• Member Since 27th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen January 29th

Jay David

Just a guy who loves MLP.


After Pinkie and Rarity come back from their latest mission, Twilight gathers them, along with all of her other friends, in the Friendship Palace. And once together, she tells them all that there may be something wrong with the Cutie Map. Something that, frankly, she feels she should have realised long before now.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 192 )

The same questions about the table have been asked about a lot of other things. Answers never came. I don't expect it to change this time.

Huh, I never noticed the table's flaws before.

Okay, I did NOT see that coming :rainbowderp:

Ooh, this is a fun one. I like that you're asking the hard questions about the map that the show (and most of the fans) refuses to ask.

In my personal opinion, I think the map picks "friendship problems" based on what can help the most amount of ponies at the same time. You touched on it a little in the story, but almost every friendship solution has had a big impact on the surrounding community. Even with the Hooffields and the McColts, it was saving the environment and the creatures that lived between the two feuding houses.

Not only that, but I think it also picks the problems (and the ponies) at the perfect time that it thinks they can come in—when all of the paths have converged, all of the pieces are in the right spot, and a catalyst (the Elements) can be introduced for maximum benefit. A "Goldilocks zone" of causality, as it were. The Hoofields/McColts conflict right at its peak, Coco Pommel right before the play happens, Tasty Treats right as the restaurant's about to close down. At any other time, things probably would have gone wrong.

I still have a lot of other criticisms for the map (it's a cheap, omnipotent, lazy plot device that artificially sends ponies to places without any oversight of its own to back it up, instead of the Mane Six just being there of their own circumstances and a conflict "emerging" naturally as it would in the real world), but I like that fanfic authors are finding ways to make up for those criticisms, or at least spending the time to actually challenge them.

:pinkiesmile: Maybe the table knows of an event far in the future, that can only happen if other, smaller events happen! The very fate of Equestria could be on the line!
:table: ...eeh.
:twilightsmile: What if I gave you WHEELS!
:trixieshiftleft: I don't like this plan.
:twilightsheepish: Sapient pearwood table legs?
:table: ...I'm listening...

Just watched the episode, and I'm baffled that Sets Her Own Trends Rarity would be stupid enough to think outright copycatting was the way to go.


So the reason for the wonkiness is... teen angst from a possibly inanimate object. Makes as much sense as anything else that stupid tree does.

FicusCat #7 · Jun 11th, 2016 · · 30 ·

Are you even enjoying the show anymore? Because you keep on shitting all these mouthpieces and fixfics the moment the new episode air and it's really showing that you're just doing it without giving a fuck.

Comment posted by Harmony Pie deleted Jun 12th, 2016

What's Wrong With the Cutie Map?

It automatically updated to Windows 10, that's what.


So, the Cutie Map is Skynet?

Yes, If you don't solve a friendship problem quick enough, it'll take over Equestria.

I like the concept of the map, but as adressed in this story, it feels kind of underused. Not every episode has to be a map episode, but I hope the rest of the season will focus more on it.

And maybe send them to more exotic places. Wasn't the season once advertized as "Explore Equestria"? So far they haven't gone farther than the Crystal Empire and Canterlot.

The map is connected to the Tree of Harmony, which is implied to be sentient. Perhaps it just takes time for the Tree to detect friendship problems.

It's simple why the map doesn't send them more often. The writers can't think of enough reasons to use it. Good story btw

And then they all got sledgehammers and destroyed the table.

I can imagine the endless conversations the Mane 6 could have with the map.

:moustache: Ok Rarity I moved the table
:duck: Twilight should thank us for this we got twenty bits for it on E-Hay :twilightoops:
:raritywink: Somepony has to pay for the milkshakes and ice cream :moustache: :facehoof:

7295286 Who are you even talking too?

7295355 very plausible, how long did it take, after the castle appeared and the map was there, for t to detec starlights little communist camp?

Give the table different things to look at and that should help it.

New AU where Spike brings the table movies to watch and they become besties. This causes Twi to begin outsourcing problems as there are more being revealed due to the improved work ethic, and the equines given said problems are, like, Trixie (Magic), Coco (Rarity 2.0), Tree Hugger (Who even knows with this one)?, and other ponies that share virtues (Bring back Silver Shill!) with the Mane 6.

7295578 Enough time for Rainbow Rocks to happen inbetween.

Is the table a boy or a girl?

The Cutie Map is a WAY too contrived plot device. It works, sure, if you don't look closely at it. But like a lot of writing in the later seasons, it's just way too... convenient. Fun fic I guess, but there's no good explanation for something that exists to be looked over.


It's a table.

