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[Where I Watch] My Little Pony 9: Trampling the Status Quo


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I think the show was initially going for a somewhat more sophisticated notion of honesty (which may or may not have survived the past couple seasons). Remember back in the premiere, Twilight describes it thus: "Applejack, who reassured me when I was in doubt, represents the spirit of honesty!" And the way AJ did that was not by telling the literal, complete truth, but rather telling Twilight only as much as she needed to do to calm her down and convince her. Perhaps "sincerity" or "trustworthiness" would have been a better word for it.

There are actually several similar instances throughout the first two seasons - AJ being the first to apologize and reassure Twilight in Ticket Master or Return of Harmony, likewise with Rarity at the end of Look Before You Sleep, etc. - which suggest that that more specific notion of honesty really was the intended one. (And which always made me puzzled about that "RD and AJ switched elements" meme, because especially early on in the series RD is fundamentally incapable of that kind of honesty, even if she has the "tell the literal truth without any filter" kind down pat.)


Sincere Gatherer
RPGnet Member
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Perhaps "sincerity" or "trustworthiness" would have been a better word for it.
Yeah, that's about how I think of it.

It actually seems to be more about inspiration. Rarity inspired generosity in Coco; Rainbow inspired loyalty in Spitfire. Those things were challenged but they don't seem to be the operational component.

Maybe in Applejack's key episode she just inspires someone else to be sincere.


Retired User
Perhaps "sincerity" or "trustworthiness" would have been a better word for it.
The Element of Sincerity does have a nice ring to it, especially in the full lineup: Laughter, Loyalty, Sincerity, Generosity, Kindness, Magic.

And AJ's Element of Sincerity is still being tested in the fourth season. In "Pinkie Apple Pie", she tried to create the illusion that her family was perfectly harmonious and above petty conflict. This wasn't a complete denial of her Element, though. Her reason for being insincere was, ironically, sincere; a sincere desire to make Pinkie Pie feel as welcome as possible, by emulating Pinkie's Element of Laughter. It was a flawed interpretation, of course; the Element of Laughter is not about smiling and being happy all the time, but about being able to pick yourself up no matter how rough things get. But AJ's desire to make Pinkie Pie feel like one of the family was very much sincere, which is why this episode works so well as a test of AJ's Element; she had to choose between portraying Apple Family life sincerely, or showing Pinkie how sincerely she wanted her to be part of the Apple Clan.

Now because putting their best hoof forward was the less sincere option of the two, the karmically-driven universe of FiM sees fit to make AJ the one who brings the trip to its nadir, by having her tear the steering wheel away from Granny Smith and leave them at the mercy of cartoon physics. But in the end, she doesn't blame her family for being unable to go along with the plan; she just realizes that it was foolish to put on a front for Pinkie Pie's sake. The Element of Sincerity also helps her come to terms with the uncomfortable truth that her plan only worsened their conflicts instead of alleviating them.

It's a perfect Element of Honesty/Sincerity episode to the core.
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Registered User
Validated User
I read the nightmare arc of the comics yesterday. I don't want to spoil anything by going into detail, but seriously, it's full of Sailor Moon.


Registered User
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So it looks like Twilight Time was another Polsky episode. I thought it was a pretty good episode, but I also liked Feeling Pinkie Keen and Over A Barrel, and I thought Daring Don't was OK. I get that Polsky-bashing is pretty popular on this forum, but I'm curious what other people thought of Twilight Time.
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