My Little Pony Tales: The Masquerade (S01E07)

My Little Pony Tales DVD cover, showing the main 5 ponies
My Little Pony Tales (1992)

Title: The Masquerade

Summary: bat’s favorite pony ever, BON-BON, learns a lesson about assuming without facts and tries to pull a Rose Dewitt Bukater minus the massive ship. Oh, and the school throws the students a masquerade party for getting good grades. Why the fuck didn’t they just get a pizza party like all us kids did in the 1980s/90s??

Grade: D

Initial Thoughts:

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesHoly shit, this series is bad. We are only up to episode 4 (2 recaps = 1 full episode) and it feels like we’ve been at this a million years already, that’s how terrible everything is. We’re not even 1/3 of the way through. No, that honour will belong to Dove, who will hit that milestone with recap 8.

But this is recap 7, so I’ll do my best to get through it without too much screaming and rage. Who am I kidding, we’re totally going to rage though this. It’s the only way we can get through these.

Ironically, the title reminded me of the actual G1 pony Masquerade, who I genuinely can’t remember if I owned a copy of. I was weird about Ponies; I tended towards colours I like and/or cutie marks that trended towards things I liked. Posey was an exception in my general dislike of yellow. I guess that exception also applied to Princess Rosedust, since she and Posey were both yellow body / pink haired Ponies. But that argument doesn’t hold up because the more I ruminate on it, the more yellow bodied Ponies I remember that I did own. Ugh. Maybe it was the Twinkle-Eyed Ponies factor; I look at the list and think, hey, I didn’t own several of these. [Dove: I didn’t have a whole lot of yellow G1s, I have three of Masquerade now, but generally I prefer the paler yellow ponies. Look at us! We’re deftly side-stepping talking about this episode in favour of talking MLP instead.]

I had a chance to purchase a nice Masquerade the other day but passed, because I just don’t collect Ponies anymore. (This worked to my benefit, because I later had the chance to snag an art toy I needed for my very specific collecting niche.) Sorry, Masquerade, someone will buy and love you.

After having read the whole backstory of the Twinkle-Eyed Ponies (which I guess is taken from the comics? and the comics were UK-only, which explains why I didn’t know they existed?) now I have nightmares and they creep me out worse than they did when I was a child. I can’t remember for certain, but I can say Gingerbread or Sweet Stuff was my first Twinkle-Eyed Pony. Do you remember your first Twinkle-Eyed Pony, Dove? [Dove: Mine was Whizzer. She was the perfect choice as far as my parents were concerned. I loved pink, I loved pegasus or unicorn ponies – as a child, you want the super ponies – but I never liked her. That pose. It’s not as bad as the Tootsie pose but it’s a very close second. Proof? Wind Whistler has the same pose. My favourite twinkles are Sweet Stuff, Gingerbread and Mimic. Oh, and Dark Mimic too.]

Back to the episode at hand. I’ve given up going in entirely cold; there seems to be no point, we’re going to be tortured, might as well know what we’re up against. I skimmed a synopsis and, to no one’s surprise, drew a BON-BON-CENTRIC episode. Joy.


Start the timer; let’s see how long it takes before I start raging about BON-BON.

Oh, hold up, I got the file with the opening titles, so that’s a minute and eleven seconds of making peace with the fact I am going to hate this episode and struggle to recap it. Oh well, here we go, now you may officially start the “How long before bat loses her shit at BON-BON?” timer.

Um, weird, this file included a commercial break? Which is really strange, knowing there’s no commercials in the file? Basically Starlight tells us to stick around as she pours a milkshake and slides it over to Clover. Damn it, someone start the timer again!

It’s ‘honey‘, remember?


Wow, two unexpected commercial break spots following the theme song. I wonder what else we’re going to find in these files, Dove. [Dove: While watching this, I seethed. How dare bat get both the intro credits and commercial break animations? She is shaving precious seconds from her recap time. There’d better be some in my episode too! My rage is not at bat, just generally at the writers of these episodes.]

Finally, we have arrived at the proper beginning of the episode. It opens on a shot of the Pony Elementary school, which I am utterly convinced that it’s just a re-worked / modified Paradise Estates. It makes total fucking sense that once the Ponies got into monogamous relationships they no longer lived communally at Paradise Estate. But it was also not worth tearing down, so they turned it into a school building. Am I wrong? [Dove: That makes perfect sense to me. You would use the largest building as a community centre of some kind if you needed a building for many ponies to gather. Everything else was significantly smaller, so could be converted into houses and shops. Ooh, so what happened to Dream Castle? Do the Grundles still exist? Do they still live there?] [bat: If magic died out and Ponies came into power, then… the Grundles probably left or died out.]

