The bowling alley The episode opens with the Cutie Mark Crusaders hoping that they will obtain their cutie marks at a bowling alley. They have a go at thinking of 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). Once inside the bowling alley, Sweetie Belle bowls first, but her ball rolls into the gutter. Then Scootaloo's turn is up, and she bucks her ball, ricocheting it around the alley, knocking other player's balls around, after which the ball ends up in the gutter at the other end of the bowling alley. Apple Bloom bowls her ball accurately, but after thinking that she gets a strike, it turns out that another player did, and her ball in fact 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 walks sadly alongside them, not saying anything. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle try to cheer her up with a cupcake from Sugarcube Corner, a party with Pinkie Pie, or a new hat from Rarity, but none of these work and Apple Bloom remains despondant. She walks away from her friends and into the Forest, where she trips on a tree root, falls over a cliff and lands awkwardly, chipping a tooth. Zecora finds her, and brings Apple Bloom to her hut to give her a potion for her tooth. Apple Bloom expresses her feelings about her cutie mark to Zecora, who tells her that she simply needs to wait for the right time for it to appear. Apple Bloom takes the tooth-fixing potion that Zecora mixes up for her, and her tooth mends itself. She then looks around Zecora's ingredients, looking for a possible brew to force her to get 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. The schoolyard In the schoolyard, Apple Bloom shows off her new cutie mark, a silver hoop. She demonstrates her skill at loopty-hooping and various other tricks with a silver hoop, much to the dislike of Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara. Cheerilee enters the schoolyard, and after seeing Apple Bloom showing her prowess with the hoop, asks her to give the class a demonstration and help them play with hoops. While performing a very advanced trick with her silver hoop, Apple Bloom suddenly sprouts another cutie mark just 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 the charge. At that time, Snips and Snails throw her two plates and two poles. Apple Bloom balances the poles on her nose and manages to keep the plates spinning, all the 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. The Apple family's house After performing a few tricks and astounding the whole of Ponyville, Applejack takes Apple Bloom home. When they get there, Granny Smith and Big Macintosh are there to congratulate her. Applejack tells her how proud they all are of her getting not one but two cutie marks. Apple Bloom heads up to bed to rest up after such a big day. Late at night, Applejack is shown rolling around in bed trying to keep herself from hearing something that sounds like hooves tapping. She gets out of bed eventually to investigate, realizing 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 looks to her and asks for help while Applejack looks horrified. At the library The next morning, Applejack take Apple Bloom to Twilight Sparkle's house to search for a cure. Luckily, Twilight had just read something about what was happening to her and reveals 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 marks 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. The three ponies decide it would be best to seek out Zecora for help. The 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. In town Spike points out the nature of the plague to the townsponies which causes them all to panic, running into their houses and locking their doors. When Zecora comes into town, she is surprised to find everypony in full evacuation mode, thinking she had managed to overcome the town's fear of her. When Applejack reveals the nature of Apple Bloom's curse to her, Zecora mentions that around the time Apple Bloom was alone in her hut, some of her ingredients went missing. 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 pox. Pinkie Pie attempts to confess to eating corncakes - first three, then six, before desperately begging to "make it stop". Finally, Apple Bloom, speaking normally 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 in her absence. Just as promised, the seeds of truth bloom into a flower which is quickly eaten by Apple Bloom, ending the pox. She apologizes to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo for getting too carried away with her cutie mark quest, and to Zecora for taking her ingredients without permission and receives forgiveness from all of them. Letter to Celestia Apple Bloom then writes a letter to Princess Celestia about learning a new lesson - there are no shortcuts to getting a cutie mark, and that good things come to those who are patient and wait for it. Immediately after Spike sends the letter, however, the Cutie Mark Crusaders decide they've waited long enough and escape into the distance, eager to try and get their cutie marks.