What An Idiot / Steven Universe

These entries chronicle the characters' lapses in judgement, decisions that were not thought out, or just plain stupidity within the context of Steven Universe. BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS!
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  • Gems are Nigh Invulnerable humanoid rock creatures from outer space. Rose Quartz led a rebellion to protect humans and all organic life on Earth from being wiped out, since a Gem colony destroys planets from the inside out.
    You'd Expect: Given Rose's love for humans that she and the surviving Crystal Gems would learn all about them, namely that humans believe in autonomy if they aren't captured and conditioned over five thousand years to live in a zoo, and that they are relatively fragile compared to Gems.
    Instead: The Gems isolate themselves from humanity after the war and don't bother to learn more than cursory facts about them. Despite the fact that Rose is protecting humans and the Earth, she knows little to nothing about them. Pearl mentions that Rose has had human lovers, but Rose didn't know that humans grew from babies for a while, for example, or that tiny humans are "fragile and soft". This naturally causes a lot of problems when Rose "dies" to have Steven, a Gem-human hybrid, and the Gems have to work with her lover Greg to figure out how to rear a baby and help him grow.
  • After Steven is born, the Gems and Greg alternate in caring for him. He lives with his dad at the van and It's A Wash until the Gems and Greg build a house extension of the temple suited for raising a child. Greg makes sure Steven is well cared for, and has educated him a fair amount about the Earth.
    You'd Expect: The Gems to educate Steven about their culture to the fullest extent of their ability, despite their guilt, as he gets older. There is a whole planet fathoms away with different music, language, writing, and history. There's also the fact that Steven doesn't go to regular school, so he should at least get more of an education.
    Instead: More often than not, Steven is Locked Out of the Loop. The Gems operate on a need-to-know basis, especially since Steven is a goodhearted Friend to All Living Things. In Season One, much of what he learns comes from missions where his guardians dismantle dangerous technology or Corrupted Gems, and it gets to the point where he nearly has an anxiety attack on learning what his mother did to Pink Diamond. Even after this, it takes great effort for the Gems to communicate with Steven.
  • Garnet has Future Vision. This allows her to see multiple futures at the same time, often at a dizzying rate.
    You'd Expect: She would use this more often than she does, especially in dangerous situations. For example, when Peridot is coming to Earth with an unknown ally and upgraded technology.
    Instead: She doesn't, especially to see things that could threaten the Gems' lives. Granted, Steven has tried her powers and knows that sometimes there is no happy outcome, and there are some things her Future Vision cannot predict, but still.

     Season One 
  • In "Onion Trade", Steven is desperate to trade for a rare Ranger Guy that Onion possesses. Steven has a device the Gems gave him that can replicate anything.
    You'd Expect: Steven to replicate Ranger Guy with the Replicator Wand and take the spare.
    Instead: Steven trades his Replicator Wand for Ranger Guy and Onion goes on a replicating rampage. When the Gems have to fight the ensuing chaos, Pearl tells Steven the above solution. Garnet ultimately destroys the Replicator Wand to get rid of the mess.
    Steven: [facepalm] DANG IT!
  • "Island Adventure"
    • Sadie wants to help Lars feel better. Steven takes the both of them to Mask Island via a Warp Pad.
      You'd Expect: Sadie to relax and hang out with Steven and Lars, and maybe spend some time with Lars alone. This is an unknown island with unknown dangers.
      Instead: Sadie covers the Warp Pad with leaves, hiding it from Steven and Lars and stranding the three of them on the island for a few days. Her relationship with Lars becomes strained as a result.
      Also: Steven wants to hang out with his friends and relax. He knows of an island he can take them to via Warp Pad.
      You'd Expect: For Steven to at least scout out the island first to make sure there aren't any hazards his fully human friends wouldn't be able to handle.
      Instead: He doesn't and the group gets attacked by a Gem Monster. If not for Sadie's quick thinking, they all could have died.
      To Be Fair: Said Gem Monster was invisible, and Steven was operating on the Gems' assumption that it left the island.
  • "Marble Madness": Steven and the Crystal Gems discover an underground base of operations. The technology in the base flickers online and Peridot makes system checks. Garnet tells Steven that Peridot is an enemy they don't know with technology they don't understand.