Creepy Miss Hackney, who is probably only 25 years old in Pony-years, is passing back the graded tests to the class. She doesn’t want anyone to look at their score until all the tests are handed out. Why do the desk legs look like giant lower-cased ‘e’ and ‘a’? And also, they are fucking backwards on the desks on the right side. WHO DIDN’T PAY ATTENTION?

No wonder the Ponies are idiots.

After Miss Hackney passes, BON-BON leans in and says to Melody that the class must be in trouble, because she knows she failed. How is the entire class in trouble if you, BON-BON, failed alone? EXPLAIN. Once finished, Miss Hackney directs them to turn over the papers together. Starlight gets an A, Melody got a B+. BON-BON got an A-.

Then it gets weirder. Miss Hackney declares that because her class did so well, the school has decided to throw the class a masquerade party. THAT VERY EVENING. I have two things: 1. Is the school building sentient? Because that would be awesome and fit in with the ‘N Friends logic of sentient furniture. (I already know the answer is NO and it was… the school board or something that decided this. Boo-urns.) 2. Who the fuck decides to reward a class with a masquerade party in the evening directly after the class finds out the results? Like, we had to WAIT for our pizza party, all of them actually. And it wasn’t like days, it was weeks. Because everything had to be arranged and shit.

I mean, the Ponies don’t actually do anything of importance, apparently – even if one of the mothers is a nurse, and the only business we’ve seen is the soda fountain / ice cream shoppe – so I guess they theoretically have time to immediately throw a fucking party for their children. They must have stacks of volunteer parent Ponies just waiting for shit to do.

Oh yes, back to the masquerade. There is a catch: Hackney orders that the students must dress up as whatever they wish to be when they grow up. Oh boy. That’s kind of open to a wide interpretation, is it not? [Dove: Bright Eyes totters in on plastic heels, wearing nothing but a bikini and a veil. “I want to be an exotic dancer!” she says. “My ancestor was taught the dance of the seven veils as a baby. So I know that this is a perfectly normal thing to do as a child!”]

I mean, I know it won’t be, this is a fucking cartoon that has not even a thimbleful of imagination, so. Do we get to bet on who will dress as a pirate? Because I’m betting some Pony will dress as a pirate.

None of the students are paying attention to Hackney. Patch has made a paper airplane (HOW) and is moving it around with her hoof (IMPOSSIBLE) while making… noises that are supposed to be plane noises? The rest of the class is giggling. Patch suddenly stops when she realizes Hackney is watching, Hackney informing her that even she will one day ‘grow up’. Patch announces that when she does grow up she will be, quote: A CIRCUS CLOWN.

Hackney shakes her head and sighs, “Why aren’t I surprised?”

Damn this show is just awful and stupid. And that is not me insulting circus clowns. That is me pointing out the writing is beyond sub-par and the characters are all distinctly unlikable nor are they any sort of role models for human children.

Attack of the 25 Foot Ponies (WHAT IS PERSPECTIVE, Y’ALL?)

We fade into a shot of the main seven walking down the street. Now, either the street is tiny or the Ponies are giants who are as tall as the buildings. PERSPECTIVE DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER AT ALL!

As they grow taller than the buildings and dwarf the street, Clover announces she can’t wait to dress up as a ballerina. Melody literally scoffs and blathers something about old style (?) before saying it’s “rock and roll” for her. WTF.

Bright Eyes announces she plans to be an environmentalist to “keep our world beautiful”. Well, Ponyland WAS beautiful but then the SMOOZE happened. So… protest the Smooze? Patch even scoffs at Bright Eyes, asking what kind of costume is “environmentalist”. Patch, whose mane (hair?) has just grown by leaps and bounds, stammers around before admitting she does not know how to look like an environmentalist. Starlight announces she thinks “best” while enjoying an ice cream soda. Uh. She invites the others into the shop, announcing the sodas are on the house.

Holy fuck, she can just do that? Do her parents own the shop? How do they feel about the constant loss of income due to their daughter’s “generosity”?

BON-BON stammers she can’t have any ice cream, that she told her mother she’d be home early, and wanders off from the group. That wasn’t sus at all. Starlight notes she can’t believe BON-BON passed up an ice cream sundae. HOLD UP. TWO SECONDS AGO IT WAS ICE CREAM SODAS. (Yes, I checked.) SO WHICH IS IT, STARLIGHT. [Dove: Unless, she hates Bon-Bon as much as we do and was offering sodas until BB dropped out and has now upgraded?] [bat: OH NICE! Good catch, Dove!]

