|Friendship is Tragic|
A page from the series
|Date published||August 29, 2011 -|
|Pages||90 (story arcs)|
It is published on deviantArt instead of one of the more typical platforms for webcomics, but it updates regularly and is structured like a traditional webcomic, with a handful of panels per page and a humorous punchline in the final panel. The exact format changes depending on the demands of a given scene, but is usually horizontal with three or six panels. The main characters are six female friends from Ponyville, all of them background ponies from the show, most prominently Sparkler. The title of a bonus comic calls the main characters the "Tragic 6".
Since the end of the first story arc in December, the comic has updated consistently with one page per week every Monday.
Friendship is Tragic
In the first story arc, which is titled just "Friendship is Tragic" and set at the same time as The Ticket Master, Sparkler tries to get her hooves on tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala. She does this every year, and this time, her friends are ready with ideas of how to help her. These ideas run the gamut from "waiting in line" (Cloudkicker) to "purchase them illegally" (Cherry Berry) and "wait for somepony to give them tickets" (Linky). The plans do not turn out well, for the most part.
Cherry Berry almost gets herself arrested. Cloudkicker's waiting-in-line approach almost succeeds, but is thwarted at the last minute when a member of the royal guard comes by the ticket booth to demand the final five tickets (to give them to Twilight's friends). In the end, Linky's hope that they'll get lucky is fulfilled when Dizzy Twister loudly remarks that she has five extra tickets to the Gala, but no friends to give them to.
The story arc ends with a sort-of moral lesson: Sparkler learns that she cannot rely on her friends, and Dizzy Twister learns that you can just buy friends if you don't have any.
Buck Applebuck Season
Applejack and Cherry Berry are at odds with one another over selling apples and cherries respectively in the Ponyville marketplace. Each attempts to one-up the other by badmouthing the other's produce (or, in Cherry's case, lying about her own). Before it comes to a head, Carrot Top takes advantage of the two's bickering to promote her carrots.
The G and P... M
In a one-shot comic that coincides with Boast Busters, Moondancer gets into an argument with the Great and Powerful Trixie, both constantly referring to themselves in the third person. Linky thinks they should intervene, but an amused Sparkler wants to see how long it goes on for.
Winter Mess Ups
The arc begins with the friends discussing their roles in the upcoming Winter Wrap Up preparations. Sparkler proudly tells them she managed to become leader of the animal team because she was able to shout over the objections of the other ponies, who all wanted Fluttershy. Dizzy Twister has the job to bring back the southern birds, because "the pony who usually does it messed up the last three years in a row", referring to Ditzy Doo.
Linky starts out as leader of the plant team, but loses the position almost immediately after this (or a similar) incident; so she decides to take a nap, and Dizzy Twister thinks that's a good idea as well. Cherry Berry switches the grass and cherry seeds so hers get planted first, not knowing that Caramel is about to lose the seeds. Moondancer accidentally kills a couple of ferrets by giving them the wrong type of food and gets chewed out by Fluttershy for it (and for pretending to be Moondancer). Cloudkicker has taken on more work than she can handle and passes out on a cloud, and Dizzy Twister fails to wake from her nap in time, forcing Rainbow Dash to let Ditzy Doo fly south after all.
The comic then cuts to the end of the Winter Wrap Up episode, after Twilight Sparkle has successfully undone all the little disasters caused at least in part by Sparkler and her friends. Mayor Mare lauds the ponies who did their fair share and publicly shames those who didn't. When Sparkler approaches her to get her cheque for leading the animal team, the Mayor has to remind her that there is no compensation for working that day, and that she wouldn't get any money anyway since the animal team was by far the most disorganized. Sparkler blames Moondancer and claims ignorance regarding the identity of the "Twilight Sparkle" who allegedly supervised all the teams.
Linky, who has somehow escaped scathing remarks by the other ponies, sums up the moral of the story: team work is great, but working hard isn't necessary when there are other ponies around who will do your work for you.
Green is your colour, Sparkler
The Grand Galloping Gala is coming up, and Sparkler is intent on scoring some dresses for the big event. Despite her being wealthier than her friends, Cherry Berry opts for a cheap dress (the same dress Twilight has Rarity fix a button on in Suited for Success).
Following Hoity Toity's panning of Rarity's dresses, the scene cuts to Photo Finish's fashion show in Green Isn't Your Color. Moondancer is singled out as the only pony not applauding Fluttershy and receives dirty looks from the ponies around her.
The Worst Night Ever
In the final arc of the "season", Sparkler is glad to finally be at the Grand Galloping Gala. Unfortunately, Cherry Berry and Dizzy Twister are denied entry, the former having forgotten her ticket and the latter being underdressed. Sparkler is too excited to care, however, even taking some pleasure in Pinkie Pie's misery.
At the hors d'oeuvre table, Linky meets a blue Pegasus and seems to have made a new friend, but after hearing about Linky and her friends' history, she wonders if the six of them are really friends. Cloudkicker gets into the Wonderbolts' VIP area. Moondancer once again fails at being recognized as a renowned blog-pony and wants to leave. Sparkler refuses to hear her friends' grievances, having waited years to go to the Gala, but when the actions of Twilight Sparkle's friends cause everything to descend into complete chaos, she gives up. Cloudkicker's positive attitude impresses Spitfire, the captain of the Wonderbolts. She's about to be made an honorary Wonderbolt, but Moondancer retrieves her saying it's time to go, leaving a puzzled Spitfire.
The four of them meet Cherry and Dizzy outside, and on the way home, they pass by Joe's donut shop, where the Mane Six, Spike, and Princess Celestia are having a laugh. Sparkler wonders why they're laughing when they ruined the Gala. Linky says maybe there's a lesson in all of this: real friendship is about laughing and enjoying your friends' company, not petty squabbling. Sparkler tells her to shut up.
