ to switch if indeed she did have Rarity. But it could just as easily be that he initially thought he knew he could get her something great but realized it was more difficult than he thought. Kind of like how Twilight became neurotic over picking a gift for Pinkie when Spike pointed out it had to be extra special, he may have realized the same thing. Especially since he's not just out to give a friend a gift, but to give someone who he's trying to woo with said gift.

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Fluttershy says that she and Applejack never got presents for Rainbow or Spike, but didn't Applejack have fire-dancing sticks and a Power Ponies comic earlier? She was carrying those things in a bag as though she had already bought them. Or was Applejack just carrying them around as she considered buying them, but then never actually bought them?

I was thinking she was only considering buying those gifts but wanted to consult with her friend before making a final decision. I guess since she's Honest AJ vendor ponies trust her enough to not walk out of the area without paying. As for why she didn't get them in the end is probably due to her spending her bits to pull off that scheme on F&F, and so all she got out of it were the crappy dolls. XD

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Wow, Spike's cardboard-and-craft-string guitar (with only 3 different strings, no less) sounds remarkably good. And I don't know if we've seen Spike play guitar before.

He's played the banjo in "Simple Ways," and I don't play either of those instruments but I imagine if he could play one it wouldn't be too hard for him to play the other. At least his banjo had 4 strings instead of 3 like the guitar. Also, since chords generally consist of 3 notes, it would be theoretically possible to play on such an instrument. But the fingering would be difficult to say the least, and considering how short and stubby his claws are, I'm not sure how many unique chords he could actually produce out of that thing. XD

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Big Mac and Sugar Belle are looking out the front door before Big Mac hugs Sugar Belle. Are they looking up at the night sky? Did the shooting stars representing Pear Butter and Bright Mac pass by again?

There's no visible shooting stars out the window, though after looking at it again it is odd that Sugar Belle gives a concerned look briefly before appearing content again. I'm not sure what caused her that moment of concern.

On 10/31/2018 at 12:12 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

whereas in this episode, we see twelve changelings celebrating, including Thorax and Pharynx.

I loved seeing Thorax with his brother in that scene. A great bit of continuity. Also interesting were the changeling nymphs in the foreground. I'm still not sure if those are young from the original hive that changed, or if they are newborn and they're all being born that way now instead of having to go through the dark-and-holey-legged stage of their predecessors. :dash:

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1 hour ago, Truffles said:

What is interesting is Spike's symbol goes against the commonality of Twilight using cutie marks as the symbol, since "Triple Threat" made it clear his spines are his "cutie mark." But since he has wings now it may have been simpler for her to draw a dragon wing rather than try to indicate his spines.

The other precedent set in "Triple Threat" was that the Cutie Map, which normally represents ponies using their cutie marks, just used Spike's head to represent him when indicating where his friendship problem was located. But yeah, maybe Twilight thought drawing a dragon wing was simpler than drawing Spike's head.

1 hour ago, Truffles said:

Also, since chords generally consist of 3 notes, it would be theoretically possible to play on such an instrument. But the fingering would be difficult to say the least, and considering how short and stubby his claws are, I'm not sure how many unique chords he could actually produce out of that thing. XD

Yeah, standard modern acoustic guitars have six strings spanning two octaves, with each string tuned within a few steps of its neighbors. Spike's homemade guitar only has three strings, so that would limit either the range or the types of chords that could reasonably be played.

Furthermore, on modern acoustic guitars, the guitar neck has a series of precisely spaced frets, such that depressing one of the strings at each successive fret raises the pitch of that string one half-step. Spike's homemade guitar does have some clothing buttons attached to the neck, which might be able to serve as the equivalent of frets. But in order for Spike to play in tune, he would have needed to measure out and place those buttons on the guitar neck pretty precisely, or he would need to place his claws pretty precisely when depressing the strings while playing. Either way would require some fairly in-depth knowledge/skill - so Spike might be better than it might seem!

