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The Cutie Pox

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The Cutie Pox
Picture of the pony with cutie pox S02E06
Season №: 2
Season episode №: 6
Overall episode №: 32
Original airdate: November 12, 2011
Written by: Amy Keating Rogers
Storyboard: Tom Sales & Dave Weibe[1]
See also
animation errorsstatisticsspeculation
Episode guide
Sisterhooves Social
May the Best Pet Win!
The Cutie Pox is the sixth episode of the second season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the thirty-second episode overall. The episode centers around the titular illness that afflicts Apple Bloom, which causes many cutie marks to appear all over her body, which makes her constantly utilize the skills they symbolize. The term pox is used to describe a variety diseases characterized by pockmarks, and in the archaic sense it may refer to disease in general.


The library scene was at the animation rough cut stage on August 2, 2011.[2][3]


The bowling alley

File:Apple Bloom bowling.png
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 kicks 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. At the bowling alley, four of the male ponies look similar to characters from the film The Big Lebowski, which features the theme of bowling.

Going to Zecora's

Zecora and Apple Bloom S2E06

"I bet you could mix up a brew to fix...anything."

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 despondent. 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.
"It is one we call 'Heart's Desire'. A dash will ignite the rooster's fire. With Heart's Desire, his talent comes into view, and he'll give a mighty cock-a-doodle-doo! "

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

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon surprised S02E06

Even Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are surprised.

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, including changing Twilight Sparkle's mane to match Rarity's, 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, as well as saying Big Mac's nickname for the first time. Apple Bloom heads up to bed to rest up after such a big day. A version of the painting American Gothic, with ponies for people, hangs on the wall at the Apple family's house.

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

File:Four Cutie Marks.png
The next morning, Applejack takes 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 after going through different other diseases, including "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 marks disappeared as 'mysteriously as they arrived'. As in other episodes, Spike lounges on Twilight's back during this monolog 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.
"Oh no! Sacrebleu ! Plus de marques de cutie! [gasps] Qu'est-ce c'est?! Je parle français?! (Oh no! Darn it! More cutie marks! [gasps] What's this?! I speak French?!)"
Apple Bloom

In town

File:S2E06 Apple Bloom lifting barbell.png
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 almost perfectly on time, she is surprised to find everyone in full evacuation mode, thinking she had managed to overcome the town's fear of her. Then Applejack reveals the nature of Apple Bloom's curse to her, asking Zecora if her "zebra sense [was] tinglin'," a reference to Spiderman's catch phrase and one of his abilities "My spider sense is tingling". 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 disease. The statue Apple Bloom constructs is Venus Anadyomene, a common theme in art in antiquity and the renaissance.

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 in her absence. 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 she was for everything and learning from every mistake she made, Zecora accepts her apology, along with her friends and the rest of the town residents.

Letter to Celestia

Apple Bloom then 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.

Apple Bloom's cutie pox

Heart's Desire

Heart's Desire Zecora S2E06

Heart's Desire

The Heart's Desire plant is introduced by Zecora as a cure for a rooster who "lost his crow". She says that "with Heart's Desire, his talent comes into view". Apple Bloom takes interest in the plant, and encourages Zecora to leave while she eyes the bowl with the plant's petals.

Cutie pox

File:Cutie Pox.png
When Apple Bloom develops a third cutie mark and discovers that she's unable to stop performing the various talents the marks signify, she's taken to Twilight Sparkle's library. After consulting her books, Twilight diagnoses the ailment as cutie pox. "This puzzling pony plague afflicted a population of ponies back in the Paleopony period. Random cutie marks appeared all over the ponies' bodies, causing them to be forced perform, without stopping, 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." Twilight suggests that Zecora might have a cure.

Seeds of Truth

Seeds of Truth plant S2E06

The flower that grows from the Seeds of Truth.

