Western Animation: Steven Universe

Believe in Steven.note 

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

Steven Universe is a Cartoon Network show from Rebecca Sugar, an Adventure Time alum who also created Pug Davis. It is also the first Cartoon Network original created solely by a woman.

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

A comic book series began in August of 2014 (Announced before the show was even set to air. Yeah, CN was so confident in the show they gave it a comic book right off the bat). A short teaser story was released in the Adventure Time 2013 Spooktacular.

There is a recap page, as well as a Best Episode Crowner. A wiki is here.

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This show provides examples of:

    A - M 
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Garnet and Amethyst do not appear in "Frybo". They both appear in "Lion 3: Straight to Video" but have no dialogue.
    • Pearl and Garnet are absent in "Joking Victim".
    • Aside from a very brief appearance by Garnet and Amethyst in the opening scenes, "Space Race" only has Steven, Pearl, and Greg.
    • Amethyst and Pearl are not in "Garnet's Universe", although their voices are in the characters of Hoppy and Hopper.
  • Acrofatic: Steve knows how to hoof it when he needs to. His dexterity doesn't suffer much either. He even lampshades this after reassembling his Friendship Breakfast after it flies through the air by catching each piece one by one back on the plate.
    Steven: SKILLS!
  • Action Girl: The Crystal Gems. They're the self-appointed defenders of the universe.
  • Adults Are Useless: In "Island Adventure", after getting trapped on the island, Steven is sure that the Gems will come to find him. A week later there's no evidence the Gems even know he's missing.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Of course, because this is a show targeted towards children, Steven doesn't get killed or even seriously injured, but the fact is that a good chunk of the series so far has a young optimistic boy get thrown into repeated life-threatening situations, some more jarringly dark than others, while the Crystal Gems try their best to keep him safe. "So Many Birthdays" and "Cat Fingers" are the most prime examples, but there are plenty of others.
    • On the flip side of the above, we have Steven's occasional self-esteem issues, worrying that he may never be able to hold his own in said life-threatening situations due to his lack of powers. "An Indirect Kiss" displays this when, after hoping to have Healing Tears like his mother and finding out he doesn't, he relates the story to Connie as Pearl mocking him for his lack of powers and claiming that the gems want nothing to do with him.
    Connie: She didn't really say that.
    Steven: No, but that's what it felt like.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Garnet does this to Steven in the opening, and again in "Cheeseburger Backpack", where she gently tussles his hair.
  • The Ageless: According to Pearl, Gems don't age, but can get hurt and die if fatally injured. The Gems are shocked to see half-human Steven rapidly aging, but even he may not be completely exempt from this trope. Steven's magical powers can allow him to change his physical age. He'll stay young as long as he acts like a child. He's literally only as young as he feels.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: The lion from "Steven's Lion" is as tame as a house cat, though it's justified since he's a magical being. "Lion 2: The Movie" suggests he has some connection to Rose Quartz, which would certainly justify him being friendly.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Lion is obedient to Steven's commands... to a point. He is a cat.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: One of the pieces from the zine put out by several of the artists from the show implies Sadie has a crush on Lars. They are also seen flirting with each other in the original pilot. Though, she told him to lay off when he mocked Steven, so she's aware that he can be a jerk.
  • Almost Kiss: Steven and Connie in "An Indirect Kiss", before Connie realizes that her eyesight is restored.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • So far it's only thanks to the Tumblr Character Blog "Keep Beach City Weird" that viewers can confirm that the show is set in the Delmarva Peninsula on the United States east coast. This would indicate the show most likely takes place in the Delaware region, which makes sense given Rebecca Sugar herself based Beach City off of beach towns in that region, or possibly a fictional state named Delmarva—Word of God would later state to the latter to be the case.
      • There's a single moment in the pilot episode that gives this away too: Steven is eating Utz potato chips, which are only available within a few hundred miles of the Utz plant in Pennsylvania.
  • Alternate History: There are subtle signs. In "Arcade Mania" a modified Department of Justice seal with a broken up snake on it can be seen, likely based on a famous political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin. Money is printed with the same symbol on one side and a diamond on the other. Word of God confirms this, stating, among other things, that the "Delmarva Peninsula" isn't just a geographical location, but a state in this setting. (Further corroborated by a window on the Big Donut that has the words "Beach City, DV"; DV is presumably the abbreviation for "Delmarva.")
  • And I Must Scream: "Ocean Gem" reveals that the gem monsters the Gems fight used to be Gems themselves. To make matters worse, one of these Gems, Lapis, was trapped in a mirror, essentially enslaved and only able to communicate with recorded reflections. One of which happens to be Steven screaming.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: In "Frybo", Steven acquires a gem shard that can animate clothes. He uses it to bring Frybo, a mascot costume, to life so the guy wearing it can goof off with him. However, Frybo turns evil, so Steven uses more gem shards to bring his own clothes to life so they can defeat it.
  • Animation Bump: Lapis has far more flowing, graceful animation than most of the main cast, reflecting both her aqueous nature, and how much more serious she is than them. Especially apparent when she's alone with Steven, whose jerky animation and childlike personality contrast hers.
  • Animesque: Like its spiritual counterpart, Adventure Time, Steven Universe takes a lot of aesthetic and thematic hints from anime. Fittingly, whereas Adventure Time is an American Shounen series with a large female following, Steven Universe is an American Shoujo series with a large male following.
  • Anthropomorphic Food:
    • An evil spirit possesses Steven's breakfast in "Together Breakfast", resulting in this.
    Garnet: Now it has all the powers of a breakfast!
    • Frybo. Granted it was an animated costume, but it seemed to grow legs made out of French fries, it 'bled' ketchup when Pearl threw her spear into its eye, and Steven thrust his hand into what looked like mashed potato innards in order to pull out the gem shard animating it.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The hot dog Steven eats in the opening: see Arc Words.
    • The five-pointed star is implied to have some sort of connection to the crystal gems as it appears in all of their designs in one form or another.
      • Also a hint at how different the Crystal Gems are from other gems. Lapis, for instance, is associated with an eight-pointed star, which appears on her mirror and when she first assumes human form. Her clothes also have a triangle design, that together form a diamond.
