|Habitat||Plains, deserts, jungles, clouds (pegasi only)|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||My Little Pony Universe|
|Created by||Bonnie Zacherle|
Ponies, most recently known as Equestrians, are the title creatures of the My Little Pony Franchise.
The characters on the various My Little Pony television shows and movies are depicted with varying degrees of fantasy elements, like the ability to speak, fly, and use magic.
Terms and Names
Trixie boasts in Boast Busters that she is destined to be "the greatest equine who has ever lived"; Sapphire Shores mentions "Clothes Horse magazine" in A Dog and Pony Show; and Braeburn refers to other ponies as "horses" in Over a Barrel. In The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flam states that "Any horse can make a claim and any pony can do the same", which would seem to suggest that horses and ponies are two different things. Four other kinds of equines are featured in the show: Zecora, who is a zebra and explicitly stated not to be a pony; Cranky Doodle Donkey, who is a donkey as his name implies; Matilda, another donkey; a mule that is used as a visual gag in Applebuck Season, Hurricane Fluttershy, and One Bad Apple; and Mulia Mild, another mule. One of the Diamond Dogs refers to Rarity as a "mule" in A Dog and Pony Show, which she acts deeply upset about.
Stylization and Behavior
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's developer, Lauren Faust, wanted the ponies to act in ways characteristic of horses and avoid human conventions that wouldn't fit with their stylization, like human poses and holding items in their hooves. Faust wanted the characters to "evoke the feeling of a natural horse". Exceptions have been made throughout the show either intentionally or accidentally.
Most of the time ponies hold objects with their mouths, with their "wrist", between their hooves, by using magic, or simply just with a single hoof: ponies hold shovels in their hooves in Winter Wrap Up, and Octavia and the violin playing pony in Luna Eclipsed "hold" the instrument's bow with their hoof.
Ponies applaud in the series in two different ways. The first is by clapping their front hooves together, performed by Twilight Sparkle in Look Before You Sleep, by Hoity Toity in Suited for Success, and by Apple Bloom's classmates in Family Appreciation Day. The second way characters applaud is by stamping their front hooves on the ground, first done by the theater audience in The Show Stoppers; other examples are the applause by the fashion show audience and Rarity in Green Isn't Your Color, and by crowds in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, The Last Roundup, and Putting Your Hoof Down. A hoof-bump can imitate either a handshake, high-five, or even a fist bump.
In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Rainbow Dash moves her hooves to imitate air quotes, even though part of the point of air quotes is that the two fingers of each hand represent the two curved lines of the quotes.
Earth ponies are one of the kinds of ponies shown in the My Little Pony series. Their most unique trace are their connection to nature and ability to grow food.
Earth ponies were the original ponies to be featured in the My Little Pony toy line. According to Lauren Faust, Earth ponies have a special connection to nature, animals, and plants. Though they lack the ability to consciously cast spells like unicorns or to fly and walk on clouds like pegasi, their connection to nature makes them "just as necessary" as and "perhaps more important" than the other ponies. This connection has, however, also been seen in other kinds' specific individuals.
The earth ponies' connection to the land and animals manifests in various ways. Chiefly, it's expressed in the episode Hearth's Warming Eve where it's stated in a holiday pageant that food can only be grown by the Earth ponies. The pageant describes the Earth pony tribe's role in the founding of Equestria.
Both Earth ponies from the main cast are connected to farming: Pinkie Pie tells the Cutie Mark Crusaders she used to be a rock farmer in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, and Applejack lives and works on a farm. The Apple family maintains apple orchards in Ponyville and Appleloosa, and many Earth ponies work to plow and sow the fields in Winter Wrap Up. Earth ponies also do most of the manual labor, such as scoring ice and clearing snow. In other episodes, Earth ponies are shown pulling rickshaws, carriages, and even trains, suggesting natural physical ability. Their talent for animal care is less prominently featured, though Applejack drives cattle in Applebuck Season, and keeps pigs in her barn. Fluttershy, a pegasus pony, is a notable exception, as she has her own special bond to the land, and she spends most of her time taking care of animals. Fluttershy was originally conceived by Lauren Faust as an Earth pony, which could explain this exception.
