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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/steven-universe-key-art_7755.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[TagLine Believe in Steven]].[[note]]Counter-clockwise from top-right: [[{{Badass}} Garnet]], [[{{Tomboy}} Amethyst]], and [[ThePerfectionist Pearl]]--AND [[CheerfulChild STEVEN]]![[/note]]]]

->''"We... are the Crystal Gems, we'll always save the day,\\
and if you think we can't, we'll always find a way!\\
That's why the people of this world believe in\\
Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl - AND STEVEN!"''
-->--''Steven Universe'' [[ExpositoryThemeTune theme song]]

'''''Steven Universe''''' is a Creator/CartoonNetwork show from Rebecca Sugar, an ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' alum who also created ''ComicBook/PugDavis''. It is also the first Cartoon Network original created solely by a woman.

The show is about the adventures of a boy named Steven, the youngest of a team of magical guardians of humanity: the Crystal Gems. Steven may not be as powerful as the other Crystal Gems. Or as savvy. And he doesn't have much control over his powers, which originate from the gem in his bellybutton inherited from his late mother. But that doesn't stop him from joining Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl on their magical adventures and finding a way to save the day!

A comic book series began in August of 2014. With a short teaser story released in the ''ComicBook/AdventureTime 2013 Spooktacular''.

''Steven Universe'' had a ([[FakeCrossover noncanon]]) {{Crossover}} episode with ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa''.

A standalone mobile game, ''[[VideoGame/AttackTheLight Steven Universe: Attack The Light]]'' was released on April 2nd, 2015 for [=iOS=] and Android. It features a self-contained story written by Rebecca Sugar and turn-based RPG gameplay along the lines of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' and ''VideoGame/PaperMario''.

The show has an official CharacterBlog, ''Blog/KeepBeachCityWeird'', written from the perspective of supporting character Ronaldo. It has a new update most of the time when an event in a new episode catches Ronaldo's attention.

There is a [[Recap/StevenUniverse recap]] page, as well as a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/StevenUniverse Best Episode Crowner.]] A [[TheWikiRule wiki]] is [[http://steven-universe.wikia.com/wiki/StevenUniverse_Wiki here.]]

'''Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead (not all spoilers are unmarked, just some of them). Proceed at your own risk!'''

[[foldercontrol]]
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!!If every trope were perfect, we wouldn't have folders!

[[folder:A - D]]
* AbsenteeActor:
** Garnet and Amethyst do not appear in "Frybo" and "Historical Friction".
** Pearl and Garnet are absent in "Joking Victim" and "Onion Friend".
** Amethyst and Pearl are absent in "Garnet's Universe" and "Love Letters", though their voices are present in the former (as Hoppy and Hopper).
** None of the Gems appear in "Horror Club", nor "Open Book".
* {{Acrofatic}}: Steve knows how to hoof it when he needs to. His dexterity doesn't suffer much either. He even lampshades this after reassembling his Together Breakfast after it flies through the air by catching each piece one by one back on the plate.
-->'''Steven:''' SKILLS!
* ActionGirl:
** Every single Gem, although technically they're not really girls, but genderless female-looking beings.
** Sadie. She's the first human to take down a Gem monster, and she does it ''alone'' and armed with nothing but a pointy stick.
** Connie, who picks up the sword and trains with Pearl to become a knight.
* {{Adorkable}}: It'd be easier to list characters that don't have at least a moment like this. In particular, Steven, Connie, Greg, Pearl, and Peridot are the most obvious offenders.
* AdultsAreUseless: In "Island Adventure", after getting trapped on the island, Steven is sure that the Gems will come to find him. A week later there's no evidence the Gems even know he's missing.
* AdultFear:
** Of course, because this is a show targeted towards children, Steven doesn't get killed or even seriously injured, but the fact is that a good chunk of the series so far has a young optimistic boy get thrown into repeated life-threatening situations, some more jarringly dark than others, while the Crystal Gems try their best to keep him safe.
** On the flip side of the above, we have Steven's occasional self-esteem issues, worrying that he may never be able to hold his own in said life-threatening situations due to his lack of powers. "An Indirect Kiss" displays this when, after hoping to have [[HealingHands Healing Tears]] like his mother and finding out he doesn't, he relates the story to Connie as Pearl mocking him for his lack of powers and claiming that the gems want nothing to do with him.
--->'''Connie''': She didn't ''really'' say that.\\
'''Steven''': No, but that's what it felt like.
** In the turning point of "The Test," the Crystal Gems admit to each other that they don't really know what they're doing and are worried they can't raise Steven well without his mother.
--->'''Amethyst''': We're ''bad'' at this.\\
'''Garnet''': Steven is ''not'' just a Gem. There's never been anyone like him. We don't know ''what'' he needs.
** Greg having to let Steven go back and try to help the Crystal Gems in "The Return", knowing that he may never see him again (in addition to his more general reservations about Steven going on missions). In "Full Disclosure" Greg has a FreakOut bordering on a HollywoodHeartAttack when he hears about Steven's abduction.
** In "Joy Ride", not only does Steven reveal that he sometimes thinks that the Gems blame him for Rose's death, they ''attack him'' while he's in Peridot's pod, as they think he's her.
** In "Say Uncle", they are understandably worried when UG shows up, especially after he fires weapons at Steven, and even attack him because they believe he's a threat to Steven.
** In "Sworn to the Sword", Steven is legitimately afraid that Connie's going to get herself killed to protect him, and that Pearl's instilling an unhealthy mindset.
** "Cry For Help" and the ensuing arc explores the fears that somebody you love may deliberately betray your trust on a fundamental level; and by the token, the fear that you could accidentally hurt someone you love so badly that they may never forgive you.
* AerithAndBob:
** The Gems, of course, are named after gemstones and the humans have mostly normal names like Greg, Steven, or Connie. Except Onion's family are all named after ''food'' that aren't typically used as names, and Peedee's name is completely fictional.
** Steven is a one-man example of this: for someone with a middle name of Quartz and last name of Universe, one would expect an equally outlandish first name, but it's just...Steven.
* AffectionateGestureToTheHead: Garnet's default way of showing physical affection towards Steven (and the most practical way, given their height difference). This is demonstrated in the first opening, much to Steven's apparent annoyance. In the second opening, Amethyst and Pearl join in, and Steven (having matured somewhat) appears more appreciative of the gesture.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: The Crystal Gems have been on Earth for over a thousand years and have had time to master the language. [[spoiler:Homeworld Gems like Peridot, however, still speak English on their own planet.]]
* AllThereInTheManual:
** Initially, only the {{Tumblr}} CharacterBlog "Keep Beach City Weird" confirmed that the show is set in the [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/77096876346/someone-broke-teens-of-rage Delmarva Peninsula on the United States East Coast.]] This would indicate the show most likely takes place in the Delaware region, which makes sense given Rebecca Sugar herself based Beach City off of beach towns in that region, or possibly a fictional state named Delmarva--The creators would later state to the latter to be the case.
** There is now going to be an actual manual released in October 2015, written by the show's creator from Steven's perspective.
* AlternateHistory: The long-term presence of the Gems [[AlienSpaceBats has slightly altered Earth's history]] and geography.
** The Delmarva Peninsula isn't just a geographical location (it's on the east coast, being split between Delaware, Maryland and Virginia), but an actual state called "Delmarva" in this setting.
** In "Arcade Mania", a modified Department of Justice seal with a broken up snake on it can be seen, likely based on a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Join,_or_Die famous political cartoon]] by Benjamin Franklin. Money is printed with the same symbol on one side and a diamond on the other taking the place of the Eye of Providence. The snake symbol is also on the coins.
** In "So Many Birthdays", we're shown that the Gems have changed human history at least once when Steven finds a painting in Amethyst's room of the Gems rescuing [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brook_Watson Brook Watson]] from a shark attack.
** A high-altitude view of North America in "Jail Break" shows that ''something'' caused Florida to break off from the mainland.
** In "Story for Steven", Marty talks about taking Greg's tour to "Empire City" and Ronaldo's blog makes mention of going to a convention in "Charm City". In real life these are nicknames for New York City and Baltimore, respectively, but the way they're said implies those are the cities ''actual names'' in-show, or at least used much more commonly.
** Judging from some comments in "Love Letters", the American entertainment industry in this world isn't based in California, it's based in ''Kansas''--if he meant the state or city is unclear.
** According to "Keystone Motel", Pennsylvania, the "Keystone State", is literally called Keystone and nicknamed "The Great State".
** Judging from the play about Beach City's founding in "Historical Friction", the European colonization of the Americas happened hundreds of years later than it did in our world. And judging from comments made by the Crystal Gems' fusion about how dangerous the land was for humans, it's left ambiguous whether it was inhabited at ''all'' before then.
** According to "Friend Ship", there is a significant gap between North and South America, and two huge islands off the coast of where Brazil should be (given that one of said islands is shaped like Madagascar, it's possible that South America and Africa never split).
** Other details have been confirmed by WordOfGod, or declared a possibility by ShrugOfGod-- among these, it's likely that [[https://mobile.twitter.com/mcburnett/status/637119719703576576 World War II never occurred]] in this version of history.
* AmazonBrigade: The Crystal Gems. Even Pearl, the lankiest of them, can kick a boulder apart with ease.
* AmIJustAToyToYou: This was a question Greg felt the need to ask Rose early on in their relationship, as seen in "We Need To Talk". Up until that point, even though they were both very smitten with each other, he'd been getting the impression that she didn't really see him as an equal. As it turns out, due to differences in their respective cultures, species, and planet of origin, [[NobleBigot she actually didn't]]. It's strongly implied that their relationship following this conversation is what finally changed her views.
* AmusingInjuries: Sometimes. Since a Gem's body is just a construct of light for them to interact in the world with, most injuries can be fixed easily with varying amounts of time. Zigzagged when [[spoiler:Amethyst's Gem is cracked as her body starts doing a ton of crazy things.]] Steven and Amethyst think it's funny and treat it like a sort of game, but Pearl and Garnet treat it as seriously as it really is. However, more often than not, injuries will be treated seriously, especially for Steven since he's a child and can't regenerate.
* AnAesop: Not always present, since this show is more directed at the actual plot, but they can be found in a few.
** "Love Letters": You shouldn't blindly pursue a relationship with someone you don't know.
** "Keystone Motel": It's important in a relationship to view issues from the other person's point of view, and to consider how it affects other people.
** "Friend Ship": Chasing after a goal single-mindedly isn't always the best way to go. Also, everyone has doubts on the inside, even if they don't always show it.
** A recurring motif, appearing in almost every episode featuring fusion is, "consent is really, ''really'' important".
** A few episodes get some humour out of immediately subverting it, the ultimate example being "Steven the Sword Fighter" where Steven hasn't even finished delivering the moral before he reverses it:
--->'''Steven:''' You know, I might miss Pearl a whole lot, but you know, sometimes you just have to accept things for how they are before you-- ''(Pearl regenerates)'' Never mind! Pearl's back!
** Identity is a very strong theme in the series, with every one of the Crystal Gems having some form of issue with identity:
*** Steven is both the child of and effectively the ''reincarnation'' of Rose Quartz. Since Pearl was ''in love'' with Rose, and all of the Crystal Gems idolized her and looked to her for leadership and emotional support, this causes problems for young Steven. It doesn't help that the Gems aren't familiar with human procreation, or even the ''concept'' of "children"; on more than one occasion, Pearl has even accidentally ''referred to Steven by his mother's name,'' and Jasper can't even grasp that there ''is'' a difference. Worse still, due to [[BizarreAlienBiology the unique nature of Gem biology]], by any normal Gem standard, ''she's not wrong''.
*** Amethyst, having been [[spoiler:the product of a horrific project with the goal of birthing more gems by ''killing all life on Earth'', and which was the entire ''reason'' for Rose Quartz's rebellion]], has issues with her origins, considering herself to be (and believing others see her as) a "parasite". She also strongly defines herself by what Garnet thinks of her; in "Reformed", this leads to her effectively ''mutilating herself'' in an attempt to gain Garnet's approval.
*** Pearl defined herself in large part by her relationship with Rose; Rose's absence (and Steven and Greg's continued presence) causes her no small amount of conflict. Also, although the details haven't been revealed yet, Pearl has been referred to by Jasper and referred to herself as "just ''a'' Pearl," implying that she is part of a larger group of similar Gems who are not known to excel.
*** [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire's fusion]] Garnet is defined by the love between [[spoiler:her two component gems]]. Her song "Stronger Than You" lays it out very clearly: she is ''made of love''. Despite this, on two occasions we have seen her [[spoiler:two halves]] deeply conflicted, both in regards to the act of [[spoiler:fusion between unwilling participants]]. [[spoiler:Since she defines herself by ''being'' a fusion]], these violations trouble her deeply.
* AncestralWeapon: Steven's shield is inherited from his mother Rose Quartz, as are his protective bubble and healing powers; although arguably, he inherited them ''from himself''. In a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]], Rose also left him her sword - but that has been taken up by Connie, instead.
* AnimeHair: There's Pearl's protruding pixie cut, Garnet's angular afro, Rose Quartz's RegalRinglets, and Peridot's pyramidal 'do. Even Vidalia has her hair shaped exactly like an onion.
* AndIMustScream:
** "Ocean Gem" reveals that [[spoiler: the gem monsters the Gems fight used to be Gems themselves]]. To make matters worse, [[spoiler: one of these Gems, Lapis, was trapped in a mirror, essentially enslaved and only able to communicate with recorded reflections. One of which happens to be Steven screaming.]]
** When Lapis [[spoiler: fuses with Jasper to form Malachite, Lapis drags the two of them to the bottom of the ocean using her power over water. Fusions normally split apart in the case of any disagreement, which Jasper ''tries'', but Lapis holds her into the fusion so now Jasper is trapped inside her own body and hauled into a place where Lapis has complete control of the situation.]]
