Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
22
Jan 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Summary: Sweet Stuff wants to play games with everyone else, but feels left out because she is an Earth Pony and doesn’t seem to be good at anything. She ends up surprising everyone (even herself) when she joins a treasure hunt with the pegasi and is the only one able to answer the last riddle and win the game. [Dove: Copied and pasted from imdb. And wow. Spoilers.]

Initial Thoughts

Sweet Stuff (G1) rehair by Dove

Sweet Stuff (G1) rehair by Dove

I have no recollection of this episode at all. I didn’t even know that Sweet Stuff had an episode. She’s one of my favourite ponies (the Gingerbread pose is so pretty), but every copy of her has an issue, dry hair, no hair, pen marks, head/body different shades, and, of course, they all have pony cancer.

[bat: Sweet Stuff was one of my first Twinkle-Eyed Ponies. She and Gingerbread were two of my favorites to play with. I, also, had no recollection that she was given a lead role in an episode. This bodes well.]

In other news, I recently rehaired my worst copy of Sweet Stuff with gradiented acrylic wool that I combed out and straightened (flat ironed). She looks awesome (her tail is wet, unfortunately, it usually looks as gorgeous as her mane). Here’s my site, if you’re interested in my collection. [bat: She looks great, Dove!]

Recap:

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Was this game known as “PILE ON” or “BUNDLE” where you’re from? (the caps are necessary)

By the way, I’ve watched about six South Park episodes before watching this for recap purposes. I’m not entirely sure what the outcome will be, but it’s quite the genre swerve. [bat: I watched like 9 hours of Vikings before my last recap; clearly we choose things that wash away the bitter aftertaste this series leaves us with.] [Dove: On reflection, I swore less. What’s up with that?]

We open with Sweet Stuff faffing around on the grass, and seeing the Bushwoolies walk past. “Gosh, that looks like fun,” she remarks, which quickly shows me what kind of life Sweet Stuff leads. If walking past someone is considered fun, Sweet Stuff has literally done nothing else on the planet either. Well, maybe she’s done laundry or something. [bat: I would guess NOTHING. She never had a clone baby toy, so nothing to not parent, and I can’t even remember what her backer card said about her.]

The Bushwoolies ask her to join them, and then they all hop on her back. *blinks* That makes no sense. Oh, wait. Were they playing leap frog and they’re too small to jump a pony? Ok, that’s moderately less weird.

Side note: I’m pretty sure that bat and I need a drinking game here. Here’s my first draft.

Drink a shot every time:

  • we say “that makes no sense” (x2 if it’s in the first five paragraphs)
  • a net or a cage falls from a tree
  • the sea ponies do their SHOO-BE-DOOO! SHOO-SHOO-BE-DOOOOO! thing
  • the sea ponies could be either fresh or sea water ponies when really they should be one or the other
  • the plot is resolved by The Rainbow of Light
  • the plot is resolved by SHIFTING TO UTTER FLUTTER, BITCHES
  • one of the humans rides a pony as if it’s their right
  • the wrong pony shows up in a scene
  • the wrong pony’s mouth is animated while someone else is talking
  • one of attempts to explain the inexplicable chain of events of an episode, using far-reaching leaps of logic to try and make it work…
  • … and then we give up

That’ll do for now. Good luck. [bat: I’m gonna die. Also, need one about BUY OUR MERCH in there.]

Sweet Stuff suggests tag instead. They don’t know the game, so she explains, saying she’ll be “it”. She forgets the Bushwoolies are sassy little assholes, and they run away before she can explain how the tagging part of the game happens.

Then a grey squirrel shouts at her because she’s standing on an acorn. Sweet Stuff asks if she can help – apparently, those Bushwoolies are long gone. And since they’re literal as well as sassy, we may never see them again. The squirrel basically tells her to get stuffed. Sweet Stuff fails to read the room, and asks if she wants to play a game. The squirrel tells her she’s got better things to do with her time and flounces off into a tree.

Sweet Stuff, you got off light. She could be a Satan-worshipping squirrel who takes part in blood orgies. (“Yay! Blood orgies!”)

[bat: I’m going to interject that Bushwoolies could totally be underpants gnomes. Think about it. (“1. Steal underpants. 2. ? 3. Profit!”)] [Dove: There is definite overlap in their work! I’m just on the Imaginationland episodes. The ponies would definitely be there. I feel like this needs a crossover. Or at least discussion when we eventually get around to that podcast we keep making vague gestures towards. (My webcam still isn’t working.)]

Sweet Stuff sees Fizzy and asks what she’s doing. Fizzy reports that she’s looking for Ribbon. Or maybe Galaxy. Or home base. (Presumably not the DIY chain of stores?) Fizzy is on meth.

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

One of these ponies is not like the other.

