This is the non-canon version of two official episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic -- The Gift of the Maud Pie and On Your Marks, in which both episodes take place at the same time, made to look as if it were a 60-minute TV special.
The story begins in the Crusaders' clubhouse, Apple Bloom calls to order their first meeting since receiving their cutie marks. Unfortunately, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are so enamored with their cutie marks that they are unable to focus. Before Apple Bloom also gets distracted by her own mark, she proposes they go out and try new things, such as square dancing and mountain climbing.
However, as Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo point out, the Crusaders already have their cutie marks, much to Apple Bloom's embarrassment. The three fillies realize that crusading for their marks is all they have ever done, and they wonder what to do next. Apple Bloom suggests they do what their cutie marks symbolize: helping other ponies find out or rediscover what makes them special.
Meanwhile, in the Friendship Express, Pinkie Pie and Rarity are going on a trip to Manehattan. With the Canterlot branch of Carousel Boutique doing well, Rarity has decided to open a Manehattan branch. Upon arriving at the big city, Rarity gets swept up in its beauty and energy, and Pinkie Pie's older sister, Maud Pie, is there waiting for them.
As part of a tradition between her and her sisters, Pinkie meets with Maud in Manehattan so they can spend the day together enjoying the sights and exchange gifts at sunset. She refers to this tradition as the "Pie Sisters' Surprise Swap Day". Because she always gets an amazing gift from Maud each year, Pinkie wishes to surprise her with a specially-made rock pouch for her pet Boulder. She asks for Rarity's assistance in this endeavor, and Rarity eagerly agrees to help while also scouting locations for her new store.
While Pinkie, Rarity and Maud are spending the afternoon touring the city of Manehattan, the Crusaders travel around Ponyville to find ponies with cutie mark-related problems -- from Big McIntosh to Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake to Mayor Mare -- but all of the ponies they meet appear to be perfectly content with their special talents and lives.
Pinkie, Rarity, and Maud travel around the big city from the Mare Statue to the ice rink. Throughout the afternoon, Pinkie is less than subtle about her excitement for her and Maud's upcoming gift exchange, and Maud is mainly interested in sights associated with rocks.
During these events, the Crusaders start to question how special they truly are, and they eventually encounter Bulk Biceps, who says he has a cutie mark problem.
The Crusaders invite Bulk back to their clubhouse (despite the cramped space), and he explains that his cutie mark is a dumbbell, but he has lifted every dumbbell in Ponyville. When they suggest he find other things to lift, he asks what to do after that. They then suggest that he teach other ponies to lift things, and this quickly satisfies him.
Apple Bloom worries that there aren't many ponies in Ponyville with cutie mark problems and those that do have problems are too easily solved. Because of this, she wonders if the Cutie Mark Crusaders have any reason to exist.
At the Cantering Cook restaurant in Manehattan, Rarity keeps Maud distracted while Pinkie sneaks away to get Maud's gift at the rock pouch store. Unfortunately, while Pinkie finds the perfect pouch for Maud in the store window, the store is closed and the owner is away on vacation. In her panic over the situation, Pinkie briefly draws the attention of a Manehattan police officer.
The Crusaders take stock of their situation -- too few ponies to help and easily solvable cutie mark problems -- and Apple Bloom proposes expanding their search to all of Equestria. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo believe that's too much for them to handle and they should instead focus on helping ponies in Ponyville. Until then, they can just do things for fun without the pressure of getting their cutie marks. They try out several activities around town, such as scootering and singing, but they find it difficult to think of something they are all interested in.
Pinkie returns to the restaurant in low spirits and tells Rarity of her failure to get Maud's present. Rarity cheers her up and offers to help her find a different present for Maud before sunset.
Rarity takes Maud to several Manehattan stores -- including a toy shop, a jewelry store, and a flea market -- to see if anything catches her interest. However, Maud only expresses interest in rock-related things, causing Rarity immense frustration. When Maud offhandedly mentions that she wishes she had something to carry Boulder in, Pinkie Pie realizes that her original gift idea of a rock pouch was best.
Just then, Rarity and Pinkie spot a stallion across the street wearing the same pouch that Pinkie saw in the store window. When Pinkie catches up with him and asks if he is interested in selling it, the sleazy stallion agrees to part with the pouch in exchange for Pinkie Pie's precious party cannon.
Back in the clubhouse, the Crusaders decide to pursue separate interests. Suddenly on her own, Apple Bloom tries to find something fun to do, all while singing a heartfelt ballad. Unfortunately, she can't, particularly because she doesn't have Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to do it with.