We transition over to BON-BON’S abode, which doesn’t really look like a practical home in any sense of the word, though if I remember during Too Sick To Notice, none of the home’s layout made any sense. I also don’t remember doors but BON-BON opens the door to her room and shuts it, announcing (to no one) that she can’t tell anyone what she wants to be as they wouldn’t understand.

I really wish it was something unexpected or sick/twisted, but we know it won’t be. It will be something fucking stupid and dull, because BON-BON.

I also remember furniture in BON-BON’S room but… why does she have a clothes wardrobe? The Ponies don’t wear clothes. I mean, sure, they wear costumes, but 99.9% of the time they are functionally naked. Pony “clothing” was very much a BUY OUR MERCH kind of deal that doesn’t particularly work in this version of the cartoon.

BON-BON pulls a lot of striped towels out of the wardrobe, which is just confusing. I just saw the static drawing of said wardrobe being full of clothing, mostly dresses, so explain it. Make it make sense.

Sorting through the hundreds of magazines on her desk, BON-BON clutches one to her chest and announces she wants to become a world famous model.

Okay, now that I have recovered from laughing so hard I thought I might throw up… let’s return to the recap.


We get a weird… fantasy sequence, complete with mystical music cue, showing BON-BON with big poofy 80s hair and a Madonna beauty mark made with eye liner on her upper lip, and lipstick that… does not flatter Ponies at all. Stuff of nightmares. A disembodied voice, probably meant to be a reporter, yells out to fantasy BON-BON that she is SO BEAUTIFUL. [Dove: And from this I get: a pig in lipstick. I mean that literally. I mean this montage looks as strange as if you put makeup on an actual pig. It doesn’t look cute or fancy, it looks bad. So bad your reaction would be, “Why did you do that?”]

Look, I get it. Wanna Be A Fashion Model was a huge trope in cartoons and sitcoms when I grew up. Being complimented for your looks and being famous – for your looks – and people constantly paying you attention because of your physical appearance… sure, must be nice. (As someone who was picked on for their physical appearance during elementary/middle school years, yeah, nice.) Of course, now that we’ve lived through the era of Super Models and a lot of truths about that industry have been revealed… oh and let me not forget the train wreck of reality shows where contestants vie to be a fashion model (Yes I’m mostly speaking about ANTM here; yes, I did watch a lot of the original cycles; yes, it was terrible but it was a weird time in pop culture) – attitudes have changed. We don’t have “fame” in the sense that it was defined as just 25-30 years ago. Anyone can be “famous” now, thanks to social media.

I know, I know, I’m off track here. The original G1 Ponies didn’t really have concepts of “fashion models”. Yes, they wore the costumes in an effort to shill the physical product that Hasbro was making for sale, but I really can’t recall them specifically referencing the human concept of “fashion model”. Dove will correct me if I’m wrong. Another thing is, these are chunky Ponies. I remember when the Sweetheart Sister Ponies were introduced – roughly 2-3 years before this cartoon series – and, boy, what the fuck? If they’re supposed to be the teenage younger sisters of the ORIGINAL Ponies, why the hell are they skinny AF? Do Ponies just pack on the pounds in “middle” age? What even is considered middle age for Ponies???

I think I’m trying to say there was a lot of backwards bullshit messages in toys and cartoons back in the day and although we have come a lot farther in understanding and recognizing the messages, it’s still jarring to be reminded of them. This is why societal ‘norms’ change over time.

[Dove: My reaction is even more basic than that. I love these gorgeous plastic toys. They look magical. I am pissed off that this show about talking whimsically coloured ponies is so goddamned mundane. Who cares about fashion models and environmentalists when you could be friends with pegusi and unicorns and fighting magical creatures?]

BON-BON begins to sing during her weird mental fantasy sequence. I suppose this is a good time as any to shoehorn in the requisite song for the episode. Please enjoy: THE BEST DREAM

Lord. That’s finally over.

A simplified summation: Melody = rock star; Starlight = teacher; Patch = clown; Bright Eyes = environmentalist. We skipped Clover entirely (I’m guessing we’re still going with ballerina?) and fuck Sweetheart entirely, does she even exist??

Miss Piggy, is that you?

BON-BON complains that her friends’ dreams aren’t for her and her dreams/wishes/hopes/aspirations are, quote, “THE BEST”. I honestly don’t know if the animators drew BON-BON to look absolutely overweight and as though someone put lipstick on a pig – I honestly wouldn’t be surprised, given the attitudes of the early 1990s about ‘plus size models’, though I don’t remember that even being a thing until the early 2000s? – but that’s the exact effect that happens.

