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Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Nov
5th
2017

Points of Canon: S4x19 - For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils · 2:05pm Nov 5th, 2017

I barely remember this one, so I might turn up something new.

  • Rarity lifts scattered sequins right off Sweetie’s tongue, which implies rather specific behavior of unicorn telekinesis regarding very small objects.
  • “This is without a doubt my most prestigious order ever.” So tell me, which is more prestigious – Sapphire Shores, or doing costumes for Bridleway musicals as described in Rarity Takes Manehattan? Episode ordering depends on that.
  • “After all, Sapphire Shores is the pony of pop, and her Equestria-wide tour launches in Canterlot next week!” Pony pop stars tour. Not a given, actually. See the whole issue of tour riders and “no brown M&Ms.” I wonder, how many trucks does Sapphire Shores’ production travel with?
  • “Then maybe you could check the stitching and finish the buttons on the dresses I made for me, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo? I really want them to look perfect, and… I think I need your expertise.” Sweetie Belle can’t sew worth a damn.
  • Rarity is using a white plastic bottle of glue to assemble the costumes. The glue itself is white, and the only common glue we know that has these properties and typically comes in plastic bottles is PVA glue, a vinyl derivative that was discovered in 1912, but first marketed as a glue in 1947 in our world. Rarity likes this glue and uses it in quite a few other episodes. See chemical industry.
  • Wait. So Sweetie Belle has to leave for dress rehearsal soon, today. The opening of her play is tomorrow night. But Sweetie Belle only “needs them” by “tomorrow night” – so what is she going to wear during the dress rehearsal? We never find out.
  • The building Sweetie’s production is held in is something I don’t think we’ve seen before – and I don’t think it turned up again later: it has a distinctive sign with two masks, one smiling and one frowning. It’s obviously a purpose-built theater, though lack of an orchestra pit would prevent it from being used for a full-blown musical. With about 15 rows and about 16 ponies per row, the capacity is on the scale of 250 viewers.
  • Cheerilee is managing the production, indicating that it is a school effort, rather than something the CMC just cooked up on their own, even though Sweetie wrote and directed it. I expect this requires it to be a summer episode: the CMC are very free to move around throughout, and you probably wouldn’t want to run a play in a theater during a school year.
  • “She’s known about this for weeks!” Even though Sweetie Belle neglected to tell Rarity about it and request her help, the project was in the works for multiple weeks, see above. Notice that Sweetie clearly anticipated that Rarity would insist on altering the design, and that is why she delayed asking her for help until the very last moment.
  • “Forsooth and anon, I cometh forthwith and posthaste with glad tidings, miladies.” This is actually the only show example of (imitated) Luna’s Equish in the mouth of anyone other than Luna herself, which suggests it’s a fantasy, historical or not very. Which is further supported by costumes that for us, resemble the late Middle Ages – the hennin on Apple Bloom, and the horned headdress on Scootaloo, respectively.
  • All the Canterlot Friends came to see it, including Lyra and the associated-but-not-associated Bon-Bon. And it’s Lemon Hearts who compliments the dresses, the one part of the production Sweetie had nothing to do with. Of course.
  • Rarity had to enlist the entire Mane 5 to help her complete the Sapphire Shores order, which Sweetie should have expected, but obviously did not. But notice that Spike got leave to watch the play, even though you would expect he’d be the one to be most enthusiastic about helping Rarity. What happened here?
  • Twilight wields a checklist. It’s been a while since we saw her with a checklist!
  • The style of the outfits Rarity made for Sapphire Shores is something of a cross between Egyptian and Aztec. I wonder if she invented it whole cloth or used any historical sources for inspiration.
  • “It’s my fifth birthday party all over again!” Sweetie Belle is definitely older than five years old at this moment, giving us one of the very rare specific statements of pony age.
  • “‘Sweetie Belle, get me some red ribbon! No, that’s not red, that’s cherry! No, that’s not red, that’s cinnamon!’ For Pete’s sake, it’s all red!”