Not all Earth ponies are farmers, however. Earth ponies work in a variety of professions, including many prestigious or influential ones: Pinkie Pie and the Cakes are pastry chefs, Hoity Toity is a fashion mogul, Photo Finish is a celebrity and photographer, Sapphire Shores is a pop singer, Filthy Rich is a successful businessman, Octavia is a cellist who has played for at least two formal parties, Cheerilee is a school teacher, "Nurse Redheart" is a nurse, and the spa ponies work at a classy spa. The two-part third-season premiere introduces Crystal Ponies living in the Crystal Empire: They resemble Earth ponies, but have gradient manes and tails; at the end of the premiere, they become slightly translucent. Princess Cadence and the other visitors to the Crystal Kingdom also acquire these attributes in The Crystal Empire - Part 2. Later in the episode, they are back to normal, with Rarity remarking that the effect is not permanent.
Earth ponies are seen all over Equestria. According to Twilight Sparkle in Winter Wrap Up, they are the founders of Ponyville. This is reaffirmed in Family Appreciation Day, when Granny Smith shares the story with Apple Bloom's class of how she and her family established the first agricultural settlement on land that what would ultimately become Ponyville. Earth ponies make up a majority of the residents of Ponyville, along with in Appleloosa, where settler Earth ponies live, and in Manehattan, where high society Earth ponies, such as Applejack's Aunt and Uncle Orange, reside. However, because of Earth Ponies' as well as unicorns' lack of the ability to fly or walk on clouds, Cloudsdale does not regularly host them on most occasions besides one exception in Sonic Rainboom when Twilight employs a spell to temporarily grant them with such abilities.
Crystal ponies physically resemble earth ponies, but are distinct by their shiny, gradient manes and tails and polygonal shaped irises.
The episode's preview features Twilight Sparkle and Spike talking with a Crystal Pony in the Crystal Empire, and she confirms that the crystal ponies have been "gone a thousand years". The Crystal Pony goes on to say she remembers nothing of the time before King Sombra's rule, and that she does not "want to remember" anything about the duration of his rule. Twilight Sparkle speculates that King Sombra's spell must have caused the crystal ponies to lose the "crystally"-ness of their coats and become miserable and glum with limited memory of basic things or the past (safe for Sombra's reign).
The blurb advertising the Shout! Factory upcoming DVD Adventures in the Crystal Empire proclaims that the Crystal Ponies "suddenly appeared in the arctic north of Equestria" alongside the Crystal Empire. The song Ballad of the crystal ponies features the seven main characters preparing for the "Crystal Fair" based on a book they found. They mean to preserve the crystal ponies' history for the sake of the crystal ponies who are being supported by Princess Cadence's magic. History discovered includes a fondness for jousting, a flag design, the creation of sweets with crystal berries, the operation of a petting zoo with tiny ewes, the playing of a crystal flugelhorn, and an anthem of the "Crystal Kingdom".
Horses are the most known equines.
In The Best Night Ever, Twilight Sparkle uses a transformation spell to change mice into horse-like creatures that she refers to as horses. The windigos in Hearth's Warming Eve look more like horses than ponies. The delegates from Saddle Arabia in Magic Duel strongly resemble horses, particularly the Arabian breed. The term "horse" has also been used in reference to ponies.
Pegasus ponies, or pegasi, are ponies characterized by their wings. Their most unique traces are their abilities to fly, walk on clouds and control the weather.
Pegasus ponies were introduced shortly after Earth ponies in the original My Little Pony toy line. On the show, they are called either pegasus ponies or pegasi, and mostly "Pegasus" for a single pony, though "Pegasus pony" is also used, as specified in the article ponies. Lauren Faust stated that the Pegasus ponies have a passive kind of magic that allows them to walk on clouds and manipulate the weather.
The pegasus tribe was one of the three founding groups of Equestria, as depicted in Hearth's Warming Eve. The pegasus tribe was led by Commander Hurricane, who is played by Rainbow Dash in a historical reenactment. In the reenactment, Hurricane wears a roman-like battle armor and calls the pegasi "a mighty tribe of warriors".
In multiple episodes, pegasus ponies are capable of great speed in the air. However, in the episode Fall Weather Friends, Rainbow Dash is equally matched with Applejack, an earth pony, during an "Iron Pony competition". Pegasus ponies can naturally walk on clouds, but unicorns and earth ponies cannot. Twilight Sparkle must cast a temporary spell to allow her non-pegasi friends and herself to walk on clouds. Gilda, a griffon, also stands on clouds and several other creatures capable of flight perch on clouds.