** In "Keeping It Together", Garnet discovers [[spoiler:shards of Crystal Gems defeated in the war were buried together and forced to fuse. The result was a conjoined mass of limbs that's conscious enough to form human silhouettes and scream in agony before turning into a horrible monster, which was seemingly conscious enough to recognize Garnet and silently reach out for help.]] In a more literal adherence to the trope, the Cluster was able to scream while lacking a mouth.
** For ages, fans wondered about the nature of the possessed scroll that could be heard screaming in multiple voices from "Together Breakfast". The creators [[http://joethejohnston.tumblr.com/post/124934472083/hi-sorry-this-has-been-bugging-me-for-a-while eventually revealed]] that it was painted using the grounded dust of shattered Gems as pigments, and was essentially their tortured souls lashing out.
* AnimationBump:
** Lapis has far more flowing, graceful animation than most of the main cast, reflecting both her aqueous nature, and how much more serious she is than them. Especially apparent when she's alone with Steven, whose jerky animation and childlike personality contrast hers.
** Rose also has carefully animated hair, as her large curls are detailed and can often be seen moving and bouncing with the smallest movements of her head. This helps portray Rose's sublime beauty, which many characters refer to throughout the series.
** Garnet and Jasper's fight in "Jailbreak" is animated with many wide shots and dynamic camera angles, giving it a more cinematic feel.
* {{Animesque}}: Like its spiritual counterpart, ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Steven Universe takes a lot of aesthetic and thematic hints from anime. Fittingly, whereas ''Adventure Time'' shares enough traits to make it an American [[ShonenDemographic Shounen]] series, Steven Universe shares enough traits to make it an American [[ShoujoDemographic Shoujo]] series.
* AnotherDimension: The Gems' temple door is described as "omni-dimensional", so it could be assumed that this is their case.
** Lion's mane also seems to exist in another dimension.
* AprilFoolsDay: The ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'' crossover aired on April 2 (to fit the show's schedule of new episodes on Thursday, else it likely would've aired the day before). Part of the prank also included one of the staff members considering it a canon episode, although the episode says otherwise.
* ArcSymbol:
** The five-pointed star is implied to have some sort of connection to the crystal gems as it appears in all of their designs in one form or another. (Steven and Pearl have it on their shirts, Garnet has it on her top as well as her gauntlets, Amethyst has it in the holes in her pants, Rose Quartz's dress had a large star shape cut out from the midriff, and Lion displays it as his mane)
** [[spoiler:The Homeworld Gems]] seem to be associated with a diamond shape. Lapis's clothes have a triangle design, that together form a diamond. Peridot's design seems to incorporate a lot of diamond shapes, implying an association with Lapis. Hers and Jasper's clothes include a yellowish diamond shape on the torso, [[spoiler: possibly signifying their position under Yellow Diamond]] or that they are modern Gems.
** Flowers, especially roses, which are associated both with Steven and his mother Rose Quartz. Rose also seems to have had a connection with a pink triangle symbol.
** There's also a symbol of three triangles within a larger triangle. It can be seen on the floors of [[spoiler:Peridot's ship]] and on the floor of the temple in "Serious Steven." A version with [[spoiler:a fourth, ''pink'' diamond shape]] appears at the sky arena in "Sworn to The Sword" and in [[spoiler:the ancient Gem vessel]] in "Friend Ship". Notably, in the former case [[spoiler:the pink shape is broken on some of the versions we see-- and in nearly the same way on each, as if it was deliberately defaced]]. The [[spoiler:pink diamond]] also appears repeatedly in connection with [[spoiler:Pearl. The original Holo-Pearls, her space-suit, half of the belly-cut on Rainbow Quartz and the shoes of Sardonyx all had pink diamonds on them. Considering Pearl's self-described role as a knight, this raises interesting questions about what Rose's position on Homeworld was.]]
* ArcWords:
** "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." A saying of Greg that gets repeated a few more times through the show, which represents the shows theme that nobody is perfect, and that this makes the world a nicer place.
** "Believe". The show's tagline says to "believe in Steven", the theme-song says "the people of this world believe in" the Crystal Gems, and Lapis says that she "never believed in this place [Earth]". As of "The Test", Steven becomes frustrated because he thinks the Gems don't believe in him. But in the end, he realizes they don't believe in themselves when it comes to raising and training him properly.
** "Let me do this for you!", and variations thereof. Multiple characters have expressed a willingness to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice themselves for someone else's sake]], even if the person in question doesn't want them to; it first appears in "Sworn to the Sword", with [[spoiler:Pearl insisting on putting herself in danger instead of Rose]], then with [[spoiler:Connie, willing to lay down her life for Steven, echoing Pearl's sentiment]]. The phrase shows up again in "Chille Tid", this time from [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli, telling Steven not to come looking for her while [[SealedEvilInADuel she struggles to keep Jasper at bay]]]]. In a similar vein earlier in the series, Sadie presses Lars with "why won't you let me help you?!", the issue being that said 'help' involved [[spoiler:stranding both of them on a deserted island]].
** "Strong/Stronger". Ultimately, every single one of the Crystal Gems- even Garnet- harbours doubts and fears about their own strength, and a recurring theme of the show is that being "strong in the real way" isn't about the physical body at all, but emotional strength.
** "We won". In reference to the rebellion, but with some chilling undertones the more often it's used. In "Rose's Scabbard", Pearl uses it to gloss over the [[WarIsHell horrors Garnet describes]], in order to protect Steven from the details. Earlier in "On the Run", Amethyst mentions how they won the war to "protect the Earth from [[spoiler:parasites like ''me'']]."
* ArmorPiercingQuestion:
** In "Rose's Room", this is what allows Steven to escape the eponymous room:
--->'''Steven:''' [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor I don't want this...]]\\
'''[[SuddenlyVoiced Tiny Whale:]]''' ''(with [[spoiler:Rose Quartz]]'s voice)'' What ''do'' you want, Steven?\\
'''Steven:''' ''I want to be back with the Gems!''
** In "We Need to Talk", Greg becomes worried that Rose [[LovingAShadow can't tell the difference]] between ''loving humans'' and ''being in love with a human''. When she doesn't take his concern seriously (confirming it in the process), he confronts her about it:
--->'''Greg:''' Can you just talk to me for ''one second'', like a ''real person?''\\
'''Rose:''' ...I'm... ''not''... [[HumanAliens a real person]]. I thought... haven't we... is this not how it works?
** [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire]] spend most of "Keystone Motel" in conflict, which Steven tries his hardest to resolve. When he finally gives up, the two realize how much of an effect their argument has had on him:
--->'''Steven:''' I don't understand! Is it... is it ''me?''
* ArtEvolution: Very slightly. While the animation and backgrounds in the show were usually pretty impressive to begin with, the designs became less prone to being OffModel and more attention was given to the backgrounds bit by bit.
* TheArtifact: The opening sequence showed the Gems with their debut outfits, despite gaining new ones since. Once all three Gems received a redesign, the opening was brought up to date.
* ArtShift: "Garnet's Universe" switches from the show's regular style to a less detailed, much sillier and cartoonish style.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: Steven lives in a house at the base of a seaside cliff, and at least one episode involved a Gem being damaged from falling off of that cliff. In real life, the Delmarva Peninsula is as flat as a board, bar some large hills along the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware. See AlternateHistory above for more detail.
* ArtMajorPhysics: Peridot's ship in "Jailbreak". In reality, it should have caught fire sometime in the atmosphere, and the impact of the ship on the Earth would wipe out Beach City ''at least.''
* AsleepForDays: When Gems regenerate, they ought to take careful time to consider what form they'll take when they return. For Amethyst, when she isn't rushing it, the longest time has been four hours. The regeneration of Pearl's we've seen took weeks.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance:
** Gems are able to change their appearance at will, so they're all completely [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] examples.
** The Frymans. They're a family of [[MeaningfulName french fry salesmen]], and all of them have blonde dreadlocks that look exactly like their wares.
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: InUniverse, the show "Crying Breakfast Friends". It's apparently exactly what it sounds like, and so far Steven is the only character to like--or understand--the show.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Occasionally the show reminds the audience that Pearl and Amethyst don't really hate each others guts.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: The protagonist himself, Steven Quartz Universe.
* BackStoryHorror: The Gems are very reluctant to talk about it to Steven, but whatever the Homeworld Gems did in the past, it terrifies ''all'' of them, including [[TheStoic Garnet.]]
* BadassBoast
** Pearl gives Sugilite a verbal beatdown at the end of "Coach Steven" after spending a good portion of the episode saddened that she wasn't as strong as the latter.
--->'''Sugilite:''' What? You want some more?\\
'''Pearl:''' Anytime! You're no match for me, not even close!
** From the end of "Mirror Gem":
--->''I'm ''[[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli]]!'' And you can't keep me trapped here ''anymore!
** Pearl again, who gets the most impressive one in sheer conviction in "Marble Madness", when [[spoiler:Peridot]] asks why they keep meddling in her business:
--->'''Pearl:''' Because, we are the Crystal Gems! We're still alive, and we're still the guardians of this planet, and all its living creatures!
** Jasper gets a villainous version in "The Return", also doubles as a BreakingSpeech.
--->'''Jasper:''' I was there. You know. At the first war for this garbage planet. I fought against your armies. I respected your tactics. But this? ''(lifting Steven by his shirt)'' This, is sick. I don't get what you're planning, Rose. But look! Your base is taken. Your armies are ruined! You have ''failed!''
** Two cases in "Jail Break":
*** "Stronger Than You" is an entire song of this:
--->'''Garnet:''' [[spoiler:''If you break us apart, we'll just come back newer\\
And we'll always be twice the Gem that you are'']]
*** And from the end of the episode:
--->'''[[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli]]:''' I'm done being everyone's prisoner! Now, you're ''my'' prisoner, and I'm ''never letting go!''
* BadassFamily: The Gems act as one toward Steven, with Amethyst as an older sister and Pearl and Garnet as his mother figures.
* BadBadActing: Garnet:
-->'''Garnet:''' ''(completely deadpan)'' Hello, this is Mom Universe. Yes, the children are playing swords. Sorry, playing with swords. They're bleeding. Oh no, they are dead. Don't call again.
* BattleCouple: As of "Sworn to the Sword", Steven and Connie look to be well on the way to becoming this. Between their obvious feelings for one another, and their [[BackToBackBadasses meshing almost immediately in combat against Pearl's training holograms]], they have the potential to be formidable combatants on par with the other Crystal Gems if both their budding romance and training proceed apace.
* BeachEpisode: Despite the entire show being set alongside a beach, in a ''town called Beach City'' no less, the aptly-named "Beach Party" manages to be an example. It focuses almost exclusively on Steven and the other Crystal Gems barbecuing and playing beach games with the Pizza family... at least, until [[spoiler:the giant monster attacks]].
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
** The Crystal Gems are all good guys, and they've been stated once or twice to be considered attractive--or "hot", at least--especially the gorgeous BigGood Rose Quartz. [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli is also fairly pretty and doesn't quite fall into villain territory. Jasper, on the other hand, has a SlasherSmile and more masculine features, and she and Peridot are the only straightforward villains we've seen so far.]]
** Amethyst appears slightly overweight, is messily dressed, and has poor hygiene; she also happens to be the "bad girl" among the Crystal Gems.
** It also seems that the more stable and kind a fusion is, the better they'll appear. Stevonnie looks like a perfectly normal teenage girl. Opal and Rainbow Quartz are beautiful, with one odd feature each (extra arms and eyes, respectively). [[spoiler:Garnet is practically perfect with only one extra eye.]] Sardonyx has extra eyes and arms but is beautiful regardless, while Sugilite has the same features but looks monstrous. [[spoiler:Malachite is the most monstrous fusion so far, as she is composed of hate and revenge.]]
* BeneathTheMask: One of the main themes of the show is showing the Gems' true colors bit by bit. [[spoiler:Amethyst acts laid-back and lazy, but is actually very upset at how Garnet and Pearl demean her. Pearl acts like a perfectionist, but has underlying self-esteem issues regarding physical strength and is still suffering from Rose's death. Garnet is a [[TheStoic Stoic]] more often than not, but is actually emotional within herself.]]
* BerserkButton: For all the Crystal Gems, hurting Steven.
** Steven: Insulting his mother.
** Garnet: the one for her is [[spoiler:screwing around with fusion. Because Garnet is a near-perfect fusion between two lovers, she finds fusion to be sacred and beautiful. So, when she finds out that Homeworld has been conducting forced fusion experiments with former Crystal Gems, and that Pearl had tricked Garnet into fusing with her for a PowerHigh, Garnet is ''seriously furious.'' In fact, it's serious enough that Ruby and Sapphire defuse when talking to each other about how to deal with Pearl in the future.]]
** Pearl: PlayedForLaughs, untidiness. PlayedForDrama, [[spoiler:casting doubt on her relationship with Rose, as evidenced by her reaction in "Rose's Scabbard" when she discovers a secret that Rose hid even from her]].
** Amethyst: [[spoiler:Rubbing her origins in her face.]]
** [[spoiler:Ruby: As stated in Garnet's entry, screwing around with fusion. It makes her ''literally'' fume.]]
* BettyAndVeronica: Played with. While Rose is unambiguously Archie, Pearl is the [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend unlucky longlife friend]] who considered herself [[TheConfidant the closest]] to her, but with [[ClingyJealousGirl a nasty attitude towards her rivals]], while Greg was the exotic one thanks to being human, but [[NiceGuy he took Pearl's remarks with patience]] and [[InsecureLoveInterest actually was unsure if he was good enough for Rose]].
* BigBad: [[spoiler:The Homeworld Gems along with their presumed leader Yellow Diamond.]]
* BigEater: Steven and Amethyst. More often than not they will scarf down any and all available food. Moreso in Amethyst's case, as she's been shown eating things that ''aren't'' food, such as plates, motor oil, and tea bags.
