%% Zero context examples have been commented out. Examples need context that explains how the trope occurs. Not just when, with whom, or to.
[[caption-width-right:300:[[TagLine Believe in Steven]].[[note]]Counter-clockwise from top-right: [[{{Badass}} Garnet]], [[{{Tomboy}} Amethyst]], and [[ThePerfectionist Pearl]]--AND [[CheerfulChild 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 [[OddNameOut STEVEN]]!"''
-->--''Steven Universe'' [[ExpositoryThemeTune theme song]]

'''''Steven Universe''''' is a Creator/CartoonNetwork show from Rebecca Sugar, an ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' alum who also created ''ComicBook/PugDavis''. 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 ''ComicBook/AdventureTime 2013 Spooktacular''.

It was announced that ''Steven Universe'' will have a CrossOver episode with - of all shows - ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa''.

There is a [[Recap/StevenUniverse recap]] page, as well as a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/StevenUniverse Best Episode Crowner.]] A [[TheWikiRule wiki]] is [[http://steven-universe.wikia.com/wiki/StevenUniverse_Wiki here.]]

'''Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk!'''

!!This show provides examples of:

[[folder:A - D]]
* AdultFear:
** 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," "Space Race," 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 [[HealingHands 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.
** In the turning point of "The Test," the Crystal Gems admit to each other that they don't really know what they're doing and are worried they can't raise Steven well without his mother.
--> '''Amethyst''': We're ''bad'' at this.\\
'''Garnet''': Steven is ''not'' just a Gem. There's never been anyone like him. We don't know ''what'' he needs.
* AerithAndBob: The Gems, of course, are named after gemstones. But the humans have names like Greg, Steven, Connie, Onion, Sour Cream...
* AffectionateGestureToTheHead: Garnet does this to Steven in the opening.
* AllThereInTheManual: Initially, only the {{Tumblr}} CharacterBlog "Keep Beach City Weird" confirmed that the show is set in the [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/77096876346/someone-broke-teens-of-rage 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--WordOfGod would later state to the latter to be the case.
* AlternateHistory: 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 [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Join,_or_Die famous political cartoon]] by Benjamin Franklin. Money is printed with the same symbol on one side and a diamond on the other. WordOfGod 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.")
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: The Crystal Gems have been on earth for over a thousand years and have had time to master the language. [[spoiler:Homeworld Gems like Peridot, however, still speak English on their own planet.]]
* AndIMustScream:
** "Ocean Gem" reveals that [[spoiler: the gem monsters the Gems fight used to be Gems themselves]]. To make matters worse, [[spoiler: 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.]]
** Another example of this is when Lapis [[spoiler: fuses with Jasper to form Malachite. Once they are fused, Lapis drags the two of them to the bottom of the ocean using her power over water.]]
* AnimationBump:
** 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.
** Rose also has carefully animated hair, as her large curls are detailed and can often be seen moving and bouncing with the smallest movements of her head. This helps portray Rose's sublime beauty, which many characters refer to throughout the series.
* {{Animesque}}: Like its spiritual counterpart, ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Steven Universe takes a lot of aesthetic and thematic hints from anime. Fittingly, whereas ''AdventureTime'' is an American [[ShonenDemographic Shounen]] series with a large female following, Steven Universe is an American [[ShoujoDemographic Shoujo]] series with a large male following.
* ArcSymbol:
** The hot dog Steven eats in the opening: see ArcWords.
** 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. (Steven and Pearl have it on their shirts, Garnet has it on her top as well as her gauntlets, Amethyst has it in the holes in her pants, Rose Quartz's dress had a large star shape cut out from the midriff, and Lion displays it as his mane)
** [[spoiler:The Homeworld Gems]] seem to be associated with a rhombus/diamond shape. Lapis's clothes 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. Hers and Jasper's clothes include a yellowish diamond shape on the torso, [[spoiler: possibly signifying their position under Yellow Diamond]] or that they are modern Gems.
* ArcWords:
** "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.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Occasionally the show reminds the audience that Pearl and Amethyst don't really hate each others guts.
* BigNo: Practically Steven's CatchPhrase, 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 [[spoiler: containing the imprisoned Lapis Lazuli]] expresses its horror by replaying it on a loop.
