004 - Derpy Blimp

Two things to preface before I do this review. First, this is an unofficial count (see Stat Sheet), but My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic became the 37th Western Animation show to make it to 100 episodes. Second, the score will be 10/10 because words won’t be able to do adequate justice for this episode.

Cranky and Matilda are getting ready for their wedding, but an error in the invitations makes the wedding today. Muffins are not going to atone for this. She consults the Doctor about a possible time-travel machine, but after showing the Chekov’s Gun (flameless fireworks), the Doc realizes he needs to have his suit tailored. However, Rarity and the rest of the Mane Six are busy fending off a Bugbear (which looks like a Wuzzle gone horribly wrong). Definitely not a friendship problem that can be solved in half an hour (Best line to Sweetie Belle).

Anyway, the Doctor goes to the Dude, but the former needs to be the fourth in a bowling tournament. However, his attempt at converting the 7-10 spilt is interrupted by Derpy announcing the use of the flameless fireworks as a substitute for the flowers (Rose, Daisy, and Lily all fainted at the suggestion that they have the flowers ready for the wedding at Matilda’s insistence).

Meanwhile, Lyra and Bon-Bon are decorating Town Hall. But when Bon-Bon hears of the bugbear, she reveals that she is actually “Special Agent Sweetie Drops” and was part of a secret agency charged to capture such creatures. This one escaped from Tartarus. Lyra is upset by this, but Bon-Bon insists that their friendship is real and that she can say what she feels.

And the music, yeah the music, gets this episode to the top! Octavia and Vinyl Scratch create a dubstep with the former’s cello and they have their music for the wedding. They get everyone else in place for the wedding via Vinyl’s mobile booth. Having defeated the bugbear, the Mane Six are accidentally locked out of the ceremony by Derpy.  Mayor Mare speaks of how Cranky and Matilda’s love brought not only them together, but everyone around them and everyone is the star of their own story—not just the main characters.

As the flameless fireworks explode, the Mane Six have a moment together with Twilight commenting how fortunate they are to live in Ponyville.

On the surface, there is a ton of fan service. Looking beneath the surface, it’s really a thank you to the fans for supporting the show. Fans dreamed of the day where characters like Derpy, Doctor Whooves, Lyra, Bon-Bon, Octavia, and Vinyl Scratch would get more significant time, and they didn’t disappoint.

There was so much brought into this 22-minute episode from Celestia and Luna arguing over forgetting to bring a wedding gift, to Shining Armor’s “liquid pride” at weddings, to Steven Magnet, to the numerous Doctor Who references, to Derpy.

This was the show saying thank you to all the fans out there of the show. The fandom, for all its flaws, is arguably one of the most passionate out there for a TV show. The show has served as an inspiration to many as well as that oasis in a sea of cynicism. This was the fans’ episode to end all fans’ episode (unless they outdo themselves at a future benchmark) and a celebration of what makes this show great.

There’s no other score to give it, but a 10/10.

Cheers to the cast and crew of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! Congratulations on making it to 100 episodes and here’s to many more! The ride continues and it kind of makes you want to say, “I don’t want to go!”

StatManDan

STAT SHEET:

The (unofficial) list of Western Animated series that have aired at least 100 episdoes:

Show
Episodes
Run
The Simpsons
574
1989-present
King of the Hill
259
1997-2009, 2010
South Park
257
1997-present
Smurfs
256
1981-1989
Family Guy
249
1999-2003, 2005-present
Beavis and Butthead
222
1992-1997, 2011
Phineas and Ferb
222
2007-2015
Arthur
211
1996-present
Adventure Time
199
2010-present
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
193
1987-1996
American Dad
190
2005-present
SpongeBob Squarepants
189
1999-present
Regular Show
187
2010-present
Rugrats
172
1991-2004
The Flintstones
166
1960-1966
Rocky and Bullwinkle
163
1959-1964
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
156
2003-2009
Totally Spies!
156
2001-present
Fairly Oddparents
152
1998-present
The Real Ghostbusters
147
1986-1991
Futurama
140
1999-2003, 2008-2013
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
130
1983-1985
Thundercats (1985)
130
1985-1989
Johnny Test
130
2005-2014
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
130
2001-present
Garfield and Friends
121
1988-1994
Star Wars:  The Clone Wars
120
2008-2013
Total Drama
120
2007-present
Doug
117
1991-1994, 1996-1999
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
113
1990-1996
The Amazing World of Gumball
112
2011-present
Super Friends
109
1973-1974, 1977-1986
Muppet Babies
107
1984-1991
Alvin and the Chipmunks
102
1983-1990
Ducktales
100
1987-1990
Hey Arnold!
100
1996-2004
My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic
100
2010-present

Those who wish to appeal a listing or non-listing may do so in the comments and I will either amend of defend the case.

  • Frith.dreamwidth.org

    “Muffins are not going to atone for this.” I saw what you did there! 8^D But “Muffins” is sure as hay going to try!

    It’s a panda bugbear, Twilight! A magical panda bugbear!

    That’s a long list of 100+ episode animated series. I read that the theory goes that kid’s shows are only viable financially up to three seasons. After three years with the same show, most kids would have moved on to a different social circle, reflected in different choices in entertainment. Three seasons or 65 episodes are also the minimum for syndication (who enforces this rule??), where a show can be packaged and resold, increasing revenue. After 65 episodes, each new investment in an episode is likely to be money thrown out the window as a broadcaster buying syndication rights will cherry-pick through the episodes and pay for the minimum 65.

