The 6 Best Cameos on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Fair warning, I’m feeling especially adorable this week. Want to know the geekiest show on television? It’s not Big Bang Theory. Nor is it Game of Thrones. The title has to go to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! Not only is it a cartoon that has taken fandom by storm, but it is clearly produced by some giddy geeks.
What makes me say this? How about the simple fact that they’ve taken a cartoon about cutesy, colorful ponies and filled it with more pop culture references and background jokes than your average episode of Family Guy! And at My Little Pony, they’re actually clever about it. Clearly for the sheer fun of it, the people behind My Little Pony love showing off their geek cred.
Join me after the jump for the 6 best pop culture character cameos on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
6. Justice League/Avengers
Sadly, the famous superheroes themselves don’t show up. Instead, the fourth season episode ‘Power Ponies’ features that tried and true cartoon plot of having the main characters get super-powers and become costumed heroes. Classic stuff. But instead of just coming up with generic powers and heroic identities, the writers saw fit to design each of the super ponies after heroes from Marvel and DC Comics! Fili-second gets super speed like the flash. Radiance can create constructs similar to Green Lantern. Mistress Mare-velous uses gadgets like Batman. The Saddle Rager turns into an incredible hulk when she gets angry. And so on and so forth. The Power Ponies are a clear homage to some of our favorite superheroes, which is all you can ask for in a good pop culture reference.
The rest of the cameos are a bit more obvious.
5. Mad Men
When the pony Rarity takes a trip to Manehattan (note the near constant horse-puns), she learns all manner of important lessons…I think. The ponies are always learning lessons. Such is the way of cartoons. But even more fun than lessons are the various Mad Men characters who show up in the background. That first picture is Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway, and elsewhere in the episode, we see Peggy Olson and Dan Draper himself!
So either there are a lot of little kids watching Mad Men to get these references, or the animators just felt like being awesome. Honestly, with kids these days, it could be either one.
4. Grumpy Cat
Speaking of being awesome in ‘Rarity Takes Manehattan’, the episode also features everyone’s favorite ubiquitous feline meme: Grumpy Cat! As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, every pony has a Cutie Mark on their butt, which reflects their skill, talent or drive in life. It’s OK, just go with it. Well for whatever reason, that pony up there developed a Grumpy Cat Cutie Mark. We can only assume he must live one horrible, pessimistic and depressing life.
The God of freakin’ War, baby! The Mad Spartan! Wielder of the Blades of Chaos! A pony that looks suspiciously like Kratos made a guest appearance in the fourth season episode ‘Trade Ya’, where the ponies go to a swap meet. Kratos runs a pet shop for dangerous mythical creatures, and one of his beasts, an orthros, becomes part of an important trade for Rainbow Dash. A freakin’ orthros. Do you know what an orthros is? I sure as heck didn’t until I looked it up. An orthros is a two-headed dog from Greek myth. And here it is in an episode of My Little Pony.
Of course, fans of the show will know that dangerous, mythical beasts are just part and parcel of a show about cartoon ponies. A hydra showed up in the first episode, and the ponies have encountered everything from griffons to chimeras to Cerberus himself! As well as the occasional God of War, it would seem.
2. The Big Lebowski
What you see above you is not photoshop or fan art. That is a real screenshot from an episode of My Little Pony. The Dude abides My Little Pony. How else do you explain the Dude, Walter and Donny showing up in a bowling alley in the season 2 episode ‘The Cutie Pox’? What 10-year-old girl is going to get a Big Lebowski reference in her pony cartoon? (An awesome little girl, obviously.) The gang does little more than just show up in a quick cutaway, but that’s clearly them, and it’s a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, Pony Walter doesn’t go crazy on anybody. But Jesus makes a quick cameo too, because when you’re in for a little, you’re in for a lot!
1. Doctor Who
All those previous cameos were only background appearances or allusions. Get ready to have your geeky mind blown. Doctor Who is another show beloved by a geeky fandom, and there is more than a little overlap between fans of Doctor Who and fans of My Little Pony. So when that brown-haired pony with the hourglass Cutie Mark showed up in the background of early episodes, fans immediately dubbed him ‘Doctor Whooves’ on message boards and comment threads across the Internet.
After all, he bears a striking resemblance to the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.
Much like with the legendary Derpy Hooves, the showrunners learned what the fans were doing and started putting Whooves into the background of more episodes. The official toy company decided to call him ‘Time Turner’ because they don’t have souls or imaginations, but the fans eventually won out. The character was officially named ‘Dr. Hooves’ in both the mobile game and in the My Little Pony comic book series, which reveled in his connection to the famed British TV show.
Not that the My Little Pony cartoon hasn’t done a bit of reveling. In a recent season 4 episode, Dr. Hooves was shown with a cute, spunky companion pony with red hair and a rose Cutie Mark.
So exactly like Rose Tyler, one of the Doctor’s most famous and popular modern day companions.
They even gave him Tennant’s 3D glasses! If that’s not going above and beyond in the name of all things geek, I don’t know what is!
Admit it, you might just think about becoming a Brony after this.