Rarity accidentally “bites off more than she can chew” by having to simultaneously fill a large cape order and babysit the Cutie Mark Crusaders for a sleepover. When Sweetie Belle uses some of the fabric for the order to make capes for their group, she finds herself unable to keep up. Fluttershy volunteers to babysit them instead, thinking they’ll be just as easy to deal with as animals. It’s not long before the kids are going on a rampage through her house, almost totally out of control, until she stops them when they notice she uses a power called “the Stare” on some of her chickens to make them go back in her coop when the girls startle them. Although she puts the CMCs to bed afterward, they notice a chicken escaped into the Everfree Forest and decide to go after it in an attempt to get their Cutie Marks for “Chicken Rescuing”. Fluttershy eventually realizes they snuck out and, on following them inside, makes a horrifying discovery when she sees Twilight Sparkle has been turned to stone. Realizing that means a cockatrice, a fusion of a chicken and a snake that turns anyone that looks it in the eye into stone, is in the area, she tries to find the girls and get them out quickly, but the cockatrice finds them first and, after seeing Fluttershy’s chicken turned to stone before their eyes and Twilight already turned to stone, they begin to scream and panic. Taking charge of the situation, Fluttershy orders all of the girls behind her and looks the cockatrice in the eye, giving it the “Stare” while also tongue lashing it. The cockatrice is unable to withstand the power of the Stare and ends up unable to turn Fluttershy into stone, and, cowed and humbled, turns Fluttershy’s chicken and Twilight back to normal before fleeing. While Twilight wants to write a letter afterward about how good Fluttershy is with animals and kids alike, Fluttershy has her change it to be more in line with what she and Rarity have done, and remember it’s important not to “bite off more than you can chew”.
This is the first “real” CMC episode, although it’s still more about Fluttershy than anyone. It gets to show you how they actually operate in a traditional episode, mostly like a strange, juvenile gang of “Three Stooges”. Their antics are usually pretty entertaining, and this episode has members of the Mane Six in it as well to offset things more for adults. However, most of the CMC episodes in general seem a bit more “youth orientated”, especially ones that have lessons for little kids. This one didn’t, however, and so it’s more of a “mainstream” episode.
There’s nothing too remarkable or unremarkable about this episode. Most of the humor derives from Fluttershy’s desperate attempts to manage three wild children. It’s not the last time the CMCs would cause trouble just by “being kids” or Fluttershy would find herself wrestling with a problem she’s not ready for, and it’s kind of mild compared to later. But it’s still quite entertaining and fun, especially when Sweetie Belle not only sings loudly but “switches genres” on Fluttershy. The bits with the cockatrice are nice too. The episode could appear a lot more heavy with bits from it, but it managed to stay rather subdued and “mild”, and all in good fun. It’s not the best CMC episode or the best Fluttershy episode, though. It’s pretty much “thoroughly average”. It’s not an episode I would introduce someone to the series with as a result, if for no other reason than it’s limited to Fluttershy and the CMCs for the most part, but it’s not bad.
Applejack appears in more episodes of the series than any other pony, including Twilight Sparkle. This is first episode she didn’t appear in, and is one of the few where she doesn’t.
For the younger audiences, the “Stair Master” was a home exercise tool in the 90s. It had a rather famous infomercial.
In this episode, it was revealed Sweetie Belle was Rarity’s little sister. There’s a fairly good “dynamic” going on with little sisters in the show. Applejack/Apple Bloom are two sisters who get along all the time but the younger one has to deal with the older one being overbearing. By contrast, Rarity/Sweetie Belle rarely get along due to being so radically different.
About the only character trait Sweetie Belle has in the series is debuted in this episode: always being eager to help and ending up bringing disaster with her.
Fluttershy is known for her “squees”, particularly in this episode, but the first actually came from Twilight in “Feeling Pinkie Keen”.
When Sweetie Belle starts singing the lullaby, it becomes a “funk” song.
The debut of Fluttershy’s “Stare”, naturally, occurred in this episode…her ability to compel any creature no matter how monstrous or dangerous to obey her by looking them straight in the eye. From a fantasy standpoint, it’s pretty badass that she can look a cockatrice in the eye and NOT turn to stone. The only individual it never worked on was Discord, in Season Three’s “Keep Calm and Flutter On”, but she had, ahem, certain “other powers” to bend him to her will.
Another fantasy creature debuted in this one: a cockatrice. It’s not as well known as the others so far, so I’m impressed. The monstrous sounds it makes are impressive too.
Zecora is mentioned in this episode although she doesn’t appear.
3 Stars out of 5