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- Steven using a time travel device to make insult comebacks. Sure, he could have used it for more emergency situations but this is a far more frequent and often more satisfying use.
- The way Steven leaps ahead of Garnet and the others in the first theme song.
- Every time Steven brings out Rose's Shield. He always finds a way to help.
- Every time Steven helps someone just by talking. There are many instances where Steven will talk/yell/sing at someone to help them through a problem. Doubles as Heartwarming.
- A notable example is when he motivates Pearl to fight Sugalite, by giving her an amazing pep-talk!
- Doubles as Heartwarming: The diverse set of families in the SU world. From single parents, blended families, traditional family, multi-generational households, or a family that consists of a single parent and three rock aliens that act as surrogate mothers. Each of them have flaws and problems, but not one of them is presented entirely bad. And every type of family is loving and tight-knit.
- This tumblr post about how relatable all of the characters, Gem and human, are;
You know, it’s pretty wild just how much I can relate to so many of the SU characters. Like, all of the main characters are like me in some way, not to mention some of the humans too like Lars and his fear of what people think of him, Sadie and her overbearing mom, Kiki not being able to tell someone no. Hell, even Yellow Diamond’s tyranical ass repressing her emotions and literally singing an entire song about what’s the use of feeling is relatable.And, I just love it so much. I can’t believe how many of the characters on this show are like me. We share the same fears and struggles and issues. Sometimes it’s like I’m watching myself on screen and I can sympathize so badly with a character, even characters who I thought were nothing like me can say or do something that puts me in shock because I’m suddenly being reminded of myself. I’m really so grateful to this show because with other stuff I watch, there’s typically only one character I can relate to and I’m lucky if there’s a second. Some shows, I don’t even relate to any of the characters at all. But, with SU, so many of the characters are like pieces of me. And, I absolutely adore it.I love this show, I love these characters, I love the way they’re written, I love their depth and layers, I love how the writers refused to just have them be cartoony caricatures and made them multifaceted, three-dimensional, realistic individuals that are still learning and growing and healing, the way that I am still learning and growing and healing.
- The 30-second promo for the "In Too Deep" event manages to combine this with Nightmare Fuel, by completely avoiding any hint of lightheartedness that Steven Universe commercials usually portray, including a really well-done Dark Reprise of Pearl's lines "If you could only know, what we really are" from the extended theme. It also shows Alexandrite fighting Malachite, as well as Peridot and Steven using the drill to tunnel into the earth to confront The Cluster. All in all, it does its job of getting the viewer pumped for May 12th, and then some!
- Blue Diamond's chilling declaration on exacting revenge on Steven, who denounced himself as Rose Quartz in the Wanted promo. Lisa Hannigan's delivery of the line is accurately ridden with spite and vengeance.
- Blue Diamond: I want to know what she thinks we're going to do with her... Because I want to do something worse.
- Also from Wanted's promo, there's Lars on top of a slimmed down Red Eye, right before he stabs it with a spike.
- From the preview released at SDCC 2017: Lars and the Off Colors have stolen a Homeworld ship (the "Sun Incinerator") from a Gem known as Emerald, who they've apparently been defying for a while. Lars (now dressed in a spiffy uniform) even gets called a space pirate by the captions!
- The entire scene of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl beating the snot out of the hoard of baby Centipeetles.
- Steven laments that he can't figure out how to summon his weapon, and he says at least he has Cookie Cat. He takes a bite... Cue his gem glowing like crazy, the Gems' shocked responses, and the theme song blasting in the background to reveal...
Pearl: Steven... It's a shield!
- When Steven fearlessly stands up to the Centipeetle Mother saying "LEAVE THEM ALONE!" holding ice cream and ready to kick ass.
- When he realizes his powers suddenly no longer work, he uses the smashed freezer to electrocute the Centipeetle mother, giving the Gems an opening to destroy it.
Garnet: Gems! Weapons! (They summon their weapons.) Let's do it.
- When he realizes his powers suddenly no longer work, he uses the smashed freezer to electrocute the Centipeetle mother, giving the Gems an opening to destroy it.
- Steven activating the light cannon and using its power to destroy the red eye. And the beam the cannon shot formed a shape that looked like Rose Quartz. That whole damn climax was pretty awesome.
Garnet: BRACE YOURSELVES!
- The shot of the Red Eye exploding reflected in the eyes of the main characters is like something out of an anime series.
- When the Gems can't figure out how to get past a magical whirlpool which has gravity several times higher than normal, Steven ropes together some spare sweaters, loops them to the other side, then climbs the wall by himself. Even Pearl, who is extremely concerned for his safety, admits that was cool.
Amethyst: (Carrying Pearl and Garnet) Steven-style!
- Garnet casually knocking down a pillar with ease to make a makeshift bridge.
- Steven shoves his demonically-possessed breakfast into a melting pool after it's mutated into a giant monster and taken out the other Gems.
- Steven commanding his clothing to defeat Frybo.
- Steven manages to beat the giant worm by tricking it into wrapping itself around the dock, which then collapses from the strain and crushes the worm. Particularly, he was able to move quite nimbly, showing off Acrofatic at its finest.
- Summoning the titular bubble, to save Connie from a collapsing chunk of cliff.
- Garnet dragging away the nosy Amethyst and Pearl. Not to mention her line:
"Don't mess with his funky flow!"
- Onion knowing how to operate a harpoon gun despite his very young age, and his hilariously nonchalant/triumphant reaction as his boat is sinking.
- It may be a small moment, but Connie can write backwards. That's a hard skill for most people.
- Garnet saving Steven from falling into a pit of fire by planting her feet ankle-deep into a chunk of solid stone.
- Garnet's off screen moment of awesome as she carried Steven over a room covered in spikes, guillotine and pouring lava.
Garnet: I carried you while you took a nap.
- As soon as Steven figures out what's going on, Garnet turns and starts punching the floor without a word.
- Steven figuring out what the rooms are doing, on his own, is pretty awesome on its own.
- The short but oh-so-awesome smackdown between Garnet and Amethyst.
- The fact that Amethyst took the beating from Garnet (who is at an almost unfair advantage— being older and exceptionally strong, even by Gem standards) and was ready to fight back. Honestly, she was only mildly dazed. Crowning Moment of Awesome indeed.
- Watching The Purple Puma ruthlessly pwn everybody is not only entertaining to watch, it's oddly satisfying as well. Steven getting to help out too was also cool, since he barely has control of his Gem powers at this point and is relying almost solely on ingenuity.
- In a great piece of Foreshadowing for the show's famous use of non-heteronormative representation, Amethyst's wrestling persona is a man, which absolutely no one comments on or seems to find strange at all.
- The whole sequence after Steven throws the desert glass on the beach and then he tries to get it back with all these structures shifting around in this big sandstorm and Steven's climbing on stuff and oh no he's going to fall on those spikes. Then the Pink Lion swoops in and The Awesome hits the fan. It starts the awesome train by ROARING AWAY a bunch of Sand Structures that even Garnet couldn't make a dent in, using one of the structures it broke to get up to high ground, leaps like 15 feet through the air and bursts through the structure the Desert Glass made to protect itself using its roar and looking cool doing it.
- Garnet's brief but epic beat-down against the monster at the beginning.
- It's mostly off screen, but there's a brief few moments of the Gems moving in complete tandem as they presumably lay waste to the smaller parasites.
- Opal versus the giant bird, with the background music combining both Pearl and Amethyst's themes.
- When the bird splits apart into hundreds of attacking birds, Opal orders Steven to stay low and then proceeds to fuse Amethyst's whip and Pearl's spear into a bow and arrow, which she launches to destroy all of the birds simultaneously. And all while en pointe, no less.
- Pearl's finishing move against Amethyst in their game of checkers.
- Pearl and Amethyst display incredibly fast teamwork to save Steven when he almost falls to his doom.
- Assuming Steven will age in real life like he did when his Gem "malfunctioned", looks like he'll grow up to be a tall, muscular, still adorable, and frankly pretty awesome looking guy.
- The efforts of the Gems to revert Steven to his proper age are quite admirable when given the extremely bleak circumstances. Special mentions to Amethyst, who never gave up and kept trying to motivate the other Gems as well as Pearl, who despite being in the midst an obvious breakdown, realized that Steven's age was fluctuating based on his moods and therefore provided the key to his eventual age reversal.
- Steven verbally tearing into Lars when he blames the magic moss on Steven's "Weird mom".
Steven: (pokes at Lars' chest) 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 stuff like this *points at moss* and even in jerks like you! *Lars looks away ashamedly, Steven sighs* Now help me get them to the car.
- And that was it; one angry outburst and then it was just done and gone.
- Steven saves the day without any help from the Gems whatsoever this time, and manages to snap Lars out of his freakout to get him to help the other kids.
- The utterly beautiful sight of the quartz flowers over Beach City is one for the makers of the show.
- Onion riding a moped and making it explode.
- While on a villainous note, seeing Onion, a mere kid (albeit one with a special tool), be a legit threat against the Gems is also awesome in a creepy way.
- Pearl's sparring match with Holo-Pearl is a genuine treat to behold, and the music is equally fitting.
- Despite being in shock and likely lots of pain, Pearl's first instinct after being stabbed is to frantically try and reassure a traumatized Steven that she'll be fine before she disintegrates.
- Steven defeats Holo-Pearlusing the Boomerang Blade technique, the very technique Pearl had said was impractical!
- Holo-Pearl somehow cuts down a tree with a balloon sword.
- Steven and Connie riding Lion across the ocean is a sight to behold. Connie agrees:
Connie: That was really cool.
- The secret weapons room/armory, which all signs point to being owned by Rose Quartz. It makes it clear she was a pretty badass lady (if not a bit of a goofball, when you take into account she also owned a gigantic penny).
- Near the end, Steven pulls a magic rose-themed sword out of Lion's head, and he and Connie use the sword to repel the death machine's blasts back at it.
- The Gems working together with the Pizzas to take down the puffer-fish monster.
Nanafua: I'm not afraid of that thing!
- And who came up with the plan? Grandma Pizza. On the spot. Using nothing but the volleyball net and the technique they saw Garnet use earlier.
- Everyone had a helping hand in taking down the pufferfish monster, but special mention goes to Nanafua for being the one to put the whole thing in motion.
- Garnet spiking the ball so hard it bursts into flames! Not only that, but when it impacts the sand it superheats it, turning it into a glass spire. (thank you for that explanation, Grandma Pizza.)
- Sugilite's first appearance is undoubtedly badass, as well as the transformation sequence leading up to it. The way she effortlessly demolished gigantic crystal pillars is certainly a sight to behold.
- When a large chunk of debris comes flying towards Pearl and Steven, Pearl kicks it in half.
- Pearl has to fight Sugilite, the extremely powerful combined form of Amethyst and Garnet who is as tall as a building, when she goes out of control. And Pearl wins.
- And who got the fight in her? Steven, of course! Through an awesome Rousing Speech!
Sugalite: YOU WANT SOME MORE?
- Remember how every time Pearl threw her spear in the past episodes, it did nothing? Not this time. She strikes the cliff edge that Sugilite's standing on, causing her to fall and get knocked out by her own enormous weapon.
- Pearl's resilience when fighting Sugilite counts; she's repeatedly knocked about and sent flying, but still continues to stand and fight.
- In a villainous example, Sugilite's half of the battle is just as awesome.
Sugilite: You think you're something? YOU! AIN'T! NOTHING!
- And who got the fight in her? Steven, of course! Through an awesome Rousing Speech!
- The entirety of the episode's song Strong In The Real Way, especially Pearl's half. Not only is it the first time we hear the elder Gems sing on their own, but it lends to some subtle yet great Character Development.
- Steven successfully manages to somewhat tame the Centipeetle from the first episode after he accidentally un-bubbles it, enough that it actually performs a Heroic Sacrifice for him.
- After that, Steven successfully bubbles the Centipeetle's gem (and the bag of Chaaaps) with his Gem powers. Intentionally!
- Steven accidentally healing Connie's vision. And it sticks.
- Lapis controlling the ocean enough to part it in two, Moses-style.
- Greg ramming the Steven copy with his van. He may not have magic, but that won't stop him if his son is in danger.