 

Also, I know that you were out on vacation and busy near the end of this past season, and you may have watched some of the episodes weeks before I did, so I just want to reiterate that I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to go back and read and reply to the episode posts I made!

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1 hour ago, Music Chart Fan said:

The other precedent set in "Triple Threat" was that the Cutie Map, which normally represents ponies using their cutie marks, just used Spike's head to represent him when indicating where his friendship problem was located.

In that instance it may have been an aesthetics thing since it might have seemed weird for kids to see a disembodied row of green spines floating above the map. XD

1 hour ago, Music Chart Fan said:

Spike's homemade guitar does have some clothing buttons attached to the neck, which might be able to serve as the equivalent of frets. But in order for Spike to play in tune, he would have needed to measure out and place those buttons on the guitar neck pretty precisely, or he would need to place his claws pretty precisely when depressing the strings while playing. Either way would require some fairly in-depth knowledge/skill - so Spike might be better than it might seem!

Looking closely at those buttons they do appear to have ridges on the outside of their circumference, so those ridges might be thin enough to act as a suitable fret. But the spacing of them is irregular. I know this is nitpicky but it is pretty interesting to focus on the details the animators put into Spike's homemade guitar - and the fact that they bothered to animate his claws moving up and down as he changed chords. Even if it's not exact, it's a nice bit of detail.

 

1 hour ago, Music Chart Fan said:

I just want to reiterate that I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to go back and read and reply to the episode posts I made!

You're quite welcome! I was going to reply to this over Thanksgiving but things got busier than expected. Now I just need to get caught up with the messages in the general show discussion. XD

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Did anyone not catch this small detail, Rarity has " Stars in her eyes" when Spike is singing to her. And if your a romantic or know anything about Romance storytelling, "Stars in their Eyes" at most times, means that was just a friendship, has now become something more.  Just thought I'd point that out.  

 

ps. Don't be surprised if Sparity is subtle used in Season 9 (should it be the last).

Rarity_listening_to_Spike's_song_MLPBGE.png

Rarity_touched_by_Spike's_song_MLPBGE.png

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20 hours ago, Truffles said:

Also, was it really necessary to draw everyone's cutie marks (or Spike's wing), rather than just, you know, writing people's names? It reminds me of how, in "The Break Up Break Down", Big Mac addressed his boxed pie to Sugar Belle by drawing pictures of sugar cubes and a bell, rather than writing her name (and her address!).

I was thinking. How much do we see pony writing in general?

I think there were cases before where names were written as symbols, but I think in an early season there was also a banner that read "Celest" or something, where ponies weren't able to finish her name because of her length.

I think we shouldn't assume we know everything about their ABC or how they write things down.

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3 hours ago, Bas said:

I was thinking. How much do we see pony writing in general?

I think there were cases before where names were written as symbols, but I think in an early season there was also a banner that read "Celest" or something, where ponies weren't able to finish her name because of her length.

I think we shouldn't assume we know everything about their ABC or how they write things down.

First, just to clear things up, I (not @Truffles) wrote those sentences you quoted; @Truffles had quoted those sentences from my earlier post about the episode in order to reply to me.

Regarding your response, there have been many examples of written language throughout the show, depicting it as lines of text, and sometimes even as discrete words with spaces between them. More specifically, there have been cases of words written in English or pseudo-English, such as the banner in "Swarm of the Century" that you mentioned, or newspaper and book titles.

There have also been several times in the show where letters are used to spell out words. In "The Cutie Pox", when Apple Bloom gets a fake ring cutie mark, Scootaloo asks "Is it an 'O'? Is your talent spelling?". In "Brotherhooves Social", Apple Bloom and Applejack practice a cheer where they spell out "S-I-S-T-E-R-S!", and later, Apple Bloom and Big Mac do a cheer where they spell out "C-O-U-S-I-N-S!". At the end of "The Gift of the Maud Pie", Pinkie spells "P-S-S-S-D-W-R", which is an acronym for "Pie Sisters' Surprise Swap Day With Rarity". In "Molt Down", Smolder says that the molt stench will attract rocs, and when Spike is confused by that, Smolder spells out "R-O-C-S". And in fact, in "Family Appreciation Day", Granny Smith sings the alphabet song at least through the letter P before getting interrupted.

