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Rarity’s picture originates from a scene on episode 23 from the series, The Cutie Mark Chronicles, in which a group of young fillies, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, ask their sisters and their friends how they earned their cutie marks, a symbol that magically appears on a pony’s flank when they discover their true talent.
The scene tells Rarity’s tale of how she earned hers. While working on dresses for a school play, her horn spontaneously begins flashing, and drags her to an unknown destination. She initially gets excited that she is about to finally find her destiny (after all, horns don’t do this sort of stuff for no reason). After the first few miles however, she gets scared and tries to stop. Seeing that resistance is useless, she eventually surrenders and lets the horn keep dragging her. It takes SO LONG to get to the destination, and at one point she makes a bored expression. The scene was screencapped and turned into the template below.
The first Instance of pictures in this style can be found in a Reddit thread titled “Rarity’s horn has really gotten her lost now”, created by supermatt314 within the MYLITTLEPONY sub forum on August 24th 2011. The thread contained 5 pieces of art with Rarity Photoshopped in. The Reddit thread also inspired YouTube user MeuhCoin to upload a YouTube video titled “RARITYQUEST” in the style of the BRODYQUEST video by NeilCicierega.
The meme did not gain any notoriety until it made its way to Ponibooru.The first series of pictures of this style were uploaded to Ponibooru on August 25, 2011 by loopul. The picture was labeled with the tag “rariquest”, which was a pun to reference her situation in the “The Cutie Mark Chronicles” episode, as if she traveled through all of those places before finding her destiny.
Subsequently, many other users began uploading their own Rariquest pictures, and currently Ponibooru hosts almost 200 pictures with the tag “rariquest”.
Loopul’s pictures were also posted to Reddit and Equestria Daily, and gained notoriety in the Brony community. A tumblr page called “Rarity Being Dragged To Her Destiny” was set up on August 27th, 2011, which displays Rariquest pictures as well as drawings of filly Rarity answering users’ questions in the same manner as other “Ask X” pony tumblr pages.
On November 12, Rariquest made into 4 chan’s /co/, making it gain popularity again