- Steven getting fed up with Lapis hurting his friends and summoning his shield, instantly dispelling the water clones and protecting Connie and his dad from the rotating orb of water.
Steven: Lapis. I don't wanna fight anymore. (Steven's water clone prepares to throw more water.) I said... I don't... WANNA FIGHT!! (summons shield, stops fight)
- The display of Lapis' gem powers in this episode is stunning. She's so powerful that she could make a tower to the heavens made of ocean water, and that's when her gem's cracked! What is she capable of when she's fully healed?
- How about the Crystal Gems vs. their water clones?
- Garnet and Water Garnet fighting with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and cracking the ground with the force of their punches.
- Amethyst tossing enormous boulders at Water Amethyst with her whip and transforming into the Purple Puma before throwing herself into the fray
- Pearl slices her clone in half down the middle. When the halves split into separate clones, she summons a second spear to Dual Wield. All with excessively fancy spear twirling.
- It seems that Pearl consistently has the upper hand against her clone compared to her teammates, presumably due to being more skilled than anything Lapis can conjure. Note that unlike the others, we never see her get hit, and she actually succeeds in landing a solid strike that temporarily disables her opponent. She also only displays brief shock after her clone duplicates before responding with mild irritation and the conjuring of a second spear.
- Connie taking the initiative by using Lion to rescue Steven from the collapsing water tower.
- Honestly, Steven's sheer determination to get the ocean back and not resort to hurting his new friend is pretty darn awesome. And what's more, he succeeds on both objectives by healing Lapis' gem with his magic spit.
- Not to mention, going straight to Lapis, trusting that his new friend won't try and harm him, as well, all to prevent his friends being hurt. Given the power she showed, and the (somewhat understandable) rage she exhibited, this was damn impressive.
- Greg Universe. Saving the day with duct tape.
- Pearl actually manages to fix Greg's van so it's as good as new.
- When Greg realizes Pearl is serious about building a spaceship to fly into space with Steven in tow, he puts his foot down and grounds the space flight.
- Pearl needs some credit for building an almost functional spaceship with zero funds and a barn full of scraps. Eat your heart out, Iron Man! And in the process they build a jet-powered ultralight, which Steven learns to fly like a pro in days! At least that one only falls apart when it's on the ground…
- After Pearl and Amethyst go at each other's throats over whose fault it is for letting some Gem shards get loose, Steven tells on them to Garnet, who teaches the Gems a lesson about teamwork they will never forget.
- Garnet and Steven form their own "secret team." As Garnet scolds Steven, she's hugely disappointed that Pearl and Amethyst do not step out and confess and proceeds to pretend to get captured by the shards.
- After running away from a Gem Monster that was completely invisible except for its gem, Sadie, with nothing more than a sharp stick, defeats the monster single-handedly while it was still invisible, becoming the first full human to defeat a Gem Monster onscreen without a Gem helping her.
- Let's not beat around the bush. Sadie went full primal warrior against what must have been as large and a strong as an Earth gorilla, getting smacked up and down a mud pit in the rain and refusing to cease her attacks. It's frankly amazing she didn't break any bones against that thing... Sadie is tough as nails.
- After the whole ordeal, Sadie gets a small scar in her cheek. And, again, it sticks. It's not really that noticeable, but it is a reminder of her badassery.
- One that only appears in Hindsight and a Freeze-Frame Bonus, but when Alexandrite breaks apart you can actually see Ruby and Sapphire separating, only for them to refuse back into Garnet before anyone, including the audience, even notices. Fusion really is a natural thing for those two.
- Alexandrite chasing down the bus Steven and Connie are in.
- Steven manages to use his Fusion powers - and does so with Connie, a human at that!
- And they do so without even thinking. They dance without a thought in the world (let alone actively trying to fuse) and it still happens.
- Stevonnie's finally losing their temper with pushy creep Kevin, shutting down his overly-affectionate nickname (keep in mind they just met) for them.
Stevonnie: Ugh, fine. You wanna dance? Let's go. ...And it's Stevonnie. I am not your baby.
- One for the VA of Stevonnie, who manages to get Steven AND Connie perfectly, to the point that you can tell which dialogue is which person!
- Steven just walking through the flames knowing they won't hurt him without even breaking a sweat.
- Even if all the challenges were rigged, Steven didn't know that at first - meaning he willingly attempted to outrun a giant boulder, leap towards a vine to swing over a chasm, dodge giant bladed pendulums on a staircase and walk through a very specifically timed flame trap. That in itself is awesome. But note also that the only time the failsafes become noticeable is when he is about to get smashed by the giant pillar. Steven was either very close to being or already capable of completing the majority of these very challenges. That is pretty damn awesome for a young Gem in training.
- While it was after he found out that the tests were designed to be completely impossible to lose, Steven basically stopping a boulder mid-roll by glaring at it is still undeniably badass.
- From a character point of view, Steven swallowing his pride in the end and allowing the Gems to think he never found out about them rigging the test. That's a sign of his growing maturity if there ever was one.
- Garnet casually deflecting a lightning bolt.
- When it's not being tragically sad, the Pearl VS Amethyst smackdown in the Kindergarten is undeniably awesome.
- For much of the fight, Pearl dodges Amethyst's attacks with her eyes closed.
- The final move of the fight: Amethyst wrapping her whip around Pearl's spear and electrocuting her, sending the much more experienced Gem flying.
- In general, even though she's getting her ass kicked for most of the fight, the way Amethyst refuses to give up and holds her on against the far more skilled Pearl is pretty badass for her, even if it's just due to how angry and miserable she feels.
- Sadie performing a Diving Save and saving Lars from a flying coffee mug.
- Though he did it to sacrifice him to a gaping maw, Ronaldo picking up Lars and throwing him was pretty impressive.
- Steven using his bubble to save himself and Lars from a Gem.
- Steven using the knowledge from the vision to get Connie home safely.
- Steven stopping the argument between Greg and Amethyst.
- The Gems cleaning out Greg's garage overnight.
- Garnet saving Steven from Peridot's attempt to crush him.
- Pearl giving an epic Badass Boast to Peridot.
Pearl: "We are the Crystal Gems! We're still alive, and we're still the guardians of this planet, and all its living creatures!"
- Amethyst destroying the power source for the Kindergarten.
- Though it was an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, in a Great Offscreen War 5,000 years ago, if Pearl is anything to go by, Rose Quartz was quite the badass during the fight.
- Garnet grabbing the picture of Rose Quartz before it hits the ground after Pearl's outburst dislodges it.
- When chasing after Pearl, Steven manages to jump across the Floating Platforms (if barely), and only falls short on the last one. And even then he manages to catch himself on some roots. He's come a long way.
- The whole episode was practically Greg's CMOA.
- Greg standing up to the Gems and calling them out for disrespecting him.
Greg: "You guys never give up on anything, except for me!"
- Despite the doubts and skepticism from the Crystal Gems, Greg manages to decode the Wailing Stone.
- Greg standing up to the Gems and calling them out for disrespecting him.
- Lapis sending a message to Steven. It's obvious she's scared for her life but her love for Steven is so strong she takes a big risk to save him.
- Steven being able to calm the angry townsfolk with a truly amazing Rousing Speech, and covering the mayor's ass while he's doing it.
- Lapis snatching her arm from Jasper's grip when the latter drags her into view. She's clearly not afraid of her at all.
- Steven affirming his position as a Crystal Gem and protecting the others from the beam from Peridot's spaceship. Mind you, that this ship proved invulnerable to the most powerful weapons the Crystal Gems had.
Garnet: "Steven, get out of here!"Steven: "No!"Garnet: "I won't let you risk your life!"Steven: (gem starts to glow) "But this is my home, and you're all my family!"Peridot: Firing.(Peridot fires a beam from her console.)Steven: "I'm... I'm a Crystal Gem too!"(Jumps and releases his shield.)Jasper: "That shield! That symbol! You... you have the power of Rose Quartz!"
- When Steven, Pearl, and Amethyst gets the jump on Peridot, Peridot whips out a Gem disruptor of her own. Steven leaps for Peridot and grabs her armed hand, restraining her while being electrocuted. Peridot's face while he does this is priceless. By the next scene, Amethyst has her restrained.
- Sapphire's singing is pretty awesome in itself. In fact, it leads Ruby and Steven to her location.
- Garnet spontaneously bursting into song right before fighting Jasper. And then proceeds to beat her while reaffirming her own existence as a Fusion.
Garnet: I can see that you hate the way we intermingle, but I think you're just mad because you're single!
- It bears mentioning that the chorus is the same melody Sapphire was singing to help Ruby find her, thus doubling as heartwarming and as a big finger to Jasper who tried to shut Sapphire up earlier.
- The fight between Garnet and Jasper:
- One thing that stands out is how the fight ends: when Jasper comes charging at Garnet, she gives a smirk before catching her and using her own momentum to throw her into the ship's power core. That smirk just screams 'Gotcha now!' Also worth mentioning is when Garnet hits Jasper's helmet from opposite sides with her fists, the blow powerful enough to shatter her visor from the force alone.
- Jasper keeps her Gem Disruptor on her during the fight...and Garnet disarms her of it. She catches it and holds it with a smirk before snapping it in two. Garnet could have used it back on Jasper, but chose to break it and prove that unlike the Homeworld Gems, she doesn't need a fancy gadget to do her fighting for her.
- Garnet's resilience in her fight with Jasper is just as impressive. Jasper clearly isn't throwing weak punches, and Garnet just keeps bouncing back, all with a smile while singing "Stronger Than You".
- Garnet getting her Heroic Second Wind in the Reactor Room, full stop. After taking a truly vicious pounding, she just gets back up, stating her intention to go full-on Mama Bear for Earth and the Gems. After blocking a few headbutts from Jasper's helmet and rolling right back from another nasty punch, she gets in close and whacks the sides of the helmet so hard that the visor shatters in Jasper's eyes. All throughout, she keeps singing. It's as badass as it sounds.
- A villainous one for Jasper. Even though Garnet is a Fusion, their second fight is pretty evenly matched and though the fight ends with Jasper thrown into one of the engines and the ship exploding with her at the center of the explosion, Jasper still comes back for more at the end of the episode. You don't get to serve in a high rank for millennia for nothing, and as revealed later, this is proof of how tough Quartzes are.
- Lapis fusing with Jasper so she could drag them both into the ocean.
- Look closely during this scene and you'll notice that the Fusion's face distorts a bit as if the transformation is trying to end itself before stabilizing. Fusions are dependent on the personalities staying synced but Lapis was able to keep the two of them forcibly fused despite Jasper trying to cancel it out!
- It also shows that Lapis isn't just raw power; she made her decision to fuse with Jasper under the pretense to save Beach City and the Gems, while getting her revenge on Jasper. Lapis led Jasper to believe that she was in control of their fusion when that was definitely NOT the case.
- Steven finding a way to break himself, Ruby, and Sapphire out of the jail cell is awesome in itself. At first he trembles because he isn't used to it (possibly because he's half Gem, which the fields were designed to contain), but then he uses it to his advantage while breaking Ruby and Sapphire out.
Lapis: That's why we can't fight them.Steven: That's why we HAVE to fight them!
- Not to mention his rousing speech to Lapis, even if it doesn't work. Steven is usually a Pacifist, but he knows when enough is enough and when it's time to push back.
- When Jasper uses her Gem disruptor on Garnet, thus reducing her to her gemstones, Amethyst and Pearl are pissed, and when she grabs a hold of Steven, we see both Gems charging for Jasper. Pearl has her spear high and ready to impale the larger Gem while Amethyst is Dual Wielding her whips. You do NOT mess with a fellow Crystal Gem, especially if it's Steven.
- As heartbreaking as it was to watch seeing Connie call out Steven on wanting to end their friendship, stating that she'll honor his wishes and go back to being completely alone if he'll just tell her to her face took a LOT of guts. She's come a long way from that little girl crying about having no friends in a bubble under the sea.
- Steven realizing that once again, his poorly phrased wishes ended up with some trouble, and trying to fix it immediately.
- Connie leaping to fight the Fake Connie when she sees that Steven is in trouble.
