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S02:E19 - Putting Your Hoof Down

  

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  1. 1. Did you like it?

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This episode is one of my personal favorites. Overall it was great and some of the scenes were pretty funny in my opinion (mainly when they were getting groceries). I don't know why, but I actually found Iron Will's slogans to be entertaining for some reason, Then again, he is an amusing character.

 

Also, did anyone ever notice the scene with Fluttershy on the bridge and the two ponies was blocking her way? I never understood why she had to knock their garbage out of their carts instead of just flying over them or going around them via flying. I mean, she does have wings.

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This episode is one of my personal favorites. Overall it was great and some of the scenes were pretty funny in my opinion (mainly when they were getting groceries). I don't know why, but I actually found Iron Will's slogans to be entertaining for some reason, Then again, he is an amusing character.

 

Also, did anyone ever notice the scene with Fluttershy on the bridge and the two ponies was blocking her way? I never understood why she had to knock their garbage out of their carts instead of just flying over them or going around them via flying. I mean, she does have wings.

Yes, but if she had just flown over them, she would be admitting to herself that she couldn't get them to move by being assertive. Reinforcing this is the scene where the goat gets in her way. Every time she says something about just avoiding him rather than going through him, Iron Will gives her a stern "no". So it's not that she forgot she could, but more that she didn't want to.

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I'm sorry guys but this is probably one of the worst episodes ever.

 

My main concern is with the general populace of Ponyville were jerks to Fluttershy in this episode which was unusual given Pinkie Pie's Smile Song where everypony looks happy and cherry. But it looks like most of them were written in to move plot. (Which makes it seems forced) 

 

Also at the beginning when Angel slaps Fluttershy across the face was pretty much unnecessary. 

 

I don't know about Fluttershy being Out Of Character or not but I think it was more wrong of her to not pay Iron Will after the seminar/lesson thing. She was satisfied with the assertive effects.

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Fluttershy actually really shocked me, I do want her to stand up for herself sometimes but hurting friends feelings is not cool dude.  B)

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BTW, if Applejack and Rainbow Dash were the ones guarding Fluttershy's house, would Iron Will have gotten by so easily?

Edited by A.V.

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I was a bit disappointed that new Fluttershy didn't do anything to Angel. That was the one of the points.

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Not a bad episode. I loved the looney toons reference and mr. T as well. And we all died a bit when lovable fluttershy changed into... what ever that was she turned into.

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What the hell is with Angel Bunny in this episode?!  He's usually a good guy.  Here he's just being spoiled jerk, and Fluttershy's just OKAY with it?!  How do you put up with that?  That's abuse!!!  Fluttershy, you're a terrible authority figure!

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Ahhhhh, "Putting Your Hoof Down", or as I like to call it, "The Return of Flutterb*tch"!!! img-1379355-5-xtWXQl1.png   Come on, you know as well as I do we all had a deliciously gratuitous chuckle when we saw that side of Fluttershy return in this episode. wink.png  Alright, in all seriousness, there's a lot of good to be said about this episode, so let's get right on down to the meat of this review.

 

So "Putting Your Hoof Down" is the first Fluttershy-centric episode of Season 2, the first actually since "A Bird in the Hoof" back in Season 1.  While I don't consider it to be the best of her episodes, I'd say it's definitely in my top three Fluttershy episodes, for a couple of reasons.  I guess let's talk about Fluttershy first; in short, she's got a confidence problem.  Wait a minute... haven't I seen this episode before? huh.png   Yes, as those of you well acquainted with this episode may know, one of the frequent criticisms of it is that we'd seen this lesson before for Fluttershy.  More than once in fact.  In fact, I will certainly admit that, on the surface, this episode is dangerously derivative of past Fluttershy-centric episodes, even if it's not entirely the same.  That said, though, how does this differ from past appearances from good ol' Flutters?  Well, in "Dragonshy" she had to overcome a fear of an actual, physical being, a dragon.  In "Stare Master", she had to learn that she shouldn't underestimate how much work certain responsibilities require, not really so much about confidence besides that she shouldn't be afraid to be assertive for the sake of others who are her responsibility (which we'd already seen a lot in "Dragonshy").  In "Putting Your Hoof Down" however, Fluttershy learns how to be assertive, and not for any other ponies' sake, but simply, her own.  At the beginning she's a bit of a doormat, as the episode goes on she goes way too far the other way and ends up becoming a raging terror, but by the end she's struck a nice balance, learning how to be assertive and stick up for herself while remaining her sweet self.  It's a good lesson, the execution and pacing of Fluttershy's learning it is quite excellent, and Fluttershy displays a nice bit of character growth in the process.  While the lesson she learns may seem a bit redundant on the surface, it is subtly different from those she's learned in the past, and for that reason along with everything else in the episode I'm pretty forgiving of it.