* BigNo: Practically Steven's CatchPhrase, and the first thing he ever says on the show. Generally it's just him being melodramatic, but taken to creepy levels when a magic mirror [[spoiler: containing the imprisoned Lapis Lazuli]] expresses its horror by replaying it on a loop. [[spoiler:Steven also does this when Lapis fuses with Jasper.]]
* BigSisterInstinct: Amethyst to Steven.
* BittersweetEnding
** The first season narrative finale "Jail Break" ends with [[spoiler:Steven and the Gems managing to save the Earth from Peridot and Jasper, but Lapis had to sacrifice herself by trapping herself and Jasper at the bottom of the ocean, Peridot managed to escape and is somewhere on the planet, along with the possible appearance of a new villain called Yellow Diamond.]]
** "Keystone Motel": [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire make up at the end and refuse into Garnet, and although Garnet doesn't seem ''angry'' with Pearl anymore, she still hasn't completely forgiven her.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: Magical being like the Gems and the monsters they fight do not bleed, merely disappearing in puffs of smoke when mortally wounded, leaving behind a gem which will eventually regenerate into the original being.
* BodyHorror:
** If a Gem has their gemstone cracked, their body starts to uncontrollably lose, gain, or rearrange body parts.
** Some of the fusions also have some strange bodily features, such as extra eyes or limbs, the first major instance being Alexandrite's second mouth. The entire rest of her face swings upwards like a mask to reveal a gaping throat filled with fangs.
** When Steven shapeshifts his fingers into cats, he loses control of the power and all his limbs turn into cat heads. He eventually has cat heads boiling out of every part of his body in a manner that wouldn't be out of place in a horror movie.
** The Cluster and Peridot's other "experiments"--pieces of Gems killed in the war between the Homeworld and Crystal Gems, which were buried together to force them to fuse. The fusions emerge as random combinations of body parts, most of which simply silently twitch and strike out blindly--but the Cluster not only senses its environment, but emits tortured wails in what are likely the united voices of the Gems they once were. The Cluster horrifies and disgusts Garnet to the point of [[spoiler: nearly splitting back into Ruby and Sapphire]], and even after getting a grip, Garnet is still unsettled enough to [[spoiler: audibly argue with herself in Ruby's and Sapphire's tones of voice]].
* BorrowedCatchphrase: "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs!" is ostensibly Greg's line, but it's been used more times by other people, including Steven and Pearl.
* BrokenBird: Rose has been gone for eleven or so years, and Pearl still isn't taking it well. "Sworn to the Sword" hints at outright Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from her loss.
* BuildingOfAdventure: Pearl insists (multiple times) that there are several rooms in the Gem Temple that aren't safe for humans, so you just ''know'' that even something as simple as a coffee run could get the blood pumping in your ears.
* CannotTellAJoke: Steven to the Crystal Gems. It comes from a mix of one of them being TheStoic and another being LiteralMinded.
* CastOfSnowflakes: All of the characters, human or Gem, have very unique designs with distinctly different faces and body types. Appropriately however, characters who are directly related to one another do share some clear resemblances (such as Steven and Greg, Connie and her parents, the Fryman and Pizza families, etc.)
* CelebrityParadox: Rebecca Sugar has stated that Garnet's favorite music artist is Estelle, whom she is voiced by.
* CentralTheme:
** Most episodes tend to converge on themes of mixing magic with reality, accepting or embracing imperfection, and/or finding beauty in the ugly. Rebecca describes the show as "reverse-escapism," where magical beings are fascinated with the mundane. Steven is the epitome of the magic-and-reality theme, as he is half-human (normal) and half Crystal Gem (magic). A standard way they mix magic with reality is solving a magic problem a "mundane" way, like Steven using a glow bracelet (normal/mundane) to lure a worm gem monster (magic) to its death, or using standard household duct-tape to patch up an enormous geode that's about to "leak" out a devastating magical storm.
** The PowerOfLove and [[ThePowerOfFriendship friendship]], and how relationships, though difficult to manage, make people stronger.
** Putting in all your effort in everything you do and making contributions for people, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it is.
* CerebusRetcon:
** TheReveal in "Ocean Gem" that [[spoiler:the monsters the Gems fight are actually corrupted Gems]] casts the whole series in a different light.
** The background which is given in "Warp Tour" and "On The Run" about [[spoiler:the Crystal Gems being renegades from the homeworld after a huge war to protect the Earth from their own kind, and Amethyst having ''been created'' as a soldier for that war]]...
** After the events of the episode "Keeping it Together", the shenanigans involving the shattered gem shards in "Secret Team" became a lot harder to find funny.
* CerebusRollercoaster: While the show has a few lighthearted episodes, most of them take a 90į turn into drama that quickly changes the tone of the story.
* CharacterBlog: ''Blog/KeepBeachCityWeird'', run by Ronaldo Fryman since slightly before the show started and updating for most new episodes. He first mentions it in-universe when he takes [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/68115977116/stevens-fingers-what a picture of Steven's cat fingers]], and brings it up multiple times after that.
* CharacterDevelopment:
** Steven, over the course of the show, he not only becomes more self-confident and less naive, he also gains ''competence'' and really grows into his role as a BarrierWarrior and TheHeart of the Crystal Gems. He also gains the respect and trust of his teammates and joins them as a fully-fledged team member, completely reversing his status as the TagAlongKid; it's telling that in several first-season episodes, the show follows Steven's more mundane life while the Gems go on missions without him (with Steven often pleading in vain to be allowed to participate); whereas by the second season, when the Gems are seeking out an incredibly dangerous, even ''murderous'' enemy, not only is Steven on the mission ''without comment'', his defensive abilities frequently save his teammates lives.
** Connie learns to become more active participant in events; rather than resigning herself to being an onlooker to Steven's "magical destiny", she fights beside him more and more boldly over time.
** Garnet gradually becomes less stoic as she becomes more confident in her (relatively new) position as the team's leader, showing more and more emotion toward Steven especially as she begins to treat him as more of a friend than a ward.
** Amethyst's maturity increases in very small increments, as does her self-awareness; both likely benefit from her very gradually working through [[spoiler:her underlying self-loathing]].
** Pearl sees a painful [[AvertedTrope aversion]]; while the other gems move on from their grief over Rose, she remains unable to let go. And while the other Gems all gain more confidence in their abilities, her insecurities have never abated, leading to [[spoiler:her disastrous deception of Garnet in order to feel "stronger"]]. Eventually she realizes that she can't allow herself to break down emotionally anymore, and must work through her own self-loathing.
* CharacterTitle: The show is named after the eponymous Steven.
* ChekovsGun: Numerous times an object will be introduced, seemingly just as a plot device for an individual episode, then become important down the line.
** In "Gem Glow", you can briefly see a glow stick in Steven's freezer. This ends up being the catalyst for his and Connie's friendship.
** In "Rose's Room", the Crystal Gems bring back a 'wailing stone', which accidentally destroys Steven's TV. In "The Message", it activates when [[spoiler: Lapis sends them a warning from the Homeworld.]]
** In "Monster Buddies", the main characters go to collect a 'shooting star'. When Steven asks what it does, Amethyst sarcastically responds, "''You shoot it, duh''". Turns out she wasn't just joking-- shooting stars are literally powerful bombs, which [[spoiler: the Crystal Gems apparently use to destroy the Galaxy Warp once and for all]].
* CityOfAdventure: Beach City. The presence of the Gems and their temple apparently attracts much unwanted magical attention.
* ClarkesThirdLaw: The Gems' abilities amount to what most would call "magic". They are also entities from outer space, suggesting that at least some their "magic" is actually extremely advanced technology. See also: SufficientlyAdvancedAliens and {{Magitech}}. Some gems, like [[spoiler:Peridot]] almost exclusively use technology. Other displays of magic, such as Rose Quartz's healing tears and [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli]]'s complete [[ElementalPowers elemental control]] [[MakingASplash over water]], suggest no technology could ever exist to mimic them.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Pearl during Rose and Greg's relationship, to the point where she fuses with Rose in the middle of Greg's music video to make him jealous. And if the characters' statements are anything to go by, this has happened before. Pearl refers to Greg as "a phase."
* ContinuityNod:
** This series has some pretty amazing continuity in terms of small details. For example, Steven's cheeseburger backpack, which he got in an episode of the same name, is seen or referenced in many of the later episodes. More specific examples can be found in the recap page for each episode.
** The first season follows the progression of an entire year, with the halfway "Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem" two-parter mentioning the beginning of summer vacation, "Horror Club" apparently being a Halloween episode, the following "Winter Forecast" showing [[CaptainObvious the beginning of winter]] and "Maximum Capacity" being set in New Year's Eve.
* CoolHouse: The Crystal Gems' home is explored in "Together Breakfast." The whole thing is a [[http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/195gccfnfdchhjpg/original.jpg wooden house that is attached to a giant statue (the temple).]] That wooden house part? ''That's Steven's room.'' The Crystal Gems get the temple, which is a magical, intricate facility with long hallways, tunnels, floating platforms, crystals galore, and even ''magic waterfalls''.
-->'''Garnet:''' We inhabit the inner sanctums... only accessible through [[PortalDoor magical, extra-dimensional doors]].
* CreativeClosingCredits: The music that plays during the end credits tends to change:
** Throughout the first half of season 1, the theme evolved, adding more instruments each time, through [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SXBhAfGK1s five different]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCgcijaU0Bw variations.]] By the second half (which was early on considered season 2), the piece [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7HYtK03BuI got a new melody.]] Said melody gets a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoR3FXkleEA drum solo remix starting with "Watermelon Steven"]]. [[note]]It briefly switches back to the piano melody for "Lion 3" and only that episode. [[/note]]
** The episode "Winter Forecast" introduces a [[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/111549942842/download-the-ending-theme-to-winter-forecast new theme]], with something of a swinging jazz feel to it. [[note]] It reverts to the drum solo for "Maximum Capacity" but only for that episode [[/note]] In "[[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113348870417/artemispanthar-download-the-ending-theme-to The Message]]" and "[[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113391448287/download-the-ending-theme-to-political-power Political Power]], only now it's a DarkReprise with [[LastNoteNightmare the sound of space-ship engines and static overlaid]]. [[note]] after "Political Power" premiered composer Aivi Tran released [[http://waltzforluma.tumblr.com/post/113413075876 this]] [[/note]] Following that, "Jail Break" [[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113497256697/download-the-ending-theme-to-jail-break-is brought back]] the season 1a theme WithLyrics. The first episode of the second season then uses the lyrical version shorted from two stanzas to one.
** Following from "Cry For Help", [[http://www.mediafire.com/listen/v0htdl145qj3rcu/cryforhelp-ending.mp3 yet another ending theme]] was introduced, this one being a down-beat remix of both the jazz theme from "Winter Forecast" and the lyrical version of "Love Like You". It functions as something of a DarkReprise for both of them, befitting the episode's DownerEnding.
** "Say Uncle" has it's own [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmwVEheOVSg remix of Love Like You]] done in the style of the Uncle Grandpa theme.
* CreepyChild: Onion; mute, [[AnatomyAnomaly earless]], and prone to acts of destruction.
* {{Crossover}}: With ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa''; he helps Steven with summoning his shield.
* CrystalBallScheduling: In "Cry for Help", the cartoon "Crying Breakfast Friends" is a parallel for the actual episode's plot. The "Crying Breakfast Friends" episode involves a pear apologizing for lying to a spoon, and when asked if she would forgive someone if they lied to them, Garnet replies with a neutral grunt. It's later revealed that [[spoiler:Pearl has been repairing the hub, not Peridot, so that she could fuse with Garnet, something that Pearl apologizes repeatedly for. However, while the spoon and the pear make up at the end, Garnet and Pearl do not. Steven and Amethyst even acknowledge this.]]
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: In the middle of the first season, the episode Keep Beach City Weird ends with Ronaldo going on a tangent about "''polymorphic sentient rocks'' coming to ''hollow out the Earth'' part of the ''Great Diamond Authority''". By the end of the season, it was revealed that he was ''100% correct''.
* ADayInTheLimelight: While there are plenty of Steven-centric and Crystal Gems-centric episodes, some focus on a specific Crystal Gem or a citizen of Beach City.
* DependingOnTheArtist: Different storyboard artists for the show each have their own varying styles. This is most obvious in any episode storyboarded by Ian Jones Quartey, whose storyboarding style is at time ''very'' different than anyone else's.
* DisproportionateRetribution: After trying to run away with Connie in "Fusion Cuisine", Steven is punished with 1,000 years of no T.V. Only disproportionate from a human point of view. The Gems are all but immortal so a thousand years is barely the blink of an eye to them. This is a far kinder punishment than the initial "No dinner for 1,000 years."
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:After being imprisoned by Jasper in "Jail Break", Lapis takes full control of their fusion and drags them into the ocean. She's still trying to wrestle control away from Jasper, however.]]
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: The opening credits are sung by the Crystal Gems, plus Steven.
* DownerEnding: "Cry for Help": [[spoiler:Pearl repairs the Communication Hub so that she and Garnet will keep fusing as Sardonyx, using the guise that Peridot is repairing it instead. Garnet is ''furious'' and gives her a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. The episode ends with Garnet and Pearl refusing to speak to one another and Amethyst and Steven watching the scene somberly.]]
* DramaBomb
** "Steven the Sword Fighter" seems like it'll be the usual 'Steven must learn something' episode...until [[spoiler:Pearl is suddenly stabbed ''onscreen'' and is forced to regenerate in her gem. The hologram she left behind tries to kill Steven repeatedly.]]
** "Monster Buddies" takes a sad turn once [[spoiler:the Centipeetle goes berserk, forcing the Gems to attack it.]]
** "Mirror Gem" gets dark the second that Steven [[spoiler:slaps Garnet. And it's all downhill from there.]]
** "Warp Tour" introduces [[spoiler:yet another Gem. This time, however, she's not setting to ''leave'' Earth. She's setting to do something ''terrible'' to it.]]
