This blog is now 20% cooler.
This is the first of what will hopefully be a succession of articles dedicated to the ponies that people will no doubt love reading so much they will feel the need to congratulate me numerous times. I would also like to mention that this and all subsequent pony articles are just like my moon-mounted death laser. All pure, unfounded, hypothetical speculation conjured up from someone who thinks way too hard about stuff he probably doesn’t need to. (Also, probably shouldn’t go near the Eiffel Tower next Thursday. Just sayin’)
I decided to start with Rainbow Dash because, let’s face it, she’s cool. She’s DAMN cool. With a ruffled rainbow mane, a snarky, cavalier attitude, and a ‘go in guns blazing’ approach to everything she does, Rainbow Dash is easily one of the most popular of the six main characters. But how deep does the river of this weather pony’s personality run? Or at least, how deep has the fandom made it?
Rainbow Dash is based off a pony from the first generation called Firefly: A pink bodied, blue haired monstrosity that looked to me like a lump of uncooked meat that had sprouted hair and become a sentient life form. Lauren Faust’s early concept art of Dash features the same sickly colour scheme, and she was originally going to be saddled with the same (admittedly cool) name. But apparently, Hasbro no longer owns the right to any of the first generation names except for Applejack, and so formed our favourite rainbow.
As I said in my main article about the show itself (which can be read on this very blog, find it now, don’t delay, beat the rush) Dash is responsible for spawning two of the most popular phrases repeated by fans. The first is “Ten seconds flat”, which is the time she boasted to Twilight that it would take for her to clear every cloud in the sky, and the second is “20% cooler” which is precisely how much cooler she instructed Rarity to make her show dress.
But there is a third phrase. One that hasn’t come directly from Dash’s own mouth, which has really cemented her persona in the eyes of the fandom.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, then you know what this term implies. But just in case…..
Candy Vag is a fan-made catchphrase imposed on Dash in accordance with her stereotypically lesbian appearance.
It’s the kind of thing the internet loves dearly: a darkly humorous hybrid of sinister intent cloaked with childlike innocence. Strangely though, Dash gives the impression that she would wear this assumption like a badge of honour, a declaration of her own unique independence whilst still not fully committing to the idea.
In all honesty, it’s a fair assumption to make. If you were to hypothetically line up all six ponies and try to deduce which one is most likely to be wearing the OTHER saddle…which one would you gravitate to first? And not just because of a running gag attributed to her character?
Yeah that’s what I thought you filthy dirty chauvinistic pervert.
But RD’s sexuality is not the most interesting aspect of her character. Her fiery personality often puts her at odds with her friends and it’s always interesting to see not just how she behaves when she flies off the handle, but how the others react when confronted with someone so uncontrollable.
Rainbow loves her friends dearly; if any of them didn’t I imagine the show’s title would be somewhat redundant, but she is always ready for a conflict and can be incredibly stubborn, especially when she thinks she’s right.
For example, Dash’s sporty energy naturally puts her at odds with Twilights reclusive booksmarts, and over the course of the show it has become fairly evident that while she is sometimes impressed by Twilights magical prowess, Dash has little respect for a hobby that requires long periods of sitting still. Twilight however, is a much more cool and collected little pony, who always takes her flying friend with a dash (pun!) of salt.
The same can be said of her friendship with Fluttershy, who is perhaps Dash’s exact polar opposite. RD has virtually zero patience for Fluttershy’s feebleness, and often loses her temper as a result. In “Sonic Rainboom”, Dash shouts down Fluttershy with all her might when she hears her mousey excuse for a cheer. As cute as the moment was, you cannot deny that it was a good example of how Rainbow is vastly more impatient than her friends, especially when it comes to her pink-haired fellow Pegasus.
This however, might be partly the fault of Gilda, Dash’s old
lover Griffon chum from the Junior Speedsters. Dash and Gilda were apparently close friends for many years, and Gilda is a real piece of work. A loud, selfish bully with no concern for anyone who doesn’t help to satisfy her own ego. If it aint cool, Gilda wants nothing to do with it, and it wouldn’t be a stretch for this way of thinking to have rubbed off on Dash at some point.
Looking at Gilda and Dash, I am reminded somewhat of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (am I a pathetic nerd yet?). Ivy is the cocky, confident leader who spearheads all the important operations, while Harley just kind of flounces along after her, unaware of just how nasty the person she idolises as a kind of big sister really is. Harley is usually treated more like an accessory to inflate Ivy’s ego than a friend. It’s an incredibly strained comparison, but you see what I mean right? Even though Dash eventually wised up and purged herself of Gilda (with a little Pinky help) being around someone so arrogant for so long may have helped galvanise Dash’s snarky attitude.
In fact there seems to be only one pony who RD has not yet openly mocked and ridiculed with any real intent. Only one pony that has really resonated closely with her and earned her true respect.
AJ is probably the perfect friend for Dash. She is a massive physical challenge to compete against, she isn’t shy or complicated, she is happy to return any jesting remarks she receives, and like Dash, can be extremely stubborn when she thinks she’s right. But Applejacks strength of body and character also provides Dash with something she craves: someone stronger than herself who can catch her if she falls. That kind of reliability is something she seems to have been chasing with Gilda but never got. But with Applejack, everything is a certainty. That is something a pony/person like Rainbow would value above all else, and seeing the two trade friendly banter back and forth is always a joy.
Rainbow Dash makes a point to set herself apart from her friends by being a hot-headed, shoot-first-ask-questions-later rogue. Her electric personality and sharp tongue have earned her the “coolest pony” status, but also reflect what could be a tragically lonely soul who is always trying to make herself noticed. Maybe she’s a bit too confident for her own good, but a good circle of friends is always the best backup.
You might wonder why someone with such a craving for the extreme would even bother to let herself get weighed down with friends who can rarely keep up with her. If the creators wanted to go for an accurate depiction of human interaction (as is the consensus you get from the fans) then why wouldn’t Rainbow Dash simply leave everyone in the dust and chase her own desires? Her speed makes it possible for her to avoid all negative consequence for her actions so why not?
Despite her differences, she always returns to their side, even when she doesn’t have to. Why? Who would bother?
Well….I guess that’s the element of loyalty for ya.
Here are some clips of Rainbow Dash in action:
-The epic Sonic Rainboom (somehow made more epic)
-Part one of Fall Weather Friends, where Dash cements her friendship with Applejack
-Incoming Pony Missile!
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