YMMV: Steven Universe

  • Abandon Shipping: All the Garnet pairings sunk with three words: "Three's a crowd." (However, others continued shipping Garnet/Pearl/Amethyst under the justification that "threes a crowd, but four's a party".
    • A lot of Pearl/Rose Quartz shippers began to reconsider the pairing after "Sworn to the Sword" and "We Need to Talk", which showed a darker side to Pearl's devotion to Rose.
  • Accidental Innuendo: During the Uncle Grandpa crossover, the title character says he's Steven's uncle and grandpa and Pearl deduces that means he's Greg's brother and father, which causes Garnet to respond "That would explain a lot." Word of God has said she just meant that's why they call him "Uncle Grandpa", but more than a few people thought she was implying Greg was inbred.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Greg a better parent than the Gems themselves? On the one hand, he's somewhat of a slacker, living in his van which is perpetually full of junk, seemingly misplacing as many things as he finds, can be forgetful at times, and it's somewhat unclear that despite being a human himself, he'd give him a proper education and upbringing. On the other, he definitely gets serious whenever Steven is facing a problem or life-threatening situation, and is otherwise a fun-loving, supportive good parent. Episodes such as "Laser Light Cannon", "Cat Fingers", "Ocean Gem", "Space Race", "The Message, etc, show that Greg is actually quite competent in 'normal' matters, even if he's all too aware of how out of his depth he is at magical things. He even gives the Crystal Gems a small What the Hell, Hero? when he points out that they "never give up on anything, except for [him]".
    • After "Coach Steven", Sugilite's character has been subject to a vast amount of varying interpretations. Is her personality a result of Garnet and Amethyst's mindsets at the moment of fusion, or is it a reasonable mixture of their own distinct traits? Was it an example of the Ruby and Amethyst parts of her just getting wildly out-of-control? Was her lashing out at Pearl an indication that the amount of time she spent fused was causing her to go out of control, or was she justifiably hurt that Pearl left her behind?
    • Lapis Lazuli. Was she a threat that could've seriously hurt everyone around her? Or was she just a homesick gem that was just severely injured and didn't want to be on the planet anymore? After the events of "The Return/jailbreak" and beyond, is her willingness to sacrifice her freedom, and even her identity for Steven the result of Steven's personality making her a better person? Or is she doing this purely for his sake, and couldn't care less about her home planet, the Earth, other Gems both Crystal and otherwise, and even herself?
    • Lapis brings up one for the Crystal Gems: Are they heroic protectors of Earth, creatures whose personalities are based on instinct? Or heartless jailers imprisoning wayward gems regardless of their intent? As of "Keeping It Together", it's made clear they're securing Gem shards purely to protect them from getting in the hands of innocent humans, and worse still as a source for the Homeworld's twisted experiments.
    • Pearl and Amethyst's amusement at humans' short lifespans: Are the Gems really an advanced race of warriors, or just a group of Smug Super thugs and that Lapis may have had a point in her argument? Or alternatively, are the Crystal Gems simply Noble Bigots in comparison to the rest of the gem race? Lapis herself seemed to show little regard for the Earth and its inhabitants herself, and the modern Homeworld Gems are if anything, even worse. The end result appears to be that as insensitive and unintentionally condescending as they are, they've grown to genuinely believe in protecting Earth and is the best defense humanity has.
    • Connie's parents? Decent parents or, in the case of Connie's mom, a full blown Jerkass Abusive Parent?
    • Sadie. Misunderstood teenager with a crush, or a Yandere who goes to excessive and cruel lengths to get back at Lars for simple pettiness? Or somewhere in between, as a cheerful if somewhat obsessive girl that although sometimes cruel to a guy that's more than cruel to her back, still is a positive influence.
    • The exact relationship between Amethyst and Greg as shown in 'Maximum Capacity'. Was Amethyst's reaction in this episode akin to a child who's working through the grief of her mother-figure getting into a new relationship and then dying? Or, as another fan contingent suggests, was there also something romantic/sexual going on between the two of them? Similarly, the fandom is also split between those who feel that despite her cruel actions in the episode, Amethyst was still sympathetic considering her back-story (and apology), and those who felt she crossed a line.
    • "Rose's Scabbard" has shed new light on Pearl. Was her relationship with Rose an adoring kind of Hero Worship? Was Pearl the Gem equivalent of a stalker who wanted to know all of Rose's secrets? Or was their relationship something a little less platonic?
