Nightmare Fuel / Steven Universe

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And I Must Scream doesn't even begin to cover it.

Here, we have all the chills and spooks that are in Steven Universe. If there's two things that this show is going to teach you, it's that even in the worst situations, there's surprisingly touching moments. And despite how colorful and innocent it appears on the surface, things can unexpectedly spiral into very dark places.

Click here for non-canon work.

Unmarked spoilers ahead.
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    General 
  • Despite claiming several times that they can be killed, we still don't know what it would take for a Gem to actually, fully die aside from passing on her gem through childbirth, and it is still VERY debatable as to whether or not Rose is really dead.
    • We do know they can be Corrupted or shattered and be unable to function normally or think clearly (shattered Gems are treated as dead but they are also said to have a "partial consciousness"); in the case of Corrupted Gems, going mad and only feeling anger and pain for thousands of years and even attacking their own allies. So far there is no known way to cure a Gem that has fallen to this fate, only put them in stasis through bubbling. Who Wants to Live Forever? indeed.
    • It is hinted that Steven may be able to help at least the Corrupted Gems since he befriended one and inherited his mother's healing powers. But he is a mere child who is slowly starting to find out his true potential. Furthermore, it is unknown if the group was already fighting Corrupted Gems before Steven's birth, since Rose would most likely have tried to heal them if that was a possibility.
    • The First Gem War and the culminating battle both physically damaged and destroyed countless Gems, plus it inflicted PTSD on a -rational- survivor like Pearl. It's no stretch to think that the monstrous Gems are a product of that conflict itself since Greg mentions that the surviving Crystal Gems were the only ones Rose could save with her shield, and the shard experiments later indicate that many if not most of these monsters come from their allies. The Guide to the Crystal Gems describes them as "battle-damaged".
  • The Diamonds in general. They are quite ruthless, cold, cruel beings that rule over an imperialistic empire and seem to have unimaginable power over most Gems. We've seen a case in which a subordinate slipped up and Blue Diamond demanded she be shattered. As if that weren't horrifying enough, they've unleashed a weapon upon the Earth that causes gems to be torn apart both in body and mind that's only been described as some kind of blinding flash of light.
    • The extended opening features a cameo from the long-awaited Yellow Diamond. She's in silhouette and slowly turning to give the Crystal Gems a Death Glare with a glowing eye of doom. See for yourself.
    • The scariest part about them though? How fanatically devoted to them they've made the Homeworld Gems. The breakdowns by Pink Diamond's former followers are among the most frightening things in the series.
  • Some of the music in the series manages to be incredibly eerie.
    • "Yellow Diamond", the theme of the eponymous Diamond, which is first heard in her first on-screen appearance in Message Received. Whilst it mostly can't be heard much in its first appearance, the piece is incredibly creepy, starting with the general Diamond theme first heard in "Blue Diamond" (and later heard during the corrupting flash in Monster Reunion, which only serves to make it scarier), which seems to "glitch" before being replaced with an ominous droning. Eventually, an additional, lower droning sound can be heard alongside it, which grows louder and louder each time it's heard until it finally comes to a loud and sudden end, at which point the eeriness briefly stops until the song ends with a frightening crashing sound.
    • The second ending song used during quite a few of the episodes following Bubbled. "Love Like You" was calming and sweet, but in Season 4 the ending song has been replaced with some pretty weird strings in an otherwise silent background, but things take a turn into the extremely creepy in Three Gems and a Baby. It keeps the tense strings, but adds a fast-paced, suspenseful piano music and something resembling gargled, distorted shrieks. And as of That Will Be All, we hear another part, with loud creaking sounds, and ending on a very audible screeching sound as opposed to subtle ones.
      • That's not all though - this part was added in an episode huge enough that we get to see two Diamonds in the flesh, something that prior to this has happened once with a single Diamond merely four episodes prior, after some major plot reveals, and after the Gems successfully escape an encounter with the Diamonds, after being exposed and still getting away safely. That wasn't what this eerie song was building up to like most fans probably expected, and the end of that arc only begins a new part of it. Just what the hell is this song building up to?
  • As the series progresses, we are shown numerous times how little the Gems' Homeworld and the Diamonds care for their own people. Gems have the same value as expendable factory-made parts and can easily be replaced with other Gems. A Gem can be shattered for the smallest transgression, such as accidentally fusing with another Gem, being created with a defect, speaking out of turn, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Lapis was imprisoned in a mirror, interrogated, and used as a tool by the Homeworld Gems without even being given a chance to prove that she wasn't a Crystal Gem.
    • Ruby was nearly shattered just for accidentally fusing with Sapphire, and would have been if Sapphire hadn't saved her.
    • Countless Gems, even those who fought loyally for Homeworld, were left behind on Earth and mutated into brain-damaged monsters by the Diamonds' corruption WMD.
    • Gem shards from both sides were randomly fused into immobile, screaming masses of limbs as part of an experiment series that culminated in the Cluster.
    • Yellow Diamond wanted every single Rose Quartz in existence shattered for the actions of a single individual.
    • Zircon is afraid of being shattered (probably with good reason) just for losing an unwinnable case, despite serving Homeworld loyally for 4,000 years.
  • The very concept of being a Homeworld Gem is pure, undistilled Nightmare Fuel. From the moment you are born, you have to do the job you were made to do for the rest of your life. The smallest misstep or transgression can be grounds for your superiors deciding to shatter you. You can never take a different job, for fear of being shattered. You can never, ever step out of line, for fear of being shattered. Exploring your identity? Becoming an individual? Thinking for yourself? Forming a relationship with another Gem? Thinking about anything other than serving Homeworld and your Diamond? You can forget it. Fusion, a symbol of an intimate bond between Gems, is forbidden except for utilitarian purposes, and fusing with a different Gem for any reason (even accidentally) is grounds for being shattered. And even if you do everything right, obey your superiors' every order, and remain loyal to Homeworld? You're still expendable, and you can still be shattered or worse, as shown by the fates of Lapis and the Gem monsters on Earth. And all of the above is assuming you weren't born with a defect and forced to flee to the underground catacombs, to live your whole life in fear of being shattered on sight. No wonder Rose and the Crystal Gems rebelled.
  • The general attitude Homeworld Gems have for humans. While it's already terrifying that Homeworld was planning to use up Earth's resources despite knowing that the life already on the planet would die, later episodes just prove Homeworld's startling lack of any empathy for humans — treating them as toys or mere livestock that come and go.
  • The Cluster was contained, but, whether due to it likely never appearing in the future or due to other reasons, an artbook showed what it would look like if it emerged. To say it's the most terrifying piece of Steven Universe artwork to probably exist is an Understatement; the entire entity screams of pure Eldritch Abomination, like a final boss from a Role-Playing Game! And if Peridot's statements about it blowing up Earth from the inside out were not just exaggeration, or if this isn't concept art from before the decision to make the Cluster's emergence result in a Earth-Shattering Kaboom, that isn't even its final form.

     Promos 

In Too Deep

Summer Of Steven
  • The promotional image for the "Summer of Steven" event. It shows several Stevens looking perfectly innocent—wearing a tuxedo, winter gear, a life jacket. Pretty standard... except for the last Steven, cut and bruised and looking down at the ground with a pained expression. Something bad is going to happen to Steven, and if it doesn't fall into Tearjerker territory, it will definitely fall into this.
    • By all appearances, it seems to be the result of either his fight with Amethyst, his battle with Bismuth, or what happened in Earthlings, Back To The Moon, and Bubbled.

Stevenbomb 6
  • The preview for Steven Bomb 6 has several instances of unnerving themes and atmosphere.
    • The scene where Steven and Sadie say goodnight to each other. The camera lingers on Sadie walking away with a voice-over from Steven, questioning that she didn't come home last night. Someone disappearing even though you just saw them not that long ago being Truth in Television doesn't help.
    • The prospect that the citizens of Beach City, who up until now have been a mostly passive presence to Steven's other worldly adventures and have mostly kept their lives at a safe distance from the action, are now going to be dragged into the fray between the Crystal Gems and Homeworld.
      • Adding to this is the fan theory that all the people who are going missing are people that Steven mentioned when explaining to Peridot that "Stevens" had not replaced humans as the dominant species of Earth. And he mentioned them because they're his friends. Can you imagine how horrified he's going to be when he realizes that he put them in danger?
      • As it turns out, this theory was right.
    • Whoever the Gems in the promo are, they kidnapped Onion. Keep in mind that this kid is able to steal things and hide in places without anyone noticing, was able to stand against the Gems with just the Replicator, and is incredibly fast. And they caught him. And he looked like he was scared of them.
    • Onion going missing in general. He may be a Creepy Child, but he's still just a little kid. One can only wonder how his family must be feeling...

Wanted
  • The "Wanted" promo for the one-hour event on Memorial Day. Steven and Lars are trapped on Homeworld, clearly in a situation where their lives are at stake and are possibly being hunted by the Diamonds themselves. We see them dodging lasers—one of them honing in on Steven's gem. We see a furious Yellow Diamond, surrounded in energy as she holds out her hand and blasts a bolt of it. We see Steven and Lars in Blue Diamond's palanquin as it's falling. But then, at the end, we see Blue Diamond completely dwarfing Steven with the most furious expression we've ever seen on her. Because grief or not, Blue Diamond is looking at the person she thinks killed her sister.
    • And in case you're wondering, Yellow Diamond's weapon? She doesn't need one - she just unleashes lightning/streams of energy that obliterate anything in their path. If the Crystal Gems ever have to fight the Diamonds, they're probably going to need more than Alexandrite.
    • This line from Blue Diamond. The way she says it - in a voice that's chillingly calm, yet brimming with murderous intent - shows that despite grieving for countless eons, she's no less vicious than Yellow Diamond when confronted with Rose Quartz:
    Blue Diamond: I want to know what she thinks we're going to do with her. Because I want to do something worse.

Season 5

     Season 1 

Gem Glow
  • As much as she became a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in later episodes, the Centipeetle Mother is still the first Gem Monster to appear, and barring perhaps the Slinker she's also the most dangerous one seen thus far; at her full power, during the final fight, she cornered the Crystal Gems and would have probably killed them with her acidic spit if it wasn't for Steven's quick thinking.

Together Breakfast
  • The evil painting might not seem scary at first, but when you learn via Word of God that its paint was made of ground up gemstones from other Gems, it gets seen in a whole new light and makes its death seem like a mercy kill.

Frybo
  • Frybo itself. You... just need to see the thing in motion to get the full effect of how Uncanny Valley it is. The effect gets worse when you see it restraining people using its Combat Tentacles and force-feeding them fries. Then things take a turn for the gruesome once Pearl javelins one of its eyes with her spear, causing ketchup to come spewing out, giving the impression of Bloody Eye Scream.
    • Frybo is actually more creepy now that we know the characters it was attacking so well. You'd be just as horrified as anyone on the scene.

Cat Fingers

Bubble Buddies
  • Steven and Connie end up stuck in a pit at the bottom of the ocean floor, still in the bubble. If they weren't as close to shore as they were, well...
  • The worm was quite possibly the ugliest-looking monster shown in the series up to that point.

Serious Steven
  • In this episode the Gems find themselves stuck in what seemed like a never-ending death trap. It was rather unsettling to see both Amethyst and Pearl beginning to get very worried about not only getting out of there, but also that they had no idea how the place worked.

Tiger Millionaire

Arcade Mania
  • Garnet's Third Eye is actually pretty awesome looking, but the way it moves and glows when she's completely hypnotized by the video game is downright creepy. She looks like something is taking over her mind, and Steven being unable to snap her out of it only makes the scene more nerve wracking. Thankfully a much more lighthearted explanation arose now that we know Garnet's Sapphire half has the clairvoyance and the single eye, maybe it was just a rare chance for fun, low-risk practice for her Future Vision, and the Ruby side was refusing attempts to make Garnet stop?

Giant Woman
  • Steven getting swallowed by the monster bird. Sure, he's unharmed, but the entire inside of the bird is littered with skeletons. And that's before gigantic arms start tearing into the bird. Sure, it's revealed to just be Pearl and Amethyst in their fused form, Opal, but in the split second before you know that, it's pretty scary.

So Many Birthdays
  • This episode demonstrates another consequence of Steven losing control of his powers. Should he act too old, his gem will shapeshift and age his body, to the point where his human half will die of old age Steven also appears to have lost his sanity, as he is sitting on the floor and gasping for breath without focusing on the other Crystal Gems.
  • This also raises questions about Steven's ability to age naturally. Could he remain stuck as a child forever if he fails to mature properly? Could he accidentally skip birthdays if he matures too fast?
  • The increasingly frantic behavior of the Gems as they repeatedly tried and failed to de-age Steven, combined with how close Steven came to actually dying in this episode, made for some of the show's first unsettling viewing.

Lars And The Cool Kids
  • Rose Quartz's moss. It seems to have some level of sentience, and at one point succeeds in engulfing the titular "cool kids", who are audibly struggling to breathe, then proceeds to slowly ooze over Steven and Lars as they frantically try to get it to the top of the hill where it supposedly wants to be.
  • The face Steven makes right before he yells at Lars for badmouthing his mother. Now, he had every right to yell at Lars like that but dear God, did he have to pull that face?

Onion Trade
  • Much of Onion's behavior is extremely disturbing: he steals a bag of chips from a vending machine, makes his moped explode in flames and tries to drown Beach city with toys for no real reason other than boredom. He even tries to KILL the Gems by crushing them with cars! It doesn't help that he has pretty much the same blank expression the whole time and doesn't get any comeuppance for his actions.
  • Onion's expression when he offer to trade Ranger Guy for a replicator wand is unexpectedly terrifying. Made worse by the pitch-black background and growing sounds of fire sirens wailing in the background.

Steven The Sword Fighter
  • Pearl being stabbed from behind by her hologram. There is no blood, but it is still rather unsettling.
    • She gets stabbed in probably the most violent manner a children's show can get away with. Her hologram suddenly comes up from behind with no warning and impales her through the chest. Her pupils shrink to dots, her hair dishevels, and she lets out a gasp of pain. Garnet and Amethyst react in horror, Steven watches in disbelief with tears in his eyes, and only her shadow is seen as her hand loosens on her sword, causing it to drop slowly to the ground. Then the sword can actually be seen through her chest, though there's no blood, and she desperately tries to comfort Steven before she explodes into a poof of smoke. If she wasn't a Gem, she'd be unquestionably dead.
  • Hologram Pearl, period. Especially when it goes into its "advanced" setting.
    • And especially the way its mouth moves.
  • When Hologram Pearl starts going after Steven, and none of the other Gems are around to help him. He's a young child alone in a dark room with an entity designed to try and kill you with a sword.

