Tear Jerker / Steven Universe

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"The Crystal Gems, they're made out to be a magical force while sidelining as Steven's three stepmothers. As you would in the perspective of a child, one is under the impression your parents are in total control of a situation and have all the answers. But as Steven matures, the realization chips away that they're just as flawed and clueless as to what's going on as anyone else. They're a broken family missing both a leader and Steven's real mom, confused to what Steven's existence really means."
Pan Pizza, explaining why the show has such a long Tear Jerker page.

The bright colors and quirky characters set quite the cheery tone, but if you're at all familiar with Rebecca Sugar and her previous work, don't be surprised if you find yourself occasionally reaching for the tissues.

Click here for non-canon work.

Unmarked spoilers ahead.
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    General 
  • Greg and Rose's relationship is a Tearjerker in and of itself. Even if birthing Steven hadn't killed her, it would have been sad. Crystal Gems are The Ageless so the other option for them was Rose watching Greg slowly die in front of her while being powerless to do anything about it.
    • Greg in general is a broken man: he lives in his van, owns an under-performing business, and is still deeply in mourning over his wife. However he keeps his upbeat attitude and hopefulness despite his personal tragedy.
    • The extended theme song adds another kick in the gut for Greg. Steven didn't always live with the Gems. The song starts out with Greg and the Gems building the extension to the temple which functions as Steven's more "normal" house (as opposed to the supernatural weirdness of the temple rooms). Greg's pretty upbeat, jokes about how difficult it is to build a house, and encourages Steven to sing his song for the Gems. However, during Pearl's first verse, we see one of Steven's earliest nights at the Gem house — possibly the first. Greg reads to him and Steven falls asleep. Greg tucks him in... and then heads downstairs to leave. He shares a long look with the Gems, who are gazing up at Steven's room. You can actually see the moment when Greg hands over guardianship of Steven to his wife's friends, and it wasn't something he did lightly. He lost the love of his life, then circumstances dictated he had to hand over his son as well. That had to sting.
  • The Gems are still mourning Rose. Rose was implied to be like a mother to Amethyst, and the reason Amethyst lashes out sometimes probably has something to do with her being gone. Pearl loved Rose with all her heart, and Rose returned that love — which for someone with Pearl's self-esteem issues and apparent history ("defective") must have felt incredibly rare and precious. Garnet's relationship with Rose is more ambiguous, but she was more emotionally open before Rose passed.
    • Garnet's relationship with her is that Rose was the only Gem to have wholly supported the intimate aspect of Fusion and Garnet being the living representation of Ruby and Sapphire's relationship, which is a stark contrast to Homeworld's feelings on the matter (Fusion is something "weak" Gems use to become stronger). Combine that with how Pearl and Amethyst treated the idea of fusing with her ("Cry for Help", "Coach Steven"), then you've got someone who was seen as either a weak Gem and a "shameless display", or something to latch onto and use in order to feel better about themselves. Yeah, Garnet's got it pretty bad.
    • Rose Quartz is implied to be the Gem who took Amethyst in from The Kindergarten after many, many years (probably thousands, who the hell knows with this show). As Amethyst is insinuated to have been left completely alone in the abandoned canyon with numerous 30-foot-tall virus-looking machines, it's made clear why Rose seemed to be like a mother to Amethyst. Without someone there for her, as is gone over in "Maximum Capacity," Amethyst has no clue what do with herself and the guilt she feels due to her origins.
  • Out of all the Gems, the one most clearly and obviously still suffering from the loss is Pearl, who has been heavily implied on numerous occasions to have been deeply in love with Rose Quartz. Years after her death, during the present time in the show, as the episodes come out, it becomes increasingly alarming just how deeply in grief Pearl still is over the death of Rose and how much it has traumatized and utterly wrecked her confidence and mental state of being. Their known history together only makes her depression more tragic; she loved Rose to the point of learning to fight even when it was not her purpose and recklessly sacrificing life and limb to ensure her safety, even when it was unnecessary. Then when the war is over and they can finally live a life of peace with the other Crystal Gems, thousands of years later Rose falls in love with Greg and chooses to have a child with him, the process of which kills her. This leaves Pearl lost and without the guidance of the love of her life, all while she has to suppress those emotions in order to help raise the child Rose died for, and who is a constant reminder that the one she loved so dearly is gone.
    • Even worse, the episode "Rose's Scabbard" implies some deeply-suppressed resentment towards Steven on Pearl's part, as his existence means that Rose's is gone. To see someone blame a child for the death of a loved one is truly one of the most heartbreaking things to see in a children's show, yet sadly it is not very uncommon in Real Life.
    • It gets worse. The Gems are thousands of years old at least, and Rose only died about 14 years ago. Fourteen years is nothing compared to perspective like that. This is someone they've known and loved for millennia, and so far as they're concerned she might as well have died just a few hours ago.
  • Also counts as nightmare fuel and irony. Rose Quartz dying from giving birth to Steven is quite sad. A 6000+ year old all powerful Gem warrior dies from child birth. The fact that such a powerful alien can die such a human death is heartbreaking on its own. And in children's cartoons, death from complications of child birth is quite a rare way to go.
    • Overlapping with Heartwarming, the fact that she knew that she would have to sacrifice herself just to make Steven a complete being and... was completely okay with it. In the tape she left behind for Steven, she is ecstatic about the possibilities for the new life she's about to create, and has accepted her fate with more grace and dignity than can reasonably be expected of anyone. She's not scared, or sad, or angry; she's just happy that she's going to contribute more intimately to human life than she ever imagined. It's very rare to see someone accepting their impending doom (who's not a villain) in such a healthy, positive fashion on a children's show, and for all of Steven's worries that the Gems resent him for Rose not being there, Rose is the only Gem (except arguably Amethyst and Garnet), who never even thought of blaming him at all.
  • The series as a whole tends to re-examine the nature of dreams and wishes, flying in the face of the "dreams+dedication=success" rule of most children's shows. In this show, you don't always get everything you want, choices have consequences, and living with the choices you make is a major theme. So you can either take your shot at fame and fortune or stay behind to pursue a relationship, but no, you can't have both (Greg). No, you can't go home again (Pearl)... and if you did, it would probably be disastrous (Lapis). Yes, you are too young and inexperienced to be doing these things (Steven). While the series does give its characters their triumphs, it also draws attention to accepting their limitations, and giving up is presented as a sensible option in many cases. As Greg says in Space Race, "sometimes, you just gotta know when to bail."
    • And maybe you want to do something, but you simply weren't built for it (Pearl, Peridot). As much as Homeworld's caste system is completely wrong, the fact that Gems are made with specific functions is significant.
  • The new ending theme as of "Nightmare Hospital" "Nothing like You" is extremely short compared to "Love Like You" but is much more of a tearjerker. It sounds like someone's singing about crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
    I always thought I might be bad,
    Now I'm sure that it's true,
    Cause I think you're so good,
    And I'm nothing like you...
    • What's worse is that it's hard to tell who might be singing it; common theories include Malachite, Lapis, one of the Crystal Gems, Peridot, a Forced Fusion, one of the Diamonds, Rose herself, or even Steven. One of the commenters on the wiki put it best:
      Commenter: It's kinda sad that a lot of characters from the show could be singing this...
    • Perhaps even more so, it's been pointed out on Tumblr that the new ending theme slots perfectly onto the end of the previous one, making it obvious when they're listened to put together that they're part of the same song. That person from "Love Like You" seems to be losing hope.
    • The full lyrics just keep going, contrasting the singer's intense love for the subject with their own utter self-hatred:
    Look at you go!
    I just adore you,
    I wish that I knew,
    What makes you think I'm so special...
  • The second new ending theme from "Back to the Barn" is also depressing, it shows Steven's clothes hanging from a tree, and there's no singing, only a somber guitar playing in the background.
  • "The Kindergarten Kid" ending theme has no music or any songs playing at all. It's just silence and the sound of the ocean, implying that whoever was singing has finished their piece, and we won't be hearing from them again.
  • Even if Pearl and Mystery Girl get together, she'll die eventually, leaving Pearl heartbroken again.
  • Steven's emotional trauma throughout the series — In the beginning, he starts off as childish goofball who has to be saved by the Crystal Gems. Over the seasons, he becomes more competent as a person and a fighter. However, he also is forced to confront the fact that the ones he's deeply idolized, the Crystal Gems, are flawed individuals with personal problems of their own. He learns that his mother, who the Crystal Gems have always pegged in a positive light, wasn't as perfect or innocent as he was told. And Steven confronts situations that he can't handle like he could with the Crystal Gems. Then, there's his huge Guilt Complex of taking more responsibility than he should for the problems others committed that wasn't his fault (i.e., he blames himself for Lapis stealing Earth's ocean); this complex most likely stems from how he feels the Crystal Gems blame him for his mom not being there. And he's fourteen years old.

    Season 1 
"Laser Light Cannon"
  • Doing triple duty as a heartwarming moment and The Power of Love — Greg sees a silhouette of Rose in the sky after the Rose Cannon is activated. He whispers, "Rose..." with tears in his eyes. The code phrase to activate the cannon was a dumb saying Greg repeats often enough that even the Crystal Gems know it.
  • Only the second episode and we're already hit with depressing backstory and subtext; while giving birth to Steven, Rose had to give up her physical form (AKA die, as in died in childbirth). Also, currently, Steven's dad lives in a van.

"Together Breakfast"
  • There is something positively depressing with Steven's efforts in having a simple family meal. There is no doubt that the Gems love him, but they still are defenders of humanity and Steven doesn't quite grasp what that means yet.

"Frybo"
  • Peedee Fryman's just a kid yet he sounds like a disillusioned adult during his conversation with Steven in the arcade. Someone's not having a happy childhood...
    Peedee: (riding seahorse ride, sad and bored expression) This seahorse used to make me so happy... Now it's just giving me whiplash. I feel like there's just no point to it, you know?
    Steven: (riding jellyfish ride) I just feel tingly!
    Peedee: (sigh) You'll understand when you have a job.
    Steven: I do have a job! I protect humanity from magic and monsters and stuff!
    Peedee: I mean a real job that you get paid for.
    Steven: I'm paid in the smiles across the town's faces.
    Peedee: I don't see anyone smiling... You pick up a job to buy a house, or raise kids, or to... impress your dad. You work away your life and what does it get you?
    Steven: Smiles in faces?
    Peedee: No... You get cash. Cash that can't buy back what the job takes... not if you rode every seahorse in the world.
    • And then there's this track playing on top of it...

"Cat Fingers"
  • Steven's father trying to save his son from being consumed from the cats that are taking over his body. It's especially sad to watch Steven tearfully pleading with his father to help him while his father debates what to do.
    Greg: No! I won't do it! It's too dangerous!
    Steven: You have to! I'm a monster! [...]
    Greg: No, you're not! You're my son!
    Steven: (The rest of his body is getting covered in cat heads) DAD, PLEASE! AAH!

"Bubble Buddies"
  • Connie breaking into tears as she laments that nobody but her parents would ever notice her disappearing, because she doesn't have any friends.
    Connie: Now we're going to suffocate or starve at the bottom of the ocean!! And no one but my parents will notice because NOBODY ELSE CARES ABOUT ME! ... I'm going to disappear without ever making a single friend. (cries)
    • There's even a bit of subtle foreshadowing of this when she and Steven try to get free from the bubble using a harpoon from a boat:
    Steven: You know a lot about boats.
    Connie: That's what happen when you hang out at the beach, and don't swim and don't have friends. You look at boats.

"Serious Steven"
  • Near the end, with Steven blaming himself for trapping them in the dungeon. (He touched something he shouldn't have.) He says it's "just like the teacups" with him wanting to do something and everyone paying for it when it all falls apart. This led to a Eureka Moment, though, so it's not all bad.

"Tiger Millionaire"
  • Several for Steven, such as accidentally making Lars cry by getting too "in character", then being told by Amethyst that he's a bad person, but some for Amethyst as well, such as the fact that she feels so controlled and unable to do anything she wants. And, and worst of all, we learn that despite her overwhelming self-assuredness, she really does take all the criticisms Pearl and Garnet give her to heart.
    Amethyst: Listen, Steven. You can't let anyone make you feel like garbage.
    Steven: ... is that how you feel?
    Amethyst: *muttering* I only feel how I wanna feel.

"Steven's Lion"
  • Steven thinking the Lion only followed him home to get the Desert Glass back. Becomes a Heartwarming Moment when it's revealed that the Lion actually came back to protect them from the Desert Glass, not merely to take it back.
  • Although not made clear the first time around, Garnet's "We kept Amethyst" joke, which seems to be completely innocent to her, is a lot harsher once you know the details of "On The Run."

"Giant Woman"
  • Something of a subtle one, but Amethyst mentions early in the episode that they never fuse into Opal these days because Pearl is "no fun anymore." Makes you wonder if they used to be close and something happened in the past to create a rift between them. (In the flashback of Story for Steven they certainly seem to be a lot closer, with Pearl often carrying a more childlike Amethyst around.)
  • And why does Steven want to see a giant woman so badly in the first place? Because his mom was a giant woman.

"So Many Birthdays"
  • Warning: This is considered the definitive tearjerker episode of the series thus far. The huge Mood Whiplash that happens halfway through the episode doesn't help.
  • Steven getting depressed because he realizes he's too old for kid-style birthday parties. It gets so bad that he causes himself to age up (through Gem magic) due to feeling old and eventually turns into an old man.
  • The other Gems discover Steven's state, and realize that since he's half-human, the danger of dying from old age exists. They try to don Steven in the king costume, in hopes that it will make him feel young again. It doesn't work.
    Amethyst: Good as new! ... Right?
    Steven: Thanks, guys... but it looks like this suit's all out of birthday magic. We had a good run, huh...? (continues to age)
    Garnet: (gasping anxiously) More birthdays. Now.
  • Watching all of the Gems desperately attempt to de-age Steven after he accidentally ages himself up to a state of near-death. Each of them tries their own way of bringing him back to his childish old self and fails, and for the first time we get a glimpse of how they'll actually react if (and when, given that they're immortal and Steven isn't, (or at least technically speaking, since Steven could theoretically live forever so long as he doesn't think of himself as old,)) Steven meets his demise. Seeing them all fall apart and be reduced to tears is just heartbreaking. Even Garnet was crying.
  • Pearl's rapid breakdown is uncomfortably heartrending to watch and is the most emotional out of the three older Gems, considering that she acts the most like a mother to him. Even worse when you consider that from her point of view, it's like a parent having to watch their child die while completely helpless to save them. She tears up right away and is unable to even look at Steven when he's aged up until Amethyst physically moves her into position. She dressed as a clown, and tried to redo Steven's pie gag, albeit in slightly more well spoken manner. She was crying the whole time, her tears leaking down her long nose and face, probably soaking the pie.
    Gems can't die from aging... but he's half-human...
    • It all becomes even harsher in hindsight when you realize that not only is someone precious to the Gems dying but he's the last bit of Rose they have left, so in a way they're losing two people.
      • Even worse when you remember that Rose died giving birth to Steven-the Gems were very likely re-living the trauma of her death.
  • Garnet, out of desperation, attempts to cure Steven by violently shaking him, getting Amethyst and Pearl mad at her and they start fighting.
  • Then there's this bit:
    Steven: But I wasted your time! (turning old) We all have such little time...

"Lars and the Cool Kids"
  • It's extremely brief, but when Pearl mentions that Rose is "gone", her voice cracks a little and she has a sad/uncomfortable expression on her face.
  • When Lars criticizes Rose Quartz for planting the moss that's attacking the cool kids by calling her a "weird mom", it is honestly the first time Steven gets outright furious.
    Steven: What do you know about my mom?! I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO KNOW MY MOM!!! But I do know she saw beauty in everything, even in stuff like [this moss], and EVEN IN JERKS LIKE YOU!
  • Right after his outburst, Lars sees Steven's shocked face and realizes he said something he shouldn't have. Lars had just insulted one of the few people who are actually nice to him and its that moment that he knew he screwed up badly. Thankfully, Steven's forgiving personality allows him to not have a grudge over such insults.

"Steven the Swordfighter"
  • Steven watching Pearl get stabbed through the gut, then disappear. The little guy's heart seemed broken. It got okay, though... sorta. For a while he thinks it was his fault she got stabbed because he was distracting her, making him feel worse. For a few seconds, he thought he killed her.
  • Just before she disappears, Pearl realizes that Steven's essentially watching her die and tries desperately to comfort him, but disintegrates before she can finish. Good thing Garnet and Amethyst were there to tell him she'd be alright, or it probably would've broken him completely.
  • Steven missing hanging out with Pearl.
    "How long are you gonna make me wait, Pearl?"
  • Steven tends to Pearl's gem the entire two weeks and carries it with him when he watches a movie. He even tries to get her hologram to act like her, to no avail. You can tell he really misses her.
  • The house is a mess, as Steven mentions that Pearl isn't around to help him clean up. It's a depressing visual reminder of her absence.
  • As Steven watches Lonely Blade V, he has a flashback of Pearl being stabbed. His eyes fill with tears, and he probably would've started crying if Holo-Pearl hadn't destroyed the TV.

"Lion 2: The Movie"
  • Connie feels as if she doesn't belong in Steven's world after seeing all the magical things he's involved in. He thinks it's his fault that she feels this way and he gets miserable about always screwing things up.
    • Connie generally shows some heavy self-esteem problems. From mentioning that only her parents would care if she was gone in her debut episode to pretty much beating herself down over being "too normal" in this episode. It can be pretty hard to watch for those familiar with these feelings.

"Rose's Room"
  • This is another episode that draws attention to the fact that, as guardians of the universe, the Gems just can't always spend time with Steven when he wants them to. It isn't anyone's fault, but Steven being sad and angered by this hits pretty close to home for anyone who has parents/older siblings that are rarely home. They themselves feel guilty about it, but there's nothing they can do.
  • After a good chunk of being stuck in a creepy, Silent Hill-esque fake Beach City, Steven finally realizes, with tears in his eyes, that what he really wants is to be with the Gems.

"Coach Steven"
  • The entire episode is a massive Break the Cutie moment for Pearl. Her warnings towards her teammates is ignored, Steven starts looking up to Sugilite over her, and she hits her Heroic B.S.O.D. when Sugilite starts attacking the temple ground after losing control of herself, breaking down into tears when she thinks she's not strong enough to protect anyone.
  • Pearl kneeling down before Sugilite, distraught that she couldn't save her teammates.
    "I'm sorry. Steven, Garnet, and Amethyst. I wasn't strong enough to protect you. I'm not strong enough to do anything."
  • The song Pearl sings is a very melancholy one as she worries about Steven not understanding that real strength isn't necessarily the ability to cause lots of damage and destruction. Even worse, the way she avoids admitting that she's jealous of Steven's admiration of Sugilite makes it all the more obvious that she is, and the song just really drives the point home that Steven is everything to her, and hearing how upset she is over him is heartbreaking.
  • It's a bit hard watching Sugilite's ruthless beatdown on Pearl, ESPECIALLY when you keep in mind that that's Amethyst and Garnet. Her own teammates and very good friends. Laying the smackdown on her and calling her "nothing". Just because of a bad temper.
    • And poor Steven at first has no idea what or why is happening when Sugilite gets back and starts to wreck everything.

"Joking Victim"
  • The absolute devastation on Sadie's face when she finds out Lars lied to her about being hurt in order to skip work. She feels incredibly betrayed, and it shows. Considering her story about the night she spent with Lars, her line "You calling me your Player Two, is that your way of saying I could have been anyone?" hits hard.
  • Sadie's confrontation of Lars at the end. Might be made worse by the fact that Lars never did technically apologize and Sadie just goes right back to helping him.

"Steven and the Stevens"
  • Pearl clearly has a hysterical mental breakdown when she sees a giant wave descending on Steven and she's moments away from witnessing his death. It's very clear that her mind is in a fragile position after the loss of Rose and it won't survive losing Steven too.
  • The demise of Steven's time-clones.
  • When all the alternative timeline Stevens are fighting one is holding his hurt arm and crying, probably with no idea what was happening, just hurt and scared.
    • Just the mere image of a Steven crying, showing how young he really is, has a surprising impact. And the two Stevens that may've been fighting him and/or eachother just look completely unsure on how to deal with the situation.

"Monster Buddies"
  • The Gems trying to defend Steven from the freaked out Centipeetle, while Steven begs them to stop. But the Centipeetle keeps freaking out, so they can't.
  • The way they keep striking the Centipeetle away, even though it seems that she's just trying to get to Steven is very hard to watch because we've come to view her as a wild, but affectionate animal. It just feels like witnessing abuse, especially with Steven pleading frantically with the Gems in the background.
  • When Steven tries to calm the Centipeetle down, he walks towards her slowly, crying, while the Centipeetle backs away from him. This causes Steven to beg her to remember the good times they've had. He then hugs her while ignoring the pain of her corrosive saliva.
  • The Centipeetle ends up pushing Steven out of the way of a falling stalactite. She gets killed instead.
  • A lot of the interactions with Centipeetle become this when put into the context of the revelation in Ocean Gem. Steven's not training it, he's more than likely reaching the lost vestiges of humanity of a corrupted Gem.