** "On The Run" when Steven and Amethyst enter the [[spoiler:Kindergarten.]]
** "Rose's Scabbard". The group finds the titular scabbard for Rose Quartz's sword, and Pearl learns that she wasn't Rose's sole confidante. The episode slowly more dramatic as Pearl worries more and more, but it reaches its peak when she suddenly smashes the wall with her fist.
** "So Many Birthdays" . This episode plays with the consequences of warping time, until it gets to a point where Steven gets to a deathly age and can't warp back.
** "The Message". [[spoiler: Homeworld Gems are headed straight for Earth and they've advanced their technology to the point of being unrecognizable to Gems that remained on earth, as revealed by an ending message from Lapis Lazuli.]]
** Pearl's WrongNameOutburst in "Sworn to the Sword."
** In "Cry for Help", the revelation that it was [[spoiler:Pearl repairing the Hub, not Peridot.]] It creates a huge amount of drama that requires three episodes of breather to fill.
* {{Dramedy}}: Oh, absolutely. The show is notorious for how [[CerebusRollercoaster fast]] and [[MoodWhiplash effective]] it is at tangoing along the human emotional spectrum.
* DualWielding: Garnet on a regular basis with her gauntlets. Amethyst and Pearl usually only sport one whip and one spear respectively, but they can do this if they please.
* DumbassHasAPoint: In "Chille Tid", Amethyst points out to a sleep-deprived Pearl, usually the more knowledgeable of the two, that light-years measure ''light'' (distance, technically, but close enough), not ''years.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:E - M]]
* EarlyBirdCameo:
** Many of the secondary Beach City Residents make brief cameos in earlier episodes before they are properly established, such as Mr. Smiley staring at the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon", and the cool kids being attacked by Frybo.
** A musical case: the middle of [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-im-still-here I'm Still Here]], from the end scene of "Rose's Scabbard", contains a very subtle nod to [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-do-it-for-her-rebecca-sugar Do It For Her]], which isn't heard until "Sworn to the Sword", a dozen or so episodes later.
** An example applied to an object: Connie mentioned reading ''[[ShowWithinAShow The Unfamiliar Familiar]]'' series in the comic about three months before it was mentioned in the show during "Marble Madness".
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Other than the extremely different designs, there are a good many differences between the actual series in the pilot. Steven was a bit rougher around the edges (going back in time to insult Lars), their home was called the Crystal Palace, as apposed to the Crystal Temple which would henceforth be named, Pearl joined in on Amethyst's ribbing of Steven, and the color palette was more like ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow''.
* EldritchLocation:
** The Gem Temple has water which doesn't obey gravity, areas where gravity isn't consistent, and is implied to be ''[[GeniusLoci alive]]'' (it has numerous body parts and a heart).
** In "Serious Steven", the Gems freak out because the pyramid they've entered appears to be one of these; no matter which direction they go, they always seem to end up in the same room. However, it turns out that the outer chambers of the temple were merely rotating, presumably to confound potential intruders.
* EpisodeTitleCard: Every episode has a title card displaying the same view of the beach near the Gem Temple with one of the temple's hands in the foreground, holding a washing machine and a clothesline with some of Steven's clothing on it. Various details, such as the weather and time of day, are changed to reflect how it would look at the start of the episode, usually a blue and pink day time palette, with the most common variants being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSyaXG5XsN0 a pinkish orange morning/evening palette]] and the nighttime blue pallette used in the credits. The one exception so far is "Jail Break", which instead shows outer space [[spoiler:because the Crystal Gems begin the episode as prisoners in a spaceship]]. Additionally, there are semi-official title cards made by the storyboard artists for each episode that they post online, which have a much greater range of variety (and are sometimes [[CoversAlwaysLie hilariously misleading]]).
* EvilCounterpart: Jasper to Rose. Rose was enormous, beautiful, loved everything and everyone, and fought for Earth. Jasper is enormous, garish, tries to kill the Crystal Gems in their first meeting, and wants to destroy Earth.
* ExpositoryThemeTune: The Crystal Gems purpose and names are all laid out in the twenty second long theme song, as at the top of the page. The longer, extended version also gives the backstory of the Gems being aliens from another planet, and their motivations as both individuals and a group.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: Averted, in "Onion Friend", the first thing we see Vidalia doing is demanding to know why strangers are on her property with a shotgun in hand.
* FantasticallyIndifferent: Gems have been on Earth since at least the beginning of recorded human civilization (one comment by Pearl in "Political Power" implies they've been on Earth since before humans started moving away from hunting and gathering 12,000 years ago). The citizens of Beach City at least are largely indifferent to them and Ronaldo considers their activities as an explanation for all the weirdness in town as too simple and mundane.
* {{Foil}}
** Pearl and Amethyst. Pearl is a precise and orderly perfectionist with an almost ballerina-like ellegance. Pearl is also very thin with short hair. Amethyst is a lazy and kind of sloppy trickster. She's pretty plump with RapunzelHair.
** [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby is hot-headed and emotional, and it's implied that she constantly hurts herself trying to get out of her cage in "Jailbreak." Sapphire is calm and collected and simply sings to calm Ruby down. They're also red and blue respectively. "Keystone Motel" further exemplifies this, as Sapphire is willing to forgive Pearl for tricking them, while Ruby is literally fuming with rage over it. The reason being that Ruby gets so emotional that she's essentially stuck in the present, only thinking about how mad she is rather than any actual solutions. Sapphire on the other hand focuses too much on the future where the problem has already been solved and didn't notice the emotional strain that exists before the actual resolution. It's practically taken UpToEleven with the reveal that Ruby and Sapphire seem to have fire and ice themed powers, respectively.]]
** Rose Quartz and Jasper. Rose Quartz was gorgeous and elegant, softly curved and with a soothing voice. She was also incredibly kind and adored Earth. Jasper is much more masculine and rugged, rough around the edges with a kind of growling voice. She's also a straightforward villain and despises Earth.
** Garnet and [[spoiler:Malachite. Garnet is literally "made of love" and is the NiceGuy of the Crystal Gems, as well as the most human-appearing fusion (her only odd feature being her third eye, which is always concealed.) Malachite is made of revenge and hatred and is easily the most monstrous fusion as of yet, with all her limbs being arms, a SlasherSmile, and four eyes.]]
** Sugilite and Sardonyx. Sugilite is very destructive, cruel, and rude, and is almost as grotesque as [[spoiler:Malachite]], and wears a shredded costume. Sugilite does ''not'' like being taken apart. Sardonyx, meanwhile, is very nice and optimistic, if not a bit flashy. She's very pretty for a fusion, and wears a neat tuxedo. Although she loves being her, she's completely fine with unfusing.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** One of the lyrics to Greg's single in "Laser Light Cannon" is "I know I'm not that tall". When we finally see Rose in "Lion 3: Straight to Video", it turns out she is a ''[[TinyGuyHugeGirl lot]]'' taller than Greg.
** The fact that the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" doesn't ''quite'' operate like what the show establishes as the usual MonsterOfTheWeek (i.e. not leaving behind a gem to be collected) hints that there's more to it. As in, [[spoiler:it was a probe, not a gem monster.]]
** One of the transformations Amethyst cycles through in "Cat Fingers" is her Purple Puma wrestler persona from "Tiger Millionaire".
** Also in "Cat Fingers", Steven asks how to change into a huge lion. A few episode later, he ''meets'' a huge lion.
** The bright, pink setting that Steven slides down in "Together Breakfast" ("Hey... This isn't so bad.") is later revealed to be Rose's former room in "Rose's Room". The same background music even plays. Pearl warned the heart was connected to the most ''dangerous'' rooms in the temple. She wasn't kidding.
** One of the locations the Stevens go to in "Steven and the Stevens" is a desert-like landscape where nautical vehicles can be seen. This foreshadows the events of "Ocean Gem" where [[spoiler:the ocean disappears]]. So the Stevens went into the future.
** In "Monster Buddies", the Centipeetle can be seen trying to [[spoiler: take the shape of a woman]] when it is first released. [[spoiler: A few episodes later "Ocean Gem" confirms that they were once sentient.]]
** In "Steven the Sword Fighter", when [[spoiler: Pearl]] is gravely injured she reverts back to a pure Gem to recuperate in much the same way the monsters the Crystal Gems fight do, [[spoiler: come later in "Ocean Gem" it's revealed that the monsters the Gems fight are gems themselves.]]
** The Cookie Cat theme-song from "Gem Glow" -- overall an ordinary, meaningless advertising tune, except for the lines; "''a refugee of an interstellar war''" and "''he left his family behind''" -- or, what appears to be [[spoiler:the back-story of the Crystal Gems when they separated from the Homeworld Gems]]. Cookie Cat shows up again in "Future Vision", appearing to Steven's imaginary self. Chibi-Steven gets zapped, and declares "''I never considered you might be EVIL!''" [[spoiler:Although "Warp Tour" hinted at it, only after "Marble Madness" was it clear that the Homeworld Gems don't have warm feelings toward humanity]].
** Another from "Gem Glow": Connie's bracelet appears in the freezer next to all the Cookie Cats.
** In "Cheeseburger Backpack" Amethyst tries to cheer Steven up after he messed up the mission by telling him 2 out of 4 of his ideas worked, saying he got 50% as if she was describing a test score. In "The Test", we find out it actually was a test. [[spoiler: And a 50% is still a failing grade.]]
** In "Warp Tour", Peridot mentions that she plans to reactivate an area called "Kindergarten". "On The Run" reveals what it is, and "Marble Madness" sees her trying to gain access. Later in "Jail Break", she complains to Jasper about overriding her mission, stating that her whole reason for coming to Earth was "''to check on the clusters''". "Keeping it Together" sheds some light on her true objective.
** Cross media example. On Ronaldo's "Keep Beach City Weird" blog on Tumblr, he opened questions for Halloween 2014. One question asked what his first encounter with the paranormal was; he answered an incident with a piece of wood. Another asked if he was friends with Lars; he simply answered "No". Fast forward to February 2015, when the show's Halloween episode aired, where we find out the history behind both those answers.
** In "Lion 2: The Movie" Lion brings Steven and Connie to a cave filled with magical weapons. In "Rose's Scabbard" it is revealed to be Rose's armory.
** Pearl remarks in "An Indirect Kiss" that the brambles are a mess without Rose's guidance, describing them as "directionless, pathetic, clinging things", [[HypocriticalHumor while she is clinging to Garnet's arm]]. Later in the series when we learn more about Pearl and Rose's relationship, these seemingly off-hand comments have a darker subtext.
** The lead-up to TheReveal in "Jail Break" that [[spoiler:Garnet is a gem fusion]] was rather extensive:
*** [[spoiler: Garnet has a gem on each hand (both cut into different shapes), three eyes that are all different colors, and is far bigger and stronger than Amethyst or Pearl.]]
*** In the episode "Fusion Cuisine", one can ''very'' [[FreezeFrameBonus briefly]] see [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire when Alexandrite de-fuses.]]
*** In "Alone Together," Garnet's advice to Stevonnie (the fusion between Steven and Connie) makes it seem like she's speaking from experience. [[spoiler:Because she ''is''; she's a fusion between two lovers (which just so happens to be what Stevonnie is).]] She makes another comment in the same episode.
---->'''Amethyst:''' [Fusing is] really hard, even for us.\\
'''Garnet:''' Not for me.
*** The opening sequence hints at the truth: [[spoiler:at the end, when each Crystal Gem gets their own shot, ''two'' shooting stars can be seen in the background behind Garnet.]]
*** The door to the rooms of the Crystal Gems [[spoiler: has one of their characteristic stars on it. Each point of the star has a miniature colored gem on it that represents the owner of the room; Rose/Steven has a pink gem, Pearl has a white gem, and Amethyst has a purple gem; Garnet, however, uses both the red and blue gem to go to her room, hinting at her status as a fusion.]]
*** In "Monster Buddies," Amethyst nicknames Garnet [[spoiler:"the G-squad."]]
*** In Garnet's introduction during the intro of the series PilotEpisode, [[spoiler:[[http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/113530028684/did-you-always-mean-for-garnet-to-be-a-fusion-or she is standing between two large chunks of ruby and sapphire.]]]] This, of course, means that [[spoiler:Garnet was likely a fusion]] ''since her conception as a character'', or at least before the pilot was finished.
** The fact that the Gems are aliens is kept a secret until "Ocean Gem"; afterwards, the many references to space, such as the star-symbols and even the name 'Universe' makes it seem like it should have been obvious that they weren't from Earth.
** In "Story for Steven", when Rose tells Greg that she's interested in him, she phrases it very oddly, saying, "You're awfully cute, and I really want to play with you." [[spoiler: The way her statement is phrased makes it sound like she's referring to a novelty or a pet, and in "We Need to Talk," it's confirmed that this is exactly how she viewed Greg before he called her out.]]
** "If it were up to me, I think I'd rather be, a Giant Woman". Stevonnie's six-foot-something probably comes close.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: The Gems frequently fail to use their shape-shifting powers in battle when it would be very helpful. Amethyst uses her for pranks and to amuse Steven, while Garnet and Pearl don't use them all. It's particularly egregious when Peridot discovers she can turn her hand into a helicopter as an escape route, and none of the Gems ever think of transforming into something that can fly to pursue her. At the very least, Garnet has demonstrated she can stretch her limbs to absurd lengths, more than enough to catch Peridot if need be. Lampshaded in one episode where Pearl suggests Amethyst transforms to escape being held but Amethyst saying she's too freaked out to do it (and implying that Pearl also can't).
* FreeRangeChildren:
** Steven frequently runs around Beach City without any adult supervision and often, without letting any of the Gems or his father know where he's headed. Both his dad and the Gems knows this is frequent behavior for him, and his dad often doesn't find a problem with it.
** Onion just seems to go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants, with his mother only acknowledging that he's a "little troublemaker".
* FreezeFrameBonus: There are often very small, easy to miss details, which usually take the form of cute shout-outs to other media, or plot relevant details.
** In "Steven The Sword Fighter", when Pearl re-forms her physical form, her body fluctuates slightly before settling on her new costume. During the fluctuation, if one looks closely, her form seems to take on several different silhouettes very quickly, including her clothing in "Story for Steven" and her design in the pilot.