Sweet Stuff figures they’re playing Hide and Seek, and asks if she can play. Fizzy says sure, they’ll start over, she calls Olly Olly Oxen Free, and Ribbon, Buttons, Galaxy and Gusty all appear. I’m thinking that magical invisibility in this game is cheating. I’m also thinking bat will rip her hair out that there are still no rules for the magic in this universe. [bat: Eh, I like my hair too much but metaphorically, I am bald at this point, because WHAT ARE RULES?]

I have a theory as to that. You know how when you were a kid you played as you wanted, and not according to rules? So you just gave your toys whatever powers they needed to get the plot moving? I think we’re watching the story that a kid is playing. For the entire run, not just this episode. If that’s the case, I hate that kid.

Fizzy announces that Sweet Stuff wants to play and she’s offered to be “it”. Ribbon uses her mind reading magic (which is a brand new character trait, for a barely used character) to hear Sweet Stuff’s thoughts (“I didn’t exactly say that”) and tell Fizzy that’s not the case. Buttons offers to be “it”. Why was that exchange in there?

Sweet Stuff tries to hide in long grass, but Squirrely the Squirrel rocks up to shout at Sweet Stuff for lying on her acorns. This leads Buttons to finding her and now Sweet Stuff is “it”.

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Gusty has trouble parsing the “hide” part of Hide and Seek

She runs towards a bush that Gusty is standing in. They appear to make eye contact, but when Gusty ducks into the bush, Sweet Stuff seems not to have noticed her. Sweet Stuff sucks.

Gusty then runs out of the bush and Sweet Stuff chases her. Uh, yeah, that’s not how Hide and Seek works. You’re thinking of Tag. Or, if you’re British, It.

This leads to the rest of the Unicorns using their magic to teleport to the tree stump Sweet Stuff was leaning against when she counted.

I guess this is a variation, where you have to run “home” and make it there before the seeker does? Literally never heard of such a thing before, but ok. I asked Twitter, but I’m fairly certain nobody will reply. I’m not very active on there. [bat: Technically yes. This is a common version played in America.] [Dove: Twitter also replied. America generally agrees this is how you play. The English version is far more boring, you just find people and they’re out, and you keep going until you’ve found everyone.]

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Teleportation is totally not cheating.

Since the Unicorns are literally teleporting on to the stump from wherever they hid, Sweet Stuff has no hope. Oh god, I’m going to start empathising. I have a mobility disability, and my best friend was the only person who gave me a sporting chance at games like this as a kid, and she would eventually appear to get tired and slow down enough to catch me (without obviously throwing the game, as a kid, I really thought I’d caught her), but other kids used to find it hysterical to target me immediately, and then run off yelling, “Ha ha, Dove can’t catch me!” and generally being assholes about it. Kind of like these Unicorns.

Gusty announces that it’s not a game for Earth Ponies. That’s kind of a dick thing to say. Sweet Stuff agrees she’s not good enough to play. Buttons suggests they stop winking in and out while they play, but Sweet Stuff says she doesn’t want to ruin the game for the rest of them. (Martyr.)

She walks down to the river and SHOO-BE-DOOO! SHOO-SHOO-BE-DOOOOO! (drink). It’s the Baby Sea Ponies this time. They ask if she wants to play with them. This’ll probably end up in a drowning and Sweet Stuff apologising for not having gills.

I’m wrong. When Sweet Stuff says she can’t swim very well, the Baby Sea Ponies say she can play from where she’s standing. The Baby Sea Ponies play croquet with a sponge in the river, and Sweet Stuff quickly takes a sponge to the face. She sees a score card under the water and realises that she’s the goal post.

FUCK YOU BABY SEA PONIES! I hate the Sea Ponies, their earworm song is infuriating, but their babies are entitled little shits. We should steal their floatation rings and… oh, it’s not like they’ll drown under water. Jeez, how do you kill a Baby Sea Pony? [bat: Strand them on the beach far enough from the water?]

Sweet Stuff says she’s sorry, but she doesn’t want to play any more. She walks off without hearing a single apology.

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

A whole room of pegasi, this’ll end well for the earth pony

We cut to Megan in Paradise Estate, reading from a list of things that need finding. In the room are nothing but Pegasi: Whizzer, Wind Whistler, North Star, Masquerade, Paradise, Lofty and Hearththrob. I’m certain Sweet Stuff will need to apologise for not having wings very soon.

Wind Whistler uses too many words to say “this is easy”, everyone responds, but her voice continues to move for their words (drink).

Megan asks Sweet Stuff if she wants to join the scavenger hunt (uh, in the title, it’s a treasure hunt), and then tells her she does want to, before she can formulate a response. She’s paired up with Whizzer, and I really hope this goes well.

I do not like the toy Whizzer – I hate that pose, and she’s a real one for her head and body turning different colours – but she’s one of the few characters in this whole cartoon with a bit of uniqueness about her. She talks very fast. That’s her thing.

