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spoiler S09:E16 - A Trivial Pursuit


Derplight Sperkle
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There will be spoilers within, please be forewarned.

How was the episode?  

78 users have voted

  1. 1. How was the episode?

    • Hate it
      7
    • Dislike it
      9
    • It was okay
      14
    • Like it
      31
    • Love it
      17


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13 minutes ago, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Like I said, candy episode.  Which to be fair is nothing new for this series (these were especially prevalent early on).

As I initially meant, I typically don't mind 'candy episodes' provided that the aspects they do fall back on are entertaining/enjoyable to me, which this episode essentially flopped at (due to its seeming refusal to employ joke types beyond the generic dry comebacks, zany meme faces and huge emotional takes which Haber seems to favor so heavily) whilst additionally portraying Twilight and Pinkie as over-the-top and overly shallow interpretations of themselves as a result (which, again, I would forgive more if the episode's humor were more effective subjectively - I was drawn to FiM initially due to the charming and sly nature of its comedy compared to its contemporaries, whilst this episode's gags and tone are exaggerated and blunt to the extent of evoking an awkward teen sitcom as opposed to the 'candy episodes' (Party of One , Swarm of the Century, It's About Time, Make New Friends but Keep Discord, Slice of Life, even unintentionally Spike at Your Service) of old, particularly as said episodes also frame their characters with more respect than this outing intended to).  

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Just now, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

 

As I initially meant, I typically don't mind 'candy episodes' provided that the aspects they do fall back on are entertaining/enjoyable to me, which this episode essentially flopped at (due to its seeming refusal to employ joke types beyond the generic dry comebacks, zany meme faces and huge emotional takes which Haber seems to favor so heavily) whilst additionally portraying Twilight and Pinkie as over-the-top and overly shallow interpretations of themselves as a result (which, again, I would forgive more if the episode's humor were more effective subjectively - I was drawn to FiM initially due to the charming and sly nature of its comedy compared to its contemporaries, whilst this episode's gags and tone are exaggerated and blunt to the extent of evoking an awkward teen sitcom as opposed to the 'candy episodes' (Party of One , Swarm of the Century, It's About Time, Make New Friends but Keep Discord, Slice of Life, even unintentionally Spike at Your Service) of old, particularly as said episodes also frame their characters with more respect than this outing intended to).  

Spike at your Service is WAY more egregious than this one.

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Like 246G before it, Trivial Pursuit doesn’t show the central character at her best. Twilight was antagonistic, not someone to root for, and did a really bad thing by baiting Pinkie into getting disqualified.

So why does Twilight’s situation work much more than Rainbow Dash’s?

  1. In Greaaat, Dash was completely composed when she bullied her students. Twilight’s sanity had already spiraled coming into this moment, and she was clearly not in the right mind when she baited PP. DQ’ing Pinkie was the last possible outcome for her, whereas RD’s sour opinions of cheerleading never changed.
  2. Dash was supposed to be teaching her students how to cheerlead, but she wanted nothing to do with them and was being less than lazy throughout. From the get-go, she looked for whatever excuse to get out of her classroom and let them fend for themselves. She intentionally exacerbated the problem for those who looked forward to making the halftime show as memorable as the tournament itself. This whole episode takes place inside a nightclub. Twilight tried to stay composed, but became more and more insane as she fell behind and wasn’t just enjoying the game. (Notice how her hair’s neatness changed in accordance to her sanity.) The stakes here are less weighty than the former.
  3. Even after her students screwed up, she couldn’t care less, and kept going through her insults after Yona and Ocellus ran off crying. She didn’t come to her epiphany until Smolder and Snips called her out for it, so her apology didn’t feel contrite until after they re-met. However, despite teaming up with Sunburst, Twilight never got what she wanted. Sunburst was way more uncooperative than the more innocent Pinkie, and the humor at her expense works because she deserves it. Come closer to the climax, she was still far behind and nearly suffered the same fate as Pinkie till she realized her grave mistake; her remorse is more impactful than Dash’s as a result.
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2 minutes ago, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Spike at your Service is WAY more egregious than this one.

Spike at Your Service's characterization of Spike may have been equally bad to A Trivial Problem's characterization of Twilight, but at least Spike at Your Service was really funny.

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Just now, bigbertha said:

Spike at Your Service's characterization of Spike may have been equally bad to A Trivial Problem's characterization of Twilight, but at least Spike at Your Service was really funny.

