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First and foremost, I AM NOT casting judgement. I am merely expressing my confusion at the fandom of teenage to adult males surrounding My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a cartoon made for little girls. I’ve heard all the arguments. It’s well animated, well voice acted, well written, etc. I agree on all accounts. I still just don’t get it. That said, I have always been of the “Fan and let fan” mindset.

This comic is inspired by (and guest stars) my friend Lar, who I spent last weekend with at New York Comic Con. He was expressing an honest desire to understand the Bronies and what makes them tick (I suspect rainbows and sparkles are involved). Later he tweeted most of what I have portrayed him saying panel 1 and I couldn’t help but think he could have just as easily been talking about Occupy Wallstreet. I think he might have been offering himself as defacto leader if there was no other claim to the throne.

I talked to one of the guys at Hasbro (a Hasbrony?) about the Brony phenomenon. He said their official policy is “we don’t get it, but we love it.” He confirmed my suspicion that they are careful NOT to cater to Bronies with the production of the show or the official merchandise, because it would probably have the opposite effect and drive them away. What they are obsessed with is the show which Hasbro thought it was making for little girls. To alter course now, would likely alienate both core audiences. It was a very enlightening conversation that got me thinking about what happens when you create something and put it out there for mass consumption. The audience you get isn’t always the one you want, but rather the one you deserve.

COMMENTERS: Other than MLP:FiM, are there any shows, movies, or other entertainment products that you’ve enjoyed despite being out of the target demographic (age, gender, etc)? Speaking of Hasbro, when I was a kid I LOVED Jem. I was always too embarrassed to ask for the toys for my birthday. Eventually I got up the nerve and came up with this thing about how I wanted the guy (whatever Jem’s boyfriend’s name was) and I “might as well get the girl to go along with him.” The ruse didn’t work and I remained Jemless.

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  1. When I was a kid, I wanted Fashion Photo Barbie because I thought the camera was cool. Yeah, that's why. (Sobs.)

    • True story, I walked up to Lars' booth at Gencon and we looked each other right in the eye, and there was this weird pause as maybe there was a cosmic connection between our bright floral shirts, and then I got pushed off into the crowd!

  2. Well, when my brother and I were preschool aged, we played with barbie dolls my mom had. She also had a barbie ranch house with a horse that we'd play with since we both loved horses. Other than that, it was all batman and power rangers for us.

    By the way, I don't understand why I'm such a big FiM fan either. It still confuses me sometimes, but I guess you can't always predict what'll strike your fandom fancy.

  3. I have a tendency to enjoy romantic comedies even though I'm told guys aren't supposed too. I also liked Cheers when I was a kid, even though I wasn't old enough to understand the jokes.

    Did you get a chance to go by OWS protest while you were in NY?

    • If you want the good Timbits, you've got to come to Canada, I don't know why. I've tried Tim Hortons in Michigan and in New York, and they were both very inferior to their Northern brothers.

      But, that being said, if you are in Canada, try Robin's Donuts instead! They're Robin's Eggs are way better than Tim Bits! Ok, that is my donut rant and I am done.

  4. As near as I know (I have been known to be wrong in the past) the Brony thing is just because it's quirky and different. Most don't actually like the show because of the show, most like it because it's weird they are the ones watching it.

    It's also really funny to put it down as your favorite TV show on a survey.

    • As someone who watches the show, I would say that that is probably true for a good portion of people who watch the show but not all. It's hard to say exactly why I like the show but as far as I'm concerned there's no sense of irony to it, if I don't like something, I don't do it. I guess one explanation I could give for liking the show is just that it has the ability to make me smile even after especially shitty days.

      Also, I don't really let my fandom of the show seep into the rest of my life. I don't judge those who do though, even if sometimes they make those who watch the show look like total weirdos.

      Also, brohoof

    • The bronies I interact with genuinely love the show. We geek out over it like crazy. Shows get re-watched, fanfic and comics are made, and discussions about character back stories get rather specific and thoughtful. Not the behavior of people who are into it in an ironic fashion. And that behavior is what I see in a majority of bronies. Sure, some may be in it for the irony, but what fandom doesn't have that segment?

        • As a child of the 80's, I avoided MLP when my sisters were watching it way back then. However, the show was recommended to me by people whose judgement I trust. I watched "Applebuck Season," and was blown away by how much better it was than every other cartoon currently on TV (with the exception, at the time, of Sym-Bionic Titan). After a few more episodes, and a LOT of online discussion, I was hooked for life. It's like Animaniacs crossed with Robot Unicorn Attack, or Tale Spin mixed with Freakazoid.

          • You had to go and bring Titan into it. Now I'm sad…
            Nothing for it but to watch an episode of MLP On-Demand when I get home.

