|The Cutie Pox|
|Season 2, Episode 6|
|Air date||November 12th, 2011|
|Written by||Amy Keating Rogers|
May the Best Pet Win!
The Bowling Alley
The episode opens with the Cutie Mark Crusaders hoping that they will obtain their cutie marks at a bowling alley. They brainstorm names for their trio after they obtain their cutie marks since "Cutie Mark Crusaders" would be obsolete, and they settle on "The Bowling Dolls" after rejecting "The Three Strikes" (it makes them sound like they struck out) and "The Pin Twins" (since there are three of them).
Sweetie Belle bowls first using her nose, but her ball rolls into the gutter. Then Scootaloo bucks her ball, ricocheting it around the alley and knocking other player's balls around before finally rolling down a gutter. Apple Bloom tentatively grasps her ball with her mouth and spits it out. When the crowd goes wild and shouts, "A bowling cutie mark!", she eagerly examines her flank, but they were talking about a colt who apparently just got his cutie mark. Apple Bloom's ball did not have enough speed to knock over even one pin.
Going To Zecora's
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle exclaim about the fun they had bowling, whereas Apple Bloom dejectedly walks alongside them. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle try to cheer her up with a cupcake from Sugarcube Corner, a party with Pinkie Pie, and a new hat from Rarity, but none of these work and Apple Bloom remains despondent. She walks away from her friends and into the forest, where she trips on a tree root, falls over a cliff, and chips a tooth. Zecora finds her and brings her to her hut to give her a potion for her tooth. Apple Bloom expresses her frustration about her cutie mark, and Zecora tells her that she simply needs to wait for the right time for it to appear.
Apple Bloom takes Zecora's tooth-fixing potion and her tooth mends itself. She then looks around Zecora's ingredients, looking for a possible brew to bring about a cutie mark. When Zecora begins to make a potion to help a rooster fix his morning call, Apple Bloom notices a flower called 'Heart's Desire' which will supposedly help the rooster crow again. Zecora goes out to find amethysts for her potion, and Apple Bloom sets her sights on the flower in the bowl.
In the schoolyard, Apple Bloom exuberantly shows off her new cutie mark, a silver hoop. She demonstrates her skill at loopty-hooping and various other tricks, much to the annoyance of Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara. Cheerilee sees Apple Bloom's prowess with the hoop and asks her to give the class a demonstration and help them play with hoops.
While performing an advanced hoop trick, Apple Bloom suddenly sprouts another cutie mark under the first one - an image of plates rotating on top of poles. Diamond Tiara suggests the cutie marks are fake, but Apple Bloom denies it. Snips and Snails throw her two plates and two poles. Apple Bloom balances the poles on her nose and spins the plates on top while twirling a hoop around her tail. The class is astounded and cheers for her as they make their way down the streets of Ponyville. In the streets, she nimbly performs tricks such as using a well-thrown hoop to style Twilight Sparkle's mane in the manner of Rarity's.
The Apple Family's House
That night, Applejack takes a tired Apple Bloom home and Granny Smith and Big Macintosh congratulate her. Applejack tells her how proud they are of her getting not one but two cutie marks, as well as saying Big Mac's nickname for the first time. Apple Bloom heads to bed up after a long day.
Late at night, Applejack is rolling around in bed trying to keep herself from hearing something that sounds like hooves tapping. She gets out of bed to investigate and discovers that the sound is coming from Apple Bloom's room. Upon opening the door, she sees Apple Bloom tapping frantically and she notices yet another cutie mark on her sister, this time of a tapping shoe. Apple Bloom, unable to stop herself from exercising her "talents" all at once, asks her for help while Applejack looks horrified.
At the library
The next morning, Applejack takes Apple Bloom to Twilight Sparkle's house to search for a cure. Luckily, Twilight had recently read a relevant book, which Spike easily retrieves: Perplexing Pony Plagues. After flipping through chapters concerning diseases like hay fever and "the trots," which is slang for diarrhea, she reveals that Apple Bloom has "Cutie Pox," a "puzzling pony plague" that afflicted a population of ponies back in the Paleopony period. Random cutie marks appeared all over the ponies' bodies, causing them to perform all the talents that came with them. The cause of the breakout was never discovered, and the cutie pox disappeared as "mysteriously as they arrived." As in other episodes, Spike lounges on Twilight's back during this monologue providing snark and commentary; this time, however, he gets bucked off. Just after that, Apple Bloom sprouts yet another cutie mark in the form of a fleur-de-lis and can now speak in French, which Applejack calls "speakin' fancy." The three ponies decide it would be best to seek out Zecora for help. Cutie Pox begins to progress more quickly as each new mark requires Apple Bloom to perform strange and arduous talents, mostly at the same time.
Spike points out the nature of the plague to the townsponies; they panic and lock themselves into their houses. When Zecora comes into town, she almost thinks for a second that the town was still afraid of her. Then Applejack reveals Apple Bloom's curse to her, asking Zecora if her "zebra sense [was] tinglin'". Zecora says that around the time Apple Bloom was alone in her hut, some of her ingredients "mysteriously" went missing, especially the rest of a certain special flower. Fortunately, Zecora has the cure for the cutie pox - the Seeds of Truth, which bloom when the truth is told. The resulting flower can be eaten to end the disease. The statue Apple Bloom constructs is Venus Anadyomene, a common theme in art in antiquity.
Pinkie Pie attempts to confess to eating corncakes - first three, then six, before desperately begging to "make it stop." Finally, Apple Bloom, speaking English again, admits to her misdeed. She admits her cutie marks are all fake and that she stole the ingredients - most importantly the Heart's Desire - from Zecora. Just as promised, the seeds of truth bloom into a flower which is quickly eaten by Apple Bloom, ending the pox.
Apple Bloom apologizes to everyone for the entire ordeal (including lying) - especially to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo for getting too carried away with her cutie mark quest, and to Zecora for taking her ingredients without permission. Realizing how sorry Apple Bloom was for everything and how she learned from her mistakes, Zecora and Apple Bloom's friends accept her apology.
Letter to Celestia
Apple Bloom writes a letter to Princess Celestia about learning a new lesson. Honesty is the key: there are no shortcuts to getting something you desire the most, including a cutie mark, and that good things come to those who are patient and wait for it.
However, immediately after Spike sends the letter, the Cutie Mark Crusaders decide they've waited long enough and escape into the distance, eager to again try and get their cutie marks.