Rose's Room
  • Rose's Room. Basically, Steven ends up in his mother's room which materializes everything he could want, but it's all made of clouds. So he wishes to leave to get donuts. But everyone in the town starts acting weird, barely moving, glitching up and repeating motions or speaking only in repeats of things they've said before. Steven first realizes something is wrong when his dad starts repeating old advice instead of answering what he's actually asking - and then the town starts actually falling apart, revealing itself to simply be another construct and basically crashing under its own weight. It's played entirely for horror and it is terrifying.
  • As if Frybo wasn't bad enough the first time, we get to see him again. Except this time, he's not doing anything inherently horrifying. He's just standing there and handing out fry bits. Which are glitching as he replaces each box with another one in the exact same place. While staring out of a dark room. Nothing Is Scarier.
  • Lars and Sadie are just standing behind the counter when Steven goes to buy donuts, not realizing he's still in Rose's room. They're completely motionless until they talk, where their voices are in complete unison and sound completely robotic. Then they slide backwards out of the room, without a walking motion. Steven is understandably creeped out.
  • Steven sees Connie and calls out for her... Only to result in a Jump Scare when she turns around and is revealed to have no eyes. Then the voice clip from "Bubble Buddies" where she says "It was incredible!" gets played over and over again, echoing throughout the "town", all while she stands there motionless and eyeless.
  • Then the room just starts glitching more as various residents of Beach City pop out of nowhere. The staff used the distance models instead of the regular models however, which adds another layer of Uncanny Valley.
  • The effect is made worse with the room's representation of Greg. From the moment Steven sees Sadie and Lars, the way everyone and everything acts is so off that it seems obvious to the audience that Steven is still in the room, but when he finds his dad, who responds coherently to what he says at first, it's hard to see anything wrong with him, so the build-up to the reveal that he's also an illusion as his words and actions become repetitive and nonsensical is even more gradual and jarring.
  • The whole episode is extra unsettling if you're a frequent gamer. Basically, imagine every eerie or game breaking video game bug you've ever run into - falling through the world, looping NPC dialogue, objects phasing into each other, the soundtrack glitching, characters sliding instead of doing their proper walking animation - all starts happening at once, in reality, and you have no idea why.

Coach Steven
  • Amethyst and Garnet's Fusion, "Sugilite" is undeniably cool, being a gigantic, trollish, four-armed, rock-star looking thing. And then, moments after her introduction, she's shown to be immensely destructive, brutish, and virtually uncaring when she accidentally hits Steven with a rock. And that's before she shows up again, nearly destroys Pearl by sending her into a Heroic Blue Screen of Death mode, and shows that Gem Fusions can actually be a downright terrifying case of rage-fueled identity erasure.
    • Steven gets struck by a rock, flung by Sugilite, recklessly flailing her wrecking ball. Steven is more resilient than the average human due to being Half-Gem, and so when Steven shows off his "battle damage" and we see this tiny cut, it seems laughable, but if he weren't so durable, he could have had some major trauma, if it didn't kill him. Pearl's reaction to Steven being hit was very justified, seeing as Sugilite is huge, powerful and reckless. Who knows what could have happened if he'd been accidentally struck by her wrecking ball itself when she was winding back to smash more pillars.
    • Sugilite having enormous fangs and five eyes, two of which are Prophet Eyes is enough to make her Nightmare Fuel.
    • As the Fusion reaches its zenith, a dragon breathes out Sugilite's form like fire. The dragon actually sounds as if it's screeching as Sugilite emerges.

Joking Victim
  • Lars breathing fire due to Sadie putting too much fire salt on his doughnut. Even if he deserved it, it's still pretty horrifying, especially when he starts running around setting the town on fire.
    • There was one point where he was ready to use this on Steven. Sadie stops him, thankfully, but imagining what would happen is scary as is...
  • In most cartoons, Fire-Breathing Diner is a funny consequence of spicy food... but here we see just how dangerous it would be if this could really happen.
  • Did "The Incident" that resulted in the donut shop no longer making its own donuts involve some sort of comedic noodle event with Lars getting caught in an oven explosion or does the silhouette surrounded by the blast marks belong to a third employee who is no longer with us? The increasingly dramatic music when the scene is revealed and the fact the silhouette creepily resembles the documented reports of negative shadows cast on walls by people vaporized by nuclear explosions does not help.

Steven and the Stevens
  • This episode have multiple Stevens building dozens of alternative timeline versions of himself to fight each other. When the starting story Steven sees the chaos and pain this causes, it convinces him to destroy the Time Machine, resulting in all the alternative Stevens to painfully disintegrate around the Steven whose story will play out without the device. Some are begging for help as they die while the first Steven desperately tells that normal Steven to find another solution before disintegrating himself as Steven looks on in horror. Then Steven writes a song about it.
  • The implication that the Steven we've watched up to that point now no longer exists due to committing Temporal Suicide!

An Indirect Kiss
  • As the crack in Amethyst's gem gets bigger, her form further degrades into Body Horror. And then she starts emitting a series of terrified shrieks...
    • Although, this would most likely have been an attempt to lighten him up, as Amethyst's reverse dialogue after the screaming says "Cheer up, will ya?"

Mirror Gem
  • The kaleidoscopic image the mirror made out of Steven's head laughing is a little disturbing. It doesn't help that the heads float without a body and the laugh echoes after a while.
  • Lapis was trapped in a mirror for who knows how many years, with no one to talk to and no one to help her escape it, far from her home planet. Made worse by the realization in this Tumblr post
    Steven: What's it like being a mirror?
    Lapis (mirror): (Playing back) You work!
    • Even without knowing it was Lapis it's horrifying. Garnet asks Steven to hand over the mirror. The mirror's reaction is to scream "Nooooooo!" in Steven's voice. On a loop. It screams and screams and screams...
  • The face Garnet makes when Steven accidentally slaps off her shades, accompanied by a discordant Scare Chord. Brrr...
    • In general, the concept of Garnet being angry at all. Considering she is usually stoic but occasionally cracks a smile or funny comment, here she is genuinely FURIOUS, and for the first time we even hear her yell at Steven. It's incredibly jarring.
  • The entire situation is grim. The Crystal Gems know that another Gem is trapped in the mirror, yet they do nothing to help her. This is where the show starts to foreshadow that the Gem species is, by human standards, immoral and destructive, with the Crystal Gems being the exception, fighting against their own species to protect the Earth.
    • They don't just refuse to help her, they emphasize to Steven that the mirror should be treated as a tool, not a person with thoughts and feelings, and try to put it back in storage when they're presented with evidence that it might be self-aware. Yikes.
      Pearl: It's talking to [Steven]? It shouldn't be able to do that, it should only be following orders!
      Amethyst: Let's bubble it!
      Garnet: (after Steven protests that the mirror doesn't want to go with the Gems) Steven, it's just a mirror. A tool. It can't "want" anything.
    • Knowing Pearl and Garnet, they would have bubbled it immediately if they had known that there was a Gem trapped inside, much like Pearl stressed about with the Desert Glass, which was sewn into a pillow. It's more likely that they didn't know, and that Lapis unfairly blamed them for leaving her in there after hearing them disregard Steven's warnings.
      • There are a few things that imply that they did know a Gem was trapped in the mirror, but a quote from the next episode, "Ocean Gem" explicitly confirms they did:
      Pearl: How could I have known the Gem contained in that mirror would be so powerful?
  • When Lapis begins attacking the Gems, Pearl's terrified shout for Steven to run is chilling.

Ocean Gem
  • The way the water clones mirror their Gem counterparts. Uncanny Valley much?
    • How the Steven Clone comes out, first by lifting Steven off the ground, then yelling at him in Lapis' voice.
  • Then there's the retaliation the clone does to Connie and Steven. Damn, even if it was in self defense, Lapis was willing to drown both Steven and Connie right then and there a la water orb engulfing the face!
  • Keep this in mind: While Lapis wasn't a monster, imagine if someone with the power to control the entire ocean mutated into a feral beast lashing out at everything around it. Becomes Harsher in Hindsight after "Jailbreak".

Space Race
  • The rocket ship's explosion near the end. Pearl may have had good intentions to show Steven the universe, but we cannot forget the fact that they both could have died a fiery and painful death by explosion in the reaches of space, far away from friends and family. Greg's screams for Steven as it all unfolds just makes the whole thing more awful.
  • On that subject, Greg's got a whole lot of these in this episode. Imagine, if you were in his shoes, that your child's guardian basically told you that they were going to take your child to God knows where and won't bring him back until an undetermined date. Then, when you put your foot down and refuse to let that happen, your child goes behind your back to take this dangerous journey while you sleep. Add that to the above situation, and... yeah. Greg's got a lot to take in from this day's adventure.
    Greg: (clutching his undershirt) This kid's killing me.
  • As bad as we feel for Pearl in this episode, it's unsettling seeing how she acts. She asks Steven if he wants to go for a "little test drive" while Greg's asleep after he told her no. Then she offhandedly states "I'll bring him back in fifty years!" as they take off, even though she knows Gems and humans age differently. And when Greg tries to tell them to come back over the radio, she casually turns him off while humming. Even Steven is worried at this point, but she just says "I'm going to show them to you".

Secret Team
  • During the episode, some of the Gem Fragment limbs try to strangle the internal organs of the Crystal Temple.
  • The fact that the fragment of broken Gems aren't inert, and can regenerate into autonomous limbs and body parts, brings up some disturbing questions about Gem mortality. If a fragment can still create part of a Gem's body, does that also mean some part of their mind still remains? Do Gems really die if their crystal is shattered, or are they doomed to exist as an assortment of Gem pieces, each housing a broken shard of their original self?
    • "Keeping It Together" seems to confirm that it's the second... and what's been done with some of them makes the Gem Monsters' existences, and even Lapis' existence in the mirror, seem positively tame.

Island Adventure
  • The fish surrounding the island that Steven, Lars, and Sadie are marooned on turn out to be carnivorous. Fair enough. There's also some big and fast enough for that to be a problem, and just walking on the shoreline is dangerous.

Keep Beach City Weird!
  • The episode reveals that Ronaldo isn't just a spacey conspiracy-theorist, but a dangerously deluded and narcissistic Psychopathic Manchild. He believes himself to have supernatural powers, goes into a deep depression when he learns Beach City's happenings aren't focused around him, and when Steven puts on a shoddy costume to cheer him up, Ronaldo bludgeons him with a potato and kidnaps him while still spouting his delusional snake people theories.
  • Don't forget Mr. Fryman's side here. Imagine how it'd feel to discover your son not only has completely lost his mind, but is also now an incredibly narcissistic psychopath whose delusions endanger himself and those around him. Not only would seeing your child has gone crazy be extremely painful, many parent's would keep questioning themselves as to whether they did something wrong when raising their child and what/if they could have done something to prevent him from losing his sanity.
"Watermelon Steven"
  • The creepy mouths the Watermelon Stevens reveal when they hiss.
  • While it seems like maybe it was supposed to be funny (and wouldn't have harmed her even if they'd gone through with it), two Watermelon Stevens digging a grave to bury Amethyst alive in is really scary. It does not help that Amethyst is trapped and crying in fear the whole time.

Fusion Cuisine
  • The dinner scene shows that Alexandrite's face is nothing more than just a mask. Then she shapeshifts a second mouth and Amethyst's voice says "I'M HUNGRY!" Pretty creepy. Since the more human-looking one was capable of speech and eating, it'd make perfect sense for a Fusion as unstable as Alexandrite to have more than one mouth, considering past Fusions have had things like four arms and five eyes.
  • Alexandrite's second mouth is seen again after Steven and Connie decide to run away by getting on a random bus and seeing where it will take them. All of a sudden, Alexandrite can be seen running after the bus, easily grabbing it and lifting it into the air (with Steven and Connie still inside), and then roars "STEVEN!" in a Voice of the Legion. It looked like she was going to try to eat Steven and Connie. And we thought Sugilite was bad.
  • Steven and Connie suddenly trying to run away definitely hits Adult Fear for Greg, the Gems, and the Maheshwarans. No wonder Alexandrite was called again.

Warp Tour
  • Peridot's appearance has the Gems absolutely terrified. Whatever happened before they were stranded is so horrible that they'd rather stay stranded than face it again.
  • Steven almost suffocates when he finds the thing traveling between the warp pads. And he is fully aware that his "victory" in proving he was right leads to nothing other than him dying in the void. Thankfully, Garnet saves him.
    • Even worse, when Peridot stops mid-sentence- she was about to say: "Prepare to re-activate the Kindergarten." We end up getting a pretty good idea of what that is a few episodes later...

Alone Together
  • It's very brief, but while at the rave, Stevonnie nearly has a panic attack when they realize that they're the only one dancing and everyone else is staring at them.
  • When the dancer approaches Stevonnie, he treats them with a condescending smile while looking at them from head to toe. The way he talks makes it obvious that he is only interested in them because they are attractive, making it more or less seem like a variant of catcalling, especially since Stevonnie is highly uncomfortable with the way the guy behaves, yet he doesn't back off until Stevonnie unfuses, making him panic since Steven and Connie are children.

Future Vision
  • The entire episode is full of psychological horror about how you could suddenly get killed in several different ways, and how you're risking your life by leaving your house.
  • To say nothing of the psychological horror of being able to see detailed information on the various ways a person you love can die or be traumatized. Garnet has it rough.

On the Run
  • Whatever the hell a "Kindergarten" is, is enough to terrify Pearl. Considering that there's thousands of Gem shaped holes in the face of the mountain, and dozens of those machines, it was obviously nothing good.
    • Then there's the drill machine, its appearance gives it the look of a giant virus. There's a panel on the side showing what looks like an organic heart and viscerae inside, and when one of them fell down, the container broke leaving a 'reddish' puddle.
    • The fact that the whole place is a visual homage to The Enigma of Amigara Fault. The dialogue doesn't help.
    • Pearl's wording implies that there are more of these places.
  • The fact that Amethyst was born here is terrifying enough, and then you realize she views herself as more monstrous than the other Gems as a result.
    • It's basically implied that the Gems were killing an unknown number of humans and probably other life forms to mass produce more Gems, to the point that they could have wiped out all life on Earth.
    • Her speech to Steven isn't very comforting, considering there's implied Sanity Slippage in it. It's easy to forget for a brief moment that this is essentially one of Steven's mothers and that she could be a very real threat to him.
      Steven: Pearl? Was Amethyst really made here?
      Pearl: How much did you tell him?
      Amethyst: What? You mean about the bad thing? How this bad place is where bad Gems came to grow more bad Gems? Is that what you're talking about?
      Steven: They grew other Gems here?!
      Pearl: Amethyst, he's not ready!
      Amethyst: (Smiling creepily) Oh, but don't worry, Steven. Everything's just fine now.
      Pearl: Amethyst.
      Amethyst: It all worked out. We won!
      Pearl: Stop.
      Amethyst: (Gets closer and closer to Steven) And we shut this place down so the Earth would be safe from parasites like me!
      Pearl: Amethyst! That's enough!
  • The ending. Pearl and Amethyst reconcile and everyone happily warp home, leaving behind a shot of the Kindergarten... suddenly, the lighting shifts, and the drill machines and thousands of drill holes on the walls become incredibly pronounced. For just a few notes, the music becomes tense and very threatening as the episode suddenly cuts off.

