Teens React to Bronies/My Little Pony

Benny and Rafi says:

Why would we show teenagers the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show? Because of the internet meme. "BRONIES" of course! Why do teen guys love this show intended for young female children? We ask the source directly and get across the board results including one 17 year old who becomes part of "the herd" as we filmed. Thanks for watching, hope you enjoy it!
Teens React to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Previously: Create your own My Little Pony


  1. I like how most of  the “normal kids” in this vid seem to have had new wardrobes picked out for them and expensive Disney Channel pastel makeovers

  2. There’s one pretty awesome kid in the mix who is going to grow up into someone I would love to know…  which was kind of lovely to see.

  3. Asian dude is protesting too much. I think he will like My Little Ponies very… very… much. 

    1. I’m not sure if his frosted bieber-helmet and pink flannel make it more or less offensive that he’s trying to dictate how to be a “real man”.

  4. The best observation was “No one’s on my jock cause I like buzzlightyear” . Women have done a lot to empower themselves. Men (or bronies) need to do the same. Used to be a time when men would dictate to women what what “feminine” or not too. 

      1. Yeah, I totally wanted to adopt most of these kids. The protesting anti-bronies need a time out, yo!

        1. So… you’re admitting to being a troll? Wow, good for you.

          You’re deliberately playing on the popular conception of them, i.e. a negative one. Personally I’ve never understood why the internet has nearly unanimously decided to shit upon them.

          1. yeah, you’re adding your “internet shatting upon them” subtext to an interesting ponderance…

    1. **eyeroll**  

      Furries don’t deserve the crap they get for their harmless fetish, and bronies don’t deserve to be associated with furries.

    2. There’s a decent amount of overlap. (This is a friendly reminder to not think about groups such as these as Venn diagrams with solid lines.)

      I think, though, that you’ll be more interested by the fact that MLP has a tendency to cause a shitstorm in furry communities, when you’re probably thinking about it from the converse perspective.

  5. I really don’t see why it’s terribly surprising that guys like Friendship is Magic. Yes, it was originally designed to attract pre-teen girls, but then the audience of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was meant to have been high school girls, but again nerdy guys probably were the bulk of the viewers of that.

    1. How do the Powerpuff Girls fit in this? I’ve always felt it had way too many pop-culture references to really be aimed at the young girls it pretends to be aimed at.

      1. Although I couldn’t see myself becoming a brony (bronie?), I fucking love PPG. And I can’t hate on the bronies for liking what they like, even less so for being proud of it.

  6. Haven’t watched the above video, but I have watched a few episodes of the show after another “bronie” recommended it. In short:
     – Good writing
     – Good voice acting
     – Excellent animation

    So what if it’s “supposed” to be watched by one audience? Quality is quality. It’s also pretty obvious they know there’s crossover appeal just based on the extensive references sprinkled throughout. No young girl is going to know “The Big Lebowski” – or at least I hope not.

    1. Disregard, initial comment was based on me misunderstanding your definition of “young girl.” (It was my favorite movie when I was 17.)

    1. Yup, I don’t remember it being a big deal when stoners watched the Powerpuff Girls. Of course, I don’t remember it being a movement or whatever then either. Also, My Little Pony has an established identity from the 80s as being for little girls, whereas Powerpuff Girls was part of a block of Dexter’s Lab, Johny Bravo, Samurai Jack, etc. which was intended for kids but had knowing winks to an adult audience, like the first few years of Spongbob

  7. Adventure Time
    C’mon grab your friends
    We’ll go to very distant lands
    With Jake the dog and Finn the human
    The fun will never end
    It’s Adventure Time

  8. The girl with the hat is pretty awesome.  And that asian guy…yeah, I think someone has a few Ponies at home.

    The girl that said, “I want a boy that’s like, ‘I’m tough'” is setting the expectation for how boys/men should act just as much, if not more, than the expectations set by male friends/peers. But how much of what that girl said is her own natural inclination, and how much of it was defined for her by media (movies, tv) and the toys (Ken doll, etc) she played with?

