Scootaloo being disabled

Latecomer

@Brass Beau
I think that would probably take a magically trained doctor, not laymen from a world without magic. Still, to draw an analogy, I think it's basically just a magical "deformity" — maybe something like Down's Syndrome?


@DarkyBoode32
There's a difference besides mindset, though — four seasons. What was uncertain may have become less so.


@Brass Beau
It's also a bit problematic to link her disability to her earth pony heritage.
AC97
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition

@Latecomer

It's also a bit problematic to link her disability to her earth pony heritage.


I think it's partially me being attached to older headcanons, but I conceptually have an issue with it being related to Earth Pony heritage, or something along those lines.

Aside from it making mixed-race couples possibly problematic, it has the hole of mixed-race children like Wind Sprint being able to fly just fine ("my dad was a great flyer, too," so unicorn mother, pegasus father), or the Cake Twins involving a baby pegasus who could fly, and a baby unicorn who could temporarily use magic well, per a magic surge or whatever, and yet their parents were both Earth Ponies, per weird genetics, so what gives? Even if you want to say that they had a different father than Mr. Cake, put stock on that joke in their debut episode, Mrs. Cake is still an Earth Pony, and we have no evidence Pound Cake had the same issue Scootaloo did.

I slightly envy you/kick myself for you putting one of the other main arguments of mine rather succinctly in comparison, lol.

I just don't see a reason to think it's inherently due to mixed-race parents, or to think it's more likely than it being something else, given the examples at hand.

Am I forgetting about any other mixed-race children?
Latecomer

@AC97
Well just because it sometimes results in cripples doesn't mean it will all the time or even most — it could be a 1% chance. But it still is a bit of a questionable message — although consistent with the existence of mules, who seem to lack any pony magic whatsoever.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
That's the current working theory I have. It is also possible that @TheEdgyDuck is right. A third theory is that Scootaloo, due to the lack of supervision from both her mother and Auntie, never received proper training for mastery of her flight.
What we do know is she doesn't fly and pegasus flight is as much magical as it is physical.
Another theory is just as bleak as her mixed heritage giving her limited or no pegasus magic. We could say, hypothetically, that pegasi have hollow bones like birds. Scootaloo can't fly because her bones aren't hollow.
Since there isn't any evidence to support that I'm forced to tackle her disability from a magical angle. The one other possibility magically, is that pony magic is like chi and her chi is blocked. This explains why she can't fly and gives her a chance to fly someday.
But I can't find any evidence linking pony magic to chi outside of Sombra placing black crystals on Shining Armor's horn.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@Latecomer
I'm not a particularly big fan of that theory, myself. I mostly see it brought up in regards to Scootaloo's parents and aunts being "irresponsible and unfit caregivers" so I mostly ignore it. Especially since you're right, Rainbow Dash would love to train her if that was all it was.
AC97
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition

@Latecomer
@AC97
Well just because it sometimes results in cripples doesn't mean it will all the time or even most — it could be a 1% chance. But it still is a bit of a questionable message — although consistent with the existence of mules, who seem to lack any pony magic whatsoever.


Concession made, that is a good point.

It probably wouldn't feel that good to be a mule in the setting.

@Latecomer

If lack of proper training was the issue, Dash would totally have fixed it.


And considering just how determined Scootaloo is, I'm not sure Dash would've been that much of a deciding factor, either. Heck, probably Twilight would've been willing to help, by extension, since Twilight Time was a thing and all.

It's sad when characters aren't going to get something they want out of life, not have one of their dreams fulfilled, but sometimes life just works that way.



I will, however, say that I think something like this would probably work, given how fast she can make her scooter go, and it wouldn't be farfetched in terms of technology.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@AC97
If an earth pony can be a Wonderbolt, I'd say it's possible for Scootaloo to fly. I just wish we had a little more clarification on why she hasn't flown. What little evidence we have points to magic as the limiting factor but the magic system is very soft. Pin pointing the exact cause is more a matter of guess work.
Latecomer

@Brass Beau
Well, that's only in the comics.

And the "why" doesn't really matter, as long as it was sheer bad luck — what matters is the effect it has on her life, and how she reacts to that.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@Latecomer
Well, going that route and playing some "Wild Guessing mixed with Headcanon" the plot could be that, as a newborn foal, she was with her parents on an adventure and a creature siphoned some of her magic. That's why she lives with her aunts.
Background Pony #2180

I will, however, say that I think something like this would probably work, given how fast she can make her scooter go, and it wouldn't be farfetched in terms of technology.