 

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Fie to all those people who say that Fluttershy cutest po- HNNNNNGGGGGGG, heart attack!!!!!!!!! wub.png 

 

So what else works in this episode?  Well first of all, Rarity and Pinkie Pie are a blast.  I love that only a few of the Mane 6 are involved in this episode instead of the whole group, just because that's a nice change that we didn't always get in Season 1 but saw more and more in Season 2 on a regular basis.  In addition, they're simply hilarious both of them, especially during the market scene when they're trying to teach Fluttershy how to be assertive.  Pinkie Pie's haggling bit with the tomato stall owner (and later haggling with Iron Will) always leaves me in stitches and is an epic send up to one of the greatest Looney Tune's bits ever, the legendary "Rabbit Season/Duck Season" bit.  Finally, they're just great friends throughout and remain at Fluttershy's side through thick and thin, even when she's treating them terribly.  Kudos to both of them on being a couple of upstanding ponies! img-1369822-1-UNZJLhS.png

 

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Right in the nostalgia in the absolute best of ways!!! img-1379355-5-xtWXQl1.png 

 

Next, Iron Will, the new supporting character of this episode, is a hoot and a holler!  Honestly, I love this guy, and who wouldn't; I mean, he's a Mr. T parody for crying out loud! laugh.png  He even says "I pity the pony", how amazing is that?!?!  Besides his over-the-top, hilarious behavior, the guy's just an interesting and unique supporting character.  I mean, he's a freakin' motivational speaker for crying out loud and a minotaur; no one could honestly have seen this guy coming even in MLP, and it just goes to show how creative Studio B's writers were by this point.  Finally, I have to take issue with how so many bronies contend that Iron Will is a secondary antagonist, because, to be frank, he's not!  He's quite polite at times throughout the episode, and while he teaches a flawed method of being assertive, he still has good intentions; he wants to teach ponies, probably far more timid than minotaurs are in the MLP universe, how to be assertive, that's hardly a bad thing!  Heck, he even learns a little something from Fluttershy at the end, and certainly doesn't cause her any more trouble when she makes it clear that she hasn't been satisfied by his services and won't be paying his fee.  Overall, Iron Will's not really a jerk, he just has a big personality and is a bit too aggressive for his own good, but as Fluttershy puts it best, "Iron Will's not a monster.  He's a minotaur."  Me, I like the guy; always have and always will!

 

my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic-brony

iron_will___pinkie_pie_by_knightnew-d4s7

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Oh my gosh I love this guy!!! yay.png  SO MUCH WIN!!!!!!!!!! img-1379355-5-xtWXQl1.png 

 

Well, that about does this review.  Not much else to say other than what I've already said.  Between nasty Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie/Rarity, and Iron Will, the episode's very funny, has a good lesson for a Fluttershy episode (even if it's a bit redundant on the surface of past lessons), and is all around just a good Season 2 episode.  Certainly not the greatest episode in MLP, but definitely a noteworthy one with its own unique feel, and always fun to rewatch that's for sure! e9FkmL5.png

 

Rarity_%26_Pinkie_Pie_around_Fluttershy_

Prepare your butterfly-butt for hugs galore!!! 

  • Brohoof 2

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I must say this was a fabulous episode. It made me laugh really hard and now for some reason i can't stop watching this episode cause one of the parts that cracked me up when pinkie fooled Iron Will. that part always make me laugh XD

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I personally didn't like this episode much at all, it is actually my least favorite in the series and the only one I can say I really dislike, there are some sub-par ones by MLP standards but this one was just awful....

The one funny thing was when Pinkie Pie was going Looney Tunes style on the vendor and then tried it again on Iron Will, that got some laughs out of me.

 

But two big problems which ruined the episode..
1.) One, way too many assholes.. I mean, was Ponyville ever this cruel and mean-spirited especially to somebody as kind and harmless as Fluttershy? I am assuming that Discord (when he was trapped in the stone) somehow managed to make a spell where every pony started acting like a jerk in Ponyville.
 
2.) Fluttershy was incredibly out of character.. I get it that they were trying to make her more assertive but she was getting really nasty.. the only thing that saved the episode was that Fluttershy immediately felt bad after her completely OOC vitriol towards Pinkie Pie and Rarity... also "flying feather", wtf?!? This Fluttershy was ten times as nasty as when Discord took away her element of kindness, that Fluttershy was funny actually...this one just made me cringe. I think a better episode which shows Fluttershy boosting her self-esteem was "Hurricane Fluttershy" where she realizes she can make a positive difference even if it isn't a big one.

I think it could have been done a lot better. It had a lot of potential too, especially with Fluttershy/Pinkie Pie/Rarity who I consider the emotional ponies. It could have been touching without the absolute "WTF" attitude of Fluttershy...as far as I'm concerned, this episode was simply Fluttershy's nigthmare. She wakes up and thinks, "Oh my, I hope that never happens to me or anypony..", basically never happened.


This episode is one of my personal favorites. Overall it was great and some of the scenes were pretty funny in my opinion (mainly when they were getting groceries). I don't know why, but I actually found Iron Will's slogans to be entertaining for some reason, Then again, he is an amusing character.

 

Also, did anyone ever notice the scene with Fluttershy on the bridge and the two ponies was blocking her way? I never understood why she had to knock their garbage out of their carts instead of just flying over them or going around them via flying. I mean, she does have wings.

 

Me neither..but she just felt like being mean. That's the only explanation I got. 

Edited by DukeofCanterlot

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This is personally one of my favorite episodes, but I suppose I see something different in it than many.  I'll go through my major points about this episode in the order they happened:

 

The market: My only major problem with this episode is NOT actually how the merchants took advantage of Fluttershy, but rather in how Pinkie and Rarity tried to "educate" her on how to deal with them.  Pinkie in particular, after she "haggles" with the tomato vendor, comes away saying "See?  Asserting yourself can be fun!"  Sorry, Pinkie, that wasn't "asserting yourself", that was deception.  Funny and a great sendup to one of the most classic moments in cartoon history, but you have to call it for what it is: Fast-talking, not assertion.