  9. I find it really amazing how this video produced starkly different reactions among the group, while the same kids were all against Perry’s anti-gay add. Tolerance is a fickle thing in high school. 

    1. Perry’s ad was a bit too far out there. I can definitely understand that some people are a bit creeped out by adult male fanclubs of TV shows for young girls. (Mind you, I like the Powerpuff Girls, but I like to think that’s different.)

  10. I was very pleased by the reactions of the girl in the hat and the brony convert. Most of the other teens were super intolerant.

    As a Pegasister, I know not everyone likes My little pony. That’s fine, it isn’t for everyone.  But it pisses me off so much when people harp on bronies because the show “is not something men should like” or it “revokes their man card”. Just like there are a billion ways to be a woman, there are a billion ways to be a man.

    MLP is a really cool show, I love it but I won’t force it on anyone. It’s weird that people are so creeped out or enraged by bronies. I have even heard people assume that bronies are  weirdos who “need to get a life” or even worse, I have heard some people assume that bronies are pedophiles (which is a harsh accusation to say the least). That is a terribly unfair association especially since it is (mostly) acceptable to be an adult who likes cartoons like “Avatar” the last airbender” or “adventure time”.

    The negative reactions to bronies really show us how strongly people believe that stereotypically “girly” things are bad and inappropriate for men or different age groups to like. People like what they like, don’t hassle them for it.

  11. Asking a bunch of teenagers about anything that will solicit associations with gender stereotypes and expecting much of anything interesting to come out of the conversation is an exercise in futility.  Especially in an environment where they know it will be splashed all over the interwebs.

    Me, I’m 34, and when I was young I definitely fully appreciated (and still do) Power Puff Girls, some of the more cutesy anime series out there, etc.  Luckily I had friends with similar interests, and the ones who weren’t into those things really didn’t give a crap that I was.

    1. “Asking a bunch of teenagers about anything that will solicit associations with gender stereotypes and expecting much of anything interesting to come out of the conversation is an exercise in futility.”

      This is not true everywhere, nor at all times throughout history. That it is so today does not make it inevitable.

      But you do.

  12. The array of narrow-minded homophobes they present in the first two minutes (with notable exceptions) do not do the anti-bronies’ camp any favours.

    1. You can find the new stuff, full episodes, on YouTube.  Totally worth it, especially once it finds its stride about mid first season.

  13. I wish there were some kind of drug that people could take which would magically enable them to see how having different experiences could lead to dramatically divergent human beings. It would some so many problems.

  14. As much as I like to scrutinize all my entertainment to determine whether or not
    my gender is being blatantly objectified, I will fully admit that it’s amazing how hard guys have it in our culture.  As a woman, I’ve never been given a hard time because I prefer action movies or that my favourite show is Dragon Ball Z (It’s way more cathartic than
    soap operas, which is likely why there are so many grown women that contribute to the fandom). But heaven forbid a guy should admit that he loves a good Rom Com or considers himself a “Brony”. Accepting that behavior could potentially emasculate every man on the planet.

  15. Asian Kid, you lost the ability to revoke other people’s Man Cards the second you asked your hairdresser for a Frosted Bieber.

    The appeal of the show isn’t that tough to fathom – like the Powerpuff Girls before it (or Fraggle Rock before that), the creative staff has discovered that magic middle-ground where the target demographic enjoys the show for its adorable candy colors, and parents dig it for having juuuuuust enough zest injected to keep them from bashing their heads against the coffee table when they’re inevitably forced to watch it.  

    The brilliant thing about this?  Your intended demographic clamors for merchandise at Toys R Us, and the parents buying those pastel plastic horses don’t begrudge your product.  You sell more toys, and the Circle of Life is complete.

