Chronology · 10:50pm
The more I think about it, the more I kinda like the idea that all the episodes so far have taken place during a single year.
It makes me wonder if they could actually be arranged that way. I mean, forget the broadcast order and just go with internal evidence: for instance, is there any reason why "Apple Family Reunion" couldn't happen before "Applebuck Season"? After all, reunions are a summertime thing, and apple harvests tend to come in early and mid-fall...
Let's take that a little further. Say that our ponies like their fall foliage, so they don't hold the Running of the Leaves till the last day of the season. This would explain why the trees aren't bare in other fall-themed episodes like "Luna Eclipsed" and "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000"--those episodes actually happen before "Fall Weather Friends." Maybe we could assign some of the school-based episodes to early autumn before the leaves get run, too--"Family Appreciation Day," for instance, and "Show Stoppers." "Hearth Warming's Eve" is the only purely winter episode since "Winter Wrap Up" takes place on the first day of spring, but maybe we can make "Hearts and Hooves Day" a winter episode, too, by pretending that the pegasi clear the weather especially for the celebration, a month before winter's scheduled end.
The rest of the episodes, though, we'd have to spread out during the summer and spring. Further limitations? Well, all the episodes that end with ponies other than Twilight sending in a friendship report have to come after "Lesson Zero," right? And there have to be enough episodes with Twilight's friendship reports before "The Return of Harmony" to make the pile of scrolls Spike regurgitates....