The Annual Snack Cart Invasion has come to Ponyville, where numerous food vendors bring their snack carts to sell their treats for one day only. Twilight Sparkle is about to go out with Spike to enjoy when Pinkie Pie busts in begging for help. One of the treats, Phenomnomenons, or “Noms” for short, is a dessert she has a terrible addiction to that she can’t stop eating until she gets sick, and she wants Twilight to help her conquer it. Twilight immediately applies techniques of aversion therapy, locking Pinkie up, and eventually harnessing Pinkie’s own kinetic energy to power a trap for her to try to get her to stop, but eventually fails utterly and even joins in on stuffing her face with Noms. Realizing she’s failed, Twilight sinks into depression and admits defeat, causing Pinkie to try and cheer her up…and in turn ignores eating Noms. Twilight realizes only Pinkie can stop herself from eating them and tells her to do so. While it takes a large amount of will power, Pinkie eventually succeeds and thanks Twilight for being a good friend. As the two walk home, however, Spike is suffering from his own addiction to jewel-covered pretzels.
This is another one of those stories that’s so zany, crazy, and off-the-wall funny and goofy that you don’t notice how serious it is…practically disturbing this time.
In terms of pure silliness it’s the greatest of the “Friends Forever” series so far. Definitely a lot more than the previous two Pinkie Pie has highlighted. And in terms of the IDW series as a whole, this is definitely the most “surreal” the comic has ever been in terms of comic hilarity. That’s all great, but…to me, it’s a little too great. Some of the surrealism is so extreme is looks like it’s border-line “drug trip”. And some of the sequences are so unusually drawn that it’s almost a bit unsettling at points and out of show style. (Twilight actually saying a swear word and getting comically censored…?) All the more so when you get into the theme.
Although this storyline is funny and entertaining, it’s the subject that really gets me. Once again, it’s something that adults would touch on more than kids. One might argue that this arc is all about self-control, which is something important for anyone to have. But considering the “highs” and “lows” Pinkie goes through, some of her descriptions of he obsession with “Noms”, and some of emotional extremes she goes through when she’s kept from them…and this stops looking a theme about self control and more like the theme of addiction. And that casts everything in a darker light. I myself have gone through addiction in family members, and it’s never pretty. The solution is ultimately what Twilight went through, that the addict has to stop themselves and no amount of outside coercion or attempts at compulsion will change that, yet in spite of how goofy they make this instance it drags up an “unsettling” element. The fact that the surreal element attempts to capture Pinkie’s mental state within the panel design and bordering reflects the nature of addiction and its temptation, and the more surreal elements…well, they’re definitely not Hunter S. Thompson but they resemble drug-inspired artwork. And that only helps reinforce the theory that this is all an allusion for addiction. As a result, it makes this arc, no matter how wild, crazy, and fun, have a “dark” element to it.
I still enjoy it, but…it’s kind of a guilty pleasure.
Derpy’s got a bag of muffins already in the first panel. Also, at the ramen stand is a pony version of Ryuko and Mako from “Kill la Kill”.
Spike casually walks out of the castle in Pinkie’s mid-rant…or tries to. 😛
Pinkie again demonstrates “Comic Awareness” when she points out the text box reading “Later” and admits she is thanking Twilight later. Spike doesn’t see it.
Many of the panels in this particular issue are similar to children books; which figures due to the zaniness of many of the sequences.
When Pinkie can’t break free from Twilight’s holding spell to get Noms, she goes flat-maned.
At one point, Twilight curses, but is censored by the word “CHEEZBURGER”.
When both Twilight and Pinkie start gorging themselves on Noms, they turn into Pac-Man.
Pinkie goes flat-maned a second time when Twilight tells her she has to stop herself from eating Noms.
At one point, Twilight Sparkle says: “Do it not! Not do. Do. Not. Oh, just try!” That’s a parody of Yoda’s famous line from “The Empire Strikes Back”. “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
In the last panel, Wheat Grass is running a stand.
3 Stars out of 5