The only episode for the scepter to have screentime was in the second part of Season 4's two part premiere "Princess Twilight Sparkle".
In the episode, Twilight is convinced by her friends to return to Ponyville during their venture through the corrupted Everfree Forest, much out of their fear that they "couldn't afford to lose another princess". Discord, whom made himself at home in the new chaos struck Ponyville, mocked Twilight for her premature return and asserted that the mindset for this decision was that she's "better than everyone else". He continued this mindless accusation by displaying Twilight in a royal caricature, including a cape and scepter, the latter of which would be popularized by the fandom later. Twilight is then provoked by Discord to return to the forest and return to her friends.
Following the airing of the episode, /mlp/ regular CapperGeneral created a thread to dump his screencaps of the premiere. This would be the earliest time that the amusing expression of the scepter's face would be acknowledged amongst episode watchers on /mlp/. However, no one had attempted to exploit it until when a thread was posted a few hours later, titled "Bow before your master", presenting the scepter with its proverbial smile in the OP's image. Provoked to exploit it, regulars began creating image macros of it while it was being vectored.When the vector was finished by one anon, regulars began opening Photoshop to copypaste the image in places out of context out of their amusement. The face proved to have potential as no matter how many exploitables they made, the thread only became more interesting. By the end of that night, the meme extended to three different threads, where animated gifs were posted, including one of a scene from American Psycho with Christian Bale swinging the scepter against a door, another being an allusion to the popular "walking hammers" scene from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", a third one Photoshopped over Gandalf's staff from "Lord of the Rings" and a myriad of others.
To other media outlets
Sometime that night, someone wrote a Know Your Meme article titled "Twilight Scepter" inserting nonsense/gibberish to the page. The article was instantly deadpooled, though the users on KYM later found out that while the article was meant to be a joke, the meme's rising popularity was entirely genuine. Later that week, it would be rewritten and submitted for review.
Much similar to the popularizing of most original content caught on /mlp/, the overwhelming majority of Twilicane posts were later reposted on Derpibooru. By two days after the first thread, the tag #twilight scepter was already at over 500 images. Threads later emerged on Reddit and twitter linking to these images, and artists from Derpibooru were inspired to draw fanart. Threads on Reddit's r/MyLittlePony had been met with over 500 karma. Additionally, on the same day, a model for the Source engine (e.g: TF2, Garry's Mod, SFM) was created.
Response from show staff
Within 24 hours, storyboard artist Sibsy acknowledged the rapid popularizing of the scepter meme and later admitted that she is the one whom storyboarded the scene.
|“||The entire internet right now is tentacles, white potions, and that scepter. You should be proud!||”|
–Cereal Velocity, EqD Admin
- ↑ http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Princess_Twilight_Sparkle_-_Part_2
- ↑ http://archive.heinessen.com/mlp/thread/S14684695
- ↑ http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/11/twilights-scepter-tumblr-and-garrys-mod.html
- ↑ https://twitter.com/TheRealSibsy/statuses/404698501298126848
- ↑ https://twitter.com/TheRealSibsy/statuses/40469