* BittersweetEnding: The first season narrative finale "Jail Break" ends with [[spoiler:Steven and the Gems managing to save the Earth from Peridot and Jasper, but Lapis had to sacrifice herself by trapping herself and Jasper at the bottom of the ocean, Peridot managed to escape and is somewhere on the planet, along with the possible appearance of a new villain called Yellow Diamond.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: Magical being like the Gems and the monsters they fight do not bleed, merely disappearing in puffs of smoke when mortally wounded, leaving behind a gem which will eventually regenerate into the original being.
* BuildingOfAdventure: 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.
* CastOfSnowflakes: All of the characters, human or Gem, have very unique designs with distinctly different faces and body types.
* CentralTheme:
** 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.
** The PowerOfLove and [[ThePowerOfFriendship friendship]], and how relationships, though difficult to manage, make people stronger.
* CerebusRetcon:
** [[spoiler:TheReveal that the monsters the Gems fight are actually corrupted Gems]] casts the whole series in a different light.
** The background which is given in "Warp Tour" and "On The Run" about [[spoiler:the Crystal Gems being renegades from the homeworld after a huge war to protect the Earth from their own kind, and Amethyst having ''been created'' as a soldier for that war]]...
* CerebusRollercoaster: 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.
* CharacterBlog: [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/ Keep Beach City Weird]], run by Ronaldo Fryman since slightly before the show started and updating for most new episodes. He mentions it in-universe when he takes [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/68115977116/stevens-fingers-what a picture of Steven's cat fingers]].
* CharacterDevelopment: As the series progresses:
** Steven becomes more self-confident, less naive, and really grows into his role as TheHeart.
** Connie learns to become more independent and self-confident, standing up to others.
** Garnet gradually becomes less stoic, showing more and more emotion.
* ChekovsGun: Numerous times an object will be introduced, seemingly just as a plot device for an individual episode, then become important down the line.
** In "Gem Glow", you can briefly see a glow stick in Steven's freezer. This ends up being the catalyst for his and Connie's friendship.
** In "Rose's Room", the Crystal Gems bring back a 'wailing stone', which accidentally destroys Steven's TV. In "The Message", it activates when [[spoiler: Lapis sends them a warning from the Homeworld.]]
** In "Monster Buddies", the main characters go to collect a 'shooting star'. When Steven asks what it does, Amethyst sarcastically responds, "''You shoot it, duh''". Turns out she wasn't just joking- shooting stars are literally powerful bombs, which [[spoiler: the Crystal Gems apparently use to destroy the Galaxy Warp once and for all]].
* CityOfAdventure: Beach City. The presence of the Gems and their temple apparently attracts much unwanted magical attention.
* ClarkesThirdLaw: The Gems' abilities amount to what most would call "magic". They are also entities from outer space, suggesting their "magic" is actually extremely advanced technology. See also: SufficientlyAdvancedAliens and {{Magitech}}. Some gems, like [[spoiler:Peridot]] almost exclusively use technology. Other displays of magic, such as Rose Quartz's healing tears and [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli]]'s complete elemental control over water, suggest no technology could ever exist to mimic them.
* CoincidentalBroadcast: Most entries on "Keep Beach City Weird" are made alongside an episode of the show and have something to do with it, generally implying that Ronaldo is posting them in-universe around the same time. While some entries are Ronaldo's viewpoint of events that occurred in the episode or him encountering their aftermath, and rarely they have absolutely nothing to do with the episode, often it's about some element of the episode or thematically related without any causal link. For instance, right after Steven uses time travel to make copies of himself in "Steven and the Stevens", Ronaldo makes a post about alternate timelines. Steven is inspired to live on the road by a book series in "On the Run", then Ronaldo posts a review of the graphic novel adaptation. "Winter Forecast" is about Steven experiencing the same events over and messing up more each time, and is followed by a post about life's biggest regrets.
* ContinuityNod: This series has some pretty amazing continuity in terms of small details. For example, Steven's cheeseburger backpack, which he got in an episode of the same name, is seen or referenced in many of the later episodes. More specific examples can be found in the recap pages for each episode.
* CoolHouse: The Crystal Gems' home is explored in "Together Breakfast." The whole thing is a [[http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/195gccfnfdchhjpg/original.jpg wooden house that is attached to a giant statue (the temple).]] That wooden house part? ''That's Steven's room.'' The Crystal Gems 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 [[PortalDoor magical, extra-dimensional doors]].