      • Peridot's design seems to incorporate a lot of diamond shapes, implying an association with Lapis.
  • Arc Words:
    • "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." A saying of Greg that gets repeated a few more times through the show, which represents the shows theme that nobody is perfect, and that this makes the world a nicer place.
    • "Believe". The show's tagline says to "believe in Steven", the theme-song says "the people of this world believe in" the Crystal Gems, and Lapis says that she "never believed in this place [Earth]".
    • As of "The Test", Steven becomes frustrated because he thinks the Gems don't believe in him. But in the end, he realizes they don't believe in themselves when it comes to raising and training him properly.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In "Rose's Room," Rose, through the tiny whale, asks, "What do you want, Steven?" to make him realize he wants to be with the Gems after all.
  • Asteroids Monster: The bird monster in "Giant Woman" splits into a flock of winged beaks when injured.
  • Attack Reflector: The rose sword in "Lion 2: The Movie" is able to reflect the Fire, Ice, Lightning projectiles of the robot, which Connie and Steven use to destroy it.
  • Awful Truth: In "Steven and the Stevens," extended interaction with his time clones makes Steven come to a harsh realization:
    Steven: I can't believe it... I'm so... annoying!
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Occasionally the show reminds the audience that Pearl and Amethyst don't really hate each others guts
  • Batman Gambit: Garnet calls Steven a buttface in the pilot, right before the battle with the Atomic Skull. This is so Steven can use the hourglass, which only works to allow comebacks, to go back in time in case they lose the fight. It works.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: In "Lion 3: Straight to Video" Pearl admits she likes to watch Steven sleep often.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • "Lion 2: The Movie" pretty much runs on this. Steven mentions he isn't trained when on Lion's back, so Lion takes him to a training arena that seems to have been used by Rose Quartz. Then, while he and Connie are messing around with the arena, he says he wants to see explosions, generating a dangerous training robot that tries to kill them.
    • "Rose's Room" works on the same idea. The room conjures whatever the user asks for, but Steven doesn't voice his desires with explicit clarity.
    • "Frybo" features this. When Frybo forcefully attacks people, forcing them down and stuffing their mouths with fries, after being ordered to "make people eat fries."
  • Berserk Button: Don't let Steven catch you insulting his mom.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Onion, on his own, is just a bored little kid. Give him the power of a mystical replicator though, and he will pose a challenge even to the gems, and with a totally deadpan expression.
  • BFS: The rose sword Lion produces for Steven in "Lion 2: The Movie" is technically about the right size for an adult, but it comes across as this since Steven and Connie are the ones using it.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The centipeetles in "Gem Glow"; the babies are roughly the size of an average dog while the mother is as big as a house.
  • Big "NO!": Practically Steven's Catch Phrase, and the first thing he ever says on the show. Generally it's just him being melodramatic, but taken to creepy levels when a magic mirror containing the imprisoned Lapis Lazuli expresses its horror by replaying it on a loop.
    • Said by Greg in "Space Race" when he sees Pearl's and Steven's ship blow up, and he thinks they're in it.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: In "Joking Victim", Amethyst spices Steven's fries with fire salts that have this effect. When Steven and Sadie use them for a prank on Lars, however, they go overboard and Lars starts breathing flame.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Magical being like the Gems and the monsters they fight have no blood, merely disappearing in puffs of smoke when mortally wounded, leaving behind a gem which will eventually regenerate into the original being.
  • Blow You Away: The puffer fish monster in "Beach Party" can shoot out an unending stream of high-pressure air.
  • Body Horror: In "Cat Fingers", when Steven's shapeshifting goes wrong his body becomes a throbbing mass of cats.
  • Boredom Montage: In "Frybo" when Peedee rides the seahorse at the arcade. As his face goes in and out of camera range, his expression gradually changes from excited to bored.
  • Brick Joke/Chekhov's Gag: In "Cheeseburger Backpack" Steven pulls out a raft to use to get across a fast-moving river, only for the raft to get swept down the waterfall. The raft shows up again at the end of the episode and the Gems use it to paddle home.
  • Building of Adventure: Pearl insists (multiple times) that there are several rooms in the Gem Temple that aren't safe for humans, so you just know that even something as simple as a coffee run could get the blood pumping in your ears.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Mostly by done by children.
  • Car Fu: In "Onion Trade", Onion is using the duplicator wand to flood the town with copies of the Dave Guy figurine. When Garnet tries to take the wand from him, he aims it at her, which she blocks with her Power Fist. Onion then turns the wand on a car and starts shooting cars at her instead.
    • In a later episode, Greg crashes his van into Lapis Lazuli's water clone of Steven to save Connie and Steven from drowning.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: In "Gem Glow", the Gems chat with Steven while killing a bunch of acid-shooting centipeetles that have invaded the house, topped off by Pearl giving one a Neck Snap without pausing.
  • Cats Hate Water: Steven negates his out-of-control cat shapeshifting in "Cat Fingers" by sending himself through Greg's cat wash.
  • Central Theme: Most episodes tend to converge on themes of mixing magic with reality, accepting or embracing imperfection, and/or finding beauty in the ugly. Rebecca describes the show as "reverse-escapism," where magical beings are fascinated with the mundane. Steven is the epitome of the magic-and-reality theme, as he is half-human (normal) and half Crystal Gem (magic). A standard way they mix magic with reality is solving a magic problem a "mundane" way, like Steven using a glow bracelet (normal/mundane) to lure a worm gem monster (magic) to its death.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The Reveal that the monsters the Gems fight are actually corrupted Gems casts the whole series in a different light.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: While the show has a few lighthearted episodes, most of them take a 90 turn into drama that quickly changes the tone of the story.
  • Character Blog: Keep Beach City Weird, run by Ronaldo Fryman. He mentions it in-universe when he takes a picture of Steven's cat fingers.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The hourglass in the pilot episode. It seems to be useless after Steven "ruins" it, but Garnet finds a way to use it.
    • The glow bracelet in the freezer in "Gem Glow" turns out to be important in the episode "Bubble Buddies", because Steven had been keeping it to return to Connie.