Horror Club
  • The horror film the group is watching at the beginning is this in universe.
  • The Gem's attack on the group is pretty terrifying, especially as it uses Mind over Matter to attack the group and sucks Sadie through the floor, culminating in a giant mouth appearing in the basement wall!.
  • The fact that Ronaldo was willing to throw Lars into the mouth.

Winter Forecast
  • The final vision, in which the Gems try to use the Shooting Star to destroy the Galaxy Warp and keep Earth safe from the Homeworld Gems, only for Steven's return to distract them and make them drop it, causing an explosion that apparently destroys the temple.
  • Assuming that future vision works the same for Garnet as for Steven, she isn't just aware of the multitude of possibilities before her, she actively lives through each one of them - which means experiencing every possible timeline where things go horribly wrong until she settles on one that's acceptable.
    • If that's the case, then that might also explain Garnet's Stoic disposition. She's had to see/live through so many horrifying things she might have just as much PTSD as Pearl.

Maximum Capacity
  • Greg and Amethyst's argument grows worse until Amethyst uses her shapeshifting to make herself look like Rose, disturbing Greg, Steven, and the viewers. Seeing her look like Rose, but with obvious differences...
    • With this implication that either Greg had Amethyst do that to unhealthily deal with Rose's death in the past, or that Amethyst had done it before in another argument.

Marble Madness
  • The robots are a bit like this in-universe, especially since the Crystal Gems have no idea what they're trying to do.
  • Peridot tries to squash Steven under a giant stone fist.
  • Remember the Red Eye? Peridot was the one that sent it to Earth!.
  • Peridot calmly, almost dismissively, asking Steven if "Stevens" have "supplanted" humans as the dominant life form. That's a terrifyingly euphemistic way to refer to the genocide of the human race, and highlights her Lack of Empathy.
  • It could also be an insight to the attitude of life (in the Being with Consciousness sense) on Homeworld, coupled with Jasper's comments implying models of Gems do obsolete Gems just get... "supplanted"? The old Gems perhaps repurposed for magic mirror duty or maintaining a rotatey temple duty?

Rose's Scabbard
  • Pearl mentions that the weapons were used by Gems. Considering the size of some (like the axe shown at that moment), there must be some gigantic Gems.
    • Proven correct with the introduction of Jasper, a Fusion of three Rubies, and the Diamonds, all of whom are larger than the Crystal Gems.
    • Peridot mentions that Quartz Gems are very big, meaning Amethyst would have been at least as big as Rose under normal circumstances. The axe that Garnet picks up looks like it might have belonged to an Amethyst, if the gems on it are any hint.
  • Garnet explicitly says that War Is Hell, and that many Gems died during the Great Offscreen War that occurred 5,000 years ago.
  • Garnet's above statement suddenly makes Pearl's gushing, before and after, about how awesome fighting alongside Rose was somewhat unsettling. The way it's framed makes it seem like Pearl's either a sunshine patriot who didn't see the worst of the fighting, or a Blood Knight completely unfazed by the fact that War Is Hell. "Sworn to the Sword" implies a mix of both, minus not seeing the worst of the fighting.
  • Steven nearly falls to his death chasing after Pearl. Pearl doesn't bother to help Steven up, completely at odds with her usual Team Mom personality.
  • While funny, Pearl's expression when she's visiting Rose's cave with Steven falls enough into the Uncanny Valley to be creepy.
  • Pearl's glare at Steven is one of the creepiest Out of Character actions in any show ever. It's not particularly scary like Garnet's glare in Mirror Gem, but it's unsettling because, well, this is PEARL glaring at STEVEN. In context, it's even worse, because it seems like Pearl is truly angry at Steven for existing and taking Rose away from her (who was who Pearl cared about the most). O.O.C. Is Serious Business indeed.

The Message
  • The content of Lapis' message to the Gems and Steven. Not only is Homeworld so advanced and alien to her that she's just as terrified there as she was on Earth, but the Homeworld Gems know that the Crystal Gems are still alive, and they are not happy about it at all. Also, there's the confirmation that Peridot is coming after them, and she isn't coming alone.
  • The ending music to this episode starts out normal, but is abruptly interrupted by the sound of something massive and ominous landing, followed by static.
  • This sound piece that was released after "The Message" aired, you can only hear a woman in pain in the static.
  • Later episodes bring in the massive amounts of Adult Fear that Greg has to deal with. The horrifying war his beloved wife told him about is not only going to happen again, but his son is going to be right in the middle of it.

Political Power

The Return
  • The tone of this entire episode. Everyone is tense and on edge, faced with an utterly hopeless situation. The background music is melancholic as all hell as the town evacuates, but becomes intense whenever the ship comes into view. Not to mention that the sky slowly turns from dusk-red to a sickly green as the ship nears. Everything in this episode radiates nothing but dread.
  • The hand-shaped spaceship. It's mysterious, impervious to most of the Gems' defenses and something about the way it looks and moves is just so... eugh...
  • It's only for a short moment, but looking at Steven asking to return to the Gems from Gregs perspective is extreme Adult Fear: His only child and in essence his own wife, who he has already lost once, asks to go to a gigantic hostile spaceship that even three superpowered creatures are terribly afraid of. There is nothing that Greg can do to protect his child, no matter if he lets Steven return or not, but if he allows him to go back, then he can't even be with his child if something happens.
    • This fear culminates into a extreme panic attack in "Full Disclosure" when he hears what Steven went through.
  • Peridot's blank and emotionless face as she tries to murder the Crystal Gems. The only reason this didn't work was because Steven summoned his shield in time.
  • Jasper. A Blood Knight obsessed with beating Rose Quartz this time around, and who takes a distressing interest in Steven after recognizing his shield, mistaking him for his mother.
    • Watching her cut down poor Garnet, literally bisecting her in the process. And we get a lovely close-up of Garnet's face after she's been sliced through. It proved to be too jarring for the Gems as Amethyst became astonished, Pearl screamed in outright horror, and Steven does nothing but watch with a great look of shock on his face.
    • Seeing her headbutt Steven with enough force to knock him unconscious is jarring.
    • The truly scary thing about Jasper is that, despite relishing battle, she is NOT a mindless psycho: she doesn't carelessly charge into battle, she evaluates the situation, stays focused, doesn't let enemy taunts affect her decisions and makes sure to end fights in the most quick and efficient way possible. She is not an out-of-control attack dog, she is a professional soldier, and as seen in the next episode, as such she will do everything to complete her mission.

Jail Break
  • The climactic sequence following the jail break, where Jasper decides her best chance of beating the Crystal Gems is Fusing... with Lapis, whom she grabs and hauls in for a Breaking Speech, offering her a chance to get revenge on her former captors. Which leads right into Malachite's debut, with her towering over our battered heroes and gloating about her newfound power.
    "Let's stay on this miserable planet! Together!"
    • Malachite's debut is clearly inspired by Ursula's infamous giant scene.
  • The several Slasher Smiles that Jasper displays in this episode, especially during her Breaking Speech to Lapis, and when they fuse into Malachite. *Shudders* Each and every one of those smiles falls right into Uncanny Valley, as her teeth are drawn very realistically, unlike the more simplistic, block-like teeth rows most of the other characters have.
    • And the look of discomfort that Lapis has as she and Jasper fuse... The dark undertones of this are bound to make one squeamish.
    "Come on... Just say yes."
    • Some of what Jasper says is eerily reminiscent of an emotionally abusive partner, essentially telling Lapis that she's weak without her and physically needs her to achieve her goals.
  • Ruby's screaming before Steven finds her. It's revealed she's unharmed as soon as he shows up (she was screaming because she couldn't get to Sapphire.), but she sounded so pained that it's easy to imagine...

     Season 2 

Full Disclosure
  • Seeing Greg's reaction when Steven tells him what just happened can be a little tough to watch. The way he's breathing so heavily and clutching his chest, it looks like he's having a heart attack (or at least a panic attack).

Open Book
  • The way that the room-generated Connie starts acting progressively less and less like Connie and more like the people the room made when it generated all of Beach City in "Rose's Room" is something pulled straight from the Uncanny Valley, but it really goes nuts when she basically suffers a Logic Bomb and locks up.
    "I want... what you want... what you WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-"
  • Room!Connie in general after Steven figures out that she's not real. She starts chasing him, she can't be dismissed, she can't be destroyed because she's Made of Air, and it culminates when she pins Steven down and forces him to tell Connie his feelings... about the ending.
  • At the opening of the fight between Room!Connie and Connie, she chopped the copy of herself across the waist and seemingly killed it. That's right, this show just had a person kill a copy of themself (although thankfully Connie seems no worse for the mental wear after the fight.)

Joy Ride
  • Steven was less than a foot away from being A) smashed around Peridot's pod and potentially seriously injured, or B) getting punched into outer space by Garnet. Thank God Jenny was able to tell them in time, or that could've been the last they ever, EVER saw of Steven.
    • Adding to the Oh, Crap! expressions the teens have when Pearl nearly shish-kabobs Steven with her spear, they almost just saw their friend get skewered by a mother figure of his. That is gonna be kinda traumatizing.
  • Blink and you'll miss it, but when Garnet breaks the pod in half to release Steven, his eyes are totally glazed over with a greenish hue. He looks looks like he died.

Say Uncle
  • It's played off as comedy, but when Pearl comes out of the house looking for Steven, she sees some weirdo aiming a huge laser cannon at him. All she can do is scream in fear at, what she expected were, Steven's last moments.
  • While also a bit on the funny side, the Gems are definitely freaked the heck out by how easily Uncle Grandpa can toy with reality. Pearl is briefly turned into a gibbering wreck and even Garnet is left shuddering from the experience. No wonder they decide he's a threat.
    Amethyst: My head is on backwards!
  • When Pizza Steve shows up dressed like Steven, Amethyst eats him! It's offscreen, but her pulling his sunglasses out of her mouth dispels any doubt about what happened.
  • Specifically Pearl goes totally insane in this episode, not being able to take any of the events well. By the point that Pizza Steve appears, she is a wreck who just screams, with her visual appearance turning her into a caricature. Seeing how well-composed Pearl usually is, this really borders on deeply unsettling. Similar to the entry in YMMV, you can either find it funny or absolutely disturbing.

Love Letters

Reformed
  • The Slinker. Besides the fact that it's been creeping around the temple for who knows how long, and it repeatedly manages to force Amethyst back into her gem.
    • They don't defeat the Slinker at the end of the episode. It's still in the temple.
    • A later short shows that they did in fact get rid of it, so there's thankfully no worries there.
  • Amethyst, Steven, and Garnet root through the the trash piles in Amethyst's room and find a human skull. What the hell was that doing there?!
  • When Amethyst comes back as a caricature of Pearl her feet are... weird.
    • Her fit of rage later on after fighting with Garnet counts as well. "ARE YOU SAYING I'M WEAK?!"
  • The Body Horror from Amethyst's rushed regenerations, especially the last one, which has incredibly muscular limbs of unequal size. It gets even more disturbing when it starts breaking down.

Sworn To The Sword
  • Steven is still obviously scared of Holo-Pearl.
  • Throughout her time training Connie, Pearl seems to be gradually losing her mental stability since reminiscing on fighting alongside Rose Quartz and guarding an incoming strike designated for Rose. Near the episode's climax, during her argument with Steven about his importance to her, Pearl completely snaps and drops a Wham Line which comes off as an episode of PTSD.
    Pearl: WHY WON'T YOU JUST LET ME DO THIS FOR YOU, ROSE?!
  • There's something downright eerie about how quickly Pearl manages to convince Connie to give up herself for her "liege" Steven. She doesn't even realize at first why Steven might be uncomfortable with the concept.
    Connie: No Steven, I understand now! Your legacy, your destiny... you are everything! And I am nothing.
    • Made even worse by the fact that Pearl was inadvertently playing on Connie's existing worries. Connie was already insecure about being "normal" compared to Steven and his magical world, and Steven is literally the only thing she deeply cares about since he is her only friend. Then Pearl feeds and twists her insecurities, turning a girl Steven's age into a child soldier that's willing to die for him.
  • When Garnet and Amethyst are explaining to Steven just how deep Pearl's devotion to Rose was, a little projection plays which shows Pearl protecting Rose from a series of attacks, with Pearl retreating into her gem each time she's hit. The last time it happens, Pearl is switched with Connie. Cue Oh, Crap! reaction from Steven as the shot cuts away just before the projected Connie is hit.
  • That Garnet and Amethyst are unsurprised by Pearl's actions implies that she's done things like this before, and enough times that it doesn't even warrant shock.
    • Her wording is horrifying if you consider how violently devoted Pearl was to Rose, it shows this need to be of use to another Gem might actually be NORMAL for Gems; this would explain why Garnet and Amethyst don't find it creepy.

Keeping It Together
  • The shard Fusions are more or less dead bodies forced to be artificially fused after they've been shattered, ala Frankenstein's monster. Also Garnet says that all of them were Crystal Gems.
  • They also look pretty disturbing, especially the last one we see. They wouldn't be out of place in a Cyriak animation.
  • And if the appearance alone of these shard Fusions isn't enough to give you nightmares, you also get to hear the shrieks and cries of what is likely the voices of the Gems themselves.
  • The fact that they committed what was essentially graverobbing, desecration, and necromancy all in the name of petty revenge shows just how twisted Homeworld has become.
    • Even worse Peridot didn't seem particularly taken aback by any of this, speaking of the 'experiments' as if none of it was particularly out-of-the-ordinary. She's used to this sort of thing. This might be something that's even happening on Homeworld, perhaps for so long that it's taken as just to be normal for them to do that to fallen dissenters.
    • Garnet, on the other hand, is so disturbed by the realization that it takes her a while to defend herself against the one attacking her, and she nearly comes apart altogether, though that may have been an effect of it coming in contact with her.
      • That it's Garnet who's in that scene underscores the wrongness in and of itself, both because of how stoic she normally is and because of how close to home this hits for her.
    • It's worth noting that, besides grabbing Garnet, the Fusion is not violent, like other Monster Gems. Garnet recognized that they were former Crystal Gems. It seems like that Fusion had enough sentience to recognize their former teammate, as well, but was too monstrously formed to actually communicate with her.
    • Though it's important to note that as Garnet's Fusion breaks down it begins to be absorbed by the Cluster Gem. It's possible that it was trying to pull Garnet into the Fusion to create some kind of stability, which would explain why the others were slowly creeping toward her. It's likely that without Steven there, Garnet would have been pulled into the Cluster, and would've turned into a horrifying Fusion monster.
    • An equally horrifying possibility is that the Cluster Gem saw two Gems fused together and tried to save Ruby and Sapphire by pulling them apart. The notion of Fusion as a good thing has probably not occurred to it.
    • When the Fusion starts to form, before it completely materializes, it takes on a form that has four vaguely humanoid silhouettes sticking out of it... and it makes a sound like faint screaming. Not only does the Fusion have some form of sentience, but it's aware of what's happening to it.
      • It becomes even more horrifying when the Fusion opens all four of its eyes.
    • And it was heavily implied that those tubes have been incubating at the Kindergarten since the end of the war. They were Crystal Gems that were left behind in that state for a very long time. And if we're to take it that Peridot hasn't been able to reestablish contact with Homeworld since she was stranded, that means her original mission included checking on how these experiments were coming along.
  • Since the "subjects" were Crystal Gems being "punished" for rebelling against Homeworld, can we even be sure that Homeworld didn't capture them intact and then shatter them...
    • Thankfully, the answer to this question is likely yes. Garnet mentions specifically that they were buried together, implying that they were at least shattered from the start.
  • The dissonant, halting track that plays during the sequence with the Cluster Prototypes is nothing short of pure nightmare fuel. Just listen to it for yourself.
    • Just to make it worse, it's the accompanying music for each individual Gem that's been forced together mixing completely unevenly, unlike true Fusions, whose music syncs up at least somewhat, these Gems are constantly trying to be on their own, overlapping in a horrible mess of sounds. They're in so much pain, anger, and confusion that they can only get one single note out in harmony.