    • I want that Pete guy drawn. No quartering.
    • Sweetie Belle does not have an eye for color, either.
  • When Sweetie Belle is ranting, she’s in a very interesting room, which looks very much like her room seen during One Bad Apple but is definitely not the same: It’s mirrored and palette-swapped. It does contain the same toy chest, though, and that color is not swapped – although it is also mirrored. And since Rarity is waiting outside the door to talk to Sweetie, this has to be the room she set aside for Sweetie at the Carousel Boutique…
  • Subsequent scenes indicate that Rarity’s bathroom that Sweetie visits in the middle of the night is on the same floor as her bedroom workshop, and actually immediately adjacent.
  • Sweetie uses magic to open the cardboard box, but pulls the load-bearing stitch with her teeth rather than magic.
  • The dream offers us a top-down perspective, and we can see that Sweetie’s room at the Boutique is actually circular, rather than rectangular like her home bedroom – which is not readily apparent when she is not asleep due to the framing of the shot.
  • This is the second time when Luna enters the dream through a silhouette of the Moon. The first time we saw that was in Sleepless in Ponyville, and it repeats further. She’s rather fond of this, isn’t she?
  • “I too have a sister who often shines more brightly than me, and with this, I have struggled.” Notice that Luna does not describe just how she struggled.
  • “I remember this. This is my fifth birthday party!” Now, we’ve very recently seen what ponies look like at their fifth birthday party – in Pinkie Pride. Well, apparently this is not universal at all, and those guys were the exception: Sweetie looks about 20% smaller and a lot more baby-like at that age than they did, and roughly comparable to all of her guests, if a bit smaller. In any case, I’m pretty sure that my previous estimate that ponies start school at about seven years old, and possibly even a bit older, is correct: Growing an extra 20% takes time, especially if you’re smaller to start with.
  • Notice that in this case Sweetie wears heeled shoes on her front hooves.
  • Also notice that the bedroom she is crying in is in her actual home, rather than the Boutique, and presumably, so is the rest of the birthday party. Which, I think, makes these our only shots of their parental home on screen beyond Sweetie’s bedroom itself.
  • “Where’s Sweetie Belle?” Actually, how exactly did Luna acquire the information required to reconstruct the other side of this story, and did she really, or she’s just writing it on the spot?
  • “This must’ve happened earlier tonight!” Same question, again: Where exactly is Luna getting this from? The one obvious candidate is Rarity’s dream, but we don’t even have a clear confirmation Rarity slept this night at all, let alone had a dream. If it is in fact Rarity’s dream, Luna can connect dreams arbitrarily for therapeutic purposes.
  • “Oh, buck up, Rarity, stop this foolishness.” I wonder how did this idiom emerge. Also, this idiom existing would solidly prevent the use of “buck” as an expletive, so there.
  • “How curious you should say that.” Even if Luna knows from Rarity’s dream the details of Sweetie Belle’s birthday that Sweetie Belle remained ignorant of for years, and the details of the preceding evening that she could not observe, how exactly would she have any idea that Sweetie Belle sabotaged Rarity’s work? Or is she merely suspecting this is what happened, and letting Sweetie imagine the consequences herself? That’s a bit risky.
  • Heads up: The railroad to Canterlot crosses a stretch of desert, or at least prairie. With cacti.
  • Also, there’s a spot where it crosses a dirt road and the crossing is equipped with very familiar, to us, flashing red lights and boom barrier. This typically involves electricity and a degree of mechanical automation.
  • Notice that nopony insisted on the CMC being chaperoned on the train. They’re free to travel at this age with no supervision, like Babs in One Bad Apple, so it’s a universal attitude. Also notice that they had sufficient pocket money to procure the train tickets and don’t appear to treat it as a bank-breaking expense.
  • Apple Bloom attests to being a huge fan of Sapphire Shores.
  • “Get Your Pony On,” “Serves Her Right” are names of Sapphire Shores songs.
  • Sweetie Belle prefers show tunes to Sapphire Shores pop songs.
  • The guard at the door is wearing an earphone. The other end goes somewhere under his suit and we never know if it even works or not.
  • Interestingly, while his mane is missing entirely, his facial hair, or rather, five-o-clock shadow, has the same color as his tail. Compare to Shining Armor’s five-o-clock shadow in The Crystalling
  • “Kid, the only thing I have to do is make sure Sapphire Shores doesn’t get interrupted all day by fans like you.” The word “kid” is used to address pony children, rather than to indicate baby goats, it’s uncommon, but it does happen.
  • Sapphire Shores’ building is not pegasus proof. So how do they deal with the pegarazzi?
  • Apple Bloom uses her tail for sliding down the rope, and the only thing that prevents it from unfolding and dropping the CMC onto the street is tailikinesis.
  • The window spins 360° horizontally, even though I am pretty sure this kind of shape of the window can’t spin that way. Mysteriously, it permits Sweetie Belle through but leaves Scootaloo and Apple Bloom outside.
  • Sweetie opens the door for Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, but how did they get past the guard?!
  • “Oh, Luna… I wish none of this ever happened…” Luna had to have teleported in, because certainly, nobody would leave her unattended if they knew she’s here.
  • “I would like to know what in the wide, wide realm of Equestria this stunt of yours is all about, and I want to know now!” This time, Equestria is a realm. Which is a term that means a sovereign territory, typically monarchic or dynastic.
  • “You don’t get to my level of success without learning to read the signs, and this situation has bad luck written all over it.” “It’s a dolphin! That’s my lucky animal!”

