Princess Luna makes a surprise visit to Twilight Sparkle requesting help in how to “be funny”. It turns out after her banishment as Nightmare Moon, Princess Celestia tried to show she was more “down-to-earth” to her subjects by hosting an annual banquet called “Chuckle-Lot” where she would perform a physical comedy routine at a dinner for everypony who wished to come. She wants Luna to join in on this year’s but she doesn’t know how to be humorous. After getting fed up with Twilight’s book-centered approach, she gets passed off to Pinkie Pie, who gets out of her that her real motivation is that everyone loves Celestia and she wants their admiration just as much. Pinkie ends up showing her a variety of pranks and techniques, but Luna is difficult as she seems to think so highly of herself that she refuses to laugh at herself. Eventually, the two reach a breaking point and split from each other when Luna refuses to do anything that will make her look “foolish” and Pinkie accuses Luna of not caring about making ponies happy, just wanting to beat Celestia. In the end, Pinkie and Twilight go to Chuckle-Lot anyway to at least see Celestia’s performance, and Pinkie finds a present on the table to her from Luna. Soon after, the show starts, but Luna storms on stage during Celestia’s announcement with a present for her too, announcing she wants to abolish Chuckle-Lot due to being too important to be laughed at by the subjects. Yet she soon reveals the present was filled with a spring-loaded cream pie that nails Celestia in the face, and Pinkie discovers the present has one for her, and another one below it to hit Twilight. Finally, Luna ends up slipping and falling on all of the excess cream and crashing into Celestia, causing everyone to laugh…including herself. Luna writes to her sister about how the more important you are, the more important it is to be able to laugh at yourself.
This one definitely had more power and “punch” to it than any of the other arcs in the “Friends Forever” series so far, including the one with Princess Celestia & Spike, and I like it a bit just for that…but overall I don’t like it.
I like someone getting told off as much as the next person, but of all the characters on the show who I never expected to experience getting taken to task, I never thought for one moment of Princess Luna being told off by Pinkie Pie. Yet it’s one of the sharpest bits of dialogue in the entire series. Just…just listen:
PINKIE: What are you working on now?
LUNA: I need to come up with something for Chuckle-Lot. I have to be funnier than Celestia. I just can’t think of anything. All of these jokes have been your idea so far.
PINKIE: What about the prank combo you did at the Funny Farm? That was all you.
LUNA: How am I supposed to make Celestia do all that?
PINKIE: Not Celestia. Why don’t you do it?
LUNA: Me? Humiliate myself in front of all of my subjects? They would never respect me after that.
PINKIE: You have to be able to laugh at yourself if you want other people to.
LUNA: Out of the question! I am a Princess of Equestria and my subjects need to respect me, not mock me.
PINKIE: Laughing and mocking are not the same thing.
LUNA: (Getting frustrated) You do not understand, Pinkie Pie. I’m very important. You’re just a clown.
(Pinkie Pie looks rather hurt and stares silently a moment.)
PINKIE: Oh, I see.
LUNA: Pinkie, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that I have responsibilities and you…
PINKIE: (Cutting her off) And making ponies happy isn’t important. You don’t really want to learn about being funny. You just want to beat Celestia at something.
LUNA: (Upset) Can you blame me?! She’s so perfect and I’m so…not.
PINKIE: (Turning to walk out on her) Maybe if you stopped worrying about what you were supposed to be and were just yourself you wouldn’t need somepony to teach you how to have fun.
…Damn. That’s rather sharp. But unfortunately, I can’t stand it. That’s because the comic writers are still perpetually lodged in Season Two’s “Luna Eclipsed” mode…the idea that Princess Luna is still rather aloof and awkward and has little respect for the “peons” underneath her. Granted, I imagine Luna might still have some residual jealousy that 1,000 years later her older sister is still better than her in areas, but I’m sorry…I have to wonder if whoever writes for Luna in these things has bothered to watch the series since that episode sometimes. All of Luna’s appearances since then, she’s still been rather mysterious and possibly aloof, but the truth of the matter she’s been far more intimate with her subjects than Princess Celestia has, and she’s even shown she has somewhat mild sense of humor already. But here they’re still hammering the joke about her being too awkward to fit in that was back in Season Two.
I’m a Luna fan, so I have a hard time pushing that to “one side”. If one can, however, this is one of the better Friends Forever storylines so far. It has lots of humor, more dialogue, it’s very colorful and well drawn, and it’s overall more intriguing and entertaining, managing to be a mixture of both without having to resort to a powerful external conflict or villain. If that was all there was to it, this story would be a 3.5.
But Luna’s OOCness in this one… Not to mention Pinkie Pie is rather OOC as well, having degenerated back into “Nightmare Night” mode at the onset. Granted, she gets by it fast enough, so I can forgive that. But not enough to keep it from suffering for it.
In the scene where Twilight Sparkle is reading about various facets of comedy, everything she reads is a build-up to explain the funniness of the joke when Princess Luna blows up at her to “cease her prattling”. Even the “Rule of Three” holds (Twilight is only seen reading over a progressively larger pile of books three times. :D).
Pinkie Pie uses the Royal Canterlot Voice on Luna.
Pinkie has the same inanimate objects back from the infamous “Party of One” episode, which is kind of odd. At one point, Luna admits the Turnip is wise after all. 😛 Also, Luna calls Pinkie Pie by her full first name: “Pinkamena”.
Pinkie and Luna dress up as one of the gremlins from Rainbow Dash’s Micro-Series. (They sure make a lot of appearances…)
Luna’s opossum from her own Micro-Series is in her room.
Chuckle-Lot’s audience includes the PNN reporter from Rainbow Dash’s Micro-Series and Flax and Wheat from Rarity’s Micro-Series.
Luna writes the letter to Celestia at the end.
3 Stars out of 5