          • As a female child of the 80s, I *hated* the original MLP. Uncanny valley much? Bleh. The whole thing was just awful. But, lo and behold, I freakin' LOVE Friendship is Magic. "Applebuck Season" was the episode that got me hooked, too. My fiance and I (unbeknownst to the rest of our friends) are constantly watching FiM, geeking out over it and quoting it…FOREVERRR!

  5. People want to watch something that reminds them of the fun they had watching TV shows when they were a kid, but most kids shows are actually pretty annoying to watch as an adult.

    My Little Pony is the sort of kids show we remember through our rose-colored glasses. Also, this guy covers things really well (with a good Plinkett impersonation, too!) 😀

  6. Oh, and as for other shows – something that I re-watched again for the first time in a decade was The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Turns out, it really WAS awesome.

    • That is just the thing – just like today kids will watch anything as long as it is something, even if they know its crap.
      A good production withstands the tests of both time and age, though maturity is just an option.

  7. When I was in college (at 23) I used to get ready for class in the morning whilst watching "Bear in the Big Blue House". I buttered my toast and loaded up my books to "The Bear Cha Cha Cha". I became obsessed with the show's inexplicable ability to make me happy.
    When I found out there was a live version of it coming to Detroit I bought tickets without thinking twice. My boyfriend at the time, who was very patient with my crazy, took me to the show.
    When we arrived a woman offered my child a balloon, and then looked around expectantly for said child to magically appear. I saw a group of kids ahead of us so I exclaimed "OH! There she is with her friends! I'll take her the balloon for you!" and I took that sucker and ran into the show. Best hour and a half ever. 🙂

    • I remember one of my older niece's watching it, but I would sit and watch it with her, because for some Prof. X reason, it made my brain not only happy to watch it, but I was mindless to control myself and walk away when it was on…which also explains why my niece got so much of BitBBH merch as a toddler.

    • To be fair, that's why they're in business. The whole purpose of the show is so that someone "buys their stuff." Its art fueled by capitalism. They just got caught off guard when an unexpected group was buying said stuff.

      • Exactly. It's called show "business" for a reason, as I heard Gene Simmons describe it. Money's money, no matter who's offering it to you.
        btw, EPic beards! Can't…look…away…

      • Lets just hope the "Product Managers" keep their pedicured sweaty paws off of it so that it will last a bit longer than a "standard" product cycle.
        I worked in the Toy industry and know of what I speak when I say – Hasbro is in the Business of making money and they make it despite themselves – a lot of good long standing products have been lost thanks to "management".

  8. Kim Possible and Avatar: the Last Airbender. The former had smartly written dialogue and a ton of jokes aimed at the adults watching, while the latter is one of the few shows I've witnessed that truly appeals to all ages.

    • Yes and yes. I haven't seen Friendship is Magic but I can tell you that Adventure Time is the bomb yo.
      Its just so subtle and layered. On the surface its set in a fairytale land but really its what formed after a nuclear apocalypse. They reference this event as The Great "Mushroom" War.

      Do yourself a favor and check it out.

    • I havent seen it yet, but from what I understand Avatar falls in line with Batman: TAS and Justice League in being "a show for kids" (wink wink hey adults its actually for you).

      • In that case, you guys ought to check out Young Justice on Cartoon Network. One episode had the team lose 6 months of their memories, and Kid Flash is playing with the black stealth option on his costume, until he's told "Stop touching yourself!" I Guarantee you'll laugh!

      • I don't know I think Avatar is just plain good (no wink wink). Its one of the few shows with truly universal appeal. The writing, storyline, characters, all very compelling. The animation is also excellent.

    • I confess, I watched Kim Possible in college. My then-in-high-school younger brother put it on one day & I thought, wow, this is smarter than I thought It'd be, for a Disney cartoon. And I still watch Avatar:TLA, because if smart writing and cool characters.

  9. I dig nearly all cartoons, but for some reason I will marathon The WonderPets. I absolutly love that show and I will sing along to it. However I will not eat celery.
    I have not yet checked out FiM but I plan to, if for no other reason just to see what the fuss is about.

    • Man … I wonder if that show would actually turn kids on to opera at some point. I always thought that's what they were at, myself.

    • The WonderPets is ridiculously cute. My son sings along with the episodes and sometimes I can't help but sing along with "This. is. sewious!"

  10. As a girl, I don't think I was supposed to like Transformers, but I did and quite a lot. As an adult female with no children, I'm not in the MLP:FiM demo, either, but there I am loving it. I could explain why as a woman and a feminist, but you didn't ask. 🙂 Sorry to hear you never got a Jem doll. I do wish they'd do something with that property now. I loved that show!

    • Keep an eye out. Rumours abound in the Jem tags on Tumblr that they are rebooting the dolls in the Spring. And this is where I become a five year old girl and squee the biggest squee ever. I gave all my dolls to my sister when she was little and they were consummately destroyed. 🙁 I need a Kimber doll again!

  11. I wonder if this is our generations (backwards) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Definitly a boy show but I know more girls than boys that loved it.