      • "Sworn to the Sword" certainly brought up even more questions on the exact nature of Rose and Pearl's relationship especially after its implied that Pearl is significantly younger than Rose. There is also the possibility that Pearl's devotion to Rose was rather unhealthy, for Pearl herself most of all. Both of these implications might explain why Rose kept some distance between herself and Pearl.
      • Matt Brunett has confirmed on his Twitter that Pearl's feelings were not platonic. This answers one question, but the debate over whether Rose herself saw her as a lover or friend still leaves the matter open to multiple interpretations.
    • Could many of Pearl's character traits be the result of having (the Gem equivalent of) high-functioning autism? She displays numerous traits typically associated with Asperger Syndrome in particular: taking hyperbole, sarcasm, and humour literally (eg: Steven's "Butter-fly" joke); an inability to pick up on social cues, difficulties empathising with those she doesn't have a close connection with (ie: most humans), being ultra-logical most of the time but highly anxious and emotional in stressful situations, and trouble understanding other people's perspectives - such as Amethyst's in On the Run. Given that the other Gems can seem to glean a basic understanding of earth and its inhabitants, Pearl's behavior may not be explainable by reference to her outsider status alone.
      • "We Need to Talk" shows Rose having a similarly alien mindset, laughing hysterically at Greg when he asks her if she takes him seriously but moments later being put-off when he laughs at her and then starts crying, completely ignoring Pearl's jealousy and anxiety, singing about how she likes "playing along" with humans, and implying she's had human lovers (and possibly something with Pearl) but had no idea what being "in love" is like.
    • Peedee Fryman: Does he genuinely believe his brother and support his Conspiracy Theorist status? Or is that just to ensure his brother is happy and able to function?
    • A lot has been tossed around regarding Peridot's status, weather she's genuinely evil, or just a apathetic employee, who only wants to do her job, get off of Earth, and go back to the Homeworld, which the episodes featuring her have both supported and refuted in equal amounts. It doesn't help that most of the fanbase really wants to see her undergo a "Prince Zuko-esque" redemption arc. Because of her Adorkable qualities and fans downplaying her actions, it made a number of fans hard-pressed to hate her in the same way as Jasper.
  • Author's Saving Throw: For fans not fond of the Uncle Grandpa crossover, the fact that it went out of it's way to state within the first two minutes that it's not to be considered canon, and that it was more of an excuse to cut loose for the sake of one-off humor greatly helped it's reception in the fandom.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Pearl has a somewhat mixed reputation, Some fans finding her quirks (she's a clean freak, and is extremely protective towards Steven) to be annoying, others find them funny or endearing.
      • Her feelings for Rose Quartz have also divided the fanbase further. Initially regarded as sweet, as more light has been shed on the nature of their relationship, fans are debated as to whether it makes Pearl even more of The Woobie or whether it makes her an unsympathetic Jerk Ass Crazy Jealous Girl.
      • It doesn't help that she seems to be completely unable to think about anything or anyone else once she goes into "Rose mode." In "Rose's Scabbard", she's so distraught that when Steven misses his last jump and nearly falls to his death she doesn't even try to help him climb back up. Then in "Sworn to the Sword," she convinces Connie that her life is worth nothing when it comes to protecting Steven, seeming to forget that she's human and will not simply retreat into her gem if her body is injured. Over all it seems that Pearl has some very serious issues to work through, but doesn't truly mean any harm.
    • Amethyst's carefree attitude. She's always had her fare share of fans who enjoyed seeing her let loose and have fun with her powers. Others found her misuse of her powers grating and obnoxious, making her the least popular of the Crystal Gems, particularly in the first half of season 1. This largely died down after her hidden insecurities and self-worth issues were explored in "Tiger Millionaire", and especially focus episodes after the revelation of her being created in Kindergarten during the war, made her much more sympathetic even to those that disliked her.
    • Lars. He often acts like a selfish Jerkass, and any time an episode ends with him learning humility, it completely gets forgotten by the next episode. However, he still has his fair share of fans and has been involved with some of the show's Heartwarming Moments. This clip sums Lars up perfectly. He has his Jerkass moments, but deep down inside, he does actually care, as evidenced by when he gives Sadie his shirt at the end for her to keep warm. "Island Adventure" accentuates this, with a lot of people either hating on Lars and glorifying Sadie (for Lars coming across as even more of a jerk than usual for a lot of the episode) or vice versa (for Sadie taking matters into her own hands to "help" Lars without asking him, which may have just ended up hurting him and their relationship).