Chille Tid
  • Lapis is still in control of Malachite, but just barely. How long until Jasper manages to take over? What's worse, Garnet implies that due to the two fighting each other yet remaining Fused, something that isn't normally supposed to happen, the resulting anger and hatred will build up inside Malachite until it explodes into something even worse.
  • Jasper hasn't taken her imprisonment well. When we briefly see her, she seems to have suffered some Sanity Slippage, and when she sees Steven, she just says "You!" repeatedly before Lapis regains control.
    • Even worse when we take into consideration how poorly a calm and collected Gem like Garnet took being tricked into Fusing. Now if being tricked into fusing under false pretenses, not even being forced to stay fused, can get Garnet to lose her cool, just imagine what all this time will have done to someone like Jasper, who already dislikes Fusion to begin with.
  • Lapis saying "No! I'm not Lapis anymore. We're Malachite now.", and the subsequent appearance of the Fusion in the dream.
    • The score of that scene is even darker than Malachite's first Fusion theme, being a clash of Jasper's jagged synths and Lapis's melancholy theme, and even has moments of the Harsh Noise genre.
    • Malachite has this blank, wide-eyed stare, slowly turns her face towards Steven and just gives off this shout. Somehow, jump-cutting in the middle of that shout to Steven waking up makes it even more terrifying.
    • If you listen, they're shouting "GO!".
  • Lapis' first appearance in Steven's dream has her staring directly at the camera as water gushes from her eye sockets and mouth, flooding the room Steven is in. (It's unclear if this was when he first connected to Lapis or if it was a nightmare caused by him worrying about her all day.)

Cry For Help
  • When Garnet finds out Pearl tricked her, she is pissed. While it's unlikely she would have lost enough control to physically hurt Pearl, the normally calm, chill, and maternal Garnet going full rage on at Pearl must have scared the hell out of many viewers, and certainly scared the hell out of Pearl. Without Amethyst's intervention, things might have gotten even uglier emotionally before Garnet got control of herself again...
  • Sugilite reappears. Even if it's just for a moment, and things go better this time, it's still scary.
    • The fact that Garnet basically ordered Amethyst to fuse with her to become Sugilite is extremely chilling, especially given the events and implications of "Keeping it Together". Garnet's conviction is that Fusion should be done with love, but she was blinded by anger enough to stampede Amethyst into fusing without caring about her feelings. It's entirely possible that Sugilite had better control in this episode because Amethyst was feeling too intimidated by Garnet to "cut loose", and this combination of fear and rage accounted for Sugilite's in-episode silence.
  • The music certainly doesn't help. During the shot of the tower falling on Sugilite, there are some sinister bells ringing... which are quickly cut off by Crying Breakfast Friends.
    • Made worse by Pearl's face and body language. Keep in mind Sugilite attacked had almost killed her the last time she appeared, and this time, the dominant half is mad at her. Pearl was likely suffering severe self-loathing and fear for her life at that moment. There's a brief close-up of her face, and she's terrified.
      • Many fans have noted that, judging by the way she freezes and clutches at her torso, it looks like she's having a panic attack.
      • It gets worse if you consider this episode in the context of both "Coach Steven" and "Sworn to the Sword": Pearl used to regularly throw herself between Rose and big, barbaric-looking Gems like Sugilite, huge bruisers she couldn't possibly compete with and got repeatedly killed by. Now her two best friends have turned into one of these, again, and this time around, one of them was already furious with her...

Keystone Motel
  • Ruby Burning with Anger to the point that she makes footprints in asphalt and boils away an entire pool without calming down, and Sapphire doing the inverse with her abilities, turning the motel room into a meat locker, both seemingly so caught up in their emotions that they don't realize what's going on with Steven. To make matters worse, they are totally oblivious about Steven's well-being, seeing that Ruby almost cooks him when she makes the pool boil and Sapphire manages to make the room freeze over, which could easily have made Steven sick, if not worse.
  • It's low-key, but Steven's frustrated misery with Ruby and Sapphire's state of discord, and his assuming that HE is the one responsible for all the turmoil taking place both at home and on the road, feeds into an increasingly disturbing pattern of Steven assuming far, far more responsibility than he should for situations that are completely beyond his control (his inability to master his powers, the death of his mother (along with the grief this caused those she left behind and his assumption that the Gems, his surrogate mothers, must blame him for her loss), and now the emotional well-being and protection of parent figures who are thousands of years older than him and yet less emotionally evolved). And nobody seems to have noticed that this is becoming a problem...
    • This is actually, Truth in Television as most children assume that problems between their parents must somehow be their own fault. Steven sees mother figures in the Gems and whenever something goes wrong, he assumes that it was because he did or didn't do something, just like most children would.

Onion Friend
  • Vidalia brandishing a double barrel shotgun when she thinks someone is trespassing in her garage.
  • At one point Onion seemingly has Steven feed a mouse to his pet snake. At the end of the episode however, the mouse pops up, out of Onion's mouth.
  • Onion in general has a number of Creepy Child moments, like when he showed Steven the tape of his birth.
    • He licks a potato statue from Steven.
    • When Sour Cream starts disrupting the electricity with his music, Onion just stares at Steven, making the scene look like straight out of a horror flick.
    • his gigantic teddy bear is destroyed. It looks like it was slit open with a knife...

Friend Ship
  • The active booby traps on the spaceship.
  • For a given measure considering the character that does it, but Peridot popping her foot off to get away from the Crystal Gems is still a character willingly dismembering themselves. The smoking stump only adds to the creepy factor due to it further alluding to her inorganic nature compared to the Crystal Gems.
    • Subverted a few episodes later: it wasn't her real foot, just part of a robotic limb enhancer.
  • Peridot mentions that Earth has an "expiration date"...
  • It's rather easy to miss, but when Pearl attacks Peridot's hologram, she tries to slash through her gem right off the bat. She has become THAT unhinged by all the recent events.
  • While Garnet and Pearl's reconciliation is a CMOH, Pearl's statement about how little she thinks of herself raises some very unnerving possibilities: "I'm just a Pearl. I'm useless on my own." How much of her anxiety, self-hatred, and desperation for approval was ingrained by Homeworld because of her Gem class? How much of Homeworld's ethos is built on this kind of creepy, abusive, discriminatory utilitarianism?

Nightmare Hospital
  • Adult Fear settles in with one of Connie's parents being directly involved in her and Steven's adventures for the first time. Dr. Maheswaran's terrified reaction to finding Rose's sword alone puts into perspective just how dangerous Connie's activities are.
    • In another flavor of Adult Fear, Dr. Maheswaran's realization that her My Beloved Smother tendencies have caused her own child to not trust her, keeping huge life-changing events out of her knowledge. She didn't even trust her enough to tell her that she's been using lens-less glasses for a year because her eyes were magically healed.
  • The entire sequence of Dr. Maheswaran examining her patient. We're told it's supposedly a car accident victim, but it keeps rustling and moaning beneath the covers, completely hidden save for a pale-colored arm. Then she finds it doesn't even have a heartbeat. It's not long after this that we learn it's no car accident victim...
  • The scene of Steven, Connie and her mom running into the "patients" in the pitch-dark hospital hallways at night look like they're lifted straight out of a horror flick. Connie's mom even says her work at the hospital was lifted straight out of a nightmare.
  • As if the Gem Fusion experiments from "Keeping it Together" weren't unsettling enough, here it's revealed they've made their way out of the Kindergarten and are being sighted on roadways by ordinary people.
  • One of the "patients" makes a fist when touched, but both were weak enough to stay on hospital beds, be dressed in gowns, and given wristbands. It's only after Steven shows up and has been in the hospital for a short period that they gain speed and strength. Proximity? Are they harmless until other Gems get near?
    • And why are they heading for Steven? Are they angry enough to remember what was done to them and instinctively lashing out at the nearest Gem? Do they sense something of Rose, and are they running at him to ask for help in the only way they can? It's worth nothing that they only came after Steven and Connie once they got Rose's sword back.
    • Considering the Gem Clusters form an inverted Shapeshifter Swan Song upon coming into being (and normal Crystal Gems grow less and less human as they Corrupt//crack/shatter), these things may have started out looking vaguely humanoid and devolved into shrieking monsters.

Catch and Release
  • At the beginning of the episode Peridot basically kidnaps Steven from his bed. Now imagine being one of the Crystal Gems going to check on Steven, only to find that he's gone.
    • Not to mention the fact that she was able to get that close without any of them, including Garnet, noticing. Depending on if he was there she would have even made it past Lion.
  • When Peridot is unbubbled and notices the bubbled Gems, she asks, terrified, "You're going to harvest me?!" This implies Homeworld might seriously be into experimenting on their own Gems soldiers/citizens.
    • It's probably even worse than that, if Peridot has legitimate fears of a specific process that requires the capture of hundreds of Gems or more this is clearly beyond the experimental stage. It might not even be the same thing as the forced Fusion experiments, it could be something like what happened to Lapis or something far, far worse.
  • Why is Peridot so eager to leave Earth? Well, it seems the planet's been awaiting destruction for thousands of years. The Cluster which still seems to be dormant for now will hatch very soon. And when it does, it's strongly suggested to be capable of killing every living thing on the planet. That thing in "Keeping It Together"? That's nothing.
  • Peridot's default assumption to something unfamiliar is to near universally assume it's a weapon. What kind of culture does Homeworld have to warrant that reaction?.
    • This reaction might just be a Fridge Brilliance thing more than Nightmare Fuel; Jasper identifies Steven as Rose Quartz, and Quartz Gems seem to be naturally born warriors. Peridot is assuming everything unusual is related to Steven, and since Steven is technically a Quartz, what else would he own but weapons?
    • Her terrified squeak when Steven goes near her with a rolled up towel after joking that it could be used as a weapon doesn't imply very good things about Peridot's own time on Homeworld, either...
  • Garnet grabs Peridot and crushes her with her gauntlets, squeezing so hard Peridot poofs mid-sentence. Peridot's gem survives and so does she, but it's a little disconcerting to see borderline-lethal violence applied by a hero to a talking, re-occurring character.
    • It gets worse when one considers why she did so. Peridot had her blaster weapon pointed right at Pearl's gem before she was destroyed; it's not improbable that Garnet's Future Vision showed Pearl's death before she intervened.
      • Even before that, look at when Garnet electrocutes Peridot before slamming her into the ground. Steven is clearly bothered by that level of violence from Garnet. Garnet can be pretty ruthless, which makes one wonder how she fought in the rebellion.
  • What makes this episode so uncomfortable is when you remember Lapis' message that Homeworld has changed a lot since the rebellion, and with Peridot's paranoia over everything she see Steven interacts with make it worse. What if the rebellion caused Homeworld to have a decay in morals and ethics? Or else the rebellion started just when Homeworld was crossing the horizon?

When It Rains
  • And now we know what The Cluster is; It's one giant Fusion experiment incubating at the center of the Earth. And when it emerges? It'll be bigger than EARTH ITSELF. Put simply: Earth is the shell and the Cluster is the chick.
    • For a fantastic (and truly nightmarish) visual example of just what, exactly, this will entail, might I direct your attention to this Xenosaga II cutscene.
    • Even worse? Peridot says that it's made of millions of Gem shards. MILLIONS. If the And I Must Scream quality of the Fusion experiments weren't bad enough, now we have The Cluster.
    • Even if most of the Shards were artificially created in the Kindergarten, the Cluster will still be an Eldritch Abomination when it awakens.
    • The worst part was that this thing was somehow there for thousands of years, unnoticed by everyone. Its presence might even be the reason why the SU Earth looks so different geographically compared to ours.
  • Steven and Peridot being attacked by the Gem Mutants.
    • Steven and Peridot end up being cornered by a Gem mutant while inside Steven's bubble shield. As Steven is trying his best to hold the thing back, its under belly suddenly opens up to reveal a single eye ball that stares right at Steven.
    • What makes it worse is that Steven only has defensive abilities. He can protect himself, but he can't fight back. And Peridot seems to be absolutely harmless without her Artificial Limbs, with no way to fight or defend herself. Good thing the Gems appeared when they did.

Too Far
  • While it's actually a sign of how bad she's got it for Peridot, Amethyst's expressions and behavior in the first half of the episode are rather unsettling. She looks genuinely crazed at some points, not unlike Malachite's Slasher Smile (likely not a coincidence considering Amethyst and Jasper are the same kind of Gem).
  • This probably falls more into a 'psychological' nightmare fuel or Fridge Horror but...When Peridot actually starts to praise Amethyst and says that she is the best real Gem out of the three, and that she should be the leader, Amethyst's first reaction is snarky skepticism, but as Peridot continues her praise, Amethyst starts to become embarrassed and confused, and when Peridot nonchalantly delivers her Wham Line of saying Amethyst is "defective", the music stops and Amethyst can only repeat the word back. It gets worse as Peridot keeps going and mocks the hole she literally crawled out of along with her appearance, saying she's 'wrong', Gemetically speaking. Now, it's been made repeatedly clear that while all the Crystal Gems have their separate flaws, Amethyst suffers the most from low self esteem and insecurities, even more then Pearl. As Amethyst has gone so far as to refer her own entire existence as a 'parasite' 'mistake' and even 'garbage'. (Steven is also aware of this.) Carrying onto this self-loathing for hundreds of years and having another one of your own kind come out and admit that these insecurities are valid and that she is indeed "defective and wrong". That moves way past Tear Jerking, it's downright soul crushing.

