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30
S3EP13 "Magical Mystery Cure"

The shorter season wraps up with the rushed but song-filled "Magical Mystery Cure" which swaps cutie marks of her friends with Twi to clean up the mess. Twi's destiny finally comes true with Princess Twicorn leading to significant changes for season 4. While this is supposed to be a first of 3 parter to be continued next season this is a self-contained episode. While it's badly paced (as were many episodes in season 3) it's still very emotional, full of great songs, fulfilling what has been 3 seasons in the making, and might be what season 4 needs to create fresh new storylines. Roll with the changes....

29
S3EP3 "Too Many Pinkie Pies"

Pinkie gets the chance to duplicate herself and her once buoyany personality begins to sink her community. It's got a lot of great little moments and scenes but lets face it the ending of watching paint dry while they off her clones whiel being oblivious of the real pinkie is a bit of a downer. Like a lot of season 3 we'll add it to the list because of what we liked about it.

28
S2EP5 "Sisterhooves Social"

Sweetie Belle and Rarity get to share an episode and this time Rarity gets less than a flattering appearance and Sweetie Belle the main spotlight. Some great interplay between the 2 characters with a contrast with Applejack and Applebloom. There's some good scenes in here and a great heart-warming resolution that nicely wraps up the end.

27
S1EP13 "Fall Weather Friends"

The dueling between Applejack and Rainbow Dash dominates this episode for the most athletic pony. While you can cut the sexual tension with a knife this story does sport some great Autumn scenery that looks fantastic as well as plenty of action. While competition gets the best of both of them it's friendship that wins out in the last scene.

26
S3EP10 "Keep Calm and Flutter On"

Besides the Trixie return this season we have the unexpected return of Discord who is paired up with Fluttershy this episode. It's all an effort to reform the villain and make him a powerful ally. It's an unexpected episode for sure and one that has some great comedic moments by De Lancie, who mostly trolls Fluttershy the entire episode. Like most episodes in season 3 the ending is a bit forced, rushed, and cliche but then again it's just nice to have Discord back as a friend or a foe.

25
S3EP5 "Magic Duel"

The long-awaited Trixie rematch finally occurs (Sethisto I'm sure busted a nut). This time a magic amulet boosts Trixie's powers to more than hollow boasts leaving Twilight to have to deal with banishment until she can find a way to defeat her more powerful powers. It's not a perfect episode by any means but it delivers on a long-awaited rematch and still opens the chance for a further cameo down the line.

24
S2EP23 "Ponyville Confidential"

Giving Diamond Tiara the center stage for an episode with CMC along for the ride actually gives a rather entertaining story. There's lot of great moments and nods to prior eps and it ultimately is entertaining diversion from what we'd normally get in season 2 (often a solo character spotlight tbh). A leftfield episode that actually is rather solid.

23
S2EP10 "Secret of My Excess"

Spike really gets to shine here (after that disastrous Owlicious episode) and seeing him get epicly big and tear up the town is great tv (and a great quick nod to King Kong in one scene). But what really makes the episode is Rarity and Spike's freefall moment at the end which is one of the best and most emotional moments of the show.

22
S2EP9 "Sweet and Elite"

For once Rarity gets a spotlight, gets to visit Canterlot, and we get to see her outside of Ponyville and frankly in her element. Ultimately as the one charcater who is being held back by being in Ponyville it's a great way to see her shine and aslo see more of Equestria. "Becoming Popular" is not just a great song but also a great visual montage. The Mane 6's surprise visit also has a nice resolution that doesn't feel phoned in and has some great moments (Twilight's akward dance, Pinkie's party cannon).

21
S3EP6 "Sleepless in Ponyville"

While the long awaited Scootaloo episode doesn't go into into either of the two often rumored plot ideas (she's an orphan or a handicaped pegasus) it does give her a chance for a good spotlight and a good pairing up with Rainbow Dash who she tries hard to impress. Fighting sleep and night terrors leads to some great comedic moments, a great contrast between Sweetie Belle and Rarity, and a cameo by Luna. One of the best of season 3.