* CreativeClosingCredits: 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 [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SXBhAfGK1s five different]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCgcijaU0Bw variations.]] By the second half (which was early on considered season 2), the piece [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7HYtK03BuI got a new melody.]]
** The episode "Winter Forecast" gets a [[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/111549942842/download-the-ending-theme-to-winter-forecast unique theme]], with something of a swinging jazz feel to it. The show then switches back to the normal season 1b melody...only for two new versions to return in "[[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113348870417/artemispanthar-download-the-ending-theme-to The Message]]" and "[[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113391448287/download-the-ending-theme-to-political-power Political Power]], only now it's a DarkReprise with the sound of space-ship engines and static overlaid. Following that, "Jail Break" [[http://artemispanthar.tumblr.com/post/113497256697/download-the-ending-theme-to-jail-break-is brought back]] the season 1a theme WithLyrics. The first episode of the second season then uses the lyrical version shorted from two stanzas to one.
* {{Crossover}}: With ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa''. Like all children Uncle Grandpa helps, Steven is his distant relative.
* DependingOnTheArtist: Different storyboard artists for the show each have their own varying styles. This is most obvious in any episode storyboarded by Ian Jones Quartey, whose storyboarding style is at time ''very'' different than anyone else's.

[[folder:E - M]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: 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.
* EldritchLocation: The Gem Temple has water which doesn't obey gravity, areas where gravity isn't consistent, and is implied to be ''[[GeniusLoci alive]]'' (it has numerous body parts and a heart).
* EpisodeTitleCard: Every episode has a title card displaying the same view of the beach near the Gem Temple with one of the temple's hands in the foreground, holding a washing machine and a clothesline with some of Steven's clothing on it. Various details, such as the weather and time of day, are changed to reflect how it would look at the start of the episode, usually a blue and pink day time palette, with the most common variants being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSyaXG5XsN0 a pinkish orange morning/evening palette]] and the nighttime blue pallette used in the credits. The one exception so far is "Jail Break", which instead shows outer space [[spoiler:because the Crystal Gems begin the episode as prisoners in a spaceship]].
* ExpositoryThemeTune: The Crystal Gems purpose and names are all laid out in the twenty second long theme song, as at the top of the page.
* FantasticallyIndifferent: Gems have been on Earth since at least the beginning of recorded human civilization. The citizens of Beach City at least are largely indifferent to them and Ronaldo considers their activities as an explanation for all the weirdness in town as too simple and mundane.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** One of the lyrics to Greg's single in "Laser Light Cannon" is "I know I'm not that tall". When we finally see Rose in "Lion 3: Straight to Video", it turns out she is a ''[[TinyGuyHugeGirl lot]]'' taller than Greg.
** The fact that the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" doesn't ''quite'' operate like what the show establishes as the usual MonsterOfTheWeek (i.e. not leaving behind a gem to be collected) hints that there's more to it. As in, [[spoiler:it was a probe, not a gem monster]]
** As Steven slides down the pole in "Together Breakfast", he comes out of a dark shaft to a lit area that he says "isn't so bad" but keeps sliding into ''another'' dark shaft. Judging by the light pink background, that was probably Rose's Room, which would would see in more detail in the later episode of the same name.
** One of the transformations Amethyst cycles through in "Cat Fingers" is her Purple Puma wrestler persona from "Tiger Millionaire".
** Also in "Cat Fingers", Steven asks how to change into a huge lion. A few episode later, he ''meets'' a huge lion.
** The temple that the gems live in is in the shape of an enormous woman with eight arms. Both Pearl and Amethyst's [[FusionDance 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. Pearl warned the heart was connected to the most ''dangerous'' rooms in the temple. She wasn't kidding.
** 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 [[spoiler:the ocean disappears]]. So the Stevens went into the future.
** In "Monster Buddies", the Centipeetle can be seen trying to [[spoiler: take the shape of a woman]] when it is first released. [[spoiler: A few episodes later "Ocean Gem" confirms that they were once sentient.]]
** In "Steven the Sword Fighter", when [[spoiler: 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, [[spoiler: 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 [[spoiler:the back-story of the Crystal Gems when they separated from the Homeworld Gems]].
