Rarity: Just because one has the ability to perform lots of magic does not make one better than the rest of us.
Written by Chris Savino
After a bout of magic practice, Twilight is busy modestly shrugging off praise from Spike, who is impressed by the variety of magical spells she can accomplish. Suddenly, they learn from two excitable boy unicorns, Snips and Snails, that "The Great and Powerful" Trixie is in Ponyville to perform her magic show. Twilight and her friends go see the show, but some of the others quickly grow tired of Trixie's boasting that she's the greatest magician in all Equestria and her tall tales about her defeat of a bear-like monster called the Ursa Major, and Rainbow Dash starts heckling her.
Trixie: Well, well, well, it seems we have some neeeigh-sayers in the audience!
Trixie retaliates by challenging Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity to test her claim that "anything you can do, I can do better!", then proceeds to turn their challenges against them and humiliate them one by one. Despite urging from Spike, Twilight Sparkle refuses to do anything because she's afraid of being mistaken for a show-off herself.
Snips and Snails are impressed by the act, but Spike tries to convince them not to take Trixie's stories at face value:
Spike: Look, unless an Ursa Major comes walking up the street for Trixie to "vanquish", I am not going to believe a word she says, and neither should you!
The two unicorn lads sneak into the Everfree Forest with the intent of luring an Ursa Major to Ponyville so they can watch Trixie take one on. This proves to be a bad idea: the giant bear monster goes on a rampage, Trixie nearly panics at the sight of the beast, and when she does try to defeat it, she barely annoys it. With Ponyville at risk, Twilight finally decides to make with the magic and... lulls the Ursa to sleep by rocking it and feeding it with an improvised bottle of milk, made by telekinetically ripping open a water tower, milking a barnful of cattle, and affixing a makeshift nipple to the end. After returning the Ursa from whence it came, her friends ask how she was able to defeat a creature considered to be invincible, where Twilight reveals the titanic Ursa "Major" was only a baby Ursa Minor.
Trixie runs off while Twilight and company deliver the Aesop: taking pride in your abilities and using them when they're needed isn't showing off. Twilight also tasks Snips and Snails with helping out the town, but is generous enough to give them (and Spike) fashionable mustaches as well.
Tropes (YMMV items can be found here).
- Absentee Actor: The first episode to reduce several mane-players to background characters. Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy appear as spectators for Trixie's magic show, but otherwise play no part in the episode's events.
- The Adjectival Superhero: She's "The Great and Powerful" Trixie
- Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: Trixie claims to be able to do this, but Applejack is really the only one she actually manages to do the same trick, she just interfered with Rainbow Dash and Rarity's tricks to humiliate them.
- Oddly, it's only in these two cases that the tricks could be taken as being impressive, given that every unicorn we've seen using magic has telekinesis.
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Snips and Snails mimic the trope namer almost to the letter.
- Be Yourself
- Brick Joke: The "Number 25."
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: When Snips and Snails enter the cave.
- Celestial Body: The Ursas.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Number 25.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Cheerilee appears for the first time as a background pony in this episode, though she wouldn't actually play a role in the show until six episodes later.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Ursas
- Everything's Worse with Bears: The Ursa Major (and Minor).
- Not just any bears: bears made out of stars.
- The Exit Is That Way: Slamming the door just created in the middle of the room isn't an effective way to make an exit.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Trixie presents herself as a powerful unicorn who saved another city from an Ursa Major and has the personality to go with it. The first thing she does when a real Ursa shows up is to scream and run away, then when she tries to stop it, all she does is annoy it more, causing her to reveal her story was a lie to make her look tougher than she really was.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The Great and Powerful Trixie is voiced by Kathleen Barr, who ironically is a Generation 1 My Little Pony Voice Actress as she has played Strawberry and Island Delight in the original cartoon
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy fans will also recognize her as the voice of Marie Kanker(She also voiced Kevin in that same cartoon). So does that mean the Great and Powerful Trixie is really a Kanker sister in disguise?
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: Trixie counters Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack by turning their own tricks against them.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: "It seems we have some NEI-EI-EI-EIGH sayers in the audience!"
- Humble Pie: What Trixie doles out to those who challenge her claims, by taking whatever task they challenged her with and twisting it to her own ends. And at the end of the episode, she stoutly refuses to accept the slice that's served up to her, running away instead.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: "I think I hear my laundry calling."
- Kaiju: The Ursas.
- Let Me At Him: Rainbow Dash tries to do this when Trixie runs away after the "Ursa Minor" problem, but Applejack holds her back.
- Magicians Are Wizards: All unicorns have some degree of magic, but Trixie augments hers in her stage act with fireworks and smoke bombs.
- Meaningful Name: Trixie is a unicorn who does magic tricks.
- Miles Gloriosus: Played with. Trixie claimed to be powerful enough as to defeat a powerful monster called an Ursa Major, and when Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity challenged her to a skills duel, she defeated them by interfering with their own tricks rather than by displaying superior skill. May come with a side of Small Name, Big Ego, since when Snips and Snails lead an Ursa into Ponyville, Trixie attempts to fight it; only after failing does she admit that all of her amazing tales were just lies to make her look more important.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The Ursa Minor is gigantic and took Twilight at her strongest to placate, much less "defeat." It's about the same size as the dragons usually depicted as the most dangerous creatures in the series. The Ursa Major [dead link] is pretty much a MLP Kaiju. Given how protective mother bears are of their young, Ponyville is seriously lucky Twilight avoided a Grendel situation.
- Won't Work On Me: The entire Trixie vs Ursa Minor "bout", if it can even be called that.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: On Treehouse TV airings of the episode, an entire line said by Trixie is silenced.
Trixie: When Trixie is through, the only thing they'll call you [Rainbow Dash] is "loser".
- Pun-Based Title: Who ya gonna call?
- Robe and Wizard Hat
- Running on the Spot: Trixie, when she sees exactly what is stomping its way through Ponyville towards her.
- Sidetracked by the Analogy
Snips: The Great and Powerful Trixie vanquished an Ursa Major. Can your Twilight claim that?
- Smoke Out: Though it doesn't last long enough to completely cover Trixie's exit.
- Stealth Pun: Trixie goads Rarity into challenging her by calling her mane a "rat's nest". After Trixie changes her mane, it actually has two rat's tails poking out, making the earlier insult literal.
- Third-Pony Pony: The Great and Powerful Trixie!
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: There's a lot of things wrong with your hair, Rarity. It being green is the least of them.
- Word, Schmord: How Rainbow Dash disapproves of Trixie showing off, following a glare from Applejack when Rainbow herself starts bragging.
Yeah! Uh, magic schmagic! Boo!
- You Do NOT Want to Know: When asked what an Ursa Major is like, Twilight gives this response. Not before showing the audience, however.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rarity is horrified that her mane (normally purple) has been turned green. But of course there is already one pony in the audience who has green hair and is offended by this. Ironically, the otherwise identical character (named Carrot Top) usually has orange hair and only ever appears with a green mane in this scene. Even in this episode, the orange-maned version is seen later. (Maybe she dyed it after the comment earlier?)