It's another day on the road for our heroes: Ash and Gligar practice, while Dawn and Buneary study the latest Poké Chic fashion trends. They're approached by a Chingling, one of three Chingling that belong to Francesca the Pokémon magician. She demonstrates her singing Chingling act, but the one bold Chingling always ruins the show by jumping on Francesca to get attention. Ash suggests that a Pokémon battle will help settle Chingling, who's never battled before. Francesca is willing to give it a try, but Chingling's trial battle with Turtwig is disrupted by Team Rocket.
Ash and his friends easily stop Team Rocket from stealing Francesca's Chingling, except the experience hasn't changed Francesca's troublesome Chingling at all. And when she runs through her act again, she notices there are four Chingling instead of three—the fourth one is a Team Rocket robot Chingling impersonator! The robot blows a wall of smoke that keeps everyone in the dark until Team Rocket swipes the real Chingling. James then steals one of the stolen Chingling for himself, hoping it will make a perfect Pokémon companion for him and his absent Chimecho.
Our heroes track down Jessie and Meowth and rescue two of Francesca's Chingling, but James is still hopefully trying to convince "his" Chingling to join Team Rocket. When Chingling refuses, James orders Mime Jr. to battle it. Francesca catches up with them just in time and orders Chingling to fight back; Chingling follows her commands and beats Team Rocket! What's more, Chingling seems to be more mature than it was before, so Francesca and her Chingling are in good spirits as they bid farewell to Ash and his friends.
While training with his Gligar, Ash asks it to turn. Unfortunately, Gligar makes a wrong turn, and when Ash points this out, Gligar is unable to recover and crashes. Meanwhile, Dawn is flicking through Poké Chic, a fashion magazine for Pokémon Stylists that features Pokémon in outfits. Dawn then pulls out a vest for Buneary that she had designed and Johanna had sewed; Buneary loves it. When she hesitantly asks for Pikachu's opinion, his positive response makes Buneary blush with happiness.
Suddenly, Buneary hears something, and the group spots a Chingling emerge from the bushes. Dawn scans Chingling on her Pokédex. The Chingling proceeds to hug Buneary, Pikachu, Ash, and Dawn. Gligar follows suit, and after Ash quickly recalls it. Francesca then comes looking for her Chingling. Brock is overcome by emotion, though Croagunk Poison Jabs him and drags him off. Francesca introduces herself as a Pokémon Magician, and does a magic act; she makes three Chingling appear from a tablecloth, as well as a Pidgey. She then tries to make a flower appear from her wand, but Chingling spoils it.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is watching and Jessie suggests stealing the "enchanted" tablecloth until James and Meowth say it was just a trick, much to Jessie's surprise. Meowth and James decide to steal Chingling, imagining its usefulness as a multipurpose alarm clock.
Francesca does not know what to do with her spoiled Chingling, so the group decides to get it to battle. Having never been in a battle before, Ash and Dawn decide to have an exhibition match to help Francesca and Chingling get the hang of things. Gligar avoids an oncoming Dizzy Punch with ease before striking Buneary with an X-Scissor. Buneary Bounces back, but becomes distracted when her vest is dirtied by Gligar's Sand-Attack. At this, Dawn decides to take the vest off for the battle. Dawn scores a direct hit with Ice Beam, causing Gligar to hit the ground in its frozen state. After Gligar retaliates with a Steel Wing, Brock stops Ash and Dawn because he thought Chingling had seen enough. When the battle starts, Francesca tells Chingling to use Astonish, but it doesn't attack. Turtwig then uses Razor Leaf and knocks out Chingling.
Francesca and the others rush over to the injured Pokémon, only to fall into a pitfall trap. Team Rocket then swoops in and takes Chingling. Ash tells Turtwig to cut the net with a Razor Leaf, which doesn't work. Dawn then has Buneary use Ice Beam to cut the ropes, while Happiny catches Chingling. At Brocks request, Buneary launches Happiny into the air, and Happiny uses Pound to knock Team Rocket away. Afterwards, Ash believes Chingling had matured, but it then starts hugging again, proving him wrong.
Francesca tries the Three Part Harmony again, but Chingling keeps hugging randomly. Team Rocket then tries using a "Tone Deaf Mecha Chingling", generating a smokescreen and stealing the three Chingling. Team put the stolen Chingling in a line. Though James becomes emotionally attached after remember his own Chimecho and takes one of Chingling, knowing that it evolves into Chimecho. Meanwhile, Staravia notices the Chingling and brings Ash and his friends over. Ash uses the "Tone Deaf Mecha" smokescreen on Jessie and Meowth and then has Chimchar attack them with Flame Wheel, which blasts them off. However, James is still with the spoiled Chingling, and he has Mime Jr. use Teeter Dance on it in attempt to recruit it to Team Rocket. Francesca arrive just in time and has Chingling counter with Hidden Power and send James off with Confusion, maturing itself in the process. This time Chingling asks for a hug, and Francesca is thrilled to see it has finally toned down its affections and rewards it with an embrace. With an upcoming magic show, Francesca thanks the group for their help and sends them off with a harmonic Chingling farewell.