Finishing her song, BON-BON has donned every goddamn accessory she owns while staring in the mirror. Apparently ‘less is more’ isn’t one of BON-BON’S mottoes. She is crying, of course, because she doesn’t believe in herself nor has she any confidence.

How… strange. We went from BON-BON starving for attention to the point that she would lie to her family, which took a lot of chutzpah and confidence to do, to… this. Weeping as she scribbles (PONIES CAN’T HOLD PENS IN THEIR HOOVES, DAMN IT) in her diary that she cannot go to the masquerade as her ‘heart’s desire’ because she’ll look silly if she dresses as a ‘fashion model’.

We pull back to show a GINORMOUS door (PERSPECTIVE?? PROPORTIONS?? THEY DON’T MATTER!) as BON-BON’S mother knocks on it. She enters the room, saying she heard a noise. What? WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HEARD A NOISE? YOU HEARD YOUR DAUGHTER SINGING. AND THEN YOU HEARD HER CRYING.

BON-BON says she doesn’t want to go to the masquerade party, everyone will laugh at her. Mother Pony comforts her child, asking if BON-BON isn’t overdoing it just a little. Mother Pony’s cutie mark defies conventional perspective, just like everything else in this episode. She also insists that BON-BON is beautiful and everyone knows it. I will hold my tongue.

“No one will laugh at me?” BON-BON asks.

Well, we know how this is going to go.

Mother Pony assures BON-BON, before leaving to go finish baking the cookies for the masquerade.

OKAY HERE’S WHERE I YELL ABOUT HOW THIS ISN’T A MASQUERADE. [Dove: *grabs popcorn* The only joy in these episodes is when they do something that bugs bat and generates a rant.]

By definition, masquerades are parties where you pretend to or fully disguise yourself. Usually masks or some way of hiding your face is involved. Or you pretend to be attending some kind of historical fancy dress ball or something. Yes, ‘costumes’ are in the definition, but again, it’s hand in hand (hoof in hoof?) with the whole thing being a disguise.

Dressing as what you aspire to do as an adult Pony isn’t really a disguise. So, basically, this is a goddamn costume party and not a masquerade.

We fade into the costume party – I refuse to call it a masquerade from now on – and pan across the crowd. Mostly the Ponies are wearing capes and hats. Um. A lot of them want to be magicians? Ace is there, dressed as a… well I don’t know, now that I look at it closely. He’s wearing striped leg warmers and a medallion around his neck, so I guess a soccer player? Or an Olympian?? The purple Pony next to him has a fur collar and furry… fur wrapped around their knees? and the cutie mark is a 3rd place ribbon, so I have no idea what the hell is going on there. [Dove: Imagine if your destiny symbol stated that you were never going to win, but also that it was your destiny to continue to compete. I can’t even begin to unpick that poor pony’s psyche and outlook on life. What the actual fuck?]

Patch really wants to be a Renaissance Faire jester.

Once they’re out of the shot, we see Sweetheart, who is dressed as a doctor. No white lab coat but she is sporting a head mirror, a stethoscope, and a wrist watch. I mean, gotta give it to Sweetheart, her future desired profession is easily identifiable.

Patch rushes up and hands Sweetheart a wrapped gift box. Patch isn’t dressed like what I would recognize as a clown; a medieval court jester, yes. Sweetheart, innocent gullible Sweetheart, opens the box and several spring-loaded snakes (worms?) explode out, knocking Sweetheart on her ass. She laughs. I hate Patch all the more. [Dove: Sweetheart is the one reason bat and I haven’t hard deleted every copy of this on our collective drives. You leave her alone, Patch!]

A Pony walks up, dressed in what most children would identify as “adventurer” gear. He sports a yellow Fleur-de-lis as his cute mark. (HE HAS COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST THE FRENCH MONARCHY! SOMEONE GET THE EXECUTIONER!) I know this is Lancer because I looked at the wiki. I can’t tell if Lancer is putting on a deeper voice for the costume party or not, since we’ve never met him, but he offers to help Sweetheart up. [Dove: Again, all the boys love Sweetheart. It’s almost as if her kindness and decency sets her apart from all the other assholes and nets her special treatment. I wonder if there’s a life lesson here somewhere…] We are then treated to one of the single most disturbing images that I have encountered in this cartoon.

If I had to see it, so do you, at full size no less. Be sad I can’t make a gif of Patch rolling her eyes.

