%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%
%% SEEN IT BEFORE?: If it happens in different episodes to the same character, you could put the trope in that character's description on the Characters page.
%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutie-pox_9008.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:I guess there really is such a thing as having too much talent.]]

->'''Applejack:''' Yee haw, little sis! Congratulations on gettin' not just one, but two cutie marks! We're mighty proud of you, right Big [=McIntosh=]?\\
'''Big [=McIntosh=]:''' Eeyup!\\
'''Applejack:''' I've never seen anythin' like it, have you Big Mac?\\
'''Big [=McIntosh=]:''' Nope!

-> Written by Amy Keating Rogers

One bright sunny day, Apple Bloom and the Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to try their hooves at bowling! They fail miserably (as usual), but what's this? As Apple Bloom makes her throw, someone yells "Cool! A bowling cutie mark!" Apple Bloom, excited, looks at her flank... which is still bare, as the cheers were for a young colt who happened to get a strike in the next lane and get his cutie mark. To add insult to injury, her own ball finally completes its meandering journey to the pins, [[EpicFail only to bump against one without even budging it.]]

Despondent over her latest failure and resistant to her friends' efforts to cheer her up, Apple Bloom wanders into the Everfree Forest, where she stumbles down a hill and chips her tooth. Fortunately, Zecora invites her to her hut, and quickly mixes a potion to fix the tooth. When Apple Bloom wonders if there's a brew to give her a cutie mark, Zecora explicitly states that no such thing exists, then uses a flower named "Heart's Desire" to make a potion for a crow-less rooster. After Zecora steps out to get some amethyst, Apple Bloom eyes the flower and thinks there ''might'' be a way to get her cutie mark after all...

At school the next day, Apple Bloom shows up proudly sporting her new cutie mark! It turns out she's ''really'' good at playing with hula hoops, performing so well that Cheerilee cancels the day's curriculum so everypony can learn from her while the fillies cheer Applebloom on. Then in the middle of a trick, she gets ''another'' cutie mark -- in plate-spinning! As she crashes in surprise, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon proclaim her to be a fraud. To everypony's astonishment (including her own), Apple Bloom is immediately proficient, effortlessly hula hooping and spinning plates simultaneously. Soon the entire class ends up in Ponyville, where Apple Bloom mesmerizes everypony with her acrobatics.

Later that night at Sweet Apple Acres, Applejack, Big [=McIntosh=] and Granny Smith are congratulating Apple Bloom for her unprecedented dual cutie mark achievements. An exhausted Apple Bloom heads off to bed, but she can't sleep; she's gotten a third cutie mark -- tap-dancing shoes -- and ''she can't stop performing her skills!''

Desperate for a cure, Applejack takes Apple Bloom to see Twilight Sparkle for help. Twilight soon discovers that Apple Bloom has caught [[TitleDrop the Cutie Pox]], a [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal puzzling plague that perplexed ponies back in the paleo-pony period]], where ponies earned multiple cutie marks and were compelled to act out every one of their talents. When Apple Bloom starts to speak in French, they resolve to find Zecora to ask for a cure, but are held back as Apple Bloom develops even more cutie marks and is immediately driven to perform each one. The citizens of Ponyville start to panic…

->'''Lily:''' She's cursed!\\
'''Rose:''' Hexed!\\
'''Daisy:''' Enchanted!\\
'''Spike:''' [[DontBeRidiculous No, she's not.]]\\
'''Daisy, Lily and Rose:''' ''*whew!*''\\
'''Spike:''' [[NiceJobBreakingItHero She just has some weird, mysterious disease with no known cure called Cutie Pox.]]
->'''Everypony:''' ''CUTIE POX?!''

Everypony immediately barricades themselves indoors. Just then, Zecora arrives; Twilight briefs her on Apple Bloom's condition, and Zecora mentions she came by because she was tracking down some ingredients that disappeared from her hut. Fortunately, Zecora happens to have a cure for Apple Bloom -- the Seeds of Truth, a flower that will flourish once the truth is told.

Apple Bloom resists at first, but eventually confesses that her marks appeared because she used Zecora's ingredients to make a cutie mark potion. The seeds suddenly sprout into a beautiful blossom; Apple Bloom hungrily devours it, whereupon her cutie marks immediately disappear. Ashamed, Apple Bloom apologizes to everypony for getting carried away with her quest for a cutie mark. All is forgiven, with the promise that Apple Bloom will learn from her mistakes. She then dictates a letter to Princess Celestia about her lesson learned -- that there are no shortcuts in life, that honesty is always the best policy, and all good things come to those who wait.

