That Weird Shizz: Bronies

Earnest-Pettie by Earnest-Pettie on Jul. 14, 2013

That Weird Shizz is a recurring feature from the Bizarre and Amazing channel on Break.

"Watch that video. It's the best video I've seen in ages. Oh my God." Wednesday evening I saw this tweet from Twitter phenom Nick Robinson about a My Little Pony convention video float through my Twitter feed. He would spend the next 24 hours going crazy on Twitter and Facebook about the video. You can see why. This herd of Bronies is a ball of awkward that is amazing to watch bounce around this convention hall.

At this point, you may be asking yourself what a Brony is and how you can avoid becoming one. A brony is a male fan of the show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. That bit after the colon is important. These guys aren’t just weirdos who loves all things My Little Pony. They’re weirdos who loves this specific incarnation of the show, launched in 2010 on The Hub, a channel that is probably so high up your cable lineup you need a scientific calculator to enter all the digits required to get to it.

Yes, this. This is what all the fuss is about.

The reason this reboot of a cartoon series based on an 80’s toy franchise aimed at girls, airing on an obscure children’s cable channel, garnered so much attention was that it was being helmed by Lauren Faust, a lead animator on Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Animals. She had star power for nerds (A term I use respectfully), and when it comes to nerds, there is perhaps no larger haven than 4Chan, where the maladjusted go to troll and be trolled. It was deep within 4Chan that the Bronie movement was foaled. A small but dedicated group of guys on 4Chan went crazy for the show, began calling themselves Bronies, and poured MLP:FIM images into the message board.

The Brony movement jumped out of 4Chan into the wider web... or was chased out. This was due in part to a backlash against Brony posts on 4Chan. Bronies soon developed their own communities, creating websites, subreddits, and social networks. The community aspect is important-- many Bronies have suggested that being a part of this community has helped them deal with social inadequacies. I hear you: Really? Guys who like a girly kids cartoon are socially awkward? Unbelievably, yes.

Bronyism is essentially fandom. It’s just fandom of a really weird thing that seems counterintuitive. After all, most things that garner a hardcore male fanbase seem to boil down to two things: Boob. Really into computers? Well, they make it easy to get boobs. Anime? Robot boobs. Sci-Fi? Alien boobs. Comic books? Partially-obscured super boobs. My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic lack boobs altogether! Yet, these Bronies are pouring their hearts and souls into this cartoon, creating images, comics, fanfiction, video mashups, and even a convention. The video that sparked this post came from a My Little Pony convention, but Bronycon is the jam that all the Bronies are waiting for. Bronycon was created in 2012, and it quickly grew from a handful of attendees to thousands. The next Bronycon is August 2, in Baltimore, and it should easily see over 5000 attendees.

Do you dare check out this Brony cosplay?

As their numbers have grown, so has their legitimacy as a subculture. In 2011, the New York Times included Brony in a list of popular words, asking which words would still be around after 2011. Brony has fared much better than Kardash and #Winning.The New York Times did a feature in 2012 on an autistic couple, which included a girl who was a brony. In fact, the Times printed a correction the day after their article that brought the nerdy side of the net to its knees with glee. 

2013 is likely to be the Year Of The Brony. A documentary about the Brony subculture that was a Kickstarter success will air on Logo and be available online for free later this year. This year's convention highlights video is the kind of video that people won't forget. Hasbro is even releasing a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic feature film.

Is it weird? That is a question that doesn't even need to be answered. All subcultures need to be a little off in order to be of interest and to thrive. Bronyism, though, is really like any other fandom. It's just a bunch of people who are really into a thing and spend, probably, way too much time, energy, and money on it. If the thing you're into-- whether it's fantasy football, video games, or even fixing up old cars--makes you happy, who cares what anyone else thinks? And that's the beauty of Bronyism. It helps the people who probably need it most be able to say "Who cares what you think?" to the rest of the world.

If you've made it this far, I've got a question for you. What thing are you a fan of that is difficult to explain to other people? For me, it's professional wrestling.

-Earnest (Follow me on Twitter @earnestp)

Previously on That Weird Shizz: Die Antwoord

Chloe-Lambley-277 User

I am a young brony girl and I LOVE this show! I am a die-hard FAN! I love the show so much that whenever something changes in it, I find it rude not to like it! If I think I become a fan of another show, I re-assure myself that I can't possibly like it as much as My Little Pony! But because I live in Australia, we Aussie's don't get much pony love as far as theatre showings for Equestria Girls (the feature length film) and conventions go, but that's okay.

supergenius18 User

Three words:            Fucking White People.

Robbie-Williamson-822 User

Bronies are cool,it's people like most of these guys down here that don't understand the whole ordeal.Ok it was awkward at the beggining but soon after,i realised that it was a great show!Soon then i got atached to the memes and then i found out that there were a ton of bronies,and then i met people that were also bronies and there now my best friends.All i'm trying to say is''Don't judge a book by it's cover.''In all respect i was diagnosed with aspergers Autism and i was finding it tough at the time,but when i found my little pony:friendship is magic my life got better and better.(Don't judge something you've never watched/experienced before.)

thomlind User

I have to say they picked the absolute worse videos and pictures to show in this article. Fiesta Equestria wasn't a particularly large con and it was decisively an embarrassing affair as you can see above. Also, to the bdsm rainbow dash cosplay, really? The community is a few million strong and I have not seen any of this outside the photo though there is undoubtedly some (but few) who use the fandom in this, erm..."capacity". However, some of these comments are just despicable no matter what the fandom "is"; killing people and calling them pedophiles off of nothing is the way we got the goddamn witch burnings and it's disturbing to see this type of thinking being so accepted.