  12. I'm an adult woman who loves the new MLP cartoon. Really well-written show. Of course there are the obsessive fans (what cult show doesn't have them), but the show itself is appropriate for kids while being just a really good show in itself AND focuses on a group of female characters that have a variety of interests and fleshed out personalities. I would encourage parents to let their sons and daughters watch it.

  13. I couldn't help but note this relevant image – http://thestoicmachine.deviantart.com/art/No-25-2

    This article explains a bit – http://life.icrontic.com/article/why-grown-ass-me

    The show itself just makes me happy. Can't really say that I'm into it for the show itself, but more for the fandom and what it has made outside of canon.

    There's good fanfic such as "Fallout: Equestra", "Stargate: Equestria", and "It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door". There's an insane amount of crossover fanfic, including Warhammer 40k. As I've yet to barely scratch the surface, I *know* there to be a massive amount of fanfic that I could also include here.

    The musicians in this fandom are becoming more skilled. Partially as more talented musicans are attracted and the fandom becomes more skilled. You can detest electronic music and still find artists to your taste.

    The fanart is *_good_*.

    I'd say more, but am running out of time to continue forth.

  14. On the one hand, MLP:FiM is one of the only shows actually aimed at my daughters that tries to reinforce the lessons for life and friendship that my wife and I are already trying to teach them, and has female characters who aren't insultingly vapid or otherwise completely one-dimensional.
    As for myself, it took me completely off guard just how much I enjoy the show. I love my action toons, but there's just something soothing about Friendship is Magic after a rough night at work.
    Also, any kid's show that actually manages to slip in a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference gets bonus points.

    • I like my daughter watching MLP more than say "Strawberry Shortcake" because all they ever want to do is make cookies a and get haircuts. Sure they have the friendship angle and what not, but the characters just seem like dunces.

  15. >> Speaking of Hasbro, when I was a kid I LOVED Jem. I was always too embarrassed to ask for the toys for my birthday. Eventually I got up the nerve and came up with this thing about how I wanted the guy (whatever Jem’s boyfriend’s name was) and I “might as well get the girl to go along with him.” The ruse didn’t work and I remained Jemless.


    I think every dude just has to get into at least one girly as hell show. It’s just A: The typical girly as hell show is live-action (like smallville or buffy) and therefore immediately construed as ‘general appeal’ and B: Girly cartoons are ridiculously in-your-face girly so you just can’t hide what actually attracts you to the show. The only real confusing thing about MLP is the level of fannism behind it. THAT part is what is confusing to me.

    They have even invaded EUROPA UNIVERSALIS! (There’s a mod that replaces America with Equestria) I can’t think of a show that has gained such ‘staying power’ in such a short amount of time. You see these other shows, girly and non-girly, say Sailor Moon and Jewel Riders vs Exo-squad and Wing Commander (One of the first cross-medium game-origin properties), none of them come anywhere close.

    Someone will always start up a mod for this or that game for a show they used to love or still do but then it falls apart and everyone loses interest. But every PC game bronies invade they SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE MOD. That is absolutely insane! The only other fandom I am aware of with equivalent fan support/staying power is Homestuck and its endless deluge of ‘fan albums.’ So perhaps we are going about it the wrong way and should ask professionally, what are the similarities between these two groups.

    Also we must study the Touhou phenom for that mirrors it as well, but that is from japan so complete investigative study will probably take longer.

    in b4 someone links the celestia bodypillow

    • Just had to comment, that when I saw you mention Jewel Riders, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I have memories of the show and having a backpack with the characters on it, but for years I've never been able to remember the name of the show. Thank you good sir, for fixing that dilemma.

  16. I work with a bunch of guys and when they found out there was Jem stuff at NYCC they were pretty excited about it. I was really surprised. Ended up getting an inflatable guitar, and the guy I gave it to passed it along to his little girl. 🙂

  17. Largely it’s a reaction to younger generations of men chaffing against ever-constricting gender-norms juxtaposed with their observations of the increasingly lax gender-norms being applied to women. It’s the early throws of a nascent movement to cast of restrictive patriarchal notions and enter a more egalitarian era.

    • *throes*

      So, let me run that through the Babelfish, since that was a bit more poncey than it needed to be: "Guys like it because they want to, and it resonates with them"

  18. It seems like EVERY 80's boy loved Jem, regardless of their social status, sexual orientation, etc.

    As far as shows watched out of the demographic, I was too old for "Zoobalie Zoo" and I loved it, and I was arguably too young for "Are You Being Served?" and I (still) love it!

    And I'm a recent Brony convert. It's such a good show. There's great lessons in it and how the ponies live their lives, I aspire to live my life. … Though less grass eating.