So, Apple Bloom discovers an interest in dancing in a class taught by Hoofer Steps, and she substitutes for a shy student named Tender Taps. Due to her lack of dancing talent, however, she struggles to fit in. As Apple Bloom leaves, she talks with Tender Taps, who has a lot of tap-dancing talent but suffers from stage fright.
Meanwhile in Manehattan, after a difficult trade, Pinkie returns to Rarity and Maud; though she is sad about giving up her party cannon, she says that getting Maud the perfect Pie Sisters' Swap Day present is all that matters.
Later in the park, after singing the "Pie Sisters' Swap Day Song", Pinkie and Maud finally exchange gifts. Pinkie gives Maud the rock pouch for Boulder, and Maud gives Pinkie a carton of cupcake-scented confetti for her party cannon. Despite having no cannon to use the confetti with, Pinkie loves her gift regardless.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo return to the Crusaders clubhouse after spending time with their own favorite things.
|Difference from the original episode|
Inside the clubhouse, they find Apple Bloom sitting alone in the dark. After trying dozens of activities and failing to find anything that interests her, Apple Bloom despairs about finding happiness now that she and her friends don't hang out anymore. Scootaloo corrects her by stating they can still hang out, but they don't have to do everything together.
Apple Bloom admits that she did like dancing, but she wasn't very good at it. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo tell her she doesn't need to be good in order to have fun. When Apple Bloom mentions Tender Taps and his performance troubles, Sweetie Belle asks if he had his cutie mark.
In Manehattan, as Pinkie enjoys her Swap Day gift, Maud asks Rarity why she isn't using her party cannon with it. Rarity tries to keep Pinkie's sacrifice a secret, but after enough piercing stares from Maud, she breaks down and confesses. Pinkie also confesses that she simply wanted to get her sister a gift as wonderful as the gifts she always receives. With this knowledge, Maud goes to get Pinkie's party cannon back.
While Maud searches for Pinkie's cannon, the Crusaders find Tender Taps backstage at the Ponyville dance theater, and Apple Bloom tries to convince him to perform. When Tender Taps expresses fear from performing in front of an audience, Apple Bloom says she'll perform with him so he'll look good by comparison.
While Sweetie Belle provides them with costumes and Scootaloo assists with the stage backdrop, Apple Bloom and Tender Taps perform a tap-dancing act together. Apple Bloom mostly embarrasses herself, but Tender Taps manages to overcome his stage fright and impress the audience with his dancing. As the ponies cheer for him, he earns a tap-dancing cutie mark.
Maud, Rarity, and Pinkie return to the sleazy stallion that Pinkie traded her cannon away to. When Maud tries to exchange the rock pouch for the cannon again, the stallion refuses. However, Maud presses him to trade, and Rarity subliminally suggests to him the anger in Maud's flat expression. Fearing Maud's angry retribution, the stallion agrees to another trade.
Pinkie Pie is happy to have her party cannon back, but she feels bad for getting two amazing gifts for their Pie Sisters' Swap Day, and vows to increase her efforts next year. Maud tells Pinkie that gift-giving is not a competition but an expression of love, and she assures that as long as Pinkie's gifts are given out of love, she will always cherish them.
Before the group leaves Manehattan for home, Rarity shows Pinkie and Maud the location she picked for her new store, which is met with their wholehearted approval. In addition, Pinkie and Maud decide to officially include Rarity in their yearly Swap Day tradition.
Meanwhile, Tender Taps thanks the Cutie Mark Crusaders for helping him realize his tap-dancing potential. He tells Apple Bloom that he hopes she continues dancing, and Apple Bloom says she will. Apple Bloom apologizes to her friends for being so silly about them trying new things on their own, and Sweetie Belle says by doing so, they'll be three times as likely to find ponies to help.
(The canon story ends here.)
Just then, a train whistle sound effect is heard from a distance away. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Tender Taps run over to see where it's coming from. Obviously, they know it's the Friendship Express, but who's coming out of it? Why, it's Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Maud Pie! After they all get off, Pinkie tells everything what they did in Manehattan, and Apple Bloom introduces Maud Pie to her little friends. Then Apple Bloom introduces Tender Taps to Pinkie, Rarity and Maud. Pinkie chooses to plan a dance party for Tender Taps, which goes on that night.
(She blasts the confetti Maud gave her from her party cannon)
Screenshots are boarded in order of how the combined story goes.