6. Sherlock Holmes
Season 2’s “MMMystery on the Friendship Express” is chock full of pop culture references, starting when goofy pony Pinkie Pie dons a Sherlockian guise as she tries to solve the Mystery of the Half-Eaten Cake.
7. Silent movie serials
Pinkie first accuses Gustave le Grand, a French-accented griffon, of destroying the dessert. As she spins the tale of what she thinks happened, it’s shown onscreen as a Perils of Pauline-inspired silent serial, complete with Pinkie getting tied to a set of railroad tracks.
8. James Bond
Pinkie then sets her sights on Donut Joe, a unicorn she imagines as a Bondian super spy. He’ll take his hay shaken, not stirred (because who stirs hay?).
9. The Royal Wedding
Season 2’s climactic wedding, which saw beautiful Princess Cadance and dashing Shining Armor joined in matrimony, was a direct reference to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It aired on April 21, 2012 — almost exactly a year after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated their own nuptials.
10. Top Gun
Finally, there’s season 3’s “Wonderbolts Academy,” in which Rainbow Dash gains admission to an elite flying school. Naturally, her need for speed leads to several references to the ’80s Tom Cruise classic — check out the instructor pony’s aviators, for starters.
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