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In Over Your Head · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
An Epic Rhyme Battle of Equestria
It was a Thursday. For Zecora, that meant it was market day. The townsponies were now accustomed to seeing her, but perhaps none more so than Ponyville’s resident party planner. This particular Thursday, however, Pinkie Pie hadn’t been standing at the edge of town waiting for Zecora like she normally did, so Zecora decided to see if Pinkie was at Sugarcube Corner. She opened the door and—

“Surprise!” Pinkie shouted. Zecora looked past the pink mare to see a Pinkie Pie party thrown in her honor. “Zecora, you didn’t think I’d forget about your birthday? If nopony threw you a party, then that’d be, like the worst day!” Zecora entered, but didn’t get far before Pinkie shouted, “Hey! I rhymed, didn’t I? Just like you, Zecora!”

Zecora froze, then whirled around and turned towards Pinkie.
“Pinkie, I don’t think you know what you’ve done!
An epic rhyme battle you have just begun!”

Pinkie smirked back at Zecora, then nodded at Vinyl Scratch. With a flick of her horn, Vinyl switched out the records and put on her headphones. Pinkie struck a pose and began rapping.
“If it’s a battle you want, then c’mon, Z, let’s go!
You can rhyme all you want, but I’ll still beat you, though!”

“I have been rhyming ever since I was just a little filly!
If you think that you can beat me, well Pinkie, that’s silly!”

“I’ve got focus so strong, I’ll outfocus you all!
Spent a whole day once staring straight at a wall!
And there’s nothing more boring than watching paint dry;
So I’ll outrhyme you, and that isn’t a lie!”

“Focused? Focused?! Focused, you say?
Yourself and ‘focused’ are like night and day!
Pinkie, you are as scatterbrained as they come!
When you’re not making clones, on your banjo you strum
While playing the tuba and the trumpet and more.
And sometimes in a candy-copter you soar!”

“While it’s true that I’m random, that can’t mean I’m not rapt!
But you, on the other hoof, aren’t as adept.
The only thing that you know better than rhyme
Is letting potion-making take up all your time!
You stay in the woods far away from us all,
If you’d come to my parties, maybe you’d have a ball!”

“Your Ex Machina antics are off of the wall.
What’s worse is your Pinkie Sense. That one beats all!
And though in the kitchen you really can bake,
For me, winning this is a piece of cake!”

“Forget it, Zecora, ‘cuz I’ve already won!
Stick a fork in you! Do you know why? You’re done!
Any day of the week, any week of the month,
Pinkie Pie can rhyme, but you are just—um—uh—”

It was in this moment that Pinkie realized nothing rhymes with “month.” With a record scratch, the music stopped. All eyes turned to Pinkie Pie as great drops of sweat chased each other down her face. Zecora was the one smiling now.

“Why, thank you, dear Pinkie, for breaking that curse!
Though I am now better, I fear you are…”

Zecora paused and leaned in for effect, “far worse off than I am now!”

Pinkie was shocked. Zecora said something that didn’t rhyme!

“Now hold on, Zecora, those lines didn’t rhyme!
I thought that you had to rhyme all of the—”

Pinkie gasped. She was rhyming involuntarily. Hadn't Zecora said something about a curse? Was she doomed to rhyme forever? “—time,” Pinkie squeaked.

After being delayed by her royal duties and arriving late to the party, Twilight greeted the guest of honor. “Happy birthday, Zecora. How are you?” Twilight asked.

“Why hello, Twilight! I’m doing great. How are you doing?”

“I’m glad to hear that. I’m doing just fine.” A small frown crossed Twilight's face. “I hope I didn’t cut you off. You didn’t rhyme ‘doing’ with anything.”

Zecora chuckled. “Oh, don’t worry about it, Twilight. The curse has been broken by our friend Pinkie Pie. I don’t have to rhyme anymore!”

“The curse?” A second later, Twilight felt something grab her leg. She looked down to see a distraught Pinkie Pie.