In the episode Sonic Rainboom, Pinkie Pie says, "The sonic rainboom is legendary! When a pegasus like Rainbow Dash gets going so fast... boom! A sonic boom and a rainbow can happen all at once!"
In Sonic Rainboom, the main characters visit the Cloudsdale weather factory. They walk through a chamber where Pegasi handcraft snowflakes, an open area where Pegasi mix up rainbows and finally the cloud-making department. At the beginning of the episode Hurricane Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash hosts a mandatory meeting for all Ponyville Pegasi, in which she states, "A team of pegasi combine their wing power to create a jumbo tornado, powerful enough to pull water out of the local reservoir, and funnel it all the way up to Cloudsdale." This, she explains, supplies Cloudsdale and all of Equestria with rainwater. Rainbow Dash also stresses that the ponies' combined power must exceed a minimum of "eight hundred wing power". During training, Twilight Sparkle uses an "anemometer" to gauge wingpower. Rainbow Dash's score on the anemometer was 16.5 wingpower and Fluttershy's post-training score was 2.3 wingpower. In the episode Winter Wrap Up, Rainbow Dash leads the weather team during the annual Winter Wrap Up. The team, which wears blue vests, consists mainly of Pegasus ponies. In the song that shares its name with the event and episode, the weather team clears the skies of clouds to let the sun warm up the land and melts the snow. Rarity mentions that the team also "guides the birds back north for the spring". On a frozen lake, Twilight Sparkle encounters Pinkie Pie, an Earth pony, who is helping the weather team by acting as a "lake scorer". Pinkie Pie cuts squares in the ice with her ice-skates and explains to Twilight that it helps the rest of the Weather team break the ice layer.
Pegasus ponies live in Ponyville, where all three types of ponies live, and Cloudsdale, which is exclusively populated by pegasus ponies since only they can naturally walk on clouds. Fillydelphia is mentioned in Hurricane Fluttershy to have a pegasus pony population as well. No Pegasus ponies have yet been seen in Manehattan. In the episode It's About Time, Rainbow Dash mentions a town called "Los Pegasus". Canterlot is almost devoid of pegasus ponies, with the exception of the royal guards who pull Princess Celestia's chariot. Another pair of pegasus royal guards carries Twilight Sparkle to Ponyville in a similar chariot in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Also, a trio of them attack Nightmare Moon in Friendship is Magic, part 2.
Princess Luna's Pegasus guards appear in Luna Eclipsed, chauffeuring her flying carriage to Ponyville. They have a dark gray coat, black tails, tufts of hair on the tips of their ears, bat-like wings, and cat-like slit pupils. Their armor is purple, and it has a webbed crest over the helm. One of her guards appears in the Castle Creator game.
Unicorns are ponies characterized by their single horns. Their most unique trace is the ability to willingly perform magic.
Unicorns were introduced after Earth ponies in the original My Little Pony toy line. In previous animated series, they had the ability to teleport magically or "wink out", but did not ordinarily have any other magical abilities.
As the name suggests, all unicorns have a long horn protruding from their forehead which glows when their magical powers are used. Although they are associated with their magic, a unicorn's horn is strong and sharp enough to have mundane uses: one unicorn in Call of the Cutie uses it to pop balloons, and Twilight Sparkle uses it to charge an opponent on several occasions. Twilight Sparkle and Rarity are often seen using their intellects to compensate for their lack of physical strength, such as when Twilight earns fifth place in the Running of the Leaves in Fall Weather Friends and Rarity overcomes her captors in A Dog and Pony Show. It was stated in Boast Busters most unicorn magic revolves only around their natural talents (e.g. their jobs, hobbies, etc) as seen in Rarity's case, thus making unicorns like Twilight Sparkle unusual for having a talent that is magic itself. However, both Rarity (in The Cutie Mark Chronicles) and Twilight Sparkle (playing the role of Clover the Clever in Hearth's Warming Eve) have stated that Unicorn magic itself does not happen without reason. Also, four times in the series, their magic has been cancelled out. The first is when Twilight Sparkle is affected by the Poison Joke plant in Bridle Gossip, wherein the plant makes Twilight's horn floppy, rendering it unable to do magic. The second time is in The Return of Harmony Part 1, when Discord removes the horns from Twilight Sparkle and Rarity. In Ponyville Confidential, Sweetie Belle simply kicks Rarity's horn to cancel out her levitation spell instantly, while in The Crystal Empire - Part 1, Shining Armor's magic is rendered ineffective by King Sombra's magic. Sombra's causes black crystals to grow on Shining Armor's horn, nullifying spell effects. The other pony races generally have difficulty competing with a unicorn's magical talent, as seen when Trixie easily bests Applejack and Rainbow Dash in a show of skill. This causes Rarity to state that only another unicorn could put Trixie in her place, although Twilight Sparkle is the only unicorn present able to outdo Trixie.
