Tooncrap #34 - My Little Pony: Friendship is
Magic - Boast Busters
A Great and Powerful Mess
Written by: Raymond Gallant
I think it's well known knowledge at this point that
My Little Pony is my favorite cartoon currently on. Yes, I know that
when it comes to story, character development, and even overall epicness
in comparison to stronger cartoons currently going, it isn't as strong
as a Gravity Falls or Steven Universe. But for five seasons I've stuck
with the adventures of Twilight Sparkle and her friends and have been
given great stories, great characters, and more fun than most shows have
But I'm also not a person who'll say that the show is perfect. There are
some really weak episodes of the series, especially in the first season,
better known as the Lauren Faust era. Faust served as the show's creator
and executive producer in its first season run, but left the series by
the time season 2 came along. And in looking back at season 1, it
definitely feels like a lot of the earlier episodes are particularly
weak. Either from not holding up in quality, or always suffering from
pretty terrible storylines. It takes a while, but by the time we get to
episode 10 "Winter Wrap Up", the show knows what it wants from its
character, and there are hardly as many issues going further. Well, save
for that episode where the writers accidentally tried to stick it to
Granted, Dragonshy and Applebuck Season remain the main exceptions, the
first ten episodes are in my opinion the show's weakest. Even weaker
than the majority of the maligned season 3.
And in those ten episodes, I chose Boast Busters to be my representative
of just why I'm not overly fond of this run of the first season. Now, of
course, anyone who knows me already is saying what I think they're
saying. "Oh, you just picked this one because you hate Trixie". Well, to
be honest, my disliking of the character had little to do with the final
decision. You'll see exactly what that reason was as we review this
We open the episode at Twilight's library as she's practicing her magic
tricks on her assistant/pet/sorta son/subservient slave Spike. One such
spell being the ability to create mustaches on prepubescent dragons.
However, despite his hopes that his enchanted flavor saver will impress
Rarity, Twilight plays the role of horned cock block and removes it.
As the two go into town to show their friends her newfound abilities
(much to Twilight's chagrin) they're interrupted by the real two worst
characters in the series. Two unicorn colts named Snips and Snails.
They're the show's token dimwitted characters, though played up to the
point where even former WWE character Eugene would find them to be
offensively idiotic. They're in a huff because there's another unicorn
in town who is quite proficient in spellbinding spell castery.
This said unicorn is "The Great and Powerful Trixie", a boastful
magician who travels across Equestria showing off her magical skills and
abilities. She also took lessons from the Rock as she speaks in the
third person. I don't mind the occasional arrogant character, but I've
never been able to like Trixie. She's always annoyed me for some reason.
Maybe its' the speaking in third person that does it, maybe that's it.
Trixie mostly boasts about her abilities and feats. One such feat
mentions how she single hoofedly defeated a creature called the Ursa
Major. But this amount of pyro and ballyhoo is enough to annoy even
Vince Russo, and so Twilight's friends have had enough. They accuse
Trixie of being a show off for... well... showing off her abilities.
These comments coming from her friends cause Twilight to get concerns,
which leads to my biggest issue with this episode.
Her friends (Primarily Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity) get upset
with Trixie for her abilities. But what do they do in retaliation of
said boasting? Go up on stage and show off. And no, it's barely a case
of "Oh, you're just being a douche so we'll defend our honor". They go
way overboard on trying to boast their own talents to which they get
more obnoxious than Trixie. However, these boasts prove ineffective as
Trixie humiliates the three of them. Even giving my beloved Rarity green
Maybe THAT'S why I hate Trixie. I mean, Rarity kinda deserved it, but
HOW DARE YOU!?
Another issue is that yes, Trixie is being boastful, but guess what?
She's an entertainer! The entire point of someone in the entertainment
business is to often be egotistical and make themselves look greater
than they normally are. And really, that's all Trixie is doing here.
She's the innocent party in all this. She's literally just doing her
Twilight continues to suffer anxiety in this whole situation, and it's
made no better by Spike constantly trying to egg Twilight into a
showdown with Trixie. Hey Spike, how's about shutting up? Eventually Twi
just bails, and Trixie ends her show feeling more confident in herself.
Later on, the dimwitted Snips and Snails, still wowed by the ursa story,
want to see Trixie capture the beast again. Because they're idiots, you
see. They actually luck out on finding the ursa, and because they put
zero thought into this plan, end up luring the Ursa into Ponyville,
causing damage to the town.
They ask Trixie to vanquish it, but of course it turns out that the
boastful entertainer was lying about catching an Ursa, and that her
magic is actually particularly weak. Meanwhile, Spike tries to get
Twilight to stop the ursa, but she's still concerned that her natural
talents will be considered showing off by her friends, that also tend to
show off. Eventually she does use her magic to turn the water tower into
a giant baby bottle, sending the Ursa back to its cave. She also reveals
that it was actually an ursa minor, a baby. Wow, if that's the baby, I
wonder what the mother looks li...
Trixie runs off to never be seen again until season 3, as Twilight,
concerned that her friends will hate her for this apologizes. Her
friends are more than fine with this display of magic of course, because
she's their friend, and not an entertainer only doing her job and
idiotically becoming the idol or stupid, stupid children. Speaking of
said stupid, stupid children, Snips and Snails, who caused the damage to
the town in the first place are punished...
By getting mustaches? Really?
And we end the episode with the lesson that if you have special talents,
you won't be judged if you're not being a show off about them. Unless,
you know, you're an entertainer by trade, and then you know, screw you
showoff for trying to run a business.
And that's "Boast Busters". This has never been one of my favorites for
a lot of reasons. The story's kinda bland, the characters for the most
part either act like idiots, jerks, or are whiny and annoying. Trixie's
written as an antagonist, but she's barely the problem. Twilight's
friends act like mostly jealous jerks, making things worse for Twilight
as she has concerns about her talents. But the most annoying part of it
is Snips and Snails. Terribly conceived characters who cause chaos but
don't get a fitting punishment for their actions.
In the end, even for my favorite current show, it makes going back to
season one a bit tough knowing that bad episodes like this exist within
it. So with little boasting about it, I can easily say this is some
great and powerful Tooncrap.