    When you draw an adult audience, the game plan changes — you can have very long runs and they usually want to see _all_ the episodes.

    This episode was, wow! DHX confirmed as artists! It’s like the Fringe episode where all the actors sing their way through it. It’s like they lifted up the fabric of the show and caught a glimpse of all the offshoots and story forks growing like wildfire just beneath the surface. Awesome!

  • Raffaele Lanza

    My favorite of the season and second favorite episode of the entire show (second just to the S4 finale, that also keep as my favorite piece of animation of all time, Disney Movies aside), I’ve nothing elso to say, thank you so much Mitch Larson, you deserve so many kudos!

    ……. and now, let’s start to worry….. so far we had 8 great episodes in the season and one alright (Appleloosa’s Most Wanted to be precised)…… but in the season 4 the situation wasn’t much different (just the quality of the S5 episodes is slightly better, aside AMW)…. and then the 10th episode of that season, Rainbow Falls was AWFUL… and considering the premise of the next one, I’ve the fear that the story will repeat itself….. I hope not (on the bright side however, Party Pooped is really promising instead…. but I’m still worried for the next one…).

  • I’ve watched the episode a few more times, and although I had mixed reactions at first, the episode has grown on me intensely (and immensely). Once it dawned on me that this was a one-of-a-kind thank you/love letter to all the fans of the show, to the people whose love for FiM enabled it to not only last more than just a few seasons, but become a phenomenon that none of the show staff/Hasbro execs/people in general saw coming, spawning a massive and massively creative fanbase, this episode clicked for me.

    I honestly can’t rate it the way I would rate other episodes because this episode is really something entirely different. I could comment on story weaknesses, or complain about fan-pandering/service, or stuff like that (and many people have). But I won’t, and I don’t think it’s fair to judge this episode like any old episode of FiM. This episode is as far as I know unprecedented (there are probably other examples, but I doubt there are many, if any in children’s animation) in that it’s 100% about the creative team thanking the fans for turning what could have been just another corporate toy cartoon into something truly unique.

    The characters might belong to Hasbro, but this was the FiM Team’s way (well, maybe mostly Larson’s way, but still) of showing that the show belongs to us, the fans. No not literally or legally, but without us, the show would probably no longer be on the air, and would DEFINITELY not have dozens of beloved background characters that now have lives of their own.

    I don’t want to sound too sappy or cheesy, but just hearing Derpy speak again almost made me leak liquid pride (ALMOST <_< ). I honestly, truly thought she would remain silent for the rest of the series, thanks to that big hullabaloo back in 2012. I love Derpy; she's always been my favorite BG pony, and Slice of Life brought her to life in a way I thought I'd never see in this show. I was shocked at the first "Muffin?" line. But I still thought, maybe that's all she's gonna say. But how wrong I was, and how happy I was to be wrong. Also her voice is perfect now! It's the perfect mix of the original and "censored" versions of her voice in TLR.

    Anyways it's like 5AM and I haven't slept yet, so I'm rambling. So to conclude this thing that nobody'll read, I felt happier and happier with each rewatch of this episode (I've watched it four times). I hope that the massive development given to these BG ponies isn't completely ignored the rest of the series (I hope Derpy is allowed to speak every once in a while now), but ar the same time, this type of episode ONLY works because of what I said in paragraph two: this isn't a normal episode of FiM. This is a 22 minute "THANK YOU" to the fans. This can really only happen once. (Or perhaps every 100 episodes :D )

    Anyways, my rating: FANtastic/10!

    • Frith.dreamwidth.org

      this thing that nobody’ll read *waves*

      Good points. This episode was a gem of a thank-you episode. ^_^

  • Ulrik Raben

    I wanted this to be a 2 part full musical episode where we see the
    nightly After-Party for Cranky and Mathilda. Other than that it was one
    of the best S5 episodes until now. This is the Hasbro version of
    Disney’s Get a Horse!

  • kek

    Yep, keep raving about “10/10 BEST EPISODE EVER”, fandom. By S6 they’re going to make Derpy, Lyra, Bon Bon, Octavia, etc…main characters and the show is going to be overrun with cringey fanfiction stories.

    You brought this on yourselves.

    • The community is built on the foundation of the “fan of the fandoms” crowd that developed in the early days of it all, so of course this is going to be pure porn for everyone. Hell when we did polls back during Season 1 and 2, no matter the episode, 5/5, 10/10, didn’t matter how many points, everyone always called it the best. Such is the internet.

      For me, 7/10. I cringed hard when I saw the Octavia and Scratch preview scene, but I felt the episode was executed well enough, and wrapped up the story in a timely manner (compared to season finales and premieres that have had those endings that feel kind of rushed). But I pray to Derpy that all these fan established characters that are now made canon by this episode, will go back to the shadows of the background from whence they came. From what I’ve heard about Season 5 and 6 (this was before they even started), the show is going to change directional wise as we’ve seen, but nothing about the background characters having any more role.

      The reason the 100th episode was so fan driven I think is due to the fact that certain individuals in the fandom were recruited a long time ago to put this episode together. Needless to say that most of the show people attending pony conventions for the past four years would also help, but I think at the end of the day this episode was kind of built by the fans, for the fans. After this it’ll return to business as normal (I hope).

      Always time for the figurative seppuku before it all collapses.

      • frith.dreamwidth.org

        Don’t worry so much. Has Pipsqueak taken over? How about Twist? Hoity Toity and Fancypants? There are quite a few ponies that have been prominent in one or two episodes, never to speak again.They may come back, but probably not often at all.