    • Connie mentioning her tennis lessons in "Lion 2: The Movie" comes up when needing to use a sword to destroy a dangerous training robot.'
    • Steven's healing spit. It helps him heal Lapis, so she can return to space and Earth can have its oceans back.
  • City of Adventure: Beach City. The presence of the Gems and their temple apparently attracts much unwanted magical attention.
  • Cliché Storm: invoked Played for Laughs in "Garnet's Universe." Steven tries to guess what Garnet did with her day, and Steven being Steven, the story contains a lot of anime cliches and video game references. One example is using weights and taking them off to increase strength.
  • Colony Drop: The Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" tries this. It gets blown up by said cannon.
  • Comeback Tomorrow: Steven's chosen purpose for the time-traveling crystal is retroactively averting this trope (depending on how you look at it) in the pilot. When Lars insults Steven, Steven leaves the store angrily, only to realize he could have made a comeback to him; however, the crystal allows him to go back in time and make the comeback.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Cat Fingers", Peedee (who first appeared in "Frybo") returns; he's been promoted (as noticed by Steven), so Steven demands french fry bits, like in "Laser Light Cannon", which leads Fryman to say:
    Fryman: Peedee, it'll be over sooner if you just give him what he wants.
    • In "Bubble Buddies", we see Steven take a glowing ring-shaped item out of the freezer, previously seen in "Gem Glow". It turns out to be a glow bracelet that belongs to Connie — from a year ago.
    • In "Arcade Mania" we see Onion cashing in enough tickets to win a moped, implying he's a great player, but in "So Many Birthdays" it's shown he just steals tickets from the machines.
      • And in "Onion Trade", Onion drives the moped over a bunch of ketchup packets and lets it crash and explode.
    • Pearl's Giant Waist Ribbon becomes part of her permanent outfit after her revival in "Steven The Sword Fighter".
    • The poster that Steven designed in "Tiger Millionaire" can be seen on a wall at the Big Donut in "Joking Victim."
    • In "Steven and the Stevens," Steven goes back to scenes from "Gem Glow" and "Rose's Room."
    • Connie can't meet up with Steven in "Mirror Gem" because she has tennis practice, mentioned in "Lion 2: The Movie."
    • Near the end of "Lion 3: Straight to Video," Steven puts his hand on Lars's chest, nodding back to "Lars and the Cool Kids."
    • Steven Jr., the goat from "Giant Woman" returns in "Warp Tour" having raised some children.
      • They revisit the Geode from "House Guest" and the Galaxy Warp from "Space Race."
  • Cooldown Hug: Steven gives one to the Centipeetle after seeing Garnet's Power Fist (she had hit it earlier before Steven stopped her) causes her to go berserk. Despite the creature's acid burning him, he ignores the pain and calms her down.
  • Cool House: Their home is explored in "Together Breakfast." The whole thing is a wooden house that is attached to a giant statue (the temple). That wooden house part? That's Steven's room. The girls get the temple, which is a magical, intricate facility with long hallways, tunnels, floating platforms, crystals galore, and even magic waterfalls.
    Garnet: We inhabit the inner sanctums... only accessible through magical, extra-dimensional doors.
  • Cool Shades: Garnet has a nice pair of reflective shades.
  • Cool Sword: The rose-themed BFS from "Lion 2: The Movie".
  • Creative Closing Credits: The music that plays during the end credits tends to change. Throughout the first half of season 1, the theme evolved, adding more instruments each time, through five different variations. By the second half (which was early on considered season 2), the piece got a new melody.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The Garnet VS Amethyst fight in "Tiger Millionaire". Garnet only needed one Power Fist to handle Amethyst, and likely would have laid a serious beatdown had Steven not stopped them.
    • The first half of the Pearl VS Sugilite fight was, unsurprisingly, a brutal beatdown in Sugilite's favour. Thanks to a Rousing Speech by Steven though, Pearl eventually manages to turn the tables.
  • Cute Machines: The Robonoids in "Warp Tour".
  • Cutting the Knot: Steven does this twice in "Arcade Mania" to break Garnet out of her trance. The first time, he pulls the plug on the machine, but Garnet just uses her powers to recharge it. Unable to beat her superior reflexes by playing the game, he smashes the screen to make sure she can't fix it, which succeeds in breaking the trance.
  • Dancing Pants: The clothes brought to life in "Frybo", starting with Steven's own pants.
  • Darker and Edgier: Parodied in "Future Vision." Steven takes down his Ninja Squad poster, which features a happy, energetic ninja drawn in a kid-friendly style, and puts up a poster of "New Ninja Squad", which features a brooding ninja sitting against a box crate and drawn in a more Seinen art style.
  • Death Glare: Garnet gives a terrifying three-eyed one in "Mirror Gem" after Steven accidentally hits her face.
  • Demonic Possession: In "Together Breakfast", Steven interrupts Garnet while she's trying to destroy an evil picture, causing the evil to migrate to Steven's breakfast.
  • Depending on the Artist: Quite visible in "Cheeseburger Backpack", where the art style changes slightly in some scenes.
  • Diving Save: Played with in "Bubble Buddies" when Steven saves his crush Connie from falling debris by diving on her, though he didn't move her out of the way; his gem suddenly activated and it made a spherical energy shield.
  • Double Meaning Title: "So Many Birthdays." It can refer to either the series of birthdays Steven has for the other Gems, or Steven triggering rapid aging on himself.
  • Dramatic Unmask: In "Arcade Mania," Steven removes Garnet's shades, revealing her third eye.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: In "House Guest," Greg shows high respect for duct tape and uses it to patch up his leg a bit. He also uses it to fix the cracked Geode.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe in "House Guest"; when Greg calls for help, Amethyst jokes that he could have fallen and broken his butt. When Garnet tells her that's not funny, she says "I know".
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Many of the secondary Beach City Residents make brief cameos in earlier episodes before they are properly established, such as Mr. Smiley staring at the Red Eye in Laser Light Canon and the cool kids being attacked by Frybo.
  • Eldritch Location: The Gem Temple has water which doesn't obey gravity, areas where gravity isn't consistent, and is implied to be alive (it has numerous body parts and a heart).
