The Fate of Applejack's Parents in 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' Is Surprisingly Murky

How far did the Apple siblings fall from the tree?

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author
By

Jun. 13 2024, Published 12:09 p.m. ET

Throughout the 2010s, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was something of a cultural phenomenon. Having run from 2010 to 2019, the animated series followed unicorn Twilight Sparkle and her five pony friends as they learned about the magic and intricacies of friendship while residing in the fantastical kingdom of Equestria. The series garnered something of a cult following as it inadvertently appealed to other older audiences outside of its original intended demographic.

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While the fandom culture surrounding the series has raised concerns over gender norms, toxic masculinity, and gatekeeping over the years, Friendship Is Magic continues to generate interest among fans for its sprawling narrative and hanging plot threads. One of them revolves around Applejack, one of the "Mane 6" protagonists. The orange earth pony is known for helping run her family's apple farm and keeps a close-knit relationship with her relatives. But whatever happened to her parents?

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The ''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' creators wanted to make the fate of Applejack's parents more explicit.

Aside from her strong relationship with the Mane 6, Applejack is remarkably close to her eponymous Apple family. Applejack, her older brother Big McIntosh, her little sister Sweetie Belle, and their paternal grandmother Granny Smith each help run the family business of the Sweet Apple Acres orchard. Applejack even keeps in touch with her extended family, as seen in Season 3, Episode 8, "Apple Family Reunion," in which she prepares for an enormous family gathering of Apple ponies.

However, many fans were quick to note that despite the big reunion, Applejack's parents — father Bright Mac and mother Pear Butter — were nowhere to be seen. Their existence has been hinted at throughout the series, mostly within the context of their being absent. Otherwise, their ultimate fate was never quite made explicit in the show itself. Interestingly enough, series creator Lauren Faust and her collaborators have attempted to clear the air over their whereabouts.

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Applejack's parents have passed away. Their deaths were even corroborated at the Middle Equestrian Convention in 2016, in which character designer Kora Kosicka answered a fan question about the state of Applejack's parents. However, the show itself never explicitly stated this fact or touched upon the subject. Lauren confirmed in an online fan Q&A that although she would have wanted to explain their deaths somehow, she and her team "just never figured it out."

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"I would like to simply say that they passed away somehow, but it would have likely been deemed too sad for a kids' show and I think it would have ever been approved," Lauren stated in the Q&A. "There was brief discussion of them being traveling salesponies or explorers, but since we never needed the information in an episode, nothing was ever made official. So it will have to remain a mystery until someone decides to define it."

Their deaths were at least alluded to in the series. In the aforementioned "Apple Family Reunion" episode, two stars can be seen flying over the family, which is implied to be Applejack's parents watching over them. The show even dug into their origin story. In Season 7, Episode 5 "The Perfect Pear," Bright Mac and Pear Butter were revealed to have overcome a rivalry between their two families when they married each other.

Ultimately, their status has never been confirmed, leading many to come up with their own theories about how they died. Some even believe that Applejack's parents are still alive. Nevertheless, fans can rest assured that even without her parents, Applejack has never been without the love and support of her family.

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