    • Sapphire Shores is rather superstitious. Not surprising, performance artists in our world often are, but not a given.
    • So how does a pony get a dolphin for a lucky animal anyway? Is Sapphire Shores from a coastal town?
    • Sweetie made a dolphin specifically on Luna’s advice, which basically means that Luna disclosed extremely private information she was privy to as part of her duty.
  • Nopony notices Luna is still here except Sweetie Belle. Alicorns in general definitely can be remarkably unremarkable if they want to be.
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Comments ( 17 )

So how does a pony get a dolphin for a lucky animal anyway? Is Sapphire Shores from a coastal town?

:ajbemused: Thus the name.

Nopony notices Luna is still here except Sweetie Belle. Alicorns in general definitely can be remarkably unremarkable if they want to be.

And I think it's stuff like this that leads to fanon about alicornic intrinsic Somepony-Else's-Problem fields, which perhaps Twilight had trouble turning off at some points in early Season 4 episodes.

4717715

And I think it’s stuff like this that leads to fanon about alicornic intrinsic Somepony-Else’s-Problem fields, which perhaps Twilight had trouble turning off at some points in early Season 4 episodes.

There are some things – like the events of Rarity Takes Manehattan – for which explanations which don’t involve a SEP field are routinely unsatisfactory. However, since the most common victim is Twilight, rather than Luna or Celestia or Cadance, I am thinking it is not intrinsic, but rather, something one has to consciously do. Twilight has a very selective list of situations in which she is comfortable being in the spotlight – namely, when she’s lecturing or otherwise making a speech. In all those cases, the effect tends to disappear, so I find that a notice-me-not spell that Twilight casts on herself, and sometimes forgets to disable, is much more likely.

And Rarity on Sweetie five birthday already grown up and look exactly how she always look in the show. Which kill the idea that she a 17-18-19 years old like some people like to pretend.

4717730
People do that? :rainbowhuh:

I think it's been pretty clear from the start that the Mane Six are all meant to be adults (however old that means, precisely), especially Applejack and Rarity.

4717733
Maybe I just unlucky but I see this often. People like that often like to quote Faust who plan to make M6 age from twelve to sixteen.

4717742

…Which is not what Faust actually said, according to the show bible text, it speaks of mental age and maturity level, rather than actual age in years.

4717744
IIRC on her Deviant page she said that she plan to make ponies physically age more like a real world horses. They supposed to grow to adult size very fast while they mental age supposed to develop slower that that.
But oh well, lots of Lauren ideas already non-canon.

4717730 4717733 4717744 The other big argument for their being seventeen or eighteen is that their EqG counterparts are still in high school. But, yes, here's a very big counterargument.

Alternative hypothesis: Luna learned Rarity's side of the birthday party story from her dreams at the time, from the Moon. Does canon have any clues whether she could dreamwalk in her banishment?

4717798

Alternative hypothesis: Luna learned Rarity’s side of the birthday party story from her dreams at the time, from the Moon. Does canon have any clues whether she could dreamwalk in her banishment?

The clues that it did have got soundly jossed by A Royal Problem, so, not anymore.

