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Greetings, Tantabus. I am ready. Do your worst.
~ Princess Luna to Tantabus

The Tantabus is the main antagonist of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?". It is a dark and parasitic magical force that turns dreams into nightmares.


The Tantabus was a manifestation of darkness created by Princess Luna to punish herself for the things she did as Nightmare Moon. It resided in her dreams and gave her nightmares, such as her turning her into Nightmare Moon. But then in one such nightmare, the Mane 6 arrived and attempted to turn her back with Rainbow Power. Having gained enough power from Luna's nightmares, and learned of the existence of the Mane 6, the now self-aware Tantabus escaped into the dreams of the Mane 6, giving them nightmares.

The Mane 6 contacted Luna, who entered their dreams as they went back to sleep to find and defeat the Tantabus. One by one, Luna chased it through the dreams of the Mane 6: In Rarity's dream, it turned her dresses into monsters; in Pinkie Pie's dream, it turned cakes into monsters; in Fluttershy's dream, it turned Angel into a monster; in Applejack's dream, it turned all the apples to the state they are in after being sucked by Vampire Fruit Bats; in Rainbow Dash's dream, it turned her favorite dream of her fighting Changelings into a nightmare of "unbearably cute" flowers singing a song similar to Barney; and in Twilight's dream, it turned books into monsters that attacked her.

Luna was unsuccessful in catching the Tantabus, and having seen all the ponies of Ponyville in Pinkie's dream, the Tantabus was able to spread its influence to them. If it became powerful enough, it would be able to enter the real world and turn Equestria into a world of nightmares. Luna used her magic to make it so that the Mane 6 and all of Ponyville were in the same dream, so when the Tantabus arrived, they fought it off, able to do anything within the dream, however, they were unable to defeat it.

When Luna said the entire thing was because of her, the Tantabus got even bigger. She revealed to the Mane 6 that she created the Tantabus and the reason for which it was done. By this time the Tantabus had taken the form of a giant Nightmare Moon and was on its way through the portal; however, when Twilight convinced Luna to forgive herself and move on from the past, the Tantabus was absorbed back into Luna, vanishing for good.


  • The Tantabus is the second villain to be created by a major villain (the first being the Plunderseeds who were created by Discord).
  • Tantibus (alternate spelling for Tantabus) is Latin for the word 'nightmare'.
  • Its appearance and color shape is reminiscient of an ancient and noble creature of oriental tales Daidarabotchi (ダイダラボッチ, literally "Giant").
  • According to "Big Jim" Miller, the Tantabus was based on the Japanese Baku.


           My Little Pony G4 logo.png Villains

My Little Pony 'n Friends
Ahgg | Beezen | Catrina | Dragon Gang | Erebus | Flories | Grogar | Hydia | King Charlatan | Lavan | Princess Porcina | Queen Bumble | Raptorians | Reeka & Draggle | Somnambula | Squirk | Tirac

Friendship is Magic
Apple Bloom's Shadow | Ahuizotl | Arimaspi | Bugbear | Changelings | Chimera | Cockatrice | Daybreaker | Dr. Caballeron | Diamond Dogs | Diamond Tiara | Discord | Dragons (Dragon Lord Torch, Garble & Sludge) | Flim Flam Brothers | Gladmane | Grogar | Hydra | King Sombra | Legion of Doom (Queen Chrysalis, Tirek & Cozy Glow) | Mane-iac | Maulwurf | Mean Six | Nightmare Moon | Parasprites | Pony of Shadows | Puckwudgies | Roc | Sable Spirit | Shadowbolts | Silver Spoon | Snips and Snails | Sphinx | Starlight Glimmer | Storm King | Svengallop | Tantabus | Tatzlwurm | Tempest Shadow | Timberwolves | Trixie Lulamoon | Vampire Fruit Bats | Windigos | Wind Rider

Equestria Girls
Dazzlings (Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze & Sonata Dusk) | Juniper Montage | PostCrush (Kiwi Lollipop & Supernova Zap) | Principal Cinch | Snips and Snails | Sunset Shimmer | Trixie Lulamoon | Vignette Valencia | Wallflower Blush

Accord | Bad Apple | Blonn Di and Shining Light | Changelings | Chupacabra | Cosmos | Cozy Glow | Daybreaker | Dazzlings (Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze & Sonata Dusk) | Diamond Tiara | Discord | Flim Flam Brothers | Grogar | King Diomedes | King Sombra | Knights of Harmony | Mane-iac | Nightmare Forces | Nightmare Moon | Nightmare Rarity | Pony of Shadows | Princess Celestia | Pseudocorns | Queen Chrysalis | Rabia | Rough Diamond | Sendak | Shadowbolts | Shadowfall | Shadowfright | Silver Spoon | Smooze | Snips and Snails | Starlight Glimmer | Storm King's army (Storm King, Tempest Shadow, Grubber & Storm Creatures) | Sunset Shimmer | Swift Foot | Terri Belle | Tirek | Trixie Lulamoon | Vampiric Jackalope

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986): Hydia | Reeka & Draggle | Smooze | Ahgg
My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): Storm King's army (Storm King, Tempest Shadow, Grubber & Storm Creatures)
My Little Pony: A New Generation: Sprout Cloverleaf