My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ‘One Bad Apple’ Review


Friendship is Magic is not only a very entertaining show, it’s also moral based. Throughout the two seasons it was genuine in the messages it gave. Whether it be learning to act with grace and humility, or sharing and caring, there was always something to take out of it. But never had it attempted to do an episode with a ‘current’ issue. One Bad Apple is the episode about bullying that was announced last month. Apple Bloom’s cousin from Manehatten (love the city names in this show) comes and ends up becoming a bully. In the end, the episode succeeds in its purpose greatly, and even gives us a pretty good new character.

Here’s the official episode description from The Hub:

“The Cutie Mark Crusaders are crushed when Apple Bloom’s cousin, Babs Seed, rejects their invitation to become a fellow Crusader and instead becomes a bully determined to make their lives miserable.”

It starts out with Apple Bloom getting all crazy about what to wear to make a good impression on her incoming cousin, Babs. Applejack is of course annoyed by the craziness and then reveals Babs actually doesn’t have a Cutie Mark, which changes Apple Bloom’s perspective. First off, I thought it was pretty neat to get ‘a slice of life’ in the house of Applejack, I don’t think we’ve ever seen inside her house. Once Apple Bloom rounds up Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, they all head to the train station to welcome Babs. My first ever episode from the series was The Show Stoppers, so I’ve always had a liking to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and their crazy endeavors. This time we have a new filly in the form of Babs. She’s established really well early on, unsure and even slightly shy. Cindy Marrow handles the writing in this one, and it’s strong throughout. Once Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon pop up, Babs decides to join them and bully the Crusaders. It may seem like a sudden switch, but it actually isn’t when you get deeper into the episode. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue is when Apple Bloom tells Babs “That’s not fair Babs, we didn’t do anything to you!” Indeed, that’s the case there and in real life.

Like Meghan McCarthy said, we do a get a pretty catchy song. I don’t think it’ll go down as a classic like Winter Wrap Up or At the Gala, but it’s still pretty good. Later in the episode we see the Cutie Mark Crusaders plotting to get back at Babs. It’s true, retaliation when you could give it back to a bully is a first response. It’s only when Applejack reveals to them that Babs was coming to the farm because she was bullied back in Manehatten (saying that word never gets old) when they realize they are in error and that they became bullies themselves. Now it could be argued whether or not Applejack should have said that in the beginning. On one hand I understand that she didn’t want to single Babs out, on the other hand it also would have made sense for Applejack to have revealed that in the beginning. But either way, the only thing I was disappointed in was some of the potential with other characters, I would have liked the Crusaders to talk with the Mane 6 about bullying and get their perspectives. Oh, and Pinkie Pie’s randomness never fails to inject a good smile. “Hey, don’t leave me!” as she stands in a pile of leaves and laughs at her own un-realized joke.

Overall, a solid episode that succeeds in its purpose. We learn that there could very well be deeper circumstances when it comes to bullying. We also learn that in wanting to give retaliation, we eventually could turn into bullies ourselves. This line from Sweetie Belle sums up the episode pretty well, “Why does life have to be so ironic?!”


S#!T Talking Central

  • Anders Hansen

    Good review. I think I agree with it.

    • Daniel Alvarez

      Thanks man.

  • Anonymous

    I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, personally think that MLP:FiM needs a lot less CMC considering the series is supposed to circulate around the mane six and not the CMC. Regardless, I do see eye to eye with you in that this episode should have included more of the mane sixes’ opinions in regards to bullying to make this a more fleshed out episode since it’s such a viral subject at this point in time.

    • Daniel Alvarez

      I do agree that it should focus on the Mane 6. Of course, I think an episode or two with the Crusaders is okay as long as it’s every once in awhile.

    • IndigoEclipse

      I’ve always thought of the CMC episodes as ‘world building’ episodes. They work to explain things like the cutie marks, coming of age, school year interaction between ponies, a bit of history, and looks into the families they belong to. Sure, it’s not a mane 6 story-line, but I’ve always felt they complement the rest of the show by providing more background information.

    • Vinzenz Stemberg

      Personally would prefer if they got their own spinoff series, Apple Bloom especially has a lot of potential (the biggest sign being Bridle Gossip) but it kind of gets shoved to the side *for* those worldbuilding bits. Should make them more inquisitive like normal kids, getting into all sorts of trouble through studying things and finding out how they work, not just the cutie mark gimmick.
      Also they need to completely wreck the reality warper, like they did in one of the few decent comics. Great match-up, those four!