Daniel-Wood-463 User

Man the public is SLOW compared to the Internet. This has been going on for nearly 3 years and people are only just hearing about this? Slowpoke haters...

Alaka-i-Souza-466 User

Let the phobic responses to the unknown begin. The human condition of violence towards the unknown or foreign is going along quite smoothly.

Or in other words, people having a massive case of butthurt over "people liking things I don't like".

Um_ok User

Even though the purge was a terrible movie, if it ever happens...and I hope it does, these people have made the list.

jbart321 User

I never knew this was a real thing.  I thought it was made up. 

PizzaDeliveryMan User



That was surprisingly well researched and neutral.  As someone who's life literally revolves around pony, I salute you. 

MadMax740 User

After listening to this article I have realized that we need to deal with this disease quickly and efficiently as possible. My suggestion: bullet to the head from point blank range. Side effects may or may not include death depending on the caliber and exact location where the medicine was injected into the patient. 


What the fuck is an 'imaginary animal'?

Sedge-Noob-dad-168 User

No, you don't compare the male obsession with a little girl's content as a 'subculture'.  This is grotesque and more than likely a subvert for pedophilia.  These people aren't to be treated as just weird, but as social outcasts who shouldn't be allowed near children.

They do realize that it was a joke, started on 4chan, that the creators are laughing at them about now, right?  They must have missed the memo and obsessed over these ponies to try to fit in.  Social outcasts is all they are.

kyokun240sx User

Fu@king freaks, they all need to be burned in Greek fire!

immblueversion User

@supergenius18 That's one way to put it. Now here's another way (it's not THE way, but it's A way for many of these people):

"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" is Great. With a capital "G".

Earnest-Pettie moderator User

Do you mean it just helped you be more social, or did it help with other things too?

Earnest-Pettie moderator User

@thomlind I wanted to use the video as a jumping off point for talking about Bronyism. I think I tried to be pretty fair in the article, but this is also a comedy website, so of course I'm going to include funny pictures and videos. 

SilentPooper User

@thomlind These people need to get their life straight. You're not kids anymore. You're fucking adults. So start acting like one

Sekai777 User

@Um_ok @Um_ok And I'm sure people that are willing to make death threats on the internet against groups whom they know nothing about, without even bothering to do any actual research on the subject--you know, the kinds of people responsible for most of the wars throughout history--would have nothing to fear from said purge.  Oops.

eldystar User

@MadMax740 fire is usually the acceptable answer to all these whaco pinko commies.

thomlind User

@Sedge-Noob-dad-168  I have around 3000 original songs from this community on my hard drive none of which are about molesting children or cartoon characters for that matter. It most a definitely a usually g rated subculture that isn't interested in tying up animals in their basement. Please do research or think about what you are stating before posting you look very immature when you don't. 

Derek-Leal-532 User

@Sedge-Noob-dad-168 I like how this article doesn't even mention that it is a well put together show and is very reminiscent from cartoons from the late 80s and 90's where humor was witty and not some dumbass sponge being obnoxious for 30 minutes. I also like how you are just going straight to the extreme calling the group pedophiles when A) you haven't meet these people in person and B) you have zero clue as to what the fandom is really about. 

immblueversion User

@kyokun240sx Yeah, what grown adult man would think it's mature to hate something that's not even important to them?

Daniel-Wood-463 User

@kyokun240sx LOL I can't believe how many people still haven't heard of us and it's 3 years later. We had to deal with your kind 2 years ago and they lost HARD. They've been effectively silenced. You're late to the war, cause it's already been won.


@Earnest-Pettie Its a show that we like because its good and we can see past the "girly" nature. I can tell you this and most bronies can tell you the same: I was very hatful towards the show until I saw an episode.

thomlind User

@Earnest-Pettie @thomlind Oh I had no problem with your article in and of itself it's just the "I want to kill you" comments bellow seem to have the impression that everyone is a fat man who wants a relationship with a cartoon horse and that is what I am trying to address. No fault to you, this article was fairer than most to say the least.

Lfm-Man-698 User

@SilentPooper @thomlind Nah, that sounds way too "BORRRRING"!(Pinkie Pie reference, youtube it!) If you want to live like an adult, then go ahead. But the Bronies can, and will, do anything they want that makes them happy. Brohoof, y'all! /)

Ben-Bradley-39 User

@SilentPooperI suppose having served in the Army, a successful career, owning my home and taking care of my parents so they aren't out in the street isn't adult, mature and manly?  My life is straight and I am a brony, what accomplishments and virtues can you bring to the table other than hatred and vitriolic bile?

thomlind User

@SilentPooper @thomlind are you talking about the people dealing death threats or the bronies because if it's the later than I think you should really look up the definition of maturity. The people who like the show probably would never have thought they would of before it aired (I know I didn't). The community is mostly animation fans who enjoy the writing and characters in the show with a focus on comedy. I mean adults liking something that was made for a younger audience is absolutely nothing new even you have a profile picture depicting the batman cartoon so I don't know where the "grow up" aspect is coming from.

Kristian-Bj-rkan-353 User

@kyokun240sx @Cole-Williams-180 @Sedge-Noob-dad-168  

"Some" members of every group are dangerous nuts. There is nothing to suggest that bronies have any more than humanity at large.

What the creators of the show set out to do was to make a show that was actually good in spite of being "for little girls". What the bronies realized is that they can watch and enjoy shows that simply are good even if they're not in the target demographic. And what various commenters on this page are doing, is bitterly complaining that the world isn't as judgemental and hateful as they would like it to be. If this is the other choice, I'll stick with the bronies thanks.