|"Slice of Life"|
|My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Jim Miller|
|Written by||M.A. Larson|
|Original air date||June 13, 2015|
|Running time||22 minutes|
"Slice of Life" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of the Canadian-American animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as well as the 100th episode of the series overall, which was celebrated as a milestone episode by Hasbro and its affiliates. It was directed by Jim Miller, written by M.A. Larson and produced by Devon Cody. The episode aired on June 13, 2015 on Discovery Family.
In the episode, Ponyville's citizens rush to prepare for a wedding between donkey couple Cranky Doodle and Matilda while the "Mane Six" ponies and intended wedding organizers—Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Rarity—are busy defending the town against a monster attack. The episode heavily features background and minor characters popularized by the show's adult fanbase, and was created to pay tribute to the fandom, whom Hasbro and the show's crew credited for the series' success.
On the day before their wedding, the betrothed donkey couple Cranky Doodle and Matilda discover that the event has been misdated to that day on their invitations, which have already been delivered across Ponyville by Muffins. The couple's wedding planner Pinkie Pie is found busy fending off an attacking bugbear (a part-bear, part-bee monster) alongside her friends Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Rarity. With the six mares occupied, the other citizens are left to prepare the wedding themselves, each caught in their own circumstances along the way:
The wedding proceeds without Twilight and her friends, whom Muffins accidentally locks out as they return from their victory against the bugbear. Mayor Mare presides over the wedding, honoring all the citizens who have played both big and small roles in enriching the couple's lives. Cranky and Matilda kiss, causing Hooves' fireworks to ignite in a vibrant display as a reaction to their love. As they watch the ceremony from outside, the episode ends with Twilight joyously embracing her friends and telling them how lucky they are to live in Ponyville.
According to Tom Cosgrove, the General Manager of Discovery Family, a series reaching 100 episodes is considered a "tremendous accomplishment". Friendship Is Magic was not expected to reach this mark when the show started back in October 2010, according to Hasbro Studios executive director Brian Lenard, who had worked on the show from its inception. Lenard attributed the show's success in part to the reaction of the older fanbase of bronies, which allowed the show to grow organically with the interest of fans on other characters besides the main characters; director Jim Miller similarly described the episode as a "love letter" to the fans for this reason. According to the episode's writer, M.A. Larson, Hasbro proposed using the 100th episode to focus on background ponies, an idea which Miller initially argued against. Writer Amy Keating Rogers was originally assigned to write the episode's screenplay, but due to scheduling issues, she exchanged episodes with Larson to write the previous episode "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone".
The episode was first publicly discussed on a My Little Pony panel at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, where the crew mentioned the episode's focus on background and minor characters popularized by the show's fandom. Meghan McCarthy said in a Q&A session at Australia's 2015 PonyCon that the episode would not focus on the main characters, and that some featured characters' personalities would be based on fan interpretations, including "Doctor Whooves", whose name fans coined for his purported likeness to David Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor from the British television series Doctor Who.
According to episode writer M.A. Larson, two working titles for the episode were "A Tour of Ponyville" and "A Tour of Equestria", and the episode originally featured Twilight Sparkle in a more prominent role prior to his involvement. In Larson's initial drafts, the episode also featured several other supporting characters, including Flash Sentry, Coco Pommel, and the royal guards, whose scenes had been cut for time.
Phil Caesar and Krista Huot designed the inside of Doctor Hooves' house. The music that played in DJ Pon-3's headphones was arranged from DJ Snake and Lil Jon's "Turn Down for What". Kora Kosicka designed the bugbear. Rebecca Dart and Phil Caesar designed DJ Pon-3 and Octavia Melody's house. Electric cellist Tina Guo performed Octavia's cello part during the episode's final sequence.
During the episode, there is a split-second appearance of a group of people wearing horse head masks; they are storyboard supervisor Timothy Packford (black horse mask), director Jim Miller (brown horse), storyboard artist Katrina Hadley (pink horse), Friendship Is Magic supervising director Jayson Thiessen (white unicorn), and Rainbow Rocks co-director Ishi Rudell (zebra).
"Slice of Life" aired on Discovery Family on June 13, 2015. The milestone episode was viewed by 431,000 viewers. According to the Nielsen household ratings, it was watched by approximately 0.22 percent of American households.
Prior to the episode's release, Ella Anders of BSCKids, who praised the series' supporting and background cast, called the episode's premise "a great way to celebrate [the series' one-hundredth episode]". She also commented on the previews and fans' anticipation of the episode, saying that they "prove that Friendship is Magic is only growing stronger and gaining more popularity as season five marches on." Daniel Alvarez of Unleash the Fanboy gave the episode a perfect 10 out of 10 rating, calling it "one of the most heart-warming adventures" and "would have actually nicely served as a fine final episode to the series." Alvarez further commented by praising the entire episode overall. Brian McNatt of This Is Infamous was more critical of the episode's references to the show's adult fanbase, saying, "As fun as it is for the members of the fandom it's aimed at, the bronies and their like, this episode must be hecka weird to the actual target audience of the show." Despite this, he considered the episode "a great experience", praising the episode's voice work and the musical duet between characters Octavia and "Vinyl Scratch" (DJ Pon-3).
"Slice of Life" was released on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Friends Across Equestria DVD, along with "Make New Friends but Keep Discord" (Season 5, Episode 7), "Amending Fences" (Season 5, Episode 12), "Made in Manehattan" (Season 5, Episode 16) and "The Mane Attraction" (Season 5, Episode 24), on March 1, 2016. It was also released as part of the complete Season 5 DVD set.