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How did the show get so popular?


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In my opinion I think it embraced the Slice of Life type of show where most of the conflict comes from Friendship troubles and sometimes miscommunication rather than a flat out super powerful villain all the time. And even though most of the cast is female it doesn't leave the boys out and give them some time to shine.

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Because well....

 1) It's a cartoon. What do you expect? Each and every cartoon, even if it's a obscure one and short-lived, are required to be awesome.

2) Apparently it somehow became a meme and getting Internet popularity kinda like Spongebob.

3) Friendships and ponies. Need I to say more?


5) Scenes that makes say "Awwww" and/or making me cry. I recently saw "The Perfect Pear" and I thought "Awwww, that's cute and sad at the same time." Props to MLP cast and crew! :-) 

6) Cute ponies. Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy are the most adorable and cutest ponies, that I wanted to give them a hug. 

7) The fact they have their Equestria Girls spinoff franchise.

8) It ran for 9 years. From 2010 to 2019. It literally lived in the entire 2010s.

9) Not sure if it counts, but at least they got a proper sendoff. Though for me, the ending scene is depressing, sad, awesome and of course, heartwarming at the same time. 

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9 hours ago, ManaMinori said:

Basically, it got popular because of 4chan

Ah, you're a man of culture as well, I see.

But yeah. That sums it up. A bunch of anons at the cloverfield started to shitpost with them ponies (mainly) at /co/. The seldom ponyf@g thread about the upcoming reboot of mlp was something you'd see die in a day or two. Most were excited because the writing team behind FiM was of several beloved writers from the staff of most of the best shows from cartoon network, so obviously they were talking about it on /co/ and sometimes over /tv/. Then came the premiere and ponies became a trend. Anons couldn't believe it. The show wasn't the utter shit we all were expecting. Most of us were just keeping an eye open because it was a novelty. New channel with upcoming transformers show. Ponies were just there at the premiere. Then somepony noticed derpy, then derpy became viral at /co/ and many couldn't believe they had such an error at the first episode and wanted to see it was not just a prank, the episode went fine and before anyone could think about it the show had hooked a bunch of /co/'s anons. No one could believe they were actually enjoying the show, nor that it wasn't your average strawberry shortcake saccharine land full of color and devoid of any logic or actual issues. Ponies were badflank facing impending destruction by the hoof of a corrupted goddess.

And after those anons at /co/ were hooked and came to terms with loving pony, they did what anons from /co/ who also hang out at /b/ do best; shitpost everywhere. And ponies became the new thing with reaction images and lots of acid and dark humour the 4chan way. Ponies were posted so excessively and hijacking and derailing topics ponies became a reason for ban, and ultimately, 4chan banned us massively by 2011.

Without the cloverfield to do our pony stuff, we drifted around, first to the IRCs, then to dedicated chats such as Derpychat, and then that bunch of trolls put their shit together and started many pony dedicated sites, which succeeded because the internet took notice of us and started to hunt us down for a while so we had pretty much no choice but use those sitrs. Being a brony in late 2010 and early 2011 was far too hard (and the witch hunt lasted up to 2013 at some parts of the internet) and since fb wasn't a safe place, sites such as ponysquare were born. We had a pony version of almost any possible social media or thematic forum or image board available.

By 2011 fox news noticed the novelty the bronies were, and they just put gas to the fire. That popularity explosion attracted a lot of eyes, mostly undesired stares. Those were hard times, but that's what got us to stick together and to become far more wholesome on the early days. Furries were the main enemy of our fandom, because they felt we were stealing the spotlight from them. They wanted all that negative attention on themselves, and furries started raids all around the internet against us. That only made us far more known, and since the fandom was already making cool stuff, a lot of people got hooked to the fandom, and they became fans of our fandom, leading to a huge raise on our ranks. That also brought problems later on because a lot of people were here because of the trend rather than for liking ponies.

The fandom was no longer a small community of nerds with a sick humour, but a huge collective with all sort of people. Hasbro noticed this, and they aknowledged us every now and then. People were curious about the phenomena, and gave FiM a chance. Some became bronies, but most people didn't click with it enough, yet they admited it was good and watched it every now and then.

We were the surprise of the decade. Nopony expected us to exist. And at first we were merely a joke to the media or a bunch of creeps at worst, but later on people came to realise most of us weren't as troublesome as they expected us to be. FiM was a great show, and start airing when the generation of doomers started to attend college made the perfect storm. Most of us were a bunch of depressed milenials trying to asimilate adulthood and figure out how to live our college years. We had terrible expectations of our future after the recent recession and we wanted to break free and be able to feel and aknowledge our emotions and explore our creativity. FiM was the perfect vessel for that under our eyes. It was an optimistic world with actual problems that could be solved by working together. It had fertile lands for theorizing and exploring ideas. It was fun, magical and wholesome, with relatable characters and good humor. It connected both our childhood that was already gone with the adulthood we were starting to experience, making the transition easier to bear with. FiM was far more than we expected and gave us so much more than what Faust could probably thought it could give.

So yeah, tl;dr version

It was because it came at the right time, was noticed by the people from 4chan and viralized by the generation that was entering adulthood and the show was good enough for said generation, aside from the negative attention given to the bronies that raised the curiosity of the phenomena.

Edited by Jesse Terrence
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It’s the fact that it’s a modern show that just happens to be My Little Pony.

Most shows today appeal to more than the intended demographic, adding in things for the older audience who have to watch the show as well. This is a standard for most shows today; the older My Little Pony generations were designed for solely young girls and offered nothing beyond that.

Now take in the fact that this show has the brand My Little Pony, it subverts expectations. What is already a great show now becomes something more surprising and intriguing.

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I might have said this somewhere else in the forum, but the reason why Friendship is Magic got so popular is because it was a show with great writing and characters that really was able to connect with audiences of all ages, a show that managed to successfully master broadcast television and streaming (which was a growing medium at the time it first debuted; I remember reading through the comments of the EQD article for the Season 2 finale episode from many years ago, and one of these comments stated the show was getting popular through Netflix), a show that brought together talented voice actors and animators, a show that was likely the first cartoon series that garnered mainstream success through the power of the internet, likely unheard of for a animated show back then, and it was a series that wasn't made by any of the big three cartoon channels (Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon--in other words uniqueness). Also, the social and economic impact of the Great Recession played a major factor as well brony-wise. It was not too long ago that there were people who were literally a part of the fandom as a full time job through in running a convention or helping run EQD for example.

That pretty much sums why FiM is where it is today as one the best cartoon series of all time. 

Also said this before too; we are possibly never gonna see a phenomenon like this again in our lifetime. 

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