    You'd Expect: For Steven to keep quiet and not alert the enemy to his presence, and look at the area afterwards for information.
    Instead: Steven walks right up to Peridot's field of vision and introduces himself.
    As a Result: Peridot almost crushes Steven, and the Crystal Gems have to reveal themselves to save him. This alerts the Homeworld Gems to their presence and kicks off the events of later episodes. Steven doesn't get much information from the encounter.

    Season Two 
  • "Love Letters"
    • Jamie the mailman falls in love with Garnet and sends her a love letter. Garnet, being a permafusion of two Gems, doesn't feel the same way. Connie and Steven know Garnet's feelings on the matter. When Connie encourages Garnet to write a letter back, Garnet writes him, "No."
      You'd Expect: Connie and/or Steven to tell Garnet to let Jamie down gently or at the very least give him a reason why she doesn't feel the same way. If she didn't want to explain the whole permafusion thing, she could say she loves someone else. Jamie is prone to overacting and is a pretty emotional character, which could easily be explained to Garnet (as Ruby is much the same way).
      Instead: She doesn't. Garnet's letter to Jamie is brutal as a result.
      Then: Connie and Steven decide to write their own letter to Jamie to let him down easily.
      You'd Expect: That they'd courteously but clearly tell Jamie in the letter that Garnet doesn't love him.
      Instead: They try to communicate Garnet's feelings by replicating both Jamie's Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe style and a Soap Opera.
      As a Result: Jamie gets the idea that Garnet loves him back and gets pretty hurt when Garnet corrects him.
      But Hey! Garnet gives Jamie a talk and encourages him to continue acting, which he does in later episodes.
  • "Joy Ride"
    • Steven and the Cool Kids come across Peridot's escape pod. Steven wants to alert the Gems of this, but the Cool Kids want to mess with the escape pod.
      You'd Expect: For Steven to stand his ground and understand that this is alien and dangerous technology and that messing with it haphazardly could get someone seriously injured or killed, and to alert the Gems of the pod as soon as possible.
      Instead: Steven allows the Cool Kids to mess with the pod.
      Even Worse: Steven climbs in the pod himself to check it out.
      As a Result: The pod closes and starts firing all over the place. The Gems arrive to take care of the pod and believe that Peridot is attempting to escape, leading to Garnet beating up the pod. The Cool Kids manage to stop Garnet before she completely destroys the pod, and Steven gets reprimanded.
    • Garnet comes to investigate the crashed pod. Garnet has Future Vision.
      You'd Expect: That Garnet would foresee some instances of Steven or one of the Cool Kids climbing into and messing with the pod and would take caution not to hastily attack.
      Instead: Garnet and the Gems immediately beat up the pod with Steven still inside it, and would have sent it into orbit if the Cool Kids hadn't intervened.
  • Beginning with "Catch and Release", Peridot is taken captive by the Crystal Gems. Because Peridot has knowledge of the Cluster, the Gems offer a deal: If Peridot helps the Gems stop the Cluster, she'll be released from the bathroom she's been hiding in.
    You'd Expect: That Peridot would at least try to make an effort to act considerate around her captors and not, say, attempt to assert dominance over them. Peridot makes it clear that her limb enhancers were her weapon, and now they're not at her disposal.
    Instead: Two episodes later, Peridot attempts to force Pearl to serve her, repeatedly stating that Pearl is a slave meant to serve others and that she should obey her.
    Even Worse: Peridot grabs Pearl's robot while shouting "You are beneath me! I'll always be better than you!"
    As a Result: Peridot gets punched in the face.
    Thankfully: The entire ordeal leads to Peridot gaining some respect for Pearl, and the two start actually working together.
  • "Message Received"
    • Peridot has ticked off the Crystal Gems in the previous episode by saying Rose's efforts to save the Earth are All for Nothing thanks to the Cluster, while searching for data at the old moon base. Steven has noticed that she's pocketed a strange crystal, and confronts her about it. She's forced to admit that it's a direct communication line to the Diamonds.
      You'd Expect: Peridot would calmly explain that she wants to reason with Yellow Diamond to spare the Earth. That is, to cancel the Cluster by convincing Homeworld to use Earth's natural resources without upsetting the various ecosystems. When she does this while talking to Yellow Diamond, the Gems and Steven quickly realize that Peridot isn't betraying them. Even if they think her plan is futile and risky, they wouldn't be trying to poof her.