  19. As far as shows way outside of my age demographic, I really like Adventure Time and its incredible surrealism. Phineas and Ferb (up on youtube, btw) is the best of the rest, although the formula got a little old for me after a half dozen episodes. I also liked a number of early '00's Cartoon Network shows, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter's Lab, Billy & Mandy, etc, although like P&F I didn't go out of my way to watch all the episodes. Never liked any girls' shows growing up, I was really disappointed when I furtively tried the original MLP to see what girls like only to discover it was more about the humans than the ponies and after 3 episodes I still had no idea who the heck anyone was. Never heard of Jem until I was an adult, but that seems to be a common popular show among boys that did.

    As for why I like FiM so much… I'm still not sure I fully grasp it. I will say that I'm a huge Pixar fan and the way they handle the characters and setting and humor really reminds me of Pixar. There's also the Harry Potter-ish setting, the tasteful bit of classic Warner Brothers slapstick (from Benny Hill to anvil gags), Dungeons and Dragons villains and worldbuilding for the nerd in me, and really good looking animation similar in style to Powerpuff Girls.

    If there's any specific cultural appeal to pony fans, I'd say it's that we're burned out on super gritty dramas and cynical, downbeat comedies and with so much outrage and crisis in the world today it's nice to see people coming together around something positive.

    • I got a more Blood Elf vibe from the setting than harry potter. Switch the blues and purples on the buildings with reds and golds and its very similar.

    • I like Phineas and Ferb, but my brother the gumpy dad 30-something is OBSESSED with it, and has to stop what he's doing to either DVR it, or watch it when it happens to be on in the rotation.
      Makes no sense, because he's not a major toon kinda guy, but there it is.

      And yes, I miss my PPG, Dexter, Johnny Bravo and other toons when CN was really a cartoon network.

  20. One other things with being a Brony, there's a level of support from the creator, producers, and corporate-types that I can't recall seeing before. The Hub has said for now that pretty much any YouTube video, be it postings of the show or original fan content, are ok to stay up. The creator has taken character names the fandom has created (i.e. Derpy Hooves and Dr. Whooves) and incorporated them into the show. They give shout outs to the Bronies in promos. It's so refreshing to have corporate entities and creators including that much fan service without going "LOOK WE ARE DOING FAN SERVICE!!!!"

  21. Growing up, there's been at least two shows that I can think of off hand that I adore and was not intentionally aimed at me. Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Hell, I still have most of my old MMPR stuff (my mom is one of those kinds that has trouble throwing away stuff from me and my sister's childhood). I've even been re-watching the series on netflix. And while the editing is so odd sometimes, and it can be absolutely corny, I'm still loving it at 21.

  22. When I was about 13 to 16 I loved VeggieTales. I had a picture of Bob and Larry in my locker, and somehow convinced all my friends to love the show as well. We would get together after school and watch VeggieTales episodes – and 90% of my friends weren't Christian (as the series explicitly is)… they didn't care.

    I recently rewatched one of the VHS tapes I still have, and it has lost a bit of its sheen for me… the pacing is slow, the jokes are still funny but only mildly, and I just don't think it's as quirkily hilarious as I used to. Ah well, I still look back on that time with fond memories.

  23. I remember enjoying the original "Powerpuff Girls" immensely, though I always suspected the show was secretly satirical and that I was the intended audience after all. (I mean, come on, they played it back-to-back with Dragonball Z.)

    • While the Powerpuff Girls are fairly safe for most kids, there was a LOT going on in there for their older audience. Actually, in general, you find a lot of that sort of thing going on in the better cartoons, dating all the way back to the original Looney Toons, if not before.

    • to me the powerpuff girls were the most epic troll ever. what parent would say not to a show called that? but all you had to do was watch one episode



      and people thought GI Joe was an over the top violent cartoon.

    • You do know that the same person responsible for Powerpuff Girls is responsible for My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic, right? Lauren Faust.

  24. I'm 33 and my kids watch a fair few shows, Ben10's not bad, but the ones i probably shouldn't like but do are "Peppa Pig" and "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom" Both made by the same people with a lot of the same voice actors. It is very much for children, but some of the snarky, sarky comments and humour in it you just wouldn't get unless you were an adult. Check it out.

  25. There's a show on Nick Jr. called "Yo Gabba Gabba!" My children are thoroughly addicted to it, and I like to watch it too. I mean, this is a show created by the lead singer of the Aquabats, with segments by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo (who does drawings) and Biz Markie (with "Biz's Beat of the Day"), and various indie bands doing musical segments. Episodes recently have guest-starred Jack Black ("New Friends") and Weird Al Yankovic ("Circus"). And the whole thing makes the old "H.R. Pufnstuf" look like "Wall Street Week", while being the brainchild of a Mormon so devout he doesn't even drink coffee!

    • Only people you forgot Jon were Mos Def as a superhero and I have heard rumors about Katy Perry making a Y.G.G appearance as well

  26. I was smack bang in the middle of the target age group for G1 Transformers (being 13 when it came out), and G.I. Joe, and sure enough, I adored them. I don't think girls were supposed to like them, though. Or watch them at all, really.

