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Photo Finish: Frootershy! It is time to make -- DE MAGICKS!
Written by Meghan McCarthy
Rarity and Fluttershy meet up for their weekly spa day, where Rarity announces that she's doing a fashion shoot with the famous fashion photographer Photo Finish, and proceeds to cajole Fluttershy into modelling her outfits. As they help prepare for what Rarity is convinced is her big moment, Spike decides to let Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie in on a secret: he has a crush on Rarity. Twilight is unimpressed, especially when Spike makes them promise to keep his secret, but Pinkie adamantly insists that they agree:
Pinkie Pie: Losing a friend's trust is the fastest way to lose a friend forever!
Twilight Sparkle: But...
Pinkie Pie: Forever!
Photo Finish arrives for the big shoot, and is apparently impressed enough to ask to do another one. But the next day, it turns out she's interested in working with Fluttershy, not Rarity. Fluttershy finds herself reluctantly catapulted into the life of a fashion model, while Rarity bites back her envy as best she can.
As luck would have it, Fluttershy and Rarity both confide in Twilight Sparkle their true feelings: Rarity is insanely envious of Fluttershy's success but is trying to be supportive and let her friend have "her moment to shine"; meanwhile, the meek and shy Fluttershy hates being the center of attention but doesn't want to let Rarity down after all her support and encouragement. Twilight drives herself up the wall trying to decide between letting her friends suffer and breaking her promise to keep their secrets, which is not helped by Pinkie Pie randomly showing up and reminding her that keeping secrets is Serious Business.
Twilight eventually tries sabotaging Fluttershy's latest fashion show with her magic, but Rarity manages to turn the crowd in Fluttershy's favor with her enthusiastic cheering. When Rarity visits Fluttershy afterwards to congratulate her, Twilight pretty much drives herself mad trying to keep from blurting out her friends' secrets. Fortunately for her, this becomes a moot point when Fluttershy and Rarity finally confess how they really feel about their situation, make amends for not telling each other sooner, and leave.
Unfortunately, the neurotic Twilight ends up blabbing about Spike's crush... to Photo Finish. But Spike is quick to forgive her this slight lapse, and is prepared to write Twilight's letter to Celestia about what she's learned from this experience (that while some things are okay to keep secret, around friends it's usually better to be honest with your feelings)... once he's done fawning over Rarity, that is.
- Absentee Actor: Applejack and Rainbow Dash each receive one two- or three-second voiceless appearance to advertise a newly-famous Fluttershy, and are not seen otherwise.
- Considering the episode's theme, it's not like the mane cast tomboys would fit in to the plot, and Rarity and Fluttershy's mutual inability to admit their true feelings to one another would have been swiftly resolved by Applejack's honesty if she'd been involved in the situation at all.
- Accidental Art: Invoked by Rarity to save Fluttershy's modelling career after Twilight had helped her act unattractive on stage. (If modelling isn't an art, Rarity managed to make it sound enough so anyway.) "She's invented an entirely new kind of modelling!"
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The theme has been doubled! Rarity getting what she thought she wanted earlier on left her making the same mistake in the opposite direction later on.
- Rarity insists earlier on that she wants Fluttershy to become a model. As a result, Fluttershy becomes so famous that Rarity gets very jealous.
Rarity: I'M the one who should be mobbed by strangers wherever I go!
- Later on Rarity explains this was her reason for standing up for Fluttershy; in her jealousy, she thought she wanted something embarrassing to happen to Fluttershy on-stage, but she felt extremely guilty when it actually did.
- Big Word Shout: "FOREVER!"
- Brick Joke: Pinkie Pie's swear and Twilight's attempt to repeat it.
- Call Back: Twilight messing up the second fashion show involves making Fluttershy fly upside down, which last happened to Rainbow Dash back in "Bridle Gossip".
- Also, while preparing for the photo shoot in the park, one of the dresses Rarity throws over the screen border is the same one Twilight asked her to fix in "Suited For Success."
- Celebrity Is Overrated
- The Confidant: Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle to Spike, Rarity and Fluttershy...in fact, part of the promise to not pass on the secrets is what causes most of the drama.
- Continuity Cameo: Hoity Toity can be heard among the voices praising Fluttershy at the first fashion show.
- Plus, Rarity owes Photo Finish's visit to his praising her work.