- Jenny stepping in front of Garnet's punch in order to keep her from hitting the escape pod with Steven in it. Girl's got guts, especially once you remember "Beach Party" and realize she's seen what Garnet can do with her fists.
- The Cool Kids defending Steven from the Gems, and getting them to realize that they've been a bit hard on him.
- While seemingly a lesser example than most, you gotta hand it to Steven; figuring out how to pilot a Gem vehicle that he had not only never seen before, but is at least 5000 years more advanced than anything he may have run into before "The Return/Jailbreak" is pretty amazing.
- Garnet's speech to what she THOUGHT was Peridot was pretty badass, even if she did almost punch Steven into orbit.
- First how about the fact that an Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe crossover even exists. Despite it being vehemently hated against by SU fans the moment it was announced, or that UG creators were trolled incessantly about its creation, the fact remains that it still got made. And because both UG and SU teams have such a respect for each others work, the episode seamlessly blended the two universe together for a hilarious non-canon enjoyment.
- Steven Universe leaping to save Uncle Grandpa from the Gems attack, activating his shield to do it.
- The fact that depending on whether you consider this episode canon, it is chronologically before the events of Jailbreak, which means UNCLE GRANDPA HELPED SAVE THE DAY, if indirectly.
- Garnet deciding that she wants the episode over while the three Gems were in the 'plot hole' and smashes it, taking them back to their universe.
- The fact that, amongst all the other CN series on Uncle Grandpa's checklist, the SWAT Kats- a pair of kickass vigilante ex-cops / master mechanics made it on there- considering the show's fan-following and Rebecca Sugar herself having watched the show originally- and the fact that shortly after, the Tremblay brothers began a Kickstarter to bring SK back- it's even more awesome.
- Greg deciding not to put up with his womanizing Jerkass of a manager anymore.
Greg: Get out of my van.Marty: Sit down, Greg.Greg: I SAID GET OUT OF MY VAN!
- It's understated, but there's something awesome about just how graceful Rose Quartz is for her size. When Garnet drops Greg, she leaps into the air and just...floats down to him, landing gently on her feet like some Amazonian ballet dancer. It's little wonder why Greg fell for her.
- Steven's plan to get back at Buck is surprisingly devious considering he came up with it on his own. And not only is it effective, it prompts Buck into becoming Greg's first student.
- Steven and Connie show excellent teamwork in combat, effortlessly battling and defeating an entire army of Holo-Pearls together. Not only that, but the two of them are able to hold their own against Pearl herself, and though she beats them, by the end of it, Pearl is actually breathing hard, implying that Connie and Steven actually put up a good fight against her. One Youtuber described Steven and Connie's Back-to-Back Badasses moment as, "The most beautiful spin attack ever animated." Indeed, it's frequently regarded as the best shot in the episode and perhaps even one of the best in the series. It's even the image for this very page!
- Pearl herself gets props for absolutely effortlessly disarming both Steven and Connie simultaneously the moment she decides the fight is going to end. Whatever chance the viewers might have thought the two had of actually beating her get shut down immediately.
- Steven standing up to Pearl and countering her belief that he's unable to fight alongside Connie, let alone protect her.
- He also stands his ground against a Holo-Pearl before Connie takes it out. Going back to "Steven The Swordfighter", it seems that he permanently conquered his fear of her.
- Steven displays improved control over his weapon, summoning his shield several times and at one point switching effortlessly between his bubble and his shield.
- When Steven confides in Garnet and Amethyst with his concerns about Connie's training with Pearl, Garnet explains that Pearl would senselessly put herself in danger to ensure Rose's safety and survival. The problem with this is that while Pearl can regenerate, Connie obviously can't. Not only does Steven immediately realize the severity of this situation, he snaps Connie out of her fatuous, sacrificial mindset.
- The speed at which Connie is improving under Pearl's guidance is also worth a mention, especially since Connie never held a sword before.
- Peridot does better against the Crystal Gems this time, Wall Running, using a shock to escape Amethyst's whip and using her fingers as rotors to escape.
- Garnet pulling herself together and defeating the big Forced Gem Fusion.
- While it might not seem like much, Steven summoning his shield while fending off the melded Gems is actually a pretty big deal. After all, while the situation was bad, it was nowhere near as emotionally harrowing as "Sworn to the Sword", showing that Steven's gotten better at summoning the weapon at will, as opposed to when his emotions are right.
- Greg's music video with the Gems.
- Greg seriously trying to fuse with Rose. Even if it was obvious that he would fail, he still put in a good effort.
- Rose and Greg getting past their first big problem as a couple.
- Extra points on Greg's behalf for calling out Rose for treating him as a lesser being.
- Garnet honestly trying to help Greg and succeeding.
- Steven managing to contact Lapis in his dreams.
- Lapis is still in control of Malachite (at least for now).
- Even dealing with a Gem who can control the sea, pinning her with a whole ocean, Jasper is winning. You don't get a high rank in a galactic empire if you're not strong as all hell.
- Sardonyx makes her debut, and it's impressive. She has the personality of a stage performer, and is able to dismantle the Communications Hub with finesse using a freaking war hammer. Just LOOK at all these people at the San Diego Comic-Con 2015 screaming with joy!
- Pearl managed to repair Peridot's escape pod. Considering how banged up it was the last time we saw it, that's an impressive feat. It's even more impressive Pearl had absolutely no clue just how technology had evolved since she'd last been home, and yet she still managed to repair the escape pod.
- Sugilite reappears and finishes the job of smashing the hub. And unlike in "Coach Steven", she's controlled and defused easily without any complaints.
- Ruby and Sapphire have Psychoactive Powers that correspond to their personalities and manifest when their emotions get out of hand. Ruby's able to make a whole pool evaporate within an hour just by pacing inside of it ranting, and Sapphire manages to freeze over the insides of the motel room. Now we all know why Garnet's that powerful in terms of personality and power.
- Greg was apparently close enough to the Gems in the past to know that Garnet's a Fusion, and took the whole incident in stride.
- Sour Cream's chiptune DJ setup consumes so much electricity that it manages to occasionally blackout his family's house.
- With a little help from Pearl, Jamie and Steven managed to put on a historically accurate and well-received play, despite Mayor Dewey writing the first version. Pearl somehow manages to rewrite Mayor Dewey's original terrible script into something that's not only decent, but earns the praise of the entire town (not that they know she was the one responsible) Heck, the response is so well-received, Dewey decides to make Jamie the lead director of Beach City's Community Theater. To top it off, since Steven (who played William) was the only person to audition, Jamie had to play every role besides William by himself, and made it work!
- Either some or all of the Gems Fused to defeat the Monster that terrorized William Dewey's boat, and killed his first mate (Who actually washed ashore later, perfectly fine). They also brought the boat ashore!
- A villainous example for Peridot, who, thanks to Steven, quickly deduced she was somehow being tracked and utilized the ancient Gem ship's internal defenses to entrap the Crystal Gems and nearly destroy them.
- Given she had previously been shown to have almost no combat skills, Peridot's ability to go toe to toe with all four Crystal Gems and survive twice has to be admired. She even gets some half decent shots at them.
- Steven really shows how far along he's come as a Crystal Gem in the battlefield, getting in a Shield Bash hit on Peridot, as well as providing cover for the entire group when Peridot activates the ancient Gem ship's internal weapons.
- Pearl and Garnet finally overcoming their problems and fusing into Sardonyx to escape Peridot's Death Trap.
- Sardonyx busts out with a giant drill.
- And let's not forget Amethyst and Steven, who bought these two enough time to make up and break free from the trap by holding onto the cogs with Amethyst's whip!
- Garnet telling Pearl something she desperately needed to hear: in that she needs to find strength in herself, not her, not Steven, not Rose.
- Also note that Pearl and Garnet were in a very small, enclosed space where they didn't even have enough room to stand up straight. Their heart-to-heart put them so in sync with each other that they didn't even need the dance to Fuse.
- They actually manage to grab Peridot until she detaches her foot and escapes. It shows they're getting her on the ropes.
- Dr. Maheswaran maintains a considerable amount of composure when the Gem Clusters have her, Connie, and Steven cornered. Of course, she was completely oblivious about Gems and the like, but even when fear struck her, she still remained calm. She even rammed a Cluster Gem out of the way with a stretcher, before shoving the stretcher down the hallway to distract it, allowing her and the children to escape. Bonus points for being strong enough to knock the Cluster back, considering that Gems are significantly stronger than humans.
- In the climax, Connie finally calls her mother out on her strict parenting and the fact that she truly doesn't know Connie.
- On the other side is Connie's mother calling Connie out, in a mature fashion of course, on the fact that Connie lied about everything regarding Steven and the Gems, preventing her from doing her job as a parent.
- Points to the writers as well for creating such a balanced argument between Connie and Priyanka in their respective call outs. Both sides are shown to have a legitimate weight to their argument without making one "the bad guy". Connie's right about how damaging her parents' strict rules and negligence are, while her mother brings up valid points on how Connie's secrecy undermines their ability to properly take care of her.
- Steven and Connie vs. the Gem mutants.
- As soon as that happens, Connie slashes down the first mutant in one stroke. Then Steven launches her at the second, which she takes down with a spinning slash. Those lessons really have been paying off.
- Steven and Connie's combination attack now in gif form.◊
- Steven taking down the bubble is done in a rather intelligent manner; He expands it to push away the Gem Mutants so Connie will have more room to maneuver. Steven, of all people, actually making efficient tactical decisions means that he has been learning more than just how to use his powers, but also how to fight.
- The entire fight? From dropping the bubble to the final blow? Takes 10 seconds.
- As soon as that happens, Connie slashes down the first mutant in one stroke. Then Steven launches her at the second, which she takes down with a spinning slash. Those lessons really have been paying off.
- Earlier on, Steven shows enough strength to pin the much larger shard Fusion up against the wall.
- Sadie's singing is pretty impressive, in spite of her performance anxiety. Given her voice actress's background, it's only fitting that Kate Micucci finally gets to sing.
- Sadie calling her mom and Steven out on how they're acting like a couple of stage moms and not even considering how she wants her act to be, especially since she didn't really want to do it in the first place.
- Steven taking Sadie's place complete with dress and makeup. And the crowd loves it.
- Peridot managing to sneak into Steven's house, capture him, and escape to the Galaxy Warp before the Gems find her.
- As mentioned on the Nightmare Fuel page, but she managed to do all of this with no one noticing, meaning that she may very well have had to sneak past Lion. Her missing a foot is really just the cherry on the sundae.
- The real cherry is that Garnet somehow did not see it coming. note
- The Crystal Gems finally managing to capture Peridot! This time, they easily counter the tricks she had previously tried on them.
- As mentioned in the Nightmare Fuel page, Garnet is so unbelievably strong that she manages to crush Peridot with her hands.
- This gets even more awesome with the hindsight of "Kindergarten Kid", where Peridot is shown to be surprisingly tough, and was able to survive a huge onslaught of abuse, like getting crushed by rocks and various types of machinery.
- Steven's maturity throughout the whole episode: how efficiently he uses Rose's room, how perceptive he was about Peridot's worried nature, and his patience when dealing with Peridot's behavior.
- Steven managing to effortlessly rip off a panel Peridot couldn't budge.
- The Gems effortlessly taking down the Gem mutants when they show up.
- This episode reveals some information that turns every single scene where Pearl's doing battle, doing crazy science and tech stuff, or mothering Steven, into a series-spanning CMOA. Fans have long theorized that Pearls were some type of mass-produced servile Gem techs, workers, or administrators, but it's even worse than that: Pearls are not just servants, they're decorative made-to-order servants, created specifically to use as status symbols to "stand around looking pretty and hold your stuff for you". This means that everything Pearl has been shown to have mastered over the course of the series—battle tactics, swordsmanship, building and fixing everything from vans to spaceships, mastering new Homeworld tech—she had to teach herself from scratch. No wonder she's simultaneously so proud and so insecure about her abilities: she's spent thousands of years fighting past the limits of her creation as a glorified designer handbag.
- Pearl (Do It For Her/Him): Deep down you know you weren't built for fighting, but that doesn't mean you're not prepared to try!