    I really liked the animated Zorro as well. I lied to my friend and told her it was because of the horses, but the truth is I just have loved dashing guys in masks and capes since I was I guess five. Got exposed to some early fetish fuel, ha ha. (my Mum took me to see Bambi and it was a double-feature with a Zorro movie. Don't know which one, though; I've never been able to track it down again).

    As a girl I probably wasn't supposed to be all over the A-Team and Knight Rider, either, although with David Hasselhof, that could be argued, I guess. Pretty sure the core demographic was teen boys, though.

  27. Funny thing. I was just discussing the show on the XKCD forum and wondering if you would mention Bronies at some point. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, JOEL! 😉

    Speaking as one of MLP actual fans, I always watched kids' shows past the point I was expected to stop, although looking back it was usually more out of nerdy curiosity as to what they would do next than actual interest. (Kind of like why I still play Team Fortress 2. But that's another story.)

    But one show I think still holds up to my grownup scrutiny is "Arthur." (At least the older episodes do; later seasons feature a lot of examples of how not to handle a show like that — including, as it so happens, a few clumsy attempts to pander to the adults who had started watching.) The nice thing about PBS is that you can usually count on the writers to deliver intelligent humor, at least.

    Oh, and brace yourself for the inevitable influx of MLP fans discovering your site now.

  28. On the other side of the coin, even though my wife likes to tease me for enjoying MLP, I get the last laugh when she makes sure I save not only MLP, but Ben 10, Batman: TBATB, Avengers, and Young Justice to the DVR so she can see them.

  29. Oh. I just reread the description and noticed the part about how the Hasbro guy said catering to Bronies in the merchandise department would drive them away… BULL. SHIT. Do you still have his number? Because he needs to know that that is the exact opposite of true.

  30. Worse case senario is Hasbro/Discovery pulls an Invader Zim. What happend to Zim was while it was really popular with the male 15-25 market, it was being marketed to the male 6-9 market. As such, the advertisers weren't happy. Rather than fix the marketing, Nick canned the show.

    Thankfully for MLP, I'm pretty damn sure its The Hub's #1 rated show, so they will probably keep it regardless. At least until they get more new content, though by then it may have run it's course.

    As for me, I do enjoy MLP, though I do watch all kinds of cartoons. Its definitely better than anything else on at 8AM. Not as good as Avatar *is excited for the Legend of Korra*

    • Luckily for them, the show is also really popular with little girls, at least if my sample size of two is representative. My niece (5) and friend's daughter (3) both adore the show, so they managed to hit their target demographic just fine. They probably still make up a much larger portion of the viewing audience actually.

  31. For the love of god don't invoke their name! It's like calling Beelzebub. the next thing you know your comments section/website/forum is flooded with them!

    they're harder to get rid of than bed bugs!

  32. Gaahhhhhhhh!!! We are the herd!!! Bronies unite!!!… And whatnot. I don't know, I consider myself one of those guys, as my life has been invaded with happiness and rainbows. But perhaps a pragmatic look on it would suggest that it's just an awesome show, and the attention I give it is well deserved? Why I've become obsessed with it the way I have, I don't really know. I'm not sure any of us do. They've invaded my mind, my daydreams, my T.V., my iPod, my computer, even my sleep. So I can't imagine it's all for irony's sake.

    As for the other shows, I find myself drawn to a lot of history shows. When I was 11, while everybody was talking about that episode of Family Guy, I was asking "oh, well did anybody see that special the History Channel (before they played nothing but WW2 shows) did on the rise of the Frankish empire?". I did like Family Guy, but anything history related (my interests have shifted, and still do, between antiquity, medieval, early modern, ect.) sucked me right in.

  33. I went the other way when i was a kid. I watched Stargate. And i don't understand Bronies, maybe it's some weird post-Twilight thing?

  34. LOL now I know where Lar and Joel disappeared to mid show…lol This is how the HUB went to being in the top 5 family networks on cable right away. They play on our nostalgia expertly. I watched Jem and Strawberry Shortcake… and the Punky Brewster cartoon as well. At least the cartoon wasn't about the "Hug-A-Ninja" dude… lol

  35. Back when I was a kid I was part of the He-Man generation and I loved watching the show and had all the toys. I didn't realise that She-Ra was a seperate show aimed at girls though so loved watching that too and kept asking my dad for all the toys which really freaked him out! In the end he bought me all the bad guys from She-ra and any of the male characters I asked for but wouldn't get me She-Ra or her other friends so I could complete my set as "those were girls toys". What I do think odd, looking back, is he no problem buying me hugely muscled, mostly naked male toys – but wouldn't get me the female figures because "that would be wierd!"