I’d talk about that with my therapist but I don’t have one. Writing recaps about crappy cartoons and terrible films is free and thus cheaper than therapy! Probably not effective but gives me a wonderful outlet. [Dove: At work on Friday, I spent a fairly long time mocking a colleague who was spending the weekend doing a half-marathon. My viewpoint was: why do you have a hobby you hate, and the only enjoyment you get is when you’re done and then you can say, “Well, that’s done. I am now as far as I can possibly be from having to do that again.” Then he asked me about my weekend. I explained recapping. And he hit me with every single one of my observations about running. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? WHY DO WE LIKE THIS WHEN WE HATE IT SO MUCH?] [bat: Oh dear, your colleague just doesn’t understand that recapping this series is now compulsory and we HAVE to finish. We cannot quit.]

I don’t know whom is filming this; he has a conversation with Patch, who assumes it’s a still photograph when it is video tape. Said adult male Pony adds that he can even let her see the video later on his TV! Um.

We are given a really fucking random insert of two Ponies complimenting each other. I… I don’t think that’s Clover? The hair colour is wrong. And why the other one has no eyeballs is just freaking disturbing.

What child now would understand this visual joke?

Starlight, dressed as a teacher complete with mortarboard, calls the room to attention. How fitting. I actually looked into this, because what better way to waste time and not finish this recap than Google shit, and Starlight’s tassel colour has meaning. As close as I can figure, the blue (which isn’t as light as it should be, but it’s not navy blue, either) is to signify a doctorate in Education. Wow, did someone do research for this or did the ink & paint people just blunder into it? Okay. Look, all I know is my tassel was my school’s colours and someone didn’t follow the rules and I got smacked in the face by a mortarboard someone threw at graduation.

This last six minutes, thirty seconds is gonna be a real drag on me.

Anyway, Starlight introduces Melody and the Rockin’ Beats (oh god no, please, no!) and IT’S THE SAME GOD DAMN SONG FROM THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS EPISODE! Holy shit, they didn’t have time or inclination to write a new song?? I know the costume party was short notice but this band has exactly one song???

They also seem to be missing a band member? And Melody’s outfit is something a five year old would don in pretend play. Ugh. Well, at least we are not subjected to the shitty song again. The scene cuts to BON-BON carrying a pile of those mystery lumps… scones? cookies? from the previous episode and wearing a fashion hat like she’s going to the beach or church. I’m honestly not sure which. BON-BON admonishes her mother to hurry up, they’re late. Rude. Mother Pony says the cookies took longer to bake then expected. Plus, she had to deal with your emotional insecurities, BON-BON.

SOMEONE EXPLAIN HOW THE MOTHER PONY DROVE. And how the Ponies are walking upright while carrying trays of mystery lumps.

Secretly, Patch just wanted to be Gallagher (RIP)

Inside at the costume party, Patch is skating around with just two roller skates (remember the original Ponies used four?) and juggling watermelons while everyone cheers. She tosses one exceptionally high and it ends up splatting open on her head, knocking Patch on her ass. I call LIES. She should be unconscious and concussed or dead from that. [Dove: We can only dream.]

The weird Pony dad with the camcorder literally zooms in while standing inches from Patch, to record the event as everyone laughs. WTAF. Another bang up example of Pony Parenting!

At that moment, BON-BON walks in. Everyone is laughing. AT PATCH. Clover remarks that ‘she is so silly’. TALKING ABOUT PATCH. Someone says ‘her costume is so weird’. ABOUT PATCH.

BON-BON begins to sob as everyone breaks out into hysterical laughter. BON-BON says, to no one, that she knew they would laugh at her and she shouldn’t have come. BON-BON runs off. Where the fuck did her Mother go? Because she was right there, carrying the mystery lumps on a tray.


Bolting through the door, BON-BON runs down the street. Perspective is still at an all time failure. Teddy watches BON-BON gallop past, asking her where she is going. TEDDY IS DRESSED AS A PIRATE. A not remotely historically accurate pirate but here we are. Great job choice, Teddy. (Am I being sarcastic or genuine? You decide.)

BON-BON runs… into a jungle? Forest? Who the fuck drew this background? BON-BON decides she can never return and maybe should find new friends. BON-BON IS A FUCKING DRAMA QUEEN. This is going to end up with everyone rallying around her and pooh-poohing her bullshit that was based on a misunderstanding and NO ONE WILL LEARN SHIT.

I feel like we already did this episode in ‘N Friends? It was Shady? Right? I spent like ten minutes trying to find the recap of that episode but all be damned, I couldn’t remember which one it was and I also stumbled into recaps that brought up old nightmares. Like the one heavily centered on the Baby Ponies and that magic fantasy creature nightmare thing assembled from game pieces.

