It’s time for the Grand Galloping Gala once again, and Discord is soon dismayed…and infuriated…to find out that Fluttershy invited a different friend of hers, Tree Hugger, after assuming that Discord would get his own ticket from Princess Celestia. He grows progressively angrier when he sees the rest of the girls already have “plus ones” for their tickets and fears Fluttershy is trying to replace him. However, it turns out his ticket to the Gala was late due to the mailpony getting lost in the chaotic dimension where he lives, and on getting it he decides to make Fluttershy jealous by taking along a horrible gelatinous blob as his own “plus one”; a creature called the Smooze. On the night of the Gala, Discord ends up progressively embarrassing himself in his failed attempts to try and show off as being the “better friend” to Tree Hugger, while the Smooze, which devours all precious shining objects and grows bigger with each one he eats, progressively ruins the Gala for all of the guests. Eventually Discord blows up and threatens to throw Tree Hugger into a sock puppet dimension so that he can be Fluttershy’s friend by default, but this prompts Fluttershy to give him a scolding for thinking that someone can’t have more than one friend for different interests. On realizing his mistake, Discord gets the Smooze back down to its original size and apologizes to Fluttershy and Tree Hugger alike. Meanwhile, Twilight Sparkle apologizes for the mess to Celestia, but she merely cheers that this was the most fun she’s had in years and she should invite Discord to ruin more events.
Now this is what you expect from an episode featuring Discord. If you strip away the magic and the blob antics of the Smooze, this entire episode plays out like a sitcom, especially with the timing, pacing, and the humor. As a result, it’s something of the show parodying itself. It’s definitely a far cry from the original episode to feature the Grand Galloping Gala. However, as you expect from the best of Discord, it has lots of crazy antics, insane pop culture references that only the older audience would get, including one to a Playstation video game of all things, and even goes wacky enough to include a bit of live-action footage.
If that wasn’t enough, though, this episode was the first one of Season Five to really start highlighting what the show was shifting toward: fanservice. Maud Pie cameos in this one, after becoming an instant fan-favorite in Season Four. The Smooze, another villain from G1, appears in it. Yet the biggest nod to the fandom was with Celestia in this episode. She clearly gets a kick out of the joke at Twilight Sparkle’s expense, and at the end she loves the fact Discord ruined the Gala. Whereas before the debate was out on “Trollestia”, in this episode it’s hammered in. It almost seems like something that belongs in “Slice of Life”. The real funny part is this is one of only a few times Celestia would even appear this entire season, with another being for another comedic appearance in “Slice of Life”.
With all of this good stuff, it’s a bit personally upsetting that so many people chose to focus on Tree Hugger, and then show her disdain for being a hippy character and saying it reflected poorly on Fluttershy. Personally, I like the idea of a character you can’t make mad no matter what.
So all in all, a fun episode. The humor didn’t hit quite hard enough to make it outstanding, but it was still a load of good fun.
Discord eating his teacup might be an allusion to a similar scene with Gene Wilder in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.
The playing cards Applejack and Rainbow Dash are playing with have their Cutie Marks on them, for some reason…
As an allusion to the last episode with the Grand Galloping Gala, the CMCs yell: “This is going to be the best night ever!” Also, Rarity is making all their dresses. 😛
When Pinkie Pie calls out Discord hiding in the random box, an exclamation point with a chime goes out over it before he gets out. This is an allusion to the infamous PSX game “Metal Gear Solid”.
Pinkie Pie breaks the fourth wall, grabbing the screen and shaking it as if she’s being filmed.
While “hippie ponies” have been in the comic for a while, Tree Hugger is the first one to appear on the actual show. She definitely seems a bit fried…
We finally get a look at Discord’s “home life” in this episode. He appears to live in a chaotic dimension with a house like an M.C. Esther painting, and, naturally, his housework involves making the place dirtier instead of cleaner.
In a rare turn (especially following “Slice of Life”), Lyra is running around by herself throughout this episode.
On a personal note, I like Princess Celestia’s dress in this episode. Way better than the purple abomination from “Magical Mystery Cure”…
The Smooze is the third G1 character to appear on the show. It was originally the villain in the first “My Little Pony” movie, although in this one it seems more benign…somewhat.
Although the Smooze only has the hat, Discord and the Smooze are dressed like Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber” when they arrived at the fund raiser.
The look Fluttershy gets after saying: “Um…we went to the store and got two cakes.” became a meme.
When Discord vacuums off Rarity, he takes her dress with him. She ends up covering herself up in embarrassment and slinking away. This is a parody of a classic Disney joke, of how when Donald Duck lost his clothes he would act like he was stunned he was naked, when the truth of the matter is he always walks around without pants so everything is already exposed.
Among the various comedians Discord emulates are Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, and Gallagher.
Although her humanized version appeared in “Rainbow Rocks”, this was the second show appearance of Maud Pie.
The odd-looking colt in the Grand Galloping Gala is a pony version of Danny Torrence from “The Shining”. The shot of him staring at the door opening and letting out a river of slime is a parody of Danny having a premonition about the elevator opening and letting out a river of blood.
Wilhelm Scream after the Smooze floods the Gala.
3.5 Stars out of 5