"An Indirect Kiss"
  • Pearl all but having a nervous breakdown due to her worrying about Amethyst, and (unwittingly) revealing how lost she feels without Rose Quartz's guidance.
  • As of this episode, Steven's real feelings towards his mom are revealed: he actually doesn't know what to think about her because he never met her before. Worse, he demonstrates quite a bit of insecurity towards the fact that he's afraid of not being able to live up to the kind of Gem that she was. What's more, Connie is in tears after that confession. Just imagine her finding out that her happy go lucky friend, who's always willing to cheer her up, has to deal with such insecurity and conflicted feelings.
  • Steven at one point voices his fears over not being able to obtain his Gem powers, and is afraid that will mean he won't be able to spend time with the Crystal Gems anymore. Considering how much they obviously love him, its a bit jarring to see him consider the possibility of them rejecting him.
    • "Oh Steven, you don't have healing tears, you'll never have any real magic powers, and we don't want anything more to do with you." Even though Pearl really didn't say that (of course), the look of complete devastation on Steven's face can really hit home for someone who's ever tried really hard to impress someone and is terrified of it being all for nothing.
      • And while it's subtle, the Crystal Gems are more open about their displeasure of Steven not being able to use his healing powers like Rose. While they don't outright blame or belittle him, they are just... less reassuring to Steven than they've been in the past.
  • Steven saying that he can't do anything right to a dying Amethyst. And Amethyst's response (which is what starts Steven crying):
    Amethyst: (broken voice) Ha ha... you... care... about... me.
  • A subtle one in an otherwise cheerful moment is Connie's reaction to Steven accidentally restoring her vision. She doesn't act overjoyed, or thankful, or amazed. Her immediate concern is what she'll say to her parents. Even at the end of the episode, she looks more unsure than anything. And it's not hard to see why: something in her life has just been irrevocably changed by her exposure to magic and her relationship with Steven. Even if the change is good, that's gotta generate some mixed emotions. This is made worse by Steven being too excited about his newfound power to notice or care about Connie's concerns.
  • The statue of Rose appearing to be reaching out to Steven when the fountain flows again. The look on Steven's face is what cinches it.
  • When Pearl notes that the sanctuary is in shambles with Rose gone, she's also talking about the state the Gems (probably herself specifically) are in:
    Pearl: Look at them. They're a mess without her guidance. Directionless, pathetic clinging things...

"Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem"
  • Garnet's fury toward Steven becomes a combination of this and Nightmare Fuel, especially considering how patient she had been with him in the past.
  • The fight between Lapis Lazuli and the Gems. They're essentially trying to force a Fate Worse Than Death onto a broken Gem girl who just wants to go back home, because however simple her intentions she's harming everyone in the attempt. It's just a bad scene all around.
    "See you, Lapis, wherever you are..."
  • Lapis' voice is filled with sadness when she begs Steven to leave her alone. She's also in despair when she understands that all the water in the Earth won't be enough to take her back home.
  • Lapis Lazuli in general. She was set up to be some sort of Psycho Ranger, but when she emerged from the mirror, she was revealed to be a sweet girl, albeit irate over being forced into a fate worse than death. The next day they find her, trying to escape Earth by borrowing the ocean's water to make a tower, defending herself, not to cause damage, but just to distract, while she gets away. When Steven confronts her alone, she is angry and afraid, simply wanting to go home.
  • The voicework for Lapis Lazuli is incredibly effective.
    Lapis: I'm Lapis Lazuli! And you can't keep me trapped here anymore!
  • The implications of their actions when it's revealed that all the monsters are, in fact, corrupted Gems. They not the last of their kind anymore... to a loose definition, anyways... but are forced to confront people they may have known, or even fought alongside. And in containing them in the temple, they are, at best, doing so in hopes to find a way to heal the corruption that overtook them, and at worst, imprisoning them in a limbo-like prison to keep them from hurting others.
  • The moment where Lapis offers Steven to leave with her, only to be turned down is heartbreaking as well. Steven was the only person she met who genuinely liked her and didn't treat and/or use her like an object, so when he sided with the people who trapped her in the first place, she probably viewed it as a personal betrayal. Steven was only trying to protect the Crystal Gems and stop the fight, but he was lucky Lapis didn't try to hurt him the next time they met each other...

"House Guest"
  • When Steven cries while arguing with his father, saying that his healing powers finally made him feel like a Crystal Gem, and being worried about not knowing what to do if he couldn't use them.
  • After Greg reveals that Steven had indeed healed his leg, and that he'd been faking his injury, Greg mentions doing it because he just wanted to live with his son again. Which, of course, raises plenty of upsetting questions about why Steven lives with the Gems instead of his father.

"Space Race"
  • Pearl sounds so heartbroken about not being able to return to her home.
    Pearl: I will show it to you...
  • Pearl having to pull back and eject herself and Steven from the rocket when he convinces her that they could get killed in space, because she's both remorseful for dragging Steven into this, and also because her hopes to revisit other worlds have once again been dashed.
  • Greg's heartbroken, anguished scream for Steven in the same scene. He thinks he saw his son die in a rocket ship explosion, far away from him, where he can't protect or protest him. And just before this, he is obviously in pure agony when Pearl goofily mentions that she and Steven will be back in about 50 years, seeing that there is a real chance he will die before his only child comes back. Add that to the fact that Pearl convinced Steven to go with her to test the ship when Greg told him not to go just a couple of hours ago, and you have the ultimate parent's nightmare.

"Secret Team"
  • A good portion of the episode consists of Amethyst and Pearl arguing, with Steven desperately trying to make them get along so they can keep the "Secret Team" together (much like "Giant Woman"). The two only apologize and admit their mistakes when it looks like they're about to be crushed by a rogue Gem limb (actually Garnet).
    Garnet: So, you two can't get along unless it looks like I'm going to kill you.

"Island Adventure"
  • Lars' breakdown. The guy may be a jerk, but the way he goes from screaming and raging over his phone to crying in despair and inelegant blubbering over the group's situation is heartbreaking. His delivery makes it even more sad when he reaches out to Sadie.
    Lars: Sadie... do you ever get lonely, even when you're around people?
  • Lars and Steven finding out what really happened to the Warp Pad.
  • With this episode and "Joking Victim", the state of Sadie and Lars' relationship seem to be deteriorating as the series progresses.

"Keep Beach City Weird"
  • Peedee's reactions to Ronaldo's delusions, especially after he knocks Steven out and ties him up in the lighthouse for diagnosis, paying witness to both of these scenes, and even having to film the latter. He looks genuinely terrified and traumatized about what his brother is up to.
  • Ronaldo is basically delusional, but he's so lost when his "snake people" conspiracy theory is disproved that Peedee makes up a new conspiracy for him to obsess over, just so he would be happier that way.

"Fusion Cuisine"
  • Steven calling Connie out for repeatedly lying to her parents about not only him and his family, but how she still uses her glasses even though Steven healed her eyes. Steven comes to the conclusion that Connie is ashamed of him, but Connie says it's because she doesn't want to risk her parents forbidding her from having Steven as a friend. Either way, it's really sad.
  • The look on poor Connie's face when her mother snaps at her for lying. She and Steven get so upset that they spontaneously decide to just run away by getting on a random bus and seeing where it will take them... only for them to be stopped by an angry Alexandrite.

"Watermelon Steven"
  • Baby Melon's Heroic Sacrifice. For context, after sentient watermelons attack the Crystal Gems, Steven orders them to stop. The baby melon then punches Steven, knowing that the melons will defend their creator, and lets himself be defeated.

"Lion 3: Straight To Video"
  • The Happier Home Movie that Steven and Sadie discover shows just how much Rose Quartz loved both Greg and Steven himself. She announces that she'll become half of Steven when he's born, because they can't both exist in the world. Even Steven and Sadie are driven to tears after watching it.
    • And then Sadie calls her own mother, possibly to ask her if she can make lunches for her again. Considering that we later see how strained the relationship between Sadie and her mom is, this can also count as heartwarming.

"Warp Tour"
  • Steven gets increasingly frustrated at the Gems' lack of faith in his words in this episode, enough that he and Pearl actually butt heads, which in itself is horrible. It doesn't help that he nearly dies by suffocation in his attempt to prove he was right and is very aware that it'll be his own fault if that happens.
    Steven: "I was right. And now I'm gonna die. A tired, frozen little sad sack."
  • Garnet manages to save Steven, and finds out that he was right about something else traversing the warp streams. Steven says he doesn't care about it anymore, but Garnet tells him that she does, and apologizes for not listening to him before. Just think about it, Steven nearly froze to death trying to prove that he was right, something he wouldn't have done if the Crystal Gems had listened to him. She may feel that her refusal to trust Steven nearly got him killed. She even wipes away tears during her apology.
  • The Gems' Not Now, Kiddo attitude towards Steven's ordeal. He is so obviously scared for his life and they just brush him off. Especially Amethyst's indifference towards himself is harsh, considering her Cool Big Sis demeanor.

"Alone Together"
  • Stevonnie's near-panic attack while at the rave, especially for anyone else who's dealt with stage fright or panic/anxiety issues. That they are pretty much forced to dance with a perfect stranger who's heavily flirting, making them uncomfortable, really doesn't help the situation.
  • In general Stevonnie's loneliness. They are happy to have this new level of connection, but are lonely since they can't share with each other since they are only one being now.

"The Test"
  • A brief one, but Steven thinking back to his mission to the Lunar Sea Spire and that he failed it brings back some unfortunate memories
  • Steven finding out the new test that the Gems have put him in was rigged again.
    • Additionally, once Steven sees that his test was rigged and finds the Gems waiting for him at the end, we get to see some of the Gems' true colors. Despite being heroes with magnificent powers, they are facing quite possibly their most difficult challenge ever... Being good parents. With Rose, the most influential Gem of their team gone, their pride is just as, if not, even more so hurt than Steven's pride since they feel that with every bit of self-esteem or confidence that Steven loses, they're letting Rose down as well. Even Amethyst feeling she's failing Steven as a parent, despite her usual carefree attitude, is rather saddening to watch.

"Future Vision"
  • Steven's episode long terrified Freak-Out over Garnet telling him, by way of her future vision, that he could die any number of ways any moment is bad enough, especially the scene where he ultimately ends up hiding from the world under a table wondering why he can't be braver.
  • Garnet's speech about it at the end makes the whole thing fairly tearjerky on her part as well. For much of the episode, it merely seems she is oblivious to the effect her words had on Steven - with the audience chalking it up to her tendency to believe he can handle things. However, in the end, she reveals that she was well aware of the risk that Steven would take it very badly, but willingly took the chance because of the off chance that he would understand and they would become closer. When she sees what she has done to him by gambling with his well being, she looks outright horrorstruck. It's raining in that scene, and when she takes off her glasses it becomes difficult to tell whether she may even be crying.
    Garnet: "Steven, I see so many things that could hurt you. I should never have let one of them be me."
    • In light of that, her quick advice for Steven to "stay off the roof" becomes this as well. Steven takes it to mean that something bad will happen to him, and ultimately ends up going up to the roof to dare the universe to do it, when really him going up to the roof is Garnet's bad outcome - as she saw Steven freaking out and going up there ahead of time as a bad result of her actions, and a sign she really had failed him. By asking him to not go up there, she's essentially asking him to prove to her that she hadn't screwed up.

"On The Run"
  • The Reveal that Amethyst is a by-product of whatever horrible event that the Homeworld Gems were trying to accomplish, and the fact that she hates what she is, and thinks that everyone thinks of her as a mistake, or a monster. She's crying and sobbing in her hole by the episode's end because she honestly thinks herself as that. Luckily, with some prodding from Steven, Pearl is able to reassure her that they don't feel that way. This makes a lot of her behavior a lot Harsher in Hindsight (as well as Garnet's "we kept Amethyst" joke), as it's implied she's been a Stepford Smiler for all these years, as Pearl had no idea she felt that way, with her admitting that she didn't know triggering another tearful outburst in Amethyst.
  • The fact that Amethyst doesn't really feel as though she's at "home" with Steven or even the other Gems, to the point where she jumps on the opportunity to run away for a while for no real reason at all. The only place she remembers as home is a desolate wasteland that the others constantly tell her is an evil place that only spawned evil things (with the exception of her). It's all but stated that the fact that she still pines for the Kindergarten and remembers it fondly, is one of the many things she feels guilty about and hates about herself.
    Amethyst: I never asked for it to be this way! I NEVER ASKED TO BE MADE! [tears run down her face]
    Pearl: Amethyst...
    • Taking into the "Kept Amethyst" quote in Steven's Lion, this moment is just horribly heartbreaking...
    • The fight between Pearl and Amethyst. Pearl clearly doesn't want to fight her and Steven tries his best to stop it only to get roughly shoved aside TWICE, and Amethyst is simply lashing out because of how hurt she feels. The result is one of the saddest scenes the series has had so far, heartrendingly capped off by the above quote.
    Amethyst: I'm not gonna let you stand there and remind me of everything I hate about myself!
    • After Steven finally manages to get in-between Amethyst and Pearl, tears in his own eyes over the sight of them fighting, one of the old Gem machines starts to fall over from damage it sustained in the fight. Steven manages to shield himself and Pearl in his bubble, but Amethyst backs away and is caught outside, and runs away to her hole, with Steven calling out to her as it falls (and afterward, before he realizes she was safe in her hole and not squashed).
    • Then there's this line between Pearl and Amethyst...
    Pearl: You can't beat me!
    Amethyst: [furious] I. DON'T. CARE!
  • There's some strong hints that Amethyst is a Wild Child that was left alone for quite some time after her creation, until Rose Quartz and the other Crystal Gems found her and took her in.
  • Amethyst's internal struggle over who she is and how she was made can be quite painful to watch for those who felt the same way about themselves, especially teenagers and young children. A lot of times some people are born with physical birth defects and/or mental disorders which make them the subject of social bullying and/or emotional and physical abuse from their parents. Even though Pearl and Garnet never ostracize her for being a leftover product of the Kindergarten, they sometimes unknowingly make insensitive remarks (remember Garnet's "We kept Amethyst" joke?) or tip-toe around the subject in a way that makes Amethyst feel like they hate her. Even sadder is her assumption that Steven (who she saw as a little brother) would treat her the same way.
    • There's also the interpretation that, for a race of sentient stones, Amethyst is the closest their kind can get to being a child of rape, a being implanted into an unwilling (celestial) body and born from it in a process that is both deeply harmful and irrevocable, abandoned by those responsible for her creation, and then adopted as the one good thing that came from an awful situation. It gives the "we kept Amethyst" line an even more heartbreaking context.

"Horror Club"
  • Everyone else's reactions when Sadie is sucked through the floor, especially Lars and Ronaldo's.
  • At the end, we see how Lars and Ronaldo were childhood friends, only for their friendship to fall apart after Lars destroyed a picture of paranormal activity in the lighthouse (specifically, a board of the wall attacking him), out of embarrassment.
  • There's a parallel drawn between Lars and the lighthouse Gem, which suggest both it and Lars lash out because they feel hurt and alone.

"Winter Forecast"
  • The Serial Escalation of the visions. Not only is Steven getting more and more worried and confused, but it reinforces the idea that Garnet's Seer powers are a major case of Blessed with Suck.

"Maximum Capacity"
  • Greg and Amethyst getting sucked into watching the show and missing watching the fireworks with Steven, especially when Steven realizes they're not coming and when Greg realizes what time it is and tries to leave, only to get stopped by Amethyst.
  • Greg and Amethyst's fight, near the end of the episode. Both parties are holding a lot of inner pain, but Amethyst crosses it by Shapeshifting into Rose, just to mess with Greg, even after he told her that BASIC shape shifting really makes him uncomfortable. Greg's freaking out, and Amethyst holding some level of contempt for Greg for feeling like he stole Rose makes the whole thing really upsetting. Steven then walks in and chews both parties out. It's implied a similar incident is what caused Greg and Amethyst to stop hanging out.
  • Amethyst's wide-eyed look of horror when Steven catches them, followed by her running off in shame.

"Marble Madness"
  • By the third time we see one of the giant Robonoids, the Gems have gotten extremely distressed from having to deal with them, while having no idea what they want.
    Pearl: They just keep coming and coming, and we don't even what they are...we don't know anything!
  • Amethyst is confirmed to be 6000 years old, meaning that she had been bottling up her feelings about her origin for millennia. Just when the events of "On the Run" couldn't get any more tragic...

"Rose's Scabbard"
  • All of Pearl's upset expressions in this episode. She really still struggles with how much she misses Rose and how a part of her hopes Rose can see her. It's very heart-wrenching.
  • Pearl is shown to have had a much deeper relationship with Rose than Amethyst or Garnet did, so the revelation that there were things Rose hid even from her such as Lion's existence causes her to go into denial and become very distraught. Amethyst retorts that's she not the only one who misses Rose. Pearl then lashes out at all of the Gems, and even Steven, saying the former could never understand what she and Rose had, and the latter didn't even know her, before she runs away in tears. Garnet and Amethyst are so hurt by the outburst that they don't bother to go after her, and Steven has to be the one that goes after her. Garnet does quietly wish Steven luck, though, so she likely understood that Steven was the only one that could get through to her.
  • The thing that causes Pearl to run? She punches a wall, causing the picture of Rose to fall to the floor (though Garnet grabs it before it hits).
  • Pearl's lashing out at Steven about Rose.
    Pearl: You can't understand what I feel, none of you had what we had!
    Steven: She probably just wanted to protect you like everyone else!
    Pearl: What do you know! YOU'VE NEVER EVEN MET HER!
  • When Steven is chasing after Pearl, he underestimates the distance for the final jump and nearly falls. Pearl doesn't jump after him immediately, showing how upset and off-balance she is.
    • It isn't that he underestimates the jump; Steven makes it about halfway across before Pearl turns around and stares at him with so much anger and resentment that it stops his jumping entirely. Two seasons later reveal that Steven can control the descent of his jumps with his emotions; whatever Pearl's look made him feel, it was enough that he dropped almost immediately.
  • The entire scene between Pearl and Steven on the ancient battlefield. She reveals that she still sees so much of Rose in Steven, and it eats her up inside to think of what Rose would think of her today. She also saved a recording of the day Rose asked her to stay and protect the Earth, and she seems to have watched it so many times that she's completely memorized it.
  • The scene just before the montage of Pearl and Steven playing together: Steven seems ready to comfort her, but all he can bring himself to do is hug her from behind. Pearl is completely still as tears stream down her face. She continues to breathe heavily in a realistic matter, which just makes the scene even more tearjerking.
  • This episode could also make "Space Race" a lot sadder, if you think about it. Pearl willingly decided to stay on Earth solely for Rose (who died giving birth to her son later) even when she was told that she could never go home if she did. With Rose gone, Pearl trying to get to space and her failure to do so makes you realize that Pearl has lost two of the most important things to her.
  • The episode shows us the full extent of Pearl's love for Rose (blushing as she calls her beautiful, her descriptions of Rose, saying that everything she did was for her, etc.), as well as showing Rose's reciprocation of that love (softly calling her "my Pearl", prioritizing Pearl's safety and informed consent over their relationship, the trust she placed in Pearl) thus putting a whole new level of Woobie to Pearl.
  • Pearl's Death Glare to Steven. Judging by the expression, it appears as though she harbors some resentment toward Steven because he's responsible for Rose not being there. It seemed like, for a split-second, she wanted him to fall.
    • Worse, when does Steven start to plummet? When Pearl turns around and he meets her Death Glare. His jumping stance completely crumbles, his face falls... then so does the rest of him. It's not clear if he couldn't have made the jump anyway, and this is just coincidence, or whether his shock at Pearl's hostility threw him off balance and gravity did the rest.
  • And then you realize the title Rose's Scabbard is a metaphor as much as it is literal. Rose and Pearl were very close, to the point that Pearl has felt like an empty scabbard with her gone.
  • Steven's frantic attempts to chase after Pearl and his utter confusion as to why she's running away from him. One of the most motherly figures in his life in the absence of his birth mom is screaming angrily at him to leave her alone, and it clearly upsets him greatly. Even worse if you remember how traumatized he was when she disappeared for two weeks in Steven the Sword Fighter, and now the same guardian seems to be mad at him and he doesn't know why.
    Steven: "Pearl! [voice breaking] Di-did I do something wrong?"
    • The look on Pearl's face as she turns to glare at Steven, makes it not at all hard to think any response would be along the lines of, "You were born."
  • Arguably what makes the moment with Pearl and Steven on the top of the floating rock so powerful is that, there is no happy resolution to this. Sure, Steven cheers Pearl up and they have some bonding time together, but the show absolutely does not shy away from the fact that while Pearl does have Steven, her grief for Rose has not been alleviated at all, and loving him doesn't cancel out her sadness. Nothing (that we know of) will change the fact that Rose is dead, and there's nothing Pearl can do about it but grieve. She may still be happy and experience other positive emotions, but none of those lessen how much the death hit her and how much she still continues to mourn it.

"Open Book"
  • While it may not have been the real Connie, seeing her physically force Steven to admit he liked the way the book ended (complete with pinning him to the ground and pulling his hair) was really hard to watch.
  • With the way Room!Connie is dressed when she's trying to get the confession out of Steven, it really looks like she's really trying to make him confess to something else.

"Shirt Club"
  • Buck and Mayor Dewey's strained relationship. The fact that he finds Steven's admiration of his father "funny" is an indicator of how deep the wedge in between the Dewey family goes.

"Story For Steven"
  • Greg's song about following his dream and the future, while optimistic and uplifting, is almost hard to listen to knowing where Greg is in the present. Not to mention you get a really bad feeling that this dream would have crashed and burned within a month even if he hadn't met Rose.
  • When Rose questions Greg how is he going to return to Earth from his one way trip to Cosmos he says that he is never coming back. She is a bit sad and upset because of that, saying that Earth is Greg's home. She might be voicing her own feeling as neither she nor her fellow Gems can ever return to the Homeworld.
  • Rose initially tries to push Greg away, due to a combination of not wanting to ruin his dreams and to avoid the tragedy of a Mayfly–December Romance.
    • Speaking of ruined dreams, this episode shows that Greg had a real shot at making it big, but gave it all up when he met Rose.
    • Rose telling Greg to move on because she'd outlive him is a tragedy in itself, since we all know she'd eventually die birthing Steven.
  • Seeing how the Gems acted when Rose was still alive. Garnet was less stoic, laughing and blushing more freely, Amethyst wasn't nearly so caustic, and she and Pearl got along really well. It just shows how much they had to grow up with her gone...
    • Also, it's neat to see how much younger all the Gems looked back then... until you remember that a Gem's mental state can affect how they age, as seen in So Many Birthdays. Losing Rose forced them to grow up in more ways than one.

"The Message"
  • Greg's "I Want" Song, where he pleads with the Gems to "Have a little faith in me."
  • The phrasing he uses when calling the Gems out:
    Greg: "You guys don't give up on anything. Except for me!"
  • The contents of the message. Lapis looks so frazzled as she warns Steven about how a Gem is looking for him, and that 'she's not alone'.
  • Poor Lapis Lazuli's situation in general. After how badly she wanted to make it home, for her to discover that the world she's returned to is nothing like what she remembers...