Back at the shitty costume party, Sweetheart, Clover, and Starlight are stuffing their faces with mystery lumps of dough. Complete with muffled chewing noises. Ugh. ASMR this is not. Also, every time they bite the lumps, nothing disappears. The lumps remain the same size.

BON-BON’S mother wanders into the shot with another plate of mystery lumps, asking the trio if they have seen her daughter, she baked her favorite cookies. Yes, feed the emotional breakdown instead of treating it. Unrelated but how does an up-do with a headband of roses tied in equate BALLERINA, Clover?

The Ponies say they haven’t seen BON-BON all night, which is true. No one fucking saw BON-BON enter or run out crying. (Well, Teddy saw her in the aftermath but that doesn’t count.) BON-BON’S mother takes time to parent by actually looking for her daughter. She wanders a short distance – it still counts! – before stopping to ask the Dad Pony with the camcorder if he’s seen BON-BON. He scratches his head and says he doesn’t remember taking her photo. IT’S A VIDEO CAMERA. I THOUGHT WE ESTABLISHED THIS DURING A SCENE WITH PATCH ALREADY.

BON-BON’S mother asks all of two other Ponies before Teddy pipes up and says he’s seen BON-BON. He actually says he saw her run towards the forest and adds, “So what?” Oh my god, I may love Teddy. BON-BON’S mother looks absolutely horrified by this information. Why? “She could get lost in there!”


Starlight asks why BON-BON would run to the forest? Clover’s head is not the same colour as her body, great job, excellent work ink & paint! [Dove: But true to life, weren’t we just talking about how this is a major problem for the Whizzer toy?] BON-BON’S mother explains that BON-BON thought everyone would laugh at her ‘fashion model’ costume. Clover expresses sympathy though she reminds everyone that NO PONY saw BON-BON or her costume before the idiot twat ran away. Starlight stresses they would never laugh at a friend. (No, you’d just bully the fuck out of them and make a friend choose between you or another friend. I REMEMBER WHAT YOU DID TO SWEETHEART, PONIES.)

Out of no where, Lancer cries they have to find BON-BON before it’s too dark.

Does this Pony want to be a cop or a YouTube Play Button award?

Hold up. You Ponies have homes, drive cars, and own businesses. But if it’s ‘too dark’, you have no flashlights (torches) or others forms of illumination with which to use to find a missing Pony? PRESS X TO DOUBT. [Dove: *headtilt* Yep, that makes no sense.]

Suddenly everypony is leaving to go find BON-BON, with exceptionally dramatic music playing. The camcorder Dad yells that everyone can go in his van. What, is it the capacity of a school bus? Because otherwise, no.

Next we see a… that’s not a fucking van. That’s a box made of shadows with infinite seating due to it being like the TARDIS inside, obviously. I really wish I was making this up but how could I. Clearly I do not have the unlimited imagination of the artists that drew this cartoon, because I would never come up with something so patently shitty and tell children it is a VAN driving through THE WOODS.

The “van” has headlights that beam through the darkness. Most of the shots are just of this set of headlight beams moving around as if they are independently controlled and not stationary like a real vehicle’s headlights. I GUESS I FOUND THE ONLY MAGIC LEFT IN PONYLAND.

Just spray paint ‘FREE CANDY’ on the side and BON-BON will find you.

We get a shot of BON-BON galloping near vertically. What the actual fuck. She’s running away from the headlights now. Someone decided a non-magical shadow wasn’t enough and drew the van. I am laughing. How terribly designed this ‘van’ is. BON-BON’S mother yells out the open window, calling for her daughter. How many Ponies are jammed inside this van? Seriously.

Clover yells in a voice-over that it’s herself and Starlight and ‘all your friends!’ but BON-BON keeps running. Fucking BON-BON. She stops at the top of a hill to whinge about not going back and not letting them laugh at her again. You know what, just die already, BON-BON. I’m so done.

Suddenly BON-BON comes to a screeching halt at the edge of a very precarious cartoon cliff. Like, it’s so poorly animated, in reality BON-BON would have gone over. Teddy yells that he sees BON-BON, and somehow (PLOT SAYS SO) the van is on a road down below the cliff (no, it was right behind BON-BON seconds ago) [Dove: PHYSICS! HOW DOES IT WORK?!?] and somehow it sprouted a third headlight that was NOT in the prior shot and now all the Ponies are standing around outside the van and this is absolute bullshit. These writers let the animators animate themselves into a corner and now they’re putting random shit on the screen and expecting me to swallow.

Circle everything incorrect in this photo.

There was no GOD DAMN ROAD in this “forest” five seconds ago and now you want me to believe there’s not only a road but a well marked one with a fucking wooden fence.