  36. I'm a straight, 29 year old, British Dude, I'm as far outside the demographic as anyone can be, and I love MLP.
    Hell I class it as one of my favourite shows of the past 5 years (This is a list that includes Archer, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead), I love it so much and I don't care who knows it.

    It is an amazing show, and I'm pretty sure that if it was a show that involved… I dunno, Cats instead of the "My Little Pony" name, we wouldn't have people's minds being blown that "Older guys like this show?", it'd just be another popular cartoon.

    But some people can't seem to untangle themselves from the stigma of the old show. The show has changed, it is no longer the air-headed dullness of the previous generation (I'm talking Generation 3 and 3.5… go watch that), it's grown beyond the "Girls Only" mindset of Generation 1, and it's embraced the new century.

    Lauren Faust (One of the minds behind "Powerpuff Girls" (awesome) and "Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends" (Also awesome), was given the task by hasbro to retool the MLP franchise and make it profitable again, she did this by getting rid of the "Girl things are Girly" idea, and bring in the "Girl things can be awesome" train of thought. But mostly she wanted to make a show for girls that their parents wouldn't mind sitting through… both parents.

    Thats why guys like this… they're meant to. Sure they're an outside demographic, but there was always a plan built in so that the male side of the household won't want to blow thier brains out watching the show with their daughter… they just made that plan too well.

    The Show is amazing, it's amazingly animated, it's got fantastic voice actors, the story lines are compelling, the plot is rich and deep, it's got shout outs from Benny Hill to Star Wars, the characters actually have characteristics instead of just being 2 dimensional toy ad's, John De Lancie voiced a villain… Q WAS A VILLAIN IN THIS SHOW! Theres action, comedy, drama, mystery, and everything that makes a show great.

    You don't know why guys in their teens to 30's are going crazy for this show? Watch it (and I mean more then a 5 minute clip on YouTube).
    Wondering why there are people who are going overboard in the fandom? I could ask the same about fans of Star Wars, Trek, Doctor Who, Firefly, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, and so on. Every show has it's fanatics.

    If you wanna know why I watch it personally… it's because the show isn't cynical, it's honest, nice, kind, sweet, fun and a load of other adjectives meaning "Good for the Spirit", and Christ, we need a show like that these days.

    • I agree with just about everything you say here, except the bit about deliberately putting things in for the male side of the household. I don't think they did that; instead, I think that they intended to make a show for girls, but hired someone who has said "there's more than one way to be a girl". As soon as writers realize that, they stop writing "shows for girls" and "shows for boys" and start writing "shows for people". So there will be things that you enjoy, not because they were written to include males, but because they were written to include a variety of people, and gender isn't as big a factor in it as we've been led to think.

  37. I was obsessed with Transformers and He-Man when I was little. I wasn't allowed to have an He-Man toys, while they did occasionally consent to buy me a Transformer. It wasn't until She-ra was released that I was allowed any male action figures. I also remember really liking GI Joe and I didn't have any but my cousin happened to forget his set at my grandmother's house one summer. It was the best summer ever for my Barbies as they finally had other men to date not just our one Ken doll. 😛 It didn't matter that the GI Joes didn't even come up to their waist! Lemme tell you… those GI Joes had the time of their lives that week my sister and I stayed. 😀

  38. As a young girl, I was way into He-Man (so happy to still have my He-Man toys!) and Transformers.
    As a young adult I was way into stoner TV and stoner cartoon shows… but I am absolutely not a stoner. (Tokyo Pig!)
    It's OK if you don't believe me on that point. Most don't.

    Love horror, love action, love shoot 'em up… hate rom coms. My husband is more likely to watch those than I am.
    There's currently a Dr. Pepper 10 commercial that includes lines like, "Like what you see ladies? I didn't think so. This isn't for you." And I'm always (ALWAYS) offended by it. I'm like, "Screw you, this commercials needs more 'splosion."

    • yeah, it's a pretty moronic add campaign. "lets alienate and insult half our potential market base(the half that tend to drink the majority of diet soda), in an ultimately futile attempt to make the other half more likely to try it".
      Seriously, what male over 10 is going to find the "guys only" label appealing? all in a lame attempt to market diet soda to the male consumer who tends to buy less of it, and disguise as humor that's trying to be like the "all spice guy"

  39. I am a 17 year old male and i still don't fully get it why I'm into this show, especially considering how out-of-touch I've been with other shows in the recent years (I've never watched Game of Thrones or Walking Dead, just read them). I only got into this show because the episodes are on Youtube. And boy am I glad I did it.

    I'm not going to repeat all the other bronies arguments, I'll just say this:

    Watch the two first episodes. Watch them both, don't skip, don't read summaries, don't see them abridged.
    Maybe you won't become a part of the herd, but I'm sure you'll understand why the show has garnered so many fans. And if you do… welcome to the herd, I guess.