"Political Power"
  • It's a little heartbreaking to hear Mayor Dewey complain about how powerless he really feels in the midst of the insanity that happens in Beach City.
    Mayor Dewey: Look, Steven, it's not lying when you're the mayor—it's politics.
  • Seeing them Gems trying to hide how scared they are of Peridot's oncoming arrival from Steven. It's like how a parent tries to reassure a frightened child, while being unsure of a situation themselves. It goes back to how the Gems feel like they're failing as guardian figures in "The Test".

"The Return"
  • The Gems looks of anguish and worry after Steven leaves with Greg is hard to watch. They know they've done everything they can to protect Earth just as Rose did, but with the new technology the Homeworld Gems now have, they know they won't stand a chance.
  • Greg's struggle over whether or not to let Steven return to Beach City hits pretty hard. Greg knows the circumstances that led to Rose and the rest of the Crystal Gems abandoning their mission to protect Earth, so he's the only one besides the Gems that understands what's potentially at stake. But he's still a father, and so he's torn between wanting to keep his son safe and recognizing that Steven might be the only one with the power to save the town- and with it, all of Earth.
    • What's worse is that Greg knows that Rose, Garnet and Pearl are the only Crystal Gems left, because all of the others are dead. And now the enemy who killed an army of Crystal Gems has returned for the rest- including his son.
  • Jasper mocking the Crystal Gems as the last remnants of Rose's friends.
    Jasper: "But this is all that's left of her army? Some lost, defective Pearl? A puny, overcooked runt? And this shameless display?"
  • Garnet being cut down. We get a nice, nightmarish slow-mo shot of her falling, and the expression on her split face as her eyes meet Steven's is just gutwrenching. Not to mention afterwords, we get a good moment to stare at the impression her pieces left in the sand. Oh yes, pieces.
  • Watching the panicked reactions of the Beach City citizens as the Homeworld ship approaches. Jenny is backing away in shock. Ronaldo is caught up in trying to catch it all on his phone. The saddest is Fryman trying to pull a pleading Peedee away from the restaurant.

"Jail Break"
  • It's actually really painful to see how desperate Ruby is to find Sapphire again since the implications behind who they are have already been made.
    • Before Steven escapes his cell, all we hear from Ruby is her screaming over and over again. Either out of pure fury and concern for Sapphire, or because she's trying to escape from her cell and hurting herself.
    • It's a small thing, but when Ruby tells Steven to be quiet because she can't see? She's so used to being Garnet that she has a moment where she forgets that she can't see the future without Sapphire. Seeing her frustration and fear when her own limits catch up to her is really heartbreaking.
    • What's more, in "The Answer", Rubies were either grunt soldiers or bodyguards for high-class Gem in Homeworld. Ruby, a low-ranking Gem, was probably looked down upon and seen as entirely replaceable all her life that every time she fused into Garnet, the feeling of being fused with Sapphire, her partner and a high-ranking Gem, made her "strong" both literally and figuratively. So when she was forcibly separated from Sapphire, Ruby felt that strength disappear completely. She told Steven not to look at her because she initially assumed he'll belittle her for being a "weak" Gem like everyone else did, even though he had no idea who she was at first.
  • Lapis' choice to Fuse with Jasper. Not to beat her former captors like Jasper was counting on, but to seize control and drag her into the ocean. After everything she's been through, she ultimately sacrifices her own freedom to save Steven.
  • Lapis hit the Despair Event Horizon pretty badly; she's convinced that there's nothing to do against Homeworld but stay put, pray for mercy and succumb to their fates. Poor girl. There's also her reaction to when the ship starts going down. She just lowers her head and curls up. Does she think she's doomed, or did she realize that the Crystal Gems won (the most logical reason the ship would be going down) and that by not believing in Steven, she's going to die there alone instead of escaping with him, or is she thinking that Steven, despite his assurance, abandoned her?

    Season 2 
"Full Disclosure"
  • Steven's entire disposition this episode vacillates between no-nonsense and deep personal introspection after the events of Jail Break, and it's extremely disconcerting and sad to see such a vibrant boy barely crack a smile for the whole episode.
  • Greg's reaction to Steven's recounting of the last two episodes' events. He winds up having a panic attack in front of Steven, despite attempting to save face and appear supportive. Both of the Universe boys need hugs this episode, really.
  • Steven avoiding Connie for the whole episode, up to hiding among the ruins of Peridot's ship. They're practically the One True Pairing for the show and a good portion of the fan-base, so seeing Steven try to end their friendship over text because he doesn't want her getting hurt because of him is absolutely heart rending to watch. Doubly so because Connie was more than willing to go back to being alone if he'd just tell her to her face. And it's extra hard because we already know that Steven is her first real friend and she even states herself that without him, she will return to this state.
  • Steven spilling his guts to Connie after tearfully admitting that he still wants her for a friend is both this and Heartwarming. This kid seriously needs a hug. The kicker? He actually does get one from Connie.

"Joy Ride"
  • Steven tells the Cool Kids that he sometimes thinks the other Gems blame him for Rose not being around anymore. Of course we know that the Gems love Steven to death and wonder why he would think such a thing... and then we remember Pearl's breakdown from Rose's Scabbard especially that brief Death Glare she gave Steven while he was chasing after her.
    • The Cool Kids' horrified reactions are this, too. All of them have family issues as well, but they pale in light of Steven's fears and insecurities. How long has the Crystal Gems been ignoring this?
  • Steven getting stuck in the escape pod, causing the Gems to mistake him for Peridot and attack him. When Jenny gets Garnet to stop before the final punch, he's curled up in the Troubled Fetal Position.
    • The look of pure horror on Garnet's face when she realizes that she was attacking Steven the whole time, and nearly killed him.
  • Garnet telling Steven how very disappointed she is in him for not taking the escape pod straight back to the temple must've stung pretty bad, considering those were his original intentions to begin with.
  • The Cool Kids all stepping up to the Crystal Gems and telling them to cut Steven some slack before he runs himself into the ground can REALLY hit home if you're in a situation where everyone expects so much of you that you rarely get a chance to even breathe. The way the Gems react to this also shows how little they know about human nature and raising children yet again.

"Say Uncle"
  • All Uncle Grandpa wanted to do was help Steven summon his shield, but his Reality Warping freaks out the Gems so much that they decide he's a threat and attack him.
    • Can also be applied to the Fan Dumb as well, as the episode and especially the UG team got a ton of internet backlash as soon as it was announced, despite the fact that it was born out of a friendly collaboration by both show's creators.
  • Pearl's so frustrated and confused by Uncle Grandpa's antics that she spends most of the episode yelling and screaming, as if she were having a prolonged panic attack. It can be kind of uncomfortable to watch.

"Love Letters"
  • Steven and Connie doing their best to try and let Jamie down gently, instead of giving him Garnet's brutally honest rejection letter, only for him to misinterpret things and think she is interested, causing him even more heartbreak when his hopes are dashed.
  • A depressed Jamie also makes a very quick cameo in the new intro, looking somberly at the sea.

Reformed
  • Steven gets really sad, even crying, the first time Amethyst is "poofed" in front of him.
  • As the episode progresses, it quickly becomes apparent that Amethyst still has some issues about how the other Gems see her.
    Garnet: I don't want this!
    Amethyst: Well, what do you want! Just tell me and I'll do that!
    Garnet: I can't tell you, Amethyst! You have to figure this out for yourself!
    Steven: She can't! She doesn't want to think about herself!
    Amethyst: What?
    POP!
  • Garnet and Steven's fear over Amethyst's rapid regenerations and unstable penultimate form become much worse when you realize that they may very well be afraid of her edging on the brink of corruption again, falling very much into Adult Fear as Amethyst is the youngest of the Crystal Gems sans Steven.

"Sworn To The Sword"
  • It's implied that Pearl is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of Rose's death.
  • Connie's brief stint believing that Steven's life is worth so much that she is worthless speaks a lot about how lonely she was before meeting Steven and how much value she puts on their friendship. Likewise, the fact that Pearl felt the exact same way towards Rose for almost the whole time they knew each other, even while acknowledging that Rose tried to make her feel like she was "everything." It really puts into perspective how utterly lost she sometimes acts now that Rose is gone.
  • Apparently, Pearl wanted so badly to protect Rose during the war that she let herself be killed. Again... and again... and again...
    Pearl: You just think about the life you'll have together after the war... And then you do it for her.
  • Adding to the above, Rose was by all what we saw and heard of her a very strong and capable Gem in her own right, not to mention one with healing powers and a strong barrier, meaning that Pearl didn't need to sacrifice herself so recklessly for her sake. But she did so anyway, because that was the only way she could think of to validate her existence. In her mind, since she was worth nothing, the only semblance of difference she could possibly make, no matter how small, was to give absolutely everything she had for the sake of the person who was worth the most to her.
  • "WHY WON'T YOU JUST LET ME DO THIS FOR YOU, ROSE?!"
    • This implies that Pearl might have had a similar argument with Rose in the past.
      • It gets much much worse when you think about what Pearl's final argument with Rose must have been about. There's no way Pearl was all right with Rose sacrifice her life to give birth to Steven.

"Keeping it Together"
  • The fact that, apparently, all of the Gem shards the Homeworld was using in their Fusion Dance experiments were once Crystal Gems, and fallen comrades of Garnet and the others.
    • Worse, this seemed to be completely unknown to the Crystal Gems. Their former comrades were trapped in that nightmarish states for thousands of years, deep underground and they didn't even know it. It was even implied that they have been actively looking for the remaining shards that they knew were out there... and now they know where they were the whole time.
    • Worst of all is that, if you watch closely, none of the Fusion monsters are actually hostile to Garnet; the biggest one is actually just grabbing onto her, as if pleading for Garnet to help them. Garnet seems to understand in the end, but even then she has no idea how to help them.
  • Garnet being so disturbed by the realization of what the Homeworld was doing that she doesn't even defend herself, and nearly splits apart into Ruby and Sapphire.
    • The damage isn't done there either. Upon coming to the conclusion that these are indeed the Gems they were looking for, the camera swaps back and forth between Garnet's sudden and abrupt emotional changes, ranging from Sapphire's horror, to Ruby's rage.
      Garnet/Ruby: (annoyed) So this is what Homeworld thinks of Fusion...
      Garnet/Sapphire: (worried) We couldn't have known they would do this...
      Garnet/Ruby: (mad) This is where they've been! All the ones we couldn't find; they've been here the whole time!
      Garnet/Sapphire: (scared) Rose couldn't have known...
      Garnet/Ruby: (infuriated) This is punishment for the rebellion!
      Garnet/Sapphire: (terrified) It's not our fault!
    • The sentence So this is what the Homeworld thinks of Fusion... sounds especially hard to take from Garnet of all people, given how this means "so this is what they think of me". Fusion for Garnet is what feels right, what feels natural, and she sees the Homeworld twist something so important and precious to her into a thing of terror and punishment.
    • If it was possible, it's become even more tearjerking now that The Answer has rolled around. We learn in that episode that Garnet was the first known Fusion between different types of Gems. Garnet may blame herself since it's possible that Homeworld created the monstrosities with her in mind.
  • How terrifying must it be to live in a society where that is a potential punishment for dissenters, where they keep Gems in-line with fear of being used as fodder in experiments like this, and as a part of the Cluster.
  • Take a look at Amethyst when they talk about the kindergarten. She still looks uncomfortable about her origins despite being reassured by Pearl in "On the Run".

"We Need To Talk"
  • Greg, Rose, Garnet, and Amethyst doing a homemade music video together, while Pearl just sulks in a corner not joining in the fun.
  • Pearl sadly realizing that Greg is Rose's favorite.
    • To make things worse, it's been hinted at that Rose had human lovers before Greg, and Pearl was envious of every one of them, but convinced herself that they were just "phases," that a Gem could never form a real connection with a human because their lives are so short and humans cannot fuse. Until it turned out that Greg was definitely not a phase, and Rose seemingly formed a deeper connection with him in a few short months than she ever had with Pearl.
  • Steven's face at the very end of the episode, when Greg tells Connie she can talk to him about Gem stuff any time, human-to-human. You can tell he's conflicted, and worried he is not seen as human, even by his own dad.
  • Greg and Rose realizing that their relationship is full of holes. She just sees him as the most adorable and charming human she has met, without seeing him as a real person... because she's not a real person. He starts to cry when he realizes that she's just as lost as he is.
    Greg: This is so weird... You really are an alien! (laughs)
    Rose: Why are you laughing? (Greg's laughter turns into sobs) Why are you crying...?
  • Rose saying that it's a good thing that Greg doesn't know anything about her past. The war left scars on all of the Gems, Rose especially if you take into account her personality and the toll it must have taken on her to fight and kill her own kind.
    • Or that, considering she is The Leader, she "failed" her friends and comrades and had hundreds and thousands of her friends die with only being able to protect two from death.
  • Pearl's treatment of Greg is pretty disheartening.
    • Rose's treatment of Greg as well, while they're out on the stage. At first their exchange is lighthearted and humorous, but when Greg expresses his fear that Rose doesn't respect him, her response is to laugh, as if he's told a joke. Not only that, but she continues doing so, not even listening to what he is saying until he hits her with the Wham Line / Armor-Piercing Question.
      • During the music video, Greg at first has fun doing the video. But going by his surprised expression, Rose's solo was improvised. Look closely at how his entranced smile disappears into a frown and stays rather disturbed while she sings about Greg and humans in general are fun to play with and how she finds them "entertaining". He probably realized at that moment that his alien girlfriend may not take him as serious as he thought and instead thinks of him as a fun toy, leading to him being depressed before Pearl even approaches him and what makes him so desperate to fuse with Rose. Even though Rose hadn't meant to hurt him (maybe in her view, she was even praising him), it deeply upset him.
      • Food for thought: Greg left behind a possible promising career as a musician because of Rose. However, when she laughed at his sincere attempt at Fusion, for a split second he may have regretted doing so. Why? He left behind his dream for someone who only thought of him as a "novelty".

"Chille Tid"
  • Pearl's first ever dream is about how she still pines after Rose.
  • In a mirror of Pearl during "Sworn to the Sword", Lapis wants to keep Jasper tied down with the weight of the world's ocean for Steven, despite the enormous strain it's placing on her.
    • Also, just look at how injured Lapis appears. It's not just mentally straining on her, it's physically, too!
  • The first dream Steven has shows Lapis with water flowing out of her eyes and mouth and it simply looks like she's crying a literal tidal wave.
  • "No. I'm not Lapis anymore. We're Malachite now."
  • "Just let me do this for you!" Bookends with Pearl's outburst about Rose in the first Stevenbomb 2.0 episode Sworn to the Sword.
  • Steven apparently has the power to connect to other Gems via his dreams, but Steven can't do anything about Lapis as she slowly loses control.
  • A more subtle one, but in Steven's first dream (before Lapis bursts in), he's imagining himself and the Gems all as humans, through the framework of traditional sit-com. It's a reminder about Steven's concerns about his own humanity which came up in "We Need To Talk".
    • This also puts an even more heartbreaking spin on Rose's Scabbard, as it's shown that Steven sees Pearl as the closest thing he has to a mother. Imagine feeling like that person blames you for the death of someone they love...
    • Later, Steven even says he has some issues he needs to work out.

"Cry For Help"
  • Amethyst feeling left out when Garnet chooses to fuse with Pearl instead of her. Her insecurities about herself are visible during the episode since Sardonyx is a massive foil for Sugilite, and Garnet and Pearl seem so happy to fuse together. In her song, it's clear that Amethyst blames herself for everything that went wrong with Sugilite and sees the choice to form Sardonyx as Garnet saying that she's too unreliable to fuse with - despite Garnet sharing the blame with her. She spends a great deal of the episode in a self-loathing depression because of it.
    • Heck, Amethyst even has a song that's essentially the equivalent of "Strong in the Real Way".
  • The Reveal that Pearl fixed the hub after they broke it the first time because she wanted to keep fusing with Garnet. And even though it made Amethyst feel bad, she understands why Pearl did it and tries to explain it to Garnet, who angrily shuts her down.
    • And think about the problems this caused Garnet, she takes Fusion very seriously, and then someone she really trusts abuses it for her own selfish needs. Not to mention, not only could they have spent this time searching for Peridot, but other messages could have gotten out thus a better chance for Peridot to get the message across. Arguably, Garnet is justified in her anger. As if the events of Keeping it Together wasn't enough...
  • Ultimately, Sugilite is brought out to destroy the Communications Hub for good. No doubt some of Pearl's own insecurities she had during "Coach Steven" came out when she saw her, on top of the massive guilt she had for tricking Garnet the way she did.
    • Pearl's expression as Sugilite destroys the hub, she's clearly broken by what she did.
    • Amethyst, though she really wanted to feel useful throughout the episode due to Sardonyx's power and control, visibly shows that she doesn't want to fuse with Garnet the way she is. Sugilite is absolutely pissed as usual, but now driven by Garnet's cold fury with Amethyst can't do nothing about it but to follow Garnet's orders. Although Amethyst has her Character Development to forget her insecurities for a while in favor of protecting Pearl's actions, she's clearly not happy that another conflict rises between Pearl and Garnet. Not to mention how Garnet, of all people, forces Amethyst to fuse despite the latter's reluctance because she could relate to Pearl and why she lied to the crew. What's even worse is Garnet herself, blinded by her anger, defies everything she claims about what Fusion is all about.
  • Garnet's angry outburst for Amethyst to stop defending Pearl is pretty justified from her perspective. Yes, Garnet understands that Pearl had her reasons but she doesn't want to hear them, what's more, Amethyst's words ring all too similar to what Jasper taunted Garnet with before their second battle: Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak Gems stronger. For Garnet, Pearl's actions felt like even her teammates think of Fusion, of her very being, as just a means to an end.
  • Pearl and Garnet are not talking to each other at the end of the episode. We saw Pearl-Amethyst conflict (On The Run) and Amethyst-Garnet (Reformed) and now Pearl-Garnet over the former's casual views towards Fusion, something that Garnet takes very seriously as an expression of trust and love in order to accomplish their goal. But there's even worse than that: the Crystal Gems still have issues to resolve.
  • Sardonyx's last words to Steven in the episode are a reassurance that if Garnet and Pearl ever need her again to remind them that she's always there to help. After it being apparently a long time since her last summoning, it's heartbreaking to think that she'll likely not be used again. At least until Garnet and Pearl mend bridges...
  • If you remember how Ruby and Sapphire couldn't bear to spend another second apart from each other, you might begin to understand Pearl and Amethyst's desires to fuse with Garnet. Being with the one you love, someone who is strong, dependable, understanding, patient, gentle, and constantly by your side. You can't really blame them for wanting to feel a little less alone in the world.
    • It then gets worse when you follow that line of logic. Pearl and Amethyst are clearly needing attention and love, but are looking for it in other, stronger people. Garnet herself must feel betrayed, after having genuine feelings of family and friendship, she gets lied to, and realizes she's just an object for them to cling on to, but not truly love for who she is.
    • Really, this whole episode is indicative of the serious emotional issues plaguing each of the Crystal Gems and their inability to really deal with them. Garnet's extreme reaction strongly suggests that she's still having trouble processing what she saw in the Kindergarten, and that she might have really needed her Fusion with Pearl to be a positive experience, to affirm her own views on Fusion. Pearl's issues surrounding her relationship with Rose Quartz were front-and-center in the last couple of Pearl-centered episodes, and her deception could suggest that she's trying to move on by strengthening her relationships with others, albeit in a wrongheaded way. And Amethyst is still suffering some pretty obvious self-esteem issues. While Garnet is a fine leader for most things, she seems to have difficulty providing the emotional support that Rose Quartz once provided for the group. Which leaves Steven to try to help sort through these interpersonal issues, something that's rather unfair to expect of a young child, but is not unheard of among families in real-life. But even now and then, Steven starts to think that the Crystal Gems blame him from the loss of his mother.
  • The way this episode closes out is pretty sad: No adorable shrinking star-wipe. It's just the TV blinking off in a star-shape pattern.