*** In "Future Vision", as Chibi-Steven was zapped by Cookie Cat he wailed "NOOO! I never considered you might be EVIL!". [[spoiler:Although "Warp Tour" hinted at it, only after "Marble Madness" was it clear that the Homeworld Gems don't have warm feelings toward humanity]].
** Another from "Gem Glow"- Connie's bracelet appears in the freezer next to all the Cookie Cats.
** 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.
** In "Warp Tour", Peridot mentions she plans to reactivate an area called "Kindergarten". "On The Run" reveals what it is. [[spoiler: "Marble Madness" sees her trying to reactivate it.]]
** Cross media example. On Ronaldo's "Keep Beach City Weird" blog on Tumblr, he opened questions for Halloween 2014. One question asked what his first encounter with the paranormal was; he answered an incident with a piece of wood. Another asked if he was friends with Lars; he simply answered "No". Fast forward to February 2015, when the show's Halloween episode aired, where we find out the history behind both those answers.
** In "Lion 2: The Movie" Lion brings Steven and Connie to a cave filled with magical weapons. In "Rose's Scabbard" it is revealed to be Rose Quartz's armory.
** The lead-up to TheReveal in "Jail Break" that [[spoiler:Garnet is a gem fusion]] was rather extensive:
*** [[spoiler:Garnet has a gem on each hand (both cut into different shapes), three eyes that are all different colors, and is far stronger than Amethyst or Pearl.]]
*** In the episode "Fusion Cuisine", one can briefly see [[spoiler:Sapphire and Ruby when Alexandrite de-fuses.]]
*** In "Alone Together," Garnet's advice to Stevonnie (the fusion between Steven and Connie) makes it seem like she's speaking from experience. [[spoiler:Because she ''is''; she's a fusion between two lovers (which just so happens to be what Stevonnie is).]] She makes another comment in the same episode.
---->'''Amethyst:''' [Fusing is] really hard, even for us.\\
'''Garnet:''' Not for me.
*** The opening sequence hints at the truth: [[spoiler:at the end, when each Crystal Gem gets their own shot, ''two'' shooting stars can be seen in the background behind Garnet.]]
*** The door to the rooms of the Crystal Gems [[spoiler: has one of their characteristic stars on it. Each point of the star has a miniature colored gem on it that represents the owner of the room; Rose/Steven has a pink gem, Pearl has a white gem, and Amethyst has a purple gem; Garnet, however, uses both the red and blue gem to go to her room, hinting at her status as a fusion.]]
*** In "Monster Buddies," Amethyst nicknames Garnet [[spoiler:"the G-squad."]]
*** In Garnet's introduction during the intro of the series PilotEpisode, [[spoiler:[[http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/113530028684/did-you-always-mean-for-garnet-to-be-a-fusion-or she is standing between two large chunks of ruby and sapphire.]]]] This, of course, means that [[spoiler:Garnet was likely a fusion]] ''since her conception as a character'', or at least before the pilot was finished.
* FreezeFrameBonus: There are often very small, easy to miss details, which usually take the form of cute shout-outs to other media, or plot relevant details.
* GreatOffscreenWar: Pearl, Garnet, and Rose Quartz were all part of a great galactic gem war long, long ago. When it was revealed that the Gems were planning on doing something that would seriously harm the Earth, they decided to fight back to protect the Earth, even if it meant exiling themselves and cutting off access to the planet from other Gems.
* HeroInsurance: While the townspeople certainly don't ''like'' the Gems occasionally destroying their property, they don't usually do anything about it--the most that seems to have ever happened is [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction the Gems getting banned from Fish Stew Pizza for wrecking the storefront]]. The Gems themselves outright don't care; their job is to kill the monsters, and property is collateral.
-->''(after the Gems accidentally cause an EMP and Mayor Dewey is begging Steven for help)''\\
'''Steven:''' We'll help you clean up!\\
'''Garnet:''' ''(offscreen)'' No we won't!
* HighSchoolAU:
** Promo art for [[http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/901/633/fd9.jpg "The Test"]], and [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/111995713713 "Maximum Capacity"]] were confirmed by WordOfGod to be [[http://the-world-of-steven-universe.tumblr.com/post/112728711306/ravennowithtea-i-wanted-to-do-a-little-advert this.]] Notably, Steven is [[AdorablyPrecociousChild a super-professional, ten-year-old teacher]] in it.