  • Elopement: Steven and Connie were going to do this in "Fusion Cuisine", as they were afraid that, after the awful dinner party, Connie's parents would never let them hang out again. They arrive at this conclusion really quickly and without thinking it through at all. It's adorable.
    Steven: I wish that there was a way that we could just hang out without having to worry about stuff.
    Connie: Steven, let's just hop on a bus and live somewhere else without telling anyone!
    Steven: That's a great idea!
  • Epic Flail: This is Sugilite's weapon fusion, with Garnet's gauntlets as the weight and Amethyst's whip as the chain.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Crying Breakfast Friends, a Show Within a Show in "Space Race" featuring anthropomorphic breakfast foods crying.
  • Exact Words:
  • Excuse Plot: In-Universe, the Cookie Cat ice cream sandwich apparently has a theme song about Cookie Cat coming from space and leaving his family behind.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The Crystal Gems purpose and names are all laid out in the twenty second long theme song, as at the top of the page.
  • Expospeak Gag: At the end of "Keep Beach City Weird!", Ronaldo switches from blaming lizard people to blaming "polymorphic sentient rocks". Or, as you might say, "shape-shifting gem people".
  • Fastball Special: To destroy the Red Eye, Garnet tries throwing Amethyst at it. It fails every time.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three older Gems all fit: Garnet (Fighter) depends primarily on her absurd physical strength and durablity, Pearl (Mage) uses her mental talents and projections, while Amethyst (Thief) is most likely to use unusual abilities like shapeshifting.
  • The Film of the Book: In-universe. The Dogcopter films are based on a series of books.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The fire salts in "Joking Victim" cause this when Lars is tricked into eating a donut covered in them. He sets fire to the Big Donut and some of the town before Steven finally gets it out of him with the Heimlich maneuver.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The dangerous machine from "Lion 2: the Movie" is able to attack using fire, ice, and electricity.
  • Flash Step: Used by Pearl for laughs in "So Many Birthdays". When Steven was throwing a party for the Gems because they don't celebrate birthdays, for Pearl's part of the party he intended to trip and fall face-flat on a pie. Pearl caught him mid-fall from a meter or two away to keep him from falling. To respond, Steven just slammed the pie in his face anyway.
  • Foil: Pearl and Amethyst play off each other by being opposites in every respect. Pearl is well-mannered, dainty, hard-working, and protective; Amethyst is a slob, ill-mannered, lazy, fun-loving, and irresponsible. Physically, Pearl is skinny while Amethyst is fat. Their differences can even be seen in the way they sit.
    Steven: Where did you get these? I thought they stopped making them!
    Pearl: Well, we heard that too, and since they're your favorite...
    Amethyst: We went out and stole a bunch!
    Pearl: (annoyed grunt) I went back and paid for them.
  • Forceful Kiss: In "Island Adventure" Lars gives one to Sadie.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the transformations Amethyst cycles through in "Cat Fingers" is her Purple Puma wrestler persona from "Tiger Millionaire".
    • The temple that the gems live in is in the shape of an enormous woman with eight arms. Both Pearl and Amethyst's fusion, and Amethyst's and Garnet's fusion end up having four arms.
      • Alexandrite, the fusion of Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl has six arms, implying that the eight-armed woman either represents a four-gem fusion, or the specific fusion of Rose Quartz and the others.
    • The bright, pink setting that Steven slides down in "Together Breakfast" ("Hey... This isn't so bad.") is later revealed to be Rose's former room in "Rose's Room." The same background music even plays.
    • One of the locations the Stevens go to in "Steven and the Stevens" is a desert like landscape where nautical vehicles can be seen. This foreshadows the events of "Ocean Gem" where the ocean disappears. So the Stevens went into the future.
    • In "Monster Buddies", Centipeetle can be seen trying to take the shape of a woman when it is first released. And a few episodes later in Ocean Gem...
    • In "Steven the Sword Fighter," when Pearl is gravely injured she reverts back to a pure Gem to recuperate in much the same way the monsters the Crystal Gems fight do, come later in "Ocean Gem" it's revealed that the monsters the Gems fight are gems themselves.
    • The Cookie Cat theme-song from "Gem Glow"- overall an ordinary, meaningless advertising tune, except for the lines; "a refugee of an interstellar war" and "he left his family behind"- or, what appears to be the back-story of the Crystal Gems.
    • In "Cheeseburger Backpack" Amethyst tries to cheer Steven up after he messed up the mission by telling him 2 out of 4 of his ideas worked, saying he got 50% as if she was describing a test score. In "The Test" we find out it actually was a test.
  • Flower Motifs: Magic associated with Steven or his mother Rose Quartz often have a rose theme, like the blast from the Laser Light Cannon, the first use of Steven's bubble shield, and the sword from Lion.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At the end of "House Guest" when Steven is getting into bed, there's a book that looks like it could be Sailor Moon.
  • Freudian Trio: Amethyst is the Id, Pearl is the Super Ego and Garnet (or Steven) is the Ego.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The toyline GUYS, Guys Under Your Supervision, from "Onion Trade".
    • Keep Beach City Weird apparently gives us the pewter version, Boys On Your Shelf.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • Two or more Gems can fuse together by literally dancing together, forming a giant, composite being that shares their powers. Pearl and Amethyst fuse into a four-armed woman called Opal, able to fuse their whip and spear into a bow. Garnet and Amethyst fuse together in "Coach Steven" to form Sugilite, who also has four arms and is much bigger and more violent in nature than Opal. All three can fuse into Alexandrite, a six-armed, rainbow-colored giant which was used to attend a dinner with Connie's parents. The statue that holds the temple is a fusion Gem as well.