The Seeds of Truth are the cure to the cutie pox. Zecora stops by Ponyville and witnesses all the ponies running scared from Apple Bloom's condition. She offers a cure for the cutie pox: "A cutie pox cure I have forsooth, for healing power is in the Seeds of Truth. These seeds must be planted in the ground, with the truth they'll grow and the cure is found." Apple Bloom eventually confesses that her cutie marks are all fake, and that she figured the Heart's Desire would help her get what she wanted most, so she "mixed up a special potion and put the rest of the Heart's Desire in it"; following her confession, the Seeds of Truth grow into a white-and-pink flower which Apple Bloom promptly consumes, and all of her cutie marks disappear.

Cutie pox afflictions

Throughout the episode, various cutie marks and talents afflict Apple Bloom. The following list of cutie marks and talents is sorted by time of appearance.

  • Silver hoop – Hula hooping and hoop related tricks
  • Sticks and plates – Performing plate spinning tricks.
  • Red tap shoe – Tap Dancing
  • Fleur-de-lis – Ability to speak French
  • Mallet and chisel – Sculpting
  • Cap and chimney brush – Chimney sweeping
  • Accordion – Playing the accordion
  • Whip and lion – Lion taming
  • Chess pieces (a rook and two pawns) – Playing chess
  • Crossed swords – Fencing
  • White long pole – Tightrope walking
  • Red glider – Hang-gliding
  • Drafting compass – Math
  • 1000-lb barbell – Weightlifting
  • A pair of sponges – Window-washing
  • Tornado – Whirling around

One of the cutie marks Apple Bloom receives is a red shoe which causes her to dance uncontrollably, like the main character in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Red Shoes.

The equations Apple Bloom draws under the affliction of the Math cutie mark are difficult to identify without context, but the first two sections state the equivilence between integration of continuous functions and the sigma operation upon discrete functions - a concept important in digital signal processing. The meaning of the remaining three equations has yet to be determined, and they may be simply random math-symbols to fill the board.


Apple Bloom: Why, after today, we won't even be the Cutie Mark Crusaders anymore! We'll be the... the Three Strikes!
Scootaloo: That makes us sound like we've struck out.
Apple Bloom: Mmm. How 'bout the Pin Twins?
Sweetie Belle: But there are three of us.
Apple Bloom: Okay then... Um... the Bowling Dolls!
Sweetie Belle: The Bowling Dolls! That's it!
Scootaloo: Perfect!
Sweetie Belle: I know just what you need to put the bloom back on your apple.
Applejack: Yee haw, little sis! Congratulations on gettin' not just one, but two cutie marks! We're mighty proud of you, right Big Macintosh?
Big Macintosh: Eeyup.
Applejack: I've never seen anythin' like it, have you Big Mac?
Big Macintosh: Nnnope.
Twilight Sparkle: Cutie pox. This puzzling pony plague afflicted a pony population back in the paleopony period!
Spike: Say that ten times fast!
Apple Bloom: Sacrebleu! Plus de marque de cutie! [gasps] Qu'est-ce que c'est?! Je parle français?! (French for "Darn it! Another cutie mark! [gasps] What is this?! I'm speaking French?!")
Applejack: My sister's speaking in fancy!
Lily: She's cursed!
Rose: Hexed!
Daisy: Enchanted!
Spike: No, she's not.
Daisy, Lily and Rose: [sigh of relief]
Spike: She just has some weird mysterious disease with no known cure called cutie pox.
Everyone: Cutie pox?! [screaming]
Pinkie Pie: Yesterday I told Mrs. Cake that I ate two corncakes, but I really ate three! [pause] Okay six! I ate six corncakes! [pause] Make it stop! Oh, make it stop!
Apple Bloom: Yup! All good things come to those who wait. [pause] Well! I've waited long enough.
Scootaloo: Actually, that was way too long.


CMC Bowling 1 S2E6

The Cutie Pox image gallery


  1. Raven Molisee's deviantART journal (2012-02-23). Retrieved on 2012 February 23.
  2. Jayson Thiessen's Twitter account (2011-08-02). Retrieved on 2012 July 4.
  3. Jayson Thiessen's Twitter account (2011-08-02). Retrieved on 2012 July 4.


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