 

Fluttershy becoming increasingly hostile: I see a lot of people saying that they think Fluttershy was really out-of-character in this episode, and in particular when she becomes nasty, it's nothing like her at all.  IMO, the latter part of that is most certainly true - it is, in fact, the central point of the episode.  But I say she remained in-character: She's shy, she's been letting ponies walk all over her, and she's incredibly sensitive as an individual.  So when she starts to gain the confidence to express herself, you can imagine that those years of repressed anxiety, anger and frustration would suddenly come out in a destructive force.  She had to go through it, and she had to hurt someone in order to realize that she wasn't dealing with it in a healthy manner.  When she finally lost control and insulted two of her best friends, she suddenly felt sorry about it and withdrew.

 

I don't think Fluttershy had any intention of being mean to her friends, or to anyone else for that matter.  That single moment when she realized how mean she was being is among the most powerful in the entire series, at least for me - I identify very strongly with that over-compensation issue, having repressed my emotions for a long time and not having developed the social skills to work with them in a healthy manner.

 

Refusing to pay: This is also a powerful moment, and also one of the first moments in the series when a character directly threatens to harm one of the Mane 6 with physical violence.  Again, I saw a few people say that Fluttershy should have paid Iron Will, and that she was satisfied with his techniques.  I respectfully disagree - in fact, I'd say that Iron Will's angry threat serves as proof that his techniques were flawed and unsatisfactory - they weren't even working on him.  The point is not that Fluttershy learned how to be assertive, but that the way Iron Will taught her that was wrong and harmful.  She actually learned the best way to be assertive all on her own, and she found the courage to stand up to Iron Will and hold him to his word.  That was all her, and she deserves every bit of praise for having learned that valuable lesson.

 

Reconciling: First off, Rarity and Pinkie obviously didn't hold any grudges against Fluttershy for her acting out earlier, and when they saw what a miserable state she was in following that incident, they did everything they could to console her, and then to defend her.  When Fluttershy finally stood up to Iron Will and he left her alone, they reconciled, and agreed to leave this whole thing behind them.  That beautifully wrapped up the story, and I don't think it was too heavy-handed at all (moral-wise).  It embodied the best part of true friendships, in my opinion - that friends will forgive you for your mistakes.

 

Yes, there are some genuine issues with this episode, but frankly I haven't had a single episode yet where there HASN'T been some form of "yeah right" or "I would have done that differently".  But despite its flaws (like the deception issue), I thought this was an excellent episode.

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This is going to be a bit of a rant.  This episode makes no sense!  Fluttershy is depicted in the show as a slow grower, and even frustration shouldn't completely change her behavior.  Fluttershy attends Iron Will's program, in order to become assertive, even though we all know he's not really assertive, but something I've never once heard any reviewer touch on is that what he's demonstrating is not being assertive, it's being agressive.  Fluttershy is passive, and assertiveness is in between.  But the part that's completely wrong with this episode is that Fluttershy instantly becomes an out of control agressive bitch.  That doesn't just happen!!!

 

Another major problem is how Pinkie and Rarity handle her behavior.  Fluttershy is just yelling in their faces, and they are just calmly trying to get to her, and what do they do when she insults their - very - way of - life?  Do they get mad at her?  NO!!!  They just run away pathetically in tears.  Then Fluttershy finally realizes what's wrong, and ties herself up in her cottage, and Pinkie and Rarity come back to help her... WHAT?!!!

 

Okay, that's not how life works.  If someone is yelling at me, I would probably get mad, but Fluttershy wasn't just yelling at them; she was insulting their very ways of life!!!  I would be so mad that I would never want to talk to that person ever again!

 

I feel like the way the episode should have ended like this; Fluttershy gets mad at her friends, and then Pinkie Pie and Rarity get mad, and say "I can believe this, Fluttershy!  What has come over you?  This is not the Fluttershy we know and love!"  Then they run away.  Then Fluttershy finally realizes the issue, as she sheds a few tears.  Then she approaches her friends, and desparately tries to apologize.  Pinkie being more open to her apology, but Rarity takes a little time.  In the end, they realize that she is genuinely sorry, and they protect her from Iron Will.  Not just, "She magically knows how to be assertive and then they embrace her in a group hug"!  Oh God, no!

 

The lesson would be that there is a line between being assertive and being agressive.  If this was how the episode were presented, it would be much more fluent, but it would still be a mess, considering how Iron Will just completely changed her in an instant, even though obviously at the time she didn't learn a thing.

 

I'm sorry, but I think that this episode did a very poor job of demonstrating Fluttershy, and this episode is basically why I lost my appreciation for her.

 

This episode gets a 2/10

  • Brohoof 2

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This is going to be a bit of a rant.  This episode makes no sense!

 

If you don't mind, I'd like to debate with you on this. :)

 

Fluttershy is depicted in the show as a slow grower, and even frustration shouldn't completely change her behavior.

 

Fluttershy was designed to embody (and exaggerate) all of the traits of a severely shy person, along with a number of secondary traits like low self-esteem, low confidence, fear of change, etc.  And it's well-known that people who are like this tend to have a lot of repressed emotions specifically because they are afraid to let them out.  Thus, when something either pushes them over the edge or helps them gain enough confidence to start letting those emotions out, they often come out in a torrent and the person is usually unprepared to handle it.  (I'll come back to this point in a bit.)

 

Fluttershy attends Iron Will's program, in order to become assertive, even though we all know he's not really assertive, but something I've never once heard any reviewer touch on is that what he's demonstrating is not being assertive, it's being agressive.  Fluttershy is passive, and assertiveness is in between.  But the part that's completely wrong with this episode is that Fluttershy instantly becomes an out of control agressive bitch.  That doesn't just happen!!!