  40. So I actually just marathoned MLP:FiM like two days ago, and I honestly couldn't tell you why. I mean, I like it, obviously, and there are plenty of great reasons to like it, but I can't really explain why in particular I like it. I'm a college-age male with a beard who listens to metal and also watches a show for little girls about ponies. I don't even like horses; quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. It's undeniably strange and I wish I knew how to explain it, but I guess all I can really do is accept it as one of my (many) quirks and just keep on enjoying the show.

  41. Glee is my guilty pleasure…there, I've said it. Considering I am a 43 year old married father of two who are both old enough to be embarrassed that their dad likes the show, I guess I am way outside the target demo.

    • Represent.
      I love Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel.
      And last summer, my wife and I shotgunned iCarly from beginning to (at the time) end. It was something light and weird in an otherwise stressful summer.

  42. Captain Power, was written by the same guy who went on to write Babylon 5, and was marketed as a kids show, in a Saturday/Sunday morning time slot. More adults ended up watching it then kids I heard (even though I was one of the kids), It never really captured either audience though because it was too dark and serious for kids and in a time slot most adults over looked plus had a cheesy title. It only ran for a season (much like Firefly), it was also insanely expensive to produce. Power Ranger had nothing on it for a live action kids show.

    I still have the toys (many hunted down in my adulthood), and the DVD's of the series are finally coming out in December.

    • Dude, all my guy friends are within like 1 year of my age, and NONE OF THEM HAVE EVEN HEARD OF THIS SHOW. I was nuts for it, got all the figures and one of the jets. Used the jet to shoot at those videos they released, where you could score points. Nothing else quite like it. Where were all my peers during this time?
      I've been starting to doubt my sanity. Thank you for confirming that Captain Power was, in fact, a thing.

  43. I babysat as a teenager and got utterly hooked on The Fairly OddParents on Nickelodeon. I'm convinced this is because Nickelodeon shot way over kids' heads with a lot of their jokes and were practically aiming for their parents, because the kids I babysat for certainly didn't like the show as much as I did.

    And now, as a grown woman, I find myself loving Spike TV. They have Star Trek. They have CSI. They have Entourage. And they often feature movies I like. Despite them shooting for a male demographic with UFC and other programs, I still enjoy their programming. So, go figure…

  44. I'm almost 18, I've loved Pokemon since I was 5 and i'm almost too old for it and I'll continue to love it until it is completely ruined beyond belief (and no, it's good right now, you can't convince me otherwise)

  45. I'm 42, and I think that there's a lot to it. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to explain it, other than that it's a great show. There's a little bit of irony there, getting you through the door at least. But by the time you've watched six episodes or so, the irony is gone and you're just enjoying a TV show.

  46. Jem's boyfriend's name was Rio and I had the glitter & gold Rio and he came with a cassette tape that I still have and now I want to listen to it. Good thing I still have a cassette player, too.

  47. Powerpuff Girls. A show about Kindergarten girls with superpowers. I remember when the "pilot" was on and it was the one where people were turned into meat by Fuzzy Lumpkins. Bubbles got all ragey when her hair was turned into a chicken drumstick. Oddly enough both that show and MLP: FiM were both helmed by Lauren Faust. I call it the Faustian Effect.

  48. As a little girl in the 80s (born in 77) I loved SW, ST, GIJoe, transformers, voltron, thundercats, MASH, football, & horror movies. I was no where near the demographic for any of it. When extended family would get me barbie dolls, they turned into COBRA sleeper agents.

  49. At some point in my teenage years, before the movie and excessive marketing rendered the brand kinda ridiculous, I got hooked on the 'Babysitter's Club' books when I was sick, and read them compulsively for years afterward.

    It was very weird, and I still don't get why. That said, I don't get the Brony thing, even though I watch MLP:FiM.

  50. When I was in middle school, I used to watch (and immensely enjoy) adult dramas such as Pretender and American Gothic. I've also always been into video games and like to read Maxim and FHM despite being female. Also, when my son was a preschooler he used to watch the Doodlebops (google 'em) and I actually quite enjoyed the show and frequently found myself singing along.

  51. Jem was outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous.

    I also watched Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, and Strawberry Shortcake (who is supposed to wear a little-house-on-the-prairie-holly-hobby-type dress, NOT JEANS. Even if they are strawberry scented.)

    Currently, Phineas and Ferb is my epic cartoon of choice.

  52. only reason i sarted watching the show is because Faust did two of my favorite childhood cartoons. Foster's Home for Imaginary Freinds and Powerpuff Girls. and, for a show that had the intention of catering to young girls, it's amazingly good. however, those "superfans" who do stuff like that are plain retarded. they're that smaller faction who make the rest of us look bad.

    i'm not entirely sure this has anything to do with the original subject, but it was fun to do.

  53. Girls anime and manga shojo and josei. Mostly the romance stories nana and parakiss being good examples while the first could be explained away the second is entirely about a up and coming fashion designer and models romance. Largely its cause i have a thing for cute stuff it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It also tends to make me kinda chipper, incase your wondering i do also find hello kitty cute.

