My Little Pony: a Survival Guide for Dads

I’m the father of two little girls; I’ve had to learn some vital survival skills.

One such skill is developing a working knowledge of “My Little Pony.” So buckle up dads, because today, I’m offering a crash course in the pastures of Ponyville.

What is My Little Pony?

Unless you’ve spent the majority of your fatherhood going beers deep into a never ending succession of organized sporting events, you’d know that My Little Pony is an animated kids show and prolific Hasbro toy line that originated in 1981 which features colorful, talking, female ponies with magic powers.

Bet I just sent half the dads in the room running. Go mow the lawn, grill a steak, or play COD, tiger. Good effort on the ponies, though.

Still here? Great!

The current pony insurgency began in 2010, and like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s in its fourth generation. Here’s the spark notes version: ponies were mega-popular from 82-91. In 1997, Hasbro relaunched the property without success, and promptly discontinued them once again. But you can’t keep a good mare down. 2003 saw another emergence of the toy line, followed by a reboot in 2010 that ushered in the colorful little horses’ current incarnation.

What is My Little Pony About?

My Little Pony is the story of six main (mane haha) ponies who live in the land of Equestria. Each pony has a magic “cutie mark” which is basically a brand, on their back flank. Apparently it doesn’t bother kids knowing that these ponies are still just chattel. These cutie marks describe an essential aspect of each pony’s character and give the ponies magical powers.

Using those powers, as well as the all-powerful magic of “friendship,” the ponies must defend Equestria from a host of bad guys including Nightmare Moon and the Storm King.

If I Were a Pony, I’d be Named “Chicken Wing Beer.”

So who are the ponies? Let’s meet what Hasbro calls “the Mane Six,” as well as a few important supporting characters. Memorizing these beasts should be your top priority dads!

Twilight Sparkle

The de facto leader of this sorry bunch. Twilight Sparkle is known for her intelligence, and is identifiable by her purple skin and hair, wings, and a unicorn horn. Yup.


The gentle care-giver of the group. She is easily identifiable by her yellow coat, flowing pink mane, and weepy anime eyes. Fluttershy! Say it like, “spirit fingers!”


Not the Brandy your wife gets easily drunk on. Nope, this Applejack is the comic relief of the bunch. You can tell because she wears a cowgirl hat. She’s rough and tough, and loves to crack jokes. Also, she is very orange.

Rainbow Dash

Rainbow dash has what my daughter calls “fire speed.” Thus, Rainbow Dash is her favorite. Obviously, she’s fast. She’s also the go to warrior/ hero of the bunch. She is light blue, with a rainbow mane, and A glint of determination in her animated eyes.


Well, she’s a white unicorn with dark purple hair. She also designs clothes and accessories for the citizens of Equestria. Because that’s how you repel the barbarians at the gate: with fashion!

Pinky Pie

The Barbie. This animal is all pink with bubbly, joyous eyes. She represents the social life of the group. I think she’s a filthy pariah.

Aside from the sinister six, there’s also…

Princess Celestia

The ruler of Equestria, she is a full grown unicorn complete with crown and flowing mane. She ensures that the sun rises over her kingdom every day.

Nightmare Moon/ Princess Luna

Spoiler alert: the pony’s first major enemy is Princess Celestia’s sister, turned evil by the jealousy in her heart. Obviously, the mane six overcome her evil using the power of friendship (duh), and she joins the good guys. She ensures that the moon rises over Equestria each night.

The Storm King

Not really the storm king

Some kind of sweaty, grumpy wookie that rules everything South of Equestria. He is pure evil, and one of the show’s main antagonists.

While there’s lots of additional characters, that ought to get you started.

What is Equestria Girls?

An abomination. From hell.

It’s a spin off where the girls are humans with horse-like heads. They attend highschool, and have boyfriends. I slap the remote out of my daughter’s hand when this shit comes on TV. Just kidding. But not really.

What are Bronies?

Also an abomination from the darkest reaches of the internet (like 4chan). The less you know, the better.

It’s What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me.

Well dads and dads-to-be: having a little background on the world of My Little Pony is an essential survival skill if you have little girls. It can help you feign interest when the kids binge watch Friendship is Magic. To quote an 80s contemporary of My Little Pony, “Knowing is half the battle!”

PS-here’s a fun game: once you know the ponies’ names, mix them up on purpose to piss off your kids. That lets them know who’s in charge!

*All images used under creative commons license 4.0, uploaded by user Rojal. Celestia, Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle altered from original image.

*Sloth image presumed owned by Warner Brothers, obtained via and used under Fair use.

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