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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.
- A meta example, but the official video with the clip of Garnet fighting Jasper has gotten over 10 million views. Wow.
- Meta-example: 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.
- 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 the 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 it's job of getting the viewer pumped for May 12th, and then some!
- Meta example, but 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.
- A Meta example, but 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%◊.
Season 1 A
- 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.
- Not to mention her off screen moment of awesome as she carried Steven over a room covered in spikes, guillotine and pouring lava.
- As soon as Steven figures out what's going on, she 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.
- 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.
Season 1 B
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 same 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 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.
- 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.
- Makes you wonder what it would look like to see Stevonnie fight doesn't it?
- 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 when you remember that the Crystal Gems haven't been to Homeworld in 6000 years, and Homeworld tech has advanced a lot since then. 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. She must have either salvaged enough parts from the wreckage of Homeworld ships (which would be an impressive feat unto itself), or she managed to jury rig the repairs from tech the Crystal Gems had available. The later would be like fixing a modern day supercomputer with parts of a telegraph. Either way, it's an extremely impressive display of ingenuity.
- 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 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 the door with a Gem Cluster behind using a stretcher, and shoves the stretcher down the hallway to distract, 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 she's lying all the time about everything regarding Steven and the Gems, prevents her from doing her job as a parent, and stepping in when Connie is in over her head.
- Points to the writers as well, for creating such a balanced argument between Connie and her mother 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 parent's 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.
- 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.
"Welcome to Earth."
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 knows of the trouble she has gone through, 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. 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".
- 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 complete control over his shapeshifting powers.
- Well, so long as he's not turning into other things. 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.
- A fairly minor one: there's a plus size model on the cover of Noice magazine Lars was reading.
- 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.
- The mere fact that Stevonnie, whose components have never driven before, was able to do so perfectly. That's what happened when said components are child prodigies.
- Not on,y was it their first time driving, but the car they were driving is a stick shift, something that a lot of adult drivers with years of experience can't do with near the level of competence they managed.
- 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.