  54. I am a brony, and I totally understand why it's confusing or evening concerning to people that so many men are watching and loving this show.

    This is why I love the show.

    Can I just be honest? A lot of it is just how cute the show is. I know that sounds loserly or effeminate but I'm not sure it should. Men do, and I think should, like things like puppies and kittens and little girls. If a man doesn't see anything good or lovely in a cute little girl or a kitten, I think there would be something wrong with him. There would be something HUMAN missing. A part of his manhood actually would be GONE.
    I think this show is great because it portrays cuteness in a way that provides "disinterested pleasure." I put that in quotes because that is basically Kant's definition of beauty. Somehow it seems to express not a desirable kind of beauty but a fulfillment of desire. To put it more clearly, a show about puppies would probably just make me discontent because it would be interested pleasure. I would just be jealous because I want the puppy. My Little Pony portrays a kind of beauty that somehow doesn't provoke desire. Furthermore, it seems like it's a more direct expression of cuteness than reality. This isn't to say the show is exaggerated. It's just that often fiction can express the underlying emotion that IS in reality often better than reality. A poem often opens up beauty in reality and helps us to SEE. Thomas Aquinas defined beauty as "that which pleases upon being seen." By "seen" he basically meant "perceived." Compare it to a Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin gets furious and smoke pours out his ears. Nobody reasonable would say it's unrealistic for smoke to pour out his ears, rather it REVEALS, that is, it helps us to SEE, the humor apparent in a boy's tantrum. So let's take it back to My Little Pony and it's revealing of true beauty. Let's say there is a father who has a daughter, and I am observing both of them. I see her ask her dad to play, let's say Guess Who (the board game). The dad says no, and the daughter says "Dad Please?" and the dad says, "okay okay, let's play Guess Who?" I may not see anything really beautiful in this scene. Now to compare, go watch the scene in My Little Pony in which Apple Bloom says, "Aren't you going to stay for brunch?" Upon watching that scene we understand, perhaps, the emotion of the father and his perception of his daughter.
    Furthermore, the connection to reality does not need to be made to make My Little Pony beautiful. Both the daughter and My Little Pony and beautiful because they correspond to the realm of ideas. We can call the idea cuteness or beauty if you like, but the thing is beauty is a great thing, and whoever or whatever is able to harness is immediately made profound. I'm not sure that My Little Pony really exaggerates cuteness as much as it REVEALS it. Remember the Aquinas quotes, "Beauty is that which pleases upon being seen." My Little Pony reveals and makes manifest beauty. My Little Pony honestly seems beautiful to me since it seems it helps me to SEE. Another way to put it is that art reveals the Being in beings. A being would be a little girl, Being would be cuteness. beings can change, but the Being of cuteness of beauty doesn’t change. This show seems to express that Being of cuteness and beauty that IS in little girls and puppies and such, but they do it by almost bypassing the being. Yes, there still has to be a pony, a kind of being, so that my eyes may see cuteness, but it is able to express the cuteness that IS in beings like little girls. A woman in reality is greater than a painting but a painting of women, such as Goya’s “The Wine Harvest” may reveal the beauty of women more directly than women themselves. The painting is not greater than women but it express the beauty of women better than women do. As I observe paintings like Goya’s, it helps me to appreciate my own girlfriend. It reveals to me who she is as a woman. I see it in many little ways, but in a painting, the meaning of her femininity seems to be be laid bare, it helps me to SEE. This is why, by the way, we ought to encourage good art in school. It helps us to SEE how great it is to love women and to be virtuous and so on.
    Though I think My Little Pony is beautiful, arguing that My Little Pony is beautiful and another show is NOT is very difficult to do. I have offered little reason why this show is specifically beautiful. That requires a painstaking (yet very enjoyable) process of analysis. I would have to look at very specific examples. I imagine I could write quite a long bit on merely a gif of Fluttershy flying and holding a bunny.
    So, to be clear, this is not an argument that men don’t have to prove their masculinity to society. That mentality will destroy a society. My argument is that this show is not just acceptable, but oddly enough GOOD for men, yes men. In fact, I have nothing against a man that would even cry watching the show. I doubt he would understand why he cries, but there is a truth that is being revealed, a true and objective beauty.

    Thank you for reading.

  55. I recently caved and watched the first 3 episodes of MLP, and I just can't get past the obvious social inequalities in Equestria (sp?). I mean, they're ponies and pegasi that ride around in carriages pulled by other ponies! The main characters are all clearly part of the 1%. 😉

    But, seriously, I don't get it. The animation looks good, I'll grant you, and it's kind of funny, but I found most of the characters too annoying to be appealing. But I'm with Joel: Fan and Let Fan (or Nerd and Let Nerd). No judgements here.

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