- "Call of the Cutie" had Apple Bloom attempt to fly in a glider exactly like the one in the fan art you posted (which was most likely the inspiration there). - "The Cutie Pox" had Apple Bloom sprout a hang glider cutie mark among all the others (I could have sworn I saw either a drawing of a hang glider on the "possible ways to get a cutie mark" list in the clubhouse, or the CMCs attempting to ride an actual hang glider, but I can't find it now). - "Griffon the Brush-Off" had Pinkie Pie on some Dr. Seuss inspired pedal copter thing. -"Testing Testing 1 2 3" had the earth pony Cherry Berry in a helicopter. -Tank has his propeller backpack. -Issue 81 of the comic had that glider thing that got an earth pony into the Wonderbolts (which ended with Rumble using a replica to fly despite a sprained wing, but no one suggesting that it might come in handy for the pegasus who, as far as anyone knows, would NEVER be able to fly naturally).

So, it's been firmly established in canon that Equestria is no stranger to at least basic aeronautical engineering. Any one of those devices could have been the answer to Scootaloo's prayers, but nope. That the idea of Scootaloo using technology to overcome her disability (as so many people do in real life) was never explored in the series is idiotic beyond comprehension. Hopefully the comic will fix that now that it's free and clear of the show's continuity.



It's sad when characters aren't going to get something they want out of life, not have one of their dreams fulfilled, but sometimes life just works that way.


Here's the thing: When you present a character's dreams as unachievable after establishing the existence of practical solutions for making said dreams come true, the message you actually send is "If you encounter an obstacle keeping you from your goals, don't bother trying to find a workaround — just give up".

If they really wanted to discuss the issue of coping with broken dreams, Tempest would have been a way way WAY better choice. We've never seen any evidence that prosthetic horns are a thing, so it's perfectly plausible that they wouldn't be.
DoctorWTF

@Brass Beau
@Background Pony #2180
Scootaloo's dream wasn't to just fly, but to fly of her own ability like other pegasi.


Where do you get that idea? No one at any point has suggested the idea of her using technology to compensate for her disability, so there's nothing to indicate that she wouldn't find it to be a satisfactory solution.

Besides, the glider from issue 81 looked like it would offer an experience pretty close to natural pegasus flight (at least for a pegasus whose wings produce plenty of thrust, just not quite enough lift). And if an earth pony could get into the Wonderbolts with it, so could she.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@DoctorWTF
It was the fact that she didn't pursue an alternative means of flight. Then there's that quote from The Fault In Our Cutie Marks where she said, "Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't." Not to mention the entire episode about the Washouts. She wanted to be just like RD. After The Washouts she was could pursue a new dream or find a solution for her lack of flight. She didn't feel pressured to be just like RD anymore.
DoctorWTF

@Latecomer
@Brass Beau
It's also a bit problematic to link her disability to her earth pony heritage.


It'd certainly be problematic if that had happened in-universe — if "The Ending of the End" (where Cozy Glow spreads a few rumors and soon the Windigoes are showing up) is any indication, it seems like race relations in Equestria are on a hair trigger.


@Brass Beau
@DoctorWTF
It was the fact that she didn't pursue an alternative means of flight. Then there's that quote from The Fault In Our Cutie Marks where she said, "Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't." Not to mention the entire episode about the Washouts. She wanted to be just like RD. After The Washouts she was could pursue a new dream or find a solution for her lack of flight. She didn't feel pressured to be just like RD anymore.


I suppose that's plausible, but I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one or two scenes that suggested she actually wanted the experience of flight (such as one episode which ended with RD flying around and carrying Scootaloo, who seemed to be enjoying herself). And I thought "The Washouts" was largely about RD getting butthurt over Scootaloo idolizing someone else?

It'd be one thing if one of her friends pitched the idea of her strapping on a glider only for her to be like "Nah, I'm good", but we never even got that. And if she was to be a role model for people with disabilities, then seeing her fly in that manner (even if she didn't end up doing it regularly) would have made her much stronger in that department.

This whole thing feels like way too much was felt to the realm of speculation and headcanon (no, I'm not talking about what exactly is keeping her from flying). Which is highly unusual for a show where there is way more in-depth discussion of the characters' feelings than you normally see in a Y-rated cartoon. It's like they wanted to tackle the issue of someone's life goals threatened by a disability, but were too timid about handling such a heavy subject to offer much more than a superficial discussion of the matter.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@DoctorWTF
Well, there was certainly representation within the series but Scootaloo was conceptualized as a "late bloomer" and though she was treated as having a disability by the fandom, it was never directly addressed in the show. Not outside of Scootaloo stating she couldn't fly in The Washouts. By the end of that episode, Scootaloo came to the conclusion that she didn't have to be just like RD to be great.
DoctorWTF

@Brass Beau
@DoctorWTF
Well, there was certainly representation within the series but Scootaloo was conceptualized as a "late bloomer" and though she was treated as having a disability by the fandom, it was never directly addressed in the show. Not outside of Scootaloo stating she couldn't fly in The Washouts. By the end of that episode, Scootaloo came to the conclusion that she didn't have to be just like RD to be great.