    Finding an extra fanbase among teenage males is just an interesting side effect of this “Make it good enough that parents don’t hate it” mentality. 

    That’s just smart, smart marketing.

  16. I’ve seen three or four episodes of the new Pony cartoon. It’s nicely produced and colorful and all, but, COME ON, it’s a cartoon about flying magic ponies, the male characters all seem deliberately portrayed as slow and  stupid, and there’s no, uh, hipster-friendly referential cheek to it.

    Adventure Time, now. The artwork looks like something a 12 year old who got his hands on his brother’s copy of the 1st edition AD&D Monster Manual might draw. The animation isn’t especially great. But it’s smart and cheeky and sometimes a bit raunchy. (Like when a magically shaved Jake the Dog joggles his man-boobs, and says something like, “Gee, I used to have eight or ten of these.” Yeah, that’s the stuff.)

    1. Also the main character is voiced by a kid, which adds to its charm. The broken rhythm of the banter is very nice. 

      It doesn’t really have any direct pop-culture references beyond gaming, which is quite refreshing really. But there are various science references, including one to DMT which Boingers might appreciate, and all kinds of subtle nods to various stuff… It will go full hallucinogenic at a moment’s notice then just snap back. There’s not much structure to it and you never know what will happen.

      I saw one today where the Ice King goes off into a dream world and says to himself “Why don’t people like me? Is it because I’m a magic user?” (old school D&D reference) while floating naked through sepia-colored space. Then after a few such ruminations he comes across a giant stylized owl that says “It’s because you’re a sociopath”.

      Especially for weed smokers I would recommend Adventure Time over MLP. It seems written for stoned philosophy students who play D&D.

    2. Big Macintosh has never been portrayed as stupid. Laconic, yes; stupid, no. Spike isn’t on Twilight’s level, but he’s smart enough to keep up. Mr. Cake? Rarity’s dad? Fancy Pants? Friggin’ DISCORD?

      Yes, the vast majority of the cast is female. Girls put up with the reverse situation all the time. Deal.

  17. You are lucky. I have been laughed at and taunted when I have talked about welding or farming or many of the other things that are just part of my life yet considered “man” activities. I have been told all of my life that the things that I do are not normal for a girl.
    You are lucky that those things have not happened to you, but believe me, they do happen and even today.

    You are lucky

  18. These teens are professional “reactors”:

    “”If you have any ideas what we should watch next…”

    They are all acting out reactions. 

  19. For what it’s worth, it looks like the kids are asked to judge the show (and the embrace of it by Bronies) based entirely on the main title sequence, which gives no insight whatsoever about the writing of the show, which I gather is the source of much of the love.  Based upon the main titles, it might as well be the same candy-colored pegasus-n-rainbows low-quality unicorn shit that it was back in the 1980s.  Don’t blame the kids who dislike it at first glance; it looks for all the world like a crass toymaker’s marketing tie-in that’ll give kids cavities.  The idea that any discerning teenager of either gender is going to embrace this show would make little sense to a typical teenager unfamiliar with its writing and reputation.  And the idea that teenage boys would embrace it beggars belief, based again upon just the main title sequence.  It’s not like they’re contemplating boys who get into ballet or musical theatre or flower-arranging or other perceived (by teenage boys) expressions of a non-heteronormative lifestyle.  It’s that they’re contemplating teenage boys embracing something that looks for all the world like it’s made for and marketed to their pesky Pinkalicious-worshipping kid sisters.  It’s not gay, it’s girly to the nth degree.

    Overcoming our prejudices takes time and effort.  Most of these kids seem at least willing to be convinced, even if few of them are initially enthusiastic.

  20. BTW, I watched a lot of stuff intended for younger girls partially because I didn’t have a lot of child-time in my childhood and there’s something to be said for just enjoying some non-threatening entertainment so you can let your guard down for, say, 15 minutes. Why are people so damned obsessed with what other people do and when they do it anyway? Sorry, I had one of those days.

