Random Headcanons: Why Do The Apples Get Their Marks Late?

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Response videos to my call for headcanons:

Texeirax: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77sKHd55xZk
Twirltheflag1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvHRbrRoy4I
CinematicController: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WepXL0DTGuM
analysispegasus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qZmyNBHZ1I

I made an analysis board on reddit!: http://www.reddit.com/r/MLPAnalysis/

My OC is designed by MizuTakishima: http://mizutakishima.deviantart.com/

This one’s gonna be a little more of a speculative stretch than usual, but hey, it was only a matter of time before Radom Headcanons was gonna get a little out there. Let’s talk apples, and cutie marks.

In my last video, I asked for headcanons about why the members of the Apple family are always the last in their class to get their cutie marks, and about 95% of the explanations I received followed the same train of thought. The idea was that, because each member of the family has grown up on the farm and done apple-related tasks for their entire lives, those tasks seem normal to them, and not like a special talent. Because they haven’t had a moment of realization that they are skilled at these tasks, they haven’t realized their talent yet.

Others have also noted the possibility of rebelliousness, citing the case of Applejack, who didn’t want to live on the old farm, and tried her luck in the city. It was only after realizing that she missed her home that she got her mark, at least according to her.

Some also speculated that the Apple Family are just genetically late bloomers, with the entire concept of Call of the Cutie being a metaphor for puberty, which I think Applebloom’s name makes rather obvious. I like this idea a lot from a literary theory standpoint, but from the standpoint of figuring out show canon, it isn’t that helpful, so let’s talk about another idea.

What’s particularly strange about Applejack’s cutie mark story, is that it’s completely unique from almost all the others. Everyone else so far has had a moment of realization directly related to figuring out their talent. Where the stories differ, is that some of the ponies were already working towards the talent that they eventually found, whereas others discovered it all at once.

And this gave me an idea. Maybe the acquisition of a cutie mark really requires two things. One is the realization of what a pony wants to do, and the other is proving that they can do it.

Twilight Sparkle had already set her heart on learning magic, but it was only when her full potential became apparent that she got her mark. The same goes for Rainbow Dash, who was already in love with speed, but pulled off a feat of badassery to prove herself. Rarity was already a fashionista, but realized her talent when she found her creative voice in the form of jewelry.

These weren’t moments of realization, but moments of proving themselves.
Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy both have moments of realization and moments of proving themselves right in order. Pinkie Pie learns about fun, and then proves that she can bring it. Fluttershy witnesses scared animals, and then finds out that she can sooth them.
And while we’re at it, even Twist, whom I can’t believe I’m acknowledging, already knew that she loves making sweets. It was only after making what I guess were some really fucking good pepper sticks that she got her mark.

So, this just leaves Applejack. If all it took for her was a moment of realization, then that must mean that she’d already proven herself beforehand. This would put her in the boat that many think the Cutie Mark Crusaders are in, where each of them has an obvious talent, but hasn’t realized it yet.

But what if the truth is that Applejack was some kind of savant? Like, what if she was just really unnaturally good at apple farming before her realization? The reason I bring this up is that, if we consider the other ponies who were or are late bloomers, their talents can be kind of difficult.

Big Macintosh’s talent seems to revolve around, well, being big. He bucks trees, carries heavy carts, and is generally known for being the big guy. So if his talent revolved around being big, then maybe he didn’t have his mark because he wasn’t big enough yet. He couldn’t prove himself as a kid because being a kid was a poor circumstance for his talent.
As for Granny Smith, it’s hard to say. I would’ve loved it if she’d gotten her cutie mark from discovering the Zap Apples in Family Appreciation Day, but unfortunately I think it was too late to retcon her cutie mark into dealing with this. It would’ve been a great idea, though.

So, maybe only Big Macintosh was a late bloomer due to physical limitations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same is true of Scootaloo. I’d love to see something like this happen as a plot point though, where a character doesn’t find their talent until undergoing some kind of major physical or locational change, or reaching an appropriate age for their talent.

I mean… after all, you know… somewhere out there, there’s gotta be a prostitute pony, and I think we’d all like to believe he was a little older when he got his mark…

One thought on “Random Headcanons: Why Do The Apples Get Their Marks Late?

  1. I’ve had discussing cutie marks on my list of stuff to write about for some time now, and this gives me a good excuse to actually sit down and do it XD. Have to rewatch some episodes just to be sure on some points.

    But anyway, what I have been thinking about so far is that maybe there is more to cutie marks then just “finding your special talent.” In fact, I think it may go a bit more and instead be more along the lines of “finding your sense of purpose or belonging.” Finding talents is easy, but finding a sense of purpose in life is much harder. And in that sense, I think the differences in the cutie mark stories fade a little.

    You’ve already discussed AJ well enough, but the next one that would fit in this sense is Fluttershy’s. It’s kind of obvious she didn’t necessarily fit within normal pegasi skills like flying, weather, racing, etc.; in fact her talents seem more along what Earth Ponies get associated with. It’s no surprise then she couldn’t get her cutie mark in Cloudsdale. But place her on the ground, and you get a musical number all about how wonderful the place is. Then there’s Pinkie Pie, who basically found her talent in throwing parties and making ponies and devoted her life to making other ponies happy *inserts plug for my articles discussing Pinkie Pie and ethical hedonism*, which obviously was not well fit within her life on the rock farm.

    Twilight, RD, and Rarity’s are still very talent based, but there is a difference between knowing you’re good at something and believing it to be what you’re meant to do. All of them, like you said, had moments of realization that are sort of like “Hey, this is something I’m just awesome at and love doing. I want to do this forever!” Which is in a sense part of the issue the CMC are having. Sure we know what their talents are, but they just don’t seem to sense that it’s what they want to do. They enjoy their talents but just haven’t settled on “this is what I love to do and want to do” yet. They’re just having fun exploring and trying out new things, which is probably one of the biggest bonuses of pony society; it’s just so accommodating to self-exploration.

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