This is the second time when Luna enters the dream through a silhouette of the Moon. The first time we saw that was in Sleepless in Ponyville, and it repeats further. She’s rather fond of this, isn’t she?

Does she ever do otherwise? She might need to, or it's easier for her, otherwise it wouldn't quite make sense for her to do that in To Where And Back Again if it's just theatrics. In fact, in that one the moon is specifically treated like some king of opening.

Notice that in this case Sweetie wears heeled shoes on her front hooves.

Probably a matter of being more visible than back ones. Might also be easier to walk like that.

4717791
EG world not a perfect copy of pony world. Like EG!Celestia definitely not a God-Empress of Mankind. And in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" in Rarity part you can see a filly who have the same mane style and colouration and all in all looks like a miniature Cheerilee. Which kinda suggest that in pony-world Rarity and Cheerilee belong to same age group while in EG world Cheerilee is an adult while Rarity still a teenager.

Like EG!Celestia definitely not a God-Empress of Mankind.

4718098 That's what she wants you to think.:trollestia:

(I've thought for a while that Pony!Celestia would love to be a teacher if only she didn't have a country to run.)

But, more seriously, good point. And Snips and Snails and the Crusaders are going to the same school as the Humane 5, and Spike is a dog.

An interesting episode. I would guess Rarity tasked Spike to attend the play and report on it to her, since he may have the most play-watching experience of any of them.

Also, might be some kind of soft lock putting this a while before the Coluratura episode, since Sapphire Shores is the Pony of Pop, and no one else is mentioned in even the same context (same idea for the movie and Obvious Artist Cameo or whatever her name was).

Yeah, it's kind of creepy that Luna disclosed personal information about Sapphire Shores's dreams to her vendors, who are close friends of Luna, so those vendors could emotionally manipulate her to guarantee themselves a successful business deal. And of course no one tells Sapphire Shores the truth about that. If I lived in Equestria I would sleep with a tinfoil hat.

Maybe there are some kind of magical wards on the windows that sound off an alert if a creature the size of an adult gets through, but they don't want to be bothered if something smaller like a cat wanders in.

I totally agree with your assessment of Sweetie Bell's physical appearance at 5 versus the show and what that means for school. However, I would wager their is an exception: "magic kindergarten," where younger foals with dangerous magic are parked. It's got to have some negative connotations if Twilight is so afraid of it.

4717730 Yup, I remember thinking this exact thing when I saw the episode.

4718460

Also, might be some kind of soft lock putting this a while before the Coluratura episode, since Sapphire Shores is the Pony of Pop, and no one else is mentioned in even the same context (same idea for the movie and Obvious Artist Cameo or whatever her name was).

Might be, but we have no idea how long it is, so it would be kinda useless.

Yeah, it’s kind of creepy that Luna disclosed personal information about Sapphire Shores’s dreams to her vendors, who are close friends of Luna, so those vendors could emotionally manipulate her to guarantee themselves a successful business deal.

It is much murkier than that.

As Sweetie Belle is having her nightmare, she hears Sapphire Shores tell about her ex-designer on stage, and the stage is decorated with dolphins. It’s probable that Sapphire liking dolphins is public knowledge, if not widely disseminated, and Sweetie simply needed reminding that she’s superstitious and will want a sign of good luck.

4718548 Oh, well public knowledge is different.

Wait. So Sweetie Belle has to leave for dress rehearsal soon, today. The opening of her play is tomorrow night. But Sweetie Belle only “needs them” by “tomorrow night” – so what is she going to wear during the dress rehearsal? We never find out.

It's not all that unreasonable to suggest that she might just not know exactly what a dress rehearsal is, or that she's given up on costuming for the rehearsal due to the difficulties she's encountering with them. She may be using it just to refer to the final full run before the performance.

It’s obviously a purpose-built theater, though lack of an orchestra pit would prevent it from being used for a full-blown musical.

Not necessarily. It's fairly common for theaters to have floor panels that cover the orchestra pit when it's not in use. Doing that both removes the distraction of seeing the open pit and gives the performers more space on stage.

you probably wouldn’t want to run a play in a theater during a school year.

Actually, being a school-sponsored event would make it almost certainly during the school year just like any other extracurricular activity.

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