Furthermore, there are at least a few cases where people's names in the show were written out, or implied to have a written language form. As you mentioned, there was the banner in "Swarm of the Century" with Princess Celestia's (incomplete) name written out. We've seen the front covers of Daring Do books several times in the show, and in each case, Daring Do's name is in written language, rather than a depiction of her cutie mark or some other symbol. Near the beginning of "The Gift of the Maud Pie", Pinkie says "...guess who I see! M-A-U-D! You know what that spells?" and Maud replies "It spells Maud". And in the episode "A Friend In Deed", Pinkie reads the back of Cranky's wagon, which is labeled "Property of C.D.D.", with those initials standing for Cranky Doodle Donkey.

So it seems to me that the Mane Seven would probably have written language forms of their names (or even abbreviations like RD, AJ, TS, etc.) that Twilight could have used for the slips of paper for the gift exchange. I was just making a casual observation that writing the Mane Seven's names, or abbreviations of their names, might be easier than drawing each of their cutie marks (and Spike's wing).

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There's also the hieroglyphic style writing in the very first episode when Twilight's looking up the myth of Nightmare Moon.

11 hours ago, bwrosas said:

Did anyone not catch this small detail, Rarity has " Stars in her eyes" when Spike is singing to her. And if your a romantic or know anything about Romance storytelling, "Stars in their Eyes" at most times, means that was just a friendship, has now become something more.  Just thought I'd point that out.  

 

ps. Don't be surprised if Sparity is subtle used in Season 9 (should it be the last).

Rarity_listening_to_Spike's_song_MLPBGE.png

Rarity_touched_by_Spike's_song_MLPBGE.png

I like the touch of her having her hoof on her chest and its interesting that Applejack is looking at her rather than Spike especially with that look on her face.

On 12/2/2018 at 1:29 PM, Truffles said:

I suppose if their temporal abilities are limited to only gift-giving, there might not be much reason for them to get involved in the dire circumstances Equestria has been involved in over the course of the show. However, their helping with others pick a gift might be a useful service they could provide to the larger population of the land, but maybe it would take the fun out of buying a gift for loved ones if someone was around to always give the perfect suggestion?

Somehow, it's credible for Twilight to use extra-strength fibers in her scroll paper. XD

Which means "Non-Compete" with it's implied 9 month school span must take place in late Spring/early Summer, depending on the length of vacation time between school years.

It's unusual for sure, since most written  text we see is that distorted version of the Western alphabet. Since MLP is an international show, it may have been done to make it clear to all audiences that character identifiers were written on each of those sheets. What is interesting is Spike's symbol goes against the commonality of Twilight using cutie marks as the symbol, since "Triple Threat" made it clear his spines are his "cutie mark." But since he has wings now it may have been simpler for her to draw a dragon wing rather than try to indicate his spines.

I was surprised no one got their own name, since in our family that used to happen a lot before I wrote a program to do the picking. XD I suppose with the fully-packed story, however, it would have been a subplot that didn't really encompass the themes the episode was trying to depict and would have been a distraction.

He may have just been using that as an off-the-cuff excuse to help sway AJ to switch if indeed she did have Rarity. But it could just as easily be that he initially thought he knew he could get her something great but realized it was more difficult than he thought. Kind of like how Twilight became neurotic over picking a gift for Pinkie when Spike pointed out it had to be extra special, he may have realized the same thing. Especially since he's not just out to give a friend a gift, but to give someone who he's trying to woo with said gift.