The Answer
  • Ruby saves Sapphire and accidentally Fuses with her in the process. Blue Diamond promptly orders her gem to be destroyed, because Gems are only supposed to fuse with their own kind, and not only Fused with another Gem, she fused with a Gem of a higher class.
  • Sapphire seemed very cool about her possible death even if she knew that she would survive since before she joined Rose could only see one possible outcome.
  • The fact that Blue Diamond was willing to let Sapphire, a high-ranking Gem and a member of her court, be "poofed" (i.e. killed) for the sake of fulfilling a prophecy made by Sapphire herself sheds some really disturbing light on how Homeworld treats its residents...
    • To be fair, Sapphire herself believed her future vision to be absolute, so it isn't out of the question that Blue Diamond saw Sapphire's prophecy as inevitable. Ruby just didn't give a shit when trying to save Sapphire from being poofed, and that led Sapphire to learning that Future Vision isn't as straight forward and absolute as she thought.
  • Of all Gems, Pearl has proven herself well as The Dreaded, and a rather perturbing episode. Though we know she's not a villain, she still presents herself as a ruthless fighter, swiftly slaying several Rubies and nearly takes out Sapphire before Ruby dives in and rescues her. Later, when the two fuse into Garnet, she is terrified when she comes across Pearl again, beforehand deeming her a 'terrifying renegade'. It also doesn't help that Pearl was nearly silent throughout her combative performance, almost akin to an assassin.
    • Well, Pearl's victims are poofed, and not shattered, so they'll be back.
      • Her "victims" in the war didn't all survive, as per Garnet's description of the final battle and Pearl's Blood Knight glorification of the slaughter in "Rose's Scabbard." From the point of view of Homeworld, CG Pearl would equate to a Disney Pop Princess or Convention Booth Girl morphing into an eco-terrorist version of Anton Chigurh from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
  • Somebody calculated how freaking huge Blue Diamond is. And she's FREAKING HUGE.

Steven's Birthday

It Could've Been Great
  • Peridot hits the Crystal Gems' Berserk Button HARD when she speaks about Rose Quartz's rebellion being futile and only delaying the inevitable.
    • Garnet's Tranquil Fury reaction in particular; she grabs Peridot by the shirt front, hoists her up to eye level, and summons a guantlet while telling her how she's talking about things she doesn't understand. It's made clear that Garnet was intending on poofing her (or worse) before Steven convinces her Peridot's Not Worth Killing.
  • The Diamond's plans for Earth can qualify as this. We see a hologram of an Earth consisting of only important Gem structures, with almost all of the planet except for the parts of the crust holding Gem structures destroyed.
    • Made much worse by Peridot gushing over the hologram of the desiccated husk of a planet, calling it "perfect", saying how great it would have been if the colony had been completed, even calling the Crystal Gems crazy for trying to stop it!
    • A close look at the map reveals that most of Russia is submerged underwater.
      • What's worse? There's a Gem outpost of some kind at the center of this sea. The position of the outpost roughly corresponds to the location of The Tunguska Event, meaning this sea may be barely a century old. Imagine how much that screwed up the world's history.

Message Received
  • Yellow Diamond finally appears, and she makes full use of her screentime to showcase just how cold, unfeeling and horrifying a villain she is.
    Yellow Diamond: I don't care about "potential" and "resources". I want my Cluster, and I want that planet to die. (...) 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!?
    • And rather than the cool, calculating and brutally pragmatic overlord so many Gems thought her to be, Yellow Diamond is instead a deeply spiteful and glacier-cold being that would rather disregard potential gains for the sake of pride. The Cluster almost seems like a second thought to the goal of destroying something that offends her. And she almost immediately tries to kill Peridot for her insolence. While cold and terrifying, she's also contemptuous and petty. In some ways, this actually makes her more terrifying than if she truly was simply ruthlessly efficient and imperialistic.
      • What's scary is that it seems more then just being spiteful. She's more vindictive in her tone and mannerism about Earth. It's very obvious that she wants her revenge on the Crystal Gems, and was willing to wait millennia for the perfect way to happen; Letting the planet explode from underneath their feet, with no clue what's happening or how to stop it.
    • Think of how much of a terror it might be working under Yellow Diamond. Despite her reputation of being logical and calculative, she's quickly shown to be petty and easily angered. She tried to kill Peridot mere minutes after the latter had disrespected her and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that she's this way to all her underlings. Peridot is at least safe (for now) from punishment thanks to being on a different planet, but for the Gems working with her on Homeworld? There'd be nothing protecting them from her wrath.
      • While unpleasant and smarmy, Yellow Diamond's Pearl now sits as the closest target around for the matriarch to vent upon. Given her unreasonable and apparently irritable nature, it's easy to hold some concern for Yellow Pearl when Yellow Diamond is so furious.
  • When you think about it for a second, installing a remote self-destruct device on a communicator leads into questions what happen to certain Gems who anger or displease their superiors and didn't have anywhere to run, hide like Peridot, or the ability to get out of the blast radius. For example, imagine having one of these devices self-destruct on a space ship carrying Gems.
  • Yellow Diamond's Pearl, because of how she contrasts sharply with Crystal Gem Pearl and how the latter could have turned out differently. She is also a stickler for rules, but her few scenes show her devoid of Crystal Gem Pearl's compassion or motherly tendencies, and she gives an outright Psychotic Smirk as Yellow Diamond approaches Peridot.
  • When Peridot declares that Earth is filled with life, Yellow Diamond corrects her by stating "organic life." This small detail shows just how much hatred Yellow Diamond has for anything not a Gem, and how she regards the lives of others just by categorizing them by their species.
  • Hooray! Now the Diamonds aren't coming for the Crystal Gems anymore - instead, they're coming for Peridot, who just basically told their leader to go to hell right to her face!
  • Though she actually has good intentions in doing so, Peridot's giggling and expression when she contacts Yellow Diamond are unnerving, to say the least. It really hammers in the Sanity Slippage she's been undergoing as a result of being torn between the Crystal Gems and her superiors. Not to mention the way she talks about Yellow Diamond to Steven - it quickly goes from just gushing about her flawlessness to a desperate insistence that their survival only hinges on whether or not she finds them worthwhile, as if Peridot had been brainwashed by a cult or something.
  • If you're totally used to the more cutesy art, the exaggerated character designs (God, those bulging eyeballs!) in this episode can unnerve you. I mean, just look at Yellow Diamond's angry face!

Log Date 7-15-2
  • Peridot's nervous breakdown at the beginning of the episode is incredibly disturbing.
  • There's something unsettling about Chicken!Amethyst's teeth.
  • Garnet and Peridot's near-fusion dance. At this point, Garnet is the only Crystal Gem Peridot has yet to become comfortable around. Homeworld's prejudices against fusion aside, she doesn't like her, understand her, or feel safe around her — but suddenly, Garnet's proposing something very intimate, and Peridot's consent is not enthusiastic. At no point does her body language reflect anything approaching comfort, and while Garnet stops as soon as she gets a firm "no", their dance mostly involves her dragging Peridot around by the hands and locking her arms around her throat, telling her to "get ready." It's a very out-of-character moment for Garnet, and deeply uncomfortable.

     Season 3 

Super Watermelon Island
  • The Watermelon Stevens have been sacrificing their own to keep Malachite calm. Thank God Steven wasn't allowed on the mission, or this episode would have been more creepy then it already was.
    • It's worth mentioning that they draw a star on this particular sacrifice's torso. And that Malachite calls it Steven before eating it.
    • Another horrifying aspect is imagining how Malachite must feel as individual. One part of her want to kill or harm Steven, while the other is scared of losing control over her anger and killing the one person who showed concern over her well being.
  • Malachite's sheer bloodlust towards the Crystal Gems.
  • The tremors from the Cluster's awakening, which apparently lift Mask Island right off of the seafloor.
  • The fact that Jasper's unconscious body slides into a fissure when the Cluster's awakening is beginning to take effect. What the hell is going to happen to her?!
  • Relatively tame all things considered, but Steven possessing the second Watermelon Steven can come off as this.

Gem Drill
  • The way Peridot describes the experience of a Gem Mutant sounds personal, as if she's seen it before...
  • The way the smaller Gem Mutants come out of the magma and attack the drill.
    • The first one with the hand might be closest thing to a Jump Scare in the show.
  • You remember the page picture? The Cluster is exactly like that, but bigger, alive, and in more pain. And the Gem projection that comes out? It's a great big sea of arms, pairs of legs AND SCREAMING FACES. No wonder Steven had a panic attack...
  • Even if it ends well, the psychological, nigh-cosmic level horror of countless minds forced into one in the sequence inside the Cluster's mind is not to be denied.
    • And it soon goes like this...
    The Cluster: "CAN'T STOP!!! GOING TO FORM!!!! CAN'T STOP!!! GOING TO FORM!!!!!! HELP!!!!!'' HELP!!!!!"
    • Keep in mind, each and every one of those Shards was most likely a former Crystal Gem; Gems who betrayed Homeworld to protect the Earth. The fact they collectively seem to say a Little "No" when Steven informs the Cluster it will destroy the Earth when it forms explicitly shows that they can remember enough of themselves to be horrified they're about to destroy the planet they sacrificed so much for to protect and there's nothing they can do about it. Or so they think.
      • As of Monster Reunion, there's a good chance there's plenty of Homeworld Gems in there as well.
    • A lot of the implications of The Cluster are truly horrifying. Everyone has been assuming that Gem shards don't have enough of a mind left to really think in any capacity... The Cluster proves that the individual shards can hold at the very least simple conversations with each other. They can think. They can think independently and to a degree are aware of what has happened to them, all they are trying to do is regain some form of stability, but they can't.
    • Also when focused on a single mind, their collective minds are both capable of some form of telepathy and more then enough to violently overwhelm Steven even without direct contact. The amount of psychic energy they must be emitting, for anything with a natural capacity towards mind reading or anything like that, would probably be mind-meltingly destructive of the My Skull Runneth Over variety. We can only hope that isn't leaking out and effecting humanity, because otherwise... the effects could be unimaginable.
  • Steven's hyperventilating, sweating, and clear distress as the consciousness of the Cluster comes into contact with him is a startlingly realistic and utterly terrifying depiction of a severe panic attack, which can hit like a bat to the groin for viewers who frequently experience them, and his FACES during said panic attack are Adult Fear incarnate.
    • The super accurate depiction of Steven's panic attack combined with his surreal visions of the ghastly, pained faces of the Cluster's Gems before he loses consciousness makes this scene a contender for the scariest moment of the series so far.
  • And probably the very worst thing of all: someone on the Gem Homeworld thought that the Cluster - millions of broken minds forcefully trapped together in agony and longing - was a good idea.
    • Even worse, given the way both Peridot and Yellow Diamond have talked about the Cluster, it may NOT be the first one. The Homeworld Gems may have shattered and forced millions of Gems to become a constantly-agonizing abomination before.
      • "Hey, remember the thousands of friends you lost in the Gem War? We turned them into a bomb. Have fun with that."
  • The downright disturbing music from this episode makes all the above even worse.

Same Old World
  • We finally learn why Lapis was in the mirror, and it's not pretty. She had simply meant to visit Earth, but was caught by surprise in the war. She was mistaken as a Crystal Gem by Homeworld and was put into the mirror to be used as a tool for information...despite the fact that, since she was not a Crystal Gem, she couldn't tell them anything they demanded of her. Then, when the war was over and the Homeworld Gems were fleeing, someone stepped on her mirror and cracked her gem. She stayed like that, trapped in the mirror, hurt and unable to communicate, for what was probably thousands of years, judging by Pearl's attire.
    • Reality Subtext makes it much worse when you consider that she was basically a victim of the same kind of thinking that got people killed during the Salem Witch Hunts, sent to Nazi death camps during WWII, and imprisoned during the Red Scare (among other things): we THINK you're the enemy, so you have no rights. The scariest part isn't just it happened to her, but that less fantastic versions of that same thing have happened to people in real life.
    • It also resembles Locked (in) Syndrome, a terrifying syndrome in which the victim knows everything that's going on but is completely paralyzed. They're unable to talk, all they can do is see. Oftentimes, they're mistaken as dead and may be killed if someone can't prove they're alive.
    • The Gem that poofed Lapis also looks insanely scary, being pretty tall and buff and sporting a Slasher Smile as she poofs Lapis. The fact there's a lot of evidence to believe it's the bubbled bismuth inside Lion's pocket dimension doesn't do much to lessen its scariness.
      • The fact that she poofed her so easily. We've seen Lapis take a lot of damage (the handship crashing, being buried under rubble, months restraining Malachite followed immediately by a battle, ect) without poofing, and she was apparently confident enough to visit Earth on her own (as opposed to Sapphire, who was accompanied by Ruby guards). Then Bismuth shows up and One Hit Poofs her. It's equal parts terrifying and hilarious.
      • It's later revealed that the Gem who poofed Lapis in the first place was a Crystal Gem. Sure gives Lapis a lot more incentive to hate the Crystal Gems.
  • As Lapis comes across the Galaxy Warp, she almost drops Steven. She just barely manages to snap out of her daze and quickly grab onto him.
  • When the Homeworld Gems are fleeing, there's a bright flash of multi-colored light in the sky, presumably the event that Corrupted the remaining Gems on Earth besides the imprisoned Lapis and the main gang.
    • The color of the ring of light around that flash? Yellow, white, and blue.
      • And if you listen closely, you can hear the Diamond Motif, just as the flash/explosion of light occurs.

Barn Mates
  • When Lapis describes how it felt trying to keep Malachite underwater for so long, complete with a thousand-yard stare.
    "It was an endless, crushing darkness. Wet and bleak and suffocating. Water was the tomb I lived in for those months."
  • Lapis casually splatting the Roaming Eye. Reminds you just how powerful a Gem like her is.
  • The episode closes on a scowling Ruby emerging from the crashed ship, with a gem where her left eye should be.

Hit the Diamond

Steven Floats
  • Steven imagining his own death; he imagines himself basically rotting away and his bones falling out of the sky.

Too Short to Ride
  • In-Universe: Steven shapeshifts his finger into a cat. He promptly freaks out when he realizes what he did, and dunks his finger in the ocean.
  • "I HAVEN'T SEEN A BED IN SIX DAYS!"
  • Onion nearly burning down a roller coaster.

The New Lars
  • The Reveal that Steven possessing the Watermelon Stevens wasn't a fluke and he can do it to other people. In this case, to Lars. If Steven wasn't such a nice kid, the implications of that could be really terrifying.
    • Especially since he did it unintentionally.
  • Imagine the situation from Lars's perspective. You fall asleep, and you regain consciousness in someone else's house, with a small crowd following you, including your parents. When you start reacting to what just happened, you get disdain from the group of kids you've been trying to fit in with for a while. You're then told from the kid in pajamas that you can't stand that he had accidentally possessed you for the hours you can't remember. Your parents' reaction to this is a rather blase, "Don't freak out". You later come to the realization that nobody showed any concern that you weren't acting normally, and are actually displeased with you returning to normal. It's a wonder Lars isn't more messed up from the fact that essentially being gone for a few hours not only didn't worry anyone, but actually made them prefer that option.