      Instead: Peridot keeps her wording ambiguous, talking about how the Earth and herself can be "of use to Yellow Diamond". Steven assumes she's trying to turn them into her matriarch and save her own skin, since that was her goal before she was captured. This leads to an all-out brawl between Peridot and the combined forces of the Gems, and results in a hole in the side of the barn and the Peribot destroyed.
    • Yellow Diamond has her reasons for wanting the Cluster destroyed. A lowly Peridot tries to convince her that while she was observing the Cluster, she found valuable resources on Earth that Homeworld could use.
      You'd Expect: YD would remember that an empire needs resources. The Era 2 Gems are lacking in their predecessors' abilities and are thus less able to assist their leaders. As a matriarch, Yellow Diamond should consider Pragmatic Villainy. On an emotional level, it would be an insult to Rose Quartz's memory to exploit the Earth even if she doesn't wipe out the organic life.
      Instead: Yellow doesn't listen at all. She tells Peridot, who is from Era 2, that she doesn't care about potential resources, she just wants the Earth to die. Peridot loses her temper, calls YD a clod for not seeing the value of the Earth, and helps Steven stop the Cluster. In addition, YD attempts to execute Peridot remotely, which forces her to become a Crystal Gem.

    Season Three 
  • "Hit the Diamond"
    • A Ruby Squad has come from Homeworld; Steven and Peridot think they've come to execute Peridot for insulting Yellow Diamond. The Rubies then correct them right when Peridot tries to sacrifice herself to save her new friends: they've been asked to search for Jasper. Jasper has gone missing after the Cluster nearly destroyed the Earth.
      You'd Expect: Steven to tell the Rubies the truth: Jasper is somewhere on Earth, and they're not sure where, but they can give the Rubies a rough estimate of her location. If they're worried about the Rubies disturbing humans, they could go along and in turn make sure that Jasper isn't a threat to the Gems and Lapis.
      Instead: Steven lies and says Jasper is on Neptune. The Rubies after going to Neptune and back are furious about it. When Jasper returns, she threatens Steven's life multiple times and catches him and Lapis off-guard.
  • "Back to The Moon"
    • The Rubies return, still seeking Jasper. Steven, Peridot and Amethyst worked together to fight and poof Jasper, who has become corrupted. Jasper is now in the Temple in a bubble.
      You'd Expect: Again, honesty would be the best policy. Steven and Peridot could explain that they lied because they know that a Corrupted Gem would likely become shattered by the Diamond Authority. The Rubies could decide if they want to risk Jasper being shattered on returning her to Homeworld, or to return and explain that Jasper has "died", for all intents and purposes.
      Instead: Amethyst impulsively tries to deceive them by posing as Jasper, before Steven can even consider telling the truth. It goes terribly south when the Rubies catch her in the act of shapeshifting at the moon base. This leads to the Rubies and Steven getting stranded in space, with the former getting stuck out there for quite a while.
  • "Bubbled"
    • Steven is out in the middle of space with a Homeworld Ruby he calls Eyeball, a veteran of the original Gem War fought for Earth. Eyeball tells him that she was hoping that Jasper knew where Rose Quartz was, but is disillusioned that it was another cheap trick. When Steven tells her what happened to his mother, Eyeball expresses disbelief that Steven is Rose Quartz, the leader of the Gem War that fought for Earth's freedom.
      You'd Expect: For Steven not to convince a member of an opposing faction that he's the opposing general in the middle of space with nobody else around. Especially since she doesn't believe that Rose changed since the war.
      Instead: Steven keeps insisting that he's Rose Quartz.
      Inevitably: Eyeball attempts to murder who she believes is Rose Quartz after he heals her gem, which finally gives her the hint.
      Even Worse: Due to Eyeball wanting to murder Steven, he had to throw her out of the bubble he was protecting himself in, expelling a lot of oxygen in the process. By the time the Gems find him, he's already blacked out (presumably from lack of oxygen). He very easily could've asphyxiated due to his insistence of being Rose Quartz. Much later in season five, Eyeball is summoned as a witness to identify Rose Quartz during a trial on Homeworld.

