My story is somewhat similar: one of my friends had been hearing about pony-related memes and sending me links about people making fun of bronies for about a year. Then I received an SMS on my phone late in the evening telling me he decided to watch the first episode just for the heck of it and see what all the meme hype about S3 was about. A few hours later, at something like 2AM, I received another message telling me: "Winter wrap-up, winter wrap-up." That's when I decided to have a look.
Almost everyone seems to start from disbelief that the show might actually be any good.