 

Well, first off, the episode is pretty blatant about the difference between assertion and aggresion.  I believe it should be obvious from the start that Iron Will himself THINKS he's teaching assertion, but his techniques have much more to do with "getting your way", which is not what assertion is about.  I agree that most people (myself included) gloss over this somewhat, but at least from my POV, this is because I didn't think it needed to be stated.  Fluttershy demonstrates at the end of the episode that she understands what true assertion is, when she confronts Iron Will about not being satisfied with his program.

 

As for the jump from passive to aggressive, I mentioned earlier that it's pretty common for shy, passive people to be unprepared to deal with the flood of emotions (particularly repressed anger and frustration) when it comes out.  In this case, Fluttershy sees that Iron Will's techniques are working for her and gets carried away with them, to the point that she doesn't even realize how she's hurting her friends until after it's happened.  Having witnessed this behavior first-hand and even having done it myself to people I work with, I know how this feels, which is why I said in my review that I thought they handled this very well - it came across to me as a very realistic portrayal.

 

Another major problem is how Pinkie and Rarity handle her behavior.  Fluttershy is just yelling in their faces, and they are just calmly trying to get to her, and what do they do when she insults their - very - way of - life?  Do they get mad at her?  NO!!!  They just run away pathetically in tears.  Then Fluttershy finally realizes what's wrong, and ties herself up in her cottage, and Pinkie and Rarity come back to help her... WHAT?!!!

 

Okay, that's not how life works.  If someone is yelling at me, I would probably get mad, but Fluttershy wasn't just yelling at them; she was insulting their very ways of life!!!  I would be so mad that I would never want to talk to that person ever again!

 

IMO, Rarity and Pinkie were role models in this exchange.  Fluttershy is their dear friend, so her behavior is so unlike her that the very first thing they experience is shock.  They do tell her to stop with the petty insults, and it's obvious that they're both angry about what she's saying.  But when Fluttershy makes it clear she's not listening, rather than stoop to the same level, they remove themselves from the situation, while at the same time expressing how hurt they are by it.

 

In other words, they clearly demonstrate that they are angry with what she said, NOT with Fluttershy herself.  The distinction there is that she's behaving badly, but she's not inherently a bad pony.

 

As I was growing up, I was taught that this sort of reaction is what everyone should strive for, rather than retaliating.  Further, IMO, their reaction showed that they realized this was not the Fluttershy they know, and that even an insult to the fabric of their being isn't something she would do normally - they could tell she didn't mean it, so while it still hurt them, it wasn't going to kill their friendship.

 

I feel like the way the episode should have ended like this; Fluttershy gets mad at her friends, and then Pinkie Pie and Rarity get mad, and say "I can believe this, Fluttershy!  What has come over you?  This is not the Fluttershy we know and love!" Then they run away.  Then Fluttershy finally realizes the issue, as she sheds a few tears.

 

Isn't that what happened?  "What happened to NICE Fluttershy?  We want that Fluttershy back." // "I can't believe what that monster ... has done to you!"

 

Then she approaches her friends, and desparately tries to apologize.  Pinkie being more open to her apology, but Rarity takes a little time.  In the end, they realize that she is genuinely sorry, and they protect her from Iron Will.  Not just, "She magically knows how to be assertive and then they embrace her in a group hug"!  Oh God, no!

 

Going back to what I said earlier about Fluttershy being an exaggeratedly shy and passive archetype, when a shy person blows up like this and then realizes how he's hurt his friends, his first reaction tends to be to withdraw and avoid everyone.  This is for two reasons: One, he fears that they'll be angry with him and he wants to avoid confrontation, and Two, he fears that he's just going to hurt them more.  That second point is exactly what Fluttershy is reacting to when she ties herself up and claims she's never coming out again - keep in mind, she's a cartoon character, and cartoon characters are contractually obligated to exaggerate real-life traits and emotions. :)

 

As for Rarity and Pinkie, I say again that this speaks very well to their characters that, instead of holding a grudge against Fluttershy, they come to mend fences with her and try to address the problem.  Again, they realize that this isn't in Fluttershy's nature - they firmly believe (rightfully so) that Iron Will's techniques are flawed and that she didn't mean to be so nasty to them.  I also interpreted their behavior as realizing that Fluttershy, being the sensitive pony she is, really needs encouragement and support rather than to be shunned, as that would do much more damage.  Which works out well, since Iron Will comes along shortly afterward to threaten her.

 

The lesson would be that there is a line between being assertive and being agressive.  If this was how the episode were presented, it would be much more fluent, but it would still be a mess, considering how Iron Will just completely changed her in an instant, even though obviously at the time she didn't learn a thing.

 

IMO, there are two major lessons in this episode, both presented more subtly than in some other episodes.  The first one is the one you said should be there - Fluttershy writes it in her letter to Celestia: That you CAN assert yourself without becoming mean and nasty.  It's a simple lesson, but a very effective one, and my wife says it's the first episode in the series that really made her sit up and say "Wow, I really feel like I learned something myself from that!".

 

The second lesson, though, is that true friends will see you for who you really are, and will understand when you make mistakes even when those mistakes hurt them.  Fluttershy made some serious mistakes in how she handled Iron Will's training, and she really did hurt Rarity's and Pinkie's feelings.  But they were perceptive enough to realize Fluttershy doesn't really feel that way toward her friends, that she would not have meant what she said, and that she wasn't handling that "training" very well (and also, that it was bad training in general).  They aren't the kind of ponies that would end (or even threaten to end) a long-standing friendship just because someone said something they didn't mean.

