My Little Rambling #76: Episode 100 is Here! A Look At “Slice of Life”
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has finally reached the one-hundred-episode milestone. The focus of “Slice of Life” – the ninth episode of the show’s fifth season – is more than a dozen background ponies trying to get to Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda’s wedding, while the Mane Six are busy fighting off a monster. As always, there will be spoilers.
The episode opens at Cranky’s cabin, where Matilda is preparing a scrapbook for their wedding scheduled for tomorrow. When Cranky arrives, he’s grumbling about how the residents of Ponyville are making such a big deal about the wedding. Matilda is horrified to learn that, due to a misprint on the invitations, it says that their big day is today. Rather than trying to correct the information for everyone in Ponyville, she rushes to prepare the wedding for today. Meanwhile, Cranky goes to complain to the pony responsible for the misprint: Derpy Hooves.
Derpy then goes to the Ponyville café where, within earshot of Dr. Hooves, she yearns for the ability to travel back in time to fix her mistake. The doctor decides to bring her to his home to talk about science and his flameless fireworks, but when Derpy mentions the wedding to him, he runs off to try to get his suit tailored. Though Rarity isn’t at Carousel Boutique, Dr. Hooves finds hope when DJ Pon-3 (who’s listening to loud music on headphones) agrees to show him a place to try. She brings him to the bowling alley, where the doctor is confused until he’s approached by the fancily dressed Big Lebowski pony, who knows how to tailor himself. However, to get help, Dr. Hooves will have to be a fourth member of the bowling team, which he agrees to.
Outside in another part of Ponyville, a group of characters (including Octavia Melody) observe the Mane Six ponies taking on their duty for the episode: fighting off a bugbear. Matilda worries that she can’t get help for her wedding from Amethyst Star or the flower shop ponies Daisy, Lily Valley or Rose. Meanwhile, Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon are setting up decorations at town hall when Lyra mentions the bugbear. This shocks Bon Bon, who gives a back-story about being responsible for catching the bugbear as “Special Agent Sweetie Drops.” Lyra feels offended that she was never told this, but Lyra reassures her that her friendship is real before she escapes.
As Dr. Hooves bowls, Derpy asks to replace the wedding’s flowers with his fireworks. Matilda tries to relax at the spa when she meets the purple sea serpent Steven Magnet. She tries to brush off the importance of the wedding, but Steven makes her even more nervous by saying that people will remember the wedding more than their relationship. DJ Pon-3 returns to the cottage she shares with Octavia, who is trying to practice the same old wedding songs on her cello. When Pon-3 creates a beat that sounds great with the cello, Octavia realizes that they have to get to the wedding immediately. Pon-3 helps them blast out of the house on a mobile DJ booth, picking up numerous background characters along the way before they hit a cane and everyone spills out directly toward the wedding (there’s also a freeze frame montage that includes a bizarre real-life photo of people wearing horse masks.)
As the wedding is about to begin, we see several guests’ behavior: Princess Celestia and Luna bicker about not having gifts, Shining Armor cries before the wedding even stars, and Bon Bon announced that the bugbear has been defeated. The ceremony begins when Derpy latches the door shut as the Mane Six are dashing to arrive. Mayor Mare gives a fitting speech about how love brought Cranky and Matilda together, as well as that every character – major or minor – is the star of his or her own story. The couple’s kiss causes the fireworks to ignite, teaching Dr. Hooves that love was the answer. Meanwhile, the Mane Six are observing from outside the window, and Twilight feels so touched that she reassures her friends that she loves them all. She hugs them, accidentally hurting the spot where Rainbow Dash was bit by the bugbear.
I think that “Slice of Life” is easily one of the best MLP:FiM episodes yet. It’s just a ton of fun: I consider it the epitome of how much the show’s staff cares about satisfying the fanbase. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield,” just with almost entirely background characters. M.A. Larson really showed off his incredibly sharp, rule-bending sense of humor, from the Lebowski pony using the unknown word “man” to the truly out-of-left-field philosophical thoughts of Gummy. I’m personally glad that “Slice of Life” finally established an important role for Octavia and DJ Pon-3, as well as the speaking return of Derpy (any parents who complain about her new, less “offensive” valley-girl voice are truly out of their minds.)
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