Jun 11, 2020
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Pinkie Apple Pie”
Ah, the family road trip. Is there anything better in the world? Getting all packed up and ready to go, with Mom stressing out because she’s afraid of forgetting something, Dad getting even more stressed because Mom is making everyone run late, little sister sitting there pulling your hair, and grandma chewing on her dentures while telling you how everything was just so much better back in her day.
Let’s face it, family life never has been and never will be easy. Try as you might, the perfect family doesn’t exist. At best, you can put up a façade covering up all the nasty parts, but that’s about it. If you ever find a family with a seemingly perfect life, there’s a better than average chance that they are in fact extraterrestrials.
And that’s what this episode is about, as Applejack’s family once again takes center stage.
This episode starts off with Pinkie Pie bursting in on Twilight and Spike, who are doing research on their family trees. I gather from this that this is a pretty big thing in the U.S., where all the white Americans like to know what exact land they originate from, being white and all.
Pinkie Pie, who’s always enthusiastic about just about everything, has a go at it. But of course, she has to be Pinkie Pie first and break the laws of physics… again.
Boy, Pinkie Pie must be the world champion in Jenga. So that’s how she can afford to never have to work!
Faster than a speeding bullet, Pinkie Pie does her research and suddenly finds out… that she and Applejack are distant relatives.
I don’t know why that’s such a shock to you, Pinkie Pie. You’re both from farming families, and aren’t all of you supposed to be distantly related anyway? I mean, the thing about Applejack is that her family is crazy huge!
But Pinkie Pie and the Apple Family are extremely excited about this, with Apple Bloom noting that she now has a cousin—another one! Your family is crazy huge, Apple Bloom!
But as it turns out, they’re not entirely sure that Pinkie Pie is a part of the Apple Family after all. The name connecting her to the Apples is slightly smeared on the paper, and can’t be completely made out.
But wait! It seems there’s yet another member of the Apple Family named Goldie Delicious, who’s supposed to have kept track of the entire Apple family line, and she should be able to clear things up. It’s been awhile since anyone visited her at all, which can mean just one thing: Family road trip!
And that includes all the expected trouble that goes along with it as they load up their wagon. If anyone has ever had a family road trip where things went smoothly and no one lost their temper, please call me, so I can then call the Men in Black to exterminate your family. It’s just not possible with actual human beings!
But we soon get to the true big reveal of this episode, which is that Applejack can play the banjo.
I guess this means she has to join Lyra in her quest for hands now. Get to it, My Little Pony fan-artists! But of course, it’s not just Applejack doing a banjo solo; it’s the show’s latest musical number, and this is probably my favorite song of the whole season so far.
“Apples to the Core” is an upbeat, fun, country/western-inspired musical number with banjo, violin, and harmonica in the mix, making this a catchy tune that sticks with you. I love it a lot.
Plus, it ends perfectly, as the wagon completely collapses, because Applejack’s older brother Big McIntosh apparently packed everything but the kitchen sink. No, wait; the kitchen sink is in there, too. Well, I’ll be damned. Also among all the luggage is… a trombone? Which one of the Apples is able to play the trombone? I’d really like to know.
Because of this, the Apples and Pinkie Pie are all stranded out in the middle of nowhere, but they’re too close to Goldie Delicious’s house to turn back now. Pinkie Pie, who didn’t break a sweat when the breakdown happened, suggests they build a raft out of what remains of the cart and sail to Goldie’s house. This is a plan that could go wrong in more ways than I could possibly count, but of course they decide to do it.
First, they encounter a fork in the river, with three possible directions. Apple Bloom manages to drop their map in the water, where it immediately gets swallowed by a fish and then the fish gets scooped up by an eagle. Don’t you hate when that happens?
Then Granny Smith takes a wrong turn that leads them into, and I quote, “The scariest cave in Equestria”, where “ponies go in but they never come out!” I’ve got to admire Pinkie Pie’s reaction here. Her only thought is getting a picture of this for her scrapbook.
Then, just as they’re about to head over a waterfall, they lose the raft’s steering wheel, which also gets scooped up by an eagle. Ever feel like you’re having one of those days?
I will admit, though, that if you’re going to take a selfie, plunging over a waterfall is really the only way to do it.
Their boat is destroyed, and the Apples lose all of their stuff. They end up having to walk the rest of the way to Goldie Delicious’s house, only to discover why unannounced visits are generally not a good idea: Goldie isn’t even here.
Though, this does give Pinkie Pie time to go all the way back to Ponyville to get some more paper for her scrapbook.
So I guess Ponyville isn’t that far away after all. I don’t know, something in my head just tells me that Ponyville is right around the corner, and the Apples took an unnecessarily long side trip by mistake. That would fit right in with the kind of luck they’re having.
As Pinkie Pie shows up again, so does Goldie Delicious, who I swear is voiced by a man.
And it seems she’s the first crazy cat pony we get to meet in this series. I do like this scene, because there are a lot of visual gags inside her house, with all of her cats and lots of dusty junk laying around. Goldie is ready to help though, as she pulls a Pinkie Pie by taking the lowest book from a stack of books without the rest falling down.
Well, that proves it, Pinkie Pie and the Apples are related! But they want more substantial proof, and so they look it up in Goldie’s book, only to realize that the exact same name that was smeared on Pinkie Pie’s paper is also smeared in the book. It’s just… one of those days.
We get to the natural conclusion though, which is that if you can survive a road trip with the family, you are part of the family, which is a statement I can agree with.
Let me put it this way: if your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t running away after the first time he or she has a meal with your family, there’s hope for your relationship. If they survive a road trip with your family, for god’s sake, don’t let that person go! Tie him/her down! Do it now!
And that’s how you maintain a healthy relationship, copyright: Sofie Liv.
Pinkie Pie, who never minded the Apples arguing for a second and just highly enjoyed being around them, is overjoyed at being welcomed into their family. She’s so happy about it that she wants to try and argue with them, too! Well, in her own, odd, Pinkie Pie way.
This episode was fun and I really liked it. I’ve always liked the Apple family, and funnily enough, putting Pinkie Pie into the mix just works. Her upbeat personality and strange sense of maturity make her an uplifting character, and I did smile at her random jokes delivered to the camera throughout the episode.
The definite highlight for me here was the song. I loved it so much that it’s now in my iTunes library, something that hasn’t happened since the song “The Flim-Flam Brothers”. Oddly enough, all of my favorite MLP songs are connected to Applejack episodes.
The message about family again rings very true. Having a family and being part of a family isn’t always easy. It’s hard work, and you’re so close that you step on each other’s toes very easily and tempers often run high. But when you get down to it, family is also one of the most wonderful things you can have. The support of a loving family when things are tough is immeasurable.
At the same time, you don’t have to be blood relatives to be family. Again, this is something I know from my own life; my cousins are not people I feel particularly close to, whereas there are other people I’m not blood-related to who do indeed feel like my true family and my true cousins.
I know other people found this episode average, but I highly enjoyed it on many levels. I was able to relate to a lot of it, and also enjoy the many jokes and one great song.
Thus, this episode receives four out of five ponies, and is an excellent standout episode, in my humble opinion.
[—Editing/cleanup/revisions to this article provided by Dr. Winston O’Boogie and Elliot Hodgett.]