** [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/post/112235677873 Even more stuff]] from the same week as “Maximum Capacity.”
** For [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/113321766832/hilaryflorido-stevenbomb-katie-and-i-are-up-to “Political Power”]] we see Mayor Dewey as the principal and giving an announcement.
** In [[http://hilaryflorido.tumblr.com/image/113979414993 "Open Book"]] [[spoiler:Ruby and Sapphire]] are also shown to be students, and Connie is the school's librarian.
** [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/114633782227/hilaryflorido-its-that-time-again-you-know "Joy Ride"]] has Steven telling the cool kids get to class.
* HomeOfMonsters: "Kindergarten" is where [[spoiler:Amethyst]] was created. It's a desolate canyon filled with large drilling machines shaped like [[http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriophage bacteriophages]]
* IrisOut: Most episodes end with an IrisOut in the shape of the star on Steven's shirt and a playful "pop" noise accompanied by mini stars. The ones that don't usually end on a more serious/ominous note.
* LampshadeHanging: Keep Beach City Weird stopped posting during the summer of 2014, [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/95404315941/keep-beach-city-weird-is-back-ive-been-off-the 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.
** After the broadcast of "Marble Madness", Ronaldo noticed one of the marbles entering earth, so his plans for the next week involve watching the [[FunWithAcronyms C.A.R.T.O.O.N.]] [[note]] Comet/Asteriod [sic] Research Telescope Observing Objects Nationwide[[/note]] NETWORK, a comet-detecting service for commercial airliners, every day at 5 P.M., with the relevant points bolded.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Various characters have their own:
** Pearl has a [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-pearls-theme calm and elegant swing theme.]]
** Amethyst has a hip-hop beat.
** When these two characters fuse to form Opal, her theme is [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-opal an energetic jazz piano theme.]]
*** Furthermore, when Amethyst and Pearl ''fight'' in "On The Run", the theme uses many of the same chords and instruments, but instead is jarring and discordant.
** Garnet has a distinctive bass synth.
** Lion has a [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-lions-theme simple, childlike glockenspiel theme,]] which becomes more energetic [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-desert-glass#t=1:48 whenever he's doing something cool.]]
** Steven and Rose share [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-stevens-shield#t=0:26 an instrumental version of the "We are the Crystal Gems" theme song.]]
** Greg has a simple, laid-back one.
** [[spoiler:Lapis Lazuli has two themes: a [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-mirror-gem melancholy rolling theme with a water motif]] and an [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/sets/steven-universe-mirror-gem aggressive theme that sounds like the crashing of waves.]]]]
** Battle themes tend to [[https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-mirror-match?in=aivisura/sets/steven-universe-ocean-gem incorporate all of the characters' signature instruments.]]
** Sugillite has a hard hitting one with ominous choir to show her menacing side.
** Alexandrite has a musical motif with all of the Gems themes.
* {{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.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: 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. [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler:a space probe sent by Peridot.]] Later on, this becomes even less of an emphasis as the focus shifts to a MythArc.
* MoodWhiplash: The show does have moments to change from funny to seriousness in a matter of minutes.
* MundaneUtility: All the Gems have shown that they're quick to use their magic for relatively normal matters.
** All the gems maintain that fusions are only used in dire situations...but Steven manages to convince them to fuse just to attend supper with his friend's family anyway.
** Steven uses the pocket dimension in Lion's mane to store sodas and things.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: As shown above with the ThemeTuneRollCall, Steven Zoidberg's himself in. And in the pilot it was Steven who wrote the song in the first place.
* MusicalWorldHypotheses: Most of the time, when songs come up, they seem Digetic. Steven (and to a lesser extent, Greg) are musically talented, and often enjoy performing or improvising songs. Occasionally, though, they're obviously something different, such as Pearl's monologue of "Strong in the Real Way" or Garnet's BadAssBoast in "Stronger Than You", which she sings ''during battle'' and continues to be audible as Garnet ceased visibly singing.
* MythArc: "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem" hint at a far wider conflict than merely monsters randomly attacking Beach City. [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler: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.
** In "On the Run," we learn that [[spoiler:the Gems from their homeworld were trying to use Earth to create other Gems, which would be dangerous for the humans already living on Earth. Amethyst was one of the Gems created here.]]