20
S2EP4 "Luna Eclipsed"

Since Luna only appeared in a few scenes in the last episode of the conclusion of the pilot (and quickly became a fan favorite) it's perfect timing to see her re-enter the show during a halloween episode to see her try to akwardly fit in with other mortal ponies. There's some great Pinkie and Twilight moments, the appearance of Pip the Pirate, and a little bit of Zecora. The fun has been doubled indeed.

19
S1EP15 "Feeling Pinkie Keen"

Some great Warner Brothers nod moments in this ep, the comedic interplay between Twilight and Pinkie are great even if Pinkie sense is almost completely abandoned in following episodes after being introduced here. Still nice to see some great comedy, Derpy in action, Twilight's lab, falling anvils, and even a hydra or two. A leap of faith over logic that pays off.

18
S1EP14 "Suited for Success"

Works great in tandem with "Green Isn't Your Color" as a Rarity spotlight. It has the wonderful musical number "Art of the Dress", the first incredibly brief appearance of Dj Pon-3, a nod to Greta Garbo, and some great visuals when we do finally get to see the dresses that eventually make it to the gala in the final season Ep. Vogue!

17
S1EP9 "Bridle Gossip"

This ultimately is an ep about saying how racism and superstitions are bad by introducing Zecora the zebra and watching as eventually even Twilight is guessing she has ulterior motives due to peer pressure. With poison joke there's some great comedic moments thrown in (Flutterguy) and visually it's great to see more of Everfree forest and some variation of the pony species.

16
S1EP1+2 "Friendship Is Magic, parts 1+2"

You ultimately have to start off the series somewhere and introducing Twilight as the main character to the show and introducing her to the rest of the cast and to Ponyville works as a starting point for the viewer. Nightmare Moon, while sufficient as a villian, still feels too indebted to Disney (and many lines were recycled) and not as aspiring as later villians. While there's a lot of moments that don't work as well as they do in later episodes, this still is the best place to start the series. There is enough good material here that's entertaining enough to get quite a few people hooked on first viewing. Plus the storybook montage at the beginning and the Luna scenes at the end are great.

15
S2EP18 "A Friend in Deed"

Another Pinkie spotlight this season? Yep Season 2 was full of them but I'd lie if I said I didn't enjoy just about every single one of them. There's a few musical numbers in here but it's "Smile" that's on the highlights of the season. It's basically a re-interpretation of the pixar movie Up with Pinkie as the annoying kid trying to break down the heart of the cranky old mule. While it seems overtly forced and maybe a little wrapped up too nicely at the end there are still some great Pinkie moments in here and for once the rest of the cast isn't needed for padding.

14
S1EP16 "Sonic Rainboom"

A great Rainbow Dash spotlight and showing Cloudsdale for the first time. While the Rarity subplot basically has her in drag and full of herself most of the ep it's the thrilling adrenaline fueled finish of this ep and one of the few times you're rooting for Rainbow Dash (and not thinking she's a braggart) that makes it a great ep.

13
S2EP16 "Read It and Weep"

Rainbow Dash gets stuck in the unusual situation of being hospitalized and forced to read to keep herself entertained, thus opening up the great Daring Do - Indiana Jones tribute. The pacing is great as it's ultimately the story within a story plot that keeps getting interrupted that keep the episode rolling and it's always nice to see a pro-reading message in a tv show.

12
S2EP14 "The Last Roundup"

While we finally get an Applejack spotlight this season and a voyage out west, it's Derpy's speaking role that often gets the biggest attention this episode (before it disappeared on itunes). While it's AJ yet again being stubborn there are some great Pinkie moments here; from the I Love Lucy tribute, to breaking a pinkie promise, chimi-cherry-changa, and even a few pee jokes.  Altogether it's all the action happening while AJ's being quiet that makes this ep a winner.

11
S2EP22 "Hurricane Fluttershy"

While Fluttershy having to deal with self-confidence may be old-hat at this point (stop being such a doormat!!) this really does work as an ep with having her deal with her own problems of dealing with her weakness as a flyer (something that a pegasus could normally do better). Steroid pony, Fluttershy hiding as a tree, and the misheard "You're ga(me)y" are all great moments and ultimately it's just such a triumph to see her persevere and show that everyone matters in a group effort.