Beach City Drift
  • Connie explaining to Greg why she dislikes Kevin, the way she's describing them the events could be much more disturbing than they actually turned out, and you can practically see the gears in Greg's head grind as he imagines it.
  • Stevonnie, a fusion of two kids with no driving experience, in a car race. They're lucky they didn't crash or otherwise injure themselves.
    • Even worse, right after Kevin tricks them Stevonnie begins to hallucinate everything glitching in front of them, the road falling apart behind them, and a red-eyed Kevin coming straight at them right before passing out and de-fusing. Steven and Connie are extremely lucky that the car was able to stop and not go flying off the mountain...
  • Steven is 14 and Connie is younger than him, and both have the proportions of 10 year olds. It is VERY lucky that they managed to stop the car after blacking out as Stevonnie, as it could have ended up much worse.
  • The entire blackout sequence is this, where Stevonnie is on a road rapidly crumbling behind them while a demonic manifestation of their hate for Kevin charges out of Kevin's car straight at them.

Restaurant Wars
  • Kofi tries to brand Steven.

Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service
  • Kiki is having a dream of being dragged down into cheese by cheesy hands and drowning every night! No wonder she's so happy Steven accidentally used his Dream Walker powers to enter her dream and save her.
    • When Steven and Kiki finally decide to get to her nightmare's source, they discover a monster made of cheese shaped like Jenny. The monster then begins to drown Kiki in cheese while continuing to ask her favors... and poor Kiki still refuses to say no, even when the cheese gets up to her neck.

Monster Reunion
  • Uncorrupted Centipeetle isn't completely Uncorrupted.
  • Centipeetle relaying her story to Steven, specifically the part where she and a large group of other Homeworld Gems join the fight. She draws a large number of stick figures and then begins scribbling out Gems while making explosion-like noises.
  • Remember that flash of light from "Same Old World"? Turns out the Diamonds caused it, and it was the source of Gem Corruption. It Corrupted Centipeetle, her crew and possibly all the other Corrupted Gems we've seen. The only reason Lapis was spared was because she was trapped in the mirror.
    • Meaning of course, that if Lapis hadn't been forced into the mirror, she would be a mindless horror like all the other Corrupted Gems. Imagine how many other Lapises Steven and the Gems have had to put down...
  • The fact that the Diamonds would use whatever weapon or power that caused it in the first place. It's like willingly nuking a territory captured by the enemy - except nukes are intended to kill, which would be merciful by comparison. The Diamonds' weapon mentally damaged and Corrupted everyone left behind, even their own soldiers, into bestial monsters, just so they could deny the enemy the satisfaction of a straight victory.
    • That Homeworld even owns a weapon like that makes you wonder what they would have done to Earth if they hadn't decided to let the Cluster rip it apart. Their complete arsenal must be horrifying, and it's amazing Earth is still habitable.
    • The Corruption attack is also a case of Nothing Is Scarier. It's never shown exactly what it is—it's only shown as a giant flash of light.
    • The simple fact that, as it stands, there is no cure for this. Rose didn't leave those Gems bubbled out of apathy, as some seemed to fear; it was because even her healing powers couldn't do anything.
    • And add in the fact that the Corruption isn't physical in nature, but somehow mental. Imagine feeling trapped in a body that isn't yours...
    Pearl: It's alright Steven. Remember, she's not cracked, she's Corrupted, and that's something different, something nearly impossible to describe.
    Garnet: It's sort of like if MC Bear-Bear didn't tear the fabric of his arm, but the fabric of his mind.
    • Something Greg said to Steven in Season 1 suddenly sheds light on how and why the Crystal Gems managed to survive, and just how close they came to being Corrupted.
    Greg: "If it weren't for her (Rose's) shield, man, I don't know..."
  • Centipeetle slowly and (evidently) painfully Recorrupting.

Alone at Sea
Jasper: I thought I was a brute, but you... you're a monster.
  • Lapis admitting that part of her enjoyed being Malachite, using Jasper as a target for all her anger and frustration.
    • If there was any subtlety with the parallel between Lapis and Jasper's fusion and an abusive relationship before, then this episode rips it into shreds. This time, it's played incredibly realistically, and the way Jasper not only desperately begs and insists she's changed, but tries to make Lapis feel like the one who was doing things wrong can make many viewers very uncomfortable and might hit home for some.
      • This is the issue though - Lapis did do something wrong. Jasper was abusive and controlling, but the moment Lapis got the upper hand, she was just as controlling and abusive as Jasper was. She even admits that she treated Jasper horribly, and never wants to go back to the way things were. It's why Alexandrite tore them apart. Lapis has come to realize a fusion like that is unhealthy for both partners, and isn't worth any price. Jasper's the one who can't let go, and her desperately insisting it's going to be different this time around is downright horrifying.
    • On that note, the way Jasper says "It'll be different this time! I've changed! You've changed me!" and then later blames Steven for Lapis' refusal—the almost word for word parallels to the words of an abuser are downright chilling.
  • Jasper's resurgence is laced with pure horror. She looks like an unhinged addict as she craves to be Malachite again, and threatens to shatter Steven for thinking he made Lapis reject the idea of fusion.
    • The build up to Jasper returning. It feels like something out of a horror movie: first Lapis hooking something huge and powerful we never see that snaps the pole in half (implied to have been Jasper), then the boat shaking like something is hitting it from below, then the engine breaking down and stranding them as a storm hits before Jasper finally drags herself up from the ocean floor. It's just an overall terrifying atmosphere.
  • The simple fact Jasper has apparently been relentlessly marching across the ocean floor ever since "Super Watermelon Island", searching for Lapis to reform Malachite is terrifying and unsettling.
  • At the episode, while Lapis was able to overcome her demons about what she did to Jasper, Jasper didn't change one bit (other than maybe in latitude). And she managed to find Lapis despite the latter floating in the middle of the ocean. There is nothing stopping Jasper from walking right up to the temple or the barn.

Greg the Babysitter
  • The episode's climax is pure Adult Fear as Greg learns the hard way just how little Rose understands about humans when he leaves baby Sour Cream in her care. He returns to find them both gone with no notice, and when he finally finds them, Rose has allowed Sour Cream to climb up a ferris wheel assuming he'd be fine if he fell.

Gem Hunt
  • The second, completely unexpected monster appearing after the fist one, and both charging at the group.
  • Jasper poofing one of the Gem monsters with her bare hands, showing Steven the monster's gemstones in order to taunt Rose, and walking off into the blizzard. Just what does she intend to do with those?
    • Just how brutal Jasper is. Particularly when she finishes it off by grabbing its gem and ripping it out.
    • Simply Jasper being there while Connie and Steven were alone. This is a Gem who has only gone down to Garnet and Lapis, both serious powerhouses, and she's alone with two kids, one of whom is on their first ever mission and (as we were reminded at the start of the episode) had never been in a real fight.
    • "Hey, Rose... Look what I got."
  • The ending scene. No Iris Out, just Steven staring at the picture of Jasper he took.

Crack the Whip
  • There's something very unsettling about Amethyst shape shifting giant eyes on her feet. Steven and Connie even acknowledge it as gross.
  • Jasper shows once again that she's not fucking around with a vicious beatdown of Amethyst.
  • Jasper poofing Amethyst, holding her gemstone in her hand with the intent to shatter it. Jeepers!
  • When Amethyst reforms, for a brief moment, her form shifts into something more monstrous looking, almost like she's being Corrupted...
    • Or maybe she took Jasper's taunts to heart and was trying to take a form more like her, which might have risked a repeat of Reformed.
    • Gems seem to cycle through their last few shapes before they take on a new one. In this case, Amethyst was just going through the poorly-proportioned and rushed forms she took on during Reformed.

Steven vs Amethyst
  • The return of the Holo-Pearls. Luckily, Pearl has updated them to be less lethal.
  • Steven and Amethyst's fight. Granted, Steven's part-Gem, so he can take the kind of pounding that ensues in a Gem-class sparring match, but as Amethyst brings out the kind of attacks we've only seen in actual combat, one almost wonders if she's losing control and is about to seriously hurt Steven.
    • Thankfully, her cavalier compliments and the way they both end up laughing at the end proves that Amethyst hasn't lost perspective.
  • As the fight wears on, both Amethyst and Steven start getting physically worn down, and it seems like one or both of them will end up getting a serious injury due to exhaustion.
  • Steven uses his floating powers, but hits a piece of debris that sends him flying beyond the platform's edge. If Amethyst hadn't been so fast lassoing him, he would have been doomed.

Bismuth
  • Bismuth in general once she unveils the weapon. The others just want to stop Homeworld's invasion of Earth, she wants to shatter (i.e. KILL) them!
    • Then when she starts going into a Sanity Slippage, we learn what happened to her: when she showed Rose "The Breaking Point", Rose, being a Martial Pacifist, turned down the idea immediately. Bismuth didn't take this well, there may have been a fight (which Bismuth heavily implies she started in rage), and Rose poofed her in the end. She hid Bismuth in Lion and lied to the Gems about her.
    • Added to this: keep in mind that everything we've seen so far makes it clear that the Homeworld Gems aren't Always Chaotic Evil. They're the bad guys, sure, but ones like Peridot were simply misled, ones like Lapis were civilians caught in the crossfire, and ones like Centipeetle were just soldiers doing their job. While Bismuth's mentality is understandable, it's made clear she's gotten to the point where she can justify shattering them whole-sell 'for the greater good' and would attack Rose, her FRIEND, because of it. It's quite possible that it wasn't simply the weapon she wanted to use, but Bismuth having become so utterly consumed by hatred to that point that caused Rose to seal her away.
      • There was also a bit of Foreshadowing to this, as she barely reacted to hearing that Rose was gone, plus the way she reacted when Pearl said that Rose was "worried sick" about Bismuth.
  • Steven vs Bismuth. Full. Stop. Bismuth has officially gone crazy and attacks Steven, thinking he's Rose, and trying to cause a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against "her". As terrifying as the concept is alone, it only gets worse from there. This whole fight shows that not every member of the Gems have the same morals: the others are out for justice, Bismuth is out for blood. Then there's the fact that this is hands-down Steven's most intense fight: Steven doesn't have the home field advantage, he doesn't have assistance of any kind, and his opponent actually wants to kill him!
    • If you pay attention to her eyes while she rants and tries to kill Steven, you can notice they grow into snake-like slits.
    • She even expresses a desire for death, saying that it would have been better if Rose had shattered her.
    • And it gets worse, as this marks the first time in the series that Steven has poofed a completely sentient Gem.
    • The fight goes out of its way to show Steven's slipper dropping into molten lava, and the ground of the forge burned the bottom of his foot just by standing on it. Besides the bruising and (thankfully bloodless) cuts on his shirt, his finishing moment on Bismuth shows steam rising up from his bare foot, meaning that he was forced to ignore his own pain to save himself in the heat of the moment.
    • As frightening as this is, just imaging it from Steven's perspective. A person you've come to trust and be good friends with takes you to their place and offers you a gift... which turns out to be a weapon they have every intent of performing genocide with. They hand it to you, expecting you to use it... and when you reject it, all the kindness they showed you is gone and they go berserk. They want you dead, and you're all alone with no one to protect you. Your only way to save yourself is to impale them through the gut. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Steven, just because he didn't completely lose himself to panic.
  • This whole moment also leaves the lingering thought that Rose may have been keeping more than just Lion and Bismuth a secret from the others.
    • The fact that Bismuth immediately flies into a rage and attacks Steven when he rejects the Breaking Point. No questioning why he rejected it, no trying to convince him, not even an angry Motive Rant. She just instantly flies into a screaming rage and lunges at Steven, simply because he said no. Her words imply she had the same reaction when Rose refused.
  • Bismuth's weapon, "The Breaking Point". It was designed by her during the Rebellion, for the specific purpose to completely shatter any Gem on the receiving end. It was very fortunate that Rose was a Martial Pacifist who didn't share Bismuth's sentiments, because if she wasn't, the Rebellion would've lasted a lot longer with fewer survivors, not only from dealing with Homeworld soldiers, but also from dealing with an entirely new army of enraged and destructive mutants created from the leftover Gem shards. And that's not even considering the idea Homeworld would escalate the war in response.
    • The actual weapon itself: A pneumatic metal gauntlet with a large, sharp point at the end that can shatter stone with a thrusting impact. Compared to all the spears, whips and hammers we've seen the Gems use, it's uncannily more modern and industrial in comparison, and wouldn't look out of place on, say, Unreal Tournament or even Bloodborne as opposed to a cartoon.
  • Moments before showing "The Breaking Point" to Steven, Bismuth mentions that Rose specifically commissioned her to make weapons designed to poof Gems, not shatter them. Notice how she does an off-side glare and her voice gets quieter as she utters the end of that line. It seems that not only did she want Homeworld defeated, she will stop at nothing until they're all but shards in her hands. Aside from having her weapon rejected, part of the reason why she attacked Rose was because she resented that her pacifistic influence kept her from delivering the justice she thought Homeworld deserved.
  • Seeing Bismuth be impaled is this in and of itself.
    • Especially given that it was Steven who had to do the deed. It's literally a child having to stab someone they thought they could trust to defend themselves from being murdered. In previous fights in the series, it was either him leading a fairly standard trap or circumstance to poof a Corrupted Gem, or one of the Crystal Gems dealing the blow. Steven having to run Bismuth through is pure traumatization fuel, as Mindful Education would go to show.

Beta
  • The Reveal that Jasper isn't just a run of the mill Quartz: she's the ultimate Quartz. The most perfect one that Peridot has ever seen. That is what the heroes are up against.]]
    • This goes a great length to explain Jasper's Nigh-Invulnerability displays. She has gone through A LOT of abuse since her arrival to Earth, from a rather vicious fight with Garnet to surviving a spaceship crash to a superpowered slash from Stevonnie with Rose's sword (granted, her crash helmet probably helped with that one), and has shown no sign of slowing down.
    • The buildup to the reveal? Peridot keeps chatting about how disorganized, haphazard and all over the place the beta kindergarten was, and how it was far from the carefully engineered prime kindergarten where Amethyst was made, since Homeworld made it during the rebellion in a last-ditch effort to get more troops and fast. She points out several faulty holes and how no holes show the characteristics at the perfect one... then they find a huge one. Jasper's. At first, Peridot dismisses it with a "we already knew she was tall", but when she goes up to investigate closer, trying to find fault but not finding any, she is forced to admit that this was the clearest most perfect exit hole she ever saw, with Jasper's leaving it turning the whole of the inside into glass just by the heat of its friction. Repeat, the unstoppable juggernaut of a woman who has battled Rose Quartz, wrestled Lapis Lazuli for the control of Malachite with the whole ocean weighing her down, and has followed our heroes for a few episodes now, is the freak result of a place with poor resources, ran with poor organization and with little to no time. She just woke up into existence there, and did a spin dash-attack so strong to get out it melted the sandstone.
    • For reference? the temperature required to melt sandstone into glass is 3,272 degrees Fahrenheit (1,800 degrees Celsius)! THAT is how much heat Jasper was generating through the friction of her emergence.
    • Peridot's REACTION to realizing it. She goes from simply trying to find a fault to utter silence as she climbs down out of the hole in shock. She goes from encouraging Amethyst to telling her she can't fight Jasper because of what she discovered.
  • The final moments of the episode. Amethyst is talking about all the other weird holes when Peridot notices something wrong with one, that it's too dug out and the digging was recent. They then see more holes like that and follow them, coming to holes with bars across the front. Steven then nearly get clawed by a captured Gem Monster. Even Peridot is horrified at who might be doing this... cue Jasper seen in the distance.
  • While the Prime Kindergarten was horrifying in part because of how fragile and ordered everything seemed, the Beta Kindergarten is the opposite: due to being a rush job, it's full of deformed and twisted holes, and everything about it just feels incredibly wrong. Imagine the Gems that came out of that place.
  • If there are multiple copies of Corrupted Gems out there, could we one day see a Corrupted Ruby? A Corrupted Pearl? Amethyst?
  • The Gem Monster that jumped at Steven in this episode is the same one that Amethyst poofed in Crack the Whip. Except that one was bubbled by Steven and sent to the temple. Which means that Jasper not only has been busy capturing them, but has multiple copies of them.