I was thinking she was only considering buying those gifts but wanted to consult with her friend before making a final decision. I guess since she's Honest AJ vendor ponies trust her enough to not walk out of the area without paying. As for why she didn't get them in the end is probably due to her spending her bits to pull off that scheme on F&F, and so all she got out of it were the crappy dolls. XD

He's played the banjo in "Simple Ways," and I don't play either of those instruments but I imagine if he could play one it wouldn't be too hard for him to play the other. At least his banjo had 4 strings instead of 3 like the guitar. Also, since chords generally consist of 3 notes, it would be theoretically possible to play on such an instrument. But the fingering would be difficult to say the least, and considering how short and stubby his claws are, I'm not sure how many unique chords he could actually produce out of that thing. XD

There's no visible shooting stars out the window, though after looking at it again it is odd that Sugar Belle gives a concerned look briefly before appearing content again. I'm not sure what caused her that moment of concern.

I loved seeing Thorax with his brother in that scene. A great bit of continuity. Also interesting were the changeling nymphs in the foreground. I'm still not sure if those are young from the original hive that changed, or if they are newborn and they're all being born that way now instead of having to go through the dark-and-holey-legged stage of their predecessors. :dash:

I thought Equestria used an English system of school starting in September for some reason.

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18 hours ago, Music Chart Fan said:

So it seems to me that the Mane Seven would probably have written language forms of their names (or even abbreviations like RD, AJ, TS, etc.) that Twilight could have used for the slips of paper for the gift exchange. I was just making a casual observation that writing the Mane Seven's names, or abbreviations of their names, might be easier than drawing each of their cutie marks (and Spike's wing).

I think it is simply more of a thing of later seasons. It is not that they couldn't use English for their names, they just prefer not to when writing it down. Maybe not everypony can read/write English, not even all adults? One strong point for this argument might be that ponies like...Derpy work at the post office.

Also, I don't think verbalizing counts as a counter-proof. Instead of the said cutie mark, you can just simply say the name, which they do all the time.

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40 minutes ago, Bas said:

I think it is simply more of a thing of later seasons. It is not that they couldn't use English for their names, they just prefer not to when writing it down. Maybe not everypony can read/write English, not even all adults? One strong point for this argument might be that ponies like...Derpy work at the post office.

Also, I don't think verbalizing counts as a counter-proof. Instead of the said cutie mark, you can just simply say the name, which they do all the time.

Its also possible given how woven into a ponies identity their cutie mark is that one can function in the same way a signature does for a human. So just like you can write your full name or sign a document a pony can write their full name or put their cutie mark down as a signature.

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On 12/2/2018 at 3:57 PM, bwrosas said:

Did anyone not catch this small detail, Rarity has " Stars in her eyes" when Spike is singing to her. And if your a romantic or know anything about Romance storytelling, "Stars in their Eyes" at most times, means that was just a friendship, has now become something more.

Dear Prince Blueblood, eat your heart out. :sneer:

Like I said in my initial comments about this special: That song was deep. Pear Butter and Bright Mac deep. I was surprised to see them push the envelope of their relationship that far. It even surpassed the end of "The Secret of my Excess" since the interpretation of Rarity hushing Spike as they fell was touching and romantic, but left wide open to interpretation. While her actions made it clear she was letting him know she knew how he felt about her, it was far from certain she felt the same (and subsequent seasons have seem to indicate she didn't). Here, she's clearly touched by his gift and maybe she finally sees how deep his devotion to her really is? (Skelenor notwithstanding. :laugh: Spike's wandering eye this past season still makes me wonder if he's really in love with Rarity or - as the hopeless romantic his is - is he just wanting someone to love him back to satisfy his need of experiencing true love, and she's just a convenient target?)

Unfortunately, since this is a special that, while part of the show's continuity, isn't part of any specific season's timeline, we don't know if it will be revisited again in this way or whether it will go back to being a running gag like it has in the past.

 

On 12/3/2018 at 3:54 AM, Senko said:

I thought Equestria used an English system of school starting in September for some reason.