- Pearl manages to build a robot that averages out to the same as Peridot's in terms of points, only falling short in terms of direct combat with each other. Considering that Pearls are only meant to be servants and look pretty, it's an impressive feat (and makes her previous shows of workmanship even more so in hindsight). And just for extra points: she tied with a Gem who was designed to be a technician. A pretty vase tied with a professional computer scientist, if you so will.
- The last challenge is throwing a car to see how far it goes. Pearl and Peridot both throw their cars over the horizon. Steven declares it a tie.
- Then there's the fact that Peridot and Pearl both built viable and powerful robots out of random junk. Perhaps even more impressive for Peridot, given that she has little experience with the stuff she's working with.
- Pearl PUNCHES Peridot. IN THE FACE. Pearl had it in her to deck Peridot for continuing to presume that Pearl was just the same as the rest, even while her robot was being manhandled. Sure, Pearl still lost, but points for asserting herself. What makes even more better is that Pearl is a Lady of War mental powerhouse who fights with calculation while lacking in hand to hand combat capabilities, while her fellow Gems Garnet and Amethyst are the real bruisers of the team. To see her outright toss a right hook at Peridot for all of her trash talk is cathartic.
- Garnet' s response to Peridot's complaining that she won and should be in charge of building and be recognized by the others.
- Pearl's Shut Up, Hannibal! to Peridot is a huge CMOA when you look back at "Friend Ship" - she finally finds it within herself to believe in herself, and even when she loses, Steven steps in to put Peridot in her place and remind her how brilliant Pearl is.
- Pearl's absolute refusal to comply to the Homeworld mentality is itself great:
Pearl: Now listen here, you tiny twerp! In case you've forgotten, you're on our turf now, and I didn't fight a thousand year war for this planet's independence, to take orders from the likes of you!
- Pearl's speech includes admitting that yes, she IS a Pearl, and proud of it and all she achieved. She's finally learning to love herself.
- Pearl's absolute refusal to comply to the Homeworld mentality is itself great:
- Peridot asks Garnet to Unfuse, because it's making her uncomfortable. Garnet stares at her for several seconds, and the next scene is her tying Peridot to a fence.
Garnet: Her having free rein of this place was making me feel 'incredibly uncomfortable.'
"Woop!""Oh hell no!"
- Notably, this got one of the loudest crowd reactions when this episode premiered at a Con. During the several seconds Garnet was just staring, there was even an anticipatory "Wooooohhh!" as the entire crowd waited for her to do something awesome. They shouted things like:
- Peridot saving Amethyst from the runaway drill.
- Made all the more impressive, due to Peridot's exceptionally low strength. Despite having regularly been outdone physically by Steven, she managed to muster up the determination snap the tether that she'd been completely restrained by before. Peridot may soon realize that, like Pearl, she might be able to do far more than what she was made for, if it's for someone or something she cares about.
- Peridot actually apologizing to Amethyst for hurting her feelings (even if it's by tape recorder), something that was rather unexpected for her to do. It shows character development and also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Based on the description of what Amethyst (as a Quartz) is supposed to look like, and Peridot admitting that she has all the other qualities a Quartz does, Amethyst is pretty much the equivalent of a half-sized Jasper with none of the strength having been lost. The description of Quartzes as huge and intimidating warriors also serves as an extra one for Rose: Yes, she was an All-Loving Hero with healing powers, but she was a warrior too. Kinda explains Jasper's readily admitted respect and her leading the war, doesn't it?
- A clue to how big and powerful Amethyst could have been? Compare Sugilite's size with the other Crystal Gem Fusions. Notice how much bigger she is?
- A retroactive CMOA for both Pearl and Amethyst: with viewers having seen what Jasper is capable of, now we know Amethyst has the same strength and power potential, just compressed into a smaller container. Consider "Tiger Millionaire": while Amethyst does go a little rough on her human opponents, she still manages her Kayfabe very effectively and does no lasting harm to the other wrestlers; then contrast Jasper, whose cursory headbutt gave Steven, who as a fellow (half-)Quartz is notoriously tough and resistant to injury, a black eye, and knocked him unconscious for HOURS. Now consider the only time we've ever seen Amethyst in a prolonged fight against another Gem one-on-one: she takes on Pearl in "On The Run" and Pearl holds her own against her, despite Amethyst being an emotionally compromised Super Soldier and Pearl being a decorative made-to-order personal servant. Even when she's miserable, angry, and lashing out, Amethyst could have really hurt Pearl if she'd pushed harder, but she didn't, and Pearl was fast and smart enough to keep on top of the fight until Amethyst completely lost her cool!
- Coupled with this, the fight with Sugilite was even more awesome in light of this. Amethyst, a Quartz, being fused with Garnet, an especially strong Fusion herself, resulted in a total brute and juggernaut of a Gem, even more so than Jasper is. Pearl first takes a severe beating (with Sugilite even calling her "nothing"), but doesn't have to retract to her Gem to heal: she, a made-to-order servant/piece of decoration, outsmarts Sugilite and defeats her a mere two to five minutes after Sugilite reappears.
- Sapphire, accompanied by three Rubies and surrounded by other Gems, says that the rebels will attack them and destroy the bodies of several Gems. Then Rose and Pearl appear. Pearl promptly takes them out and would have taken out Sapphire if Ruby hadn't pushed her out of the way.
- The very first cross-Gem Fusion between Ruby and Sapphire. The other Gems are horrified, but the sequence is beautiful.
- This episode becomes awesome when you realize that Ruby basically forced Sapphire to expand her future vision power and understand it better. Ruby became so determined to prove Sapphire wrong about their inevitable defeat that she defied fate in the eyes of Sapphire.
- Same goes to Rose and Pearl since she was so sure they would be captured in their attempt ambush.
- You also got to give Sapphire props for choosing to save Ruby which meant defying Blue Diamond and possibly losing her high position in her "court". Especially after Blue Diamond was angry at her for failing to perceive the future that came to pass when Ruby intervened.
- While Rose Quartz is obviously extremely badass in this episode, it turns out that Pearl of all Gems, is The Dreaded to the hidebound Gems of Blue Diamond's court. Fussy, awkward, finicky Pearl cuts through four big warrior Gems, is clearly Rose's right-hand Gem and most feared follower, and is repeatedly described as terrifying…by GARNET.
- Is it any wonder that Garnet says in "Friend Ship" that she looks to Pearl for strength? When they first met, Pearl was a vicious assassin who killed six of the most powerful Gems with little effort!
- Even though he briefly ended up as a baby, Steven showed an impressive amount of control over shapeshifting and aging powers.
- While they had no idea on how to help Steven when he reverts back to a baby, the Crystal Gems handle it a lot better than they did in "So Many Birthdays".
- Extra props to Garnet for trying to humor the baby and Amethyst for not only instantly picking him up, but also becoming a baby seat for him. Seeing that Greg mentions how he had to deal with Steven alone until he was old enough, it shows that the Gems now take their role as his parental figures much more seriously.
- A subtle moment that also doubles as a Heartwarming one — Connie's parents allowing her to stay over Steven's for the weekend shows that Dr. Maheswaran made good on her promise in "Nightmare Hospital" to allow her daughter more freedom.
- A case of "Awesome in Hindsight", this episode proves that ALL of Ronaldo's theories regarding "the polymorphic sentient rocks that can take any form and are lead by the 'Great Diamond Authority' plan to hollow out the Earth" were correct.
- Despite being Nightmare Fuel, you gotta give Garnet credit for looking like she's about to totally destroy Peridot after the latter pushes a very personal Berserk Button for her insulting Rose's beliefs about Earth. Had Steven not interfered, things would've gotten really messy.
- Give props for Steven instantly and fearlessly defending Peridot against Garnet, considering that the last time he tried defying her, Garnet reached a level of pissed off we had never seen before.
- As horrifying as they were, Homeworld's plans for the colonization of Earth were undeniably impressive in their scale and scope.
- Peridot manages to match perfect pitch and harmony with Steven when she only heard the notes for the first time. Instant Expert indeed!
- Lion teleporting the Gems all the way to the moon, despite being visibly winded afterward.
- The drill that the Crystal Gems will use to destroy the Cluster is finally introduced in its full glory. And it is awesome.
- Amethyst shapeshifting into a helicopter to chase down Peridot.
- Yellow Diamond finally appears after such long anticipation for her first on screen appearance.
- In one of the most awesome moments of the entire show, Peridot after failing to convince Yellow Diamond of the Earth, and being insulted for daring to question her orders tells her off in anger and calls her a clod, before realizing what she just did. Peridot's insult was such an Armor-Piercing Response that Yellow Diamond eyes actually bulged out from shock.
Yellow Diamond: You have failed at every stage of this mission! Your only chance to redeem yourself is to obey this simple order: You are to leave the Cluster to grow. It will tear apart the Earth, and I will take immense satisfaction in erasing that hideous rock off of our star maps! Is that clear?!
Peridot: I won't do it! I can tell you with certainty that there are things on this planet worth protecting!
Yellow Diamond: What do you know about the Earth?!
Peridot: Apparently, more than you! You... CLOD!!
- Extra awesome for Garnet: Soon after cutting Peridot off, Yellow Diamond immediately attempts to kill her by self-destructing Peridot's communicator. It's hot-potato'd for a moment until Garnet just says "screw it" and punches it into the sky, where it explodes.
- Points for Steven as well, for thinking to encase the device in his bubbleshield, even while Pearl and Amethyst are panicking. While not quite sufficient to save them, it was quick thinking on his part.
- The first time we see Yellow Diamond. Peridot is talking to Yellow!Pearl when a smooth voice begins to talk offscreen. And then a huge hand reaches down and lifts up the communicator. The Diamonds are as big as they are powerful.
- Steven's beliefs seem to have rubbed off on Peridot to the point that Peridot actually believed she could convince Yellow Diamond of the Earth's value. Believe in Steven, indeed.
- Even more amazing, as Peridot implied that she had given some thought to ways where both the Earth could be spared and Gemkind could still benefit. While doomed to fail due to Yellow Diamond's spiteful desire to see the Earth destroyed, she's the first one to put forward such a notion, as far as we know.
- Even if he was wrong about Peridot's intentions at the time, Steven shows a remarkable level of cunning when he takes the communicator from Peridot by trickery, locks her inside a truck, and makes it clear that he is pissed about her seemingly betraying the Crystal Gems.
- After spending most of her "captivity" belittling Garnet for her nature of a Fusion and treating her with spitefulness or disgust, Peridot accepts her offer of a Fusion between them almost immediately. Considering she has spent barely more than a month with the Crystal Gems, this is an incredible amount of character growth on her part. She is allowing herself to open her mind to new ideas. And it makes sense that she'd get cold feet at the last minute. Deeply-held beliefs beaten into her for literally her entire life won't change so easily. But she's making small steps, and that will eventually take her very far.
- Also, Garnet's approach. Whereas Peridot's relationships with Pearl and Amethyst developed as the result of hot-button issues fundamental to their identities, Garnet shows remarkable restraint (even by her standards) dealing with Peridot's prejudices, playing the long game instead and counting on Peridot's scientific curiosity to provide a motivation to understand her better. She provides subtle positive feedback when Peridot attempts to better acclimate to living among the Gems on Earth, but firmly reprimands her when she acts inappropriately without losing her cool; they bond whilst stargazing and even attempt to fuse. Even though the Fusion doesn't succeed, Garnet expresses pride that Peridot was willing to try and is finally able to make Peridot understand her Permafusion state in terms she is able to comprehend. Yup, Square Mom is Best Mom.
- Amethyst and Pearl fusing into Opal. Unlike their last time in "Giant Woman", they aren't arguing about their different styles, instead they utilize their contrasting dancing styles to form Opal. And it only take a few seconds to fuse.
"Super Watermelon Island"
- Most of the fight between Alexandrite and Malachite. Alexandrite, described by Garnet in Guide to the Crystal Gems as "an incredible force on the battlefield," does not disappoint. She shows the ability to breathe fire and switch back and forth between Opal's, Sugilite's, and Sardonyx's weapons with ease. Malachite, on the other hand, is as powerful as one would expect a Fusion between a highly durable juggernaut and a flying elemental user with effortless command over the world's oceans to be.