 

Regarding "Iron Will just completely changed her in an instant / she didn't learn a thing" - if I'm reading this right, you're referring to the jump between the hedge maze and when Fluttershy walks out of her cottage and confronts the gardener.  It's hinted that a significant amount of time passes between these two scenes, in which she goes through his full training regimen.  She's obviously learned a lot more catch-phrases since the big advertisement, so I don't think there's a suggestion that he "instantly" changed her at all.  And I'm not sure how you can say she "obviously didn't learn a thing at the time", when she got up the courage to tell the goat assistant to watch where he was going.

 

I think the point here is not that she didn't learn anything, but that she learned the WRONG things.  Iron Will taught her that his techniques were all about being assertive and not being a doormat.  And to some extent, that was true, but you're right to say that what she really learned was aggression.  But then, after she blows up at Rarity and Pinkie, then shut herself away, she apparently realized what was wrong with that approach and figured out the RIGHT way to be assertive, as she demonstrates to Iron Will.  And in turn, Iron Will appears to realize that his own techniques are flawed when they fail to work on her.  So not only has she learned an important lesson, but she's taught him one too.

 

I'm sorry, but I think that this episode did a very poor job of demonstrating Fluttershy, and this episode is basically why I lost my appreciation for her.

 

Well, I respectfully disagree, but we are all entitled to our opinions.  My opinion is basically just the opposite - this episode for me did much more than almost any other to build Fluttershy's character, and it honestly makes her more relatable than almost any other.   The only other episodes where I felt this connected to Fluttershy's character are "Hurricane Fluttershy" (where she confronts her fear of being ridiculed and her obvious weakness in flying) and "Dragonshy" (where she reluctantly confronts her fear of dragons and discovers her ability to stand up to a powerful monster when he hurts her friends).

 

Anyway, I know that's a big wall of text, but I honestly felt you might have missed some important cues in this episode that might change your opinion.  After all, that's what debate is about. :)

Edited by Pixel Stick
  • Brohoof 1

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If you don't mind, I'd like to debate with you on this. :)

 

 

Fluttershy was designed to embody (and exaggerate) all of the traits of a severely shy person, along with a number of secondary traits like low self-esteem, low confidence, fear of change, etc.  And it's well-known that people who are like this tend to have a lot of repressed emotions specifically because they are afraid to let them out.  Thus, when something either pushes them over the edge or helps them gain enough confidence to start letting those emotions out, they often come out in a torrent and the person is usually unprepared to handle it.  (I'll come back to this point in a bit.)

 

 

Well, first off, the episode is pretty blatant about the difference between assertion and aggresion.  I believe it should be obvious from the start that Iron Will himself THINKS he's teaching assertion, but his techniques have much more to do with "getting your way", which is not what assertion is about.  I agree that most people (myself included) gloss over this somewhat, but at least from my POV, this is because I didn't think it needed to be stated.  Fluttershy demonstrates at the end of the episode that she understands what true assertion is, when she confronts Iron Will about not being satisfied with his program.

 

As for the jump from passive to aggressive, I mentioned earlier that it's pretty common for shy, passive people to be unprepared to deal with the flood of emotions (particularly repressed anger and frustration) when it comes out.  In this case, Fluttershy sees that Iron Will's techniques are working for her and gets carried away with them, to the point that she doesn't even realize how she's hurting her friends until after it's happened.  Having witnessed this behavior first-hand and even having done it myself to people I work with, I know how this feels, which is why I said in my review that I thought they handled this very well - it came across to me as a very realistic portrayal.

 

 

IMO, Rarity and Pinkie were role models in this exchange.  Fluttershy is their dear friend, so her behavior is so unlike her that the very first thing they experience is shock.  They do tell her to stop with the petty insults, and it's obvious that they're both angry about what she's saying.  But when Fluttershy makes it clear she's not listening, rather than stoop to the same level, they remove themselves from the situation, while at the same time expressing how hurt they are by it.

 

In other words, they clearly demonstrate that they are angry with what she said, NOT with Fluttershy herself.  The distinction there is that she's behaving badly, but she's not inherently a bad pony.

 

As I was growing up, I was taught that this sort of reaction is what everyone should strive for, rather than retaliating.  Further, IMO, their reaction showed that they realized this was not the Fluttershy they know, and that even an insult to the fabric of their being isn't something she would do normally - they could tell she didn't mean it, so while it still hurt them, it wasn't going to kill their friendship.

 

 

Isn't that what happened?  "What happened to NICE Fluttershy?  We want that Fluttershy back." // "I can't believe what that monster ... has done to you!"

 

 

Going back to what I said earlier about Fluttershy being an exaggeratedly shy and passive archetype, when a shy person blows up like this and then realizes how he's hurt his friends, his first reaction tends to be to withdraw and avoid everyone.  This is for two reasons: One, he fears that they'll be angry with him and he wants to avoid confrontation, and Two, he fears that he's just going to hurt them more.  That second point is exactly what Fluttershy is reacting to when she ties herself up and claims she's never coming out again - keep in mind, she's a cartoon character, and cartoon characters are contractually obligated to exaggerate real-life traits and emotions. :)

 

As for Rarity and Pinkie, I say again that this speaks very well to their characters that, instead of holding a grudge against Fluttershy, they come to mend fences with her and try to address the problem.  Again, they realize that this isn't in Fluttershy's nature - they firmly believe (rightfully so) that Iron Will's techniques are flawed and that she didn't mean to be so nasty to them.  I also interpreted their behavior as realizing that Fluttershy, being the sensitive pony she is, really needs encouragement and support rather than to be shunned, as that would do much more damage.  Which works out well, since Iron Will comes along shortly afterward to threaten her.

