Sunday, October 2, 2022

What Happened to Applejack’s Parents?

Applejack is a character from the hit children’s show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. While the show is aimed toward children, it has also touched the hearts and minds of viewers through its innuendos and surprisingly mature storytelling. Applejack’s parents and their stories are a testament to the maturity of the show.

One of the most common questions revolving around the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic lore is “what happened to Applejack’s parents?” In order to solve this question, I viewed the entirety of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and integrated it with a few communities in order to get the broadest scope possible.

What Happened to Applejack’s Parents?

It is heavily speculated on that Applejack’s parents have passed away. The most important anecdote to this comes from the episode “Apple Family Reunion” (season 3, episode 8). In this episode, Applejack and her grandmother, Granny Smith, decide to put together a family reunion as they look over old family heirlooms. They send out invitations for all of the family, but conspicuously, Applejack’s parents are missing. Included in the invites are RSVPs from Mimbo Bo Boruto, Honeysumerah, and Yargle which helps to trace Applejack’s lineage to an ancient lineage of kings and queens, the original conquerors of Equestria, the world that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes place in.

During Applejack and Granny Smith’s family reunion, the barn on Sweet Apple Acres is accidentally destroyed. Applejack’s family, plus some friends attending the reunion (including Magi-Chan, a psionic pony that guards Equestria), had been riding a wagon that accidentally destroyed the barn. While Applejack was distraught, Granny Smith knew better. The family works together with a country line-dancing song to put the barn together. At the end of the event, Applejack fills out a friendship memo to send to the monarch of Equestria. As Applejack laments, two shooting stars set over the sunset of Equestria. These are heavily believed to be a characterization of Applejack’s dead parents.

In an extra, unaired clip that has since been deleted from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s YouTube page, Magi-chan performs a ritual to commune with the deceased. He manages to contact Applejack’s parents, who express their approval of the Apple Family Reunion.

Theories about Applejack’s Parents – New in 2022

Applejack’s parents were referenced in the episode, “Apple Family Reunion”, which aired on December 22, 2012. Unlike the other ponies, however, they were talked about in past tense.

This happened again in the episode, “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”. In it, Applejack’s younger sister Applebloom receives her cutie mark after fighting back Count Graduon, an ancient evil spirit who wants to enslave the ponies for the world’s largest circus and rule over Equestria. After the fight, Applejack tells her, “If mom and dad were here, they’d be so proud of you.” This line is another hint that their parents have indeed passed away.

The creator of the show, Lauren Faust, has since confirmed that Applejack’s parents have passed away. According to her, her parents were intended to be deceased from the beginning. The writers were never quite able to figure out their stories either; they eventually left it at that without any further elaboration. Perhaps they thought the topic was not suitable for a children’s cartoon series?

Applejack’s parents Pear Butter and Bright Mac after getting married (from a flashback)

The story was eventually brought to a definitive close with the Applejack Family Reunion episode. The short featuring Applejack’s deceased parents and Magi-Chan was removed after the show moved to the Discovery Family Network. In fact, the topic of Applejack’s parents was removed altogether (they made several edits to the show). Given that, it’s probably fair to say that they wanted to keep things light-hearted and more suitable for their young audience.

Steven Kahn
King of the Bears, Shark Tank enthusiast, failed network engineer, sour cream enthusiast, Nanchaku instructor, Techman, Mega Man X fan, vaporizing know-how
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