Alexandrite: You two should spend some time apart.
- Despite facing a four-Gem Fusion, Malachite maintains the upper hand for most of the fight. Unsurprising considering that one of her components was able to fight the Crystal Gems' strongest member on equal footing, and the other could take on all of them on her own, even while severely injured.
- Steven motivating the Stevenmelons to get together and fight Malachite, which distracts her long enough for Alexandrite to take her down.
- The Stevenmelons are actually pretty damn advanced when it comes to fighting: they have spear-and-shield fighters, archers, catapults, and aerial fighters who drop onto Malachite's face and block her vision. One of them even punches her in the eye.
- The end, with Alexandrite striking Malachite with both Sugilite's flail and Sardonyx's hammer in quick succession, then finishing her off by firing an arrow which takes the shape of Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, complete with a quip.
- A small but important point: The first time Alexandrite fires with her bow, Malachite blocks it with an ice wall. To finish off the fight, Alexandrite smacks Malachite into the air with her hammer, allowing Malachite to fly before firing the arrow... where Malachite has no water to use to defend herself.
- Jasper not only breaks free and takes control on the island, but manages to use Malachite to show a refined use of Lapis' powers, like creating ice. She also pretty much shrugged off being held captive for months.
- The fact that the Stevenmelons have transformed into their own civilization. They have come so far from the mindless beings they were before.
- Steven saves the entire world from the Cluster. How? By convincing its component shards to be friends with each other so they don't feel the need to form, leading to the Cluster bubbling itself. Steven saved the world simply by being Steven. Heck, just the fact that Steven has now saved the entire world, not just Beach City, but the entire planet is one and shows how far he's come from the little kid who ruined a mission due to being too excited over his new backpack. Even the Gems are absolutely impressed, especially when they hear that Steven managed to get the Cluster into a bubble.
- The Cluster itself, being made mostly of fallen Crystal Gems, immediately realizing it doesn't want to form after being told that doing so would damage the Earth. These Gems sacrificed everything to protect this planet, and now they do so again.
- Peridot revealing that she'd installed a blaster on the drill despite Pearl thinking it would be unnecessary. It comes in handy for dealing with the smaller Gem Mutants they run into while on their way to the Cluster.
- Peridot trying to tear into the Cluster with the drill. It doesn't work, but points for trying.
- Credit to Peridot, this is her first mission as an official Crystal Gem, and she handles herself pretty dang well, even defeating her fright of the Cluster. Not only does she attack it and seems quite confident as well, she also stops everything she's doing to help Steven when he begins to collapse. The Cluster has had her scared to death each time before, but once she is confronted with it or potentially losing her best friend, she just brushes the issue away and does what has to be done. She is not physically impressive (yet), but when she is needed, she certainly is ready to surprise.
- The very final shot of the bubbled Cluster is positively the single most beautiful and captivating shot in the entire series.
- A subtle one, but in When It Rains, Steven tells Peridot that they can't stop the Cluster on their own. They spend this episode doing just that.
- Lapis turning the Homeworld Warp into a mirrored surface in order to show Steven how she became stuck in the mirror and left on Earth.
- Just the effort Peridot goes through trying to make up with Lapis, even giving her her tape recorder as a gift.
- Despite Steven being Lapis' only friend and knowing of the trouble she has gone through (which might come across as being Innocently Insensitive given Lapis has a point in disliking Peridot), Steven has no problem calling her out for rejecting Peridot's attempts at befriending her and not giving Peridot a chance. This causes Lapis to rethink her actions.
- Lapis effortlessly swats the Ruby ship down with a water arm to save Peridot, despite all their difficulties. Something that makes this even more impressive is that the Red Eye required a Wave Motion Gun to destroy and the Gem Warship Peridot and Jasper arrived in was Nigh Invulnerable from the outside and was only destroyed when its reactor was destroyed and it crashed from orbit. Homeworld spacecraft have previously taken a ton of punishment to defeat, and Lapis effortlessly knocked the Roaming Eye out of the sky.
- The giant Ruby fusion.
- With the exception of when Ruby and Sapphire are too busy flirting with each other, all the Crystal Gems (and Lapis) show off incredible baseball skills in this episode.
- Lapis (or Bob) clearly doesn't care that much during the game. She still manages to be almost perfect whenever she's shown.
- Notice who threw the ball hard enough to break a bat: it was Pearl, who's always been embarrassed of her lack of physical strength.
- Sapphire landing a damn-impressive home run, not only showing that despite her fragile and feminine looks she IS a powerful Gem, but also defying Doc's hard-thrown burning ball with her ice powers and dead-set determination.
- Peridot running up to the giant Ruby Fusion, ready to give herself up in order to save the Crystal Gems, who she now calls her friends. Sure, she wasn't the Gem they were after, but it definitely shows how far Peridot's come.
- Meta-example: this is the fourth Immediate Sequel in a row, i.e. each of the last five episodes have all led directly into the next. Steven Universe has an official five-part serial, essentially a made-for-TV movie!
- Another Meta-example, but big ups to Charlene Yi for basically voicing the same character six times over and giving a varied enough performance between all of them that they feel very much like individual characters despite being literal carbon-copies of each other.
- Garnet playing checkers with a mid-air Steven, and winning.
- The fact that she has to jump up for her every move only increases the awesome.
- Steven managing to figure out how to control his descent speed with his emotions.
- A subtle one: when the Gems try to help Steven get down, they try weighing him down with various things, ending with a boat. Steven barely budges. While he wanted to get down, it showcases just how powerful Steven actually is that a boat isn't able to overpower his abilities.
- After being told he's still Sour Cream's roadie, Steven proceeds to grab one of the cases and effortlessly lift it. That took two normal people to lift. Steven isn't even struggling with it either.
Marty: Man, what is Greg feeding that kid?!
- Sour Cream calling Marty out on being a self serving jerk to him.
- Greg hitting the ultimate Karmic Jackpot; after giving up his dreams to pursue a life with Rose, raise Steven honestly as a single father and live a simple, diligent life in Beach City running a car wash, he ends up with 10 MILLION DOLLARS after Marty tried to shill Greg's song to a fast food corporation, and is forced to pay royalties to Greg.
- Even though Marty was using Sour Cream, the billboard he managed to put together featuring Sour Cream was pretty awesome. See it here.
- Steven revealing that the entire reason he decided to specifically bring Pearl was to force her and Greg to finally confront their bottled up emotions between them. It's very rare we see Steven play The Chessmaster.
- Made MORE awesome when you realize that the whole plan - Go on a road trip, two parties are fighting and end up reconciling - is exactly the same as "Keystone Motel", but with more finesse and understanding on Steven's part. In fact, that may be what gave him the idea in the first place.
- Steven's magnificent piano playing. What instrument doesn't he know how to play?
- When Steven starts singing "You both love me" and (possibly) activates his Gem to bathe the room in a pink aura, it almost sounds like Rose is singing for a second there. Joe Johnston (the storyboard artist) insists that it was entirely Zach Callison's singing, which adds a meta-awesomeness to the perfectness of that scene.
- Pearl's dance on the railing while wearing a tuxedo. Simply gorgeous, well-animated, and an excellent showing of her grace.
- The scene includes one for her voice actress, DeeDee Magno Hall, who shows what happens when you hire a Broadway actress and give her a song that allows her to bring her musical A game in the beautiful and sad "It's Over, Isn't It?". Fans are already considering it one of the best Steven Universe songs, ranking it up there with the iconic Garnet "I Am" Song "Stronger Than You".
- This can't be over-stated: "It's Over, Isn't It?" is such a perfect Broadway-style ballad it would only take minor edits to the lyrics to make it on the level of a Judy Garland song. It's THAT good.
- Back in "Alone Together", when Steven and Pearl tried to dance in sync, it failed humorously. However, this episode has them both performing a tap dance number. In. Sync.
- Peridot unlocking her Mind over Matter powers. To note: she said that she's not supposed to have any powers at all due to how she's made, meaning she's literally the first member of her kind to ever do that. Even more impressive is how quickly she learns to master it.
- She even shows signs of being able to maintain it subconsciously, without any deliberate action on her part.
- Steven showing near complete control over his shapeshifting powers. The brief return of the Cat Fingers has him freak out and neutralize the possible threat immediately.
- Amethyst showing an amazing level of maturity is equal parts this and Heart Warming. She doesn't get upset when an upset and jealous Peridot snaps that "shapeshifting is an insult to their natural form", instead asking her what's really wrong. And later, after Peridot reveals that due to resource shortages on Homeworld she was engineered without any powers, Amethyst gives her an You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech, telling her that "she shouldn't focus on what she can't do. That her friends don't care about what she could do, but about her." Amethyst certainly has come a long way, hasn't she?
- A retroactive one for Peridot, after having discovered that she was designed and made without the normal quite of powers that gems are known for, like shapeshifting and summoning weapons. This means that the whole time that Peridot was opposing the Crystal Gems, she was going up against gems with powers that she couldn't match, relying solely on the tech she was equipped with and her cunning. This recent revelation both makes those accomplishments somewhat more impressive and demonstrates just how determined Peridot really was. Despite being inherently weaker than other gems, Peridot has demonstrated an amazing ability to leverage what she can do to great effect.
- Sadie telling Lars (actually Steven) off. When Steven tells Lars about it, he actually seems to consider what she said.
- Sadie breaking the Temple's front door with a single kick. In bunny slippers.
- A meta-example — A Tumblr post talks about Matther Moy (voice actor of Lars) and his impressive performance.
Can I just give a quick shoutout to Lars’ voice actor, Matthew Moy? He had an amazing performance this episode, and did such a great job portraying Steven in Lars’ body. When Steven said certain things (one moment that stood out in particular was when Steven admitted to Sadie that he woke up with his mind in Lars’ body), it actually sounded like Steven. His emotion and delivery of the lines made it clear that it was Steven talking, which is really impressive!
- Steven not hesitating to stand up for Greg when Kevin is a jerk to him.
- Steven and Connie being the bigger person and not letting Kevin get to them, something he cannot comprehend. It just goes to show that sometimes, living well is the best revenge there is.
- While they didn't beat Kevin in the race, Stevonnie coming in second by seconds is a massive achievement, with no damage to Greg's new car, plus, as they note, it was their first time driving.
- A subtle one for Steven and Connie. In two previous episodes where they fused as Stevonnie ("Alone Together" and "We Need to Talk"), both were by accident. But, in this episode they managed to fuse on purpose. Seems like this duo just Took a Level in Badass.
- This post about the lesson of the episode: SU And Cutting Abusers Out Of The Abuse Recovery Process.
- Amethyst and Steven's restaurant serves food so good that Kofi and Fryman end the feud just to get him to close down.
- Steven beating the cheese monster, night after night.
- Kiki finally conquering her nightmare by learning how to say no to her sister, including the cheese monster that takes Jenny's form.
- Steven managing to return Centipeetle to a semi-humanoid form, even if only temporarily. To note, this is further than Rose ever got. Even after Centipeetle has reverted back to her corrupted form, it's clear she's mentally healed, and can still communicate.
- In retrospect, Greg's explanation back in "The Return" becomes a bigger one. He said that Rose was only able to save her closest friends with her shield, and this episode reveals from what. Namely an attack from all three Diamonds. Even if Rose couldn't save everyone, saving anyone from what could be best described as a Global Baleful Polymorph Attack is pretty dang impressive.
- They may be vicious, monstrous antagonists, but the fact the Diamonds could transform an entire planet of gems into mindless monsters is an indication of the Diamonds' power.
- Lapis telling Jasper off when she wants to form Malachite again, then punching her over the horizon with a water fist that went through the boat when she threatened Steven.
- And before the above mentioned moment, Lapis coming to terms with some of the horrible acts she did in "Ocean Gem", as well as admitting that her abuse on Jasper was wrong.
- How does Steven react to Jasper climbing onto the boat for Lapis? He stands in front of her and brings out his shield to protect her. Considering how before Steven was scared shitless of Jasper in "The Return" and "Chille Tid", just seeing him without a hint of fear in front of something capable of fighting Garnet to a draw, just so he can protect Lapis is badass all by itself.