    • "Alone Together" has Steven figuring out that the dancers' feelings matter just as importantly as the act, and accidentally fuses with Connie in the process to become Stevonnie after having an intimate dance together. Unlike other fusion, Stevonnie only has two arms and is wearing both of their clothing as opposed to a new outfit.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: In "Rose's Room", Steven winds up in his mother's room, which can manifest anything the user wants. When Steven poorly words a desire to leave and get doughnuts (since nothing in the room is real), it manifests a copy of the entire town, the scale of which is too much for the room to handle. All the people are thus crude reflections of their real counterparts spouting a mish-mash of things Steven has heard them say before, before the entire illusion collapses.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Steven constantly tries to invoke this in "Giant Woman" because he wants to see Amethyst and Pearl fuse. It ends up being crossed for real when he gets eaten by a giant bird.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Steve's shapeshifting in "Cat Fingers". He shapeshifts his fingers into cats, but it gets out of control and he starts turning into a fleshy mass of cat faces.
  • Goofy Suit: The titular mascot from "Frybo". Once Steven brings it to life, however, it stops being so goofy.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Rose Quartz's light cannon is kept in Greg Universe's public storage locker with all the junk he's accumulated over the years.
  • Growing Up Sucks: A whole episode about it.
  • Happier Home Movie: Steven and Sadie find a home movie of Rose Quartz telling Steven how much she loves him, and how she'll become half of who he is when he is born. Both Steven and Sadie are driven to tears from seeing it.
  • Hard Light: Hologram Pearl's name suggests that she is made of light, yet she can hold real objects, such as swords, umbrellas and balloons.
  • Hero Insurance: While the townspeople certainly don't like the Gems occasionally destroying their property, they don't usually do anything about it. The Gems themselves outright don't care; their job is to kill the monsters, and property is collateral. When Garnet accidental wrecks the Pizza's shop during a battle and takes off without acknowledging it, Kofi tears into Steven about how reckless they are.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ronaldo pretty much has his soul crushed after Steven reveals to him that all the weird stuff that happens in Beach City has always been the result of the Gems.
  • Heroic RROD: Played with. In "Coach Steven," Steven works out so much that he becomes sore and unable to move during the fight in the episode.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In "Coach Steven," Pearl has this when fighting Sugilite after Steven pumps her up.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Discussed in "Frybo". Peedee argues that being a Crystal Gem is not a job because they don't get paid. Steven claims that they get paid in the smiles of the people they save. Peedee then confesses that the money he gets doesn't compensate for what the job takes out of him.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: Happens with Hologram Pearl in "Steven the Sword Fighter".
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: Hologram Pearl occasionally fizzles and shows visual static.
  • How Did That Get in There?: In "Onion Trade", Pearl comments on how messy Steven's room is. To prove her point, she opens a window where out flies a seagull holding a pizza crust in its beak and wearing a banana peel. Steven gives the phrase, and Pearl says it's because he leaves his window open.
  • Humans Are Special: In "Lion 3: Straight to Video," Steven discovers a video tape for him recorded by his mother, Rose Quartz, wherein she tells him that she looks forward to being half of him — because he'll be a human being.
    Rose Quartz: You're going to be something extraordinary. You're going to be a human being.
  • Hurricane of Puns: At the end of "Cat Fingers", Steven has a stream of cat puns he thought up while waiting for the Gems. Each of them get Lame Pun Reactions.
    • The game Meat Beat Mania in "Arcade Mania" makes a bunch of meat puns.
  • Ignored Aesop: Played for laughs in "Rose's Room". Just as Steven learns that he can't always do what he wants to do, Garnet tells him that the Gems now have free time and they can go play mini golf.
    Steven: I always get what I want!
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Steven attempts to use this on a centipeetle having a Freak Out he befriended earlier in the day.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When Pearl gets distracted by Steven during a sword fight, her hologram opponent stabs her through the chest.
  • Improvised Weapon: Steven beans the mother centipeetle with a broken freezer... while it's still plugged in.
  • Innocent Innuendo: In "So Many Birthdays", as Steven enters the donut shop as he fluctuating into middle age, he asks Lars and Sadie if they can "help him into his birthday suit" (actually a crown and cape). He gets chased out of the shop with a chair.
  • Indirect Kiss: In the episode "An Indirect Kiss," Steven discovers his saliva's healing properties through one of these with Connie, where drinking the backwash from his juice box fixes her eyesight.
  • Iris Out: Most episodes end with an Iris Out in the shape of the star on Steven's shirt.
  • Kill It with Water:
    • Steven and Greg get rid of Steven's cats in "Cat Fingers" by running Steven through their car wash at maximum settings.
    • Lapis Lazuli's main shown power is manipulating water, including creating water doppelgangers to do the fighting for her.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: All of the Crystals Gems to Steven.
    • Their reaction to the newly revived Ugly Cute Centipeetle Mother acting up? Beat it within an inch of its life, all as Steven watches and begs them to stop.
    • Similarly, when they learn that the mirror is communicating with Steven they try to put it back in storage. Even though they know that it is alive and fully conscious.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Keep Beach City Weird stopped posting during the summer of 2014, but returned late that August with the promise of up to six more posts, mirroring Cartoon Network's scheduling of the show through the end of the first production order.
  • Last Request: In "Steven and the Stevens," Pompadour Steven returns to the sea shrine. He takes the hourglass from the version of Steven who hadn't used it yet (Hoodie Steven) and smashes it, thus causing the later versions of the hourglass and the other Stevens to never have existed in a massive Ret Gone. Pompadour Steven then tells Hoodie Steven to find another way to create a band besides Greg before dying. Then:
    Pompadour Steven: Stay cool forever, Steven. Arrivederci.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: When Amethyst and Pearl barge into Steven and Connie's relationship, Garnet carries them away so they won't mess it up.
    Garnet: Don't mess with his funky flow.
  • Leitmotif: Various characters have their own:
  • Life or Limb Decision: When Steven's hand gets stuck to a pedestal in a gem temple lion brings him and Connie to, Connie considers that they might have to cut it off. The temple even helpfully produces an array of swords for the task. Steven quickly wills them away.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Inverted. Amethyst has hair that reaches her ankles, but tends to be a lazy and careless slob. By contrast, Pearl's hair doesn't even reach her shoulders, but is the most conventionally feminine of the group.
  • Luminescent Blush: Pearl gives off a bluish blush from time to time (the blue coloring is likely a result of her skin color being pearly-white).