Lauren Faust has stated that the earth and Pegasus pony races possess subtler types of magic, which allows pegasi to walk on clouds for example, but unicorns are unique in their ability to actively perform magic. Throughout the show, unicorn ponies use their horns to perform various magical acts. Most commonly, they are shown manipulating objects through telekinesis. Additionally, in Hearth's Warming Eve, it is stated that the normal unicorns used to control the sun and moon before the rule of Celestia and Luna.
The color of the glow surrounding objects affected by unicorn magic is inconsistent within the series. Rarity's and Trixie's glows are light blue and purple, respectively, which matches the color of their eyes. However, Rarity's glow in the first season also appears purple on certain occasions.[specify] The Flim Flam brothers's magical glow, featured in The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, is colored green like their eyes. The color of the glow of incidental characters' magic is not consistent in this way and frequently differs from their eye color, which is the case with the exam supervisors and the waiters in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, for example. This relationship between eye color and magic color doesn't hold for Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia's magical glow either. The color of Twilight's glow is inconsistent in the first season and more consistent in the second, turning magenta like the color of her cutie mark. Similarly, whereas the color of Celestia's magical glow varies throughout season one, this glow is consistently yellow in Lesson Zero and A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, like her cutie mark. The addition of a yellow glow to Celestia's magic is one of the changes to the new opening sequence.
Chrysalis, while disguised as Cadance, uses magic that glows green, whereas the real Cadance's magic glows light blue, consistently. Shining Armor has magenta colored magic, where his eyes are blue. In both cases, the magic glow resembles the most prominent color in their cutie marks.
The episode Baby Cakes features a little baby unicorn, Pumpkin Cake, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who uses her magic unexpectedly when Pinkie Pie babysits her and her Pegasus twin brother, Pound Cake. Rarity cautions the other ponies at the beginning of the episode that "baby unicorns get strange magic surges that come and go", and Pumpkin Cake experiences these surges when she's able to use her magic to teleport, walk through solid objects, levitate herself and other objects, and break the locks and chains that Pinkie Pie put around the toy chest.
Canterlot is mostly populated by unicorns in its three appearances in Friendship is Magic, part 1, Sweet and Elite, and The Cutie Mark Chronicles. Notable exceptions are Hoity Toity and Princess Celestia's pegasus pony guards. Ponyville has its share of unicorns, more or less equally with Earth ponies and Pegasi. In Applejack's visit to Manehattan unicorns are only seen as waiters, and the rest of the ponies there are Earth ponies. Since they lack the natural ability to walk on clouds, they should not be ordinarily present in Cloudsdale, but Twilight Sparkle casts a spell on herself and her friends that allows them to walk on clouds and attend a competition in Cloudsdale in the episode Sonic Rainboom.
The three princesses, Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, are referred to as unicorns despite having both a unicorn horn and wings; they are called "Pony Princesses" in Hasbro's merchandise. Meghan McCarthy mentioned at the October 2012 New York Comic Con that she uses the term "pegacorn" in the show's scripts, and joked about switching to the term "alicorn". Additionally, a certain cursed necklace - which increases its bearer's magical abilities - is named "the Alicorn Amulet", an allusion to the term.
Seaponies appear in the storybook "Under the Sparkling Sea", where the main characters go to the underwater kingdom of Aquastria. They resemble sea horses, and referred to as "cousins" of the earth-based ponies. In older representations, said ponies were more "earth-like" (see image)
Mermares appear in the same book and have fish fins, tail, and scales, and they are presented as the seaponies' competitor in the kingdom of Aquastria. Mermares are described as more introvert, bigger, and faster than seaponies. Neither kind of submarine ponies bear a cutie mark.