    Season Four 
  • "The Kindergarten Kid"
    • Peridot laughs when the Crystal Gems fail to capture a feisty, flighty Gem Monster. When an annoyed Amethyst suggests Let's See YOU Do Better!, Peridot ready takes to the task. There is just one problem: while her wiring up old Gem tech would work on normal monsters, this monster happens to be Smarter Than You Look and doesn't fall for any of the Peri-Plans.
      You'd Expect: Peridot to eventually realize the creature is intelligent after so many failed attempts.
      Instead: She doesn't. Her final plan, to push a rock down it, requires that the Monster would be "dumb" enough to stand in the right spot. Steven has to tell her bluntly that the Monster is smarter than Peridot thinks, after both suffer Amusing Injuries.
    • Peri-Plan 1: Peridot tries to make an injector wedged into a cliff fall on the Monster. The injector doesn't budge an inch, however, even after she makes all of its legs fall.
      You'd Expect: Peridot would be careful after her plan fails.
      Instead: She goes directly under the ejector, and starts kicking the cliff to make it fall. Steven warns her, so she moves away, but she's still in the line of fire when it crushes her right after she gets flattened by boulders.
    • Peri-Plan 2: Peridot rewires an injector to become a rudimentary cannon, using boulders as ammo. She uses one boulder to demonstrate.
      You'd Expect: Peridot would reload when she sees the monster again.
      Instead: Peridot tries to shoot the unloaded cannon at the Gem Monster. The backlash knocks her against a cliff, which leads to more rocks falling on her.
    • Peri-Plan 3: Peridot decides to shove a boulder down the cliff, from a great height, when the monster walks below. Steven immediately sees the problem: how will they get the monster to stand directly in the path of the boulder? Then the monster shows up behind them. It scares them off the cliff and pushes the boulder down after them.
      You'd Expect: Steven to quickly bubble the two of them while they're falling. He can float, but Peridot can't.
      Instead: Steven floats down while Peridot crashes. Then the boulder falls on her, and Steven can't save her from it falling on her again during a Humiliation Conga.
  • In "Steven's Dream", Garnet has a vision of Steven going to Korea and encountering Blue Diamond. Steven is becoming increasingly agitated about being left out of the loop and wants to go look for answers on his own.
    You'd Expect: Garnet to be upfront and tell Steven that a massive alien overlord is at the place he's going to wind up at, and it could have massive repercussions.
    Instead: Garnet does nothing except ask Steven not to go, which Steven disobeys.
    As a Result: Greg gets kidnapped by Blue Diamond. Steven and the Crystal Gems have to risk capture once again to save him, and Steven nearly gets himself killed on the way there.
    To Be Fair: Garnet saw at least one possibility where Steven still went despite being told Blue Diamond was there. Even so, she admits she should have been upfront about it.

    Season Five 
  • "Stuck Together"
    • Topaz decides to help Steven and Lars after being moved by their talk. Topaz brings up an escape pod so they can return to Earth.
      You'd Expect: That Steven and Lars would understand the gravity of the situation and escape as quickly as possible. They have absolutely no idea what conditions Homeworld has, and it's unlikely that there would be anything resembling food there.
      You'd Also Expect: That Topaz would go with them. She's just stated that she feels horrible about having to do missions all the time but is petrified by the thought of being split up. Allowing prisoners to escape would be seen as treason, which would at best mean that the two Topazes would be reassigned/split up, and at worst, shattered.
      Instead: Steven and Lars argue about Steven not wanting to escape. Topaz makes no motion to get in herself.
      As a Result: The escape attempt fails, and Topaz is caught red-handed by Aquamarine.
      Then: Aquamarine chastises Topaz, causing Topaz to slam her up against a wall with a destabilizer in hand. Aquamarine threatens Topaz by saying that if Homeworld found out about this, she'll be split apart.
      You'd Then Expect: Steven to counter Aquamarine's threat by offering Topaz freedom on Earth. Maybe explain to her that one of the Gems she had been fighting in the previous episode was in fact a Fusion that had chosen to stay on Earth for the exact same reasons Topaz has: she wants to remain a Fusion.