Not five seconds after saying that, the Cutie Mark Crusaders announce that [[ComicallyMissingThePoint they've waited long enough, then happily run off into the distance to do some more crusading]]. Maybe Zecora can help them get their marks in potion-making!
----
!!Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found [[YMMV/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E6TheCutiePox here]]):

* AbsenteeActor: Fluttershy, and while Rainbow Dash makes a cameo she doesn't speak. And while Andrea Libman's other character Pinkie Pie speaks, it's with the voice of Shannon Chan-Kent, who does Pinkie's singing.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Twilight's book on the Cutie Pox goes to great efforts on this.
* AdultFear: Applejack having to watch helplessly as her baby sister is tormented by an illness for which there is no known cure.
* AesopAmnesia: Not for the aesop sent to Princess Celestia (that being dishonest and cheating to get what you want won't work out), but the one immediately ''after'', that all good things come to those who wait -- it's brought up and forgotten within a matter of ''seconds''. Then again, this particular aesop is a consistent problem for the Crusaders. In this case it's a clever inversion because it reinforces the lesson about not taking a dishonest shortcut and gaining a cutie mark the right way.
* AmericanGothicCouple: Seen on the wall in the Apple family's house.
* ArtEvolution: The animators seem to be making more of an effort to diversify the body types in background ponies. This is most apparent in the bowling alley scene. We have the Mr. and Mrs. Cake body clones, but an entirely new body type is seen on a tall, blue-haired unicorn (seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqxMT24V0IE#t=01m30s here]]).
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Apple Bloom ''really'' wanted a cutie mark... she definitely wasn't expecting to come down with a magical disease that causes her to ''break out'' in cutie marks.
* BilingualBonus: During the brief period where Apple Bloom is speaking French.
* BrandX: Apple Bloom's hooping is called "loop-de-hoops", ostensibly to avoid a possible trademark infringement with hula hoop. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Apple Bloom.
-->"It's a loop-de-hoop! At least that's what I always called it."
* CallBack: You know something is bad when the third cutie mark shows up, [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E18TheShowStoppers because it's already been established that Apple Bloom can't dance.]]
* CheerfulChild: Sweetie Belle doesn't mind that she only got gutterballs; she had fun! Ironically enough, a complete round of gutterballs still gives Sweetie a better score than either of her friends' [[EpicFail efforts]].
* ChewOutFakeOut: From Cheerilee:
-->'''Cheerilee:''' ''[sternly]'' Apple Bloom! I want you to take your loop-de-hoop into the yard!\\
'''Apple Bloom:''' ''[hangs her head dejectedly]''\\
'''Cheerilee:''' ''[breaks into a smile]'' and give us ALL a lesson in your amazing loop-de-hooping!\\
''[Apple Bloom beams happily]''
* ChirpingCrickets: Or, in this case, a tumbleweed after Spike scares the rest of the Ponyville residents into hiding -- followed by a lonely hawk's screech.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint
** A few seconds after Apple Bloom admits that good things come to those who wait, the Cutie Mark Crusaders announce that they've waited long enough, and head out on yet ''another'' effort to earn their marks.
** On the other hoof, at the start of the episode, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle seem to have learned ''some'' sort of lesson at this point; they both are more interested in how fun bowling was, rather than their lack of results. Meanwhile, Apple Bloom is still stuck in her "But I want it now!" phase.
* ContinuityNod:
** Zecora alludes to the events of [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E9BridleGossip "Bridle Gossip"]] when everypony appears to have fled in terror from her.
** Some of Apple Bloom's new skills are activities that the Crusaders have discussed attempting in previous episodes, such as chimney cleaning and lion taming.
** Apple Bloom's rant about Cutie Marks is followed by an anguished cry of "but ah wan' it nooow!" which is a reference to "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E12CallOfTheCutie Call Of The Cutie]]". Also, one of her new talents caused by the Cutie Pox is hang-gliding.
** In the French dub, Apple Bloom suggests that if they all are good at bowling, they call themselves "Les Trois Boules" instead of "The Three Strikes". Scootaloo shoots the idea down saying it makes them sound like "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E17StareMaster des poulets [chickens]]]". Also, three strikes in a row in bowling is called a "turkey" - yet another flightless bird Scootaloo doesn't want to be associated with.
* ContrivedCoincidence