 

 

IMO, there are two major lessons in this episode, both presented more subtly than in some other episodes.  The first one is the one you said should be there - Fluttershy writes it in her letter to Celestia: That you CAN assert yourself without becoming mean and nasty.  It's a simple lesson, but a very effective one, and my wife says it's the first episode in the series that really made her sit up and say "Wow, I really feel like I learned something myself from that!".

 

The second lesson, though, is that true friends will see you for who you really are, and will understand when you make mistakes even when those mistakes hurt them.  Fluttershy made some serious mistakes in how she handled Iron Will's training, and she really did hurt Rarity's and Pinkie's feelings.  But they were perceptive enough to realize Fluttershy doesn't really feel that way toward her friends, that she would not have meant what she said, and that she wasn't handling that "training" very well (and also, that it was bad training in general).  They aren't the kind of ponies that would end (or even threaten to end) a long-standing friendship just because someone said something they didn't mean.

 

Regarding "Iron Will just completely changed her in an instant / she didn't learn a thing" - if I'm reading this right, you're referring to the jump between the hedge maze and when Fluttershy walks out of her cottage and confronts the gardener.  It's hinted that a significant amount of time passes between these two scenes, in which she goes through his full training regimen.  She's obviously learned a lot more catch-phrases since the big advertisement, so I don't think there's a suggestion that he "instantly" changed her at all.  And I'm not sure how you can say she "obviously didn't learn a thing at the time", when she got up the courage to tell the goat assistant to watch where he was going.

 

I think the point here is not that she didn't learn anything, but that she learned the WRONG things.  Iron Will taught her that his techniques were all about being assertive and not being a doormat.  And to some extent, that was true, but you're right to say that what she really learned was aggression.  But then, after she blows up at Rarity and Pinkie, then shut herself away, she apparently realized what was wrong with that approach and figured out the RIGHT way to be assertive, as she demonstrates to Iron Will.  And in turn, Iron Will appears to realize that his own techniques are flawed when they fail to work on her.  So not only has she learned an important lesson, but she's taught him one too.

 

 

Well, I respectfully disagree, but we are all entitled to our opinions.  My opinion is basically just the opposite - this episode for me did much more than almost any other to build Fluttershy's character, and it honestly makes her more relatable than almost any other.   The only other episodes where I felt this connected to Fluttershy's character are "Hurricane Fluttershy" (where she confronts her fear of being ridiculed and her obvious weakness in flying) and "Dragonshy" (where she reluctantly confronts her fear of dragons and discovers her ability to stand up to a powerful monster when he hurts her friends).

 

Anyway, I know that's a big wall of text, but I honestly felt you might have missed some important cues in this episode that might change your opinion.  After all, that's what debate is about. :)

Don't worry about the huge body of text.  When someone responds to me, I read the entire thing.  I accept that I may not have understood everything in this situation.  After all, I'm only 15, and still learning.  But this was really interesting.  However, it's a bit too late, because Fluttershy used to be my favourite character, but the damage has already been done.  Besides, I think Pinkie Pie's better anyway, so I'm happy with my current appreciation for her.  

Thanks for the debate.  If you ever want to do this in the future, I would love to!

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Don't worry about the huge body of text.  When someone responds to me, I read the entire thing.  I accept that I may not have understood everything in this situation.  After all, I'm only 15, and still learning.  But this was really interesting.  However, it's a bit too late, because Fluttershy used to be my favourite character, but the damage has already been done.  Besides, I think Pinkie Pie's better anyway, so I'm happy with my current appreciation for her.  

Thanks for the debate.  If you ever want to do this in the future, I would love to!

 

No problem. :)

 

There was one other point I wanted to mention - something my wife pointed out to me when she read my post.  Take a look at specifically how Rarity tries to approach Fluttershy after the blow-up.  She says "We all said things we regret," which could either be about that specific incident or a more general "We all make mistakes now and then".  Whether you could point at any one thing Rarity said in that incident as something she SHOULD regret, this shows that Rarity is trying her best to be as non-accusing and non-confrontational as possible.  Contrast that with Pinkie's response: "We did?", then later when she said "Yeah, it's not your fault that you got all mean and nasty!" - both of those, while well-meaning, would very likely come across to a shy, sensitive person as "We were just fine, and you were the nasty one!".

 

I actually really liked the dialogue in this scene.  Again, having worked with shy and sensitive people, I know that some people really do need the sort of finessing that Rarity used more than the direct approach that Pinkie seemed inclined to use.  Rarity's comment basically means "I know I've said things to you in the past that I regretted, so I know how it feels."  It's a form of empathy that can really make a huge difference to someone who's already feeling bad about him or herself - that person who's just royally screwed up likely feels like he's screwed up so badly that nobody else could possibly do worse.  So Rarity's comment reaches through that to let Fluttershy know it's okay - she's not that bad.

 

Pinkie, in this case, is a bit less empathetic and more practical, but I thought it was gratifying for her to follow up her second comment (after Rarity bumps her) with "What I mean is..." and explain how Fluttershy can do better.  That's much more constructive. :)

 

One other thought I had was on how I feel this episode shows a good way of dealing with a person who's acting badly because they got some bad advice, contrasted with other episodes where the Mane 6 deal with someone acting badly because that's who they are.  I'm going to use "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" as an example (I know MMDW is one of the fandom's less-liked episodes, and the moral was REALLY heavy-handed in that one, but bear with me).  In MMDW, Rainbow Dash lets her heroism go to her head, and she decides to feed her ego.  This is part of her character - she's proud and highly self-confident (often too much so), and taken too far, it can really rub people the wrong way.  It's a very deliberate, realistic, and (again) exaggerated character flaw that makes her that much more relatable, IMO.

