While helping Applejack harvest apples on her farm, Twilight Sparkle receives a letter through Spike from Princess Celestia regarding an annual ball in Canterlot known as the "Grand Galloping Gala". Moments later two tickets arrive from the Princess, one for Twilight and one for a guest of her choice. Spike seems disinterested in the event, commenting that it's too "girly frilly froo-froo" for his tastes. Applejack, on the other hand, expresses a keen interest in the second ticket, seeing it as an opportunity to raise enough money from her apple wares to fix up the Sweet Apple Acres farm and its supplies, even possibly give Granny Smith a replacement hip. Rainbow Dash, having overheard the conversation after waking from her nap, remembers that The Wonderbolts, a famous aerial acrobatic pegasus troupe and Dash's idols, will be performing at the Gala. Dash claims that she could show them her recent flying tricks and become part of their group, and insists that Twilight should give the ticket to her. Applejack and Dash hoof-wrestle for the extra ticket until Twilight says she will give the ticket to whomever has the best reason. Applejack argues she could support her family, while Rainbow Dash wants to live the dream. Unable to choose between the two, Twilight says she will think about it over lunch.
"Oh, the Grand Galloping Gala is the best place for me!
Oh, the Grand Galloping Gala is the best place for me!
'Cause it's the most galarrific superly-terrific gala ever in the whole galaxy!"
The cliched "Two Tickets" scenario is even more complicated with five friends thrown into the mix (instead of the usual two). As Twilight enters Ponyville, Pinkie Pie discovers the tickets and becomes excited about the Gala, calling it "the most amazing incredible tremendous super-fun wonderful terrifically humongous party in all of Equestria!" Rarity and Fluttershy soon learn about the tickets and also wish to attend. Rarity dreams of a Cinderella-style fantasy, ending with her marriage to Princess Celestia's "nephew." With some encouragement from her rabbit friend Angel, Fluttershy admits that she is not particularly interested in the party itself, but wants to visit the flower and wildlife-filled private gardens outside the castle. All five friends come together and an argument commences over who should get the spare ticket. Twilight breaks it up, reminding them that because she is the one who was given the tickets, it is her decision, and promises that she will figure it out. Hoping it will be easier to think when she isn't hungry, Twilight and Spike leave the other five to get food.
While Twilight agonizes over her decision, her friends begin doing favors for her, with varying degrees of subtlety, in an effort to make decide in their favor. Dash leaves a hole in a rain cloud to keep her dry. Rarity gives her a splendorous makeover. Applejack tempts her with desserts. Fluttershy and her animal friends clean her house (the idea came from her rabbit friend, Angel). Pinkie throws a party of her own for her. The starving unicorn refuses all their favors, insisting she make an unbiased decision. The situation becomes chaotic when Pinkie inadvertently informs the whole town about the extra ticket. Practically everypony starts trying to do favors for Twilight. She and Spike run off and a chase ensues. Finally cornered by the mob, she teleports both of them away. Twilight claims she didn't know they would teleport after the magical release left Spike slightly charred.
Back in her library, Twilight quickly discovers her friends already there and breaks down, telling them she doesn't want to disappoint anyone. The five ponies apologize after realizing how much stress they put on their friend for a couple of tickets and each declare one by one that they don't want the ticket anymore. Rainbow Dash, after every other pony forfeited their claim, celebrates winning the ticket by default, but, after a glare from the others, gives it up as well. Twilight, after relaying her report on how one's blessing can affect friendship, decides to return both the tickets, saying that she'd rather not go at all then leave out any of her friends. A swift reply letter from Celestia comes moments later, containing six tickets, saying Twilight should have just asked for more in the first place. All of the ponies are now happy to go together, even after they tried to fight over just one. After they all leave, an extra ticket is delivered to Spike, and he gleefully joins the ponies.