"Keystone Motel"
  • Pearl and Garnet still aren't speaking, and Pearl went looking for Peridot for three days straight in an attempt to make it up to Garnet.
    • And it clearly isn't working. Pearl tries telling Garnet that she's been searching everywhere and they're sure to find Peridot eventually, and is met with complete silence. What sells it is Pearl eventually just saying what she means by all of this.
    Pearl: I'm sorry.
  • Garnet apparently goes with Steven and Greg to Keystone just to get away from Pearl.
  • Garnet is so conflicted by what happened with Pearl in the previous episode that Ruby and Sapphire unfuse because they can't come to an understanding about how they feel about it. Just before the Fusion comes undone, you can see Ruby take control of Garnet and forcibly end the Fusion just to get away from Sapphire.
    Garnet/Ruby: If you're not going to listen, then you can just go!
  • After Ruby smashes the table, Steven just walks out of the diner. He wanted to get away from all of the arguing and negative feelings. He thought that by taking Garnet she would probably have calmed down after the events of the last episode. Instead, Garnet defused because of Ruby and Sapphire's bickering about the situation and it got out of hand. He started to think it was all his fault because of the fact that all of this followed him.
    • Not just that. He drops his plate on the floor, letting it shatter, then walks away with tears in his eyes. You know you've screwed up badly when Steven is crying. He has his limits too.
    • You want to know when you've really screwed up with Steven? When he isn't talking to you. And when he talks, it's nothing but either anger and/or self-blame.
    Steven: I was so happy when Garnet said she was gonna come on this trip with me and dad! Home's been awful! Here's been awful! I thought you wanted to have a fun time, but everyone's been acting awful too! It- It just came with us! I don't understand! Is it... Is it me?
  • Ruby and Sapphire realizing how their arguing has affected Steven, making up and re-fusing back into Garnet.
    Ruby: No! Steven, it's all us!
    Sapphire: But we made him feel like it was his fault.
    • Sapphire's reaction is especially heartrending. As the source of Garnet's Future Vision, she already knew that she and Ruby would make up with Pearl and everything would work out, but without Ruby's single-minded determination and focus she never stopped to consider how this would happen, instead focusing solely on the future resolution rather than the present. When she realizes this, she begins crying.
    • The fact that it's Sapphire who becomes vulnerable and breaks down in tears as well really nails home how bad this situation is. It's not uncommon to see Ruby emotional and angry - we literally witness that aspect of her personality from the second she's on-screen. But Sapphire is so level-headed and calm about most things and for the majority of this incident has remained so. When even a Gem who has Future Vision and for the most part knows how things are going to turn out, you wouldn't think anything could upset her.
  • Garnet still hasn't entirely forgiven Pearl for what happened at the end, where Amethyst is apparently trying to comfort her, but at least she's speaking to Pearl again.
  • In a harsh Call-Back to "Joy Ride" Steven blames himself for the argument between Ruby and Sapphire. This is bad enough, that he thinks he's responsible, but what makes it even worse is that it happens to Garnet. Steven has seen both Amethyst and Pearl lash out over Rose being gone, which he believes they blame him for, but he has never seen such an ugly side to Garnet. He was probably just latching on to their fight as proof that Garnet must have blame him, probably due to the strain she has as the leader of the Crystal Gems since Rose's passing.
    • On one hand, it's very sweet that Steven just accepts Ruby and Sapphire, and doesn't subject them to playing twenty questions — which is impressive given Steven's curious nature, especially regarding Gems and Fusion. On the other hand, though, because Ruby and Sapphire generally don't like to split up, it's not likely that they'll have many opportunities to interact with him one on one... and they were so busy being angry, they wasted an opportunity to let him get to know them. Sapphire makes a token effort, but doesn't even attempt to control her freezing powers, driving Steven from the room when he wants to watch TV with her. There might be some justification in that, as Garnet, they know Steven inside-out already, and forget that the reverse isn't true (he didn't know they existed for then a decade ), but it's still sad that they couldn't pause for a second and think "This sucks, but better make the most of it for the kid's sake."
  • If you look at Ruby and Sapphire arguing from Steven's point of view, it heavily looks like two parents being on the verge of getting a divorce and are so busy fighting that they don't even notice their child. It's particularly distressing for anyone who's experienced this before, especially for a child as young as Steven, since before Garnet had always acted as a Parental Substitute for him. It's also Truth in Television that children of divorced parents often feel like they're the cause of their parents' breakup.
    • Steven might know that if Ruby and Sapphire won't make up, Garnet would cease to exist. And he will lose another parental figure again and the Crystal Gems will not function the same again without its leader. And the list of the things Steven feels are entirely his fault is getting longer.
  • Greg does his very best to keep up Steven's spirits during the trip, downplaying the tension between Ruby and Sapphire so his son can still enjoy the vacation. However, it becomes increasingly clear throughout the episode that he can't honey-coat the issue for much longer, and after Steven walks out of the diner in tears, he can only mutter a forlorn "Aw geez".
    • The scene just before Steven snaps has Greg almost desperately still trying to make light of the situation, despite it being clearly obvious that nothing he says will be able to placate Steven anymore. In a way, Greg's glossing over of the situation possibly made things worse for Steven, because he promised his son that things would be better during breakfast, when it only got worse.
  • One thing glossed over is how bitter Steven acts in the episode when the going gets rough. Sure, it's common for kids to lash out in particularly frustrating situations, but Steven is a kid whom we've gotten to know for his Incorruptible Pure Pureness. At first, his line, "Am I fated to pee outside in the grass too?" when he addresses Sapphire sounds funny at first, but then you realize that he's clearly showing signs of frustration - and then you realize that Steven, before, would never act so blatantly annoyed. All the conflict he's had to endure since Jail Break appears to be getting to him...
  • Both Ruby and Sapphire may have all the right reasons to be furious with Pearl for tricking them in "Cry for Help", but only Sapphire was truly willing to forgive her. It's easy for someone to just stay angry at someone who offended them, but to be willing to forgive and let go takes a lot of courage and willpower. Yes, she appeared insensitive and detached to Ruby and Steven because of it, but in her mind, all she was trying to do was "the right thing".
  • Consider what Garnet described herself as to Steven in "Keeping It Together": an embodiment of Ruby and Sapphire's love, the strength of which allows her to stay fused for so long. So what might Garnet Unfusing and Ruby saying "Garnet's not here" in the diner look like from Steven's perspective?

"Onion Friend"
  • Amethyst confessing to Vidalia that with Garnet and Pearl still not taking to each other, she's feeling trapped at the temple. Earlier in the episode, she's very quiet and sullen, which is very unlike her.
  • How Vidalia and Amethyst were once close friends, but grew apart. It's especially jarring how old Vidalia looks now, while Amethyst still looks like the paintings Vidalia made of her.
  • Onion revealing his private toy collection to Steven. After Steven searches through Onion's collection, the latter shows and gives Steven the Explorer Gal figure. Just as Steven is about to give Explorer Gal back to Onion, he gestures Steven to keep it.
  • Steven's quiet, sullen expression as he watches Vidalia break through to Amethyst during their alone time. It can easily be read as him begrudgingly going to deal with Onion again (which is most certainly part of it), but it could also be read as the face of a boy who realized that he just can't always solve his loved ones' problems. This is especially sad considering that he unsuccessfully tried to talk to Amethyst during the beginning of the episode.
  • A small and somewhat insignificant one, but we first met Vidalia in "Story for Steven", where she was implied to be a one-night stand for Marty. We find out in this episode that Sour Cream is her son, and most likely Marty's. Not only that, but she offhandedly mentions that Sour Cream and Yellowtail are "always at each others throats." It must be secretly hard for him having to deal with the fact that he's an illegitimate child and that he seems to not really care for his step-father and half-brother.
  • The "Dad's Home" chart, which reveals exactly how often Yellowtail is away from his family. Since he's a fisherman, it's very long.

"Historical Friction"

"Friend Ship"
  • Pearl admitting while trapped with Garnet in the shrinking room that she's "just a Pearl", can't function without someone telling her what to do, and that Fusing with Garnet was the only way she could feel the same self-assurance and strength Garnet does as a Fusion.
    • Between Jasper's scathing comment on her being "a defective pearl" and what Pearl says about herself this episode, then adding in her extreme devotion to Rose Quartz to a point of pulling Senseless Sacrifice, it seems to confirm that Pearls are a low caste in the Gem hierarchy, meant as servants to those of higher ranking.
    • Garnet admitting she isn't as perfect as Pearl thinks she is and that Ruby and Sapphire's disagreement over how to handle the situation caused her to split up. Amethyst's stunned "That really happened...?" only adds to this: evidently, in all those millennia the Crystal Gems have known each other, there have only been a handful of times Garnet was split up.
    • Pearl revealing that not only does fusing with Garnet allow her to feel the confidence and security she lacks, but that Garnet is "the perfect relationship... you're always together," and she wanted to be a part of that. Forming Sardonyx basically serves as a balm on every painful thing in Pearl's life... her insecurity, her feelings of uselessness, and the fact that she's lost the love of her life.
  • This is the episode that lays out most clearly how hard being Rose's replacement as the leader of the Crystal Gems has been on Garnet. She admits that she's not the strong, cool, confident Black Boss Lady archetype that many viewers have assumed her to be: she's a person with sometimes strong feelings and insecurities, who sublimates them for the sake of her friends and Steven to give them at least the illusion of the cool leader type who always knows just what to do. Admittedly, in previous episodes there have been significant hints that this was the case, but this is the first time Garnet has come right out and admitted that she sometimes needs to look to the others (including Pearl!) for strength.
  • Steven and Amethyst, in this episode in particular, are presented a lot like two kids who just want their parents to stop fighting.

Nightmare Hospital
  • Connie's mom saying she and and her father need to talk to decide how long to ground Connie for having a sword... by using an abacus to figure out how long they need to punish. Connie's remark on she hates that abacus imply this is a regular occurrence in the household.
  • We get to hear the noises a passive Cluster Gem makes. It's nothing short of a continuous, anguished moan, reinforcing the fact that these things exist against their components' will. Until Steven and Connie get too close, all they seem to be able to do is lie there and suffer.
  • When Steven sees Connie together with her mother at the end of the episode, he hugs Rose's sword a little tighter...
  • Connie's mom realizing her little girl has been hiding important things from her because she's scared her parent's strictness will keep her from seeing her (first real) friend.
    • And the idea that you thought you were a good parent who knew everything about their child but you missed something as obvious as your kid's glasses not having lenses for a whole year... it's like working with Clark Kent for years without ever realizing he's Superman.
    • The bigger revelation that not only is your child afraid of your strictness and narrow-mindedness to the point of deception, but that she actually distrusts and possibly resents you for it, even though you do love them and you genuinely thought you were doing the right thing. All the good parenting you assumed you were doing is only establishing and reinforcing the idea that if anything new, wonderful, and different happens in their life, they have to shut you out just to hold on to it, and that they don't feel like they can have a real life as long as you're in the loop. Think: what would have happened if Connie had gotten blasted by that battle droid from Rose's armory? Or if Lapis had succeeded in drowning her? Or if Steven hadn't protected her from that Holo-Pearl in time? How would Steven, Greg, and the Gems have even begun to explain that to her parents? And how would Mr. and Dr. Maheswaran have handled finding out that their only daughter was leading a double-life that they never knew about until it was too late, all because she didn't feel she could talk to them about anything without being judged or punished or being restricted further?
    • Dr. Maheswaran's state after witnessing everything counts. She's so distraught by the multiple revelations that she's visibly shaking, and freaks out when she encounters Lion.

"Sadie's Song"
  • Sadie's breakdown at the climax of the episode, and her calling Steven and Barb out.

"Catch and Release"
  • Despite her status as an antagonist, it's very clear by this episode that more than anything, Peridot is just afraid. She, much like Lapis, just wants to get back home, although for different reasons (Peridot's having to do with the Earth's supposed eventual destruction). You can tell how desperate she is when she resorts to kidnapping Steven not to hold him ransom, but in hopes of his saliva fixing the warp pad to Home World. When it doesn't work, she seems to break down completely.
    • And once she's revealed without her limb enhancers, all her prior appearances in the season, which seemed pretty funny at the time, became very sad when looked at in her perspective. This is basically a child soldier stranded on an unfamiliar planet that she knows almost nothing about except that it is scheduled to be destroyed soon, unable to get in contract with someone who can rescue her, and being actively hunted down by enemies whom she truly believes will greatly harm or kill her if they catch her, probably because that's what happens to prisoners on her own planet. It's a horrifying situation.
  • When Peridot regenerates in the Burning Room, she's terrified, assuming that the Crystal Gems are going to "harvest" her.
    • Made far worse because whatever "harvesting" is it's enough to freak out someone who worked with the Forced Fusions, the Gem equivalent of corpses stitched together and given freakish unnatural life without being the least bit bothered. Clearly it's very, very bad.
  • Peridot's depression about losing her "limb enhancers". Although she brings up how she lost her foot in "Friend Ship", referring to it as an assault, she seemingly very much appreciates Steven giving it back, and clings to it for the last minute or so of the episode.
  • While it's somewhat Played for Laughs with her assumption that everything is a weapon, Peridot's frightened squeak when Steven jokes about using a towel as one goes a long way to demonstrate just how terrified she is, even around Steven.
    • It also makes one wonder just what sort of environment she grew up in/was used to being in that she assumes anything that can be held can be used to harm.
  • Actually, lets look at Peridot's behavior again. Why the hell was she running around like a cat?! The way her whole behavior changes to be more animalistic is... quite disturbing to think about.
  • A blink-and-you-miss-it example; Pearl, Amethyst and Garnet start discussing what they should do about Peridot and Pearl asks how important it is that they should know more about the Cluster. Garnet, sounding tranquilly furious responds with "If it has ANYTHING to do with those experiments she was conducting in the Kindergarten, then very".

"When It Rains"
  • Peridot is still bitter about losing her Artificial Limbs, making it obvious how important they were to her.
    • Not only is she bitter, but she apparently feels incomplete without them, in something akin to an emotional phantom limb syndrome. She even admits to Steven that she really doesn't have much in the way of information or useful skills without them and could only run when The Gem Mutants at the Kindergarten attacked them.
    Peridot: I don't know anything without my screens...
  • The way Peridot clings to Steven when she's scared by the thunder. She honestly thinks the Cluster is emerging and that they're all going to die, so she clings to him as he's the closest thing to a friend she has on Earth and doesn't want to die alone in the "primitive think chamber".

"Back to the Barn"
  • Peridot confirms what many people have hypothesized: That Pearls are considered a Servant Race on Homeworld, treated as property or piece of furniture not unlike a table or lamp.
    Peridot: You're an accessory! Somebody's shiny toy!
    • The way Pearl blushes and looks when Peridot reveal this shows she was embarrassed at this being revealed to Steven. This hurts more when she asks what she is for if no one owns her after it has been basically shown her life revolved around Rose and with the whole "Trust" arc where Garnet tells her she needs to find strength in herself and her own motivations.
  • Peridots seem to be in a fairly similar niche to Pearls, being finely-tuned to excel in a singular field and no other. Indeed, it may be that Peridots are merely a different sort of Servant Race themselves, garnering no more respect than a Pearl would. Regardless, if Peridot is indicative of the qualities one can expect from her sort of Gem, then they maybe even less capable of excelling in other fields than Pearls. Pearl, at least, seems to show physical strength and ability exceeding that of a typical human and seems to be equipped with a number of useful abilities. By comparison, Peridot has a stature and physical strength more comparable to that of a child and has displayed no special abilities, when she's left without her limb enhancers. Even more-so than Pearls, Peridots are trapped by the role that was decided for them.
    • It might even be the case that Peridot's poor attitude was rooted in more than just wounded pride and prejudice. With her abilities so limited, it might be that the only thing that Peridot has going for her are her technical skills. If someone could just come along and show as much skill in the one field that she was designed to excel in...
    • The implication that Peridot severely envies those high on the Gem hierarchy judging by how she believes Pearls are status symbols to be flaunted around. When she tries to "take claim" of Pearl at the start of the episode, Peridot has this to say:
    Peridot: [gleefully] A Peridot with a Pearl. What would they say back on Homeworld?
    • The implication that both Peridot and Pearl don't even have unique names but share the same name with every other Peridot and Pearl back on the Homeworld.
    • Generally it feels as if much of Peridot's disparaging of Pearl is a form of projection, her using Pearl to deal with the fact that, though she won't admit it, she feels she herself is as much an accessory, a servant, and a piece of property.
  • Pearl giving it her all when the competition with Peridot devolves into a fight... and still gets beaten. Luckily, the other Gems support her.

"Too Far"
  • Amethyst getting into a funk because Peridot told her she was "defective" since she's a Quartz, made to be a powerful, intimidating warrior, but her extra 500 years underground means that she's only half the size she should be.
  • When Amethyst doesn't react to her attempts at jokes after they come back from the Kindergarten, Peridot freaks out and asks Steven why. He tells Peridot that what she said hurt Amethyst's feelings, she initially refuses to believe it, but when Amethyst continues to ignore her, Peridot says that it's making her feel smaller, and she has a Tsundere tantrum over it.
    • There's also the fact that, despite being painfully small herself, Peridot associates negative feelings with smallness.
    • While initially a bit sweet, the sheer pleasure Peridot seems to take in her lighthearted interactions with Amethyst and then her reaction when she found out she was screwing it up makes it seem as if Peridot's never had that kind of an interaction with anyone.
  • Peridot has to use the tape recorder Steven gave her to give Amethyst an apology, because she can't bring herself to say it.
    • Her apology is quite sad, because it has Peridot admit that she considers herself to be a failure. Not only because she failed her mission and had to turn traitor to Homeworld to survive, but because she can't even turn traitor right and unknowingly hurt Amethyst (who she considers to be the best Gem among the Crystal Gems). Hidden beneath her arrogance and temper tantrums is a bitter, self-loathing Gem who sees herself as a complete and utter failure.
  • More and more it looks as if the Homeworld goes to great pains to control what its citizens think, apparently even going out of the way to quash notions outside of what they find acceptable. While amusing at first, Peridot's rant about Garnet's sheer oddness further demonstrates that the Homeworld only views Fusion as a technique to win battles, and it seems as if she can't even wrap her mind around the idea of someone fusing for any other reason. Peridot doesn't even seem to have the words to describe it.
    • Worse, given the strong intimacy and understanding fusing seems to inspire among the Crystal Gems, the notion that a bond like that is something to be treated as patently alien and wrong is a bit heartbreaking.
  • The episode's title card is a small one - Peridot and Amethyst are having an argument and on the verge of getting into a fight in the recording room, while outside Pearl and Steven are hurrying to defuse the situation, and Sapphire prays for a miracle.

"The Answer"
  • The way Gems are quickly disposed of if they step outside their social sphere. It's not really surprising, but the way Ruby and Sapphire panic when Blue Diamond says Ruby's gem will be broken for daring to fuse with one of Blue Diamond's "court" is pretty depressing.
  • The speed with which the entire court of Blue Diamond viciously turns on Sapphire, and especially on Ruby, for the unforgivable offense of having fused outside of their Gem class...when a couple of rebels just killed/poofed half a dozen of their fellow Gems. Apparently Blue Diamond isn't bothered by her people getting their bodies damaged so badly they're destroyed, but if you dare to be a lesser Gem and fuse with one of her noble courtiers, kiss your gem—and your life—goodbye...
  • Blue Diamond, in the flashback, has what appears to has a Pearl of her own. She really doesn't do anything but stand there and look pretty and sad and broken. It's a really terrible, awful life by any stretch, and it could easily have been our Pearl's life too, had Rose Quartz not been so open-hearted.
    • The Pearl stays completely still, except when Sapphire says the rebellion will be stopped; she looks up very briefly and then returns to her formal position. A quick, sad little detail.
  • We get to see first hand what it's like being a low class Gem. Low class Gems are expected to be dedicated to their "superiors" to the point not caring about their lives. This is shown when Ruby express confusion and shame about why Sapphire choose to save her and initially wanted to return her to the Sky Arena at first instead of allowing her fall down from her high status declaring she's a shame to Rubies.
    • This quote establish just how valuable the lives of low class Gems are to others and themselves:
    Sapphire: They were going to break you!
    Ruby: Who cares? There are tons of me!

"Steven's Birthday"
  • When Greg shows Connie pictures from Steven's previous birthdays, not a single one has Garnet, Amethyst, or Pearl in it. This is the first time the trio are celebrating his birthday.
    • Even worse is the potential reason for why the Crystal Gems have avoided Steven's previous birthdays - the day Steven was born is also the day they lost Rose. It's understandable that, especially early on, they wouldn't have been willing or able to celebrate it.
    • Pearl's little outburst over not wanting to be handed Baby!Steven may seem funny at first...until the realization hits that out of the other Crystal Gems, she shows the most resentment (albeit, repressed) towards Steven for being born because it meant Rose is gone. Seeing him as a baby again possibly brought some sad memories back.
  • Connie's tearful Freak-Out over thinking that Steven has become a zygote can be pretty distressing to watch.
  • A subtle one, but the moment Greg offers to take Connie home until they fix everything, Baby!Steven gives out a "what", implying he's becoming more distressed over the possibility of Connie leaving.
  • The implication that not only will Steven outlive Connie, but their relationship will break over him not growing up. He forces his body to age (instead of it happening naturally like in the last birthday episode) to the point where his body is about to break. The thought that Connie will leave him behind once she is grows up really hurts him.

"It Could've Been Great"
  • In spite of all the bonding that Peridot did, tensions between herself and the Crystal Gems are more strained then ever after she denounces Rose Quartz's revolution.
    • And that in the end Peridot was right, the rebellion against the Great Diamond Authority for Earth did little more than delay the inevitable death of the Earth...
    • The tone in Pearl's voice when she says "Rose Quartz believed all life was precious and worth protecting"; it's worth remembering that Peridot was badmouthing the woman she was in love with.
  • While not tearjerk-y, it's certainly a depressing Reality Ensues moment: While Peridot has shown subtle character growth and a growing fondness for the Crystal Gems, it doesn't change her staunch belief in Homeworld's beliefs. A few weeks with them can't erase thousands of years of being taught certain values. Peridot isn't being "evil", she literally doesn't understand why the others wouldn't want the colony. It's not even necessarily that Peridot was taught that a colony is a good thing, chances are she was born and grew up in one. A colony is what Peridot most likely connects with home, a place to return to and to feel safe.
  • The look on Steven's face when he sees what a finished, Gem colonized Earth would have looked like. It's a mix between sad, horrified, and nauseous, and you can't help but want to give him a hug. The rest of them (sans Peridot) also stare in a mix of horror and outrage.
  • While it led to some very Heartwarming scenes, the very fact that Peridot doesn't understand why the Gems are relaxing and watching the beautiful sunset and Steven had to introduce her to the idea of music as something to be enjoyed, once again paints a bleak picture of Homeworld life.

"Message Received"
  • The fact that for all their loyalty to Yellow Diamond it becomes abundantly clear that the Gem ruler doesn't care about them in the slightest and views them as completely expendable, only being 'a Peridot' and 'the Jasper I sent with the Peridot' to her. Peridot's reaction to this is understandably heartbreaking.
    • Especially considering how devoted Peridot was to her Gem ruler, gushing about how perfect, reasonable, and logical she is mere minutes beforehand. Then for her to see firsthand that everything she believed about Yellow Diamond was wrong, especially that her leader wasn't logical, but a bitter, spiteful Gem willing to destroy all the potential benefits Earth would provide just for a single geo-weapon and to spit in the face of Rose Quartz.
    • In Jasper's case, we later find out this is even more painful because she's an Era 1 Gem, not an Era 2 Gem like Peridot, meaning she's considerably less expendable than than Peridot from a practical standpoint. And yet she's still treated as expendable by those she's loyal to.
  • While still an awesome moment, Peridot almost immediately falls apart after insulting Yellow Diamond and firmly cementing herself as a traitor to the Homeworld. It takes only a few moments for her to politely hand over the communicator and collapse to the ground in the fetal position, with barely any concern for the fact that the device is about to explode. Till now we've seen her world view shaken and her notions about things bent, but now her whole world has just fallen apart. And she clearly doesn't know how to handle it.
  • Steven's reaction to Peridot's supposed betrayal, while it doesn't take shape Steven is utterly devastated by it. He is even on the verge of crying, something he has grown out of since "Full Disclosure".
    • Amethyst's reaction to Peridot's supposed betrayal is just as heartbreaking. Her expressions just show how much she really valued Peridot as a friend.
  • A small moment, but Yellow Pearl's interactions with Yellow Diamond. While Yellow Diamond shows a Pet the Dog moment with her (not acting like a jerk like she was with Peridot), she flinches at the sound of Yellow Diamond's slightly annoyed voice and has a look of fear on her face when Peridot starts disobeying Yellow Diamond's orders.