 

Now, to be honest, I'd be much more likely to cut ties with someone who was acting like Rainbow Dash did in MMDW, than with someone who acted like Fluttershy in this episode.  But in both cases, everyone stayed friends and a lesson was learned, and that's the kind of ideal that I really love about this show, demonstrating that friends can work through even the toughest of personality clashes. :)

Edited by Pixel Stick
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No problem. :)

 

There was one other point I wanted to mention - something my wife pointed out to me when she read my post.  Take a look at specifically how Rarity tries to approach Fluttershy after the blow-up.  She says "We all said things we regret," which could either be about that specific incident or a more general "We all make mistakes now and then".  Whether you could point at any one thing Rarity said in that incident as something she SHOULD regret, this shows that Rarity is trying her best to be as non-accusing and non-confrontational as possible.  Contrast that with Pinkie's response: "We did?", then later when she said "Yeah, it's not your fault that you got all mean and nasty!" - both of those, while well-meaning, would very likely come across to a shy, sensitive person as "We were just fine, and you were the nasty one!".

 

I actually really liked the dialogue in this scene.  Again, having worked with shy and sensitive people, I know that some people really do need the sort of finessing that Rarity used more than the direct approach that Pinkie seemed inclined to use.  Rarity's comment basically means "I know I've said things to you in the past that I regretted, so I know how it feels."  It's a form of empathy that can really make a huge difference to someone who's already feeling bad about him or herself - that person who's just royally screwed up likely feels like he's screwed up so badly that nobody else could possibly do worse.  So Rarity's comment reaches through that to let Fluttershy know it's okay - she's not that bad.

 

Pinkie, in this case, is a bit less empathetic and more practical, but I thought it was gratifying for her to follow up her second comment (after Rarity bumps her) with "What I mean is..." and explain how Fluttershy can do better.  That's much more constructive. :)

 

One other thought I had was on how I feel this episode shows a good way of dealing with a person who's acting badly because they got some bad advice, contrasted with other episodes where the Mane 6 deal with someone acting badly because that's who they are.  I'm going to use "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" as an example (I know MMDW is one of the fandom's less-liked episodes, and the moral was REALLY heavy-handed in that one, but bear with me).  In MMDW, Rainbow Dash lets her heroism go to her head, and she decides to feed her ego.  This is part of her character - she's proud and highly self-confident (often too much so), and taken too far, it can really rub people the wrong way.  It's a very deliberate, realistic, and (again) exaggerated character flaw that makes her that much more relatable, IMO.

 

Now, to be honest, I'd be much more likely to cut ties with someone who was acting like Rainbow Dash did in MMDW, than with someone who acted like Fluttershy in this episode.  But in both cases, everyone stayed friends and a lesson was learned, and that's the kind of ideal that I really love about this show, demonstrating that friends can work through even the toughest of personality clashes. :)

I highly disagree.  Once someone starts criticizing me on such a high magnitude, they might as well have killed their friendship with me, and I think they are not a real friend.

No problem. :)

 

There was one other point I wanted to mention - something my wife pointed out to me when she read my post.  Take a look at specifically how Rarity tries to approach Fluttershy after the blow-up.  She says "We all said things we regret," which could either be about that specific incident or a more general "We all make mistakes now and then".  Whether you could point at any one thing Rarity said in that incident as something she SHOULD regret, this shows that Rarity is trying her best to be as non-accusing and non-confrontational as possible.  Contrast that with Pinkie's response: "We did?", then later when she said "Yeah, it's not your fault that you got all mean and nasty!" - both of those, while well-meaning, would very likely come across to a shy, sensitive person as "We were just fine, and you were the nasty one!".

 

I actually really liked the dialogue in this scene.  Again, having worked with shy and sensitive people, I know that some people really do need the sort of finessing that Rarity used more than the direct approach that Pinkie seemed inclined to use.  Rarity's comment basically means "I know I've said things to you in the past that I regretted, so I know how it feels."  It's a form of empathy that can really make a huge difference to someone who's already feeling bad about him or herself - that person who's just royally screwed up likely feels like he's screwed up so badly that nobody else could possibly do worse.  So Rarity's comment reaches through that to let Fluttershy know it's okay - she's not that bad.

 

Pinkie, in this case, is a bit less empathetic and more practical, but I thought it was gratifying for her to follow up her second comment (after Rarity bumps her) with "What I mean is..." and explain how Fluttershy can do better.  That's much more constructive. :)

 

One other thought I had was on how I feel this episode shows a good way of dealing with a person who's acting badly because they got some bad advice, contrasted with other episodes where the Mane 6 deal with someone acting badly because that's who they are.  I'm going to use "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" as an example (I know MMDW is one of the fandom's less-liked episodes, and the moral was REALLY heavy-handed in that one, but bear with me).  In MMDW, Rainbow Dash lets her heroism go to her head, and she decides to feed her ego.  This is part of her character - she's proud and highly self-confident (often too much so), and taken too far, it can really rub people the wrong way.  It's a very deliberate, realistic, and (again) exaggerated character flaw that makes her that much more relatable, IMO.

 

Now, to be honest, I'd be much more likely to cut ties with someone who was acting like Rainbow Dash did in MMDW, than with someone who acted like Fluttershy in this episode.  But in both cases, everyone stayed friends and a lesson was learned, and that's the kind of ideal that I really love about this show, demonstrating that friends can work through even the toughest of personality clashes. :)

Also, I can understand someone just being mad, but if Fluttershy is insulting her own friends and their lives, there is a big problem.  If they are her friends, she just doesn't talk to them like that.  Ever.  Even when I get mad, I don't just tell my own best friend that he's basically an idiot.