** There just happens to be a block of marble to be chiseled, a chimney that needs sweeping, windows that need washing, a chess game that needs playing, lions that need taming, a pony in full fencing gear to duel against, [[RunningGag a barbell that needs lifting]], and [[OverlyLongGag a black board that needs]] [[EEqualsMCHammer random equations written on it]] when said cutie marks appear on Apple Bloom. ([[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers Fortunately]] Pinkie Pie appears to have [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E10SwarmOfTheCentury kept her accordion around]].)
** When her Plate Spinning cutie mark appears, Snips and Snails just happen to have plates and sticks.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Applejack when Zecora comes into Ponyville...
-->'''Twilight:''' We were just on our way to see if you had a cure!\\
'''Applejack:''' But, magically, you're here! Was your "zebra sense" a-tinglin'?
** ... then subverted by Zecora, stating that she came to Ponyville to find a flower that had gone missing[[note]]implying that she knew Apple Bloom stole the Heart's Desire, but she never says that directly given the way she speaks. It ''is'' stated that Heart's Desire grows in Ponyville, but her other behavior still implies it.[[/note]].
* CrackOhMyBack: Granny Smith gets stuck after trying to stand on one rear leg; Big [=McIntosh=] unblocks her.
* CrazyPrepared: Apparently, (adorable) Hazmat suits are standard issue in Ponyville houses.
* DeadpanSnarker: Zecora, appearing in town just after the rest of the ponies have shuttered themselves inside:
-->'''Zecora:''' I thought I had removed their fear\\
The last time that I visited here.\\
But doors are barred and shutters shut\\
Guess I should have stayed inside my hut.
* EEqualsMCHammer: One of Apple Bloom's cutie marks makes her write random, unrelated[[note]][[GeniusBonus though structurally correct]][[/note]] equations on a blackboard.
* EngineeredPublicConfession
** Everypony's looking at you, Apple Bloom.
** The episode also provides, in the same scene, an AccidentalPublicConfession: When no pony was looking, Pinkie Pie ate six corncakes. That's as many as two threes AndThatsTerrible.[[note]]Given the way that Pinkie was acting after she confessed to eating six corncakes, it seems that this was also a lie. Pinkie Pie, who is known for her [[BigEater voracious appetite]], ''really'' doesn't want to say how many she had eaten.[[/note]]
* EpicFail
** Apple Bloom threw (or spat) her ball with very bad form, releasing it on an upward trajectory and causing it to bounce down the lane. Somehow, it went perfectly straight and touched the front pin, and yet lost so much velocity that the pin didn't even ''budge''.
** Which is still better than Scootaloo's performance; her ball didn't even stay in the right ''lane'', caused destruction, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking landed in the gutter]]. She suspects she might be banned from the place from now on.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Though delightful at first for Apple Bloom as it drives her hula-hooping and plate-spinning tricks, it becomes very much [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] by the time she gets the "tornado" cutie mark; the last one she gets before taking the cure.
* ExpressiveAccessory: When Apple Bloom is sulking, her hair bow droops down. This effect also extends to the hat Rarity offers to cheer her up.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: Pinkie Pie lied about how many corn cakes she ate. Twice. At least.
* FleurDeLis: A mark that forces Apple Bloom to speak French.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar
** Literally -- Twilight's book mentions "the trots", which is a euphemism for diarrhea.
** Zecora seems to be making Viagra for birds.
%% When Apple Bloom starts speaking French, she says "Sacrebleu," which roughly translates to "Good Heavens." Stop trying to add this example.
* [[GodivaHair Godiva Mane]]: On Apple Bloom's statue of Venus, although [[BarbieDollAnatomy what she's supposed to be covering]] is unclear.
* GratuitousFrench
** Happens when Apple Bloom gets a FleurDeLis Cutie Mark.
-->'''Applejack:''' My sister's speakin' in ''fancy!''
** In the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=260ykbp7NKc French dub]], Apple Bloom still speaks in French -- from about three centuries ago.
* GoodWithNumbers: Apple Bloom derives the relationship between integration and summation on her own.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The 'Hearts Desire' was supposed to give Apple Bloom ''one'' cutie mark, not half a dozen.
* HammerSpace: Apple Bloom was able to get items associated with her cutie marks off screen, like a hammer and chisel, an accordion, a whip and chair and lions.
