No, wait, it was 6000. Twilight’s softcover-based memories aren’t all that reliable. Also, she never tasted the cider herself.
SSCS6K, is an episode has oftentimes been assumed to be a lesson about general economics, alcoholism, and how the frauds were revealed in the end. But there are problems popping up with those lessons once you look at it from an industrial-age, fair-competition, progressive angle. And those problems are big enough that it places SSCS6K among the very worst episodes of Friendship is Magic, and it even manages to paint the Mane 6 as straight-out evil. And before you ask, yes, almost all of this article is straight-forward. This is not satire, nor does it exaggerate wildly as per the recent Nostalgia Critic-style. And so the ordeal begins…
(Disclaimer: I have only seen 12-14 minutes of this episode with my own eyes, skipping a lot of the duking-out over the big bet.)
The story starts off at Fluttershy’s house. We see Rainbow Dash co-ercing Fluttershy, who doesn’t quite have a grasp of how Friendship is Magic’s body anatomy work, into getting into the line for the big cider sale at the Sweet Apple Acres. Note that as the episode starts off, the sun hasn’t even stood up yet, so depending on when these kinds of apples are harvested, this places it between 4 in the morning and 7 in the morning, if they use a time zone that would fit exactly to their sunlight activity.
As they get to the queue for the sale, we see that the sun has just rose up, and the cider queue is already several hundred meters long. This will become important to know later in this article.
Several hours later, morning has turned into daytime, and Pinkie Pie has decided to be stupid, by taunting those who haven’t got the cider yet. Yes, decided to. Her attempts to make Rainbow Dash smile with sunshine, has failed as much as it usually does. At this point does a train without rails pop up very close to the cider stand.
We get 4 ½ minutes of singing by Flim and Flam, who for shortening reasons will collectively be known as Flxm (pronounced Flum) for the duration of this article. The one big thing to note here plotwise, is that Granny Smith gets to taste the cider, and she seems a bit stunned by how well it tastes. Overall, the song is simply there to provide a catchy musical number.
♪ “For vi kan lugte på meny, i hver en flæk, i hver en by
Vi er Flim, vi er Flam, vi er verdensberømte brødre…” ♫
But now we get to the juicy part. The general approach of Flxm, which is slowly cobbled together from the song and the immediate aftermath, is actually very awesome. They provide an immediate means to satuate Ponyville’s tremendously huge cider craving, which the monopoly of the Sweet Apple Acres is doing a really bad job at saturating themselves. Flxm are applying brand-new industrialization techniques to ensure better apple filtering, and faster processing, while using less resources, and everyone who taste the cider within the first 17 minutes of the episode agrees that it tastes fantastic.
So what do the Mane 6 decide to do in the light of a probable Ponyville industrialization jump of more than 60 years? They decide to behave like absolute business creeps and use every possible measure in the book of dirty tricks to drive Flxm out of town, so that Sweet Apple Acres can continue to fail miserably at providing enough cider.
In a case of “Best or bust” fallacy stemming from gigantic overloads of pride *hark*Scotland 1950*sneeze*, it isthe Apple family who decide to place a bet on Flxm to drive them out. So desperate are the Apples, that they go through with it even when the counter-bet is that the Apples would lose their farm and thus their house. It isalso a bit puzzling that Granny Smith, who has tasted the cider, does not warn her younger relatives that Flxm are not merely the fraudy, fourth-tier cider maker, that the Apples so frantically believe that they are. And the Apples decide that the bet will be about who makes the most cider, because who the hell cares about whether the cider tastes good when you have a hard monopoly on it, am-i-right-guys?
Flxm, who are being very confident on eradicating the last traces of hillbilly pride in Equestria, also accepts the bet. And this is also where it gets even more fishy on the Apple family’s end. The bet was between them, and the Flxm brothers. And therefore, Applejack immediately hires the help of her five non-family friends, which just as immediately turns the big bet into a very unfair 9 vs 2. Applejack is about as honest and fair at that point as Serbian mafias, and has forgot absolutely everything she may have learned before in several episodes about quenching her extreme self-pride.
And so the fight begins, providing everyone in Ponyville with a serious sales competition, splitting one long queue into two, and making every customer happy.
And in the end, even when considering the awful bet conditions, the Flxm brothers still win in a much more fair and square way, than what their competitors were playing like. And the Apples decides to make a drama scene out of the fact that they have lost their house, due to a bet that they made and were never required to place in the first place!
Flxm has, rather oddly I must admit, won themselves a monopoly on cider sales in Ponyville, because the Apples are too stupid to have such a word as “competition” in their vocabulary. It was probably too fancy for them. But it came at a price, as Flxm now has a ton of completely unfiltered and unprocessed cider, which they solely made to provide enough quantity to win against overwhelming odds. And in one of the few puzzling decisions that the two take in this episode, they decide to sell this bet-filler cider to the people as a victory celebration.
And that batch of cider does nottaste well at all. And despite that most ponies in town got to taste the good batches, it is the one lone bad patch that every single pony in town now remembers, and decides to drive Flxm out of town solely on that. Absolutely all ponies in Ponyville can now be said to have extremely short memory and to be absolute jerks with no regards for common sense. This overall reinstates the mafia monopoly of Sweet Apple Acres, who now acclaims to have a huge surplus of cider for everyone! But why the fuck didn’t they make such a surplus before or in previous years?! They clearly had enough apples to be able to do so! Why have they flatout decided to never satuate the demand before?! Aaarrrgh!
Throughout the entirety of the latter three-quarters of the episode, the Mane 6 have without any interruption, behaved as monopolistic, anti-industrial, anti-competitive, bet-rigging, xenophobic assaholic evil little ponies! This episode firmly establishes the Manure 6 as overall villains, as well as ponies who do not deserve to be the saviors of Equestria nor of Ponyville, and as being extremely unfriendly to everyone who aren’t already their friends.
Oftentimes do I feel strong disgust over episodes for very subjective and personal reasons, as was the cases with Baby Cakes and Princess Twilight Sparkle (the episodes). But I will go so very far, as to claim that Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 is objectively awful. Even though the episode seems well designed from an aesthetic angle, and though no characters behave tremendously stupid (which is a very common problem in Friendship is Magic), they do behave tremendously evil here, almost at Nightmare Moon levels. This episode should never have been made, it should never have been written, it should never have been given the green light, and it should never have been thought of. Its morals become straight-up unmoralistic, and it removes every idea that the Manure 6 are the guardians of justice and happiness.
And still there are bronies who dare to claim that the characters and episodes are well-written…