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The end of "Steven and the Stevens" features him and the Crystal Gems singing a cheerful '60s-esque pop song about Steven watching multiple copies of himself die as the timeline repairs itself.
  • Magitek: A lot of the magic in the show seems like a form of technology. For example, Pearl's hologram is a voice-activated hologram that can touch things, but bugs out with static. Rose's room is like a gaming processor that can't handle areas that are too big. The room also responds to voice commands. Rose's armory does as well. Crystal shards (as seen in "Frybo") also respond to voice commands.
  • Malaproper: From "So Many Birthdays":
    Steven: Well, I can't just ignore this tremesty of unjustice!
  • Meaningful Background Event: Although nothing is certain yet, a wall painting in "Serious Steven" shows Rose Quartz fighting against an unknown being. Who or what is it has yet to be mentioned.
  • Me's a Crowd: Happens near the end of "Steven and the Stevens" via time cloning.
  • Minimalist Cast: So far, there have been four episodes where the main cast was almost completely limited to the four Crystal Gems (and in two cases, a Monster of the Week) — "Cheeseburger Backpack", "Together Breakfast", "Serious Steven", and "Giant Woman". Lampshaded by Greg in "Steven and the Stevens":
    Steven: "You're bailing on Beach-a-palooza? But the whole town's gonna be there!"
    Greg: "Steven, that's like fifteen people."
  • Monster of the Week: Downplayed. There are monsters with gems in their bodies that the Gems need to stop from reaching the temple but they rarely are the focus of the episode. It turns out these monsters are actually corrupted Gems. There are also the occasional monster that differs, such as the spirit in "Together Breakfast" and the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" which was confirmed by Word of God to not be a corrupted gem.
  • Mood Whiplash: The "Cookie Cat" theme song has your typical Excuse Plot, then segues into "He left his family behind!"
    • "So Many Birthdays" goes from a highly comedic episode to Steven having a mid-life crisis as he rapidly ages until he almost dies.
    • Pearl tries to teach Steven the basics of sword fighting while demonstrating them against a hologram she created. Much to her displeasure, Steven is more interested in seeing flashy moves. Pearl turns her head to scold Steven and get impaled from behind by her hologram.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • In the pilot, Steven gets his hands on something that can reverse time by accident and uses it to make witty comebacks he thought of too late.
    • Of course, because of the way that artifact works, it could then only be used by him, only for making comebacks.
    • All the Gems have shown that they're quick to use their magic for relatively normal matters.
  • Murder-Suicide: Near the end of "Steven and the Stevens," Steven goes back in time to destroy the Glass of Time before it ever got used, thus destroying all his time clones and himself. He did this because he felt his character became corrupted.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: As shown above with the Theme Tune Roll Call, Steven Zoidberg's himself in.
    • Although in the pilot it was Steven who wrote the song in the first place.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: In "Mirror Gem," Lapis announces her name as she curbstomps the Crystal Gems.
    I'm Lapis Lazuli, and you can't keep me trapped here anymore!
  • Myth Arc: "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem" hint at a far wider conflict than merely monsters randomly attacking Beach City. All those monsters are corrupted Gems, and the Crystal Gems seem to fear whatever might come from their homeworld.
    • This came back in "Warp Tour" when ball-like machines travel through the warp streams to get to the Intergalactic Warp pad so they can fix it and give another new Gem, Peridot, access to it. This also reveals that the Earth-bound Gems actively destroyed that particular warp pad to prevent more of their kind from reaching Earth. Why that is has not yet been revealed, but it actively terrifies Garnet.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Pearl regains her physical form in "Steven the Sword Fighter", a silhouette resembling her original design from the pilot can be seen.
    • "Steven and the Stevens" was intended to be a re-work of the pilot and thus contains elements from it. The small hourglass returns and still is a time-traveling device, and Steven uses it to go back in time multiple times (though going back in time creates time clones unlike the pilot). Also, just like in the pilot, Steven smashes it by the end of the episode.

    N - Y 
  • Naked People Are Funny: Steven beats the Frybo mascot costume by animating his clothing, underwear included.
  • New Content Countdown Clock: On the day of the premiere, there was a clock in the corner of Cartoon Network's programs counting down to the premiere of Steven Universe.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In "Cheeseburger Backpack", Steven stuffs practically everything he'll need in his backpack for the trip to the Sea Spire... except for the moon statue which he was supposed to bring to save the place.
    • In "Together Breakfast", Steven's attempt to get the Gems together for breakfast ends up causing an evil spirit to possess said breakfast. Steven at least fixed this one by destroying the spirit.
    • In "Frybo", Steven doesn't pay attention to Pearl's warning about the magic gem shards which animate objects, resulting in a monster born of the Frybo costume which Steven then has to defeat by animating his clothes with the remaining shards.
    • Even Steven himself admits in "Lion 2: the Movie" that he thinks he's a screw-up.
  • No Antagonist: The show has no formal villains or big bads. Usually the conflict is within the group or against monsters that show up. Word of God states this was intentional. Eventually subverted when Lapis is released, but even then she's not a villain.
  • No Endor Holocaust:
    • Averted when the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" is destroyed, as the resulting giant shrapnel causes substantial property damage when it hits the surrounding area. Amethyst lampshades this, saying that Steven saved most of the city.
    • Played completely straight in "Ocean Gem", where the potential damage caused by the retreat of the entire ocean for at least a day is mostly ignored.
  • Non Indicative Name: Beach City has such a small population that it barely qualifies as a village.
  • Noodle Incident: When Steven asks Sadie why her store doesn't bake their own donuts, Sadie replies that nobody has made donuts in the store since "The Incident". All we see is a burned patch of wall with a human-shaped silhouette.
  • No Ontological Inertia:
    • Pearl's duplicator wand is able to make perfect copies of any object, but destroying the wand destroys every copy it has ever made.
    • In "Steven and the Stevens", Steven destroys the original time device, causing every copy of Steven created through his temporal meddling to vaporize.
  • Notable Original Music: "Let Me Drive My Van Into Your Heart", from "Laser Light Cannon".
