You knew this was going to be on the list.
From the moment I announced this list, you knew this was going to be at the top.
And here it is…
Image from Ponibooru.
Written by Sergeant Sprinkles in early 2011, Cupcakes is not only the most infamous My Little Pony fan fiction, but also the most popular. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it, either having read it yourself or having listened to a dramatic reading of it. But for those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, here’s the summary:
Rainbow Dash is invited to Sugarcube Corner to help Pinkie Pie make cupcakes, but after eating one offered to her, gets knocked unconscious. She awakens to find herself strapped to a table in a dark room, where Pinkie tells her that she needs her for a special ingredient—literally! Rainbow Dash assumes this is a prank, but discovers that it’s not when the lights turn on, revealing a room decorated with internal organs as party favors.
Image from Equestria Daily.
Pinkie Pie claims that she’s been killing ponies for a long time, and that she chose Rainbow Dash today because “her number was up.” After donning a dress made of cutie marks, unicorn horns, and pegasi wings, she pulls over a cart of medical instruments and begins working on Dash. She starts by cutting off her cutie marks and wings, then drives nails into her hooves and electrocutes her, and finally finishes her off by cutting her open and harvesting her internal organs.
Image from deviantART.
All the while, Pinkie Pie keeps Rainbow Dash awake with adrenaline shots, chiding her for not being able to bear the pain, saying she had expected more from her, and telling her how much she was looking forward to having her friend over for this. Otherwise, she maintains her cheery disposition, occasionally making a macabre joke. (“I know I can be a real pancreas, but you know I’m just kidney with you. You really got to learn to liver it up. Boy, these jokes are getting bladder. Guess ya gotta develop a stomach for them!”) The story ends with Rainbow Dash dead, her corpse completely eviscerated, and Pinkie Pie congratulating herself for another job well done.
Since the story first gained notoriety, it has garnered a cult following. Multiple alternate versions and sequels have been created by fans, along with fan art, music, videos, and even its own graphic novelization. As with Princess Molestia, the character of Pinkamena Diane Pie has since been ingrained into unofficial Pony canon.
Image from deviantART.
So how did a story about Pinkie Pie mutilating Rainbow Dash obtain such cult status? It’s most likely due to the good writing. Yes, it’s ultimately torture porn based on a pony cartoon, and if it was written any other way, the story would have come across just as cheesy as its premise; but because it’s so well-written, it managed to leave a lasting impression on the fan community. Even if you find the story unsettling, even if it makes you nauseous, the very details within it keep you reading until the very end. Now that’s a sign of good storytelling!
So what makes this story great? Let’s start with our antagonist: Pinkie Pie. Having her as the killer could have easily set her up to act out-of-character, and nothing ruins a fanfic like a character who’s, well, out-of-character. But nowhere in this story does she act any differently than she does in the show. She’s still the same sweet pink pony we all know and love, even when she’s mutilating her best friend. To her, this is just another hobby like baking cupcakes, and she loves every moment of it.
Image from Know Your Meme.
Her eccentric personality and random nature makes her the perfect suspect for a secret killer who chops up ponies in her basement and harvests their organs. You never knew what to expect from her in the show, which makes her portrayal in this story all the more believable. Her portrayal in this story is reminiscent of other psychopaths like the Joker from The Dark Knight, Alex from Clockwork Orange, and perhaps more comparable, Asami Yamazaki from The Audition (If you can find this movie, watch it, and try telling me it wasn’t partially responsible for inspiring Cupcakes).
But a good villain is nothing without a victim. If it were any pony other than Rainbow Dash, this story would have fallen flat, forever doomed to remain forgotten within the mire of bad fanfics. No other pony would have fit the role so perfectly.
Twilight Sparkle? Too obvious. Her logical nature already makes her the foil for Pinkie Pie’s irrationality, and thus having her as the victim would have offered too predictable a reaction.
Fluttershy? Too cliché. As a pony who is afraid of her own shadow, she’s would have been nothing less than your typical damsel-in-distress. The same goes for Rarity. And it’s hard to imagine how Apple Jack would have acted.
Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, is a rough-and-tumble tomboy who’s afraid of nothing and perfectly capable of taking care of herself. So to see her in such a helpless situation elicits all the more sympathy from us and thus makes her role as the victim all the more memorable.
Image from deviantART.
There are many works of art which raise the bar so high that no other work can reach its success, and in the realms of Pony fanfiction, that work of art is Cupcakes. This was a horror fanfic based a little girl cartoon done right. Other stories have been created since then, all trying to emulate it, but all failing to do so. It both created the mold and broke it. Cupcakes was one of those works of art that can only be created once and only once.
Equestria Daily calls Cupcakes “the most brutal and disturbing pony story ever written.” But as you can tell from its placement on this list, there are at least two other fandoms that I consider to be far more disturbing than this. What are they? You’ll have to wait and find out—if you dare!
How disturbing is it? Almost as disturbing as finding a severed finger in your lunch--from home!