You got it backwards. Plus, Spike At your Service is way more problematic in terms of its implications.

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3 minutes ago, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Spike at your Service is WAY more egregious than this one.

In regards to Spike's characterization it is, yet the majority of the mane six (with the exception of Twilight in specific scenes) were actually largely on-point, which creates a weird dichotomy where Spike himself is by far the most egregious aspect of his own focal episode. If one can neglect the major elephant in the room (and, admittedly, this is far from a simple feat), the chemistry between the M6 in the episode is entertaining in a way this episode is subjectively not - I'll take the gags surrounding Dash's fanfiction and the reactions to the rock tower over overly blunt and repetitious scenes of Twilight freaking out any day. 

Edited by Them's Seeing Ponies
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2 minutes ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

In regards to Spike's characterization it is, yet the majority of the mane six (with the exception of Twilight in specific scenes) were actually largely on-point, which creates a weird dichotomy where Spike himself is by far the most egregious aspect of his own focal episode. If one can neglect the major elephant in the room (and, admittedly, this is far from a simple feat), the chemistry between the M6 in the episode is entertaining in a way this episode is subjectively not - I'll take the gags surrounding Dash's fanfiction and the reactions to the rock tower over overly blunt and repetitious scenes of Twilight freaking out any day. 

Not to mention the slavery undertones. 

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3 minutes ago, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Not to mention the slavery undertones. 

That's only a problem in that one scene with Rainbow and Rarity gushing about how great it would be if they had slaves, and personally I find that scene so tone deaf it's funny.

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Episode 16 had a great premise, great jokes, tons of great interactions but it went too far too soon and all just for the sake of making Twilight crazier than she has ever been. They even went too far with the expressions, which had been a lot but still great during the rest of the season.

It really feels like an episode which had been a lot more entertaining if they had put some limits on the crazy. Seems like they said... "lets show the fans how much more crazy can Twilight go, because, you know, they love that about her!"

Not my favorite by any means, but definitely an ok episode, just to enjoy the jokes on it.

Edited by DonMaguz
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22 hours ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

Could you elaborate on how the episode contains them?

I'm honestly sorry, but, in conclusion, while I respect your views on this installment and agree to disagree with them, I simply find this episode kind of irritating as opposed to amusing. 

The fact that no one seems to talk Spike out of essentially being a servant and in fact seem open to having someone to be a servant for them. (One of them being a southerner and the other from royalty), among other things..

22 hours ago, bigbertha said:

That's only a problem in that one scene with Rainbow and Rarity gushing about how great it would be if they had slaves, and personally I find that scene so tone deaf it's funny.

Weird flex, but humor is subjective.

Edited by TheAnimationFanatic
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I wouldn't go so far as to dub that aspect of the episode as implying slavery - it's more a revelation of the (incredibly) contrived nature of the episode's main plot and the episode itself is far too fluffy to indicate any significant level of grounding to reality (I get what you're indicating, but the episode never really compares the convoluted mechanics of the Dragon Code to slavery, nor does the world it depicts contain sufficient grounding (this is a universe where a tower of literal boulders is treated as a frustrating inconvenience as opposed to a hazard to life and limb as one would interpret it in the real world) to support this kind of implication subjectively, although it's understandable why some may interpret it as such). It's not a benefit of SaYS in question, but I believe it speaks more to the rancid plotting of the narrative than any deeper or more disturbing accidental implications. 

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Not seen the episode yet, but I would like to point out the episode's title in this thread is wrong. The actual title is "A Trivial Pursuit". 

944679667_ATrivialPursuit.jpg.38a46404c7c39d4b47c914f8a9c719bb.jpg

The title the show acknowledges makes more sense, since it's a pun on the real-life game, Trivial Pursuit. 

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1 hour ago, KH7672 said:

Aye, but you miss the crucial detail to such an experience, the random factor. In your example you are right, I absolutely forfeit my right to not be called out on when I willfully join your Dota game. I should know how much the game means to you if I choose to join your game and not be surprised your reaction when I show I have no experience. Pinkie did not get that choice, all she did was throw her name in a pool. Who knows if her experience would she have been paired with Fluttershy, Mudbriar, or even Matilda. She just came to indulge in a new experience, and was hoping to have fun with it with another random partner who may have handled her in-experience differently.