** See {{Foreshadowing}} about "Fusion Cuisine".
** In "Serious Steven" the Gems discover a pyramid with hieroglyphs on the walls inside depicting Rose Quartz protecting tiny humans from the attack of another Gem (who is shown again surrounded by giant hands like the space ship that appears in later episodes), but this is only on screen for a few seconds. In the same episode (also a RewatchBonus), the four-triangle symbol on the floor of the pyramid is the same as the one in [[spoiler:Peridot's ship]].
* FusionDance: Multiple Gems are capable of fusing into a larger and stronger one through dance.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: [[spoiler:The Gemstone Amalgamations]] beneath the the Kindergarten. The Homeworld wanted to find a way to use [[FusionDance Gem fusion]] just to get more power, but [[DramaticallyMissingThePoint rather missed the point of it]].
* GreatOffscreenWar: Pearl, Garnet, and Rose Quartz were all part of a great galactic gem war long, long ago. When it was revealed that the Gems were planning on doing something that would seriously harm the Earth, they decided to fight back to protect the Earth, even if it meant exiling themselves and cutting off access to the planet from other Gems.
* GRatedSex: While gems reproduce [[spoiler:like viruses and only artificially]], the social and intimate equivalent for their BizarreAlienBiology is [[FusionDance fusion]], which is utilized to have storylines and characters that are far more sexual than could otherwise be depicted in a children's show. The fusion is done via dancing, which allows for some ''very'' sexual imagery (and even accidental fusion when dancing recreationally). Played for drama as well as characterization; [[spoiler:the villains are conducting experiments on fusing dead gems together, and the rape connotations are treated as being even more serious than the necromantic issues--the importance of consent to a proper fusion and lack of it here is specifically mentioned]].
* HairFlip: Amethyst flips her RapunzelHair in the original opening song.
** Rainbow Quartz does a particularly dramatic one upon forming in "We Need To Talk".
* HalfArcSeason: Episodes in a season regularly switch between one-offs and stories that advance the MythArc or otherwise contribute to WorldBuilding. Although you can't immediately be certain if the episode [[InnocuouslyImportantEpisode is important or not]].
-->'''[[http://www.toonzone.net/2015/07/sdcc2015-steven-universe-roundtable-interview/ Rebecca Sugar]]''': I think I went through something as a cartoon fan, I had this moment where I loved fun, self-contained cartoons when I was little, and then at a certain point, I only liked long serialized stories. If itís not over 26 episodes, whatís the point? But then I realized later, itís hard to make a story that fits, a cartoon that starts and finishes and can be complete, but with stories that take 26 episodes to tell, thereís something a little easier about that. With this show I wanted to do, basically the hardest thing possible, which is self-contained and serialized, see if both were possible.
* HardLight: Gem bodies are this; they can regenerate or transform easily as long as their [[HeartDrive gem]] is okay.
* HarmfulToMinors: Steven is gradually exposed to more and more horrors as the series progresses. The arc that happens between "The Message" and "Full Disclosure" [[InnocenceLost did a number on him in particular]].
* HellIsThatNoise:
** The mirror screaming in Steven's voice.
--> "Nooooo! Nooooo'''NOOOOOO'''ooooo! '''NOOOOOOOOO!'''"
** The mirror's laugh is incredibly creepy.
** [[spoiler: Cloud Connie from "Open Book": WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT.]]
** The garish shriek that the [[spoiler:Cluster makes in "Keeping it Together". It sounds like several voices screaming in agony.]]
** [[spoiler: Jasper [[MadnessMantra ranting YOU. YOU YOU YOU.]]]] psychotically when she sees Steven in "Chille Tid".
* HeroInsurance: While the townspeople certainly don't ''like'' the Gems occasionally destroying their property, they don't usually do anything about it--the most that seems to have ever happened is [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction the Gems getting banned from Fish Stew Pizza for wrecking the storefront]]. The Gems themselves outright don't care; their job is to fight the monsters, property damage is an acceptable consequence, and besides, they were here first ("Historical Friction" elaborates on this a bit more-- the Gems warned William Dewey that the area was dangerous, but he founded Beach City there regardless).
-->''(after the Gems accidentally cause a blackout and Mayor Dewey is begging Steven for help)''\\
'''Steven:''' We'll help you clean up!\\
'''Garnet:''' ''(offscreen)'' No we won't!\\
'''Steven:''' ...''I'll'' help you clean up!
* HiddenDepths:
** Despite his cheerful personality, Steven is worried that the Gems will reject him if he doesn't obtain his powers, along with that he also thinks that [[spoiler:they blame him for his mother Rose being gone]].
** Amethyst seems like the cool, laid-back slacker of the group, but episodes that focus on her reveal that she is insecure and quick to get angry, to the point where she thinks everyone is out to get her.
** Pearl acts like a perfectionist and acts self-confident at times, but inside, she's very insecure about her physical strength and is still deeply hurting over Rose Quartz's death.
** On a far less serious note, the episode "Arcade Mania" reveals that Garnet, [[NotSoStoic of all people]], ''really'' likes video games.
* HighSchoolAU: Hilary Florido; a storyboard artist for the show creates promotional art for episodes she worked on, where the characters are in a high school setting. Notably, Steven is [[AdorablyPrecociousChild a super-professional, ten-year-old teacher]] in it. ([[MahouSenseiNegima Sound familiar?]])
** In [[http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/901/633/fd9.jpg "The Test"]], Steven is having the characters take... well a test.
** In [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/111995713713 "Maximum Capacity",]] Amethyst and Greg are searching for gym supplies.
** [[http://the-world-of-steven-universe.tumblr.com/post/112728711306/ravennowithtea-i-wanted-to-do-a-little-advert This]] is an advert for the first Steven bomb event.
** [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/post/112235677873 Even more stuff]] from the same week as "Maximum Capacity".
** For [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/113321766832/hilaryflorido-stevenbomb-katie-and-i-are-up-to "Political Power"]] Mayor Dewey is the principal and is giving an announcement.
** In [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/113979414993 "Open Book",]] [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire]] are also students, and Connie is the school's librarian.
** [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/114633782227/hilaryflorido-its-that-time-again-you-know "Joy Ride"]] has Steven telling the cool kids to get to class.
** For [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/121859156263 "We Need to Talk",]] Some of the characters are studying in the library. Paradoxically, [[spoiler:Stevonnie]] appears as a student, despite Steven and Connie also being present in the scene.
** In [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/124265829308 "Historical Friction",]] the characters are setting up a play, and Jamie is the director.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: Downplayed example. In Jailbreak, Peridot calls Amethyst and Pearl 'clods'. While calling someone a clod is a mundane insult, the literal definition of the word is 'a worthless chunk of dirt', which gives it extra meaning in the context of one Gem insulting another, given that they are sentient minerals.
* HomeOfMonsters: "Kindergarten" is where [[spoiler:Amethyst]] was created. It's a desolate canyon filled with large drilling machines shaped like [[http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriophage bacteriophages]].
* HumansThroughAlienEyes: Gems don't always ''get'' a lot of human habits and behaviors, something which is often played for both laughs and drama. Pearl especially seems to get confused by some of the things that these short lived, organic creatures do. Gems don't require food, but Amethyst eats because she finds the sensation neat.
* IncrediblyLamePun: This gem (no pun intended here) from "Together Breakfast".
-->'''Steven:''' (about the breakfast) It's not exactly healthy, but it's in a stack...so I guess you can say it's a...''balanced breakfast.''
-->'''Garnet:''' (Disapproving face)
-->'''[[http://41.media.tumblr.com/8ee2d0878d53bbb1a81ec270f3c85751/tumblr_nj04fwCvvc1u9bhcro1_400.jpg Steven]]'''
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: [[spoiler:Amethyst and Pearl]] manifest this in different ways:
** While [[spoiler:Amethyst]] does talk a big game sometimes, usually she just goes through life rolling with the punches like it's no big deal. While she doesn't appear to think ''higher'' of herself than anybody else, she does give off the impression that she's cool with who she is and any attempt to bring her down will just roll right off her back. "On the Run" reveals that, in reality, [[spoiler:she secretly ''despises'' herself due to being the living byproduct of the Gems' previous attempt to destroy the planet]].
** [[spoiler:Pearl]] carries herself very highly and only rarely admits she's in the wrong about anything. Episodes like "Coach Steven" and "Rose's Scabbard" chip away at her layers, and in "Friend Ship" [[spoiler:she finally breaks and admits how she really feels: weak, useless, and incomplete.]]
* InterspeciesRomance: Greg and Rose Quartz. As Rose [[PosthumousCharacter begins making more appearances]], the relationship is [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] thoroughly. Gems are, after all, [[BizarreAlienBiology gemstones with "bodies" made of hard light]], [[BlueAndOrangeMorality have very different views on love and relationships]], and [[TimeAbyss live on a geologic time scale]], which naturally makes them view humans as something lesser, [[NobleBigot whether they mean well or not]]. Can beings with so little in common truly fall in love? What would prevent the human from seeing the alien as a god, or the alien seeing the human as a plaything? These factors are all huge strains on their relationship, and are all examined in "We Need To Talk".
* IrisOut: Most episodes end with an IrisOut in the shape of the star on Steven's shirt and a playful "pop" noise accompanied by mini stars. The ones that don't usually end on a more serious/ominous note.
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] and then [[DefiedTrope defied]] in "Full Disclosure". The episode (moreso even than many Hollywood movies) spends considerable time on and gives considerable thought to Steven's reasoning in ending his relationship with Connie, and he's more justified than many heroes in doing so: his father demonstrated ([[RunningGag again]]) that Steven's dangerous lifestyle is stressful, even pushing to the verge of an apparent heart attack. Not only that, Steven's powers are untrained and so far fairly limited, and it's unreasonable to assume that he would be able to protect Connie from serious danger. However, the episode's conclusion is that even under these generous circumstances, this trope is a ''terrible thing to do to someone'', and that Connie should be allowed to decide for herself whether she wants to risk her physical and emotional well-being.
* IWasQuiteALooker: "Story for Steven" reveals that Greg was pretty attractive in his twenties.
* JerkassHasAPoint:
** In "Island Adventure", Lars is furious when he realizes that [[spoiler:Sadie deliberately hid the warp pad that would have allowed them and Steven to to return home from the island]]. Even if Sadie's heart was in the right place, she still earns a serious WhatTheHellHero
** In "We Need to Talk", Pearl tells Greg that [[spoiler:Rose views him as nothing more than "a phase", and is only interested in him because he's human]]. At the time, [[NobleBigot she's right]].
* LadyAndKnight: This is exactly how Pearl describes the relationship between herself and Rose. She then trains Connie to follow in her footsteps towards Steven. However, she twists this trope into a version that demands ''suicidal self-sacrifice'' rather than obedience.
* LadyOfWar:
** Pearl's signature style, as well as her fusion with Amethyst, Opal.
** From the brief flashbacks we've seen, Rose Quartz also embodied this trope.
** Sardonyx, Pearl and Garnet's fusion, is this to a lesser extent. She's elegant and acrobatic, but she hits things with a warhammer and is the biggest ham out of all the Gems except for Sugilite.
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** Most major characters have their own. Steven has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-stevens-shield#t=0:26 an instrumental version of the theme song]]. Pearl has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-pearls-theme a calm and elegant piano theme]], Amethyst has a hip-hop beat, and Garnet has a distinctive bass synth. Greg has a simple, laid-back theme, while [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-lions-mane#t=0:37 Rose]] and [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-connie-piano-demo Connie]] each have a soft piano piece. Lion has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-lions-theme a simple, childlike glockenspiel theme]]. [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli]] has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-mirror-gem a melancholy rolling theme with a water motif]], [[spoiler:Peridot]]'s theme is [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-peridot mysterious and synthetic]], and [[spoiler:Jasper]]'s theme is [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-return-to-the#t=0:48 percussion-heavy and invokes a war march]].
** [[FusionDance Gem fusions]] come with their own leitmotifs, which combine their component Gems' signature instruments: Opal (Amethyst + Pearl) has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-opal an energetic jazz piano theme]], Sugilite (Garnet + Amethyst) has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-sugelite a menacing synth beat]], Sardonyx (Pearl + Garnet) has [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-sardonyx a showy piano backed by a synth beat]], and Alexandrite [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-alexandrite incorporates elements from all three]]. Battle music also tends to incorporate elements from each character involved.
* LargeHam:
** Jasper. "You... have FAILED!"
** Ruby. "I AM AN ETERNAL FLAME, BABY!"
* LikeFatherLikeSon: If not for Greg's anxiety when it comes to Gem matters, he and Steven would basically be differently-aged copies of one another.
* LicensedGame: ''VideoGame/AttackTheLight.'' which combines Paper Mario RPG physics with Steven Universe.
* LighthousePoint: There's a lighthouse on the cliff above the Crystal Temple. It seems to be abandoned, as Ronaldo is able to use it as a base for organizing his conspiracy theories and watching movies.
* LimitedWardrobe: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]]; "Story for Steven" reveals that Steven's shirt(s) were once merchandise Greg would sell at concerts during his rockstar days. Meanwhile, the Gems' bodies are merely projections, and since their clothes are as fake as the rest of them, they tend to stick to a single outfit. The one real exception to the LimitedWardrobe is Connie, who wears a different outfit in practically every single one of her appearances. And though Steven is extremely attached to his pink star shirt and has multiple versions, he does wear a number of different outfits throughout the episodes, including hoodies, jackets, and tank tops. Many of them have a star in the same place and are the same shade of pink, so at a glance he seems to be wearing the same outfit. A lot of the background characters also have several different outfits they change between.
* TheLoad: Steven started off like this to the Gems. He really did try to help, but he'd get everyone into trouble more often than not. Nowadays he's ''far'' more capable of handling himself.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Utilized on occasion, but the show [[PlayedWith hardly plays it straight]]:
** Jamie says he has this with Garnet, but she rebuffs him, saying that love at first sight [[AvertedTrope doesn't exist]] and that love takes time and work.