    • Jasper. Depending on who you ask, she's either a badass, cool antagonist with a rather creative design, or a boring, clichéd General Ripper archetype that just can't compare to the other non-standard antagonists like the comical Peridot or the sympathetic Lapis Lazuli. There's very little neutral ground.
    • Jamie, in "Love Letters". Was his reaction to his infatuation with Garnet funny and cute, or annoying and unjustified? Was he sympathetic in his heartbreak, or was he trying to be emotionally manipulative to get his way?
    • Peridot, after "Keeping It Together". Is she a smaller cog in a larger machine, not responsible for the crimes of those above her and worthy of eventual forgiveness? Or is she a monster for propagating a terrifying and inhumane experiment who doesn't deserve any mercy?
  • Bizarro Episode: "Say Uncle," an explicitly non-canon crossover with Uncle Grandpa that kills Pizza Stevenote  and by implication Lars and Sadie. The episode mostly consists of Uncle Grandpa doing bizarre things to help teach Steven how to use his shield, and later sending him into his RV. It's also the only time in the series that fourth wall jokes are used.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show moved to a slightly looser and less detailed style after it was picked up, which understandably upset fans of the pilot. There's a small handful that liked or even prefered their designs, but it's usually regarded as inconsistent and more than a little stiff.
    • As more and more episodes come out, it's become increasingly debatable among fans whether or not Greg is actually a better role model than the Gems for a variety of reasons. The Gems themselves even question if they're capable of teaching Steven and providing for him in "The Test".
    • "Alone Together". Either it was a sweet episode and a unique Fusion, or it was slightly creepy and inappropriate due to the characters' ambiguously young ages.
    • As soon as the crossover with Uncle Grandpa was announced, the fandom split into those who were excited about the idea, those who are indifferent, and those who thought it was the worst idea in history. Even after the episode came out, the Fandom Nods and irreverent tone in poking fun at the show garnered mixed reactions of their own, with some finding it mean-spirited and others finding it hilarious, and exactly what the joke was.
      • Within the same episode, the fandom became split over whether Pearl's Flanderized behavior in said episode was either gut-bustingly funny or a disservice to her character.
    • Garnet's behavior in "Love Letters" to Jamie. While the majority of the fandom agree that she wasn't entitled to go on a "pity date" with him, a few people think that she was a bit too blunt in how she felt, and that she should've just explained to Jamie that she was already in a relationship.
    • The fandom is split over what, exactly, fusion is a metaphor for. Some argue that it's a straight forward metaphor for sex. Others see it as a metaphor for any and all kinds of intimacy within relationships, including friendly and familial ones. Which view you subscribe to will understandably affect how you think about Steven possibly fusing with any of the Gems or with Connie.
  • Counterpart Comparison: After The Reveal in Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem that the monsters the Gems have fought the entire time are actually corrupted Gems, on top of the pre-existing fact the Gems can survive anything so long as their gem is intact, fans have compared the show to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. For a number of reasons:
    • Both are Deconstructional takes on the Magical Girl genre where the Monster of the Week was once a man (or Gem in Steven Universe's case).
    • They both star idealistic main characters that eventually learn that just how dangerous their job really is.
    • Both series have main characters display relationship problems and mental issues, though here, it is toned down a little to cater to a kids audience.
    • The Magical Girl characters of both series are actually the gemstones that are on their bodies, with the rest of their form being a Made of Iron proxy.
      • Jasper's muscular build, long hair, brutish nature, and role as a member of the main characters' race who came back to attack them lead to a lot of jokes comparing her to Raditz from Dragon Ball. Similar are comparisons of her to Nappa and Peridot to Vegeta, which the show's creative director found very amusing.
    • Peridot performing unethical experiments on gems by fusing them against their wills has drawn some comparisons to Shou Tucker.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • There's Pearl x Lars.
    • And Amethyst x Connie
    • Amethyst x Sadie
    • Lars x Buck Dewey has been growing in popularity as of late.
    • LapiDot (Lapis Lazuli and Peridot) sprung up surprisingly strong after "Warp Tour", and before they ever even met.
    • Pearl x Mayor Dewey is nearly canon on one end: Dewey describes Pearl as being 'the hot one' of the Gems.
    • With the Uncle Grandpa crossover, there is now the potential for crossover ships with all of those characters, including Lion x Giant Realistic Flying Tiger.