The first arc of season two, "Discordia", opens with Sparkler and her friends in the Canterlot sculpture garden shortly after Discord's release from his stone imprisonment. Discord approaches the six ponies, and in spite of his appearance, the more cynical among them don't see him as any sort of threat. He asks them where the Elements of Harmony are; Moondancer believes the Elements don't exist, and Cherry Berry charges Discord bits for the information. When he reaches his wit's end, Discord takes away Sparkler and Moondancer's horns and Cloudkicker and Dizzy Twister's wings. What's more, as he'd done to Twilight and her friends in The Return of Harmony, Discord corrupts Sparkler and her friends, causing their manes and coats to become gray, before he leaves.
Sometime later, while Sparkler and Linky are playing cards, Discord is defeated off-screen, returning color to Sparkler and Linky's coats.
Flim Flam Filling
In a one-shot comic that coincides with the ending of The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flim and Flam are wondering what to do after their defeat. Flam suggests converting the Cider Squeezy into a machine that makes cherry pie filling, inciting Cherry Berry's anger.
Later on, Cherry offers Linky a cup of cider (with one of the Flim Flam brothers' bowties in it).
Linky gets tickets to Iron Will's assertiveness seminar, which Sparkler and Moondancer attend.
At the seminar, the two are unswayed by the minotaur's bombast, Moondancer going so far as to demand that Iron Will speak normally. Angered by the interruption, Iron Will singles out and challenges Sparkler. But when Sparkler challenges him right back, Iron Will shies away.
My Little Big Fat Changeling Wedding
The final arc of season two opens with a Moondancer's Monologue, in which Moondancer, who Princess Cadance used to foalsit, expresses disappointment for not being invited to her and Shining Armor's wedding. Before she submits her blog post, she receives an e-mail from Cadance, who apologizes for not telling her about the wedding sooner and asks her to be one of her bridesmaids. A cheerful Moondancer composes an entirely new blog post, excited about being a bridesmaid for a royal wedding.
When the Tragic 6 reach Canterlot, Moondancer goes off on her own to see Cadance. As Queen Chrysalis and her changelings discuss their plan to take over Canterlot, Moondancer enters, and the changelings quickly disguise themselves, Chrysalis disguising herself as Cadance. Moondancer is delighted to see her old foalsitter again, but "Cadance" comes off as ill-mannered and irritable, to the point where she doesn't want Moondancer to be her bridesmaid, and Moondancer runs off in tears.
With this, Chrysalis begins putting her plan into action, using disguised changelings as stand-ins for her bridesmaids. But after they ask one too many questions about her plans, Chrysalis banishes them to the crystal caves under Canterlot. A sad Moondancer meets her friends at the cafe and tells them she doesn't want to go to the wedding anymore. Despite this, Dizzy Twister and Sparkler still intend to go.
The next day, Sparkler attempts to go to the wedding, impersonating Twilight Sparkle. But as a result of Twilight's argument with Shining Armor, she's denied entry into the chapel. As she grumbles about her misfortune, Sparkler sees Twilight and the real Princess Cadance dashing into the chapel. At this point, the changelings begin their invasion of Canterlot. Cherry Berry, Dizzy Twister, and Moondancer meet up with their friends as the changelings start to impersonate them. One by one, the changelings' attempts to impersonate one of the Tragic 6 are thwarted, either because the changeling doesn't impersonate the original well enough or through the original's dimwittedness.
In the end, the changelings' invasion is quelled, and Sparkler and her friends return home... with a changeling Cherry Berry, who collapses from hunger.
Interspersed with the author's Friendship is Tragic story arcs are one-shot comic strips in which popular blogger Moondancer writes a blog post, usually to air any grievances she may have at the time. Occasionally, a Moondancer's Monologue will tie directly into a story arc.
Sparkler is self-centered, pushy, takes her friends for granted, and wants to have them do all the work for her pleasure. She can be quite mean to them (deliberately sabotaging Moondancer's attempt to prove her identity) and to strangers (suggesting that they should break Twilight Sparkle's legs if she doesn't give them her ticket). According to an interstitial comic, the objects on her cutie mark are not real diamonds, but fake ones (cubic zirconia).
This is the white unicorn usually called Twinkle. The comic calls her Moondancer after an interpretation of the show's very first episode, in which that same pony invites Twilight to "Moondancer"'s get-together. In the comic, she always speaks of herself in the third person. She operates a blog and is quite famous for it in Ponyville, though people don't know what "Moondancer" looks like and tend to assume "Twinkle" is wrongfully impersonating Moondancer.
Cloudkicker is an eternally cheerful and very talkative ditz who never has any objection to anything people say to or about her. She declares that she loves losing at poker, waiting in line for hours, and taking on more responsibility than she can handle, for instance. She is also kind-hearted, suggesting - to the amusement of her friends - that if they somehow found themselves in possession of more Gala tickets than needed, they could donate them to needy ponies.
Cherry Berry is the most cynical of the friends. Her first idea of how to get tickets for the Gala: find a pony willing to scalp them, since everypony has a price. Her idea of what to do with left-over tickets they don't need: scalp them. She has a rivalry with Applejack; for instance, in one comic, she loudly implies that Applejack's apples have worms in them, while Applejack is standing right next to her. Of the six friends, she has the most money, but she is also the stingiest.
Linky is a fairly timid pony and wants to help Sparkler find tickets primarily to make her like her more. In other respects, she is very rational and reasonable, bringing up objections to her friends' terrible plans several times; she is, however, always ignored.
Dizzy Twister gets added to the clique after she invites them to accompany her to the Gala because she has no other friends. She appears to be a bit dim, but is otherwise cheerful and values the friends she's made.