- Lapis' lifting of the water orb is so gentle and precise that the fish inside aren't even startled by it. They just keep swimming around like nothing's happened.
- Greg climbing the Ferris wheel to save baby Sour Cream, and then Rose stopping said Ferris wheel when it goes out of control to save both of them.
Rose: Leave Greg alone!
- To note, Rose stops an out of control Ferris Wheel by grabbing it. AGAINST its momentum. She's strong enough to stop it in its tracks and doesn't even struggle to do so or budge from where she's standing.
- Rose breaks the Ferris wheel's control box into pieces with a single punch. Just this line she gives the box when sees Greg becoming visibly distressed:
- A minor note, but however Sour Cream managed to climb the Ferris wheel by himself.
- An easy to miss moment, but Steven moves like a blur when he goes to get Greg's guitar. It seems like his gem powers are really starting to kick in. Greg even comments on it, just to make it clear he actually did that.
- This post's comments on how Vidalia's portrayal as a single mom:
Can I just say that it would have been so easy for Vidalia to have been used as a model character for bad reckless teen parents (I know she isn’t a teen, but the way she dresses etc is very typical of punk rebellion teen anger kind of attire) but wasn’t?In “Greg the babysitter” it’s made abundantly clear that she loves Sour Cream, she doesn’t dislike him or see him as a burden (even though it’s heavily implied he was conceived during what seemed to be a one night stand with Marty).She genuinely loves her kids?? She was young when she had Sour Cream but she isnt mad about it. She doesn’t blame him or hate him for “”ruining her youth” and she’s protective of him to boot.idk man I just really loved that. it was so refreshing to see. Young moms get shit on constantly in the media and in real life so it was so nice to see positive representation for young moms.
- Connie goes on her first official mission, and proves a valuable team member with her survival skills, and sword training that lets her take on a corrupted gem monster. And she also knows full well when it's time to call for backup.
- A minor note — Connie was able to use a piece of wood as a snowboard.
- Steven briefly thinks that one of the monsters might not be fully corrupted and wishes to try and heal it. Even though Centipeetle's healing didn't work right, he's not giving up.
- Jasper spends the whole episode staying out of sight of the team, so that even the audience has no idea she's around until she wants it, and then knocks the giant corrupted gem monster on its back, lands a few punches, and swings it around by the tail, before ripping out its gem with her bare hands. She may be overly obsessed with refusing with Lapis, but she's definitely still a force to be reckoned with.
- Connie and Steven training with each other, and pulling off some impressive tricks.
- Amethyst manages to use her whip to constrict the first of the alpine monsters.
- If you think about it, it's kind of impressive how Jasper has managed to "tame" at least two Gem monsters.
- As horrific as it is, Jasper definitely shows Amethyst the benefits of millennia of experience.
- To elaborate, Amethyst can't even land a single hit, and barely manages to make Jasper try. And this has been after everything Jasper has recently gone through, showing just how strong a fully developed quartz is.
- The moment fans have been anticipating ever since "Sworn to the Sword". Steven and Connie fuse into Stevonnie and use their sword and shield skills against Jasper and her Gem monster while riding Lion into battle. It's undoubtedly one of the best moments in the series.
can we talk about how powerful stevonnie is thopearl and garnet left together in hopes of catching jasper. realistically they probably planned on forming as sardonyx again just to make sure the job can get done, but even then garnet wasn’t super confident in their odds.then there’s amethyst. dear sweet amethyst, who got the ever loving shit kicked out of her. even with her spin attack she stood absolutely no chance, and jasper looked like she hardly broke a sweat. we’ve seen what amethyst is capable of, and seeing jasper just destroy her like that shows just how much of a brutal powerhouse she is.but stevonnie. stevonnie just comes in and wrecks jasper at her own jousting game. maybe not enough to poof her, but certainly enough to make her retreat. that alone is impressive, but when you remember it’s their first time ever battling it’s downright terrifying. stevonnie is beautiful and brave and a true force to be reckoned with.
- The fact Stevonnie kicks Jasper back the moment they're formed and catches Amethyst's gem while flipping back from the kick.
- Even better is that while they showed the instinct that Amethyst told them, Stevonnie also showed actual skill in the fight, such as properly bracing themselves to block Jasper's charge and throwing their shield as a distraction to leave Jasper open. Not to mention they managed to slam Jasper so hard she went through the monster she was riding.
- Stevonnie being a match to the battle hardened Jasper. Connie is a great sword-fighter and Steven really is Rose's son.
- What's even more impressive? They probably would've poofed Jasper, if she wasn't wearing her Crash Helmet at the time, considering the slash they gave her was connected directly to her head.
- Plus, Stevonnie is actually surprised to discover they'd fused. Steven and Connie are now so in sync they can do it on instinct.
- How about the fact that a being who's 3/4 human and 1/4 gem managed beat Jasper and a corrupted gem? Recall how much trouble Garnet had fighting Jasper 2-on-1. Whoever was worried Stevonnie wouldn't be strong were proven dead wrong.
- It got better. The episode Beta reveals that Jasper was actually a perfect Quartz, with the best exit hole Peridot's ever seen. A fusion between Connie and Steven fought that off.
- This post's comments on just how much of a badass Stevonnie truly is:
- Amethyst pushing herself to regenerate, very narrowly avoiding another form mishap.
- During training, Steven shows that he can now make two shields, and has gotten much better control of his floating ability.
- As soon as Stevonnie is in need of his assistance, Lion sends the Gem Monster flying in one move and would have caused it to retreat if Jasper hadn't forcibly made it stay in battle.
- Steven showing how much he's improved when fighting the Holo-Pearls.
- Steven and Amethyst's fight.
- The best part is, it not only shows just how far Steven's come, but that Amethyst herself has learned and grown as well. For the first time in the series, she shows actual tactics and strategy in a fight (namely using her Spin Dash to create a cloud of smoke to blind him while she wraps him up with her whip), showing she's taking growing out of being Unskilled, but Strong to heart.
- Steven pulls out a whole new power from nowhere, turning the bubble shield into a spike ball, purely on instinct. He also uses his shield to carve a falling pillar cleanly in two.
- Steven is also starting to become strong like Rose: Amethyst full-on smashes him into the rock-solid ground, creating a large crater. Steven is a child. What happens next? He bursts out of the heavy rubble like it's nothing. Amethyst struggles even to lift the one piece that almost lands on her.
- Bismuth's existence is a walking moment of awesome - on Homeworld, Bismuth gems are architects usually put to work assembling buildings and spires. When Rose met Bismuth, she told her that she could be anything she wanted to be... So Bismuth became an Ultimate Blacksmith forging weapons for the Gem War.
- Bismuth upgrading the weapons of the Crystal Gems.
- Bismuth's spar with the Crystal Gems and their new weapons.
- As sad and horrifying Steven's fight is with Bismuth, he is able to defend himself against her without needing assistance and he was able to poof her. And before the fight when she offered Steven to test the Breaking Point, a weapon specifically meant to kill Gems, he became the bigger man and refused to use it!
- This deserves some elaborating: Bismuth is implied to have been one of Rose's biggest troops, is strong enough to match strength with Garnet, and is actively trying to kill him. Steven manages to hold his own and defeat her by himself. How far the little guy has come.
- Peridot is so skilled at Kindergartening that she can determine what kind of Gem emerged from a hole at a glance!
- The reveal of Jasper's origins: She's from Earth's Beta Kindergarten, which was a flawed, rushed, poorly done job intended to crank out as many soldiers as possible, but despite that she created a flawless kindergarten chamber, and became the pinnacle of Quartz physical prowess.
- You've gotta hand it to Jasper. All by herself, she managed to track and poof an impressive number of gems in a short amount of time.
- Steven gives another casual display of his growing Super Strength, as when Peridot needs a boost, he throws her high in the air, rivaling his mother tossing Greg a few episodes ago.
- Peridot displays a huge improvement in her metal powers. When they first appeared she had to experiment with different movements and had to slowly maneuver a ring to get it on a bottle, and now she can handle levitating numerous objects at once (albeit with a big loss of individual control, but she's getting there).
- The debut of Smoky Quartz, the first human/gem fusion, has them delivering a complete Curb-Stomp Battle to Jasper, who can't lay a single blow on them. Especially awesome when you compare it to Garnet's battle with Jasper, wherein the big G barely held her ground. Garnet has been a perfect fusion for thousands of years, while Smoky is newly-formed, and formed from the two youngest gems.
- In the end, Peridot is the one who poofs Jasper, using her metal powers to impale her with a metal bar.
- Peridot in general is a plucky little Determinator this episode. She's clearly not reckless enough to take on Jasper directly, and keeps a sensible distance from the danger zone... but she loudly proclaims her new status as a Crystal Gem (albeit in a panicked manner, and scuttling to safety after doing so), defends Earth against Jasper's insults, and explains her new outlook in such an awed and sincere manner that only the very Ax-Crazy could fail to be touched by it. Unfortunately, Ax-Crazy is exactly what Jasper is. Furthermore, rather than trying to cover up her failure to manipulate metal to save face, she keeps trying throughout the episode... and succeeds when it really counts. She doesn't do anything particularly flashy, but she keeps trying throughout.
- Not only does she not just hide, she spends the entire fight between Smoky Quartz and Jasper taunting Jasper right to her face... which ends up getting under Jasper's skin to the point of enraging her into making serious mistakes that bite her in the butt big time.
- She also uses the blunt end of the bar, which was still thrown hard enough to run Jasper through.
- Let's take a second to appreciate the fact that for three seasons, the likes of Garnet, Lapis Lazuli, Stevonnie, and Smoky Quartz have taken turns beating Jasper, but none of them could poof her. Peridot, on the other hand, poofs her with one strike, and its her first offensive use of her powers. Granted, Jasper may have been weakened by the corruption, but still.
- Jasper gets another villainous moment of awesome. After Amethyst finally manages to land a couple of blows on her, she just stops and takes her attacks, simply to show her how much stronger she really is. Even after taking her strongest attack, she just got a slight burn on her chest.
Jasper: (wipes soot off her clothes) Is it sinking in yet?
- A subtle one, but even after noticing her corruption, Jasper doesn't lose her composure. It's sad and Nightmare Fuel worthy, but it shows a high amount of calmness in such a situation.
- Another one for Jasper; The Crystal Gems have been hunting down and bubbling Corrupted Gem Monsters for millennia now, and by the time the show is set they still didn't get all the ones roaming the earth. Jasper has been hunting them for a few weeks at most and managed to build up quite an impressive army in that time period.
- Amethyst comes up with a new attack, setting her whips on fire and wrapping them up in her spin attack. It doesn't do much to Jasper, but it could certainly come in handy in other fights.
- Eyeball, like Jasper, is a Rebellion veteran. She must have been quite the battlefield terror.
- While it ultimately fails, Amethyst manages to hold what is clearly a physically draining transformation for an extended period of time and does show some quick thinking.
- Despite the heavy emotional response it entails, Rose managed to shatter one of the Diamonds. Who are KAIJU sized!
- Steven and Sardonyx, apparently improvising, manage to suck the Rubies out into space. Too bad Steven got sucked along...
- A Meta one: despite Pink Diamond seemingly being no better than her fellows (as she already began the Planet Looters and Hostile Terraforming stuff before Rose's rebellion started), her death is still treated with weight and horror fitting of someone having died despite the implication she deserved it. Even when dealing with a villain, the crew keeps to the theme that every life is precious, even one as awful as the Diamonds.
- Steven extending his bubble in order to pull Eyeball into it and save her.
- And when Eyeball begins to attack him, Steven dispels his bubble to get her far enough so she couldn't reach him. Then, while still holding his breath, he makes another bubble around himself. And this happened in deep space.
- Just as much as this scene was heartwarming, the Crystal Gems were able to pilot the Roaming Eye and save Steven after he defeated Eyeball, especially with a more complete "Love Like You" playing as they reunite.
- In addition, the Crystal Gems have now successfully captured a modern Homeworld space craft in working order and learned how to use it. Sure, it's no Gem Warship, but it's still an accomplishment.
