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At first, I was reluctant to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I mean, come on. It's a kid's show about hyperactive, technicolor ponies. But one night, the wife fired up the series on Netflix (sure -- I'll just blame her.) I hate to admit it, but it's become one of my favorite shows.

It's an adorable and fun show, but what hooked me were the allusions; the jokes that fly past the target audience like Rainbow Dash on her way to a Wonderbolts air show. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • At the beginning of "Cutie Pox," a few of the background bowling alley ponies unmistakably inspired by characters from The Big Lebowski.
  • "The Return of Harmony, pt. 2" concludes with a nod to the end of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, including a rapid iris wipe to the closing credits.
  • In "Read it and Weep," Rainbow Dash reads the adventures of Daring Do, a pony who is more than a little reminiscent of Indiana Jones.
  • In season three, "One Bad Apple" treats us to an A-Team-style montage, complete with a sound-alike of the A-Team montage music.
  • "Wonderbolts Academy" riffs on Top Gun throughout the episode.

The thing that really kills me is how needlessly subtle these allusions are. I think it's safe to say that none of the kids watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have seen The Big Lebowski (and if they have, parenting win) yet the joke is thrown-away, little more than a wink to the adult viewers. The references sneak up on you, which makes it that much funnier.

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isn't it amazing how something so unpredictable can still rise from the ashes. in which my lil pony proved to be an amazing show, even though many despise it as a childish show when its actualy more that that!
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This worked inverse for me. The show got me interested in Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who. A few months later...
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Just the tip of the iceberg. this show is as deep as you want it to be. there are even some seinfeld references.
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I love how the music pays homage to some of the greats.
One of my favorites is the musical number for the Flim Flam Brothers. Great homage to the Music Man.
Also in the episode "A Friend In Deed" Pinkie sings the song "Cranky Doodle Donkey", a reference to one of my favorite classic movies, James Cagney's Yankee Doodle Dandy.
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Staff
Now I want to re-watch and look for all these!
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Staff
Awesome write-up. My kids watch this show constantly. Now, I'll be paying attention for hidden references.

Big Lebowski?? Really? Rainbow Dash will abide.
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