[[folder:N - R]]
* NewContentCountdownClock: 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''.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore:
** [[WhamEpisode "Mirror Gem"/"Ocean Gem"]] has this effect: [[spoiler:Steven releases the Mirror Gem, revealing her to be [[ThereIsAnother 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.]]
** "On the Run" puts nearly ''everything'' in regards to [[spoiler:Amethyst]] in a whole new light. [[spoiler:She was born on Earth in the Kindergarten to be a "bad," parasitic Gem, and she still has negative feelings about this, which were not addressed until "On the Run."]]
** "Jail Break" does the same with [[spoiler: Garnet. She's a fusion between Ruby and Sapphire.]]
* OfficialCouple:
** Steven and Connie. While they're still too young to be romantically involved with each other, they are best friends, and share close enough of a bond to prove to the Gems that ''Humans'' can fuse with them. The end of "Full Disclosure" only cements the relationship, with Connie choosing to stay with Steven after learning the whole story about the Gems.
** [[spoiler: Sapphire and Ruby have been confirmed by one of the storyboard writers to have a romantic relationship]].
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: The Crystal Gems are often 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 problem himself.
* PoliceAreUseless: Beach City [[ExaggeratedTrope doesn't even seem to HAVE any form of law enforcement]]: none are present, even in situations where they logically should be, such as when a blackout nearly causes a riot or when the there's a massive evacuation.
* PortalDoor: The door at the Gem monument leads to the Gem temple, and opens to specific areas depending on which Gem activates it.
* PortalNetwork: The crystal platform in front of the PortalDoor links to other platforms of similar construction. There's a larger version of this called the Galaxy Warp that connects to an interplanetary network.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: It is implied that many gem artifacts, including the Desert Glass and the pyramid in "Serious Steven", [[spoiler:are powered by sentient Gems. Lapis Lazuli herself powered a magical mirror.]]
* ThePowerOfLove[=/=]ThePowerOfFriendship: The show's central theme is the love and relationships between characters. Steven in particular is primarily motivated by the need to care for and protect others. Fusions between gems also work far better if the gems legitimately love and care for one another.
* RuleOfSymbolism: The series often uses motifs from Hinduism, such as the multiple arms seen in the Gems' temple statue and fused gems (including Opal and Sugilite). [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/78156709869/from-storyboard-artist-joe-johnston-some Opal was also originally planned]] to form a clockwise swastika symbol with her hands when summoning her bow, a symbol associated with Vishnu. Sugilite, with her four arms, scary-looking fangs and BloodKnight personality, strongly resembles the Hindu goddess [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali Kali]] (who is associated with the counterclockwise swastika).
* RunningGag:
** 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, [[ShipTease mentioning that Lars and Sadie probably like each other.]]
** Mr. Universe's van suffering abuse.
--> '''Mr. Universe''': NO, NOT THE VAN.
** The Gems ground Steven by forbidding him to watch TV for 1000 years in "Fusion Cuisine", and it keeps coming up again in future episodes.

[[folder:S - Z]]
* SceneryPorn:
** The series has gained a name thanks to its [[http://stevencrewniverse.tumblr.com/post/77314174734/a-selection-of-backgrounds-from-the-steven gorgeous artwork]].
** The scene in "Ocean Gem" with the sea tower reaching into space is ''breathtaking''.
* ScienceFantasy: While some of the stuff the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Gems]] have and can do is depicted as technology, a good portion of said technology seems to be {{Magitek}} of some kind, and the rest is straight up described as magic, and has no apparently technology behind it.
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/StevenUniverse A whole page's worth.]]
* SpaceAgeStasis: [[AvertedTrope Nope!]] [[spoiler:The Homeworld Gems have continued to advance in the thousands of years they've been cut off from Earth, to the point that the most powerful weapons the Gems have are useless against their technology]].
* SurpriseCreepy: The show is usually a lighthearted comedy, which makes the occasional foray into [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] BodyHorror [[MoodWhiplash all the more effective.]]
* {{Surrealism}}: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]], but it's there and not always PlayedForLaughs (for example, the [[spoiler:Homeworld Gems arriving in a giant hand-shaped spaceship for apparently no reason]]), though the show does sometimes veer into SurrealHumor.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Steven really needs one after the Season One finale.
