After getting (and renovating) a new “used” clubhouse from Applejack, the Cutie Mark Crusaders go around Ponyville trying out a variety of different activites to get their Cutie Marks, but nothing they do earns any. While trying (and failing) to earn their marks for being librarians, Twilight Sparkle and Ms. Cheerilee arrive and suggest they join the upcoming talent show to try and get their marks. Twilight Sparkle encourages them to do what they’re already good at during the show and to also have fun, but unfortunately the CMCs misinterpret this and conclude they should only do what they’d like to do the most. As a result, they all become “misplaced”. Although Scootaloo has the best dance moves, since she wants to be a rock singer, they let her sing in spite of being tone deaf. Although Sweetie Belle is the best singer, she wants to be like her sister Rarity and handles the costumes, props, and sets in spite of her clumsiness and propensity for disaster. Although Apple Bloom is the handiest and knows about making clothing, she’s made to do the dance moves although all she knows is karate. Needless to say, the performance is both an abomination and a disaster, and the girls feel they’ll be humiliated when they leave the audience laughing out loud. However, by a twist of luck, it turns out they win the award for Best Comedic Performance by mistake. After the show, Twilight approaches them to get the lesson they learned to relay to Celestia. The girls admit that they should have tried to do what they were best at rather than trying to be things they weren’t…but “flub” the last part of the lesson by saying they should now all be comedians.
While the last episode was a “Mane Six” episode that featured the CMCs, this is the first “straight” CMC episode. A lot of them are the same formula. As I said before, watching them is a little like watching the Three Stooges with how they get into disaster and slapstick more than success half the time, and while, when together, they’re effectively the same filly copied three times, it works decently. I say “decently” because none of their episodes ever seem to “stand out” too much, but neither are they complete washes. For the first two seasons, they were interesting little “diversions” from the other episodes that created rather silly iconic moments. This one was no exception with the girls doing their outrageous rock ballad.
It worked in this episode because, this early in the series, none of the viewers were expecting them to get Cutie Marks. Even though Scootaloo shows off in this episode how she already has a “talent”, no one was expecting anything yet. It wasn’t until around the third season and definitely the fourth that this sort of episode “got old”. After all, by that time Twilight was pretty much “done” with “learning about friendship”, yet this hung on. For now, however, it’s a nice little diversion that helps flesh the CMCs out a bit more. Again, like the last episode, this one isn’t outstanding, but it’s not terrible either.
Although the last episode was technically a Fluttershy/CMC episode, the fact that this is a straight CMC episode means two episodes in a row that dealt with them, a rarity for the show.
Although Scootaloo hasn’t gotten her Cutie Mark for it yet, her “signature schtick” in this episode was revealed: using her underdeveloped wings as a propellant while on her scooter. At this point in the series, it was not yet “clear” that Scootaloo’s wings were actually underdeveloped, due to no other fillies her age being shown flying. In fact, it wasn’t made explicit until Season Four, although hints to that effect began in the Season Two episode “Baby Cakes”, when one of the Cake’s babies was able to fly already at infancy, indicating pegasi can do so from an early age. (“The Cutie Mark Chronicles” also shows both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flying as fillies, but there was no concept of age and it was possible that they were both older than the CMCs in the flashbacks.) At any rate…it’s a bit surprising she hasn’t gotten her Cutie Mark for that yet as it’s genuinely a talent she’s great at, even impressing Rainbow Dash in Season Three.
Here’s a funny thing…why would ponies raise pigs on a farm? Unless they…eat meat?
One of the talents the CMCs try out is “being psychic”… Huh?
While Celestia was the first to use the phrase “my little ponies”, Twilight uses it twice in this episode.
The performance the CMCs put on is heavily inspired by 80s-style rock, especially the opening bit where they come out looking like Queen did for “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
An interesting “goof” was at the end of this episode. After the show is over, the CMCs run off back stage to three of the Mane Six: Applejack, Rarity, and…Rainbow Dash. It appears, at the time, the writers were thinking of making Scootaloo Rainbow Dash’s little sister. However, later episodes would show that Scootaloo is not related although she admires Rainbow Dash as much as Rainbow Dash admires the Wonderbolts. Following “Sleepless in Ponyville”, it’s implied that Rainbow Dash became an “older sister” figure to her, but before that episode she barely knew who Scootaloo was.
3 Stars out of 5