- Death Glare: After Rarity says she wants to be left alone, and Spike repeats this to Pinkie and Twilight, only to try to sneak off to be alone with Rarity when it seemed like Pinkie and Twilight were gone, etc... Twilight then glomps down on Spike's tail, drags him out of the room, and then she and Pinkie give Spike an 'if looks could kill' glare usually reserved for the series' worst villians.
- Double Meaning Title: "Green", as in green with envy, and the "nature colors" Fluttershy wears.
- Enforced Method Acting: Photo Finish increases Fluttershy's Moe appeal by taking pictures of her natural reactions to harsh criticism.
- Eye Scream: Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie swear" includes the line "Stick a cupcake in my eye." When doing the gestures, Twilight accidentally pokes herself in the eye with her hoof. (The proper form is to close the eye first.)
- Fashion Show
- Fawlty Towers Plot
- Funny Background Event: After Pinkie Pie appears out of the apple cart, she just stays there and keeps eating her apple while Twilight and Fluttershy walk away.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Rarity catches herself feeling jealous, and lambastes herself for her "unladylike" behavior.
- Groupie Brigade: Fluttershy ends up with one after becoming a model.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Rarity and Fluttershy are shown to be closest friends to each other in this episode.
- Hypocrite: Spike shooing Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle out of Rarity's room when Rarity says she wants to be left alone... when what he really wants is to be alone with Rarity.
- I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Fluttershy dislikes the attention of fashion. Meanwhile, Rarity wants the opposite.
- Ironic Echo: Rarity tells Fluttershy she must take the opportunity to become famous, repeating the words "You must!" with great emphasis. Later, Fluttershy tells Twilight she's only doing it for Rarity, and repeats the words "I must!" with the same kind of emphasis, except fading to resignation on the last go.
- Is This What Anger Feels Like?: Fluttershy's so angry, she could just scream! She's so frustrated, she could kick something!... except her scream is barely as loud as a tea kettle, and her "kick" just manages to wobble a vase.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Twilight nearly loses it trying to keep Rarity's jealousy, Spike's crush on Rarity, and Fluttershy's woes a secret. She eventually loses it on keeping the second one after the other two were told.
- Large Ham: Photo Finish, in spades. "VE GO!"
- Leitmotif: Photo Finish
- Letting the Air Out of the Band: Photo Finish's leitmotif grinds to a halt when she sees the glittery outfit Rarity has picked for the photo session in the park.
- Moe: In-universe example. Photo Finish's entire campaign involves emphasizing this one aspect of Fluttershy.
- Mythology Gag: If you look closely at the gallery with all of Fluttershy's photos, you can see Lauren Faust's concept illustration of the G1 pony Posey, but edited with wings and Fluttershy's cutie mark.
- The Not-Secret: Spike's crush on Rarity.
- Offscreen Teleportation/Behind a Stick: Pinkie manages to show up in places like a small bucket of sponges, a pile of apples, and inside a mirror to remind Twilight to keep her secrets.
- Paparazzi: They hound the newly famous Fluttershy.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: A large-brimmed hat and sunglasses seem to be sufficient to throw the pony press off Fluttershy's trail. You'd think they'd just follow the cutie mark...
- Pinkie Swear: Notably, it does include a "stick a [something] in my eye" phrase, which Twilight takes literally, much to her pain.
- Pony Puppets: Twilight's attempt to prematurely end Fluttershy's career.
- Record Needle Scratch: When Twilight magically trips up Fluttershy on stage.
- Shout-Out: One of the photos of Fluttershy in the photo gallery dedicated to her is Lauren Faust's original design of her, minus the bunny and with wings attached.
- At one point, Rarity dons a black cloak that looks like the one worn by the Old Hag/Evil Queen in Disney's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, jealousy being the corresponding theme. Later on, Pinkie slowly bites on a red apple, pauses as if something is wrong, then declares, "Mmm! Juicy!", parodying the poisoned apple from the same movie.
- She also says "I want to be alone" in a manner reminicent of Greta Garbo
- Spinning Paper: Not newspapers, but magazines, each adorned with Fluttershy's visage.
- Springtime for Hitler: Rarity's attempt to make up for Green-Eyed Monster during Twilight's efforts.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Rarity gets a minor one when, after an episode of being overshadowed by Fluttershy's success, a couple of fashionista ponies remark on her obvious fashion sense.
- Wasted Song: The spa scenes have some amazing sitar music playing... that's buried so far down in the mix it's overshadowed by the slightest sound effect, never mind when the ponies actually talk.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? Pinkie Pie takes an apple… and eats it!
Pinkie Pie: Mmm, juicy!