- Even though there was implication that Steven nearly died inside his own bubble due to a lack of oxygen, just the fact that he survived deep interplanetary space for longer than a few minutes without any space gear none the worse for wear is really impressive. Also makes for an amazing homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
"The Kindergarten Kid"
- Peridot gets crushed by a mound of rocks, a drill machine, then both at once, then a giant boulder after falling a large distance onto solid ground, and of course getting savagely mauled by the Corrupted Gem. Finally, she falls an even further distance and even creates a large crater in the ground. Does it phase her? Hardly. Impressive, considering similar injuries have easily poofed other Gems.
Steven: You don't poof easily, huh?Peridot: [whilst under a boulder] Us Peridots are stronger than we look!
- This also results in a retroactive one for Garnet, who successfully poofed Peridot back in "Catch and Release" just by squeezing her. Just how strong are those gauntlets?
- This actually makes sense, if you know that Peridot stones can rank up to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. That's the hardness of a quartz!
- Peridot shows a lot better control of her metal powers, even if it doesn't work out as she planned. Also, being able to convert a thousands of years old injector into a functioning cannon in at most a couple hours without any tools is pretty impressive.
- When Peridot follows Steven's plan, she manages to get close enough to grab the monster, and proceeds to manage to keep her grip for the most part despite its speed.
- The Gem Monster here is quite a bit more wily than the ones the Gems usually face, evading every trap Peridot sets for it, and even seeming to have some fun turning one against her. If they ever manage to cure this one, she'll probably be a very useful ally.
- Heck, Jasper deserves some props for catching it in the first place!
- Steven pelting Peridot with marshmallows to get her to empathize with the Gem Monster.
- Smoky Quartz rescuing Pearl and Garnet from the collapsing Sardonyx room with their yo-yo tricks when both of them were hanging on for dear life. Even if both of their components are large goofballs, they show that they are not to be trifled with when their teammates are in danger.
- While he wasn't the first to discover them, the mere fact Buddy, a normal human managed to reach all those dangerous gem locations is pretty dang impressive.
- Buddy's artwork is legitimately fantastic. No wonder Rose was impressed.
- While all of the rest of the Gems are re-imagined to be in period clothing, Rose is wearing the same dress she wore since the Rebellion up to falling in love with Greg. Assuming this is not a case of Steven just imagining her that way, the implication is that she is either so at one with herself and who she is that she doesn't need to follow fashion, or she has simply never been poofed.
- A subtle one, but Connie was able to carry three heavy looking books with little to no problem. She's stronger than she looks.
- Even if it made her guilty, Connie flipping another kid is still pretty impressive.
- Stevonnie showing off some serious skills against the Holo-Pearls.
- Steven and Connie re-fusing in time to save themselves from going splat on the ground.
- Pearl guns it from the cops in the Dondai, pulling off some great evasive maneuvers, all to a grunge rock soundtrack. She even manages to make the line "And that's why we buckle up" sound legitimately badass.
- Pearl not only talking to Mystery Girl, but getting her phone number!
- In general, Pearl shows some amazing Character Development by finally deciding to try and move on from the past and her obsession with Rose. As anyone who has experienced her same issues with depression and low self-esteem can attest to, moving on is a hard but brave decision to take.
- Helped by the fact that Steven and Amethyst play their part as supportive friends, encouraging Pearl to take risks to be happy.
- The fact that the show depicted an unambiguous romantic-comedy scenario between two female characters (even if one of them is technically genderless), and have it be depicted as absolutely normal.
- Better still, while Pearl is still indeed a Gem and hence not a woman in the strict sense, there is nothing to suggest that Mystery Girl believes her to be anything other than a human woman who happens to be into women. Which means, at least on one side of the relationship, the show now has a main female character romantically involved with an unambiguously gay woman, free of any allegory to get past censors!
- A bunch of elementary school kids building a functioning car.
- Peridot and Lapis may not have understood the point of farming, but they're actually pretty good at it for Eating Optional beings.
- Steven hanging on to a friggin biplane in flight.
- Andy catches Steven with his biplane (which are notoriously difficult to control) as Steven is falling out of the sky.
- Lapis flying to Homeworld in what appeared to be a relatively short time already implied that she must be capable of some amazingly high speeds, but seeing her effortlessly keep pace with a plane lets it sink in.
- Peridot managed to create functional attack drones to defend the barn.
- Greg manages to catch up with the Gems, who have stolen his van, on foot in the middle of a blizzard to get baby Steven back.
- It's simultaneously heartbreaking, but Steven finally yelling at the Crystal Gems for keeping secrets from him is long overdue. After everything with Bismuth, the Rubies, and Pink Diamond, he DOES deserve to know the truth, and it's good to see him standing up for himself.
- Andy's able to fly all the way to Korea from Delmarva in just a biplane.
- The simple fact that Blue Diamond would travel across space in order to mourn Pink Diamond.
- Just the simple revealing of Blue Diamond's own ship is awe-inspiring in itself. With barely a thought and a single hand gesture, a ship the size of a mountain parts the clouds above, putting to shame the ship that Peridot once visited Earth on. It just serves as another indicator of how wide a gap there remains between human and gem technology.
- Greg telling Steven to remain hidden and using himself as a distraction for Blue Diamond when Blue Pearl discovers them. It takes some serious guts to put yourself in the radar of a fifty foot alien who tried to destroy your planet in the past. Building on that, he actually does his best to comfort her.
- As some fans have noted, this is the second time that Greg has seduced a high-ranking gem in such a short time, as well as eventually seducing pretty much everyone at the human zoo. Never mind the fact that he's aged 15+ years since first seducing Rose and is now balding, Greg's ability with alien/not-born-on-Earth women is still Kirk-level awesomeness.
- After a rather tense trip through light speed without protection against it, Steven manages to fight the speed pressure and deactivate the ship systems by himself, no powers or anything. It’s sure to induce immense sighs of relief.
- Even though Sapphire is secretly freaking out at the heavy chance of her and the others possibly getting caught by Homeworld/Blue Diamond, she keeps her cool in order for the others to do the same.
- A meta one for Michaela Dietz, who finally gets to voice some "regular" Amethysts and is almost unrecognizable, likely to make you wonder for a moment if it's actually Kimberly Brooks with how much they sound like Jasper.
- Another meta one for Pearl, by Tumblr-user "shesavampirequeen".
As uncomfortable and awful as it was to see Pearl getting treated like a slave, it was amazing to see just how much of this she forgot.So many little details had been ingrained into her mind (ex: don’t walk right next to your owner). This stuff can mess you up for years.But Pearl has grown so much into her own person and has realized that she IS important, that she could barely act the way a Pearl is supposed to. She really is free and her bad acting of how pearls should be shows that.I’m just so happy she was able to break out of such a toxic environment.
- As Nightmare Fuel and offensive it is towards humans, the fact that Homeworld was able to construct a place for humans to live, breathe, and eat is scientific genius on their part. They even figured out how to keep them perpetually happy and unaware of any kind of real pain (until Greg and Steven come in).
- Steven once again showing his impressive strength at two different times: First, when he punches his father in the gut in an attempt to lure the guards out for a chance to escape, Greg is literally sent flying backwards. Two, when the Zoomans start to become distressed over Greg’s rejection and feeling “hurt” for the first time, Steven casually picks up his father and runs with said father held up above his head. When they bump into a low-hanging branch, Steven drags Greg away quickly enough that the Zoomans all keep running without noticing them.
- Amethyst managing to befriend the other Quartzes stationed at the Zoo, getting them to aid in finding Greg and Steven.
- Yellow Diamond's song "What's The Use of Feeling Blue", the rare Villain Song mourning the death of a villain while encouraging another villain to be villainous again. Fans have been waiting for Patti LuPone to finally sing on the show and she knocked it out of the park.
- A meta example for the example above and is from marauders4ever:
Rebecca Sugar and the Steven Universe crew managed to completely develop a villain in thirty seconds and make her one of my favorite villains in fictional history.
The entire song sequence was amazing but the ending went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
In thirty seconds, Yellow Diamond went from being an extremely cold and unjust villain who wants to callously destroy the earth without a second thought to someone who is trying to remain strong because her people…err…’’gems’’ need her and is trying to cope with her sister’s death by destroying everything that serves as a reminder of her life.
They could have easily made her a one-dimensional evil villain. We would have been fine with that. They would have done a beautiful job.
But instead, we got to see thirty seconds of her being ‘’vulnerable’’; thirty seconds of her being humanized; thirty seconds of her going from a one-dimensional villain to one of the most interesting characters in the entire show.
This episode was completely amazing, this song was completely amazing, these two characters were completely amazing, and those thirty seconds made for my favorite scene in the entire show. Well done.
- Another example for Deedee Magno-Hall: She was able to give Yellow Pearl and Blue Pearl distinctive voices through the song, while also having them harmonize.
- A meta example for the example above and is from marauders4ever:
- When Holly Blue Agate launches her whip at Steven and Greg, Ruby and Sapphire quickly Fuse, leaving Garnet to snatch the thing out of the air!
- Garnet then fakes her out and punches her in the gut with her non-gauntlet fist.
- Pearl and Amethyst are equally badass, with Pearl slicing the whip loose from the piece Garnet is holding, and Amethyst using her spin-attack to tie Holly Blue up with it.
- Pearl’s speech to Holly Blue Agate is as badass as it is satisfying. After two solid episodes of being forced back into the hated servant role, it is cathartic to hear Pearl verbally slam Holly Agate. The subtle piano in the background really sells it.
Holly Blue Agate: I’ll report you to the Diamonds! All of you! You’ll all be SHATTERED!
Pearl: (Crouches in front of her) You’re really gonna tell the Diamonds that you allowed a band of traitorous rebels to infiltrate a highly secured facility and escape from right under your careful watch? (Inhales sharply through her teeth) Doesn’t sound like a wise thing to do, Holly Blue!
- And after she finishes telling Holly to keep her mouth shut, she says "that will be all", with Steven clapping his hands, leaving Holly groaning and humiliated as her subordinates laugh and wave at the departing Crystal Gems.
- Even better? This moment is a heroic example of the Sadistic Choice trope. Usually it’s the villain who gives it, not the other way around. It makes Pearl’s speech even more satisfying.
- The Crystal Gems managed to break into a high security Homeworld facility, get what they came for despite not one but two Diamonds being present, and made it out, all without the Diamonds realizing they were there. That in and of itself is epic.
- When the New Crystal Gems copy the same running montage that Steven and the Crystal Gems did in the extended opening, Connie was able to sprint fast enough to get in front of the rest. And, unlike Steven, she didn't have a moment of falling more and more behind before eventually catching up. Plus, she's also carrying a sword that's bigger than her body.
- Connie telling Lapis and Peridot to knock it off with the Man Child behavior and act their ages. Keep in mind that Connie, for all her skill, is human, and she's fully aware of what the two Gems can do.
- What makes this moment even more impressive on Connie's part is that she manages to lead the two Gems who earlier made dismissive and rude remarks regarding her benefit to protecting Beach City.
- Even more impressive? This moment showed the brunt of Connie's Character Development. In the beginning, she was a shy girl who once decided to become suicidally sacrificing to Steven who she deemed as "more important". Now? She's yelling at two powerful Gems, one of which tried to drown her in the past and then states that she doesn't care if she's like Steven and is going to do things her own way, not his way. This young lady is growing more and more mature, strong-willed, and tough by each appearance.
- What makes this moment even more impressive on Connie's part is that she manages to lead the two Gems who earlier made dismissive and rude remarks regarding her benefit to protecting Beach City.
- Peridot's apparently been practicing with her ferrokinetic powers because, while it takes some effort, she's now able to lift an entire car into the air. A pretty big improvement for someone who once strained to knock over a can.
- In the car tug-o-war with Lapis's water-arm and Peridot's hold on the car, she manages to rival Lapis's hydrokinesis in terms of power.
- The ending team shot of the Crystal Temps, as seen here.
- The new "It's A Wash" sign that the Crystal Temps gave to Greg to replace his broken one. Just look.
