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Spike: You're good at a lot of things, just not nest-making, ice-skating, animal waking, snow clearing...
Twilight Sparkle: Thanks a lot for making me feel SO much better.
Written by Cindy Morrow
Winter comes to an end, and Ponyville prepares for an annual cleanup to make way for spring. Since the town was founded by Earth Ponies, the tradition for cleaning up the snow and planting seeds is to avoid using magic, leaving Twilight Sparkle, a unicorn whose main talents all involve magic, with a dilemma: what can she do that is useful?
Twilight decides to ask her friends to see what she can do. First, she goes to see if Rainbow Dash's team needs any help, but since they're all pegasi flying off to retrieve the southern birds, Twilight obviously can't go with them. She then goes to help Rarity make bird nests, but ends up creating an absolutely horrible nest that Rarity has to spend a lot of time fixing. Twilight then offers to help Pinkie Pie cut lines into the frozen lakes (via ice skates) to make breaking the ice easier, but she's way too uncoordinated to control herself on skates. Next, she decides to help Fluttershy wake up the hibernating animals, but gets scared off by snakes, bats, and skunks. Around this time, Spike suggests Twilight try using a little magic to speed things up, but Twilight doesn't give in until she decides to help Applejack's team plow away the snow. However, Twilight's spell to make her snowplow move (after her muscles prove unable to budge it) ends up causing it to go out of control, crashing and resulting in an avalanche of snow. Applejack chews out Twilight for using magic, and the unicorn runs off, utterly upset with herself.
While Spike tries to cheer Twilight up, an argument over how soon Rainbow Dash's team should clear the clouds for the sun to melt the snow begins to reveal that Winter Wrap-Up isn't going as smoothly as it could, even without Twilight messing up. The mayor bemoans the fact that Ponyville is late for spring every year due to the disorganized way everyone approaches it. Immediately, Twilight gets an idea; after all, she's organized enough to make sure everyone gets their job done! With the help of Twilight getting everyone to do their jobs efficiently and as a team, spring arrives on time, and Twilight is officially assigned "All-Team Organizer", finally ensuring that she has a job to do.
Tropes (YMMV items can be found here).
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: "So quietLY and nice", "Help the earth poNY way".
- All Animals Are Dogs: Caramel makes sounds like a whimpering dog when Applejack berates him.
- This could possibly be explained by the fact that the ponies seem to be on human level intelligence and so he's making an active choice to make that sound the way humans will sometimes whine or make similar noises when scolded.
- Alone in a Crowd: Twilight at the end of the song, to represent the fact that, at the time, she really has no place in the wrap-up.
- An Aesop: "Everyone has a talent and can be useful, no matter how specific". Less specifically, as Twilight is depressed about screwing up, she overhears that the wrap-up has been a disaster due to pretty much everyone making some blunder or conflict (not just this year, the year before and so on). A side aesop here could be "Everyone makes mistakes, so don't think you're alone when you screw up").
- Bishie Sparkle: Happens briefly to Twilight when the sun hits her during the Crowd Song.
- Brutal Honesty: Perhaps because Twilight refuses to let him sleep, Spike does not pull any punches when it comes to Twilight's failed attempts at fitting in.
- Chekhov's Skill: "It's a good thing I'm so organized!"
- Crippling Overspecialization: Having done nothing but study magic her entire life, Twilight can't manage to perform any of the necessary tasks for the Wrap Up. Thankfully she has other, less physically-oriented skills which come in handy.
- Crowd Song: Notable as the first song in the series that isn't just sung by Pinkie Pie.
- Dramatic Spotlight: The start of the song is all about this trope. It even is the trope image!
- Epic Fail: Twilight's attempt at creating a bird nest is so bad that the perfectionist Rarity spends much of the remaining day trying to fix it up.
- And actually breaks down sobbing in despair partway through.
- Pretty much everything Twilight tries to do to help in the Winter Wrap Up results in this in some fashion until the end.
- Foreshadowing: The only thing Twilight is good at when building her nest is organizing the items necessary to build it.
- Likewise, there are hints that the Wrap Up is a disorganized mess even before it's called attention to: Twilight is left to find a job completely on her own, and when we see the ponies clearing the fields for planting, the plows are all moving in random directions.
- Or the lines of Applejack and chorus: "We must work so very hard, /it's just so much to do!"
- Gosh Hornet
- Hard Work Montage: One as the Crowd Song and one (purely instrumental) as the climax.
- Humiliation Conga: Twilight specifically when trying to help wake the hibernating animals, though her entire attempts to help out at other tasks can be seen as the extended cut…
- "I Want" Song: At least Twilight's verses.
- Just Trying to Help: Twilight chokes this out after getting a What the Hell, Hero? from Applejack for using magic before running off.
- Like a Weasel: Spike spends a chunk of the episode convincing Twilight to use her magic. When she does to help plow fields and things get out of control, Applejack calls her out on it. Spike immediately changes his position, chiding her for using magic.
- Ludd Was Right
- Lyrical Dissonance: Rainbow Dash sings about awesome holidays, Pinkie about parties and Rarity about Fashion. Applejack? She's singing about possible starvation due to running out of food. Wow.
- Magical Underpinnings of Reality
- Musical World Hypothesis: The song may be partly the Diegetic version, mostly because they do this every year and this may be the song and dance they do every year. Twilight's solo throws it off a bit.
- Painting the Frost on Windows: The main point of the episode.
- Pony Snowball: The result of Twilight's attempt to clear the snow from the fields. Also recurs to an extent when Twilight tries her hand at ice skating, and ends up crashing into Pinkie and Spike.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Used and averted - Twilight is terrified by the snakes; Fluttershy the animal lover has no problem with them.
- Serious Business: Twilight even refers to it by name.
- Shout-Out: To the original four-legged ice-skater.
- Smelly Skunk: Twilight Sparkle ends up in a den of them. The scene then cuts to her receiving a tomato juice bath to get rid of the stench.
- Spring Is Late: The ponies have to wrap up winter or else spring will be late. In fact, it has been late every year, until Twilight Sparkle gets everypony organized.
- Super OCD: Both Twilight and Rarity show this behavior. Twilight immediately lays out all the components of the bird's nest in an orderly fashion before constructing it, and then later her organization skills help to save the day. Rarity, on the other hand, becomes obsessed with trying to fix Twilight's attempt at the bird's nest, leaving her drastically behind schedule.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Applejack gives Twilight a good chewing out after the latter uses magic to help clear the snow from the fields, with disastrous results (although she looks regretful when Twilight runs off in tears).
- Though after watching Family Appreciation Day, Twilight's disobeying of the rules could be considered as a variation of Harsher in Hindsight, due to the fact that not only did Twilight break the sacred Earth Pony tradition rule on Applejack's farm, a very earthy... Earth pony. But also consider and remember the fact that the ponies who founded Ponyville were actually Applejack's great-grandparents, making Twilight's act of rule-breaking especially disrespectful towards Applejack.
- The mayor gives one to just about everyone else afterwards, since their arguments and bumbling have delayed spring another year round.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: For Twilight, literally. And bats.