* ThemeTuneExtended: There is an extended version of the show's theme ("We Are the Crystal Gems") even longer than the pilot version. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1xQxZ8k-BM The version that can be found online]] has some parts censored with "dah dah dah" and such, because those are apparently [[{{Spoiler}} 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''
* ThrivingGhostTown: Beach City is home to less than two dozen people, for an area that should charitably require five times as many. Greg lampshades this when Steven says how the whole city will be at the concert he wants them both to attend. Greg says that like 15 people, tops.
* TitleThemeDrop: 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.
* {{Troll}}: Meta example on Tumblr. The [[http://crystal-gems.tumblr.com/ Crystal Gems]] fanblog reblogged a post that [[http://keepbeachcityweird.tumblr.com/post/97849312646/crystal-gems-keepbeachcityweird-what-the-heck Ronaldo specifically said not to reblog.]] He calls them out on their failed attempt to troll him.
* TrailersAlwaysLie: Not exactly trailers, but it's become notorious in the fandom that the episodes with particularly innocent and silly promos [[MoodWhiplash will turn out to be incredibly intense]] [[HalfwayPlotSwitch by the end]]. "On The Run" was probably the worst offender, with both the summary and the preview shown at [=MAGFest=] a couple weeks before it aired made it seem like nothing but wacky hijinks with Amethyst.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Everyone in Beach City reacts like this towards the Gems. Despite their display of magical powers, no one seems to care. When [[ConspiracyTheorist Ronaldo]] finds out they're responsible for a bunch of strange events he attributed to TheReptilians, he finds this actual explanation too mundane to accept. This is justified when you consider that the Gems have been on Earth since practically the dawn of humanity, if not longer (Pearl casually states in "Political Power" that she can remember when humans used to be hunter-gatherers, implying that she predates the Neolithic Revolution of 10,000 B.C.E). As far as humans are concerned, the Gems have pretty much always been there; it's an old hat at this point.
** 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. Once the flying robot shooting up the street is defeated, the ticket lady doesn't even question what happened.
** "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?
** In "Ocean Gem", Mayor Dewey refers to the Gems as "those magical ladies", and while everyone is rather surprised the ocean has disappeared, they care less for this physical impossibility than they do the effect it will have on the town.
** 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.
* WarIsHell: "Rose's Scabbard" reveals that every weapon on the battlefield from "Serious Steven" belonged to a Gem that died in the fight, and Greg tells Steven that "there's no such thing as a good war" in "The Return".
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler: Every single monster and gem-powered artifact in the show]].
* WaveMotionGun: 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.
* WeAreAsMayflies: In "Keep Beach City Weird!", Pearl muses that humans live "short, boring lives." Gems, on the other hand, do not age and are very hard to kill.
* WeaponOfChoice: The gems all have a different magical weapon that they summon through their gems.
** Garnet has a pair [[PowerFist gauntlets]] that are projecyed out of the gems embedded in her hands.
** Pearl gets [[BladeOnAStick a spear]] and has a collection of swords in her room.
** Amethyst uses [[WhipItGood a whip]]
** The titular character Steven has [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe a shield]] that he inherited from his mother. His mother also used [[CoolSword a sword]] that is not projected out of a gem, but is instead summoned out of Lion.
** [[spoiler: Lapis Lazuli does not have a weapon. Instead, she has the power to [[MakingASplash control water]]]]
** [[spoiler: Jasper appears to summon a helmet from the gem that is her nose.]]
*** It's also worth noting that when two gems [[FusionDance fuse]] their weapons combine into a new one too:
** Opal turns Pearl's spear and Amethyst's whip into the limbs and string of an EnergyBow
** Sugilite combines Garnet's gauntlets into a giant [[EpicFlail meteor hammer]] with Amethyst's whip as the chain
* WellIntentionedReplacement: In the comic story from the ''ComicBook/AdventureTime 2013 Spooktacular''. The Gems make a comic book for Steven after destroying Steven's pile of [[SomethingPerson [=GuyMan=]]] (and [[DistaffCounterpart [=GuyWoman=]]]) variants that a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting devious shape shifter]] turned itself into. Steven loves it.
->''"[[ClosingCredits When I see the way you act]]\\
[[WithLyrics Wondering when I'm coming back,\\
I could do about anything\\
I could even learn how to love\\
Like you]]"''