  • RHJunior

    Succeeds? It was a spectacular failure!

    1)it ignores canon to shoehorn in a new character. Why the new character? Oh that’s right, so they don’t have to use any character development on Diamond Tiara or Silver Spoon– the card-carrying bullies of the series.

    2)It has Applejack carrying the Idiot Ball. I mean seriously, it’s bad enough that Cheerilee never notices that her class is being turned into blank flank hell by two bullies, Applejack doesn’t even notice when Babs destroys Applebloom’s float, throws her out of her own clubhouse, and even steals her bed from her!

    3)the lesson is touchy feely pap. Any kid in the REAL world who’s dealt with a bully knows how effective “tell the grownups” works: it doesn’t. The victim ends up getting a lecture– “don’t be a tattle tale” or the all time classic “you should try making friends”— and another round of abuse from the bully. There’s nothing lazier than an authority figure who doesn’t want to get involved. That’s why bullies do what they do in the first place: they know they can get away with it.

    4)Even in context, the resolution is idiotic. If threatening to tell their mommies was enough to stop Diamond Tiara or Silver Spoon from bullying then they would have folded like wet toast ages ago!

    5)The jokes were lame, the “revenge” plot was ridiculously convoluted, the stock antagonists were bigger empty outlines than ever before, and the “resolution” was one that would give a PC spouting social activist the warm fuzzies and give anyone else the dry heaves.

    • Daniel Alvarez

      I appreciate the opinion, I always like to read opposite opinions of the spectrum. In response to some of these, I don’t understand how canon was ignored. I understand your comment about Applejack, but at the same time I didn’t quite get that impression. She thought everyone had been getting along. I do agree about the resolution, maybe now they actually will tell their moms.The revenge plot was a little silly, but hey, can’t expect ultra realism all the time from a show that has a reality warper as a villain.

      • H3adHunt3r

        RHJunior has made a couple of good points.

        My review of the episode is this:

        Charming Character moments, cute song from CMC’s.


        Anti-bullying hypocrisy, some of the voiceacting from Babs Seed Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon could have been better.

        This episode was okay, but heavy flaws cripple It from greatness.

        My rating 6/10.

  • RHJunior

    when they realize they are in error and that they became bullies themselves.–


    Fighting back against a bully does not make you a bully. Even one stupid prank does not make you a bully. Being a bully makes you a bully. Picking on people who haven’t done a thing to you, that makes you a bully. Hurting other people just because it amuses you or your friends, that makes you a bully.

    • Daniel Alvarez

      But they didn’t fight back. They planned it, to get revenge. In that way, they were no better.

      • H3adHunt3r

        They fought back by using Babs cruelty against her,
        they aren’t on the same level as her.

    • Vinzenz Stemberg

      I think Danny’s idea of appropriate retribution seems to be striking back immediately vs premeditative. But she was bigger than all 3 of them together, so what good would that do?
      Most revenge is going to be pre-meditative, because bullies are, surprise, usually much larger (or more able) than their victims!
      Episode feels like it was a two-parter idea halved because who wants to spend more than one episode on bullying?
      There’s a whole lot of missing scenes that would be typical in other ‘touchy feely pap extra special episodes’
      Which isn’t a good thing if they wanted to actually use that moral.
      Shoulda done like Saved By The Bell and had the new bully have a solvable problem that is fixed by the end of the ep, but it only causes her to change targets (SBTB bully is taught to read, keeps bullying others but now ignores Screech), rather than become all hunky-dory BFFs after a nonsensical epiphany. In this case, would turn on Tiara and Spoon.
      Also really damn strange it’s the one thing Littlest Pet Shop did over MLP. The Biskit Twins A) Have no home life problem to solve and B) even more unusually despite their dress and mannerisms saying otherwise NOT affected by affluenza. Daddy makes them work to the bone for every last penny and they LOVE him for it! It turns out what causes their bullying is they bring their ‘work persona’ to school and treat everyone like stocks and sales figures, and think friendship works solely on a monetary basis.
      Now that’s an interesting twist! (that is, they push you around if you can’t keep up with them on trends and social fads. But adore you equally as much as each other if you can. They turn out to be even worse and more judgmental as ‘friends!’)

      • rhjunior

        Giving the bully a freudian excuse is another terrible trope. Bullies don’t do what they do because of “low self esteem” or having a hard home life. I’ve never seen anything with as high an opinion of itself as a bully. And the real problem they have at home is a lack of appropriate discipline.