10
S2EP3 "Lesson Zero"

I can see where this is a love it or hate it ep as its mostly Twilight freaking out about nothing but it's also the most anything goes, targeted to bronies humor we've ever had and seeing Twilight lose her sh*t is rather hilarious. The bear scene with Fluttershy is great too.  One of those eps where the creators made it clear that they knew there were bronies in the audience and made an ep distinctly for them.

9
S1EP11 "Winter Wrap Up"

Great musical numbers are often few and far between but "Winter Wrap Up" is clearly one of the standouts at this point is the series. The visuals and community effort of seeing all the cast and background ponies working on literally wrapping up winter are beautifully rendered and Twilight finding her role in this society is a great focal point in a plot that would otherwise be too busy.

8
S1EP20 "Green Isn't Your Color"

Fluttershy and Rarity share the spotlight in this gem with great moments for both.  Fluttershy being forced into the spotlight, Photofinish as a hilarious guest star, and Pinkie Pie emphasizing the importance of a Pinkie Promise (FOREVER) are great moments that add up.

7
S1EP26 "The Best Night Ever"

A great finish to season 1 , having the characters all united but split up and having to deal with the built up expectations and the hilariously lame reality is great tv and a great explanation of how real life often works. In particular Fluttershy's breakdown ("you're going to love me") is one of the best 3 seconds of the show and the first appearance of the fun they'll have with her character in season 2. While its wrapped up a bit quick its a great ep and luckily lets each character shine throughout. "At the Gala" is also a great musical number.

6
S2EP19 "Putting Your Hoof Down"

While wanting Fluttershy to be more assertive has been the topic of just about every one of her spotlight episodes we've never seen that ever been successful. Seeing Fluttershy become a bully halway through the ep is classic comedic material and some of mlp's best moments. Combined with the awesome appearance of Iron Will, the great pairing (now i get the shipping) of Pinkie and Rarity, and Bon Bon in yet another speaking role with still no aural resemblance to any of the former ones (more voice changes than Derpy) it's just a great ep all around for fans.

5
S2EP17 "Hearts and Hooves Day"

CMC have never been cuter than in this episode and having Cherilee and Big Mac as main characters (although annoying in the last 1/3) made for some hilarious situations and so many great individual moments. "Perfect Stallion" is a great song too and the lighthearted Valnetine's Day special shines.

4
S2EP25+26 "A Canterlot Wedding – Parts 1+2"

The season 2, 2-part back to back finale was heavily hyped and except for a the bad guys losing at the last minute do to a technicality it was nothing to complain about and everything to gawk about. It's a real slow build through all of the first part and the plot twist at the end really is ingenious., Part 2 is all action, drama, and is just simply awesome. Plus 4 music tracks on this gem. Seeing Dj Pon-3's return too is also a highlight.

3
S2EP1+2 "The Return of Harmony - Part 1 +2"

Lets face it that Discord is THE best bad guy they ever had (although I didn't recognize John de Lancie, the former actor of Q on Next Gen, as the voice at the time which i feel so stupid for). For those who like the quests, which are very absent from the series, this one has a grand sense of adventure. The first episode pays off by seeing the characters lose their battles and go evil and Discord briefly triumphant and turning Ponyville a chaotic mess is great tv. It's a very dark 2-parter for the show and it's that mature tone that really shows how it's aspiring to be much more than what people initially expect it's target audience to be.

2
S1EP25 "Party of One"

Pinkie's breakdown is also another key ep for her and having her go cupcakes is key to all the grimdark fanfics that have come since. While she doesn't go full psycho in here I agree that their individual breakdown have been hilarious fodder and allow people to see their character flaws at the same time as their strengths. The resolution at the end ultimately ties up the episode well from Pinkie's emotional roller coaster.

1
S1EP23 "The Cutie Mark Chronicles"

I just adore this as the first 2 episodes of the season, while introducing the friends hadn't found that rhythm quite yet. So having an origins story for the mane 6, doing a better job of explaining who they are, AND uniting their past through [spoilered] is just a stroke of genius. Showing Pinkie as depressed in her former life is key to showing her as more than just a ditz and that happiness and kindness are a choice to who she is. Likewise Twilight's origin as the unicorn version of Jean Grey (so much power but she can't control it) is visual popcorn. Fluttershy's is also just beautiful and I love everything...about this ep.

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