BON-BON says something about not realizing how high up she was. Uh huh. YOU WERE STEADILY GALLOPING UP A STEEP INCLINE, WE ALL WITNESSED IT.

Starlight pleads with BON-BON to come back. Starlight is yelling. BON-BON speaks in a normal voice, not yelling. How the fuck do any of the Ponies hear this? Then BON-BON yells that they laughed at her. Lancer yells back that they did not, they didn’t even know she was at the party. BON-BON throws out her version of events, aka receipts, at the others. By name, she points out who said what. Which is bullshit. Like, I heard the voices and it’s pretty specific who said what, by now I am familiar enough with the voice cast for each Ponies’ voice, so sure, but still, fuck off, BON-BON.

The Ponies argue with BON-BON, explaining what was really going on. BON-BON ignores them, angry her self-imagined pain is being ignored, and replies she heard everyone laughing at her when she entered the masquerade costume party. BULLSHIT, BON-BON, EVERYPONY WAS FACED AWAY FROM YOU WHEN YOU ENTERED. [Dove: *perks up* Oh really? You mean everyone’s attention wasn’t on Bon-Bon, and now all this drama has happened that she is in the centre of? Have you considered being a YouTuber, Bon-Bon? You could be one of those nasty ones that just starts drama with other channels. They get good views.]

“Roll the tape and show BON-BON she’s a fucking twit!”

Oh my god. When writers can’t write and you have to fix the story in animation. Camcorder Dad Pony yells they didn’t laugh at BON-BON and Sweetheart helps him throw open the back doors of the van to reveal a FULL-SIZED TELEVISION SCREEN wedged in the back. Okay. How the fuck did ALL THESE PONIES fit in that fucking van ALONGSIDE A TELEVISION SET?

This show, I swear.

We are shown “footage” of the Ponies who were called out saying the exact things they were accused of saying, from an entirely unseen angle. Uh huh. Clover’s costume is worse than I thought. I would never think ‘ballerina’ from that ensemble.


No shit, Sherlock.

BON-BON’S mother yells for her to come down, everyone “loves her”. NO. I DO NOT LOVE BON-BON. I DISTINCTLY HATE BON-BON. IT SAYS SO RIGHT IN THE TAGS. #bat HATES BON-BON

“I feel silly now,” BON-BON states the obvious. She says she’s coming, as in down off the cliff, but RIGHT THEN THE CLIFF GIVES WAY. You know, I’ve seen several variations of how this “cliff” was drawn in the short interval of this scene and no. Just no.

BON-BON screams and somehow, without the aid of magic and/or wings, manages to float back up in the air and grab onto the crumbling cliff. Her hat flies free of her head, floating down and off-screen as BON-BON calls for help. Starlight tells Lancer they’ve got to save her. NO. NO YOU DO NOT.

BON-BON keeps kicking her feet, having an even better grip on the cliff in the next shot, announcing she can’t hold on much longer. QUIT KICKING YOUR FEET YOU DUMB TWIT! BON-BON’S mother suddenly screams. That… was weird and over-dramatic.

Chant with me now: FALL! FALL! FALL!

Lancer and Starlight have suddenly CROSSED THE STREET AND RUN UP THE HILL in no time at all and Lancer is swinging his rope like a lasso. Huh. I thought you were an adventurer not a cowboy. He somehow (PLOT SAYS SO) lassos BON-BON, announcing “Gotcha!” as he manages to pull a Pony as large as he is back up to solid ground. I guess you can say Starlight helps.

Oh wait, no, they don’t. BON-BON slips away. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lancer calls that they’re going to lower BON-BON, who is dangling in mid-air with the rope around what I guess is her waist, down to the ground. Every other Pony is watching this and doing nothing but watch. WHERE ARE THE FUCKING ADULTS?? OH RIGHT, THEY’RE MANNING THE CAMCORDER. [Dove: Think of the views on YouTube!]

“Okay! Okay! I’ll hold on!” cries BON-BON, as she suddenly is lowered right to the ground. BY CHILDREN. NOT ADULTS.

Camcorder Dad Pony yells for everypony to get ready and four step forward and “catch” BON-BON in the single shittiest display of HELPING I have seen in a long time. Patch still has her damn roller skates on. HOW IS SHE STEADY? There is a very brief music cue as the rope is removed from around BON-BON. BON-BON’S mother hugs her and says it’s all right. NO. NO IT IS NOT.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Starlight suddenly appears and BON-BON hugs her and says she’s all right thanks to “you two” but NO SIGHT OF LANCER. Patch points out there is still time before the masquerade costume party is over and BON-BON suggests they return and “go dance”. Fuck. NO. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK. BON-BON wants everypony to see her fashion model costume.