The last item on the list is “something that is one, even when it is many”. Wind Whistler copies Spock and says that it is illogical. Apparently Wind Whistler is so logical that she cannot comprehend riddles. [bat: Wind Whistler and North Star were both known for being twats like that.]

We cut to Whizzer and Sweet Stuff outside, walking along. Whizzer has just returned with an item, and says the sea shell is next. Sweet Stuff wants to find it because she hasn’t had a chance to find anything yet. Whizzer says it’d better be fast. FAST IS ALL WHIZZER HAS, SWEET STUFF. DO NOT FUCK UP HER ONE THING.

By the time Sweet Stuff gets to the River, Whizzer’s already got the shell. They have to go back to Paradise Estate for a book with a red cover. Sweet Stuff says that she can’t keep up. Whizzer suggests Sweet Stuff gets the book and Whizzer gets the next item, but Sweet Stuff is too busy martyring herself. She says she’s just holding Whizzer back.

Any earlier empathy I had is gone. Well, to be fair, it was gone when the Unicorns offered to modify their game and she refused. The Baby Sea Ponies are asshats, but I hate Sea Ponies anyway. Whizzer has offered to modify the game too, but Sweet Stuff is really enjoying wallowing in self-pity here.

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Does anyone have a slingshot?

As she walks home, feebly commenting to herself that she’s so useless there’s nothing she can do, she finds the Bushwoolies all clinging to a rope or vine strung between two trees. It’s either a washing line, or part of one of those nets that are constantly falling from the trees. (It’s not a guarantee, but I’d drink if I were you.)

The Bushwoolies’ explanation for their predicament is hard to understand – not sure if it’s my copy that’s got crunchy audio, or just badly mixed levels and the background Bushwoolies muddy the words – but I think they were playing tag when {someone?} suggested they fly a kite. And that’s their explanation. I guess the kite got tangled in a tree, and they were too dim to let go of the string?

Sweet Stuff intends to catch them one by one, but the Bushwoolies cannot comprehend separation, so she has to fetch a log so they can let go of the string simultaneously.

My Little Pony - Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Bushwoolie Slide!

Sweet Stuff realises that the Bushwoolies are the answer to the final riddle. She leads them back to Paradise Estate, saying they’ll win a prize.

Back at Paradise Estate, Megan is tallying the scores for everyone. Since the Bushwoolies are the answer to the last item, we can assume that nobody has won thus far, although – naturally – Wind Whistler has done very well.

Megan asks Whizzer where Sweet Stuff is, and Whizzer says that they separated.

Sweet Stuff then proudly walks in leading the Bushwoolies. Wind Whistler says they’re not part of the game – snotty cow, if you’re not part of the game, you can’t come to our house – but Sweet Stuff says yes they are.

Megan congratulates her on winning the game.

Then we cut to them having ice cream. But the Bushwoolies try to bathe in it, which they are shamed for. Sweet Stuff says don’t worry, it’s ok if you like to do something different to other people.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, there’s a song. Of course there is. There’s two minutes left of this blasted episode and no more plot. *sigh* Here you go. “Be Glad You Are Who You Are”

Final Thoughts:

I think the moral of the story they intended was “it’s ok if you’re different, you’ll find ways in which you can join in”.

Unfortunately, the moral they actually conveyed is: “If you’re differently-abled and people kindly modify their activities to include you, make sure you run off in a sulky huff and feel sorry for yourself, until you – using nothing more than self-pity – accidentally stumble over something useful.”

As mentioned above, I have a disability which did affect my ability to join in with “regular” activities, games, and sports at school. Nobody offered to modify the games (although my best friend would quite often back my request to play Red Letter, which was a spelling/striding game, rather than running around to catch other people), but if they had, I would have gratefully joined in (see my gratitude in this recap for the subtle ways my friend supported me), rather than stomped off in a huff because I couldn’t do things precisely the way the others did.

I’m giving this one an F, not because it was worse than any of the other low-scoring episodes – in fact, it was far more engaging than Flutter Valley – but because it personally pissed me off to see a representation of me that just sulked when offered what I wanted as a kid. If I was being objective, I’d give this a C-, but then, bat and I tend to give out higher marks if the episode is short, but this one pissed me off on a personal level.

[bat: Wow. This was bad. I agree with Dove on the moral lesson — which is really more close to her actual description then what was intended — because face it, this is a moral we still have to tell ourselves. If everyone who did stuff their own way was accepted without issue, we wouldn’t be continually telling humans live your own truth and walk your own path and all those kinds of things. Honestly, this was another throw away episode that tried to have some kind of moral but in the end, went about implementing that lesson in a way that just didn’t convey the message properly. What do we except from a 30 year old children’s cartoon, though, when it was only created to sell merch? I’m with Dove; this is getting an F.]

 

I am Team Geiger (Making Out), Team Nina/Lucas (Making Out), Team Jessica (Sweet Valley) and Team Bad Guy (Point Horror). I was once in a Fairy Liquid advert and am the voice of a claymation cow named Daisy.

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