On their way to the Grand Festival, a meeting with Johanna in Neighborly Town reveals that she is to teach a beginning Pokémon class to some young students. When she's asked to judge the Neighborly Town Pokémon Contest (taking place at the same time as her class), our heroes offer to substitute for Johanna. Once they're in charge of the students, their attention is drawn to a boy named Thomas. He loves to pull practical jokes—and Piplup seems to be the chosen target of those jokes!
Each of our heroes chooses a different subject to teach. When it's Dawn's turn to explain the workings of a Pokémon Contest, she decides to formulate a brand-new combination on the spot. Unfortunately, "Ice Chandelier" fails to work, and Dawn is dismayed but determined to work on it. And, thanks to good advice from Thomas, she figures out how to make the combo succeed!
Meanwhile, at the Neighborly Town Contest where Johanna is judging, Jessilina (Jessie in disguise) wins her fourth Ribbon and earns Johanna's admiration.
Our heroes discover that Thomas likes Piplup a lot, but is too shy to know how to express it. Dawn's encouragement lifts Thomas's spirits, and the gang leaves the Pokémon class with the children happy and excited. Johanna is grateful for our heroes' assistance. They head back to the road toward the Grand Festival, with the exciting prospect of watching Dawn pull off the brand-new combination in the competition!