Comment posted by Sanjaya deleted Jun 12th, 2016

Oh, great. So the intelligent magical artifact is also a moody teenager...

Note to self: Steal this idea for later use.

It's a girl according to France.

This makes a surprising amount of sense...

A frustrated cutie-map table? I'm sold :pinkiehappy:


...And then Rarity woke up from that dream, and tried to figure out just what it was they put in the food.

It was funny. I like it. The story, I mean.

I'm with Derpmind on this one. The problem I've had with that stupid map ever since it showed up is that it's obscenely transparent macguffin, but one so contrived it doesn't make a lick of sense in its own universe. Is the tree sentient? How is the tree gathering and processing information? What are its motives and goals, and why does it have them? Of course I'm not going to get an answer for any of these questions, because the tree and the map are just another crutch that these indolent writers use to introduce a plot to the characters when they can't think of a rational way to have the characters get involved in. Seriously, if the map was any more lazy and slapdash, then it wouldn't even be a map, and characters would just periodically have letters from the writer materialize in front of them, saying: "The script says you're going to go here."

And that just burns me even more about that damn map. Consider an episode like 'Amending Fences', which I'm pretty sure most people agree was one of the best episodes in season five. The impetus of that episode was a passing comment by Spike, which in the context of the series universe, had meant that fucking map/tree/whatever had determined Moondancer's withdrawal from society at large wasn't enough of a friendship issue to warrant Twilight fixing a problem she herself was partly responsible for. Moondancer could've died an unfulfilled, antisocial, bitter curmudgeon for all the map cared. Oh, but it's fucking IMPERATIVE that Haber uses the map to explain why Twilight and Spike were unaffected by Starlight rewriting the past in the season five finale... even though the explanation makes no sense, was entirely superfluous on accounts that vastly superior time travel stories have provided better explanations to explain static occurrences in altered timelines, and spawned a megalodon of a voodoo shark on accounts that Starlight prevented the Mane Six from becoming friends, which meant the could have never either reactivated the Elements of Harmony or later shoved them back into that stupid tree, which means there is no way that fucking tree would have been able to intervene in the first place!

Funny how the Tree of harmony was created to sweep the Elements of Harmony under the rug on accounts of them being a broken, exploitable mess of phlebotinum (and because Meghack McCarthy broke them beyond repair in the execrable Equestria Girls)... only for them to be replaced by even more messes of broken, exploitable phlebotinum.

Seriously, if there's anything that needs to be cut from the serious like a cancerous tumor... it's Twilight's wings and title of princess. But the Tree and the Map are a close second.


It's a table

That's discriminatory against tables that identify as a non-binary gender, you bigot. :derpytongue2:

- Christian 'I'll get my chainsaw...' Harisay

To be honest, I think the map calls for the mane six to solve problems it knows for sure they can fix. I mean, only a very specific kind of war could be stopped by six mares, as well as many other problems. I´m pretty sure that most of the mane six aren´t qualified to handle a situation such as a messy divorce, a group splitting up because of the suicide of one of them, an abusive parent beating the shit out of their kids... I believe the map calls for the mane six to solve problems that only and exclusively they can fix.

I actually have a headcanon for this. Twilight is the, relatively speaking, brand spanking new Princess of Friendship, right? Her circle of friends and acquaintances is getting bigger all the time, but she really only has 5 ponies and a dragon that she trusts implicitly that can help her. But Starlight may soon be a part of that circle. And through Starlight, Trixie. And through her, and her friends friends and so on and so forth, her circle of possible friendship fixers grows.

Maybe, some day in the future, the Castle of Friendship won't be a cavernous echoing wasteland of crystal, but will instead be the bustling base of operations and hub for Twilight's friends, the many and varied ponies, griffons, dragons, dogs, deer, bison etc. that help the Princess spread the Magic of Friendship and the spirit of harmony to the reaches of Equestria, near and far.

That's what I like to think anyway. I'd rather these things have some kind of hypothetical reason, rather than just cynically go "the castle is to sell toys and the map is a contrivance to kickstart episodes."

To this, many of her friends seemed ponderous, looking to one another with curiosity.

That word.
I don't think it means what you think it means.

Pause #35 · Jun 12th, 2016 · · 11 ·

Contrived? Lolno.

The issue here isn't the table but rather the mindset of you and people like you. You have the obnoxious mindset of a conspiracy theorist. Did it at any point occur to you that maybe the Tree of Harmory is just a force of good and harmony that is just trying to protect, and through the Mane 6 better Equestria? Nope. You just have to one of those people that complain "it's not deep enough" and always thinking there has to be more to it. I'd point out you're watching a 6~12 children's show but mentioning that will have a bunch of people up in arms and making excuses.

