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Rarity: Applejack! Were you reading a bedtime story to an apple tree?
Written by Dave Polsky
And now for a completely different setting. We open with the ponies riding a train (pulled by ponies, no less) out into the Wild West as Applejack fondly reads a bedtime story.... to a tree. Rarity is not amused by this, or the fact that "Bloomberg" gets an entire cabin all to himself. And why are our little ponies on a train with a tree in the Wild West you ask? To deliver said tree to a new settlement founded by Applejack's relatives as a gift!
After the the title credits play we cut back to the train at night time. While Spike & Rarity try to go to sleep, the rest of the cast have a thoughtful discussion on whether or not Fluttershy is a tree. Spike decides he can't take it and bunks with Bloomberg in the other cabin, apologizing in advance for any snoring he may do. Morning comes and well would you look at that! A herd of buffalo! They have amazing feather accessories! And they're getting close to the train! Really close!
Close enough, in fact, they start side-ramming the train (and the ponies pulling it). When that doesn't stop the train, a small female buffalo hops on top of the train and heads to the back cabin where Bloomberg and Spike (who's sleeping through all of this) are. Rainbow Dash attempts to stop the buffalo girl. She fails. Buffalo girl detaches the cabin with Bloomberg and Spike (who's now awake and screaming for help) and the buffalo get away. Rainbow decides to go after the accursed dragon-nappers while suffering from a headache.
The train reaches its destination and Applejack, Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy are instantly greeted by AJ's cousin Braeburn who's all too happy to show them the sights and wonders of APPLELOOSA! After getting a full tour of the town, much to their dismay, Twilight and Co. explain to Braeburn that Spike & Bloomberg have been kidnapped by buffalo, Rainbow Dash went off after them, and Pinkie Pie disappeared off-screen. Braeburn explains that the local buffalo have been causing them trouble for quite some time and want the town's prized apple orchard gone.
Meanwhile Rainbow Dash is using stealth espionage action to locate Spike and get back at the buffalo girl. No one tricks Rainbow Dash and gets away with it! She runs into Pinkie Pie out of nowhere. They start to argue, and then buffalo show up out of nowhere. And Spike! He's all right.
As it turns out, Spike has become bros with the buffalo. He introduces them to Little Strongheart, the buffalo girl that kicked Rainbow Dash's tail earlier, and Chief Thunderhooves, the tribe's leader. They explain to Dash and Pinkie that the Appleloosa ponies have planted their orchard all over their sacred stampeding grounds without their permission. Rainbow Dash agrees and declares they have some apple-picking Appleloosians to talk to.
The next morning, the Appleloosa gang are all set to hike deep into buffalo territory to rescue their friends. They take 10 steps out of town to find Pinkie, Dash, and Spike right there. Glomps and nuzzles are exchanged, and Rainbow reveals they've brought their new friend Little Strongheart to explain why the Appleloosans should move their apple orchard. Applejack tells them that Braeburn would like to explain why the trees should stay (because the grove is on the only farmable land in the area). Rainbow and Applejack start arguing for them. How will they resolve this conflict? Fear not, for Pinkie Pie the pretty party pony has the perfect plan.
This plan is to dress up in an adorable showgirl outfit and sing a song about sharing and caring to everypony (and everybuffalo). It…doesn't go over well.
Chief Thunderhooves: It seems the sheriff and I have come to an agreement... that was the worst performance we've ever seen.
Chief Thunderhooves declares that on the next day at noon, if the apple trees aren't gone, they'll stampede them and the whole town into the ground, and the town's sheriff tells him they'll be ready for a fight. Preparations for the battle are made, despite our heroines trying to persuade both sides otherwise. Noon comes and Thunderhooves begins to reconsider his decision. Perhaps there is another way than fighting a war…
Apple pies are thrown, buildings collapse, and Chief Thunderhooves is struck down by an apple pie to the face. The fighting stops briefly and there is mourning…until a piece of the pie lands in Thunderhooves's mouth, instantly springing him to his hooves and says he has a better idea than fighting.
The buffalo allow the apple orchard to stay in exchange for a path to be cut through it and a share of those delicious apple pies. Bloomberg is finally planted in his new home and everyone is happy. Twilight Sparkle's letter to Princess Celestia states that even the greatest of enemies can become friends. You've got to share, you've got to care...
- Adorkable: Applejack, mothering and fawning over Bloomberg at the beginning of the episode.
- Badass Adorable: The citizens of Appleloosa are a textbook version of this. Cute cowboy and cowgirl hats? Check. Building a town and growing a huge apple orchard in just a year, in the middle of the desert? Check. Standing firm, defending their town from a huge Buffalo tribe several times bigger and stronger than them, gaining the upper hand and actually defeating them with apple pies as weapons? Check!!
- Fan-favorite background pony Carrot Top takes the cake in the battle. She jumps out of the second story of a building, lands on a buffalo's back and rides him rodeo style all while having a big grin on her face!