“Oh, Twilight, please help me; I’ve done it this time!
Now everything that I say is in rhyme!”
« Prev   13   Next »
#1 · 4
· · >>007Ben
I will write this review in rhyme, butts
very cute! charming! surprising twist! butts
maybe have a touch more action from the DJ, butts
to break up the verses of the rhyme battle? butts

the only place where it kinda fell flat, butts
is in the last section, it's starting to repeat, butts
you just used that exact same rhyme, butts
and Zecora already told us this info, butts

i'd ramp up the ending section so it can hint, butts
at something even more ridiculous to come, butts
i'm so hardcore, I rhymed butts with butts
i rhymed butts 12 times, no ifs, ands, or buts
#2 ·
· · >>007Ben
Interesting idea, Zecora's rhyming being a curse. Kind of fun, if silly. Some of the rhymes feel forced, though. Also, 'rapt' does not rhyme with 'adept.'
#3 ·
· · >>007Ben
I don't think the second section adds anything.

Zecora doesn't seem like the type of pony who would be happy foisting off a curse onto somepony else, especially not the very pony who was throwing her a birthday party.

I admit the rhymes bored me and I ended up skipping to the end of the story.
#4 ·
· · >>007Ben
Interesting concept, and one that shone brighter than the execution. I can deal with the occasional part where the rhyming became forced—that happens in the show often enough—but the parts where the rhythmic structure was off were jarring. The reveal actually made me smile, but it was a little overdone/explained for my personal tastes. And it perhaps needed a smidge of something to offset all the sparring going on in the middle.

Thanks for sharing your work with the community.
#5 ·
· · >>007Ben
Zecora and Pinkie Pie going at a rap battle seems like a fitting enough pair. I thought the rhymes were alright, and it kept my attention throughout. I can't say much more than that.
#6 ·
· · >>007Ben
*Starts Beat-boxing* Bah-bum, Tsst! Bah bum-bum Tsst!

Pleasant surprise of the story. I particularly enjoyed it. In fact, I read it aloud while beat-boxing- which made it all the more enjoyable. You could imagine what the others around me were thinking...

However, I came across several problems while reading it aloud. Several of the other editors have already pointed out that some words didn't rhyme with each other. Also, the rhyming scheme lost flavor as the story went by. Some lines were a mouthful, missing their mark, while others were too short. It messed with the flow, making me scramble to recover my beat-boxing.

For instance, (I'm exaggerating) but some sentences felt like this
"Pinkie's stuck with a rhyme,
Mrs. Cake is trotting in the kitchen to fetch some thyme"

...and I'm over-analyzing again.

TLDR; Welp, Good job writer, clever story. Sentence Scheme could use a bit of polish though.
#7 · 6
· · >>Monokeras >>Icenrose
A showdown ’twixt zebra and party mare seems
Like something right out of my widest dreams,
But your execution I cannot commend
For why would Zecora like cursing her friend?
The poetry battle itself is quite odd
For quite a few stanzas are praiseworthy nods
That go in the other combatant’s direction.
Such lines should be acid, not cheery confection!
And then there’s the meter. I must be insistent:
The syllable count always should be consistent.
If not through the piece, then at least in paired lines
(As per my own poetic efforts this time.)
In these competitions, it’s always a risk
To write up a poem and save it to disk.
In this case your efforts did not cut the mustard.
Don’t worry, you won’t get a spoon for your custard.

Fomey Shave

(And with that, I'm through. Didn't even realize this was my finale for this round.)
#8 ·
'grats FoME!
Great as usual! :)
#9 · 4
· · >>007Ben
There's nothing to say here that hasn't already been said, except for one question that won't leave my head: if the rhyming is a curse, why didn't Zecora tell anyone ages ago? Was she just hoping someone like Pinkie would make that mistake?


I did not mean to rhyme when I wrote that first li— shutting up.
#10 ·
· · >>georg
Not qualified to comment on English poetry, so I just abstain on this one.
#11 · 5
· · >>Monokeras
If none of us commented on things we're not qualified to comment on, this would be a much quieter place, and we would all be the worse for it.
#12 · 1
Well I understand your point Georg, but while I could comment on French poetry, English poetry is still way beyond my skill. I don't even know what exactly the rules are in terms of metric and/or verses. Suffice I mispronounce a word and I could make a pointless comment.

So on poetry, really I prefer stay silent and let qualified experts such as Horizon or you speak up.
#13 ·
· · >>007Ben
This story reminded me of how much I need to write a certain story.