- A meta one for the creators — When Connie asks Lapis if she remembers her, the Gem visibly doesn't. Then, Connie flatly reminds her that she tried to drown her (Connie) when she stole all of Earth's water. What makes this moment so awesome is that many fans were concerned about Connie just forgiving Lapis after the latter's past crimes on the former. However, the creators subvert that scenario, showing that while Steven may have forgiven Lapis and Greg decided to not dwell on it, that doesn't mean Connie will.
- Steven's ultimate confrontation with Rose, in-universe and out. He finally gets the closest thing he can have to a proper confrontation with his mother, scoring several direct hits she has no response to, but at the same time she stops him from going too far and deciding that just because she's not the saint he'd believed she was until recently doesn't mean that nothing she did was good. All while they're surrounded by stunning Visual Effects of Awesome as Steven's emotions send the room into a hurricane.
- Instead of just putting up with Ronaldo until his feelings bottle up and he can't take them anymore, Steven tells Ronaldo how he feels about his selfish and Hypocritical behavior. Not only is it a big moment for Steven, it also actually gets it through Ronaldo's head how selfish he was being, and he seems to be working on his behavior at the end of the episode.
- Steven is able to curbstomp several strong, athletic adults singlehandedly.
- Navy managing to trick Steven and steal back the Roaming Eye.
Steven: All you wanted was your ship? You could have stolen it from the beginning!Navy: (grinning happily) I could have done that, but then I wouldn't have gotten to see the look on your face when you were tricked by your favorite little Ruby!.
- Better still, every episode with the Ruby Squad had Steven and the Gems treating them like idiot children. So Navy decided to play that role so perfectly, and used that to deliver a perfect slap to the face.
- Navy must have come up with the whole plan in the couple seconds it took for everyone to react to her landing. She wasn't just clever, she thought fast!
- While ultimately also fooled by Navy's facade, Lapis also gets one for being immediately suspicious of Navy's behaviors by basing her own experience of hardship and eventual tolerance of the Earth against Navy's seemingly "loved Earth immediately" experience.
- Remember all that stuff Peridot went through in "The Kindergarten Kid" without poofing? Navy does her one better by making it through atmospheric reentry.
- This one's more of a meta one for the writers for actually remembering everything we've learned about Gems. As a Gem's body only has weight based off air pressure and the planet's gravity, then Navy entered the atmosphere basically weightless, was unaffected by being set on fire due to her own fire powers, and ultimately hit the ground with barely enough force to make an impact crater only a couple inches deep.
- In a meta-example, the way the show subverts The Chosen One archetype used in most stories. The show continued one of its' central themes of the show: No one can control your life, only you do.
- Steven using his floating powers to get himself and Connie over a boardwalk covered in gumballs.
- Lars turns out to be a Supreme Chef, or at least one in training. This is both an awesome moment for him, since while he still blusters about it, he's not being shy about having what could be considered girly/wimpy/uncool skills, and the show, who has subverted yet another duo of stereotypes, namely having the obsessed-with-appearing-cool Lars be the one with baking skills instead of having it be the female and full-figured Sadie (since it would have been easy to have her figure be attributed to her going overboard baking and sampling her own wares).
- One for Sadie and a small piece of Character Development: In the past, she would try and force Lars to be happy, but this time? She finally realizes that she can't do that and decides that she has to focus on her problems before trying to help others.
- The Crystal Gems forming Alexandrite to stop Aquamarine's ship from taking off.
- Connie has gone from freezing up in her first fight with a Gem Monster in "Gem Hunt", to easily holding her own while going toe-to-toe with a Gem Fusion several times her size. She even manages to keep her wits about her during the fight better than the much more experienced Steven.
- Made more impressive by Topaz, according to Word of God, is a very high ranking Yellow Gem. Also makes it a retroactive one for Jasper, who by all appearances seems to exceed a Gem much higher in rank due to her being perfect.
- Connie also, somehow, manages to send a picture message to Steven's phone, telling the Gems exactly where to look for them. Then, either by happy accident or straight-up Batman Gambit, she drops her phone outside Aquamarine's hideout; allowing the Crystal Gems to follow the ringtone right to her.
- While it's saddening for the audience and disappointing for Sadie when Lars runs away instead of helping her, it becomes awesome fairly quick when Sadie frees herself by biting Topaz's hand.
- A villainous one occurs when Aquamarine easily immobilizes the escaping humans and even Alexandrite with her wand.
- Even though it is absolutely heartbreaking, Steven letting Aquamarine capture him and send him to Homeworld proves that he's willing to commit the ultimate sacrifice to protect the Earth and everyone he loves.
- Steven pretending to be "My Dad" so he can free the others by expanding his bubble while inside Topaz. It takes a while, but it works.
- Topaz gets one by successfully subduing Aquamarine and pinning her to the engine wall while trying to help Steven and Lars go back to Earth. Even if Aquamarine talks her down in the end, the fact that she was even willing to risk so much to help two people she'd just met is commendable.
- Aquamarine gets one back by pointing out how reckless it might be if the Diamonds find out, while in a state of fear of being poofed.
- Defense Zircon, Steven's attorney, manages to pull a Eureka Moment straight out of Matlock and makes a pretty damning argument about why Rose was innocent of Pink Diamond's shattering and instead the true culprit was a Diamond. Unfortunately, she gets a little too into the moment and accuses Blue and Yellow as well, which results in her being poofed.
- Despite her state of nervousness throughout the trial and being faced with a case that appears to be insurmountable, the inconsistencies Defense Zircon finds are strong enough that she begins to confidently present her argument, cowed not even by Yellow Diamond raising her voice in visible anger and irritation.
- That a Nervous Wreck like Defense Zircon would dare to accuse her own shatter-happy dictator bosses of murder in itself.
- Just how effective was Blue Zircon's argument? Blue Diamond's reactions suggest that she may be taking it seriously, even after Yellow poofs the Zircon. A House Divided situation isn't far-fetched among the matriarchs of the Diamond Authority now Blue Diamond is somehow convinced about Zircon's argument rather than what the original story had told her.
- She also deserves credit that for a case assigned to her that she didn't want and certainly knew she wouldn't be able to win, she did honestly try to do her best for Steven with what she had. Whether he was guilty or not, she still did her best in her duty as his attorney to work to his benefit. As such, she the only one willing to even try to defend Steven when everyone, even Steven himself, believed Rose Quartz was guilty. Rather than just go with the bare minimum or simply try to lessen his sentence, once she saw that she had an avenue to exonerate him, she went for it—much to her own detriment.
- And what does he base her argument on? A tiny but important factoid: That Pink Diamond's death wasn't the very first act of the rebellion- it had happened when Rose Quartz was already a known criminal and outlaw for centuries and Pink Diamond had no other Rose Quartzes by that time.
- Blue Diamond stands up to Yellow Diamond when the latter poofs both Zircons, demanding that she rein in her temper. To the point that she starts raising her voice. This, despite being cowed in Yellow Diamond's presence during "That Will Be All."
Yellow Diamond: But this [the trial] is pointless!Blue Diamond: NO. IT'S. NOT!
- This can't be understated - Yellow Diamond wanted to just shatter "Rose Quartz" (I.E. Steven) and be done with it, insisting that the trial and its findings are pointless. But Blue Diamond, despite centuries of mourning and a desire to deal a Fate Worse Than Death to Pink Diamond's killer, firmly insists that this isn't irrelevant. Blue might be a depressed wreck around her militaristic sister, but she's still a Diamond.
- Also worth noting: Yellow Diamond might steal the show with wielding pure energy as a weapon, but Blue Diamond can impose her emotions on others when her powers are unleashed, as shown when her outburst during the trial causes all present Gems to shed the same tears and feel grief as she herself is.
- Steven taking charge of the situation when the Diamonds start arguing, grabbing Lars and leaping into - and promptly commandeering - Blue Diamond's palanquin as an escape vehicle.
- Lars takes a level in badass and fends off the Scan Robots who are trying to find Steven and the frightened Off Colors and shatter them all, putting himself directly in harms way multiple times, and even sacrificing himself to stop them all.
- Steven tends to be Overshadowed by Awesome a lot, so seeing him with the Off Colors really highlights how powerful he is. They include two multigem fusions, yet they are utterly shocked by both his combat prowess and physical strength, let alone his healing powers.
- Lars encouraging Steven and the Off Colors to go back home and leave him behind, saying that he's someone who took the freedom and beauty of Earth for granted, and that he wants to be someone worthy of being revived by Steven, who's always gone so far to help others.
- And by the same token, the Off Colors, who have been stuck in hiding and fearing for their lives on Homeworld for eons, pass up their chance to be free on Earth and instead stay with Lars to keep him company and navigate him through Homeworld while Steven tries to find a way to save them all. Doubles as heartwarming, as they do it because they've immediately accepted him as one of their own, and "Off Colors stick together."
- Steven just effectively cured death. His (and Rose's) tears are capable of bringing the (recently) deceased back to life, if only those he's mourning. This means that any concerns of him outliving Connie and Greg or Pearl outliving Mystery Girl are rather effectively neutered, and given his empathy pretty much anyone he knows to any degree is safe so long as he's nearby when they die. Steven's status as The Messiah is becoming more literal, eh?
- The official video with the clip of Garnet fighting Jasper has gotten over 10 million views. Wow.
- A newspaper article referring Steven Universe, along with other shows, as progressive.
- That an Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe crossover even exists. Despite it being vehemently hated against by SU fans the moment it was announced, or that UG creators were trolled incessantly about its creation, the fact remains that it still got made. And because both UG and SU teams have such a respect for each others work, the episode seamlessly blended the two universes together for a hilarious non-canon enjoyment.
- And despite the backlash, there are fans of both shows that enjoyed the crossover and had genuine fun in watching it and making fanart about it (or shipping certain characters like Lion and Tiger).
- And the fact that now there's a Kickstarter to revive SWAT Kats from the creators themselves- after having been referenced in "Say Uncle"- it's likely that reference opened the floodgates for the fans of that show to start the ball rolling.
- Steven Universe isn't drawn on computer; it's actually hand drawn and inked on paper, and there are about 10,000 drawings per episode. Check it.
- Cartoon Network ran a poll asking "What's your favorite Cartoon Network Super Squad", between the Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and Crystal Gems. The Crystal Gems won in a landslide of 86% to the Girls' 9% and the Titans' 5%◊.
- Connie Maheswaran got drafted into Top 5 Dead or Alive.
- Another review explains why she's a Strong Female Character.
- Steven Universe and the Importance of All-Ages Queer Representation.
- Review: "Steven Universe: One Of The Most Positive, Progressive, And Affirming Shows on TV".
- Strong in the Real Way: ‘Steven Universe’ and the Shape of Masculinity to Come and some specific quotes from the article.
- How 'Steven Universe' Is Educating Kids About Consent.
- Connie, Sadie, and the Importance of Human Beings in Steven Universe.
- The show managed to parody everything related to pop culture, from Initial D to Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner. And it makes them work. Very few other shows are able to do this without being completely self-aware, and no others could do this and hold on to a deep, coherent plot.
- The entire creation of Mystery Girl, which accomplished the seemingly impossible task of more or less killing all extant ships for Pearl, because everyone instantly fell in love with her new canon love interest. And keep in mind, this is for a character that has not had a single line of dialogue as of her introductory episode.
- Grey Griffin (formerly Delisle), voice actress of Daphne Blake (Scooby-Doo) since 2001, giving extreme props to Rebecca Sugar and the show as a whole for its progression and how important it is for showing positive queer representation, helping LGBT+ kids who are afraid to come out to accept themselves.
- One design for an unused character named Concrete◊ in the "Art Of" book cheesed off a lot of people who felt that she embodied a lot of racist stereotypes about Black women (obsessed with shoes, vaguely blackface-looking design, couldn't readnote ). What does Rebecca Sugar do? She takes to Twitter◊, claims full, total responsibility for it, profusely apologizes for any hurt that her mistake caused and promises that the offending image will be removed from all future printings. Again, this was for an unused character, and Sugar still felt that it wasn't worth showing off as part of the creative process if it meant upsetting so many people like that.
- In regards to Lars, you really have to give the Crew props; they took Lars, a character who was a base breaker at best, scrappy at worst, and, in the span of four (five if you count "The Good Lars") episodes, turned him into someone who is almost completely beloved by the fandom.