      Alternatively: Steven or Lars could remind Topaz that Aquamarine's character is not at all trustworthy. The reason Lars is even on the ship at the moment is because Aquamarine went back on her word. There's absolutely no indication that Aquamarine wouldn't just turn around and out Topaz anyway the moment they return to Homeworld.
      Or Even: Topaz could realize that even if she returns to Homeworld, she'll have to keep repressing her true feelings about being a Fusion. Homeworld does not approve of Fusions other than for practical uses, and Topaz's situation would not be understood by any of her colleagues. There's also the fact that even if they returned at this point, Aquamarine now has a way to blackmail Topaz into doing whatever she wants at any given time.
      Instead: Nobody does any of this. Steven and Lars don't say anything about Aquamarine's remark.
      As a Result: Topaz gets back in line due to her fear of being split up being exploited. Steven and Lars get separated and taken away, Steven gets prepped for trial, and a series of events kicks off that ultimately leads to Lars' death and resurrection.
  • "Dewey Wins"
    • Steven by sheer dumb luck manages to find a way back to Earth before he would either starve or die by Diamond hand. His family is thrilled to see him. Connie, however, has mixed feelings: while she is relieved Steven is okay, she's upset that he gave himself up rather than fuse with her to fight Aquamarine and Topaz. He could have easily died, and left everyone he loves behind, and he didn't trust her to help. Steven believes that there wasn't a choice and that Topaz would have curbstomped Stevonnie, plus he blames himself for Aquamarine and Topaz kidnapping his friends and neighbors. He's also internally battling the trauma of seeing Lars die and come back to life, and being unable to bring him and the Off Colors home.
      You'd Expect: Even though Steven doesn't agree with Connie, he wouldn't try to act like things worked out for the best. Connie may be wrong in that they could have fight, but it's also how she's expressing her hurt. Also in a previous episode, he had learned that bottling up his emotions and being a Stepford Smiler would have serious ramifications.
      Instead: Steven gets Aesop Amnesia, tries to act like he did the right thing and suppresses his trauma. This inadvertently invalidates Connie's pain and worry. Connie and Lion leave him for a few days, with Connie not texting because she wanted to talk to him in person after thinking it over, and due to some misunderstandings they don't reunite until Kevin invites them to a party in the hopes of seeing Stevonnie. Then Steven admits that he was wrong to be a Stepford Smiler and to disregard her pain, and he and Connie are able to talk it out.
    • Dewey is running for re-election. It's his hardest campaign yet; he's asked about the recent kidnappings, and Lars being stranded in outer space. This isn't really his fault this time, since this was Gem weirdness beyond human control. Steven is trying to help him, since Steven is an All-Loving Hero.
      You'd Expect: Dewey would say Beach City and the Crystal Gems will work together to bring Lars home, or at the very least say that he'd do everything in his power to bring Lars back. His opponent Nanefua believes in working as a team rather than pointing fingers.
      Instead: Dewey callously claims that the donut shop can get another employee. Steven does a Face Palm, and the crowd, which includes Lars's grieving parents, become furious. Lars's mother tosses a tomato at Dewey's face, which leads to a humiliating YouTube video and doesn't help Dewey's campaign.
  • "Gemcation": The Gems (and Greg) take Steven on a vacation to a small cabin to try and help him unwind. Steven is anxiously glued to his phone to see any response from Connie. To try and get Steven to open up, both Garnet and Pearl start talking about the Gem War and the past.
    You'd Expect: For Steven to listen to what Garnet and Pearl have to say. He's been begging for information about the Gem War and his mother's involvement for at least two seasons, and now the opportunity to learn more about what happened from the perspective of his guardian figures has finally arrived. Hell, the entire reason Greg got kidnapped is because Steven got mad that the Gems weren't telling him anything. Connie will talk to him when she's ready.
    Instead: He brushes off both attempts because he's too concerned about Connie's response.
    As a Result: Steven (and by extension the audience) learns nothing new about the Gem War or Pearl's past yet again.
    Even Worse: Apparently Steven doesn't know how a phone works, as the phone never had any signal the entire time. It takes Greg to point this out to him and leads to Steven trying to get signal at the very edge of a cliff. Connie never texts him the entire episode; the message he gets turns out to be from Ronaldo in a Running Gag.