  21. Here’s what’s up with MLP.

    Once upon a time, some folks at Hasbro said, “Hey, Transformers is doing great. What other ’80s properties do we have that we can cash in on? …Hmm, My Little Pony? Sure, why not.” And they went to Lauren Faust and said, “Yo Lauren, here’s some money. Can you make us a My Little Pony cartoon with it? kthxbye.”

    Then Faust looked at her team and said, “You know what? Most girls’ cartoons suck. Let’s make one that doesn’t suck.” So they did.

    Long version here.

    1. That last paragraph is spot on. Titles don’t spring to mind, but all of the cartoons-specifically-for-girls of the past that I recall were just awful. Trolls, pixies, teen witches, that sort of thing. Sappy, cutesy, difficult for adults to take.

      As I mentioned above, I’ve seen a few episodes of the new MLP cartoon. It’s not something I’d really watch on my own, but if my nieces or some friend’s kids were watching it, I wouldn’t flee the room.

      1. Trolls, pixies, teen witches, that sort of thing. Sappy, cutesy, difficult for adults to take.

        Hey! I leave little snacks under the foxgloves for the pixies.

      2. On average, cartoon for boys are also crappy and dumb, featuring mostly angry people, yelling, explosions and non-stop violence. There is so much yelling and noise, and so little actual dialogue that if you close your eyes, you can hardly tell what is actually going on. It’s not a matter of whether there’s more testosterone or estrogen in the mix, it comes down to lazy writing, low budget and piss poor execution.

        I love animation, so as long as there is some good writing and decent quality art, I don’t see a problem with watching something that’s basically sweet and lighthearted at times. I don’t understand why adults are supposed to have contempt for anything that’s not about sex, violence, office jobs or that’s not absolutely dripping with snark. If something is earnest and well-done, I enjoy it even if it’s considered ‘childish’. It’s not in itself is a bad thing.

  22. What struck me is how uncomfortable so many of those guys seemed when it came up – like they were confronted with something they couldn’t deal with at all.

    And the frantic gibbering about manning up and getting a girlfriend just made me sigh, and realize that the gay panic is consuming yet another generation. Feh. Frankly, so long as they’re not running around looking to whup on some queers, I’ll call it better than the fuckwits I grew up with, and hope their kids are a little less… twitchy… about gender roles.

    1. Yeah, they totally were like, ‘anyone who watches that does not deserve oxygen’, as they hyperventilated.

      Oh, that wasn’t them, was it?

  23. 28 year old Libertarian “gun nut” here. I think this show’s funny as hell, It kind of reminds me of old Looney Tunes, and my pets like it too. Lots of people like like cartoons, half of the names in the credits are men.

    Grown people don’t care. Even Bill Clinton is a fan of the show, and he gets more action than most guys :)

  24. I love it.  I haven’t seen the show but now I actually might.  And I might get my 12 and 10 and 3 year old boys to watch with me.

    Also, great job on the video.  I liked the different reactions and very forthright attitude the kids had to just talk.  It seemed very natural to me.  Good interviewing I suppose.

  25. I was in the dealers’ den at FurCon this weekend and had a fantastic time, and yes, ponies are pretty much universally adored in furry fandom.

    I wore my newly made Rarity corset. It went over well. I have plans for the other mane five.

  26. I’ve been told MLP:FIM is a decent anime, and I have no real reason to doubt it because I haven’t seen it. However, 1) I’m not a big fan of magical ponies (I tend towards Bebop-esque or Ghost in the Shell-type animes); and 2) the fanbase itself is an embarrassment to fanbases (especially considering some of the things said in the voice chat on reddit’s MLP TF2 server).

    In short: I’ve got nothing against the anime itself (and I’m a 17-year old Asian). but, I swear, its fans act like 12-year-olds when claiming it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  27. Why does everybody keep calling the American kid with the Bieberdome Asian while complaining about stereotypes and intolerance?

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