** Rose Quartz and Greg, though it was more like ''attraction'' at first sight, considering the example above. The episode "We Need To Talk" goes further by slightly deconstructing Rose and Greg's initial attraction towards each other, with both of them realizing (and overcoming) the fact that they're ''[[CultureClash very]]'' different from one another, [[RealityEnsues enough for them to worry about their future together]].
* LoveTriangle: Pearl vs. Greg for Rose; though she didn't mind showing affection towards both, the existence of Steven indicates that Greg "won" in the end.
* LuminescentBlush: As with the {{Animesque}} feel of the show. Pearl is especially prone to it, but for her it's blue in color.
* {{Magitek}}: A lot of the magic in the show seems like a form of technology. For example, Pearl's hologram is voice-activated and can touch things, but bugs out with static. Rose's room is like a gaming processor that can't handle areas that are too big. The room also responds to voice commands. Rose's armory does as well. Crystal shards (as seen in "Frybo") ''also'' respond to voice commands.
* MaleGaze: There are several moments in the show where the camera pulls this on Pearl's backside, which is drawn a lot more shapelier than usual in those particular shots. Examples include the final act of "Laser Light Cannon" and, more blatantly, Amethyst's taunting in "Cat Fingers", where she morphs into Pearl, sticks out her rear, and begins slapping it while going "Womp! Womp!"
* MamaBear: The Crystal Gems to Steven. Harming him is their shared BerserkButton.
* ManlyTears: Greg falls victim to this a lot. You can't really blame the guy--he's already lost his wife and his only son risks his life on a daily basis.
* MaternalDeathBlameTheChild: The Gems and Greg all love Steven very much, but they're also aware that Rose effectively gave up her life so he could be born. Tragically, Steven himself begins to pick up on this, and starts to feel guilty.
* MissingMom: Besides Steven, about half of the cast's mothers aren't seen.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: Downplayed. There are monsters with gems in their bodies that the Gems need to stop from reaching the temple but they rarely are the focus of the episode. [[spoiler:It turns out these monsters are actually corrupted Gems.]] There are also the occasional monster that differs, such as the spirit in "Together Breakfast" and the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" which was [[spoiler:a space probe sent by Peridot.]] Later on, this becomes even less of an emphasis as the focus shifts to a MythArc.
* MoodWhiplash: The show does have moments to change from funny to seriousness in a matter of minutes.
* MundaneUtility: All the Gems have shown that they're quick to use their magic for relatively normal matters.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: As shown above with the ThemeTuneRollCall, Steven Zoidberg's himself in. And in the pilot it was Steven who wrote the song in the first place.
* MusicalWorldHypotheses: The series uses different hypotheses at different points:
** There are several examples of Diegetic; Steven and Greg are musically talented, and often enjoy performing or improvising songs.
** All in Their Head appears in "Full Disclosure", where Steven monologues about his fear of something happening to Connie and Beach City.
** Adaptations are fairly common, such as Pearl and Connie training and talking in "Do It For Her", or Garnet giving Jasper a BadassBoast in the form of "Stronger Than You", which also [[IntersceneDiegetic continues to be audible as Garnet ceases visibly singing]].
** "What Can I Do for You" is an interesting example; Greg and Rose ''are'' actually singing and playing--dialogue clarifies that they're filming a music video (Diegetic)--but Rose's lyrics are such an on-the-nose statement of her character and motivation (Adaptation) that the "real" lyrics were likely something else.
* MythArc:
** "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem" hint at a far wider conflict than merely monsters randomly attacking Beach City. [[spoiler:All those monsters are corrupted Gems, and the Crystal Gems seem to fear whatever might come from their homeworld.]]
** This came back in "Warp Tour" when [[spoiler:ball-like machines travel through the warp streams to get to the Intergalactic Warp pad so they can fix it and give another new Gem, Peridot, access to it.]] This also reveals that [[spoiler:the Earth-bound Gems actively destroyed that particular warp pad to prevent more of their kind from reaching Earth.]] Why that is has not yet been revealed, but it actively terrifies Garnet.
** In "On the Run," we learn that [[spoiler:the Gems from their homeworld were trying to use Earth to create other Gems, which would be dangerous for the humans already living on Earth. Amethyst was one of the Gems created here.]]
** After the season 1 finale, [[spoiler: Peridot manages to escape to Earth, and there's the looming threat that Homeworld is going to notice that she, Jasper and Lapis have gone missing and come to investigate.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:N - R]]
* TheNeedless: Because Gems get all the energy they need from their gemstones and their bodies are more or less physical holograms, they have no need to eat, drink, sleep, or even breathe. It is implied in "Chille Tid", however, that they do become stressed when overexerted, and while still not necessary, rest is beneficial to them in these situations.
* NeverSayDie: Characters ''do'' say "killed" and other synonyms for death, but when it comes to Rose Quartz, they say that she "gave up her physical form." [[spoiler:This was actually because [[SubvertedTrope Rose didn't exactly die]], but she became half of Steven.]] The specifics as to whether or not she could be considered alive are more philosophical than anything.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Do not let the goofy episode teasers fool you. There are some seriously dark undertones to this show and a fair share of heart wrenching moments.
** Similarly, fans have learned to become suspicious of any episodes which are given particularly innocuous seeming promos or episode summaries, since those are usually used to deliberately disguise some of the heavier episodes.
* NewContentCountdownClock: On the day of the premiere, there was a clock in the corner of Cartoon Network's programs counting down to the premiere of ''Steven Universe''.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Gems often nonchalantly reveal an ability they haven't shown before without much comment- which makes sense, as different situations call for different skills- the first time we see a particular power in action, such as Amethyst's RollingAttack, is simply the first time they were in a situation where they needed it. Some were even alluded to before they were seen (Opal's bow fires arrows made of light, with the same color as Pearl's ranged lasers).
* NobleBigot:
** [[spoiler:Rose Quartz]] was this toward humans, despite being seen by everyone as kindhearted and good-natured. The most attention is drawn to this when Greg [[spoiler:confesses to her that he fears she doesn't respect him]], and she interprets it as a joke. Their relationship following this did seem to dial this back a bit though.
** Pearl has some shades of this. She'll gladly protect the Earth and its inhabitants, but she'll still occasionally come across as [[SmugSuper smug and superior]] when interacting with them personally.
* NoodlePeople: Pearl seems to be designed with the ideal physique for a ballet dancer; tall, slender, and long-limbed. Combine this with the show's art style, and she's basically made of broomsticks.
* NoodleIncident: "Big Donuts" apparently stopped making donuts on-site since "the Accident". It's aftermath is burn mark on a wall, shaped like human outline. It's never explained or mentioned again.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore:
** [[WhamEpisode "Mirror Gem"/"Ocean Gem"]] has this effect: [[spoiler:Steven releases the Mirror Gem, revealing her to be [[ThereIsAnother another Gem]] named Lapis, which prompts the reveal that ''all'' the gem monsters were corrupted Gems, turning the dynamic on its head. At the end, Steven heals Lapis and she goes into space, but the Gems imply this might have repercussions in the future and it expands the setting from just Earth to space.]]
** "Warp Tour" takes the above even further, [[spoiler: where we see another Gem, Peridot, for the first time and whose presence indicates that the Crystal Gems are renegades from their kind and that wherever they're from has more Gems who are powerful, unfriendly and have plans to do very nasty things to planet Earth.]]
** "On the Run" puts nearly ''everything'' in regards to [[spoiler:Amethyst]] in a whole new light. [[spoiler:She was born on Earth in the Kindergarten to be a "bad," parasitic Gem, and she still has negative feelings about this, which were not addressed until "On the Run."]]
** "Jail Break" does the same with [[spoiler: Garnet. She's a fusion between Ruby and Sapphire.]]
* NotInFrontOfTheKid: Pearl constantly tries to shelter Steven from aspects of gemhood and gem history that she considers too mature for him to handle.
* OddlySmallOrganization: The Big Donut's only known employees are Sadie and Lars, who work there every day, all day, and more or less run the entire place by themselves. A manager or owner has yet to be seen.
* OhCrap: Happens very often to the characters.
* OffModel: This happens in the show very often and Ian Jones-Quartey has actually stated that [[http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/113622786144/re-watching-the-scene-when-jasper-and-lapis-fuse the show creators are aware of this]] and [[http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/82410447959/steven-expressions-episodes-1-10-su-is-never make no apologies about doing so]], because cartoons are meant to be fluid, expressive and funny.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: The Crystal Gems are often elsewhere on the planet fighting evil. As Steven isn't ready to join them, they don't take him along. In "Cheeseburger Backpack", for example, they've just returned from fighting a giant bird, and in "Cat Fingers", they journey off to another mission, leaving Steven behind to deal with his problem himself.
* OneGenderRace: With the exception of Steven who is half-human and male, all Gems are genderless but look like and are referred to as women.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness
** Steven is normally a kind, cheerful and friendly little boy. While he can and does get angry at things that warrant such feelings (hurting his family and friends, insulting his mother, etc.), he is never angry as a default. Most of "Warp Tour" has him extremely surly and argumentative with the gems, especially Pearl, because he is sleep-deprived and just that afraid of the thing he saw in the warp stream. Similarly, in "Keystone Motel" [[spoiler: he finally ends up breaking a plate and storming out over the way Pearl, Ruby and Sapphire have all been fighting.]]
** Pearl's breakdown in "Rose's Scabbard". She is a perfectionist and has a tendency to get a little full of herself from time to time. However, she gets increasingly bitter as she learns she wasn't Rose's sole confidant, and lashes out at the other Gems and Steven out of sheer anger and vindictiveness, something she has never really done before. [[spoiler: She even failed to help Steven after he fell from a floating island, despite voicing concern]]. Fortunately, [[spoiler: Steven saves himself and still forgives Pearl for everything]].
** In "Keeping It Together", [[TheStoic Garnet]] is so traumatized by [[spoiler: the existence of [[BodyHorror The]] [[AndIMustScream Cluster]] and its implications, she nearly unfuses from the shock]]. Even after she pulls it together long enough to [[spoiler: poof the monstrosity, she has a moment where her two halves, Ruby and Sapphire, are arguing with each other through her, complete with changes in emotion and inflection, just like split personalities]].
** In "Cry for Help", Amethyst learns Pearl was repairing the Communications Hub, but when Garnet gets mad when she finds out, Amethyst defends Pearl, despite the two rarely getting along and Amethyst not minding seeing Pearl get in trouble once in a while.
* PacManFever: The show's creators are clearly video game fans, but this trope is still applied [[TropesAreTools most likely for practical reasons]]: Nearly every video game seen in the show (such as the arcade at Funland, or the Nintendo 64 and [=GameCube=] in Steven's room) has simplified graphics, probably most akin to the SNES or 90's arcade machines, but have gameplay mechanics that make sense, are portrayed believably and are reflective of real gaming trends.
* ParentsAsPeople: A central tenet of the show: just because someone has become a parent/caretaker, it doesn't stop them being a person with their own goals, virtues and hangups -- and it doesn't mean they're reduced to the role of bystander while the next generation go off and do important things. However, as the show progresses it ''also'' becomes clear that even the best parental figures are imperfect: their jealousy, insecurity, emotional distance or irresponsibility won't magically vanish [[BabiesMakeEverythingBetter because a child has turned up]]. Even parents have to address their own issues. Vidalia, for example, is the loving mother of Sour Cream and Onion, but she still finds the time to pursue her goals of being a painter.
* PlotParallel: In the episode "Reformed", it's implied that the characters in "Crying Breakfast Friends!" are each a counterpart to one of the characters in Steven's life. The few other glimpses we've gotten of this show seems to relate to the main plot of the episode, in particular "Cry for Help" (see CrystalBallScheduling).
* PortalDoor: The door at the Gem monument leads to the Gem temple, and opens to specific areas depending on which Gem activates it.
* PortalNetwork: The crystal platform in front of the PortalDoor links to other platforms of similar construction. There's a larger version of this called the Galaxy Warp that connects to an interplanetary network.
* PowerHigh: "Cry for Help" implies that this is why fusing with Garnet can be addictive. Because Garnet is already an incredibly powerful and perfect fusion, the considerably weaker Pearl and Amethyst find fusing with Garnet to be remarkably pleasant.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It is implied that many gem artifacts, including the Desert Glass and the pyramid in "Serious Steven", [[spoiler:are powered by sentient Gems. Lapis Lazuli herself powered a magical mirror.]]
* PsychoactivePowers: Gem abilities and their use seem to be keyed to the user's emotions. Steven loses control of his shapeshifting when he starts to get upset and has difficulty summoning his shield because each of the Gems gives him a different explanation for how to do so: [[TheSmartGuy Pearl]] suggests mental focus and rigorous discipline, Amethyst advocates 'just feeling it' and Garnet talks about tapping into the harmony of the universe. Steven's method, while not verbally espoused, seems to stem from [[ThePowerOfLove compassion]] and a desire to protect.
* ThePowerOfLove[=/=]ThePowerOfFriendship:
** The show's central theme is the love and relationships between characters. Steven in particular is primarily motivated by the need to care for and protect others. Fusions between gems also work far better if the gems legitimately love and care for one another.
** Garnet is the embodiment of ThePowerOfLove, since Ruby and Sapphire love each other so much they can't stand to be separated. Garnet even sings a song about how she's made up of love and that makes her stronger than her opponent.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: With the parallels between sex and [[FusionDance fusion]] being as strong as they are, [[spoiler:the way the gem shards were forced into doing it in "Keeping it Together"]] could [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything very easily be seen]] as a metaphor for rape. The episode goes into great lengths to emphasize how monstrous and evil the act was, even more so than its elements of graverobbing and necromancy.