Did you even read 7295266 comment? The single connecting point between each of the map episodes is that whenever the girls solve a problem at a location, the solution always helps the community at large. Moondancer and Twilight was a complete personal issue. If the map kept sending the girls around to solve personal issues to help one or two individuals at a time, then the girls will never have moments of rest.

7296098 That doesn't make it any less contrived in an OOC sense. Which, I think, is his point.

Wouldn't it be funny if starlight was pranking them

Well... that happened. :applejackunsure:

Anyway, I always figured the map isn't about solving all friendship problems but rather solving the important ones: That there's kind of a butterfly effect thing going on, where the map operates on a perspective the ponies can't perceive. Like, they needed to stop Starlight because it eventually leads to her redemption and she's going to be very important down the line. Or, they needed to help the griffons cheer up or there would eventually be a war. Etc, etc. They were sent to help the Hooffields and McColts at that point in time because they were meant to end the feud on that particular day in that particular way, to ensure the best possible outcome. If they went earlier, things would have happened differently. The Mane Six just can't see the long term effects.

I'd just like to say for the record that I actually really love the cutie map. It's an in-universe vehicle for shipping! Pick two ponies and send them off on an adventure together!

And before you say "It's contrived!", I'd like to point out that just about every darn thing on TV these days has stupid contrivances. May as well be one that I enjoy.

7296219 To me, I always figured that the Cutie Map was picking the important, destiny-altering events that would turn sour and probably affect things on a larger scale, that way SIX ponies can take things on without spending time on friendship problems that may end up resolving themselves. It's like medical emergencies. People die because others with less threatening problems are calling 911 and getting ambulances. They need to be there for some of the more important things that, as the author even says in the story, may take days at a time.

I'll give an example from the recent episode. If Pinkie and Rarity had not been successful, Zesty is pretty much completely suppressing talents revolving around cooking, and thus taking the love out of it, by enforcing what she believes is right.

Much like Starlight Glimmer oppressed pony's identities and talents. This episode was a Canterlot-changing event that who knows where it would have gone if not dealt with by Pinkie Pie and Rarity (while also helping them to grow further).

We're talking massive shifts that the Cutie Mark Map is predicting and sending ponies too. I see this less of a contrivance, and more like a plot point of interest that could be built up into something special.

Better than my pet idea ...I'd guessed the table is an educational aid, and the errands it sent the ponies to do were designed to teach the Mane 6 basic friendship lessons they'd need to know. Those problems they've been solving are exercises, part of the curriculum.

The hole in that idea is: Who or what is running the school?


Well then.

This... This resonates with me.
My own comp tried to do that, and I was so terrified of the idea of using Windows 10 that the second I got back upstairs and realized what was going on, I did a force shutdown while it was installing... Then had to spend almost an hour trying to figure out how to keep it from doing it again.

Good story btw

I gave the table Abridged Alucard's voice.

Now THAT was a twist! M. Night Samalan should take lessons from you.

"The cutie map is a deadbeat" certainly explains it as well as anything. :facehoof:


"The issue here isn't the table but rather the mindset of you and people like you." - A Dullard

I hear the "it's just a show for little girls" handwace every god damn anybody ever takes a hard look at the show, and every god damn time I have to bring out the same counter arguments. First, there are more bronies watching this show and keeping it alive now than there are little girls. Second, why does it being a show for children somehow excuse it from being flawwed? Do you take that same mentallity of 'it's just for kids, and thus it's okay to be shit' with shit like Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure or Cool Cat Saves The Kids? I suppose we should also give all the shit in the live-action Bayformers films a pass because they're made for sophomoric teenagers with testicles for brains, and any input from outside that demographic is irrelevant. And third, if it's just a show for little girls--little girls who are apparently very stupid and thus it's okay to feed them senseless, blithering drivel--then why the fuck are you watching it?

I did see that comment, and I fail to see how getting a pony who has shunned the community and friendship, even though they'd be a boon to the community and friendship, back into the community and helping her makes friends isn't considered by that fucking tree to be beneficial to the community. Or friendship. And while there may be an observable motif, connecting it to the tree and saying "Yep, that's exactly its intent" is really just speculation, on par with dime-a-dozen fan theories, or worse, God-forsaken 'head canon.'

- Christian 'Knee-deep in dumbasses' Harisay

I really want the Cutie Map to be like The Machine from Person of Interest.

uhhh Wouldn't be the opposite...uh
The girls are deadbeat parents to the table for giving birth to it (kinda), and not bothering to talk to it?

Well, technically, the tree of harmony made it. The girls were just in the general vicinity as it happened.

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