Yes, and Twilight's midterm grading just before the Hearthswarming Eve holiday confirms this.

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On 12/8/2018 at 10:54 PM, Truffles said:

(and subsequent seasons have seem to indicate she didn't)

I think this is the real deal here.

Without any context, the sparkling eyes seem to be romantic. But knowing that Rarity has known about and dismissed Spike's feelings for years (even did it while shoving her Trenderhoof crush on his face), the romanticism of the scene fades.

There's no doubt that Rarity was moved by Spike's song and loved her gift but, considering the one sided crush history, chances are that she was truly grateful about Spike's gift and friendship while she'll keep dismissing his feelings as a child's crush.

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10 hours ago, DonMaguz said:

I think this is the real deal here.

Without any context, the sparkling eyes seem to be romantic. But knowing that Rarity has known about and dismissed Spike's feelings for years (even did it while shoving her Trenderhoof crush on his face), the romanticism of the scene fades.

There's no doubt that Rarity was moved by Spike's song and loved her gift but, considering the one sided crush history, chances are that she was truly grateful about Spike's gift and friendship while she'll keep dismissing his feelings as a child's crush.

Which would for the Applejack/Rarity shippers fit in with some of their behaviour and Applejack looking at her during the song.

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Alright! I did it, waited all the way until Christmas to watch it! And it was worth it, just the perfect Slice of Life holiday special.

If I had to give a criticism of it, I’d have to say it regrettably didn’t try to break new ground or take any chances. This was the main six at their best, which is both the best and worst thing about the special, because it’s all things we’ve seen with them before. Did we really need to have yet another AJ/FlimFlam faceoff? Did we really need to have Pinkie go on another epic quest for the perfect item? (She even went to Yakyakistan too.) Did we really need to have another Twilight freak out?

Were these all fun stories? Absolutely, and I really enjoyed them. (Twilynannas is an amazing addition to my vocabulary) But I found myself drawn more to the side characters than the main ones, because that’s where the new and exciting things were happening. I loved Cadance and Shining here, especially their little flirting at the end.

The only exception here was Rarity’s side story, which truly deserved to be its own separate story. Everything from the scene with Derpy to that heartfelt conclusion was perfect Rarity. I hope we get to see Rarity follow through and bring Pistacio along to fashion week in season nine.

I don’t think it’s the best Hearthswarming episode, Club had more interesting facts about the different species and was more surprising, while Tail had amazing songs... and actually had Starlight in it. But like I said, it’s the perfect Slice if Life special.

Edited by ShootingStar159
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This episode was fantastic! I think this might be my favorite episode of FiM ever. I loved every bit of this episode from the beginning to the end. Not even a single moment was dull, so time passed by like an instant and the episode was over even before I realized it. :BornAgainBrony:

Some scenes that were memorable:

1. Derpy scene: It's nice to see her again, and with some extra comedy. The scene was really funny and in-character with Derpy.

2. Flim & Flam: Watching them sell stuff with their advertising skills is always entertaining. I especially liked the scece where Fluttershy gets tricked for the second time. :squee:

3. Pistacio: The hat looked absolutely gorgious, no wonder he was hyped! It was heartwarming to see Rarity give hope to a foal who wants to work in the fashion industry.

4. The Reindeers: Godlike creatures who know everything, from the past to the future? The scene was interesting, and I loved their designs.

5. Spike's song: The song was really good. It's not often that we get to hear him sing, and I think he sounded even better than the last time he sang(A changeling can change). It's not that I didn't like 'A changeling can change'- that song is actually one of my favorites. It's just that his song in this episode was even better.

6. Discord & Fluttershy: I don't really ship Fluttershy & Discord, but I loved how thoughtful Discord was in this episode. His present was perfect for Fluttershy! :kindness:

Edited by qwerE
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@PinkiePie97

Moving to Specials and Shorts!

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