I could have sworn I had heard something about Lauren Faust saying that Scootaloo was originally intended to have been disabled. Plus there's her adult form from "Growing Up Is Hard To Do", though we never see her trying and failing to fly there (understandable given that it wouldn't have served the plot, though by all logic one would have expected her to try flying with her adult body at some point). It felt like they were trying to express the idea that she'd never fly naturally without explicitly stating it.

Now that I think about it, it's also possible that she had been seeing a doctor/physical therapist/something off-camera (one would expect Equestria to have medical professionals who specialize in helping pegasi who are having trouble flying), and she was specifically instructed not to use a glider because she might develop bad habits that would interfere with her eventually flying without one. But, like so much else related to Scootaloo's condition and her feelings surrounding it, that's just speculation…

And here's a fun fact: If her wingspan actually was the problem, then there is a real-world surgical procedure that could solve it, and it doesn't even require anything beyond what Equestria is shown to be capable of:

Limb Lengthening Surgery.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@DoctorWTF
The disability angle came shortly after conception but "late bloomer" came first. As for the show itself, outside of Scootaloo saying "I can't fly," in The Washouts, it was never really addressed as a disability. Seems the writers didn't decide which interpretation they wanted to use.
DoctorWTF

@Brass Beau
@DoctorWTF
The disability angle came shortly after conception but "late bloomer" came first. As for the show itself, outside of Scootaloo saying "I can't fly," in The Washouts, it was never really addressed as a disability. Seems the writers didn't decide which interpretation they wanted to use.


That or the creative team wanted a disabled character, but the network didn't. Which might also explain why the glider idea was never explored — it might have drawn more attention to her condition than the higher-ups were comfortable with. Never mind that establishing that she had the option of flying if she so desired (if somewhat differently from an average pegasus) would have gone a long way towards putting a positive spin on her situation.
Background Pony #A863
I'm not actually sure if Scootaloo is handicapped in the way people normally think of. I do believe that her wings are stunted, and will probably never be proportional to her weight. But as we have seen, Bulk Biceps has the same handicap, and he can still fly with some difficulty. Scootaloo, on the other hand, seems to only be able to use her wings to propel her scooter forward, as part of her special talent. Which is why I believe that her handicap is only partially physical. The rest of it is due to all of the bullying and teasing she's gotten because of her wings from both her friends and the bullies at her school, and possibly the lack of any stronger parental figures to boost her confidence when she was growing up. But this is why Rainbow is a good role model for her, because the filly knows what it is like to be made fun of for her flying skills- Rainbow Crash, and doesn't let anything hold her back from her dream of being a Wonderbolt. Basically, the only thing that is truly holding Scootaloo back from being able to fly is her self-confidence.
Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
@Background Pony #A863
Hm. A psychological block preventing her from performing is an interesting idea.
Reviewing the possible causes of her lack of ability we have:
- Physical malformations
- Improperly treated physical injury
- Lack of proper training
- Lack of magical power
- Psychological blocks

We lack solid evidence for some of these but what we do know is:
- Her wings do not appear to be proportional to her body
- Wing size is not inherently indicative of flying ability
- Pegasi fly through a combination of wings and magic
- Wing injuries or losing magical power can prevent flight in pegasi
- Pegasi can learn to fly similar to an infant's ability to learn to walk
- She can beat her wings at an unprecedented speed
- She lacks parental support
- Scootaloo is capable of creating lift but not sustained flight

Armed with this information we can infer that, if Scootaloo is capable of flight, the most likely culprits are poor technique and/or self-imposed psychological limitations.
We have not, in ten years, seen Dash train Scootaloo once. That said, since Scootaloo is now permanently living with Auntie Loftie, if she asked for training and got some therapy, she would then be able to fly.
Latecomer

@Brass Beau
I'm going to theorise a birth defect that leaves her naturally in the pegasus quivalent of Tempest's state. Sometimes these things self-correct as one grows up, so there was still hope as of Season 4 (or at least, doctors didn't want to tell an unmarked foal otherwise) but by Season 8, it's clear that she's not going to get any better without a magical miracle or as-yet-undeveloped surgery.
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