* RapunzelHair: Amethyst, Greg and Rose Quartz all have this. What's left of Greg's hair goes to the backs of his legs (it was floor length when he was younger i.e. shorter). Amethyst made her hair floor-length apparently to match Greg since she was seen fawning over it when they first met. Rose Quartz has extremely thick, luscious hair styled in thick RegalRinglets that go down to the backs of her legs, and it would probably be even longer if it were straight.
* RedOniBlueOni:
** Amethyst and Pearl, respectively - the former being anarchic and energetic, the latter being reserved and obsessed with details.
** Steven and Connie would also qualify, Steven being a CheerfulChild and the {{Keet}} and Connie being calm, shy, and duty-bound.
** [[spoiler: Ruby and Sapphire (the former is HotBlooded and lives in the moment, the latter is stoic, introspective and has precognative powers - notably, they usually share the same feelings but express them differently)]] are a nearly literal example of this trope.
* RuleOfFunny:
** Per [[https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5vSGHuLDz2BelloOVd4NmY4ZWM/ Word Of God]], the reason the people of Beach City take the magical goings-on around them in stride.
** Pearl's exaggerated SanitySlippage in the ''Uncle Grandpa'' crossover.
* RuleOfSymbolism: The series often uses motifs from Hinduism, such as the multiple arms seen in the Gems' temple statue and fused gems (including Opal and Sugilite). [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/78156709869/from-storyboard-artist-joe-johnston-some Opal was also originally planned]] to form [[NonNaziSwastika a clockwise swastika symbol]] with her hands when summoning her bow, a symbol associated with Vishnu. Sugilite, with her four arms, scary-looking fangs and BloodKnight personality, strongly resembles the Hindu goddess [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali Kali]] (who is associated with the counterclockwise swastika).
* RunningGag:
** Steven often falls flat on his face after teleporting, though he gets the hang of it later on. Connie, not having Steven's experience, does the same thing in "Sworn to the Sword".
** When something magical happens to Connie and Steven, Connie will usually say something along the lines of, "Is this usual?" to which Steven will reply, "No. This is new."
** Mr. Universe's van suffering abuse.
--> '''Greg''': ''No! Not the van!''
** The Gems ground Steven by forbidding him to watch TV for 1000 years in "Fusion Cuisine", and it keeps coming up again in future episodes. In the episode "Joy Ride", [[spoiler:Garnet ungrounds Steven from TV.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:S - Z]]
* SceneryPorn:
** The series has gained a name thanks to its [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/77314174734/a-selection-of-backgrounds-from-the-steven gorgeous artwork]].
** The scene in "Ocean Gem" with the sea tower reaching into space is ''breathtaking''.
* ScienceFantasy: While some of the stuff the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Gems]] have and can do is depicted as technology, a good portion of said technology seems to be {{Magitek}} of some kind, and the rest is straight up described as magic, and has no apparently technology behind it.
* SealedEvilInADuel: [[spoiler: Jasper and Lapis, within Malachite's body. Lapis is able to trap Jasper in the fusion using the weight of the ocean and her own willpower, but she must actively restrain Jasper at every moment or Jasper will escape, or worse, Malachite will.]]
* SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler:In "The Test", it's revealed that the mission to the Sea Spire was one of these for Steven. He's much better now, but at the time, he didn't do very well at all.]]
* SelfSacrificeScheme: During the climax of "Watermelon Steven", the melon army has gone rogue, indiscriminately attacking anything they perceive as a threat to Steven. Baby Melon stops them by [[spoiler:punching Steven, causing the other melons to turn on him. Once he is slain, the melons have nothing left to fight]].
* SerialEscalation
** Frybo in his titular episode. He has a permanent smile on his face, and when Pearl jabs him in the eye with her spear, ketchup pours from the wound like blood. He doesn't even ''speak''. UncannyValley for sure.
** Malachite in "Jail Break". She has Jasper's SlasherSmile, four huge eyes, a raspy EvilLaugh, and tries to smash the heroes with a giant hand made out of water.
* ShapedLikeItself:
--> '''Pearl:''' Simplified to our basic forms, gems are, well just gems *giggles*
* ShipperOnDeck: All the Crystal Gems seem to ship [[PuppyLove Steven and Connie.]]
* ShipSinking
** What seems to be the case for Sadie/Lars, at the moment, at least. It seems to have come from a mix of Lars' attitude and Sadie's actions in "Island Adventure." This was even made fun of in "Say Uncle", where Lars and Sadie are on a sinking boat.
--> '''Lars:''' Our ship!
** Any Garnet ships ([[spoiler:sans Sapphire and Ruby, obviously]]) are now completely sunk, as Garnet isn't interested in ''any'' relationships.
--> '''Garnet:''' [[spoiler:Three's a crowd.]]
* ShipTease
** Steven and Connie, as the series progress.
** Rose and Pearl have been implied since "Rose's Scabbard."
** Sadie and Lars.
* ShouldntWeBeInSchoolRightNow: Steven has never had a formal education, being home schooled by the Gems. Up until Connie told him about it he had never even heard the word "school".
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/StevenUniverse A whole page's worth.]]
* ShownTheirWork: Someone on the staff must ''really'' know their gemology, since barely an episode passes without some FridgeBrilliance relating to real-life gemstone science and mythology.
* ShowWithinAShow:
** ''L'il Butler'', a parody of series' like ''Series/TheNanny'', that seemingly ended decades ago. Greg has an entire collection of VHS tapes.
** ''Crying Breakfast Friends[[ExcitedSeriesTitle !]]'', a cartoon [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin about crying]] [[AnthropomorphicFood breakfast foods]] that Steven loves but leaves Greg utterly baffled. "Reformed" essentially indicates ''Crying Breakfast Friends!'' is the ''Steven Universe'' equivalent of ''[[SelfParody itself]]'', even having counterparts for each cast member.
-->'''Amethyst:''' Who wants to watch a cartoon about people crying?\\
'''Steven:''' (tearing up) I do!
*** CBF also lampshades the main show.There's not many episodes where someone (usually Steven) doesn't have tears in their eyes about something, especially later in the series when the increased danger and the personal struggles come into focus.
** The ''Dogcopter'' movie series, which is based on a book series.
* ShutUpHannibal
** Near the end of "Lars and the Cool Kids", Lars snaps from pressure and unreasonably blames the situation on Steven's "weird mom". Steven...[[BerserkButton doesn't react well.]]
-->'''Steven:''' What do you know about my mom? ''I didn't even get to know my mom!'' But I ''do'' know, she saw beauty in ''everything''....even in jerks like ''you!''
** In "Jail Break", "Stronger Than You" is pretty much a ShutUpHannibal ''song.'' While beating up Hannibal to boot.
* SimilarSquad: The Cool Kids to the Crystal Gems. There's Sour Cream's calm and organized demeanor as Pearl, Jenny Pizza's playful personality as Amethyst, and Buck Dewey's somewhat TheQuietOne personality to Garnet. Bonus points for there being physical similarities as well. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at the end of "Joy Ride", with a picture showing each Gem standing by their corresponding Cool Kid.
* SleepCute: Steven. [[BeautifulDreamer Pearl often watches him sleep.]]
* SlowMotionFall: [[spoiler:Garnet at the end of "The Return".]]
* SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom: One of the rooms in "Serious Steven."
* SpaceAgeStasis: [[AvertedTrope Nope!]] [[spoiler:The Homeworld Gems have continued to advance in the thousands of years they've been cut off from Earth, to the point that the most powerful weapons the Crystal Gems have are useless against their technology]].
* SpecialEditionTitle: "Jail Break" has the title card on a space background rather than a beach.
* SpecialPersonNormalName: Steven.
* {{Squee}}: Garnet's reaction to [[spoiler:[[PuppyLove Steven and Connie]] fusing.]]
* StatuesqueStunner: When Greg first met Rose, his best guess when asked how big she was was "eight feet tall". It's suggested he had a thing for taller women.
** Garnet, at least in Jamie's eyes.
* StressVomit: Steven mentions almost succumbing to this in "Serious Steven."
* StylisticSuck: "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" is made entirely to look like it was filmed on a camcorder and edited with Windows Movie Maker.
* SuperDeformed: In the short "What are gems".
* SuperFunHappyThingOfDoom: During the war, Homeworld Gems built an unknown number of facilities designed to [[spoiler:siphon nutrients out of the Earth's crust and use them to grow new Gems, at the expense of all life on the planet]]. Said places are now decrepit, craggy canyons, littered with broken machines that closely resemble thirty-foot tall viruses. The walls are all covered in holes the exact size and shape to fit a specific humanoid, a la Manga/TheEnigmaOfAmigaraFault. What did the Homeworld Gems decide call these places? [[spoiler:Kindergartens.]]
* SurpriseCreepy
** The show is usually a lighthearted comedy, which makes the occasional foray into [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] BodyHorror [[MoodWhiplash all the more effective.]]
** Steven's dream in "Chille Tid" starts off as a 50's sitcom parody...[[spoiler:until he opens the door to reveal Lapis Lazuli, with water pouring from her eyes and mouth.]]
** Anytime Onion appears, expect something creepy and messed up to happen.
* {{Surrealism}}: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]], but it's there and not always PlayedForLaughs, though the show does sometimes veer into SurrealHumor.
* SymbolicBlood: Frybo bleeds ketchup.
* TakingTheBullet: Parodied in "Together Breakfast" when Steven takes a squirt gun blast for [[ItMakesSenseInContext a stack of waffles]].
** Also parodied in "Shirt Club". When one of Major Dewey's bodyguards sees someone training a gun (well, shirt cannon) on him, he calls out, runs in front of his charge.....and then [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere keeps right on running until he's out of sight.]]
* TalkingToThemself:
** [[spoiler:Stevonnie]] sometimes talks like this, since they're the fusion of [[spoiler:Steven and Connie.]] This is seen a few times in "Alone Together".
** [[spoiler: Garnet]] at the end of "Keeping it Together". Upon seeing gem shards fused together, she has split feelings on the issue [[spoiler:to the point where she nearly split apart]].
* TeleportersAndTransporters: The Gems employ Warp Pads to get around from place to place on Earth, crystal pads activated by a Gem's thought or by a convenient WarpWhistle. They transport more than the Gems themselves, but a normal human can't activate one on their own. A larger version exists that allows for interplanetary travel; the only known Galaxy Warp on Earth is inactive, [[spoiler:and the Crystal Gems have a vested interest in making sure it ''stays'' that way]]. Those who are transported by a pad go through "Warp Space", a space where all the streams from the warp pads run through. The other streams are visible if one sticks their head out, [[SpaceIsCold but as warp space lacks heat, air and gravity, it is not advisable]].
* TellMeAboutMyMother: Steven asks Pearl what his mother was like at the beginning of "Rose's Scabbard", setting up the episode's story.
* TemptingFate: In "Giant Woman", "I might get eaten by a giant bird!" ''(chomp)''
* ThemeTuneExtended: There is an extended version of the show's theme ("We Are the Crystal Gems") even longer than the pilot version [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=VE2HY0OxJQk that appears in one episode in a flashback]]. When it was first released a year earlier, it had lyrics censored for spoilers.
-->''If only you could know/What we truly are\\
When we arrived on Earth, from far beyond your star\\
We were amazed to find your beauty and your worth\\
We will protect your kind, and we will protect your Earth\\
We will protect your Earth, and we will protect YOU!''
* ThemeTuneRollCall: Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, AND STEVEN!
* ThereAreNoPolice: Beach City doesn't seem to have any form of law enforcement: none are present, even in situations where they logically should be, such as when a blackout nearly causes a riot or when the there's a massive evacuation.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Both Amethyst and Pearl have some ''extreme'' self-esteem issues, along with attachment issues in Pearl's case, which have been allowed to go on for literal millenia. Steven himself has run into his own issues when it comes to coping with recent events (for a specific example, "Full Disclosure" centers around him dealing with the aftermath of the season one finale).
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodSandwich:
** "Together Breakfast" ends with the Crystal Gems making a new Together Breakfast, then getting pizza instead because its predecessor did try to kill them.
** "Secret Team" ends with Steven and the Gems ripping their secret team membership cards, which were free pizza coupons, Steven claims they would've gotten one if they didn't rip them up.
** In "Onion Friend", Steven never does end up getting to eat his 'perfect' bagel.
* ThrivingGhostTown: Beach City is home to less than two dozen people, for an area that should charitably require five times as many. Greg lampshades this when Steven says how the whole city will be at the concert he wants them both to attend. Greg says that's like 15 people, tops.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: A downplayed example with Rose and Greg. Greg is taller than average but Rose is HUGE. It may have actually been part of the reason for the attraction, as hinted in "Story for Steven".
-->'''Greg:''' I-I just can't stop thinking about that woman at the show.\\
'''Marty:''' Oh, here we go. How big was she?
** Steven has inherited his dad's taste for "Giant Woman". He literally sings a song, called ''Giant Woman'', in the episode ''[[RunningGag Giant Woman]]''.
* TitleDrop: Occurs in "Story for Steven" and "Chille Tid".
* TitleThemeDrop: The theme song is often played in the background in clever ways, such as just using the basic chords from the theme, or remixing the melody very slightly.
* {{Tomboy}}: Amethyst has a disheveled appearance, she messily eats [[BigEater absolutely anything]], and generally lacks stereotypically "girly" refinement. In her very first scene in the series proper, she's introduced while ''picking her nose''.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl:
** Amethyst's complete lack of refinement and Pearl's delicate femininity clash throughout the show; although in a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]], it's ''Pearl's'' insensitivity which eventually brings them to blows.
** [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire]] have served as a more caricatured example, given their limited screentime: [[spoiler:Ruby's]] [[IncrediblyLamePun hot]] temper and lack of social graces [[RedOniBlueOni contrasting against]] [[spoiler:Sapphire's]] more [[WomenAreWiser stoic, patient outlook]] and polite behavior. Their designs mirror this, with the former's outfit being androgynous and combat-oriented, and the latter's apparel resembling a PrincessClassic.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Steven starts to become more mature as the show progresses and obtains new abilities and becoming a protecter of the planet just as his mother was. After season 1, he's fully able to use his shield with ease.