* HazmatSuit: Some of the ponies are wearing this when they hear of the Cutie Pox. The suits even come with radiation symbols on the suit, roughly where the pony's cutie mark would be.
* HeliCritter: Apple Bloom temporarily becomes one by spinning a hoop with her tail fast enough to lift herself off the ground.
* InstantExpert: The Cutie Pox gives you incredible skill at whatever talent equates to the Cutie Marks that appear... but you ''can't stop doing it''.
* InvoluntaryDance: What the red shoe mark forces Apple Bloom to perform.
* {{Irony}}
** Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon pooh-poohing Apple Bloom's hoop-related cutie mark as useless calls into question exactly what ''their'' cutie marks are supposed to be good for.
** Applejack , the Element of Honesty, couldn't make the Seeds of Truth bloom. Zecora implies that it has to be a confession, and Applejack had no lie to confess.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Diamond Tiara probably only calls Apple Bloom out on her cutie marks being fake in order to take her down a peg, since she hates anypony taking the spotlight away from her. Still, she's 100% right, and Cheerilee shares her skepticism.
* LoopholeAbuse[=/=]ExactWords: Applebloom said she'd wait, never said how long.
* [[PersonaNonGrata Mannula Non Grata]]: Scootaloo says that Mr. Kingpin will probably never let her back in the bowling alley again. She seems oddly cheerful about it.
* MindScrew: When Applebloom is demonstrating her hoop talent, one of the school background fillies appears to be Derpy Hooves, down to her wings, hair color and style, and her crossed eyes of gold. Your guess is as good as ours.
* MisplacedWildlife: Something of a regular occurrence for CMC episodes -- there was a squid in "The Show Stoppers", and here it's lions.
* NiceHat: Rarity offers Apple Bloom one in an attempt to cheer her up. It doesn't work.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Of all the ponies Spike had to elaborate about Cutie Pox to, it had to be the [[LovableCoward Flower Trio]].
* NotHelpingYourCase: After Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle try to cheer Apple Bloom up.
-->'''Scootaloo:''' Come on, Apple Bloom, it's just a cutie mark!\\
'''Sweetie Belle:''' Or ''lack'' of a cutie mark!\\
'''Scootaloo:''' Shh! That's not helping!
* OffscreenTeleportation: How Zecora leaves at the end of the episode.
* ParentalBonus: The bowling alley scene features a few background ponies who [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed look an awful lot like]] the main characters ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and Jesus]]) from ''Film/TheBigLebowski''. Behold, [[http://s249.photobucket.com/user/Bondfreak13/media/my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic-brony-the-big-lepony.jpg.html Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman]] and [[http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/198894-my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic John Turturro]] as ponies. And [[FridgeHorror shudder]] when you remember [[AdultFear Jesús Quintana's character]].
* PassThePopcorn: Spike is munching popcorn when Apple Bloom's condition gets worse in the middle of the town.
* PowerIncontinence: Thanks to the Cutie Pox, Apple Bloom gets an infinite number of Cutie Marks and talents. The problem is, she can't control or stop using them, no matter how much she wants to.
* PowerpuffGirlHands: Though normally [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in the series by WordOfGod, special mention goes to its avoidance in the bowling alley scene. None of the balls (outside of {{Imagine Spot}}s) have finger-holes, and through the CMC, we're shown at least three ways ponies can bowl (butting with head, bucking the ball, and using one's mouth).
* PrehensileTail
** Apple Bloom is able to lift and hold a barbell using her tail.
** Zecora's tail is also nimble \\
able to extract seeds from her bindle.
* PressurePoint: Big [=McIntosh=] knows just the right one to treat Granny Smith's [[StealthPun charley horse]].
* PunBasedTitle: "Cutie Pox" to ''chicken pox''.
* RhymesOnADime: Zecora appears in this episode in top form, as usual. In fact, she makes an on-the-fly rhyme for a situation that she couldn't possibly have known about beforehand.
-->'''Zecora:''' What has happened to you, youth?\\
''[Apple Bloom reveals her chipped tooth]''\\
'''Zecora:''' Ah, you've gone and chipped your tooth!
* RuleOfThree
** Zecora has cures for bad teeth, bad bones and bad breath.
-->'''Apple Bloom:''' And not only stuff that fixes the bad, but stuff that brings the good! Good health, good hair, ''good heavens!''
** Invoked by Sweetie Belle in the ColdOpen of the episode, when Apple Bloom suggests "The Pin Twins" as the Crusaders' new name.
-->'''Sweetie Belle:''' But there are ''three'' of us.