YOU AREN’T WEARING ANYTHING ANYMORE, BON-BON. YOUR HAT IS GONE AND A COSTUME IS HARDLY MADE UP OF BRACELETS AND A NECKLACE WITH A PENDANT THAT I KEEP THINKING IS A PLANCHETTE FROM AN OUIJA BOARD. (Seriously, though, are you seeing that and thinking the same thing, Dove? Or is it just me being weird again?) [Dove: Well, now I can’t unsee it. And Hasbro did patent the Ouija board, so why not? But it could also be the G1 bell in that haunted foggy town (not Silent Hill) that had to be rung to undo the curse?] [bat: The ancient bell of Tambelon?? I mean, I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if BON-BON secretly supported Grogar’s return, likely unknowingly. And of course no Pony alive would remember that whole episode, so yeah.]

This bitch.

Oh shit we’re back at the costume party and everypony is dancing. Huh. I was lead to believe that the entire costume party went out to find BON-BON. Speaking of, BON-BON bursts through the doors and struts… literally struts… across the dance floor. My god. Stop. Please. Ace yells that she looks beautiful. Teddy wolf whistles. This is bullshit.

Lancer asks BON-BON to dance. She accepts and the two begin to dance, standing on their hind legs like humans, as a cascade of latex balloons and streamers fall from the ceiling.


Final Thoughts:

I know. I know.

A yellow pegasus Pony, Masquerade, sitting on her hindquarters, with a defeated expression on her face, with the words 'fuck this shit I'm out' over the top of the image.These episodes are getting worse. I tried to be optimistic but it is implausible at this point. And honestly detrimental to my mental health, trying to be hopeful that this cartoon could not only choose a life lesson but also stick the landing.

Nope. Never going to happen.

I’ve already stated the premise is a common trope and anyone with eyes can see that BON-BON is supposed to be, well, overweight compared to the other Ponies. I don’t know how to explain this; visually, all the Ponies are the weirdly squat bodies just like all of the G1 Ponies are. But it is still implied that BON-BON is not “standard” sized. And thus does not believe that she is worthy or able to be a fashion model, no matter how much she may dream about it.

Maybe because there was a time when I didn’t have fetters on my imagination, hopes, and dreams, I can recognize this in BON-BON (no matter how much I hate her.) Or maybe because I realized, quite early on, that I was limited in some of the things I wanted to do because of my physical form (and boy was that early on, specifically in a ballet class no less), I am particularly sensitive to this trope and see it coming from ten miles away. I don’t know what it is, but I do, and the logical side of me fights with the emotional side.

Children should be allowed to dream about what they want to be. No argument here. Unfortunately, reality exists. And it will swiftly kick some of us in the ass harder and faster then others. It doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome things and fulfill your dreams. Sometimes you can. Sometimes you cannot.

It doesn’t help me that BON-BON has been wholly unlikable since that second episode. So of course she is chosen as the main character for this trope. Ugh. Like I have no idea what else to say, where I could possibly go with this, because I’m just so over it. So very over it.

I can’t give this a F. It’s not a total failure of an episode, as hard as it tried to be. So I’ll stick with a D. It doesn’t deserve a point more or less, so a straight up D is what it gets.

[Dove: I never even picked up on the reading that Bon-Bon might be heavy – especially since scale and perspective are endlessly changing like Discord is heading the animation team. I was still carrying the baggage from when my best friend told me – while we were still very young in primary school – that her mum had told her that “Nobody decent ever thinks they’re pretty. It’s bad manners to think you look good. People who want to be models are very stuck up.” (Yes, funnily enough, that friend has battled body image issues her whole life, despite being very attractive, in both her looks and personality.) So I just assumed this episode came from that maybe not just being the ravings of an image-obsessed stuck up snot of a Kentish mother, but a held belief among a subset of people, who have then inflicted that nonsense on their kids and taught them to hate themselves, because otherwise they’re arrogant.

I think if the message was supposed to be, believe in yourself and that you’re beautiful if you’re happy with yourself, then this wasn’t the story for it. And if the message was don’t jump to conclusions, then there are far better stories to tell. And I think at a young age, you need that believe in yourself/you’re beautiful reassurance as soon as possible, because it seems like a lot of us are still carrying the baggage from ugly things we heard as kids.]

That is very excellent insight, Dove. Thank you for that perspective! I don’t think I was in any frame of mind to really break it down farther to the basic message, which you summed up quite well. Of course, I’m not sure the episode stuck the landing with that message, due to the obviously-rushed ending. It’s a pity, since the message / life lesson is such an important one, too.