    • Jamie x Kevin popped up right away after his Day in the Limelight episode, "Love Letters" aired.
    • Pearl x Connie (aka Ponnie) has earned itself a small but devoted following after Sworn to the Sword.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Crossover Ship: Pearl x Jet Link aka Cyborg 002 is pretty popular, due to the fact that they have similar noses, hair color and style (although Pearl's hair is lighter and shorter), and love to dance.
    • After the events of "Arcade Mania", fans began shipping Garnet with Tien Shinhan because they both have a Third Eye.
    • Bill Cipher has started being shipped with Peridot. There's a consistent joke in the Gravity Falls fandom that Bill resembles a Dorito, and this joke seems to have started to apply to Peridot as well.
    • "Say Uncle" briefly teased Lion x Giant Realistic Flying Tiger.
    • And now we have Lapis X...wait, WHAT?! WHY?! HOW?! Eh, it's kinda cute.
  • Cry for the Devil: Jasper is probably one of the most loathed Gems in the series, but after her reappearance in "Chille Tid", a lot of people felt some measure of sympathy for her.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • If you just looked at all the memes and art Peridot gets, you'd never guess she's actually a villainous, if somewhat comically adorkable character that's only occasionally Played for Laughs, she's so far displayed no redeeming traits whatsoever, neither to the Earth nor her fellow Gems. You might think being complicit in horrific experiments involving forced fusions of cracked Crystal Gems would lose her some fans, but you'd be surprised.
    • This applies to Lapis as well. While understandably sympathetic, she's painted as a Hero and martyr, as some fans have a tendency to overlook the fact she stole all the water on Earth, disregarding billions of lives who need it, tried to drown Steven and Connie, and nearly killed Greg as he saved them. While she does get some redemption for her Heroic Sacrifice, it should be noted that it was done because of her friendship with Steven and her own desire for revenge against her captor, not for the sake of the world.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The opening of "Say Uncle," in which Uncle Grandpa tricks Steven into thinking Rose has returned, has garnered this reaction in some people.
    • Amethyst refusing to help Lars, Sadie, and Steven in "Joking Victim" just because she thought the situation was funny can come off as overly mean.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Lapis Lazuli's all but universally adored by fans. Despite being a minor if important character, she rivals the Crystal Gems in popularity. Her appealing design, very sympathetic character arc, and being the first non-Crystal Gem to debut are contributing factors. The staff likely expected this response, but probably not to such a degree.
    • Ruby and Sapphire appeared in just one episode at the Season 1 finale, but they quickly became extremely popular subjects for fanart of the series. The fact that they're Garnet's fusion components helps too, which endears them a lot to the LGBT community.
    • The Beach City civilians have a lot of love, namely the cool kids (Jenny Pizza, Buck Dewey, and Sour Cream)
    • Vidalia from the episode "Story for Steven". Appears for a fraction of a minute, generates quite a bit of fanart from people fond of her "80's bad girl" design, as well as triggering many theories about her being Sour Cream and Onion's mother, due to the Theme Naming going on in the show.
    • Stevonnie is easily the most popular fusion, for obvious reasons.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Drawing Rose Quartz svelte at all triggers this for some fans, as many see her chubbiness not only as an endearing trait of her character, but a positively portrayed one as well. Unfortunately, this has resulted in name-calling and similar behavior directed at offending fan artists.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Only a few episodes in and the fandom is locking horns with the fanbases of Uncle Grandpa and Adventure Time. Uncle Grandpa fans are mad that Steven Universe took its previous Monday timeslot, and Adventure Time fans see it as somewhat of a ripoff due to its superficial similarities. Ironically, Steven Universe was created by Rebecca Sugar, a former writer and storyboarder for Adventure Time, and thus, many Steven Universe fans are also Adventure Time fans as well. On the other hand, a lot of Steven Universe fans see Uncle Grandpa as terrible, thus fueling the rivalry. To add even MORE fuel to the rivalry, a crossover between Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe has been confirmed.
    • Some Adventure Time fans are upset that Rebecca Sugar left to create her own show and are demanding that she return, especially the ones that feel Season 5 has been a downward slide since her departure.
    • With reruns of Steven Universe now being pulled and replaced with The Amazing World of Gumball reruns, a rivalry between the fandoms of both shows is virtually inevitable. It doesn't help that the reruns were pulled with NO explanation, and that TV guides for services like Direc TV still listed Steven Universe in the timeslots when the show currently airing was, in fact, Gumball, though this has changed since The Amazing World of Gumball hasn't aired a new episode since March 5th, 2015note , Steven Universe has taken the 5:00pm timeslot that The Amazing World of Gumball had, and Cartoon Network is more content on rerunning Teen Titans Go! ad nauseum.