** Three attempts to help Apple Bloom: Applejack herself, then Twilight, then Zecora.
* SeparatedByACommonLanguage: Twilight lists off a bunch of various punny diseases, trying to find what Apple Bloom is suffering from. One of the diseases she mentions is "the trots," which is British slang for diarrhea.
* SerialEscalation: Apple Bloom stacks feat upon feat as new cutie marks appear, starting with loop-de-hooping and spinning plates and moving on to incorporate sculpting and lifting a barbell [[PrehensileTail with her tail]].
* ShipTease: When Apple Bloom is teaching her classmates how to use a hula hoop, she tosses one to Snips. He blushes.
* ShoutOut
** See Parental Bonus above.
** The bit where Apple Bloom's bowling ball comes to a stop, resting against the 1-pin, is a reference to ''Film/UncleBuck''.
** Her throwing of the ball is a reference to ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'', complete with tip-toes sound effect.
** Apple Bloom's "Soon you'll be able to" list (while demonstrating her loop-de-hooping) is reminiscent of the old Skip-It commercials.
** The symptoms of the Cutie Pox are reminiscent of the Creator/HansChristianAndersen tale "The Red Shoes", and a red shoe is the cutie mark that goes with uncontrollable (tap) dancing.
** When Apple Bloom gains her sculpting skill, the resulting work is [[http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/198836-my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic#.Tr8UZXI0jTo a ponified version of Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus".]]
** A painting inside Applejack's house shows an AmericanGothicCouple.
** Applejack asks Zecora if her [[Franchise/{{Spider-Man}} "zebra sense [was] a-tinglin'."]]
** When Apple Bloom gained a tornado Cutie Mark, she started spinning like the [[WesternAnimation.LooneyTunes Tasmanian Devil]].
** The bowling alley outside sign and some parts of its indoor decor sports a design aesthetic that mimics the [[http://www.spaceagecity.com/googie/ Googie/Populuxe]] modern architecture style of the mid 20th century. Even at least two of the background ponies have cutie marks based on common icons of this style.
** The whole episode plays out like an episode of ''Series/{{House}}'', Zecora even gets as close to House's jerkness as is possible in the show.
** Apple Bloom's opponent in chess looks a lot like the old man in the Pixar short "Geri's Game".
** It's very subtle, but the scene when Apple Bloom is discovered tap dancing has her dancing to Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher".
* ShownTheirWork: It's easy to miss, but every step of Twilight's buck when she dumps Spike is exactly how a real horse would dump it's rider, including her pinned ears and leading with her front legs first to put the "snap" into the whole motion. Even for a simple two-second gag, the animators took the time to get it right.
* SingleTargetSexuality: Anypony who even ''reminds'' Spike of Rarity earns his enamor, as demonstrated when Twilight's hair is momentarily styled like Rarity's thanks to Apple Bloom's loop-de-hoop skills.
* StealthHiBye: Zecora pulls this off with Twilight once Apple Bloom confesses to stealing her herbs, and has been given the cure for Cutie Pox.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Apple Bloom is back to being a "blank flank" at the end of the episode and she never learned the value of patience.
* SuperStrongChild: One Cutie Mark makes Apple Bloom into one, as she's able to lift a barbell[[note]]The barbell only has "1000" written on it; the units were never specified.[[/note]] with her tail while doing push-ups!
* TheToothHurts: Apple Bloom accidentally chips a tooth. Never a pleasant experience. Good thing that dentistry potions exist.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: Apple Bloom probably should've known what's the Hearts Desire flower and how it works before making it into a brew to drink for herself.
* ViewersAreGeniuses[=/=]GeniusBonus: The average American child is unlikely to know what the relation is between a FleurDeLis cutie mark and French.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: Apple Bloom learns this lesson at the end... [[ZigZaggingTrope only to suggest what to do next on how to earn her Cutie Mark]].
* YankTheDogsChain: Apple Bloom's attempts at bowling is met with applause when she gets a strike with another pony saying that she got a bowling cutie mark... except that was actually directed towards the pony who got a strike in the lane next to her. Apple Bloom's ball doesn't knock down a single pin. Considering how devastated she must have felt, it's no wonder Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle couldn't cheer her up. This whole episode is a life-threatening chain-yank for Apple Bloom.
----