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There are only three real monsters: Dracula, Blackula, and Son of Kong.

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MLP Marathon Bonanza - Top 5 Favorite Episodes! (Seasons 5-7) · 3:19pm Dec 15th, 2017

Welp, it’s finally done. I’ve caught up on every episode of MLP and it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. It’s been an experience watching all these episodes in such a short period of time, but one that I feel better for having done. It felt good to get back into the show after so long away, and now that it’s done I’m going to give a list of my 5 favorite episodes from the last three seasons. I’ll be interested to see what other people have to say are their favorites, so please let me know. I’m genuinely curious.

Two important things to note: First, these are my 5 favorite episodes, not necessarily the ones I think are best (though there is a lot of overlap). That’s an important distinction to make because while some episodes may be technically better than others, for example the season 7 finale “Shadow Play” is probably one of the best produced episodes of the show, it doesn’t automatically make it better for me personally. And second, I’m not including two-parter episodes because they are not quite in the same category as regular episodes in my mind. While I really enjoyed both “Shadow Play” and “To Where and Back Again,” they won’t be appearing on this list. With that being said, these 5 episodes were chosen based on basically two criteria.

  1. What did I enjoy the most?
  2. What has stuck with me the most?

Knowing this, it was actually pretty easy to narrow down the list. But, before we get started on the countdown proper, I’d like to list a few honorable mentions that barely missed the cut.

Honorable Mentions

A Hearth’s Warming Tail
Just barely lost out to the others in my top 5, but this episode is a real gem of season 6 with some really great songs and working as a fantastic retelling of “A Christmas Carol” with a few neat twists.

Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
While this is a really strong episode, it didn’t quite make it for me in terms of how much it’s stuck with me. I do plan on going back and rewatching it though. I really like the dream magic.

The Saddle Row Review
Like “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” this one barely lost to my top 5. It’s a really funny and really cute episode and has some of the best jokes in the series. Absolutely a joy to watch.

Rarity Investigates!/Slice of Life
These two episodes were never seriously considered for top 5, but I really like them all the same, so I just thought I’d mention them. They’re definitely some of the more fun episodes.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for my top 5!

#5 – Parental Glideance

Perhaps this will be a controversial pick, but I really loved this episode. I want to avoid just re-stating everything from my reviews, but this episode sticks out to me in particular because of Rainbow Dash’s parents. They’re silly, over-the-top, kind of annoying, and I love them. As I said in my review, I didn’t have parents like this, and so I identify with Scootaloo and sympathize with her. Maybe I’ll refrain from being too annoying, but Rainbow’s parents are the kind of parents that I want to be. I want my kids to feel as awesome about themselves as Rainbow Dash does and RD’s parents inspire me to be like them. I may not be particularly talented or really excel at anything, but hope my kids do and I want to support them in that as much as I can. So yeah, this episode may not be on the show’s “best”, but it’s one that has stuck with me long after I watched it. I’ve thought a lot about RD’s parents since seeing it the first time.

#4 – Amending Fences

This is probably the first episode that I watched during the marathon that really got to me and made me feel really emotional about something happening. Sure, I liked “Slice of Life” well enough, but “Amending Fences” is one of those really strong episodes that is strong because it deals with a mistake from Twilight’s past that she has to fix by using what she’s learned since then. Twilight’s agony over Moondancer not wanting anything to do with her is relatable and really makes you empathize with Twilight. Also, in keeping with my selection criteria, this is an episode that has stuck with me quite a bit since I saw it. Especially that ending shot of the picture Twilight her friends take at the end. This is the first episode in the marathon that got me misty-eyed, but it wasn’t the last.

#3 – No Second Prances

Was there ever any doubt that a Trixie episode was going to make it to my top 5? Probably not, so here we are. Besides the fact this is Trixie’s return episode, and I love it for that, I also really think this is just a very good episode because of the dynamic between Starlight and Trixie. As I said in my review, their friendship feels real and very believable due to the things they have in common, and that comes through really strong in this episode and in later episodes featuring the two. I was very excited to hear Trixie was back after her appearance in Magic Duel, and I was not disappointed by her return. Both her and Starlight have learned a lot since their respective encounters with Twilight and they get to share that experience of being reformed villains. Besides all that, there’s also some pretty great humor in this episode as well. Reminds me a lot of “Boast Busters,” an episode that somehow feels like ancient history now, and that’s a good thing since that remains one of my favorite episodes of all time.