"Log Date 7-15-2"
  • Peridot's complete emotional breakdown in the face of her burning all her bridges and going full-traitor to Homeworld for the Earth. She goes between Laughing Mad and a Troubled Fetal Position while Steven can only watch as his new friend slowly goes insane over her decision.
  • Peridot is completely bemused when Garnet praises her for her willingness to at least try understanding CG principles. It's clear the poor girl comes from an environment where nothing but immediate success was ever appreciated- especially given how severely Ruby and Sapphire were punished for outright failing (in Homeworld's eyes, anyway) their duties.
  • The way Peridot looks up, startled, at the sky when Garnet mentions that she can see Homeworld's galaxy from here. Peridot has been wronged several times over by her home planet, but this moment reminded audiences that part of her will always miss her home. The sad little look she gets afterwards just sells it.

    Season 3 
"Super Watermelon Island"
  • When Steven falls back asleep, Peridot briefly panics, as she's afraid of being alone.
  • Despite everything that's happened, Steven seems worried when Jasper falls into a crevice. It's also kind of Heartwarming.
    • Oddly enough, Pearl also seems to be worried.
  • "And Steven? We love you."

"Gem Drill"
  • We finally get to see the Cluster, but it's nothing like the Eldritch Abominations as seen with the other Forced Fusions. It's a great mass of millions of Gem shards stuck together - millions of broken little minds. When Steven talks through to it, we learn that it has no ill will at all. Every single Gem shard in the Cluster is just desperate to take a form, to be something that it can't help but try to do so, like it has to. Essentially, it's a massively-scaled version of the multishard Fusion from "Keeping It Together" - each shard wants to be itself, but the other shards interrupt its formation with their own need to form.
    • The smaller mutants get a sad side too when Peridot reveals that they're seeking out other Gems so aggressively because they're simply desperately trying to find their remaining shards and be whole.
    • The way that the Gem shards in the Cluster say "no" when Steven tells them that forming would destroy the Earth indicates just how many of them were Crystal Gems like Garnet indicated, and how much they don't want to do anything to hurt the planet they fought and died to protect.
      • When you think about it, the Cluster's very purpose makes you realize something else: not only does Earth represent Rose and her rebellion, it also serves as a reminder that thousands of Gems betrayed Homeworld for something that, in Homeworld's eyes, is insignificant and only worth using as a breeding ground for Gems. So turning those Crystal Gems who died into a weapon will not only render their sacrifice moot, but it will also allow Homeworld to derive immense satisfaction and amusement in the irony that the Crystal Gems destroyed something that Rose vowed to protect.
    • Just when Steven has finally gotten through to the Cluster, their components suddenly start "taking form" again... this time because they simply can't control themselves. All of their voices then scream this...
    CAN'T STOP... GOING TO FORM... CAN'T STOP... GOING TO FORM... HELP US!
  • Peridot expressing closeness to the Crystal Gems compared to how she views Homeworld. She still feels sad about defecting, but notes that she has the Crystal Gems now.
  • When Steven and Peridot first reach the Cluster, it starts to form, causing the two to panic and believe they were too late. Peridot loudly screams "Do you have any last words?", prompting Steven to hug her and say, "I love you, Peridot!" The real tearjerking part of this is that Peridot's response is "Wow, thanks", the very same words Steven told her in Log Date 7-15-2 are how people express gratitude on Earth, only this time, instead of shouting the words in a sarcastic attempt to belittle Steven, she says them genuinely, while looking like she's about to start crying.
  • Hell, who could forget Steven's distressingly realistic panic attack when he starts to literally feel the Cluster's immense pain? It can easily hit home for people who have frequent problems with panic attacks.

"Same Old World"
  • Lapis flees again when she wakes up... only to return to the barn because she has no idea of where to go.
  • Lapis's backstory is finally revealed, and its this crossed with Nightmare Fuel. She was caught in the crossfire of the war and poofed. After the battle she was taken by a Homeworld Gem and, thinking she was a Crystal Gem, put into the mirror, then constantly interrogated her for the location of the Crystal Gems, with no way for her to say that they had the wrong person. Then, during the panic of Homeworld's evacuation of Earth, the mirror was thrown to the ground and stepped on, cracking her gem. Also, she was conscious the thousands of years she was stuck on the floor of the galaxy warp before she was found by Pearl. No wonder she's distrustful of everyone except Steven.
  • Lapis realizing she's barely seen anything of Earth despite the length of time she's spent on the planet.
  • This line at the beginning, when Steven's sad that Lapis' leaving so soon.
    Steven: I feel I only get to see you when something horrible's going on.
    Lapis: That's just how it is with me.
    • Fortunately, this time they do manage to spend some time without something horrible happening.
  • Lapis' childlike, hysterical "Right Steven?!" when Peridot explains that Lapis' chosen new home is also her home. Lapis desperately appeals to Steven to confirm that Lapis has priority, when the viewer knows that Peridot is Steven's (hard won) friend as well. It's tough to see the kid put on the spot like that after having such a successful day.
    • The whole scene is funny too, in that Lapis is being more than a little bratty (Peridot was legitimately there first, and was polite and affable towards Lapis on their reintroduction), but how did it look from Lapis' point of view? She woke up, tried to run away, and found she had nowhere to run to. The friend she sacrificed so much for managed to gently talk her round, restore her hope, and encourage her to set up house close to him... and then her jailer ambles along out of nowhere, chatting to her like they're polite acquaintances, and now Lapis is about to find out that her beloved Steven befriended the Gem who dragged her back to the planet.
  • Lapis quickly goes from laughing along with Steven to a trance as Steven points out they're passing over the Galaxy Warp. Steven begins sliding off her hands as they go limp and she almost loses him, only to catch him the second their hands part. When the 'camera' points back up to her, her eyes are watery as she breaks from the trance. This is indicative of PTSD, as was later confirmed by Lauren Zuke.

"Barn Mates"
  • Peridot genuinely wants to be friends with Lapis, and can't understand why Lapis doesn't get that she's changed now. It goes From Bad to Worse.
    • Peridot tries giving Lapis her beloved tape recorder in hopes that it could be used to help Lapis, but Lapis proceeds to only record that she doesn't "want Peridot's garbage" and crushes the recorder right in front of her. Peridot then tells Lapis that she would do anything for her to believe she's changed, which Lapis tells Peridot to leave and Peridot does so (or tried to). To add insult to injuries, Steven was the one who gave Peridot her recorder in the first place.
  • Steven feeling sad that he's unable get Lapis to give Peridot a chance and then expressing his disappointment to her when she destroyed Peridot's gift and told her to leave, looking like he's about to cry the whole time.
    Steven: Lapis, why are you being so mean to her? She's really trying.
    Lapis: Why do you trust her, Steven?
    Steven: Because I know her. Lapis, you're not even giving her a chance! You should've at least gotten to know her before you decided you don't like her!
  • The whole situation can be seen as this. Yes, Steven had a point that Lapis should've given Peridot a chance, but Lapis's frostiness is understandable given how Peridot (with Jasper) forced her tom come back to Earth. It's a rather depressing example of Both Sides Have a Point.

"Hit the Diamond"
  • Peridot spending the episode in a panic, afraid of being dragged back to Homeworld and shattered.
  • As adorable as Ruby and Sapphire's flirting is, it's the fact that they can't seem to stop themselves. They're absolutely starved for one another. Sapphire admits that all she wants to do is look at Ruby, something they can't do as Garnet. It's not that their relationship is an unhealthy one — they're supportive and utterly adoring of one another — but it raises the question of whether remaining fused continuously is really good for them.
    • Furthermore, as in "Keystone Motel", both of them are essentially useless apart. And again, both of them need Steven to drag them back into line. When the leader of the Crystal Gems (or at least her components) requires Steven to be the mature adult, something isn't right.

"Steven Floats"
  • When Steven is trying to slow his sudden descent, he tries to find happy thoughts by thinking of Rose, only to reject that idea because of how complicated his feelings for her are.

"Drop Beat Dad"
  • How strained Sour Cream and Yellowtail's relationship is/was before the end. It's so bad that when the rave falls apart Sour Cream expects that he'll want to gloat about it.
  • Marty hasn't seen Sour Cream in at least nine years. When Sour Cream sees him, he's pretty much in shock.
    • The fact that Sour Cream seems to automatically assume that Marty is here to see him, but he isn't. He even goes in for a hug, only to be brushed off.
  • Marty using his son for the sake of profit. Made worse by the fact that he never actually calls Sour Cream his son and clearly couldn't care less about him.
  • As of this episode, there is no longer any doubt that Greg not only could have been, but in fact would have been a hugely successful and wealthy musician if he hadn't given it all up for the woman he loved.

"Mr. Greg"
  • Pearl getting depressed at the beginning remembering Rose after seeing the commercial.
  • Pearl sings an absolutely heartbreaking song about how she can't get over Rose even after she fell in love with someone else and died. She knows she should move on, but she still can't.
    Pearl: You won
    And she chose you
    And she loved you
    And she's gone
    It's over isn't it... why can't I move on?
    • And then it's revealed Greg (and Steven) heard the whole thing. He walks away dejected, obviously thinking Pearl hates him and may blame him for Rose's death. As they talk, Greg admits he would hate himself if he were Pearl too, because "I knew about how you felt about Rose, but I stayed anyway."
      • Even though they make amends by the end of the episode, Greg must feel terrible. He knew that Pearl loved Rose and was jealous of him, but this is probably the first time that he hears of all that Pearl and Rose went through over thousands of years. He loved Rose dearly, but before he and Pearl talked it out, he probably felt that he "stole" Rose from Pearl.
    • The worst part is that Greg was so convinced there was nothing either of them could do to actually get along, even though he clearly wants to. Back in Season 1, we saw how he has a similarly strained relationship with Amethyst that seemed to end on a happier note, and yet he still doesn't believe (until Steven convinces the both of them) that there is any way he and Pearl can get along despite the fact that the both of them feel no real dislike towards each other.
      Greg: Nothing's gonna fix this, is it?
      • What about the fact that - even after a number of episodes addressing it - Pearl still finds it hard to avoid dwelling on her flaws? During the climax of the song in the second verse, Pearl describes her post-Rose self very unfavourably, suggesting she still believes her best qualities are dependent on Rose's presence.
      Pearl: Who am I now in this world, without her?/Petty and dull with the nerve to doubt her...
    • Pearl sings most of the song passionately, but when she tosses the rose into the wind and watches it fly away, she whispers the rest of the song as a single tear runs down her face.
      • And right before that, just look at Pearl's expressions. They are breathtakingly perfect and absolutely disheartening at the same time - from her pain-filled eyes, to her shouting to the sky, to a spite-filled aside glance to Greg when she sings "you won and she chose you" to her slowly crumbling and then finally crying in the end. Those expressions are a masterpiece in animation, and really shows Pearl's feelings to a degree words simply can't.
    • As Joe Johnston explains it, the scene is about Pearl trying to come to terms that her relationship with Rose was never as complete and deep as she imagined. And if her repeated refrains of "It's over isn't it? Isn't it over?" are any indication, she knows this to be true, she just can't accept it.
    • The real tragedy of this situation is that both Pearl and Greg are good people in a horrible situation that has pitted them against each other, made worse by the fact that they are the only people who could possibly understand the anguish the other is going through, but can't because of their grief and shame.
  • Steven gets Greg and Pearl to actually talk about their feelings. Not only do they reveal that they never hated each other despite being romantic rivals at one point, they actually end up bonding over Rose's memory.
  • When Steven is singing about how he loves both of them and they love him too and that's why they can get along, it almost feels like Rose is singing to them through Steven, or that Steven is doing this because he knows Rose would have wanted it too.
    • The first time Steven sings "You both love me/And I love both of you", you can hear Rose's voice for a split second, right when the background turns pink. Greg and Pearl immediately tear up when they hear her.Note 
    • Six little words.
    Greg: I knew how you felt about Rose, and I stayed anyway.
    Pearl: That wasn't the problem.
    Greg: Then what was?
    Pearl: She fell in love with you.
  • When Greg asked to dance with Pearl in the beginning, she, bluntly says "No!". What makes this moment sad is the pained look on Greg's face, Pearl's shame over her outburst, and Steven's brief look of anger over Pearl's action.

"Too Short to Ride"
  • Mr. Smiley's Critical Staffing Shortage means that he's very sleep deprived. Hard not to feel sorry for him.
  • Peridot revealing that Homeworld has a shortage of resources to make all her generation of gem Peridots (Era 2) which meant she wasn't created with all of her powers. It's the reason she's so dependent on technology, her tech knowledge is her generations only usefulness to Homeworld. No wonder she was so hostile about Pearl being a good technician as her.
    • Made even more apparent by the near panic she demonstrated when the well-meaning Amethyst tried to take the tablet from her and throw it into the ocean. It drove home that Peridot very much believed in the notion that the only useful or special thing about her is her affinity with technology and that she's terrified of losing that.
  • Once again, we're reminded of the fact that Peridot considers smallness or shortness an inherently negative thing, despite being rather puny herself. So much so that she patently refused to believe Amethyst and Steven, when they suggested that she didn't need to be anything but herself.
  • While Peridot discovering that she does indeed have her own powers was a lovely moment, the fact that she took it for granted that Peridots of her era are completely without powers has some unfortunate implications. If Peridots really are mass-produced, that suggests that the Homeworld is so restrictive and oppressive that no gem even bothers to try to do something more than what they believe they've been designed to do, whether it's performing a task they weren't meant for or displaying an unexpected power. Or worse that any who do are destroyed before they can tell others.
  • Peridot's focusing on her tablet and refusing to socialize with her friends after being left out of all the fun is very similar to depressive teenagers who have found that they can't fit in with their intended social circles.

"The New Lars"
  • Steven accidentally triggers an outburst from Sadie, who thinks Lars (who Steven is possessing) is only her friend when its convenient.
  • Lars' reaction in the end to realizing everyone liked Steven in his body better than they do him and no one missed him because of how big of a jerk he is.
  • Everyone's incredibly mild reaction to Steven accidentally possessing Lars' body is a bit unsettling. While it was unintentional on Steven's part and he didn't mean to cause any harm, it was still a massive violation of Lars' self and it's far from unfair for him to be upset by it. No one seems in the least bit concerned by what occurred, with some of them even chastising Lars for how he was reacting. While he is a habitual jerk, the sheer amount of apathy they have about the situation is disheartening.
  • Lars' parents being terrified to even gently discuss his failing grades because they're afraid of his reaction. If you've ever lived in a family that puts a lot of pressure on kids for grades, watching them making entirely reasonable demands and Steven-as-Lars accepting them just as reasonably, even though he has almost no idea what school is and what grades are, is heartbreaking. Lars has no idea how good he has it at home.
  • Steven trying to apologize to Lars complete with a card, only for Lars to rip said card up without even looking at it. Steven just takes it, knowing that he deserves it.

"Beach City Drift"
  • Connie admitting to Greg how uncomfortable Kevin made them as Stevonnie.
    • Greg himself seems pretty rattled at realizing why the jerk produced such strong reactions from Steven.
  • While savvy viewers probably picked up on it a mile away, Kevin actually had the gall to to blame his behavior on a phony Freudian Excuse, which Stevonnie believed, before breaking into laughter and admitting he does what he does because it's fun to him and he loves the attention.
    • Right after that, Stevonnie's emotions towards Kevin become so overwhelming that they begin to hallucinate followed by blacking out and de-fusing.
  • This is the first episode in which Steven freely declares that he feels nothing but hatred for somebody. Given just who we are talking about here, this is very disheartening although the feeling is reasonable.
    • While he has shown no particular desire to befriend the guy, he didn't even say that about Marty, who used Steven's father and completely abandoned Sour Cream for nothing but monetary gain and THEN had the gall to manipulate, use and play to his son's ambitions just to make a profit. Then again, with Kevin, It's Personal.

"Restaurant Wars"
  • Ronaldo loses his girlfriend, Jane, due to a misunderstanding. Poor guy.
  • Jane's POV - She went to her boyfriend's house to return a DVD and apparently caught him cheating on her. And breaks up with him...with tears in her eyes. Steven indirectly caused someone else heartache.

"Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service"
  • Kiki is having Bad Dreams of drowning in cheese after being dragged down every night! Poor girl.

"Monster Reunion"
  • Centipeetle crying when she reveals the cause of her corruption.
  • There's some implication that Centipeetle was a Homeworld soldier... but then she gets to how the Diamonds corrupted the Gems still on Earth. that is the point she broke down crying... and snapped the crayon she was holding in two. And then when she draws the Diamond Authority symbol, the mood turns dark and serious while she growls. The scene just conveys the feeling that Centipeetle feels betrayed that her beloved rulers could do something so painful and horrible to her and her crew despite their loyalty. Imagine being a loyal soldier who faithfully followed orders... only for those leaders to reward you with something so horrible as what happened to her.
    • There are most likely other corrupted gems who were actually on Homeworld's side who also suffered this fate just because they didn't leave Earth in time. This may be a possible reason why they attack the Crystal Gems - they blame the rebellion for the reason they ended up corrupted in the first place.
    • It's strongly implied that out of all the then-active Crystal Gems, only Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Rose escaped corruption and that was only because of Rose's shield being able to protect only them from the blast. Lapis was also stuck on Earth at the time and directly in the corruption's line of fire, but she was trapped in the mirror and thus was unaffected. It's a pretty sobering thought.
  • Centipeedle gradually and, apparently, painfully reverting back into her monstrous form, helpless to stop it, and desperately trying to find her crew. The way she looks at Steven during it makes it clear that, even if she can't speak, she's begging him for help.
    • When her arm shifts back into its insectiod form she shrieks, and even though she can't speak she sounds like she's shouting "Steven!" and then after the reversion a desperate "No!"
    • The fact that even though she knows she's reverting back to a corrupted monster, Centipeetle keeps crawling and forcing her way through it just to find some proof that her crew made it out alright. When she sees her old ship, thousands of years old and still where it used to be, she has a look of utter despair on her face as she realizes that it never left.
  • Centipeetle's desperation to open her old ship, trying to tear the vines off the door and resorting to using her jaws when her arms fail. When Steven uncovers the palm reader Centipeetle attempts to slam her hand against it, only for her to revert to monster form completely halfway through, leading to her pushing her stumpy limb against the device over and over again, her head thrown back letting out a wail of despair.
  • At the end of the episode, Steven asks Pearl if he can teach him how to speak Gem. One of the phrases he wants to learn is "I'm sorry."

"Alone at Sea"
  • Lapis letting out her self blame about several major problems.
  • Greg's reaction to the boat sinking.
  • Even though she's the second least sympathetic Gem we've seen (the first being Yellow Diamond), there's something oddly pitiful about Jasper and her newfound obsession with fusion. She's gone from a proud, capable warrior to the Gem equivalent of a drug addict.
    • Worse yet, while shown to be one of the least sympathetic of Homeworld gems so far, it pays to remember that Peridot wasn't so very different initially. How much more of Jasper was there before all of this, how much of Jasper's identity was shaped by the fact that she was likewise limited to only the viewpoints of the Homeworld? Did she possess the same potential as Peridot to appreciate what the Crystal Gems were pushing, and has that potential been dashed by a traumatic experience?
    • How much of Jasper's desire to re-fuse is rooted in a desire for strength, and how much of it is her trying to cope with months of psychological torment?
  • Jasper and even Lapis were both starved for each other. They both wanted to become Malachite again even though it was an obvious unhealthy fusion. As mentioned above for "Hit the Diamond" one has to wonder if long term fusion is good for any gem regardless of how healthy the relationship is. Long term fusion seems to make the gems involved reliant on one another.
  • The general implications of Jasper and Lapis's fusion as being just a deeply-magnified, cartoon version of a mutually abusive relationship. Part of the reason it's so unhealthy for them both is that they've both been experiencing powerlessness, just on opposing sides: Lapis was stripped of her power and autonomy while Jasper was so overwhelmed by Lapis that it destroyed her own over-inflated sense of power and left a vacuum of insecurity in its wake. They crave each other because being Malachite gave them equilibrium by letting each of them use each other as an outlet and a crutch at the same time. The saddest part of that? It's exactly the balance that Ruby and Sapphire have in Garnet, just rendered completely sick and divisive by the nature of their relationship. Under different circumstances, Malachite could have been a very different Gem, and any good that Lapis and Jasper could have done for each other is utterly down the drain.
  • A small note, but Jasper calling Steven a "dulled down version of Rose Quartz". Considering how Steven struggles to live up to his mother's reputation and his belief that the Crystal Gems blame him for his mom's "death"....it stings a little.
  • Really, Lapis throughout the entire episode. The whole reason Steven and Greg rented a boat and dubbed it "Lil Lappy" (the boat's actual name being "S.S. Misery"... good use of foreshadowing) was to help Lapis get over her newfound apprehension regarding the ocean, as was previously noted in "Barn Mates". Every time they find something Lapis actually enjoys, it ends in her somehow being reminded of Malachite. One of the first indicators that this wasn't going to be a completely 'Set a Course for Fun!' adventure was when Greg offered to let her take the wheel, to which she snaps (not directed towards Steven or Greg), "Don't put me in charge!" The big kahuna is when she's helping Greg 'fish the old fashioned way' and the rod snaps as something visibly bubbles up then back down. The rest of the time, she can't stop thinking about Malachite. No matter what Steven does (then again, it's only an eleven minute show, so he really only gets one other chance), it doesn't help. When he tells her the engine's broken, he says to her that it's 'all his fault', and that's when she lets out the above mentioned self blame.
  • Jasper drops a bombshell at Lapis, though it's meant as a compliment.
    Jasper: I thought I was a brute, but you... you're a monster.
  • Lapis drops a bombshell about Jasper to Steven.
    Lapis: I... miss her.
  • Lapis stating this alone heavily implies she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, when you think about how Jasper is the one whom forced fusion on her.
  • As a brief side note, Steven's VA said that this episode made him cry.
  • The implication that Peridot recognized Lapis's emotional distress after the events and consoled her. (Twitter managed by Lauren Zuke, an official storyboard artist and writer for the show.)