There's a reason you probably won't do random match ups if you're playing that competitively ;)

In my unholy wisdom I have incorporated "without any interest to actually learn the game" within my devious and oh so heretical challenge to the Friendship dogma.

 

Twilight tried to coach her but this just wasn't the kind of a game Pinkie could enjoy so she didn't give a shit about it. And the worst part is that Pinkie knew Twilight wanted to win but she didn't give a shit about that either. In fact, she went full sulking mode on Twilight. Guess she just wanted her daily dopamine rush that she usually gets in a crowd of ponies, friends be damned. Yeah, you can keep such buddies on your team.

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The entire second act was so cringe-inducing for me that I had to mute it a couple of times just to get through it in addition to pausing the video every few moments. While others probably enjoyed it, I personally didn't and prefer the first and third acts. I'll give Twilight props for mending the problem that she caused, and for showing us what can happen when you allow competitiveness to consume you, but it doesn't excuse her from acting in a manner that made me question her ethics several times. At least her expressions during the debacle made things a tad easier for me to get through.

In terms of character appearances, I wasn't expecting several of them at all given what the synopsis was about, so there's some appreciation from me right there. Also, this episode made me think about all those game shows I watched when I was younger. A shame that we never got to see who won this game in the end but then it probably wasn't important when compared to the lesson Twilight learned. Still, act two was without a doubt difficult for me and it's something I'd rather not watch again.

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Now that I've seen the episode, I'll share my thoughts. 

MLP characters playing MLP trivia. A ton of fun for nerds like myself who know most of the answers. Already knew only midway through the episode though that this episode was not going to be a ton of fun for obsessive Twilight fans because it actually shows a character they like being a character and making stupid and selfish decisions. Admittedly, it’s kind of weird to watch when Twilight is usually a saint for the most part, but geeks do resort to underhanded tactics in real life to succeed at things they care about. Twilight’s also gotten plenty of flack for “being a Mary Sue”, so I do enjoy watching her channel who she was in Lesson Zero. This episode features what are easily her best facial expressions and comedic overreactions. I also loved watching Pinkie acknowledge actual shipping terms for the teams. Twinkie. It’s really funny knowing that the world of MLP is home to Hostess treats. :laugh:

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This is the first time I actually disliked an episode. Usually when an episode isn't great I'm merely indifferent, but this one just sits really wrong with me. Twilight wants to win this game. It's incredibly important to her. Pinkie Pie is just there to have fun with her friend. There's nothing wrong with playing a competitive game for fun, but when there's something at stake there's nothing more frustrating than having teammates who aren't in it to win. At the same time, Twilight's 'solution' of getting everyone else disqualified is just pathetic. I understand her anger, but winning like that isn't winning at all. The only thing worse than losing is winning by cheating. Everything Twilight and Pinkie did was superbly irritating, and when Twilight got Pinkie disqualified and was in turn prevented from even playing by Sunburst it wasn't cathartic, just more annoyance. Twilight should've told Pinkie before they began what this game meant to her, and Pinkie (who even said she knew Twilight wanted to win) should have made way more of an effort to actually take the game seriously. Also, the whole 'getting too caught up trying to win' thing was done much better by Fall Weather Friends way back in Season One. For the first time, this was an episode that has absolutely zero redeeming qualities for me.

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53 minutes ago, Goat-kun said:

In my unholy wisdom I have incorporated "without any interest to actually learn the game" within my devious and oh so heretical challenge to the Friendship dogma.

 

 

 

Twilight tried to coach her but this just wasn't the kind of a game Pinkie could enjoy so she didn't give a shit about it. And the worst part is that Pinkie knew Twilight wanted to win but she didn't give a shit about that either. In fact, she went full sulking mode on Twilight. Guess she just wanted her daily dopamine rush that she usually gets in a crowd of ponies, friends be damned. Yeah, you can keep such buddies on your team.

 

Sorry I disagree. Pinkie Pie DOES have agency and in this episode Pinkie Pie wanted to help Twilight by answering questions. Twilight would not let Pinkie answer questions just because Pinkie got wrong answers. Pinkie Pie even apologized when she got an answer wrong. However If you were talking about Pinkie in “Sunset Backstage Pass” I would absolutely agree because Pinkie literally did not give a crap about Sunset and never apologized to Sunset once.