#2 – The Perfect Pear

Were it not for how strongly I feel about the number one episode on this list, this would have easily made the top of my list. It really easily beats the other three episodes so far, and only barely loses to number one. “The Perfect Pear” is an incredible episode for a lot of reasons, but why it made it to my number two spot is simple. It’s really powerful for a relatively simple love story. You may have noticed a theme so far in this list, and that’s that I’m generally picking episodes that have down to earth plots. I like all the worldbuilding and adventure episodes a lot, but they don’t stick with me in the same way that some of the slice of life stuff does, and “The Perfect Pear” has stuck with me more than I’d perhaps like to admit. Ironically, the song “You’re in My Head Like a Catchy Song” has been in my head like a catchy song ever since I first heard it, and I’ve rewatched clips from the episode over and over again. I really am a bit of a sappy romantic deep down, and this episode appealed to that part of me in a way that I really wasn’t expecting or was prepared for. Again, were it not for how much the number one episode got to me emotionally, this would be the episode that I would be saying affected me the most on an emotional level. So, what is that number one? Well...

#1 – Crusaders of the Lost Mark

This fucking episode, man… I cannot overstate how much this episode has affected me and stuck with me. I’ve rewatched it now half a dozen times, and I’ll probably keep watching every so often because it never fails to make me happy. The first time I watched it, when it got to the end and the Cutie Mark Crusaders get lifted into the air and, in a flash of light, finally get their cutie marks and shout together, “We all got the same cutie marks!” I broke down crying with joy. It hit me so much harder than I would have thought possible, and I still get a little teary-eyed watching this episode over again. Basically, this episode has everything that I love about this show encapsulated into one concise episode. There’s some really fantastic songs, a redemption of a former villain through friendship, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and, most importantly, fucking friendship.

The CMC are some of my favorite characters in the show, and they always have been, because they’re cute, obviously, but also because of their sincerity in chasing their dreams. It’s really cute watching them try different things to see what they’re good at it, and after all these years of trying, when they finally succeed it’s just so fucking heartwarming that I can barely take it. Couple that with the fact that they make good with their longtime rival, Diamond Tiara, and it’s not too hard to see why this episode is so high on my list. I mean, just thinking about it again now as I write this, I can’t help but feel somewhat overwhelmed by how much I love this episode. To me, this is basically the perfect My Little Pony episode, and if I were ever going to show someone one episode to try and explain what I like about this show, it’d be this. I don’t really know what my favorite all time episode would have been before “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” but I can definitively say now that this is my favorite episode ever, and it’ll take something unbelievably special to top it.

If there’s one episode that makes me glad I started this whole marathon business in the first place, it’s “Crusaders of the Lost Mark.” Even more than Trixie coming back, this is the thing that made it all worthwhile. I will be watching this episode again and again for years to come. Whenever I need something to cheer me up, “Crusaders” will be there. I fucking love this episode and everything it stands for. In fact, I’m gonna go watch it again right now.

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Comments ( 7 )

A worthy top five.

As much as the Prefect Pear is a standout episode and my favorite I fell like Crusaders of the Lost Mark truly catches the unique fell MLP can tell with its stories. Perfect Pear is great and the standout episode of season 7 but isn't an all toghether original story with the R&J story whereas Crusader of the Lost Mark has everything that makes MLP special. Perfect Pear could have be in a different show and still work just as much but I fell Crusader can only com from this pony show about friendship.

It was very enjoyable reading about your journey through all these episodes, thank you for writing and sharing with us.

Good choices.

Crusaders of the Lost Mark really was great. My particular favorite is the conclusion to Diamond Tiara's character arc, she started out with the CMC and it was great to see it come full circle. Since you originally blogged about this episode I've been occasionally listening to the songs from it, and the Diamond parts never fail to make me a bit emotional.

Excellent choices, and I'm glad to hear you thoroughly enjoyed the last three seasons of MLP. :twilightsmile:

Solid. I've been rewatching S7 lately and just happened to watch "Parental Glideance" last night. And I think it got to me more on the rewatch than on first viewing. Esp the scene where RD yells at her parents and they still support her in how well she told them off. I wanted to give Windy a big hug and slap RD. And Scoots is fantastic here, between calling out Dash and hearing a bit about her life she feels more mature (even with her silly slingshot idea and fangirling early on) and fleshed out than ever. So before that rewatch I probably would have thought it a bit of an unusual choice, but not now.

And I remember when "Crusaders" aired I posted something on FB along the lines that before I would have had a hard time picking my favorite episode, but not any more. "Perfect Pair" is the only serious challenger to date.

Definitely agree with you on Perfect Pear. It's a good episode but not necessarily "pony" whereas Crusaders of the Lost Mark is necessarily pony. Absolutely a major factor in why it was my number 1 pick. Fantastic episode all around.
Glad you enjoyed it :scootangel: It's been fun doing it.
Yeah, DT's song is great for a lot of reasons, but I particularly like all the references to stones and jewels, "If I'm a diamond then why do I feel so rough? I'm as strong as stone, even that's not enough." She's so vulnerable and sympathetic. Really love that song.
I think Scootaloo is an integral part of why Parental Glideance stuck out to me. Without her being there to show RD why she was being a dick and saying, "I wish I had what you have" it probably wouldn't have had quite the emotional impact. It was a very smart choice to include her.

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