"Greg the Babysitter"
  • It's pretty much implied that Sour Cream was an accidental pregnancy and that Marty was a deadbeat dad from the start since we don't see him anywhere. Because of this, Vidalia struggles to support herself and her baby on her meager minimum wage job. When she tells Greg that "we all have to grow up sometime," she's basically saying that she was forced into "growing up," unlike Greg, who didn't have any responsibilities besides himself.
  • After saving Baby!Sour Cream and having a talk with Rose, Greg comes to the realization that he has been acting immature for some time, not growing up or changing who he is.
  • Rose talking about how, at first, she couldn't comprehend that infant and adult humans were the same species. Why? Because they change and learn, whereas Gems don't age and are formed with one set purpose, more like tools to be used than beings that are allowed to discover things about themselves. Not only does it hint that Rose may actually have been feeling trapped or even tormented under her otherwise glamorous exterior, but it really hammers in just how important it was to the Crystal Gems that they protect humanity from Homeworld; they died to preserve the freedom of beings they could barely understand, to give them the chances they never had. And - tears of a happier kind here - remember Rose's home movie? "That's me loving you, and loving being you." Even if he never got to meet her, or worries about not being able to measure up to her, Steven makes his mother happier than she could've ever imagined every day he's alive.
    Rose: When a gem is made it’s for a reason. They burst out of the ground already knowing what they’re supposed to be and that’s what they are…forever.
    • Her explanation also highlights everything that makes Crystal Gems rebels against Homeworld, not just exiles, or criminals, or traitors. Pearl, Garnet, Rose, and Amethyst all live in utter defiance of Homeworld's values, not just its social order. Garnet is a permanent fusion where fusion between different types of Gems is so rare that the largely immortal aristocracy has never even seen it before, Pearl has gone from a custom-made decorative bauble to a Dance Battler samurai, Amethyst does entirely human things and, based on her appearances in some of the flashbacks, has actually aged herself out of a changing self-perception, and Peridot and Lapis are coming along on that journey now, too. Rose may have gone to the extreme of reincarnating herself into Steven's Gem because she probably understood that her ability to change (and the ability of the others to change) would be limited as long as she remained Rose Quartz, leader of the Crystal Gems. There's something heartbreakingly beautiful about Rose, practically a living goddess who could have lived forever, choosing to end her existence as she knew it in order to bring about something better, and having no regrets.

"Gem Hunt"
  • Steven has a brief moment where he hopes he can find a Gem that isn't fully corrupted and cure it fully, only for it to be Jasper, dashing his hopes.
  • Connie's fear over meeting with a Gem Monster for the first time. She's terrified and doesn't know how to respond.

"Crack the Whip"
  • Jasper's Breaking Speech to Amethyst, right before she poofs and tries to shatter her.
    • On a similar note, when Amethyst reforms she seems to be putting a lot of effort into making herself bigger. She's hunched over, digging her hands into the ground, and her form snaps slightly larger in a split second before she reforms, still the same size. It seems Jasper's speech really cut deep, and she wanted to be that big and strong to protect Steven and Connie, but she's still being held back despite her best efforts.
    • For that moment and on, Amethyst had a squint eye.
  • Amethyst getting back to her feet and saying.
    Amethyst: Rose said I’m perfect the way I am.
  • Amethyst reforming, only to see Jasper driven off by Stevonnie.
    • After this, while Steven and Connie are excited over their victory against Jasper, Amethyst gets a despondent look as she says "Oh, good... you didn't need me at all..." This obviously did a real number on her self-esteem.

"Steven vs Amethyst"
  • Amethyst's depression in general. She spends most of the episode silent, with the same expression she had when she was mad at Peridot.
    • And while lamenting to Steven about her insecurities over him becoming more skilled, she bitterly states that she's the "worst Crystal Gem now". In other words, she indirectly states that before Steven improved, he was "the worst" of them all. Considering his insecurities over not living up to them, this must really hurt for him to hear.
      • And Steven's response is also depressing. For the first time, he reveals some of the pent-up feelings of trying to be what the others wanted him to be, and now that he is, one of them resents him for it.
  • The promo is this, in a way. It's just so empty compared to the other ones.
  • Steven revealing that, just like Amethyst feeling like she's stuck in Steven's shadow, he feels that he's stuck in Rose's shadow.
    • The way he brings up his insecurities is heartbreaking in itself, which is best explained by a post by ilost-shelovedyou-andshesgone.tumblr user:
    Okay yeah we immediately see that yeah he doesn’t say “I’m not like my mom.” he even pauses a second as if contemplating which to say but what bothered me about it is his tone his complete detachment and acceptance that he isn’t (not his mom) but Rose Quartz.

    Amethyst says, “I can’t even be the one thing I’m supposed to be, ya know?” Steven KNOWS he’s not as strong as his mom, he KNOWS that he has to fill her shoes, and he KNOWS that he’s expected to be. For Christs sake it doesn’t help that Jasper every time they meet calls him Rose, or reminds him that Rose was a well respected tactician and laughs and insults his family, or calls him “weak” or “a dulled down version of Rose Quartz”.

    Rose Quartz isn’t mom anymore, she’s a title and I don’t know when Rose stopped being a mother figure to him and instead a title for him to try to reach, but it’s honestly heartbreaking.

"Bismuth"
  • Bismuth's sadness at losing her friends. Unlike her fellow Gems, she's a Fish out of Temporal Water waking up to find that all of her friends are gone, except for Pearl and Garnet. The way she lists the names of some of her friends makes the scene that much more poignant.
    • More specifically, before the Internal Reveal, she asks about three former comrades in a chipper, hopeful tone... and after finding out what happened, she practically snarls the same three names.
    • Pearl has teared up before involving Rose or other emotional moments, but just remembering how many Crystal Gems were lost in the war immediately gets her tearing up solemnly again.
  • Steven having to poof and bubble Bismuth by himself is absolutely gut-wrenching when you thought of all the times he was able to peacefully resolve conflicts, especially to a Crystal Gem that was otherwise brutish, but friendly and easy-going. All in order to prevent Bismuth from using the Breaking Point to shatter her opponents or even some of his closest friends.
    • To make it worse, this was the first time Steven truly had to compromise his morals. He managed to keep his kind, loving, pacifist demeanor with Lapis, Peridot, and even the Cluster, but not with Bismuth. There was no discussion, no compromise; it was either him or Bismuth, he was forced to poof her to save himself.
    • The really sad part is that Bismuth is a Crystal Gem. Steven has managed to talk down Homeworld Gems and Gem Monsters, but not Bismuth, who was suppose to have been someone who shared Rose's ideals.
    • It's implied that Bismuth, guilty over surviving when her friends didn't, attacked Steven in the hopes that he would take her out, especially when she tells him to use the Breaking Point on her.
    • Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl's reaction to this. The worst part is... they fully agree with Bismuth being too dangerous to be allowed to run loose at this point and put her bubbled Gem in the Burning Room... and look just plain heartbroken to do it. Bismuth was their friend, and the fact she's become so hateful and obsessed with revenge on the Homeworld that all they can do is put her back in her prison is just plain horrible.
      • Garnet is not wearing her Cool Shades as she sadly puts the bubble along with the others, Pearl sheds tears as she places a hand on the bubble, and Amethyst looks down in regret at being right in her suspicions since she got to like Bismuth in the little time she got to know her.
  • While she had already felt a betrayal of trust due to Rose's refusal to use her more lethal weapons, Bismuth downright states that Rose had destroyed all of her faith in her by not revealing the reason she was bubbled.
    • On rewatching, you'll notice that when Pearl tells Bismuth that Rose had told them that she'd "lost track" of Bismuth, there's a momentary expression of utter confusion on Bismuth's face. That's the moment she realizes that Rose had lied about her to the other Crystal Gems.
    • The worst part out of all this is that throughout the entire episode, Bismuth herself did not reveal what happened between her and Rose to either the gems or Steven. It's as if she didn't want to ruin the memory of Rose to them.
    • On a similar note, the fact that Rose may have chosen not to reveal the truth in order to protect Bismuth's legacy in the eyes of their friends is heartbreaking.
  • Even though Bismuth may be in the wrong, her resentment and hatred for Rose can be empathised with - you have been created to build things, but you're only allowed to build something your bosses want, not what you want. Then suddenly this person comes along and tells you that you, as a sentient being, have the right of free choice. You decide to follow this person, and to pay them back for "freeing" you, you decide to create weapons so the Rebellion can use them to take down your former bosses, only to have this person to tell you to create weapons specifically designed to injure, not kill. A bit off-putting, but since it'll ensure that everyone will no longer have to work for your former bosses, you go with it. One day, you decide to change the game and create a weapon that will ensure a quick victory, but the person who "freed" you takes one look at it and says something along the lines of, "No, you cannot create this kind of weapon." You argue that you are a person of free will and that you have the right to create what you want, but this person tells you that you are not allowed to create any weapon that will destroy innocent lives. When you attempt to go against orders, the person you admired punishes you by sealing you away in an alternate dimension somewhere, completely alone, never telling your fellow rebels about your ultimate fate. During the years locked up, you remember all the inspiring words this person has said to you and suddenly you realize that you are just a tool no matter what you do, and you end up hating the person for turning out to be a giant hypocrite.
  • Bismuth shows within a few moments of being free just how much help she can be, giving Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet a Midseason Upgrade to their weapons. She's made amazing weapons on her own, and now the Crystal Gems have someone as resourceful and intelligent as Peridot that could possibly help her make something to stand up to the Homeworld's tech edge... and due to her grudge and unyielding hatred, Bismuth ruins all the potential good her release could have done. That is just sad...
  • When Steven lines the Breaking Point up with the pumice dummy's gem, he's visibly tearing up.
  • Bismuth's last words before being poofed. The sad bitterness in her voice as she tells Steven that he may be a better person than Rose is in equal parts chilling and gut-wrenching.
    Bismuth: You should have shattered me back then. At least, if I were in pieces, I wouldn't have to know how little I mattered to you. (crying) You didn't even tell them. You bubbled me away and didn't ever tell your friends. My friends!
    Steven: (also crying) I'm going to tell them! I'm gonna tell them everything.
    Bismuth: (sad chuckle) Then you really are better than her.
    POOF!
    • The look on Steven's face throughout the conversation. Rose Quartz has always been The Paragon to the Crystal Gems. Despite his feelings of inferiority, Steven deeply loves and admires his mother, striving to be like her at very chance, hoping to learn as much of her as he can. The look on his face when he discovers the Awful Truth and the praise he gets after Bismuth tells him that he's better than his mother for not hiding the truth about her this time around speaks Broken Pedestal towards Rose.
  • When Steven and Bismuth are talking, he mentions that the other times he's met new Gems, they've tried to kill him at first; he then thanks Bismuth for that not being the case with her. A few minutes later, poor Steven has to fight for his life against her. Ouch.
  • The fact that it took three seasons for someone to finally tell Steven that he doesn't have to be Rose Quartz, but he can be even better by being himself. And it wasn't his dad, or Garnet, or Amethyst, or Pearl, whom he's known his whole life, but a stranger he met the same day.
  • The image of Steven showing up at home, bruised and burned, holding the bubbled Bismuth. He's just gone through an incredibly emotionally draining experience and still has to tell his friends what happened.

"Beta"
  • The premise of the episode is that Steven takes Amethyst to visit Peridot and Lapis in order to cheer her up and distract her from her obsession with Jasper. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Steven is attempting to use his emotional The Chessmaster status to bring Amethyst back to sense- by having her meet with Peridot, her best friend, who also understands Amethyst's struggles with being defective. The problem? Amethyst is so far into her hate-bubble she finds their usual activities and Peridot herself to be utterly uninteresting. In fact, at the start of the episode, Peridot attempts to elicit a hug Amethyst doesn't even seem to notice. The rest of the episode proceeds like "Too Far" without the happy ending- with Peridot desperately trying to catch her attention with quirky jokes, and Amethyst rolling her eyes. It's only when Peridot begins talking about Jasper's origins that she even cares about what Peridot is saying. It's a clever and effective way to show just how obsessed with Jasper Amethyst has become, but it's still heartbreaking.
  • To a lesser degree, one of Lapis's "Meepmorps" is a TV with Mirrors reflecting off of a constantly repeating line from "Camp Pining Hearts" said by Percy of him saying "I just feel trapped." Minor, but it reminds everyone that Lapis still has a ways to go before being fully accepted as a Crystal Gem, or accepting anyone else around her that isn't Steven.
    Steven: (uncomfortably) Is this one about the thousands of years you spent trapped in a mirror?
    Lapis: No. I just really like that show.
    • In addition, it's an interesting way to convey that there are times artists don't even understand the subconscious meaning behind their work. Whether Lapis made the piece reflecting her past on purpose or without realizing, it definitely happened and wasn't just a side bit for viewers to ignore.
  • Peridot's awareness of Lapis' triggers, further proving that Lapis likely folded after the events of "Alone at Sea", prompting Peridot to console her.
    Amethyst: Who has time for any of that when Jasper is out there?!
    Both Peridot and Lapis stop playing their instruments.
    Peridot: Uh, Amethyst, I try not to use the 'J' word so loosely around here.
    • In addition, Peridot checking up on Lapis before she leaves with the others to go to the Beta Kindergarten shortly after the Jasper incident.
    Peridot: Uh, hold on for a second. Let me make sure Lapis is okay... (shouting) Hey Lapis; are you okay?!
    Lapis: (surprised, but still Lapis) Yeah.
    Peridot: Are you sure?
    Lapis: Yeah.
    Peridot: I'm leavin' but I'll be back!
    Lapis: Okay.
    Peridot: Do you need anything?
    Lapis: No!
    Peridot: ...(referring to 'Camp Pining Hearts') What season is that?
    Lapis: Three!

"Earthlings"
  • Despite all her improvement, Amethyst still can't do any real damage to Jasper, and she almost loses hope. Luckily, Steven managed to encourage her, and their hug ends up forming Smoky Quartz.
  • Jasper pretty rarely is the subject of Tear Jerkers, but when she is, she really pulls the heartstrings. Seeing Jasper's final breaking point and her corrupting is pretty heart breaking considering how hard she has worked to defeat Rose for what she did.
    • After yet another failed fusion, Jasper somberly notes that no one she fuses with wants to stay, before breaking into a sad chuckle. This makes her obsession with Lapis even sadder: As unhealthy and twisted as their 'relationship' in fusion was, it's the closest thing Jasper's ever had to positive emotion or a relationship, and her desperate attempt to hold on to it becomes that much sadder.
    • In extension of that, her last words:
      Jasper: I've been fighting from the second I broke free from the Earth's crust! Because of what YOU did to my colony! Because of what YOU did to my planet! Because of what YOU did to my Diamond!
      Steven: Yellow Diamond?
      Jasper: Wha-!? My Diamond! YOUR DIAMOND! PINK! DIAMOND!!
    • Worse still, in the last line she looks frantic and borderline terrified as she realizes that "Rose Quartz" genuinely has no recollection of who Jasper is talking about. Hardwired as Gems are to serve their Diamond, this might be the final insult for Jasper: not only is her Diamond gone, but as we can see from the new Diamond insignia and the various acts of vandalism on the four-Diamond symbol, any proof she existed at all is being erased — even by the one Jasper blames for eliminating her. Imagine grieving for someone only to find the people around you denying that they ever existed.
      • Another way of looking at that is that it's finally dawning on Jasper that Steven and Rose are separate people... meaning that everything she's done thus far and all the work she's put forward to avenge her diamond was completely pointless.
      • A third alternative interpretation to Jasper's outburst is her interpreting Steven's rather clueless reaction regarding the shattering of Pink Diamond as Rose invoking But for Me, It Was Tuesday. Even though Steven's confusion was genuine, imagine the moment from Jasper's POV - you finally meet the killer of your boss/friend/loved one and call them out on their horrible deeds, but their reaction is to act like they don't remember doing it at all, just to sadistically twist the knife. Ouch...
      • Considering Jasper doesn't seem to comprehend having a purpose outside of what she was made to do, Rose Quartz shattering Pink Diamond is less like her murdering a boss, and more like murdering Jasper's mother or even her God.
    • As methodically awful as Jasper has been throughout her arc so far, "Earthlings" makes it tragically clear how deeply twisted her thinking is, and just how lonely being the "ultimate Quartz" has made her: in her last moments of sapience, as Steven frantically tries to save her from becoming a corrupted Gem, she physically claws him away from her, declares herself a "failure" for having been defeated, and accuses "Rose" of manipulating her to try and recruit her when she's at her lowest... when all Steven wants to do is save her from going insane and turning into a monster.
    • Worse, Jasper makes it abundantly clear that she believes that her failures make her completely worthless, not worthy of anything. She even views attempts to help her as being nothing more than attempts to manipulate her, that there's no reason anyone should help her after having been defeated.
      • Word of God confirms the reason why she refused Steven's help was because she hates herself and thinks all the bad things and abuse that has happened to her as Punishment for what we assume was failure to protect Pink Diamond and her colony.
    • Quite possibly one of the biggest gut-punches in the series thus far, After Peridot poofs her, Amethyst somberly scooping up and bubbling Jasper's Gem.
    Amethyst: C'mere, sis...
    • Peridot confirms that the Beta Kindergarten was created hastily after Rose's Rebellion was already in full swing, to churn out more soldiers to fight for Homeworld. Jasper outright says she's been fighting since the day she was "born"; she's the equivalent of a grown-up Child Soldier.
      • Not quite. Since Gems don't have anything resembling a "childhood", or any kind of stages of psychosocial development, the kind of thing being raised as a Child Soldier can strongly affect, she more closely resembles a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
      • That too, but keep in mind that while Gems are born fully-formed from the Earth, they're all innately tied to a specific purpose. Jasper wasn't just made to be a dime-a-dozen ordinary soldier, she was created under duress to fight a specific war against a specific opponent for a specific reason, but that war is over, the opponent is gone, and the reason is now a moot point. It's implied elsewhere that new Gems know what they are and what they're for right away, but we know from Amethyst that they're not born with an innate awareness of the caste system or any of the trappings of Homeworld, not to mention that Homeworld apparently makes soldiers all the time, not just during active wars; it seems clear that whatever preparation a Quartz goes through after being born, Jasper didn't get it. Maybe she didn't have a literal childhood, but she did start her career as a soldier before literally anything else, and it's clear that she's too entrenched in that mindset to function well outside of it, so she strongly fits the trope.
  • A small one, as Steven is talking to Amethyst about how neither of them is like anyone else, he admits that, "Yeah, it sucks." It's yet another reminder of how being the only half-human, half-gem in the galaxy can leave Steven feeling isolated and uncertain. Thankfully it's followed immediately by a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, then a Crowning Moment of Awesome.

"Back to the Moon"
  • Another sign of Peridot's newfound hyperawareness of Lapis's triggers: When Amethyst has shapeshifted into Jasper, she asks them (in form) if they'd 'like to be prisoners, too.' For a brief moment, Lapis is visibly uncomfortable and Peridot holds onto her arm for physical reassurance. (They, of course, reject the offer.)
  • Eyeball actually tears up when "Jasper" (actually a shapeshifted Amethyst) allows Doc to sit in her lap and steer the Ruby ship for her.
  • Steven's horrified reaction when Eyeball reveals that Rose shattered Pink Diamond.
    • Amethyst, understandably, is as shocked as he is. Garnet and Pearl's reactions imply that they already knew and never wanted Steven to find out.
      • Pearl is visibly shaking, with a hand over her mouth, trying not to scream. This was the absolute worst way for Steven to find out, and she knew it. But even beyond that, the fact that Pearl still wears pink diamonds on her spacesuit and on Sardonyx's shoes points to Pearl having a very personal (and very possibly traumatic) connection to Pink Diamond's demise.
    • This potentially sheds new light on why Rose rejected the Breaking Point—she might have never wanted to resort to that again.
    • Eyeball apparently witnessed said event. Who else did and was messed up by it like Jasper was?
  • After Steven and Sardonyx manage to send the Rubies flying out the airlock, Eyeball drags Steven out with them. Amethyst promptly screams Steven's name and Sardonyx looks on in shock.
    • Amethyst's scream is chilling. This is Amethyst: the laid-back gem who is usually the one who stays calm and keeps a level head when Steven is in danger like in So Many Birthdays. To hear her scream in despair as Steven is sucked into space and possibly lost forever can shake someone to the core.
  • Eyeball looking upon Jasper heroically and hints at having a crush on her for doing significant damage upon the Crystal Gems is sad when you realize she might have lost friends during the war.
    • And she doesn't even know that Jasper has been corrupted, and may never be the same again.