That aside, this was mildly amusing at the end, but I have to admit that most rap battles don’t really do much for me, and this was no exception. Beyond some of the more questionable rhymes (rapt and adept don’t actually rhyme; rapt and adapt would, but adept has the wrong vowel sound).
#14 ·
· · >>007Ben
Most of the legit criticism has already been made, so I'm just going to point out that
Zecora paused and leaned in for effect, “far worse off than I am now!”

needs to be a lot more succinct. It just be a very deliberate not-rhyme, rather than a number of words tacked on the end. The only thing that I can squish in there is "in trouble.", but you could probably rephrase the entire thing into something stronger.

It would be way more effective to just stop at the scene break, too.
#15 ·
· · >>007Ben
Epic Rhyme Battle of Equestria — B+ — As much as I want to praise the author for taking up the difficult task of a poetic writeoff (and I know how hard that is), the rhyming is fairly forced and frequently totally jarring. The ‘suspension of disbelief’ you draw around yourself while reading never even showed up.
#16 ·
· · >>007Ben
This was one of the better comedic fics I've read for this contest. I think one of the main reasons is that the twist of the rhyming actually being a curse is simultaneously funny and terrifying. As I said earlier, I always like stories like this that have that kind of dark comedy to it. The rhymes themselves were pretty decent, sort of halfway between being forced and flowing naturally (appropriate, given that one of the rhymers has to do it and the other is a novice). If anything, I'd say that the reason Zecora and Pinkie start their rhyme-off needs to be stronger; as is, it just feels like Pinkie happened upon it by chance and that it was more of an excuse than an inciting incident. Other than that, a darkly funny fic.
#17 ·
· · >>007Ben
This does not have nearly enough likes. I can't formulate my opinions any more clearly than this, and it is way past my bedtime, so... ditto.
#18 · 5
Well, I won. I set a goal, and I achieved it. ERBoE landed me in the finals. Thank you all for reading and reviewing. I will be able to better respond to your reviews when I am at home instead of in the break room here at work.
#19 · 2
Got halfway through typing up my analysis when a massive storm came through and knocked our power out. -_-

No storm now, so here goes!

>>Haze >>spigo >>Ceffyl_Dwr >>Not_Worthy2 >>PinoyPony >>TitaniumDragon >>Exuno >>georg >>Icenrose

Epic Rhyme Battle of Equestria post-contest analysis:

The inspiration for this piece came from The Last Airbender's "Haiku Battle" scene in which Sokka and a haiku teacher go at each other's throats with viscous poetry. While Sokka loses by miscounting a line's syllables, Pinkie loses by not rhyming. It was a fun scene that was begging to be ponified, and what better characters for Sokka and the haiku teacher than Pinkie and Zecora? The other, more obvious inspiration came from Epic Rap Battles of History.

As before mentioned, this was the first writeoff that I placed in the finals (though only just barely, judging by the results). Perhaps not coincidentally, this was my first fic which didn't run into word limit problems.

That said, I feel that trying to make this a legitimate rap was my downfall. ERBoH can bend the rules of meter because they are literally reading their lines aloud. Need to split an eighth note into two sixteenth notes? Go for it. Want to join two eighth notes into a quarter note? Sure. However, this bending-the-rules format didn't translate into written medium as well as I'd hoped.

Two lines that I just can't excuse need to be addressed individually.

“While it’s true that I’m random, that can’t mean I’m not rapt!
But you, on the other hoof, aren’t as adept..."

So apparently the rhyming dictionary app on my phone also gives approximate rhymes. After trying numerous other lines that turned out even worse than this, I decided to leave it like this rather than rework a good chunk of the paragraph. Luckily, >>libertydude gave me an excuse that I think I'll have to stick with, at least for now. Pinkie is still a novice at improv rhyming.

Then, there's the big reveal that as a filly, Zecora was actually cursed to rhyme instead of speculating that her speech pattern is a cultural or personal thing. While met with mixed reactions, I must point out to >>Trick_Question (among others) that the "curse" isn't actually all that bad. Other than forcing its host to rhyme, there's no apparent side effects. Now, if Zecora moves into town and Pinkie moves out to the Everfree, yeah, that would sure be a curse.

And, yes, it's contagious, this curse I have spread.
There's something to ponder awake on your bed!

In conclusion, many of you said that this was a fun fic, and I'm glad. It's actually kind of fitting that my first comedy utilized Pinkie Pie, and managed to succeed in making at least half of you smile. If you enjoyed this, you will probably enjoy the scene from The Last Airbender which inspired this fic: https://youtu.be/K7-2_gUuWK4

Verict: Better than I thought it would do; encouragement for my future endeavors