** Connie; during season 2 is learns how to sword fight and together with Steven, they show amazing skills in combat.
* TooManyMouths: Alexandrite has a second, extra-toothy mouth that opens along the base of her chin, meaning [[NightmareFuel her entire face is lifted up like an upper jaw]].
* TrailersAlwaysLie: Most previews focus on the show's more happy-go-lucky, comedy elements, leaving its MythArc to gain notoriety via word-of-mouth.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: When Cartoon Network aired sent-in reactions from fans, some were reactions to [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire fusing into Garnet.]]
* UglyGuyHotWife: Played with in the case of Greg and Rose. Rose is beautiful and majestic every time we see her, with a [[AnimationBump lot more attention than usual]] given to her graceful movements and [[{{Animesque}} huge shiny hair]], and Greg is a schlubby middle-aged guy with a farmer's tan and receding hairline. But flashbacks show us that when he was young Greg was pretty good looking and cool, the somewhat well-known rock singer Mister Universe, with an awesome [[WildHair mane]] of hair that apparently inspired young!Amethyst to grow out hers.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Everyone in Beach City reacts like this towards the Gems. Despite their display of magical powers, no one seems to care. When [[ConspiracyTheorist Ronaldo]] finds out they're responsible for a bunch of strange events he attributed to TheReptilians, he finds this actual explanation too mundane to accept. This is justified when you consider that the Gems have been on Earth since practically the dawn of humanity, if not longer (Pearl casually states in "Political Power" that she can remember when humans used to be hunter-gatherers, implying that her presence on Earth predates the Neolithic Revolution of 10,000 B.C.E). As far as humans are concerned, the Gems have pretty much always been there; it's an old hat at this point.
** Played with in "Lion 2: The Movie". Connie is suitably amazed by the giant pink lion and gem magic, while Steven is used to it and is more excited about the movie with the cyborg heli-dog. Once the flying robot shooting up the street is defeated, the ticket lady doesn't even question what happened.
** "Beach Party" has Garnet explaining to the Pizzas exactly how the Gem Temple works. As she does so, the gem in her right hand sparkles.
--->'''Kofi:''' What is wrong with your hand?
** In "Ocean Gem", Mayor Dewey refers to the Gems as "those magical ladies", and while everyone is rather surprised the ocean has disappeared, they care less for this physical impossibility than they do the effect it will have on the town.
** When Alexandrite shows up to a family dinner with Connie's parents, their reaction to a giant, multi-colored, six-armed woman is mild surprise and stammering through the usual expected niceties.
** Played with during Greg's story of how he met Rose; he pays no attention to the fact he had a conversation with Amethyst, who was a giant purple owl with her gem in its chest, but is promptly shocked when the owl starts talking back.
* VileVillainSaccharineShow:
** Peridot and Jasper. Neither of them have any qualms about harming children (if they even understand what children are; Peridot still seems to think "a Steven" is a species), and Peridot's mission involves doing ''something'' to this InsignificantLittleBluePlanet.
** [[BrokenBird Lapis]], during her stint as a villain, came down pretty dang hard, too, given she tried to drown Steven and Connie, and threw Greg's van with him in it, breaking his leg. She may be more sympathetic than the other two being [[spoiler: a badly wounded Gem that really just wanted to go home]] but her methods were brutal. For added punch, she was introduced long before the other two, as the first [[spoiler:humanoid]] Gem antagonist.
** Peridot and, by extension, the Homeworld Gems have picked up some extra evil points as of "Keeping it Together". The episode reveals that [[spoiler:they've been conducting experiments in the Kindergarten, involving forcibly fusing the remains of ''[[HeroKiller shattered Crystal Gems]]'' into a twisted Frankenstein-like mass of BodyHorror]]. In addition, it's implied that [[spoiler:the individual shards [[AndIMustScream can still remember that they]] [[WasOnceAMan used to be people]]]]. Garnet's horrified reaction drives the point home.
* VillainExitStageLeft: [[spoiler:Peridot]] narrowly eludes the Crystal Gems' grasp on multiple occasions. In one particularly close call, she [[spoiler:detaches one of her own feet]] in order to escape.
* ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer: Deconstructed in "So Many Birthdays". Garnet tries to shake Steven back to normal, and mournfully admits to incorrectly believing this trope. However, Pearl and Amethyst shouting at Garnet is what causes Steven to regain his personality.
* VocalEvolution: Steven's voice deepens as the show continues. It's a deliberate choice on the part of his voice actor, who's voice had already broken by the time he started the part.
* VoiceOfTheLegion: When a fusion begins to break apart, or its components are unwilling to work together, the fusion's voice will change from one person's to the other's.
* WaveMotionGun: Rose Quartz's light cannon. It shoots a beam of light in the shape of a flower that blooms into a silhouette of Rose herself.
* WeaponOfChoice: The gems all have a different magical weapon that they summon through their gems.
** Garnet has a pair of [[PowerFist gauntlets]] that are projected out of the gems embedded in her hands.
** Pearl gets [[BladeOnAStick a spear]] and has a collection of swords in her room.
** Amethyst uses [[WhipItGood a whip]].
** The titular character Steven has [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe a shield]] that he inherited from his mother. His mother also used [[CoolSword a sword]] that is not projected out of a gem, but is instead summoned out of Lion.
** [[spoiler: Lapis Lazuli does not have a weapon. Instead, she has the power to [[MakingASplash control water]]. Her official summoned weapon appears to be her [[PowerGivesYouWings fluid wings]].]]
** [[spoiler:Jasper summons a CoolHelmet.]]
** It's also worth noting that when two gems [[FusionDance fuse]] their weapons combine into a new one too:
*** Opal turns Pearl's spear and Amethyst's whip into the limbs and string of an EnergyBow.
*** Sugilite combines Garnet's gauntlets into a giant [[EpicFlail meteor hammer]] with Amethyst's whip as the chain.
*** Sardonyx combines Garnet's gauntlets and Pearl's spear into a large, cartoonish [[DropTheHammer warhammer]].
** Connie always showed a tendency towards sword-fighting, and eventually trained to become an expert with it.
* WeAreAsMayflies: In "Keep Beach City Weird!", Pearl muses that humans live "short, boring lives." Gems, on the other hand, do not age and are very hard to kill.
* WellIntentionedReplacement: In the comic story from the ''ComicBook/AdventureTime 2013 Spooktacular''. The Gems make a comic book for Steven after destroying Steven's pile of [[SomethingPerson [=GuyMan=]]] (and [[DistaffCounterpart [=GuyWoman=]]]) variants that a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting devious shape shifter]] turned itself into. Steven loves it.
* WhamEpisode:
** "Mirror Gem"/"Ocean Gem" two-parter. [[spoiler:Steven releases a new Gem named Lapis Lazuli (directly contradicting the Crystal Gems' wishes), it's revealed that Gems fought each other all the time, the various monsters fought over the course of the series are confirmed to be Gems that have become "corrupt", and Steven [[TookALevelInBadass appears to have more control summoning his shield.]] The end of the episode also hints at the scope of the series expanding from the Gems fighting the monsters they find on Earth to whatever threats will come from Homeworld.]]
** "Warp Tour." [[spoiler:Another Gem named Peridot makes an appearance after her robots land from outer space and fix the Warp Pad that leads to the Gem Homeworld. Whatever this means, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl are ''extremely'' distressed about the possibility of Homeworld Gems returning to Earth. It ends with Garnet smashing the Warp Pad, and raises even more questions about the Crystal Gems and why they seem to be in such a conflict with the others.]]
** "On the Run." [[spoiler:Pearl reveals that the trio (and Rose) were a group who defected from the rest of the Gem homeworld due to opposing a plan that would have damaged the Earth greatly, which involved a place called "Kindergarten." Later on in the episode, Amethyst reveals to Steven that she was actually created on Earth and was one of the ''many'' products of "Kindergarten."]]
** "The Message", once the eponymous message is finally deciphered: [[spoiler:it's a warning from Lapis-- Peridot is coming to Earth, wielding technology far more advanced than anything the Crystal Gems have in their arsenal, and she's not coming alone.]]
** "The Return"/"Jailbreak" two-parter. [[spoiler:Peridot arrives on Earth in a giant handship from the Gem Homeworld. Steven and the Gems then face off against a new gem called [[KnightOfCerebus Jasper]] that fought with Rose Quartz's army in the war for Earth thousands of years ago. Also, it's revealed that Garnet is a fusion between two long awaited gems: Ruby and Sapphire. Finally, at the end of the episode, Jasper fuses with Lapis Lazuli into the malevolent Malachite, but in a huge twist to Jasper, Lapis Lazuli takes over and sends Jasper and her to the ocean (possibly) '''[[AFateWorseThanDeath forever.]]''' Peridot also managed to escape and is somewhere on Earth.]]
** "Keeping it Together", which has the Crystal Gems revisit the Kindergarten and learn that [[spoiler: the Homeworld Gems are interested in {{fusion|Dance}}, and have been ''forcibly fusing the Gem shards of fallen Crystal Gems together!'']]
** "Cry For Help" ends with [[spoiler:Pearl and Garnet not on speaking terms after Pearl rebuilt a broadcast tower they destroyed while fused together and blamed it on Peridot so that they could fuse more. Garnet was furious. Its the first time we have seen a rift between the Gems that wasn't solved before the episode ended.]]
* WhamLine
** Episode-specific cases:
*** "On the Run": "...and we shut this place down so the Earth would be safe from [[spoiler:''[[IAmAMonster parasites like me!]]'']]"
*** This exchange between Ronaldo and Lars in "Horror Club" casts their interactions through the episode in a new light:
--->'''Lars:''' Come on, man! [[spoiler:{{We used to be friends}}!]]\\
'''Ronaldo:''' [[spoiler:''And you threw me away!'']]
*** "Sworn to the Sword": "[[spoiler:''Why won't you just let me do this for you, [[WrongNameOutburst Rose?]]'']]"
** Scenes with series-wide implications:
*** "Ocean Gem": "[[spoiler:All those monsters we fight used to be ''[[WasOnceAMan just like us!]]'']]"
*** "Warp Tour": "[[spoiler:They're coming back. I can't do this! ''Not again!'']]"
*** "Chille Tid": "[[spoiler:No! I'm not Lapis. [[SplitPersonalityTakeover We're Malachite now.]]]]"
* WhamShot
** "Mirror Gem": [[spoiler:Steven freeing Lapis from the mirror.]]
** "Jail Break": [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire re-fusing into Garnet.]]
** "Cry for Help": [[spoiler:Pearl being shown repairing the Hub, not Peridot.]]
** "Keystone Motel": [[spoiler:Garnet defusing into Ruby and Sapphire.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Garnet's reaction in "Cry for Help" to [[spoiler:Pearl tricking her into fusing Sardonyx. Garnet already takes fusion very seriously, seeing it as a beautiful and sacred thing, not just a power-up for strength. But she's also furious because Pearl wasted their time when Peridot was still on the loose, and refuses to speak to Pearl by the end of the episode.]]
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: What happens to Sugilite in "Coach Steven". The trope is lampshaded by Pearl.
-->'''Pearl:''' Can't you see that a power that big/Comes with a bigger expense?
* WorldOfActionGirls: Steven is both TheOneGuy and the NonActionGuy ([[TookALevelInBadass at first]]) of an otherwise [[OneGenderRace all-female species]] of {{Magical Girl Warrior}}s. Among the human characters, the two biggest {{Badass Normal}}s are both girls, [[NiceGirl Sadie]] and [[MuggleBestFriend Connie]].
* WorthyOpponent: Rose Quartz was this to her enemies, apparently.
* WrongNameOutburst: In "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl accidentally calls Steven "[[spoiler:[[TearJerker Rose]]]]" during an argument.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre:
** "On the Run", following Amethyst and Pearl's confrontation in the Kindergarten:
--->'''Pearl:''' I just never thought of ''this'' as ''you''. None of this is your fault! You didn't build this place! I... I'm sorry, Amethyst. I hope you can forgive me. You're the one good thing that came out of this mess. I always thought you were proud of that.
** In "Sworn to the Sword", after training from Pearl (who has her own self-esteem issues), Connie begins to display the view that as an ordinary human, she's nothing compared to Steven's legacy and power. Steven shuts that down right away, reminding her how they work best as a team, and how much he admires her.
** In "Friend Ship", after Pearl breaks down and admits that [[LivingEmotionalCrutch she's dependent on Garnet for strength]] and that she can't function without someone else telling her what to do, Garnet tells her what she needs to hear:
--->'''Garnet:''' It's not easy being in control. I have weaknesses too. But I choose not to let them consume me. I struggle to stay strong because I know the impact I have on everyone. ''Please'' understand, Pearl. You have an impact too. There are times when I look up to you for strength. ''You are your own gem.'' You control your destiny. Not me, not Rose, not Steven. But you must choose to be strong, so we can move forward. So I can trust you again.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Garnet to Jasper in "Stronger Than You":
-->'''Garnet:''' But I think you're just mad 'cause you're single.
* YourOtherLeft: Parodied in the episode "Rose's Scabbard". During a serious conversation between Steven and Pearl, we can hear Garnet and Amethyst in the background trying to maneuver an enormous battle axe through a doorway, and apparently no one ever taught Amethyst her directions.
--> '''Amethyst''': Turn it clockwise! No, your other clockwise! ... Yeah, lift it backwards. ... Not up, ''backwards''!
--> '''Garnet:''' You mean ''pull''?
* YouShouldHaveDiedInstead: "Rose's Scabbard" heavily implies that, even though Pearl loves Steven with all her heart and would sooner die than see any harm come to him, there's still some part of her deep down that [[spoiler:resents him for being born and taking Rose away from her.]] The saddest part? [[spoiler:Steven is completely aware of this.]]

[[/folder]]
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->''"[[ClosingCredits If I could begin to be\\
Half of what you think of me,\\
I could do about anything\\
I could even learn how to love\\
Like you]]"''
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