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This episode was awesome! One of the best in the season, in my opinion. Great character development for Twilight, and great roles for Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Granny Smith, and pretty much everyone involved in the Trivia contest! :D 

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18 minutes ago, StitchandMLPlover said:

Sorry I disagree. Pinkie Pie DOES have agency and in this episode Pinkie Pie wanted to help Twilight by answering questions. Twilight would not let Pinkie answer questions just because Pinkie got wrong answers. Pinkie Pie even apologized when she got an answer wrong. However If you were talking about Pinkie in “Sunset Backstage Pass” I would absolutely agree because Pinkie literally did not give a crap about Sunset and never apologized to Sunset once.

Well, as long as you're sorry.

 

Pinkie knew that Twilight was in it to win it but didn't care about it. She wanted to entertain herself at a game that was not meant to accommodate the kind of behavior Pinkie finds entertaining. Pinkie may demonstrate some basic cognitive functions here and there, but most of the time she is acting the same no matter the situation for the sake of comedy.

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34 minutes ago, Goat-kun said:

Well, as long as you're sorry.

 

 

 

Pinkie knew that Twilight was in it to win it but didn't care about it. She wanted to entertain herself at a game that was not meant to accommodate the kind of behavior Pinkie finds entertaining. Pinkie may demonstrate some basic cognitive functions here and there, but most of the time she is acting the same no matter the situation for the sake of comedy.

 

Sorry still disagree. Yes Pinkie Pe should have paid better attention, eaten properly before the game, and been less oblivious, but Pinkie never forced Twilight to pair up with her. The pairs were random and it was obvious that a few of the other players were taking the competition quite lightly to say the least. Cranky Doodle was the worst. Cranky never wanted to play at all. Pinkie Pie at least tried to participate albeit not well. Twilight was not the best communicator because of her stress and Pinkie was never good at picking up body language or subtle hints to be serious. The only episode where I felt Pinkie simply didn’t give a crap to the point of lacking cognitive functions was “Filli Vanili” with her utter rudeness and disregard for Fluttershy. It’s sad because I adore Pinkie Pie in episodes where she shows emotional range like “Too Many Pinkie Pies”. Pinkie Pie needs episodes/writers that display her as having compassion.  I hope Pinkie gets a better depiction before the show ends.

Edited by StitchandMLPlover
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2 hours ago, Dark Qiviut said:

Like 246G before it, Trivial Pursuit doesn’t show the central character at her best. Twilight was antagonistic, not someone to root for, and did a really bad thing by baiting Pinkie into getting disqualified.

So why does Twilight’s situation work much more than Rainbow Dash’s?

  1. In Greaaat, Dash was completely composed when she bullied her students. Twilight’s sanity had already spiraled coming into this moment, and she was clearly not in the right mind when she baited PP. DQ’ing Pinkie was the last possible outcome for her, whereas RD’s sour opinions of cheerleading never changed.
  2. Dash was supposed to be teaching her students how to cheerlead, but she wanted nothing to do with them and was being less than lazy throughout. From the get-go, she looked for whatever excuse to get out of her classroom and let them fend for themselves. She intentionally exacerbated the problem for those who looked forward to making the halftime show as memorable as the tournament itself. This whole episode takes place inside a nightclub. Twilight tried to stay composed, but became more and more insane as she fell behind and wasn’t just enjoying the game. (Notice how her hair’s neatness changed in accordance to her sanity.) The stakes here are less weighty than the former.
  3. Even after her students screwed up, she couldn’t care less, and kept going through her insults after Yona and Ocellus ran off crying. She didn’t come to her epiphany until Smolder and Snips called her out for it, so her apology didn’t feel contrite until after they re-met. However, despite teaming up with Sunburst, Twilight never got what she wanted. Sunburst was way more uncooperative than the more innocent Pinkie, and the humor at her expense works because she deserves it. Come closer to the climax, she was still far behind and nearly suffered the same fate as Pinkie till she realized her grave mistake; her remorse is more impactful than Dash’s as a result.

Good analysis of the depictions of Rainbow Dash Vs Twilight in this episode. I agree! Both Twilight and Pinkie Pie were very active in their situation unlike RD who came across as a lazy jerk. As I was trying to explain to @Goat-kun Pinkie Pie actually showed she wanted to participate unlike RD who hung the squad out to dry. Twilight coming to the realization of her mistake was a great scene regardless of whether or not the rest of the episode was likable.

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