- Little Strongheart, who is smaller than any of the ponies (and much smaller than any of the other buffalo) but does the bulk of the work in stealing the apple tree, and shows up Rainbow Dash in the process.
- Granted, Rainbow Dash was only trying to talk to her at the time, not fight or outperform her, but even she thought Little Strongheart's moves were impressive.
- Clueless Aesop: In-Universe. Pinkie Pie's song about sharing is so annoying, it makes things worse.
- Companion Cube: Bloomberg the apple tree.
- Determined Homesteader: The citizens of Appleloosa.
- Disneyfication: Of the treatment of Native Americans in the west
- Too be fair, the horrible stuff that happened to Native Americans in Real Life is not a possibility in-universe. Which kind of makes you wonder why they thought the story was a good idea in the first place...
- Dreadful Musician: Pinkie Pie, according to everyone else.
- Epic Fail: Pinkie Pie uses the power of her songs to deliver a message of caring and sharing to ponies and buffaloes. A reprise of her song ends up escalating the war between them before it was about to be quelled.
- Eyedscreen: Chief Thunderhooves gets this a couple of times.
- Face Death with Dignity: When the Sheriff runs out of pies with the Chief charging toward him, he places his hat over his chest and waits for the inevitable.
- Fantastic Aesop: It's easy for your enemies to make peace with you if you fight them with Edible Ammunition.
- the ponies can always make peace. they made a compromise, it really doesn't matter what the implications may be.
- Fantastic Racism
- It didn't last though, natch.
- Furry Confusion: "We have all of the finest comforts. Like horse-drawn carriages…" "Okay, you pull now." "Aw, we just switched!"
- Furry Reminder: There's a saloon in Appleloosa called "The Salt Block" where ponies serve salt to customers. This may seem bizarre but if you're familiar with real horses then you would know that salt is an important source of nutrition for horses (usually served in a form of solid blocks of salt). It also helps them keep cool especially in hot areas (like the desert environment where Appleloosa is) through the minerals the salt they consume provides.
- "AAAAAApple-loosa! Hreeheeheehee!"
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A pony blatantly drunk on saltlicks gets thrown out of the canteen at one point.
- Glomp: Fluttershy on Pinkie.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Chief Thunder Hooves is really Dinobot. Or was it Rattrap or Silverbot. Or maybe it was Waspinator. Wait. Waspinator is too much of a target to be an effective leader and would get trampled over. Regardless, it's good ol Scott McNeil providing the voice.
- Injun Country
- Keet: Applejack's cousin, Braeburn. It's quite telling when the first glimpse of him we get is a grin that takes up the majority of his face.
- Lock and Load Montage: When the buffalos and townsponies start preparing for battle.
- Motor Mouth: It takes a good while for Applejack to say anything over Braeburn's extremely enthusiastic introduction to Appleloosa.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Applejack and Rainbow Dash hadn't been so adamant in defending either side of the conflict and just let them talk, maybe the conflict wouldn't have gotten out of hand.
- Also, just when Chief Thunderhooves decide against attacking the town, Pinkie Pie shows up and makes the Chief change his mind.
- Oh Crap: Little Strongheart quickly recognises a rather edgy Rainbow Dash when Spike introduces his friends.
- Everyone when Chief Thunderhooves is shot down...by an apple pie.
- Only Sane Man: Braeburn and Little Strongheart seem perfectly willing to have a reasonable discussion, but everyone around them keeps being adamantly belligerent.
- Overly Long Gag
"My father stampeded upon these grounds... and his father before him... and his father before him... and his father before him... and his father before him... and his father before him..."
- As he says it, we cut to the other buffalo falling asleep, and finally Little Strongheart hoofs him in the jaw, whereupon he gets to the point.
- Pie in the Face: Used by the settlers as if they were weapons. It works.
- Riding Into the Sunset: The ending of the episode, complete with an Iris Out which Pinkie Pie interrupts to say Hey, That's My Line!.
- Road Trip Episode: Type 1a.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Well, sleeper car berths, anyway. Happens when the mane cast (sans Applejack) is bouncing around the train.
- Showgirl Skirt: Definitely invoked with Pinkie Pie's costume for her musical number.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Just in case you had any doubt this show was on the idealistic side...
- Stunned Silence: Follows Pinkie Pie's song, rightfully enough. Only Spike's earnest clapping (and the forlorn cry of a hawk) disturbs it.
- Traintop Battle: Little Strongheart vs. Rainbow Dash
- Tribal Face Paint: The buffalo put this on before the final battle.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: During the final battle, nameless buffaloes were getting pies in the face left and right and nopony bats an eyelash. But when Chief Thunderhooves gets hit, it triggers a mass My God, What Have I Done? for everypony, even though the pie was a Non-Lethal KO.