"Bubbled"
  • Eyeball talking about how she and Jasper came to Earth for closure against Rose Quartz.
    • It's worse when she states the war was for nothing. Imagine learning your friends sacrifice during the war and the ultimate weapon to end it failed to stop your enemies; as far as Eyeball knows the war will start over again being just as horrible as before.
  • Steven being forced to fling Eyeball out into space, since she realized that he did use to be Rose Quartz after healing her. After that, he falls into a Heroic B.S.O.D. and Troubled Fetal Position as he lonely drifts through space.
    • What makes it more sad is the fact that Steven's diplomacy act gets stomped out again, the first being with Bismuth. Why? The same reason — Because of what his mother did.
    • On top of that, this is the second time in a few days that the poor kid has been forced to seriously hurt people and betray his ideals of always communicating to prevent any fighting. Poor Steven...
    • Actually, given Steven's lost consciousness by the time the Gems picked him up, it's more likely ejecting Eyeball from the bubble used up what little air supply he had, and the Troubled Fetal Position was because he was suffocating. Meaning that by the time the Gems found him he was probably very close to death.
  • Garnet revealing to Steven that yes, Rose did shatter Pink Diamond. You can see his perception of his mother fully crumble in that conversation.
    • An equally sad alternate interpretation is that rather than having his perception of Rose shattered... he was wondering whether or not he'd be forced to make a similar choice some day...
    • Even sadder is children who have parents in prison have gone through something similar. A incarcerated parent or even an ex-con could love their child unconditionally, but may have trouble telling that child they did something horrible or worse yet, the kid could find out from someone else, like a murder. Poor Steven.
    • Even sadder? Throughout most of season 1 and 2, Steven has been desperately trying to live up to his mother's legacy. But, by the end of this episode he has found Gems who have legitimate reasons for hating her. And now Steven is being associated with Rose, but for her choice that left others hurt.
  • Shockingly, the reveal of Pink Diamond has potentially given one to Yellow Diamond too. The "I want that planet to die" and "What do you know about the Earth!?" lines takes on a very different meaning now that we know it caused the 'death' of her fellow Diamond.
  • After his extremely close rescue by the Crystal Gems, the first emotional reaction Steven has to everything that's happened is a mixture of laughing and crying that tows the line between relief and despair. There's good reason for this, too, as the last 24 hours (Beta to Bubbled) may have been the most traumatic of his life, starting with Jasper's corruption right before his eyes and ending with Eyeball (who he was clearly hoping he might be able to befriend like Lapis and Peridot) nearly murdering him and forcing Steven to cast her out into the void.
  • Though its nowhere near as harsh as any of the above, the end credits song suddenly takes on a much darker tone after this episode.

    Season 4 
"The Kindergarten Kid"
  • To help Peridot understand her monster prey more deeply, Steven starts pelting her with marshmallows while telling her exactly what the life of a corrupted gem is. When you're a monster, the whole world is against you and you've lost everything important. Just that he understands their torment so well despite being so young is heartbreaking.
    Steven: Pretend I'm a freaked out human screaming at you in fear! Pretend I'm an Earth animal chasing you away from your first safe hiding spot! Pretend I'm an angry green gem trying to poof you! This is life for you now! End. Less. SUFFERING!!
    • Halfway through his speech on what it is to be corrupted, Steven's face changes from merely mischievous to well and truly angry. Steven has so much empathy for these lost and corrupted Gems, and he is livid that he can't do anything to fix them or make people stop seeing them as mindless monsters.

"Know Your Fusion"
  • The Revelation that Smoky Quartz is a Sad Clown as they still carry all of Amethyst's and Steven's baggage and insecurities.
    • Just the fact that the main reason they fused is because both of them have self-loathing problems. It's great that they can fuse so effortlessly, which showcases their close relationship, but it's still somewhat depressing over the how they can fuse so perfectly. In short? It's bittersweet.
    • While their combined self-loathing may have been there, the fact that it took a great deal of unintentional wound-digging from Sardonyx to really bring it to the surface. Smoky Quartz came into the world as the loud, joyful, confident embodiment of Amethyst and Steven finding strength in their shared pain and insecurities. In the space of about seven minutes, they're knocked back down to square one.
  • The look on Sardonyx's face when Smoky Quartz reveals their self loathing through their jokes and she realizes that she's been Innocently Insensitive since a) Amethyst and Steven really wanted to impress Pearl and Garnet and she stole their limelight and b) all of her attempts to let Smoky showcase themself failed since she was forcing them to compare themself to the other fusions instead of letting Smoky be themself.
    Sardonyx: They want to impress us. They were planning this all morning, we hijacked their show. I was excited. It's not about us!

"Buddy's Book"
  • While it is simultaneously Played for Laughs, the fact that Buddy tries to commit suicide by sticking his head into the mouth of a lion proves how severe a Heroic B.S.O.D. he's suffering from after going through so much trouble, only to learn that Rose beat him to the Sand Castle, ruining his last chance of being an explorer...
  • A minor note in a mostly humorous episode, but when Steven first enters the library, we see a poster of a younger Buck with his dad looking happy together, when we know how bad their relationship is now.

"Mindful Education"
  • Connie's guilt over accidentally hurting Jeff.
    • What makes her guilt truly saddening is the fact that she became more skilled in fighting to protect the innocent. In this instance, she used it to harm an innocent. And while it was by accident, one can't help but feel sympathy for her.
    • For anyone who ended up feeling more sympathy for Jeff in that situation, you have his tearful, scared look after he's been flipped and his arm is broken. He barely even knew Connie, and now suddenly this girl is flipping him over her shoulder for something he did by accident.
  • A minor one, but during the trip into Garnet's Mental World, we see how troublesome thoughts can affect Ruby and Sapphire—Ruby gets set off by one thought and runs off screaming at it, while Sapphire is overwhelmed by an entire swarm of them that separates her from Ruby.
    • And just what are those thoughts? The lyrics imply that Ruby is haunted by the possibility of Homeworld using Sapphire, while Sapphire is just flat out terrified of losing Ruby.
    • Another interpretation based on the lyrics ("What someone said and how it harmed you/Something you did that failed to be charming")—it could be that Garnet still isn't quite over what happened between her and Pearl in "Cry For Help".
  • Everything that Steven went through in the last season finally catches up with him as he hallucinates while training as Stevonnie. As Stevonnie runs down a Pearl hologram, said hologram suddenly turns into Bismuth, who looks at Stevonnie with a frightened and hurt look on her face before exploding into a swarm of butterflies. As Stevonnie backs away, they suddenly run into Jasper, who is right in the middle of Corrupting and looking angry and confused as Stevonnie pleads that Steven tried to help her, but she didn't listen. Jasper then turns into Eyeball, who glowers at Stevonnie furiously and looks as though she's prepared to crush them...before vanishing into the swarm of butterflies which swirl about for a moment... and then transform into the head of Rose Quartz, looking angrier than we have ever seen her on the show, and glaring directly at Stevonnie.
    • Steven gets so emotional as a result that, afterwards, he and Connie nearly fall to their deaths because he can't work up the nerve to re-fuse until it's almost too late.
    • Rose's angry expression: did it imply disapproval of Steven and his actions against Bismuth, Jasper, and Eyeball, or is it just the way Steven thinks of his mother now, as a less loving, caring person that he used to think of her as? Neither option is a happy one.
    • A third, worse conclusion: Steven now realizes, or even blames Rose for being the cause of everything wrong in his life. Everyone he has had to hurt are because she hurt them first, and now she's hurt Steven.
    • An even worse one would probably be that he may be subconsciously blaming himself for why Rose "died" and that the incidents with Bismuth, Jasper, and Eyeball finally brought this to light since he's the reason why they disappeared.
    • Yet another possibility could be that Steven thinks Rose is disappointed in him, because while Rose shattered Pink Diamond for Earth's sake, Steven stabbed Bismuth and threw Eyeball out for his sake. Steven blames himself, thinking that both were selfish (even though he had no other options and did it in self defense), and may believe that Rose thinks the same.
    • And the worst possibility? It's all of the above.
    • Steven is in so much pain that he doesn't even care that he and Connie are falling to their deaths.
    • Consider who this is all happening to. Ever since the beginning, Steven could be considered one of the most happy-go-lucky and optimistic characters on the show, and his childlike innocence and hope often kept the show grounded in the face of the outright depressing and horrifying things that happened to the characters. But now, even Steven is beginning to be traumatized as well, haunted by his failures and doubts. It's the loudest and most blatant example given that Steven is no longer the same child who sang about ice cream. For better or worse, Steven's childhood is ending.
  • Take a look at Bismuth, Jasper, and Eyeball. Bismuth doesn't have the Breaking Point, Jasper looks a lot more distraught than she actually was, and while Eyeball is angry, she doesn't have her dagger. There's a good chance that Steven thinks their fates were a hundred percent his fault, even though that's definitely not the case.
  • This episode can hit a little too close to home for anyone who has trouble facing problems, either by blowing a small problem out of proportion or letting problems pile on until they are overwhelmed by them.
  • The nature of the song can be a heavy mix of Tearjerking and Heartwarming. Given the way the lyrics weave together the process of the meditation Garnet is teaching the kids, the viewer is taken step by step. With them the viewer is asked to capture each thought and feel all the emotions and fears surrounding it- 'Take a moment, remind yourself, to take a moment and find yourself. Take a moment and ask yourself if this is how we fall apart.' before moving on to the process of reassurance, 'But it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay. I've got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.'

"Future Boy Zoltron"

"Last One Out of Beach City"
  • Pearl's outburst at the end, when she realizes that, despite her claims to be done with the past and being a new Gem, their night is ruined because she was once again chasing after a big, pink haired woman.
  • This line from Steven to Pearl after she runs away from the police.
    "That’s the most scared I’ve been since you almost let me die!"
    • What makes it sad is the fact that despite it being from season 1, Steven harbors some amount of anger towards Pearl for the incident, but like how he handled his guilt for not being able to help Bismuth, Jasper, or Eyeball, he's repressing it.
    • What makes it even sadder is that it's unclear whether he's referring to the events of "Rose's Scabbard" or "Space Race". Despite how much Pearl loves Steven, she has almost let him die multiple times.
    • Additionally, considering exactly how much horror and trauma Steven has gone through since "Rose's Scabbard", including multiple occasions of the world being in danger and him being stuck alone to deal with extremely dangerous enemies without help, if Steven seriously meant what he said, practically nothing scared him more than the times Pearl didn't act to help him when he was in serious danger.

"Onion Gang"
  • Onion's friends having to leave now that summer's ending. Onion is so upset that he actually cries.

"Gem Harvest"
  • Peridot and Lapis thought that vegetables were like Gems, and are disappointed when that turns out to not be the case.
  • Veggie Head becoming traumatized by Steven carving out a non-sentient pumpkin.
  • Lapis when Veggie Head only wanted to be around and held by Steven. She just sounds so upset that the newly-'born' Veggie Head doesn't seem to like them.
    "It's only just come into existence, and it already doesn't like us."
  • Andy's rant while Lapis and Steven chase after him.
    Andy: I was the only one who wanted to keep things like they used to be!
    • It gets worse when Steven is in the back of the plane, and Andy sorrowfully blames himself for losing touch with his family.
  • Greg's simple way of responding to Andy asking about Steven's mother. Andy is quick to apologize.

"Three Gems And A Baby"
  • The flashback portion of the episode takes place only a few months after Steven's birth... when Rose gave up her physical form to become a Gem/human hybrid with Steven. It's clear, from the way Greg sorrowfully looks at a photo of Vidalia with Yellowtail and Sour Cream, to Pearl's bitter demeanor throughout the Gem's visit with Greg and Steven, that the loss of Rose Quartz still weights heavily on everyone's mind.
  • Throughout this episode Greg doesn't look sad. He looks tired. Not just from taking care of Steven, but also because it's like he's grieved for so long that he's numb to it now.
  • The bittersweet song that Greg sings during the opening of his story means so many things:
    Things start, and things end
    And isn't it lovely in theory, but
    I could never be
    I could never be
    I could never be ready...
  • Pearl is so desperate to see Rose again that she nearly rips out baby Steven's gem... but she can't bring herself to do it. It's possible that it's not just because it's "what Rose wanted" — and equally possible that Rose's wishes were the only thing holding her back. Both interpretations are heartbreaking.
    • Also a very hard blow after three seasons of character development and coping to see Pearl as she was when the wounds were still fresh and gaping. It's a pretty shocking contrast to say the least from current Pearl who, while still mourning is at least learning to better manage her grief, to revisiting old Pearl still in denial.
    • A painful moment is when Greg is overjoyed to see the Gems offering them tea... only for Pearl to coldly cut him off saying they're just here to drop off the gifts and leave. As with the above, it's a stark contrast with Present Day Pearl, who finally made up with Greg or even Pearl at the start of the series or the extended opening who is at least cordial with Greg. Here she clearly and truly hates him for what happened to Rose and he just sadly takes it.
  • Seeing Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl just not understanding that Steven and Rose are not one and the same. Pearl is visibly upset and uncomfortable the entire time, Amethyst doesn't understand why "Rose" won't shapeshift back to normal, and even Garnet doesn't get why Steven won't "unfuse."
    Amethyst: We brought gifts for Lil' Rose!
    Garnet: Amethyst, we've been over this. Steven is...
    Amethyst: (dejected) A human baby...
    Garnet: And Steven is...
    Amethyst: Not Rose...
    Garnet: (after re-fusing) I'm here! You know me! You know [Ruby and Sapphire] too! I... (voice breaks) I don't understand...
  • This episode heavily implies that Rose didn't really explain what would happen to her when she gave birth to Steven or what Steven is, or at least didn't explain it well. From what we've seen of Rose's actions in the series so far, from her keeping things from her teammates to being (unintentionally) oblivious to the feelings of others, it's not hard to imagine that Rose had only given the Gems and Greg the info that she believed they needed at the time, having faith in them to figure out the rest on their own. Granted, knowing what would happen probably wouldn't have made losing her any easier, but still......

"Steven's Dream"
  • Greg and Steven have a moment when Steven asks Greg if Rose ever told him about Pink Diamond. Greg's response implies yes, and Rose decidedly didn't consider it a happy memory, showing even if it was justified, Rose was likely not very happy with herself that she had to resort to killing to achieve her goals.
  • Steven suffers Death by Genre Savviness in this episode. In the previous season, his not knowing Gem secrets nearly got him killed multiple times. This time he tries to seek out the answers proactively, and Greg ends up getting hurt by it.
  • Blue Diamond is shown in a completely different context than back during “The Answer”. Away from her court and duties, she’s a wreck, covertly coming to Earth to cry over Pink Diamond and to talk to her memory.
    • We look at Blue Diamond's actual face for the first time... and she has pretty prominent dark circles under her eyes. Looks like she was in grief for a very long time.
    • While heartwarming, Greg comforting Blue Diamond by bringing up the death of Rose (though not in name) and his thoughts about it is sad as well. He thinks about Rose so much and he misses her every day, and it pains him to know that she won't be coming back.
  • When Blue Diamond decides to take Greg with her as a treasured memento of Pink Diamond, Steven frantically runs after them and tries to levitate himself towards her palanquin as it enters a nearby ship, but is too late, and falls while sadly murmuring "Dad..." before being caught by Garnet, who herself is panicking because she saw all that had transpired with her future vision, but was unable to stop it.
  • Blue Diamond’s secret, constant visits to Earth to visit Pink Diamond’s grave makes Yellow Diamond’s desire to have Earth destroyed, in hindsight, all the more sadder. If Yellow Diamond had her way sooner, NOBODY, save for the Diamonds, will be able to remember Pink Diamond. For as far as she knows, any visit to Earth Blue Diamond makes could be her last.
  • If the previous episodes didn't quite establish how strange and difficult it is for a Gem to mourn or understand the death of another Gem, this one does, and just so happens to make it worse. Imagine yourself having the power to create an entire species, and be worshiped as a God by said species, with no equal except with those of the same ranking as you, who are, basically, the only people you can confine in thanks to the whole "being worshiped as a God" thing. Then the possibly youngest of your group/family is allowed to do what should be standard procedure of creating and establishing their first territory and making their own subjects, but is instead killed by one of the subjects created to serve them. Now the only thing you and your family can do is mourn, but thanks to your completely different coping methods, you have to do most of it in secret.
    • It lends a terribly tragic touch to the small smiles that Greg managed to elicit from Blue Diamond. With Yellow Diamond not really offering the kind of support she seeks in her mourning, those small, earnest smiles remind one that Greg is probably the first one to attempt to empathize with her over the loss; it seems likely that her fellow Diamonds are too closed-off for that and every other gem is too far below her station. One short conversation probably helped more than anything else in her thousands of years, and it reminds us that even the Diamonds are isolated by the Homeworld's system.
  • Steven lashing out at the Gems (sans Amethyst), even though Steven has learned many events about the Gem War, like the truth of Rose shattering Pink Diamond, Garnet and Pearl still won't tell him the answers he wants to know.
    • Just listen to Steven’s “Rose wanted?” line. Small and subtle, but it’s another reminder about how he still lives in his mother’s shadow.
  • Just before Steven leaves, Garnet pleads with Steven for him to stay, and Steven replies that he won't, something Garnet knows with her future vision. As Steven walks away, Garnet sheds a tear from her eye.
  • A small moment, but the when Steven voices his anger to Greg about if his feelings about knowing more about his mom matter, Greg responds with an immediate “yes”. The sad part comes from Steven being briefly taken aback by this. It’s another sad reminder regarding Steven’s major Guilt Complex.
  • The fact that Andy doesn't stay with Greg and Steven to find the palanquin. It's good in that it means Blue Diamond doesn't find him, but also sobering in that he doesn't get to adjust to more Gem weirdness.

"Adventures in Light Distortion"
  • Steven having an emotional breakdown as the ship he and the Crystal Gems are in is about to crash. Even worse is because the whole situation is mostly his fault: his impatience over getting answers led to his father being abducted by Blue Diamond, then his impatience over saving his father led to the ship changing the Crystal Gem's shapes to Ruby size, and finally his impatience over fixing that led to the ship going so fast that their physical forms couldn't keep up, and he almost wasn't able to reach the controls in time to prevent the ship from crashing.
    • Seeing Steven break down and cry “I want my dad!” really reminds the viewers that despite his adventures and abilities, he’s still a kid.
  • Steven's "This can't be happening" line after he and Garnet warp back from Korea.

"Gem Heist"
  • Seeing Holly Blue Agate mistreat and abuse the Quartzes stationed at the Zoo can make you feel sorry for them. It gives you a small window into as to why Jasper and (initially) Peridot’s mindsets were so messed up.
  • We again see that the Homeworld Gems don't really see humans as sentient beings.
  • Ruby’s insecurity is still prevalent; from being angry at Blue Diamond because she yelled at Sapphire, when Blue Diamond was going to shatter Ruby, to casually calling herself “forgetful” and “disposable”.
  • A small one in the promo's High School A.U. — Holly Blue Agate is seen giving an angry, berating rant to Blue Pearl who just passively takes it, with Steven trying to calm the former down. With the exception of Lapis (who is sleeping), the rest of the class are terrified, with Ruby and Pearl trying to sneak out the door to join Amethyst and Sapphire.
  • After Holly Blue Agate comments on how Sapphire's "Pearl" is close to her "owner", Pearl nervously states she'll goes back. Then, comes Holly's "chatty" line, followed by Pearl's blush. This small moment gives a powerful and depressing example of what those on the lower Gem caste (especially Pearls) have to go through.
    • Exemplified when Holly Blue leaves and they need to get inside a door quickly: Ruby calls for Pearl to do it and she sarcastically grumbles, "Of course, what else am I good for?". It may have been Played for Laughs, but Pearl is clearly miffed that even after seeing how being treated by Holly Blue was a pain for her, Ruby already slipped back into the same pattern. Yes, Ruby was only trying to help rescue Greg and likely didn't mean any prejudice behind it, but still...

"The Zoo"
  • The Stepford Smiler attitude of the Zoo natives finally snaps when Greg turns down their love ritual, causing all of them to feel the sensation of "hurt". They’re so unused to any kind of hardship that they can’t handle rejection, and they all chase after the two newcomers, tears streaming down their faces.

"That Will Be All"
  • It’s apparent that one of the things Pearls do for their masters is sing to them to make them feel better. They sing the Diamond leitmotif for Blue, which segues into them accompanying Yellow’s song about moving on, about not being sad anymore. It doesn’t work, and what’s more, Yellow Diamond starts showing grief herself. At its end, an upset Yellow is bowed over, humming that same leitmotif like it’s all that’s keeping her together. The Diamonds have absolutely done some pretty horrible things, but they both clearly loved Pink Diamond.
    • During the song, Yellow pulls Blue to her feet and the camera lingers on their clasped hands before Yellow abruptly pulls away. After the song, Blue puts a comforting hand on Yellow’s back. They care about each other too, but they both don’t know how to handle the grief.
    • Notice how Yellow repeats the title of her Villain Song at the end while she’s having her (very brief) emotional breakdown. She apparently felt grief before when Pink Diamond died, and it terrified her so much that she completely repressed it, afraid of the pain it brought whenever it surfaced, while asking herself what good if having the ability to grieve for her lost ‘sister’ would do if it’ll only make you hurt so bad. “What’s the Use of Feeling?” indeed...
  • This conversation between Yellow and Blue shows that they're both frustrated about the whole situation, albeit for different reasons:
    Yellow: It's been thousands of years, Blue, and you still can't bring yourself to destroy these Gems? [Pink Diamond] was shattered by a Rose Quartz! The entire cut of Gems deserves the same fate!
    Blue: But they were hers.
    Yellow: They should be wiped out of existence, not kept safe in bubbles!
    Blue: Yellow, she made them. This is all we have left of her. These Gems, this place, and the Earth.
    Yellow: I thought we agreed to put that planet and this whole debacle behind us.
    Blue: (growing annoyed) Why can't you just let me grieve?
    Yellow: You can't keep coming here forever!
    Blue: WHY NOT?!
  • Steven and the Gems are forced to leave the Zoomans, the Famethyst Gems, and the bubbled Rose Quartzes, which are in danger of being shattered by Yellow, behind.
  • When you think about the situation concerning the Rose Quartz Gems, it's quite horrifying. While this episode implies that most Earth born Gems are loyal to their own, there's a possibility that some of the Rose Quartz could still be loyal to Homeworld, or could blame Rose for her actions and decisions during the war like Bismuth. We could end up getting a "Rose Quartz release" arc that combines Heartwarming, Tearjerker, and Nightmare Fuel, with some of the Roses attacking the Crystal Gems, some that would target Steven specifically under the belief that he's his mom, some only joining the Gems because they're angry that the Diamonds sealed them away, and some that supported Rose, but didn't get the chance to join her side during the Rebellion, and would wholeheartedly join them now.
    • For added sadness on the whole Rose Quartz thing... do remember that Pink Diamond made them. Pink Diamond was the closest thing Rose had to a mother. And she had to kill her. Given Greg's discussion with Steven on the subject in "Steven's Dream", one can only imagine how Rose felt about that.
  • The "family reunion" between Amethyst and the Zoo Quartz Gems is pretty sweet, and finally gives Amethyst some closure, but it gets a little bittersweet if you start thinking about Jasper. All the Zoo Gems were shown to be happy to meet Amethyst, and automatically choose to risk their lives in helping her with her goals, not only because they're aware of how they're mistreated, but also because they care about their own like family, even the defective ones, like Skinny and Carnelian. If fate hadn't made Jasper the "Ultimate" Quartz, then she would have been stuck in the Zoo, happy with her fellow Earth Gems and risking her life for Amethyst, instead of becoming the lonely Psychopathic Womanchild that eventually became the first modern day Gem to be Corrupted.