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem has this effect: Steven releases the Mirror Gem, revealing her to be another Gem named Lapis, which prompts the reveal that all the gem monsters were corrupted Gems, turning the dynamic on its head. At the end, Steven heals Lapis and she goes into space, but the Gems imply this might have repercussions in the future and it expands the setting from just Earth to space.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The girls are often off-planet or elsewhere on the planet fighting evil. As Steven isn't ready to join them, they don't take him along. In "Cheeseburger Backpack", for example, they've just returned from fighting a giant bird, and in "Cat Fingers", they journey off to another mission, leaving Steven behind to deal with his own problem.
  • Oh, Crap:
    • In "Cheeseburger Backpack," this happens to Steven when he realizes he forgot to pack the statue, which was essential for the mission of the episode.
    • In "Bubble Buddies", Steven and Connie talk Onion into fetching a harpoon gun to pop the shield bubble. Rather than get a handheld one, however, Onion commandeers a ship-mounted one. Both immediately dive out of the way (as much as is possible, anyway).
    • In "Mirror Gem" After refusing to give up Lapis's mirror, Steven accidentally hits Garnet.
  • Opposed Mentors: Each of the Gems have their own approach to mentoring Steven, although the only real conflict is between Pearl and Amethyst.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Steven's wrestling persona Tiger Millionaire consists of a business suit and a fake cat nose, and Sadie is still the only person who notices any similarity between the two. Amethyst's persona, the Purple Puma, at least has her shape-shifting powers behind it, but she's still the only person in the city with purple skin and a visible gem in her chest.
    • Steven's snake costume from "Keep Beach City Weird." It consists of pants with a scaly texture and feet with claws, along with, basically, a ghost sheet decorated to look like a snake.
  • Perma Shave: A rare aversion in "Island Adventure". While stranded on a desert island, Sadie begins to grow some visible stubble on her legs.
  • Playing Sick: Greg's leg has been injured and Steven tries to use his healing spit to fix it, but it doesn't seem to work. Turns out that it *did* work and Greg was faking it in order to spend more time with his son.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: Steven and Connie do this together in Lion 2: The Movie, using the sword that Steven drew out of Lion's forehead to deflect the energy balls of a giant energy-blast-shooting head robot thing. They even use Connie's tennis skills when fighting it!
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Pearl says this to Steven at the end of "Frybo", Steven having brought his clothes to life to battle the mascot costume.
  • Portal Door: The door at the Gem monument leads to the Gem temple, and opens to specific areas depending on which Gem activates it.
  • Portal Network: The crystal platform in front of the Portal Door links to other platforms of similar construction.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: It is implied that many gem artifacts, including the Desert Glass and the pyramid in "Serious Steven", are powered by Gems. Lapis Lazuli herself powered a magical mirror.
  • Power-Up Food: Steven thinks this is the case with his Cookie Cat ice cream sandwiches in "Gem Glow". Unfortunately, he fails to take the context into account when he tries to invoke it against the mother centipeetle, only managing to give himself an upset stomach from too much ice cream.
  • The Promise: At the end of "Monster Buddies," Garnet reveals that Rose Quartz attempted to "heal" the Gem monsters, but was never able to. Steven promises the centipeetle that he'll heal her once he gets more of a hold of his powers.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode/Pro Wrestling Is Real: "Tiger Millionaire", where Amethyst and Steven join an "Underground" wrestling promotion. Gimmicks are accounted for, but the matches don't appear to have been staged.
  • Pun: Steven says one in "Together Breakfast" about his breakfast (which partly consists of a stack of waffles):
    Steven: It's not exactly healthy, but it's in a stack! So I guess you could say it's a... balanced breakfast?
    Garnet: ...
    • At the end of Steven's golfing-themed game:
      Protagonist: Saving the day is just par for the course!
  • Prehensile Hair: The skull monster in the pilot has this, and uses it to beat the Gems to a pulp.
  • Rant Inducing Slight: Steven and Connie are trapped in a magic shield the near-entirety of "Bubble Buddies," with Steven continually assuring her that he'll come up with a plan that works. All of them fail. When they get stuck in an ocean crevice, Connie finally snaps.
    Steven: I-It's okay, uh...
    Connie: IT'S NOT OKAY!!
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Garnet does this with a Ditto Fighter version of herself in "Ocean Gem".
  • Reality Ensues: The gems use the light cannon to destroy the Red Eye, but it's close enough that the wreckage still rains down on the town. Still, better than a giant crater.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: In "Steven and the Stevens," when all the future Stevens return to the Sea Shrine, the oldest Steven destroys the youngest version of the hourglass, making himself and all the other Stevens that have used the hourglass already turn into sand right before the youngest Steven's eyes.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The series often uses motifs from Hinduism, such as the multiple arms seen in the Gems' temple statue and the two fused Gems (Opal and Sugilite). Opal was also originally planned to form a swastika with her hands when summoning her bow. Sugilite, with her four arms, scary-looking fangs and Blood Knight personality, strongly resembles the Hindu goddess Kali.
  • Running Gag:
    • Steven often falls flat on his face after teleporting.
    • The TV in Steven's room has broken several times.
    • When something magical happens to Connie and Steven, Connie will usually say something along the lines of, "Is this usual?" to which Steven will reply, "No. This is new."
    • Steven, in some way, mentioning that Lars and Sadie probably like each other.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • The series has gained a name thanks to its gorgeous artwork.
    • The scene in "Ocean Gem" with the sea tower reaching into space is breathtaking.
  • Shout-Out: A whole page's worth.
  • Stealth Pun: Lapis flies away on water-wings.
  • Surprise Creepy: The show is usually a lighthearted comedy, which makes the occasional foray into terrifying Body Horror all the more effective.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Played for Laughs in "Rose's Room". When the Gems aren't able to hang out with him and accidently mess up his video game, Steven locks himself in Rose's old room where it seems like his every wish is granted. He ends up in a creepy facsimile of Beach City. After he gets out, he decides that he can't always have everything. The gems then tell him that they now have time to hang out with him, and the episode ends with Steven declaring "I always get what I want!"
  • Taking the Bullet: Parodied when Steven dives to protect his together breakfast from Amethyst's Super Soaker.