Earthlings
  • While overlooked considering everything else that happened, Jasper's monologue on what the Homeworld thinks of anyone who doesn't fit their mold is seriously creepy and brings to life some seriously disturbing comparisons to a certain real life group.
    Jasper: Every Gem is made for a purpose: to serve the order of the Diamonds. Those who cannot fit inside this order must be purged!
  • Jasper's fusion with the Corrupted Quartz leaves her bestial and terrifying looking' a six-legged hideous centaur beast vaguely resembling Malachite.
    • The Corruption is not instantaneous — we see it creeping up her arm and slowly eclipsing her more humanoid features. As she rants and raves at Steven, it suddenly takes over her face, blotting out her eyeballs in the space of a few seconds and replacing them with tumorous stalactites that resemble the horned growths that the alpine Gem monsters have. We don't know if this was unique to Jasper's Corruption because of the way she contracted it, or whether, despite the sudden, devastating flash the Centipeetle recalled, Corruption is a degenerative condition, rather than an instantaneous transformation. Which raises the horrific possibility of a planet full of abandoned Homeworld Gems, as well as Crystal Gems, watching in horror as their bodies and minds gradually slip away from them, helpless to save themselves.
    • Jasper's scream in her newly corrupted form; it's just so grating and distorted from her original womanly voice that it's downright unsettling—-not to mention the closeup of her destroyed eyes and jagged zigzag line of teeth.
  • Jasper becoming Corruption from fusing with a Corrupted Gem and slowly turning into one herself, rejecting any and all help from Steven.
    • Just before she becomes a fully Corrupt Gem Monster, she yells, with her voice breaking and the shot being an extreme close-up of her face Corrupting before it takes over entirely.
    Jasper: Wh-?! My Diamond! Your Diamond!! PI-I-INK DIAMO-O-O-O-OND!!!!
  • It was hinted at in "Monster Reunion" and "Gem Hunt" that Corruption isn't just a physical injury, but mental as well. Confirmed here as Jasper goes completely frickin' insane as part of the process.
  • What happened to Pink Diamond that only Jasper remembers her? And if Jasper's right, what did Rose do to Pink Diamond?
    • As for Steven, he didn't inherit his mother's memories, so he'd have no way of knowing Jasper was assigned to Pink Diamond. The rest of the Crystal Gems, Rose kept PLENTY of secrets from. Peridot doesn't know because it can be assumed all records of the rebellion have been wiped clean from Homeworld. Lapis was trapped in a mirror for thousands of years.
    • Made even worse by the fact that Rose bubbled Bismuth due to her desire to shatter the Homeworld Gems, specifically the Diamonds. How bad did things get that Rose had to go back on morals that forced her to seal away one of her closest friends?
      • Worse still: What if Rose shattering Pink Diamond gave Bismuth the idea for the Breaking Point? That Rose ended up shattering Pink Diamond and swearing "never again" inspired one of her friends and followers to go "that's a good idea, let's do it some more!"

Back to the Moon
  • Rose apparently shattered Pink Diamond, rather than merely defeating her with the Diamond's gem intact. The why isn't yet known, but it must have been something so dire for Rose to go against her beliefs by making this an exception.
    • What really sells it are the Gems' reactions. Garnet is in a state of shock, Pearl turns away shaking like she's reliving a nightmare, and Steven is in horrified denial. It makes you wonder if after that many of the Gems followed her out of loyalty, or fear.
  • Steven getting blown out of the airlock with the Rubies, and Sardonyx and Amethyst watching helplessly.
    • Amethyst actually screams Steven's name in horror as he's yanked into space.
    • The more horrifying part is that a Ruby (specifically Eyeball) wrenched him away from the door controls. She's so angry that she's willing to kill Steven by exposing him to outer space. Then again, Homeworld Gems don't need air to breathe, and Eyeball probably isn't bright enough to even realize she's putting Steven in danger.

Bubbled
  • Steven being stranded in space, helpless, without any knowledge of whether or not he would have been rescued.
  • It's a minor thing... but it's rather unnerving that Eyeball's reaction to her squad going flying off into the depths of space is how she's going to file a report on the subject rather than any concern for their well-being.
    • Remember from "The Answer", the Crystal Gem Ruby was just standing there, awaiting shattering from Blue Diamond's court. Considering that Eyeball is from the same era as CG Ruby, it makes sense for her to brush off her squadron since there's so many more Rubies. Doesn't make it much better, though.
    • Even if Rubies are just considered expendable soldiers to Homeworld, we had gotten to know THIS squad of Rubies and seen that they had unique personalities and quirks. Even if they were technically villains, they were so ineffectual they came across as funny and likable. Now they're probably lost to the vacuum of space and we'll never see them again. Way to gut-punch us, Lord Sucrose.
  • Eyeball trying to shatter Steven even after he saved her life.
  • Steven being trapped in a very small bubble with a Ruby trying to shatter him.
  • Steven's Break the Cutie moment: Having ejected the Ruby into space, he catches his breath, and just curls into the Fetal Position, seemingly accepting that he was going to die, alone. Even the background music was silent and eerie.
    • Not only that, but he had recently come across the knowledge that Rose Quartz, his own mother, had shattered another Gem, and those thoughts could have been his last.
  • Seeing the "camera" pan out farther and farther away from Steven, seeing how small he is against the vastness of space instills a sense of hopelessness/emptiness and dread that feels awe-inspiring as it is terrifying.
  • While it had been confirmed in the previous episode, Garnet being blunt about the confirmation that Rose shattered Pink Diamond and yet hesitating so as to make sure her wording is reasonable enough shows that she wants to go out of her way to subvert this on Steven's end. Judging by Mindful Education, however, Rose is now a massively more complicated feeling for Steven than Bismuth, Jasper and the Rubies combined.

     Season 4 

The Kindergarten Kid
  • The monster attacking is shown in from Steven's perspective. It ain't pretty.

Know Your Fusion
  • Sardonyx's room only exist when she's around. Simple enough, right? But what would've happen to the Crystal Gems if they didn't made it out of the room when it started to fall apart? One would assume the room would disappear, at least until Sardonyx comes back. But if they were in the room when it disappears, would they disappear too?
  • At one point, Smoky asks about the unseen audience that laughs at the drop of a hat, wondering where Sardonyx got them from. Sardonyx cheerfully replies that she made them herself, indicating the blackness all around them, and there's a moment of near silence. Smoky looks more than a little spooked.

Buddy's Book
  • Not necessarily nightmare material, but keeping in mind the last few times the Gems were caught up in Diamond-related affairs, there's something more than a little unsettling about the fact that Blue Diamond's palanquin is apparently still out there.
  • Buddy almost dying in the desert, complete with a tease that this is where his diary ends.

Mindful Education
  • Stevonnie falling off the Sky Arena and defusing in midair, with Steven in no condition to use his floating powers.
  • Connie being so jittery that she flipped a random kid who bumped into her at school. She's lucky he was so forgiving (and mostly unhurt).
  • After having his help rejected several times in season 3, Steven, who has taken almost everything in stride, has what can only be described as an emotional breakdown, caused with horrifying hallucinations of Bismuth, Jasper, Eyeball, and finally, Rose.
    • When Rose appears, the music becomes very unsettling and distorted. Listen closely, and it appears to be a distortion of Rose's theme.
  • As much as it is just heartbreaking, Steven's hallucinations all culminate into a glaring Rose Quartz, and Steven's subsequent meltdown about how he wasn't able to save Bismuth, Jasper, or Eyeball from their fates all because he's connected to Rose and her actions against them. If it wasn't for Connie snapping him out of it, they would have both died from the fall.
  • The outro music. Usually, uncomfortable outro music happens towards the last quarter of a season when drama starts picking up for the finale. This is episode FOUR and the music could as well be the atmosphere noise from a horror game. Steven must have felt seriously messed up for the outro to reflect it.
    • The episode also doesn't end with the usual star iris out. And remember, Stevonnie said "I'm here", not "I'm okay".
  • The episode ends before Pearl and Garnet find out that Steven and Connie survived. Thanks to Offscreen Inertia, their final horrified reaction lasts a whole week.
    • It could arguably be better for Garnet due to her future vision, it'd still be a shocking event that'll leave her scared for Steven and Connie's sake. While she could see that they fused into Stevonnie to save themselves from falling to their deaths just in time, she wouldn't know or understand why it happened unless either of them speak up about Steven's psyche, which is still a complicated issue for him to talk to any of the CGs about.
      • Garnet always sees all possible futures. She most definitely saw a version of Connie and Steven literally falling to their death. And while sometimes the possibility for Steven to die was low according to her, this time might actually be a 50/50 case where even Garnet can't be certain that the kids will survive.

Future Boy Zoltron
  • Yet another episode that demonstrates the Future Vision is far from perfect. Pretty much each of Steven's attempts to make Mr. Frowney satisfied with his answers fails in Future Vision, and something he couldn't have predicted was pretty much the only solution. We already knew Garnet and Sapphire saw potential futures, meaning potential injuries/deaths for Steven are a likely common occurrence to her, but sometimes even Future Vision can't be trusted.

Last One Out of Beach City

Onion Gang

Gem Harvest
  • Steven carving out the pumpkin is actually kind of terrifying (especially to poor Veggie Head, who is a pumpkin). Probably intentional.
  • Andy has an intense moment of Adult Fear when Steven falls off the wing of his biplane.

Three Gems and a Baby
  • Pearl, not yet understanding that Rose and Steven are not one and the same, very nearly pulls baby Steven's gem out. She ultimately can't bring herself to do it, but seeing her (as well as Amethyst and Garnet) being so confused about the entire situation is extremely painful.
    Pearl: Rose. I know you're in there. I can let you out! (reaches for Steven's gem, voice starts to break) We'll be... together... again!
    • Bonus in that neither Garnet nor Amethyst, who also did not understand Steven was his own being, made no attempt to stop Pearl from nearly killing him.
  • The way the Gems kidnap Steven. Greg leaves the room to get one of Vidalia's baby books... and when he comes back, Steven and the Gems are gone. By the time he gets outside they've already taken off in the van. The fact this could easily happen in real life only makes it worse.
    • Steven's reaction to it doesn't help. While it's Played for Laughs, he's clearly disturbed to find out his family once stole him from his dad.

Steven's Dream
  • Blue Diamond only came to Earth to grieve Pink Diamond. She spends all of her screen-time crying and never even raises her voice, speaking in a gentle brogue. She still ends up being absolutely terrifying, partly because of the Diamond Authority's presence and because of the eerie music that serves as her leitmotif. You also have to remember she coldly demanded Ruby be shattered for the crime of accidentally Fusing with Sapphire, and while she wants to preserve samples from Earth, she still has no qualms about destroying it.
    • The scary part isn't her mannerisms—she simply comes off as a grieving woman. It's the irony. She's talking to Rose Quartz's lover, AKA the husband of Pink Diamond's killer. The eerie music and way her voice never rises above a whisper only make it worse. The effect seems to be building up to her finding out who she's really talking to and suddenly smashing Greg like a pancake. Thankfully, it never happens, but the anticipation is unsettling. Sure, we find out later she's become much less cruel than she was in "The Answer", but her kidnapping Greg instead is more than a little disturbing.
  • Just the fact that one of the Diamonds has been visiting Earth, like it's just this casual jaunt. She then returned to Homeworld before the Crystal Gems managed their faster-than-light trick. Despite the Galaxy Warp being down, Homeworld forces can still reach Earth very, very quickly, much faster than previous ships suggested.
  • The place where Pink Diamond was killed is fenced off with nice, unrusted, clean-looking chain links, and there’s a sign Rose wrote asking people to stay away. Pearl was loathe to talk about it but doesn't appear to have known that Blue Diamond visits. How often does this happen? Is this one of the secrets Rose kept?
  • The bus driver seemed pretty quick to leave; has Blue attacked or abducted other humans that got too close to in her grief?
  • The moment when Blue Diamond kidnaps Greg to take him back with her to Homeworld becomes pure Adult Fear. Steven tries floating after them, but his targets move too fast for him to catch up, and he comes up too short. Garnet is panicking because she foresaw the whole thing, while also seeing that stopping it from happening would cause Blue Diamond to find her and the rest of the Gems.
  • How about the fact that Pink Diamond had a freaking human zoo? And that the Crystal Gems were never able to save the poor humans... just what is it like now after thousand of years?

Adventures in Light Distortion
  • Though mostly comedic, a few of the Gems' "shifts" cross into Body Horror territory.
  • And then the ship's speed exceeds that of light, stretching out Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl behind the ship over what's implied to be entire light years as they're dragged by their gems, leaving Steven all alone, in a spacecraft that's about to crash into the Human Zoo. The epilepsy-inducing Art Shift does not help matters.

Gem Heist
  • The abusive treatment of the Quartzes by Holly Blue Agate stationed at the zoo gives off horrible implications for Homeworld. After the death of Pink Diamond by a Quartz, society began treating them like dirt because they were literally born from dirt (Earth), resulting in horrible internalization. It may explain why Jasper was so messed up.
  • Just the way Holly Blue Agate casually talks about how Greg was "thrashing about". And then cut to Steven's shocked face. Talk about Lack of Empathy.
  • One of the (larger) Amethysts that the Crystal Gems meet at the start makes a joke about throwing Steven out into space. We already saw this in an earlier episode and the threat of it happening again... okay, yes, it was really a joke, but still...
  • The floor briefly becomes transparent while Holly Blue is showing off the zoo. For a second, it looks like Holly's found them out and is making good on the throwing them into space thing.
  • Steven getting stripped of his clothes, analyzed with photos taken, and his ears pierced. This happens to every human brought there, and evokes some rather startling imagery along with Blue Agate's treatment of Steven that reinforces how Gems don't even see humans as sentient beings, just things that come and go and eventually pass away. While it seems peaceful on the inside, the build-up to it makes it feel like Steven's about to get put to slave work or something.