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I highly disagree. Once someone starts criticizing me on such a high magnitude, they might as well have killed their friendship with me, and I think they are not a real friend.

 

Also, I can understand someone just being mad, but if Fluttershy is insulting her own friends and their lives, there is a big problem. If they are her friends, she just doesn't talk to them like that. Ever. Even when I get mad, I don't just tell my own best friend that he's basically an idiot.

If you are able to control yourself to such a great extent that you never insult another person no matter how angry you are, then I commend you for being a rare, virtuous person. Unfortunately, many, many people do just lose control and say many hurtful things when they're upset, whether they're thinking about what they said or not. It's all too easy to blurt out something mean without even realizing what impact it'll have. I've done it to my wife, and been very sorry for it.

 

But she's still here.

 

I think my point is that the "real world", as you put it, isn't nearly so black and white as you seem to believe. Perhaps you really would turn your back on someone who you've known for years because they said something crude to you. But I don't think the majority of this show's audience would, and I think having Rarity and Pinkie do that to Fluttershy would have been pretty counter to FiM's core message.

Also, I can understand someone just being mad, but if Fluttershy is insulting her own friends and their lives, there is a big problem. If they are her friends, she just doesn't talk to them like that. Ever. Even when I get mad, I don't just tell my own best friend that he's basically an idiot.

Also, I'm not denying that there was a problem with Fluttershy's behavior - she most definitely was out of line. And I want to be clear I'm not excusing it. I would hold someone who did that to me accountable, and I'd want my friends to do the same for me. I just don't think I'd be so quick to say it's over, that's all.

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If you are able to control yourself to such a great extent that you never insult another person no matter how angry you are, then I commend you for being a rare, virtuous person. Unfortunately, many, many people do just lose control and say many hurtful things when they're upset, whether they're thinking about what they said or not. It's all too easy to blurt out something mean without even realizing what impact it'll have. I've done it to my wife, and been very sorry for it.

 

But she's still here.

 

I think my point is that the "real world", as you put it, isn't nearly so black and white as you seem to believe. Perhaps you really would turn your back on someone who you've known for years because they said something crude to you. But I don't think the majority of this show's audience would, and I think having Rarity and Pinkie do that to Fluttershy would have been pretty counter to FiM's core message.

 

Also, I'm not denying that there was a problem with Fluttershy's behavior - she most definitely was out of line. And I want to be clear I'm not excusing it. I would hold someone who did that to me accountable, and I'd want my friends to do the same for me. I just don't think I'd be so quick to say it's over, that's all.

I think you completely misunderstood me.  I get mad at people all the time, I insult them, and I don't just turn on them and forget about them.  However, Fluttershy just said that their lives are pointless, and that they waste their lives.  And also, when I talked about "not insulting people", as you thought I meant, I never said anything about people in general, I just said my best friend.  I don't know, but I just think that getting this mad at your own best friend just doesn't happen.

Edited by Pinkie Pie Guy
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I don't know, but I just think that getting this mad at your own best friend just doesn't happen.

 

Trust me, it does, all the time.  In fact, it tends to happen more frequently among best friends than among acquaintances specifically because you're so close to them.

 

In any event, yeah, I probably did misunderstand, and I apologize if it came across as antagonistic - not my intent.  Like I said, we're all entitled to our opinions. :)

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Trust me, it does, all the time.  In fact, it tends to happen more frequently among best friends than among acquaintances specifically because you're so close to them.

 

In any event, yeah, I probably did misunderstand, and I apologize if it came across as antagonistic - not my intent.  Like I said, we're all entitled to our opinions. :)

You know, this entire conversation has reminded me of a song.  It's really beautiful, and you should check it out;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U0UUDy_5ik

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Well, this episode I enjoyed, like with Pinkie Pie and the bits and the Looney Tunes references and the other things, but when Fluttershy went to Ironwills program on how to be assertive and not a doormat, I thought that would be good. And in a way, it really wasn't.

 

When Fluttershy finally stopped being a doormat and more assertive, she was becoming a mean brute and that just made me think "Flutter, this isn't you... why are you doing this?" But then, when Pinkie Pie and Rarity had came to see Fluttershy at her cottage, that is when Fluttershy turned on Flutterbi*** mode on her friends starting degrading them, making them feel as if their lives have no value and insulting them. When Fluttershy said all that degrading stuff, deep down in my heart that really hurt me and feel bad for Rarity and Pinkie. That somewhat made me not want to watch the rest of the episode, but of course, I continued watching anyways.

 

Well, months after watching that episode, I completely forgot about this episode and decided to watch it again. When coming to the part when Pinkie and Rarity came to Flutterbi***'s house and Flutter did that same mean and cruel thing to Rarity and Pinkie, I actually teared because first of all that was really mean and cruel and it reminded me of how sometimes in school I get bullied like that or made fun of which really drives me crazy.

 

And so anyways, this concludes my little "review" of Putting Your Hoof Down.

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I hated this episode. It was too mean-spirited and Fluttershy was too out of character in this episode.

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MysteriousMrEnter (A reviewer on YouTube) bashed this episode.

He said he hates it because FlutterShy was so cruel to Rarity and Pinkie Pie. He said that. FlutterShy insulted their reason for living.

 

While I agree FlutterShy went too far (which was the point of the episode)

I still liked the episode all together.

 

It's an episode I like to watch again and again.

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I wish there was an Iron Will Fan Club thread.

Edited by A.V.

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