  • Theme Tune Extended: Rebecca has extended the show's theme ("We Are the Crystal Gems"), making it even longer than the pilot version. The version that can be found online has some parts censored with "dah dah dah" and such, because those are apparently spoilers.
    • Here's the extra lyrics that haven't been censored for spoilers:
    If only you could know what we really are
    We were surprised to find your beauty and your worth
    We will protect your kind, we will protect your Earth
    We will protect your Earth
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: In House Guest, after Greg is injured he stays with Steven in order to get better. Initially, things are fine, but Greg proves to be kind of clingy when Steven and the Gems go on a mission as Greg constantly calls them back for asinine things.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Spoofed in "Garnet's Universe" where Garnet, in order to defeat a powerful foe, went through a Training from Hell, got rid of her super-heavy hair and went through an Unstoppable Rage after Ultimate Ringo destroyed her photo of Steven, which caused the power calculator exploded. All this was Lampshaded by Ultimate Ringo:
    Ultimate Ring: "This is getting ridiculous!"
  • Title Theme Drop: Happens when Steven summons his shield in "Gem Glow." Actually, the theme song is often played in the background in clever ways, such as just using the basic chords from the theme, or remixing the melody very slightly.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Amethyst resorts to this in "Gem Glow".
    Pearl: Calm down, Steven. Breathe; don't force [your power].
    Amethyst: Yeah... and try not to poop yourself, either!
    Garnet: Please, don't.
    • Dogcopter shoots missiles from his butt.
    • When Mayor Dewey gives a speech about summer to Beach City, he unintentionally provides bait for several fart jokes.
    Mayor Dewey: "A warm summer breeze wafts through the air..."
    Steven: pfrrrrrrt
    MD: "We all look forward to the sounds of the summer season..."
    Mirror: (as Steven) pfrrrrrrt
    MD: "The smells of the busy boardwalk, (pfrrrrrrt) the hot, wet, ocean wind, (pfrrrrrrt) the time to take that pressure that's built up all year and just let it out! (pfrrrrrrt)"
    *** The mirror apparently found this joke so funny she kept repeating it for hours.
  • Troll: Meta example on Tumblr. The Crystal Gems fanblog reblogged a post that Ronaldo specifically said not to reblog. He calls them out on their failed attempt to troll him.
  • True Companions: As evident from Amethyst's "You're one of us, Steven. We're not the Crystal Gems without you."
  • Uncanny Valley invoked: Pearl's hologram in "Steven the Swordfighter". While it looks like Pearl, it has a one track mind focused on fighting, talks like a robot and while in "wait mode", it just stares at you.
    Garnet: Stop hanging out with that thing. It's creepy.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Everyone in Beach City reacts to this towards the Gems. Despite their display of magical powers, no one seems to care. When Ronaldo finds out they're responsible for a bunch of strange events he attributed to The Reptilians, he finds this actual explanation too mundane to accept.
    • Played with in "Lion 2: The Movie". Connie is suitably amazed by the giant pink lion and gem magic, while Steven is used to it and is more excited about the movie with the cyborg heli-dog.
    • "Beach Party" has Garnet explaining to the Pizzas exactly how the Gem Temple works. As she does so, the gem in her right hand sparkles.
    Kofi: What is wrong with your hand?
    • When Alexandrite shows up to a family dinner with Connie's parents, their reaction to a giant, multi-colored, six-armed woman is mild surprise and stammering through the usual expected niceties.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The end of "Ocean Gem" leaves Garnet and Pearl wondering what the future might bring once Lapis returns to their homeworld.
  • Viking Funeral: Parodied when the Frybo costume is laid to rest by being burned on a boat.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: Pearl can use her Gem to project a hologram version of herself for training purposes.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot:
    • In "Gem Glow", Steven has a convenient dirt hill to obscure his face as he vomits up the many Cookie Cats he ate in a misguided attempt to activate his powers.
    • In "So Many Birthdays" after Amethyst eats a 5-year-old, possibly older, burrito, via a Smash to Black.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: Amethyst casually eats a moldy, 5-year-old tuna burrito without giving any thought about it. A few moments later, she clenches her stomach and doubles over, all while Pearl is explaining that the Gems can never die of old age... or food poisoning.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Rose Quartz's light cannon. It shoots a beam of light in the shape of a flower that blooms into a silhouette of Rose herself.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: In "Lion 2: The Movie" Connie holds the rose sword this way after she and Steven defeat the monster.
  • We Are as Mayflies: In "Keep Beach City Weird!", Pearl muses that humans live "short, boring lives." Gems, on the other hand, are immortal.
  • Well Intentioned Replacement: In the comic story from the Adventure Time 2013 Spooktacular. The Gems make a comic book for Steven after destroying Steven's pile of GuyMan (and GuyWoman) variants that a devious shape shifter turned itself into. Steven loves it.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The "Mirror Gem"/"Ocean Gem" double episode. All those creatures the Gems have been fighting, destroying, collecting their crystals? All of them are corrupted Gems. Also, a new Gem with a face has been shown in the first time since basically the beginning, Lapis Lazuli. And the setting got expanded to include the depths of space, where there are presumably more Gems.
    • "Lion 3: Straight to Video" where it's revealed that Steven is literally half Rose, in that she put her soul into him. Rose herself also makes an appearance for the first time, not counting her brief voice cameo in the tiny floating pink whale.
    • In "Warp Tour", another Gem named Peridot appears and is repairing warp pads around space, and the gems believe a possible threat might return.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Towards the end of "Mirror Gem", Lapis calls the other gems out on knowing she was trapped in the mirror, and not making any attempt to help her.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The plot of "An Indirect Kiss" has Steven telling Connie when he and the gems traveled to Rose's healing spring to heal Amethyst.
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Steven's turn into stars whenever he's happy, plus a few other shapes here and there.
    • Connie's turn into diamonds.
  • You Are Grounded:
    • Steven becomes this at the end of "Mirror Gem", which Amethyst tries to take literally, but then becomes ungrounded in "Ocean Gem" after he vows to bring the ocean back.
    • In "Space Race", Greg does this to Steven, but then clarifies that he only means the boy isn't allowed to leave Earth.