The Zoo
  • While treated surprisingly well, the humans at the Zoo effectively have every aspect of their lives decided. When they sleep, what they eat, how they feel - all carefully and efficiently controlled enough that they don't even know what bad feelings or physical pain are.
  • There is also apparently a "breeding program" of sorts, known as The Choosening, to keep numbers up. They do not choose who they get Choosened with, it is determined for them.
    • This may have a silver lining, depending on how you look at it. All the humans of the zoo have apparently lived in one huge tribe their entire lives, so they know each other very well. It's also not that different than the Earth custom (albeit in a few select countries) of arranged marriages.
  • Humans from 5,000 years ago were taken from Earth and put in a zoo. People from ~3,000 B.C. were taken to a ZOO, placed in a false environment, that is floating in space light years from everything they knew, and were NEVER rescued. They were taken from their homes, never to return.
    • And what of the family and friends they left behind?
  • When Greg rejects the other humans at the Choosening, they all immediately break down as if outright traumatized and horrified by the mere thought that someone they liked would reject them. The fact that they practically chase Steven and Greg like a small horde afterwards doesn't help, even if not maliciously.
  • Steven and Greg are caught by the soldier Amethysts for causing all hell, meaning we get to find out what happens to dissidents. And considering Blue Diamond was visiting the station again, the odds of Steven's status being discovered are astronomically high now.

That Will Be All
  • Although it turns out to be a prank, it really looked like the other Quartz Guards caught Amethyst and were holding her captive.
  • The reveal that if Yellow Diamond had her way, the entire Rose Quartz species would've been shattered for Rose's rebellion. Yes, Blue Diamond spared them, but it's still a chilling example of Disproportionate Retribution.
    • Based on Yellow Diamond's past behavior (the Corruption, the Cluster, erasing all signs of Pink Diamond), do you think she would stop with the Rose Quartzes? The Earth-born Quartzes would be at risk. The Zoomans would either starve from neglect or be killed outright. The very station might be scrapped, or hurled into the sun. Everyone living at the Zoo is on borrowed time.
  • Although for the rest of the episode she is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, Blue Diamond has a moment of pretty unsettling Tranquil Fury the moment Holly Blue Agate announces Sapphire had completed a task she'd never given her. It makes the situation extremely nerve-wracking.
    Holly Blue Agate: You'll be pleased to know that your Sapphire has completed your special delivery!
    Blue Diamond: (coldly) What special delivery?
    Holly Blue Agate: Erm... The special delivery you requested from Earth, of course!
    Blue Diamond: (eyes narrow) I never asked any Sapphire to go to Earth.

The New Crystal Gems
  • Lapis, when Connie expresses confusion that she doesn't remember trying to drown her in "Ocean Gem", says that she's almost drowned a lot of people. Knowing what we do about her powers, and her recently revealed role in the Gem caste system, it's not hard to imagine her nearly drowning large numbers of humans before and possibly during the Rebellion.
  • When Peridot and Lapis start arguing over how to help with the carwash the second time, they risk Yellowtail's life throughout their tiff. And while Yellowtail does survive, it still must have been a harrowing experience for him and Sour Cream.

Storm in the Room
  • Connie is unable to get hold of her mother when the latter is extremely late picking her up from Steven's. Her growing panic is not only relatable, but pretty terrifying.
  • The sudden Mood Whiplash when Steven's talking to Cloud Rose. It starts with him talking about how he was always inspired by her portrait... and then devolves into a long stream of accusations and questions, as the clouds begin to swirl and Cloud Rose lifts into the air, her face shrouded in shadow. The constant flashes of lightning don't help.

Rocknaldo

Room For Ruby
  • At the end of the episode, when Navy betrays the CGs, she doesn't drop her serene voice, cheerful disposition, or sweet smile the whole time. Turns out she was right about getting mad being the only thing she can't do.
    • The face she has while telling Steven the only problem is that he, Lapis, and Peridot are still hanging on after she'd gotten Steven to open the door which caused them to be sucked out. That wide-eyed, wide smile face while doing so is especially unsettling.
  • Some of the music in the episode counts as this. It starts with light, casual music, but then when someone mentions something disturbing, the music plays a Drone of Dread. It's just... unsettling. Some of the stuff the characters say during this period does not help at ALL.
  • A Gem who's seen major portions of the Crystal Gems operation is now returning to Homeworld, still completely loyal and with no reason not spill her guts to the Diamonds. If they listen, then Steven and the Gems are in very, very big trouble.
    • A bit of Nightmare Retardant, being the Rubies probably won't be able to report much. They'll certainly try, but thanks to Homeworld's ridged hierarchy, it's unlikely they'll be able to file a report to anyone in a position to do anything about it. After all, they completely failed to find and retrieve Jasper, lost their ship for like a month (and had it make a mysterious stop at the Zoo), and, depending on if Navy is able to find the rest of the Rubies, might not even be coming home with a full squad. More likely then not, anyone in any position of power will ignore them and chalk the whole incident up to Ruby incompetence. Like Holly Blue, they'll be assuming the fantastic tales of rebels and a daring escape as lies meant to save Navy's own behind.
      • Especially once the Diamonds realize the Cluster is not destroying the Earth and the Crystal Gems with it.
      • Then again, it is possible that Navy and any other Rubies she brings back could be severely punished for their failure, especially when you remember how expendable Rubies are...
  • Holly Blue never told, as far as we know. Worse, the Rubies are a squad appointed by Yellow Diamond. She'll at least want a debriefing.
  • When they first showed up, people wondered why a squad of five dimwitted and quirky Rubies were sent to retrieve Jasper, the most powerful Quartz under Homeworld Command, especially since two of their members seemed to be completely unsuited for the task. Eyeball showed us that she is no pushover in a fight alone, and this episode showed that even the naive-looking Navy has some serious chops under that facade. One can only wonder what Doc, Army, and even Leggy could do if they actually got serious.

Doug Out
  • At the end of episode, it seems the one causing trouble at Funland was Onion, who apparently mistook Steven, Connie, and Doug to be people after him. Steven clears up the situation, everything seems fine, and they drive away. Onion starts walking home, only to hear thudding footsteps behind him. He then turns around to see the ones actually after him. Cue end of episode.
  • Just think of the entire episode from Onion's POV: Sure, he broke into Funland, but then he found himself pursued by not only Steven, Connie and Doug, but also by a pair of aliens with terrible powers that he stood no chance against. All he could do was run, and, when faced with the only person who could possibly help him (Steven), his speech problems left him unable to communicate. Trapped, chased, and unable to call for help. That's some Adult Fear and Nothing Is Scarier right there.

Are You My Dad?
  • Beach City faces a sudden rash of mysterious disappearance. It's debatable whether its scarier for the audience, who know it's probably kidnapping by Homeworld, or the characters, who don't.
  • The way the Topaz Fusion carries her prisoners around is terrifying: she unfuses, then Fuses back together around the people, encasing them in her '''torso'''. She isn't especially careful or neat about it, haphazardly hanging them around, barely expose enough of their faces to breath, and maybe leaving one limb dangling around helplessly.
  • Aquamarine in general. Whilst initially quite cute and rather silly looking, she shows herself to be a cruel, guileless character, taking childlike glee in imprisoning the humans and playfully spinning around when she uses her wand to launch Steven into a tree and knock him unconscious, doing so with a smile on her face.

I Am My Mom
  • Topaz' response to being attacked directly by Garnet? Expose her torso with all the human hostages sticking out. Naturally, Garnet is stopped in her tracks and Topaz seizes the opportunity to counter-attack.
  • Aquamarine greatly outdoes her appearance in the last episode in the creepiness department, this time displaying several serious expressions. Special note goes to this moment:
    Aquamarine: Hey, Topaz, can you remind me - I mean, my memory is already perfect, but... our orders were to bring back these six humans. I'm just not sure, did they specify... (expression changes to a stern one) alive?
    (camera shows Steven and the Gems' shocked expressions)
    Aquamarine: (gleeful tone) You know... I don't think they did!
  • Lars' very obvious trauma from being absorbed into Topaz. When Steven splits Topaz and frees the humans, Lars has a realistic panic attack, shaking, sweating and hyperventilating from the terrifying events occurring around him, while being completely oblivious to Sadie's pleas for him to run with her. Even when Sadie is grabbed by one of the Topazes, Lars is barely capable of doing anything other staring horrified at her, and, after considerable effort, gets up looking ready to fight, takes one look at her, and runs away and hides out of fear of the Gem.
  • The episode's ending. Steven reveals that he's Rose Quartz to Aquamarine in order for her to let everyone go, which she does. After the Gems fearfully yell at Steven following it, the episode ends with Topaz and Aquamarine's ship closing and warping away, presumably to Homeworld, as Connie screams out Steven's name. Obviously doubles as a TearJerker.
  • The nature of "the list": Peridot's report to Homeworld after "Marble Madness", the same one where the Crystal Gems identify themselves to Peridot. Aquamarine's dismissive rebuttal of Amethyst repeating their identity, while citing the report, hammers in a rather chilling fact: the Diamonds know of the existence of the Crystal Gems in that specific area, but they just don't care. For four seasons, we have seen the Crystal Gems defy Homeworld gems time and time again, but Homeworld Gems barely even consider them a nuisance without Rose, and are dismissed as "Rose Quartz's old lackeys". Given how Aquamarine easily immobilized Alexandrite, one can't help but realize that Lapis was right - a fight against the modern Homeworld is suicide for the Crystal Gems.
  • Steven and Lars are on their way to Homeworld. And because Navy stole the spaceship back, the Crystal Gems have no way of going after them. Even if Lapis were to fly off to Homeworld with several hundred gallons of water to use as weapons and to transport the others or Pearl and Peridot managed to cobble together a space-worthy craft, by the time they get to Homeworld, it could be too late.

     Season 5 
Stuck Together

The Trial
  • Defense Zircon's circumstances - if she fails to defend her client, she gets her gem shattered. Except that she's defending Steven, who's being mistaken for the Gem who shattered Pink Diamond. Failure Is the Only Option, meaning that Defense's fate is pretty much sealed.
  • The reveal about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Pink Diamond's death can put into perspective the whole frightening truth of a traitor among friends. Defense Zircon theorizes that one of her fellow Diamonds asked Pink Diamond to stop her Palanquin and walk outside to talk with them, took her by surprise and shattered her, then framed a well known criminal for the act and covered it up with the authority they wield as leaders of the Gem race.
    • This theory might actually have some evidence to it. We hear Blue Diamond's outburst in this episode that Pink Diamond was shattered with Rose's sword. However, we learn from the Bismuth episode that Rose's sword can't shatter a gem. It could have been White Diamond because she was the only diamond who didn't show up for the trial, maybe because she did not want anyone to suspect that she was the shatterer.
  • Yellow Diamond's reaction to Defense Zircon's accusing the Diamonds. Clearly enraged, she poofs her with all the effort of squashing a bug. When Prosecuting Zircon decides to run her mouth, Yellow Diamond instantly blasts her with lightning and poofs her in one hit. That is the power of a Diamond.
    • Expanding on that, the nature of Yellow Diamond's attack. Either her weapon is pure energy itself, or she - and by extension, the other Diamonds - have so many powers that they don't need a weapon.
    • What's especially chilling is the complete lack of rage in Yellow Diamond's expression, at least at first. No hilarious over-the-top expression like when Peridot called her a clod... she just gets up slowly, and promptly poofs Defense Zircon - and then Prosecuting Zircon with nary a word. All with a cold-yet-ruthless savagery, only stopped when Blue Diamond grabs her.
    • Steven was standing close to Defense Zircon when Yellow Diamond poofed her and well within range of her wrath. Had Yellow not been distracted by Prosecuting Zircon and then been restrained by Blue, she may well have tried to execute Steven then and there
  • Even when Steven and Lars escape by stealing Blue Diamond's palanquin, Yellow steps out after them and coldly calls out to "Rose," reminding "her" that no matter where they run, there's no escape - they're trapped on Homeworld, in the heart of hostile territory.
    • The most eerie part of Homeworld would have to be the enormous structure of White Diamond looming above everything else, visible wherever you would turn, a constant reminder that the Diamond Authority is always watching.
  • Blue Diamond again shows that her usual depression should not be taken as being less scary than Yellow:
    "I want to know what she thinks we're going to do with her. Because I want to do something worse."

Off Colors
  • The many, many holes in the Kindergarten walls all over the place can be very unsettling for those with trypophobia.
  • The entire situation the title "Off-Colors" are in. They're forced to hide out in the long forgotten and abandoned underground areas of Homeworld, fearing for their lives and knowing if they're found they'll be shattered on sight. Worse yet, their only 'crime' is being different from the norm, some simply for being born with what amounts to a birth defect.
  • The whole idea that someone you knew gets abducted by aliens, then never comes back because they get murdered by said aliens off planet. Just imagine what Sadie would've felt like if it hadn't been for Steven's healing tears bringing Lars back to life.
    • Even worse in Steven's case because he gave himself up to save his friends and family, only to inadvertently seal Lars' fate by getting him stuck on Homeworld and involved in the whole War between the Gems, and then failing to save his friend from death.
  • Lars' death is incredibly brutal for a cartoon. After he destroys the Robonoid, the resulting explosion sends him flying into the nearby rock. He hits it with a horrible crack and falls, hitting a second rock with another fleshy impact. Then Steven checks his heartbeat, only to find none. We just witnessed a teenager die on screen in a rather brutal method. In a kids show!
    • In addition, Lars' hair falls to cover his face from when he is hit with the explosion to when he is resurrected, and afterwards he has a large scar running over his eye. Paired with the torn appearance of his clothing, this suggests that the exploding Robinoid hit Lars with shrapnel, a piece of which likely stabbed him through the eye.
      • Even worse, as this Tumblr-user pointed out, Lars was still alive when he hit the wall. He was alive to feel the explosion and the shrapnel, and he was alive to feel his bones breaking when he slammed into the rocks.
  • The Shattering Robonoids. The fact that these machines were built for the sole purpose of targeting the gemstones of a gem directly rather than poofing them.
    • There's a possibility the Robonoids are programmed to scan for specific Gem coding. Cross-fusion? Marked defective. Conjoined twin? Marked defective. Sapphire with botched Future Vision? Marked defective. Regicide-guilty war criminal? Defective.

Gemcation
  • It's brief, but when Pearl tries to tell Steven about the Diamonds in an attempt to comfort him, her hand slaps itself over her mouth in a way that does not seem voluntary. Along with her comment about some things being "impossible for [her] to explain", it seems to imply she's been somehow programmed to be unable to say certain things. The idea of being betrayed by one's own body, even thousands of years after escaping servitude, is terrifying.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/StevenUniverse