"The New Crystal Gems"
  • Connie seems a little hurt that Lapis doesn't remember her at all.
  • After Connie talks about not wanting to let Steven down, both Lapis and Peridot brutally tell her she will definitely let him down. Yes it's Played for Laughs, but considering Connie's self-esteem (especially how low it was in the past), it's a very cruel Kick the Dog moment.
  • Pumpkin's frightened expression when she sees Lapis and Peridot arguing.
  • During Connie's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, she mentions on how Steven has to act as the Only Sane Man to Woman Child beings who are way older than him. It's a small moment, but it speaks to what kind of internal stress Steven may have with handling disputes.

"Storm in the Room"
  • Connie's mother is late to pick her up from Steven's, and fails to respond to any of her calls. Connie starts getting so concerned she all but directly says she's worried that her mother might have gotten into a car accident. The minute Dr. Maheswaran arrives, she envelops Connie in a hug and explains that her phone died after she was called in to do a last minute surgery.
    • When Steven sees how worried she is, he offers to take Connie home. She declines because what if her mom shows up right after they left?
  • The entire episode. Why? Because even with the parts that seem happy, it hammers in how Steven feels and the trauma he's been through. It's all a big reminder that Steven never had a mother, and part of him WANTS to have some interaction with her. Any interaction with her.
  • Steven's face between Connie leaving and opening Rose's room is more morose than we have ever seen him.
    • Especially when he makes food and sits down to eat it. He looks up, sees Rose's picture... then decides to eat it outside rather than sitting in front of it. He only goes back inside because of a storm.
    • "Makes" food is generous. He microwaves himself some mac and cheese, like a latch-key kid would. It just hammers home how alone Steven truly is. Thankfully Greg and the Gems, his full family, appear at the end with a pizza.
    • Steven says to his mother's picture that he has heard a lot about her, but he wants to hear the truth, not an idolized, cleaned-up version.
  • Unlike the other instances when he was in Rose's room, this time he is fully aware that nothing there is real. He still wants to see his mom anyways, and, for a moment, he forgets that she isn't really there.
  • The Room can't summon the real Rose, despite her powers making it work. That is a sobering thought.
  • Cloud Rose is a walking Tear Jerker. She knows she isn't real and still tries to stand in for Steven's mother, by playing with him, hugging him and attempting Rose's inspirational speeches; despite this, she's still just an illusion. Unlike Cloud Connie, who was given the freedom to force Steven's confession out of him, Cloud Rose can only comfort, and listen. She also has no rebuttal to Steven's angry tirade, only an Armor-Piercing Question and a Cooldown Hug.
  • There are some implications that this is the real Rose, namely in how her quartz Gem activates the room, which makes hers and Steven's interactions worse: when she finally gets to meet Steven and play with him, she gets to hear her child call her out for her more heinous actions. Rose cannot justify them, and Steven makes it clear that she's gone. She only rebuts his fear that she didn't actually love him, and that she created him to carry her burdens and mistakes; every other point is legitimate, but she did love her son. Then she fades away after comforting him and assuring Steven that she loves him, to possibly never see him again.
  • Steven calling his mother out counts too. It starts with him remembering that this is not his mother when he sees himself alone in his cellphone's camera. He calls her a liar, tells her how much everyone is missing her and theorizes she vanished because she was too afraid or cowardly to deal with the messes she made (Bismuth, Pink Diamond...) and chose to leave it to Steven instead, whom she according to this theory created for that exact purpose: so that he will carry on and solve things she couldn't solve. He's basically calling himself a pawn in her masterplan who only exists to fulfil an agenda that he cannot be blamed for. And yet, when Cloud Rose asks if he thinks she lied in the video, if he really thinks she never loved him... he admits that no, he doesn't believe that. He does believe his mother loved him, but the things he saw and found out about her really confused him and as the Gems have a habit of keeping the less savory things from him for his own good and idolize her and she is obviously beyond contacting, he will never get the answers he looks for.
  • After Cloud Rose gives Steven a Cooldown Hug, it begins to rain in Rose's Room. The room itself seems to be crying.

"Rocknaldo"
  • Ronaldo stating that he's "an outsider among outsiders" near the end of the episode. It's true that he's been rather rude throughout the episode, but his offhand comment shows that he's more than an Attention Whore, and has issues of his own.
  • Steven is genuinely heartbroken by Ronaldo's self-absorbed motives for joining the Crystal Gems. As often as Steven pushes the Gems to understand humanity better, no human has ever made an effort to understand them. For once it seems like Steven has a chance to enlighten others about why he thinks so highly of the Gems, and it winds up being just someone's own selfish fantasy fulfillment.
    • Especially depressing because not even Connie, Steven's closest human friend, has shown any interest in understanding the Gems better. All of her involvement with the Gems comes from a desire to help Steven with his life, as well as being enamored with the Gems' action filled lifestyles. None of it comes from a sincere desire to know these amazing beings better, as shown in "Sworn to the Sword."
  • A small moment, but the fact that Steven has begun to use a sleepy time app in bed possibly means that all the trauma he's been through lately has affected his ability to sleep.

"Tiger Philanthropist"

"Room For Ruby"
  • Navy's betrayal, and admittance that she only waited as long as she did to steal the ship back was to see the look on Steven's face when his "favorite Ruby" betrayed him.
    • And the fact the the reason behind Navy's betrayal is because of what Steven and the Crystal Gems did to her and her crew. Yes, Steven and the CGs are the supposed heroes of the story, but the Rubies only came to Earth to retrieve Jasper, not to harm anyone. And then they were tricked and deceived repeatedly, right before being blasted out into the empty void of space, with the risk of getting shattered thanks to a passing asteroid. This is one of the sad cases in which Steven getting betrayed is his own fault.
      • Going more detail for the above, it's very...disheartening for the Crystal Gems, who are seen as "heroes", not go back and rescue the Rubies from space. This is especially sad since Steven didn't even bother to keep up with his promise to rescue them.
    • In a sad Rewatch Bonus, after Navy gets up after her landing, the first expression she makes speaks pure trauma and anger towards the ones who made her life a living hell since they met.
  • Lapis feeling like there's something wrong with her because it's been harder for her to adjust to living on Earth, while Navy acts okay with everything she's adapting to.
    • Lapis' line, said when she's proven right about Navy's intentions really says a lot about her psyche.
    Lapis: Ha! I was right! No one could be that well adjusted!
    • Made worse by her breaking down laughing afterward instead of trying to catch up with the ship after they get thrown off. She was just about to accept that Navy might have been genuine when the betrayal comes, too...
  • It's kind of sad how Garnet greets Steven, Lapis, and Peridot with two balloons, one reading "Welcome to the Party" and another reading "Sorry For Your Loss", the former of which she pops when she sees what happened. It seems she knew via future vision that Navy would betray them, but she also believed there was a chance, however slim, that Steven could convince her to join the Crystal Gems for real.
    • Or perhaps just as bad—Garnet may have seen two futures; the one we saw...and one where Navy did join the Crystal Gems.
  • Though we didn't see her reaction, Peridot's obviously going to be hurt and saddened when she discovers Navy's betrayal. She'd been so happy and excited to have a new Gem barnmate and someone to teach about Earth, accepting her as quickly as Steven did, and was ecstatic that Navy was such a 'quick learner' to her lessons.

"Lion 4: Alternate Ending"
  • Steven tries so hard throughout the episode to find out why Rose wanted to have him, only to learn from Greg that it was just so he could exist. His perception of Rose has become so messed up that that possibility never even crossed his mind.
  • Look at Steven's face as he watches "Nora's" tape. At this point you're just as confused as he is, but Steven wears an expression of complete and utter betrayal. Can you blame him? Remember how the first tape was able to move him to tears, because it was his greatest connection to his mother thanks to her seemingly candid speech? It was special and made just for him. Now imagine how he must have felt seeing his mother doing the exact same thing for someone else, and without anyone telling him. This wasn't actually the case, but he didn't know that at the time.

"Doug Out"
  • While it may not sad in the strictest sense, anyone who went through thinking that their job pales in comparison to their other family members like Doug can relate to how unfulfilled that feeling can be.

"The Good Lars"
  • Lars being slightly open with his insecurities. He doesn't reveal the reasons, but whatever the cause it made him very insecure about being honest with either his hobbies (baking) or feelings for others (Sadie).
  • Lars deciding not to come to the pot-luck party and Steven finding the Ube cake in the trash. Needless to say, both Sadie and Steven's reaction is disappointing.

"I Am My Mom"
  • Steven realizing that what he said to Peridot in "Marble Madness" came to bite him back in the ass three seasons later, with all of the people on the list he gave to Peridot eventually getting captured by Aquamarine and Topaz.
  • In general, Steven's guilt complex hits him hard in this episode. From blaming himself for "the list", despite the fact that he had no way of knowing Homeworld would target his friends when he casually brought them up to Peridot, to the Gem War, something his mother started, and also forgetting that Homeworld was going to destroy the Earth anyway had Rose not intervened.
  • Steven giving himself up to Aquamarine to save his friends by revealing that he's Rose Quartz, knowing that the leader of the rebellion, who caused the death of one of Homeworld's monarchs would be a far more important captive than six humans. His entire exchange with the Crystal Gems after he makes this harrowing decision is absolutely heartbreaking. And then there's Connie's anguished scream for Steven as the ship leaves.
    Connie: Steven?!
    Pearl: No! Don't! Steven!!
    Amethyst: What're you doing!?
    Steven: I get it now! I'm the only one who can stop what she started! I can stop all of it!
    Garnet: You're wrong! Steven, get down here!
    Steven: She wouldn't have wanted this! But I do...
    Amethyst: (very obviously afraid) I'm gonna kick your butt if you don't come down here right now!
    Steven: (turns around, then walks into the ship, completely silent)
    Pearl: (covering her mouth while crying, voice barely above a whisper) Steven...
    Connie: NO! Don't you dare!
    Steven: (ship door closes) I love you.
    Connie: NO!! STOP!!!
    (ship flies away)
    Connie: STEVEEENN!!!
    • Listen to what Steven says before the ship leaves. "I'm the only one who can stop what [Rose] started." Steven's opinion of his mother has fallen so far that he actually blames her for the Gem War, completely disregarding the fact that if Rose had not started the war, the Earth would be a Gem colony, the Crystal Gems would still be slaves to Homeworld, he wouldn't exist, and all of humanity would be dead.
    • What makes this worse is that, for all they knew, the moment Steven went into that ship, that would be the last they ever see of him, unable to do anything but contemplate the very obvious fate that awaits him when he reaches Homeworld because they no longer have a ship of their own to go after him like they did for Greg. Their distraught reactions are very understandable with this in mind.
  • Through knowledge that Lars didn't jump out of the ship with the others, it's pretty clear that he's still in it. Looks like Lars is in for one strange adventure...
    • Strange is an understatement. It's already been established that Lars has severe anxiety issues, preventing him from even admitting to the Cool Kids that he likes baking. This combined with the ordeal he's already faced when he was kidnapped by Topaz caused him to be too panicked to even stand up to one gem. Now he's been abducted and is on his way to Homeworld. The Diamonds already have no compassion for humanity, and they'll most likely consider Lars to be an ally of the despised Rose Quartz. Already his chances of survival aren't looking good, and his chances of coming out untraumatized are even worse.
  • The fact that everyone is worried about Steven when he leaves on the ship, no one even notices that Lars was still inside. Well, there's a chance Sadie would react if the episode didn't end at that moment, but it's still sad to see how everyone easily forgets about him.
  • Lars abandoning Sadie. The disappointed, heartbroken look on Sadie's face is sad by itself. What makes this moment even worse is the brief Hope Spot before then where it looks like Lars is about to stand up to Topaz and help Sadie, only to run away in fear.
  • The look on Jamie's face as Topaz starts squeezing his head. Seeing such a cheery Large Ham look and sound so terrified is a harrowing sight.
    Jamie: Uh... S-Steven?
  • Just imagine how Dante, Martha, and Greg are going to react once they learn that their kids are on their way to another planet, and may never come back.

    Season 5 
"Stuck Together"
  • Steven's lines as he pretends to be Rose Quartz. "I love shattering Diamonds, I just want to shatter them all the time!". He could just be saying what he thinks will convince his captors or this could be Steven's perspective of his mother.
  • It turns out that Steven's deal with Aquamarine was at the end futile, as she decides to still bring Lars to Homeworld and mocking Steven for attempt to negotiate with her.
  • Lars confessing that he's a wuss and how he's always scared and envied Steven for being so brave. Steven confesses back to him that he's frightened at the moment. Following that, Lars actually tries to comfort him by looking at something positive. Considering how antagonistic and jerkish Lars is, this moment really cements he's not really a bad person and is very capable of comfort and empathy.
  • Topaz getting highly emotional after hearing Steven and Lars' heart-to-heart. She then confesses that she's actually trying hard to keep it together and sympathizes with how even though they're in a less than ideal situation they still have each other which is similar to her own situation.
  • The look of defeat on Topaz's face when Aquamarine pressures her that if she continues with her conduct, the Diamonds will shatter her.
  • When they finally reach Homeworld, Lars and Steven are separated. They call for each other and it is clear fear is evident in both their voices as they are now apart. Especially harder when they just had a heart-to-heart about how they think they'll be fine as long as they weren't alone not so long ago.
    • Notice that even the Topazes are jogging away when most of the time, they were walking before. It's clear that they're still effected from a possible conflict between Aquamarine's threat of how they'll get shattered and their sympathy towards Steven and Lars' emotional connection.

"The Trial"
  • Blue Diamond's reaction when Steven suggests that Rose used the Breaking Point to shatter Pink Diamond as she grips her head in sorrow and frustration.
    "It was a SWORD!"
    • Blue's grief and frustration actually cause her to unleash a wave of some sort that tinges the room blue and causes every being with a Gem, even Yellow Diamond, to shed tears.
  • In a sense, this whole episode can be a bit of a Tear Jerker if you think about it from Blue Diamond's point of view: she's spent thousands of years mourning the shattering of Pink Diamond, to the point of essentially hoarding everything related to her fallen sister. Then after recently finding a human who seems to be able to empathize with her (and that same human disappearing relatively soon afterwards assuming if she ever finds out), she's now confronted by the person who she thinks murdered her sister. However, her sense of fairness (for what it's worth) in allowing the trial to properly continue reveals that not only does the apparent killer not have any idea of how the killing actually occurred, but now there is a disturbing possibility that said killer DIDN'T kill her sister, and that the assassin may very well be another Diamond, one of her own kin. She really got hit with the short end of the stick.
    • Depending on how you look at it, Yellow's furious attack on Zircon when she accuses the Diamonds—sure you could view it as an implication of guilt on her part, but think about how this must feel from her point of view: She's essentially being accused of killing her own sister.
    • The fact that through the whole episode, Yellow Diamond shows a lack of interest during the trial, prefering to shatter Rose Quartz ignoring Blue's wishes to learn the truth, one must be reminded that during her appearances Blue has always been with Yellow as a way of having emotional support, that Yellow doesn't want to know what happened to Pink is already depressing, but is becomes heartbreaking that is later shown that Yellow wants actually to force closure on her and make her forget about Pink, you really can't stop feeling sympathy for Blue Diamond after seeing that not even her own sister seems to understand her feelings.
  • Poor Defense Zircon. For starters, she is assigned to defend Rose Quartz, known war criminal among Homeworld about to prosecuted for the crime of shattering Pink Diamond. Since Homeworld's society is based around a cult to the diamonds, and because this crime is common knowledge among the local gems even if it may not be true, the chances of winning the case are already very bleak, especially since Steven is already declaring himself guilty, and the punishment for losing is shattering for both herself and her client. She was a Nervous Wreck during the first part of the trial and if weren't for Blue Diamond, Yellow wouldn't have even bothered hearing the defense. She was on the verge of a breakdown during the small break, and when she finally managed to give a very logical and convincing testimony, she had the bad luck of accusing both Yellow and Blue Diamond of being the murderers. This caused Yellow Diamond to get angry and immediately squash her even when she tried to apologize for the comment. Even worse, one can hope Blue Diamond steps in her defense before Yellow Diamond decides to shatter her gem as well.
    • Prosecuting Zircon's fate also qualifies. Sure, she was a racist Smug Snake and a butt-kisser, but she didn't deserve to be zapped and poofed by Yellow Diamond only because she spoke when the diamond became angry.

"Off Colors"
  • When Steven and Lars first meet the Rutile Twins, Lars screamed in fear...and the twins' expressions become one of these in retrospect, given they later reveal they only survived because everyone else ran away from them in fear. Lars unintentionally dug up some bad memories.
  • The manner in which the Rutile twins describe what defines "off color" in Homeworld terms, more or less stating what they believe themselves to be.
    Left Rutile twin: Y'know... wrong.
    Right Rutile twin: ...Not right.
    Left Rutile twin: Flawed.
    • Considering how lovable the entire group is, and that we already know of Gems who either have been described as "off color" themselves (Skinny and Carnelian) and there's no doubt countless more, it hurts to hear that this is what these types of Gems seem to think of themselves in most cases. If they didn't have others like them as support, it's exceptionally likely that Gems like these would face the same level of self-loathing displayed by Amethyst in the past.
  • Lars' Heroic Sacrifice and Disney Death. He gets caught point blank in a Robonoid explosion, hits the wall, and falls to the ground. Steven runs towards him and checks his heartbeat, and starts sobbing when he can't find one, believing someone he's known for years and just had a heart-to-heart with earlier died trying to protect him.
    • How utterly realistically the scene is played out. Lars doesn't get some heroic goodbye, or grand speech, he just gets flown against the wall thanks to the explosion and drops to the ground, dead. No Famous Last Words, and with no intention of actually performing a sacrifice. Just like that, a teenager who's only just starting to get over the issues that have plagued them their entire existence, has the life snuffed out from them in an instant.
      • That's not the only part that's upsettingly real - Steven's entire reaction. We've seen Steven cry before countless times, and he's been through a lot, but this is the only time he's ever saw a living, breathing person die before him, let alone someone he sees as a friend and is his only familiar company in an alien world where his mother's a wanted criminal. When Steven realizes Lars' heart isn't beating, he just gasps with a look of utter horror on his face, and outside of stifling his own sobs, he doesn't make a sound - the poor boy just holds Lars' dead body up to his face and hugs it as he clearly stops himself from barely breaking down. He knows Lars is dead and as far as he's aware, he thinks he can't undo it - and the way he reacts to it speaks more than words ever could.

"Lars' Head"
  • With Lars coming back to life via healing tears, there's the heartbreaking realization that Lion, the lion that we've known since the early seasons and grown to love, at one point died... and his death affected Rose so much to cause her to reanimate him with her tears. Even Steven seems to realize this once he goes back to bring the food to Lars and the Off Colors.
    • Adding to that, its not known how Lion died. Whether he died from an injury or sickness and Rose had to come across his dead body. Or like Lars, did Lion die during a fight. Perhaps defending Rose from a monster which could've added to Rose's guilt as Lars's death did to Steven.
  • Lars finally matures, and offers the Off-Colors and Steven a chance to escape through the portal in his hair, knowing that he'll be left behind. He does so without hesitation or fear.
    • The part where he talks about how there aren't any robots flying on Earth, just seagulls flying in front of the sunset, and that he took it all for granted, and the Off-Colors shouldn't pass up the chance, all that tells you how he really feels.
  • Crosses with Heartwarming, Steven and Lars' final discussion before Steven heads back, with Steven clearly not wanting to leave Lars behind on Homeworld.
    Lars: But you've gotta go back!
    Steven: But it doesn't feel right to just leave you here!
    Lars: You said yourself that everyone on this planet is out to get you! You won't be safe until you're back on Earth!
    Steven: But, Lars-
    Lars: Don't argue with me! You're always trying to help me! You brought me back to life! Just let me be someone who deserved it.
    • And then they share a goodbye hug. That Lars initiates.

    Side/Promotional Materials 
  • The Crewniverse zines from SDCC 2016 are mostly funny, but have some moments of this.
    • The "Everybody Loves Amethyst" one ends with a page of Rose embracing a young Amethyst, and the panel below showing present-day Amethyst lying dejected on the ground surrounded by rose petals.
    • The "All You Can Do" comic (though it seems to double as a self-aware jab at Pearl's relationship with Rose).
    Pearl: I miss Rose. Guess I'll just fold this shirt.
  • Peridot's Twitter account is mostly used for jokes, but then the posts for "Alone at Sea" end with her day alone at the barn coming to an abrupt end when Lapis comes back with news of what happened with Jasper. For the first time Peridot turns off her caps lock to simply type "Oh," and then says she'll come back later, clearly going to console her.

    Shorts 
  • In-universe in "Steven Reacts," Pear crying because no one came to their breakfast party. It quickly becomes Tears of Joy when their friends do arrive.
  • In the short "Video Chat", Peridot speaks with Steven over Skype or a similar video chat software, and wants Lapis to see. Lapis immediately panics and assumed he's trapped in there, turning the tablet over and wondering where his gem was. Though it was most likely meant to be funny, remember how long and how horrific Lapis' imprisonment in the mirror was.
  • In "Steven's Songtime," Steven sings about the events in season three, and starts to cry about it. They're cathartic tears, however, and he encourages other people going through a rough time to write a song.
    I sure have made my fair share of mistakes
    I didn't know that Rose Quartz
    Was such a big deal
    There are some wounds that even
    Healing powers can't heal
    Oh, I feel like I've messed up
    This magical destiny really kicked me in the butt
    We've had some good times and some pretty bad luck
    But we're still in this together and we're still not giving up

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