    • A fairly intense (although mostly one-sided) one with the Periphery Demographic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. After a popular brony fan site announced it was launching a Steven Universe fan site along the same lines as Equestria Daily, Steven Universe fans revolted for fear of the "darker" side of the MLP fandom. Eventually the idea was called off, hypocrisy calls were made on both sides, moods were soured and now both fandoms are embittered with each other over the whole thing. Though of course, it doesn't mean they don't have a lot of shared fans due to their colorful art and very idealistic settings.
      • The Steven Universe fansite has since been revived with the same site crew still involved.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Garnet/Pearl is pretty popular. However, this ship was essentially sunk in "Love Letters", where it's revealed that since Garnet is a fusion between two Gems who are in a relationship, she has no interest in entering a relationship with anyone else. The pairing has now been moved into more of an "intimate friendship" territory, as has Polygems (Garnet/Amethyst/Pearl).
    • Amethyst/Pearl is also popular in some circles.
    • Pearl/Rose Quartz had a jolt in popularity after the episode "Rose's Scabbard", which strongly suggested that Pearl was in love with Rose. Later episodes have cast a darker light on Pearl's devotion, which drew a lot more attention to the ship, but at the same time made it more of a Base Breaker.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With the Gravity Falls fandom and, to a lesser extent, the Over the Garden Wall fandom. They are cartoons that set up a light and cheery tone with plenty of humor, but gradually become more depressing and horrifying. In the case of Gravity Falls, they both have cheerful protagonists (and Dipper), triangular characters affectionately referred as Doritos and have had their popular fan theories confirmed. Crossovers between them are frequent and are jokingly referred to as "Steven Falls Over."
    • There's also a great deal of overlap with Legend Of Korra. While the two shows are very different in tone and content, they are both plot-driven, anime-inspired action cartoons with LBGTQ canon characters. Fanart which depicts Korra and Asami fusing is particularly popular.
    • They were pretty friendly before but as of 'Jail Break' Steven Universe and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans have been getting along exceptionally well, especially with the introduction of Jasper as a tall, muscular, hot blooded, wild-haired character with a pompadour-looking helmet weapon who gets hit with a The Dog Bites Back moment and is trapped at the bottom of the ocean.
    • Among older fans, there's an overlap between the fandom of this show and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. It's the fact that both shows feature Joel Hodgson, as well as two uptight, intelligent moms named Pearl (although Joel never interacted with the other Pearl).
    • Lately it seems that the Invader Zim Fandom can be added to this list, especially with comparisons between Zim and Peridot being made. The fact that Rebecca Sugar also is a big IZ fan and even used to write IZ fan fiction helps all the more so.
    • An overlap is starting to come up between SU fans and Jet Set Radio fans, the impetus of which is likely Rebbeca Sugar confirming that Amethyst is a fan of the game's soundtrack. A good bit of fanart crossing over the two series has cropped up.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • At the end of "Steven's Lion" Garnet justifies her decision to let Steven keep the lion by cracking "We kept Amethyst.", which Pearl laughs at excessively. It suddenly becomes less amusing when "On The Run" reveals Amethyst was born and grew up alone until the Crystal Gems found her, possibly in a somewhat feral state. She's also rather ashamed of her origins, and Garnet and Pearl making a joke like that speaks to how ignorant they were of such feelings.
    • In "Cat Fingers", Amethyst offers to teach Steven about shapeshifting and messes with Greg by turning into Steven. In "Maximum Capacity", Amethyst lashes out at Greg by taking Rose's form, hurting him deeply, and it's implied she did the same thing before.
    • Much of Pearl's My Beloved Smother moments towards Steven become a lot more heartbreaking after "Rose's Scabbard" where its shown just how much Pearl looked up to and adored Rose and the fact that she sees a lot of Rose in Steven.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Garnet's cube-shaped afro; the target audience couldn't reasonably be expected to know that the crystalline structure of actual garnet is cubic.
    • Peridot certainly seems alien compared to the main gems (even though they are all alien), and actual peridots can be found in meteorites.
    • The large devices strewn throughout the Kindergarten resemble bacteriophages, viruses which infect bacteria and hijack their own machinery to reproduce, killing them in the process. A rather apt metaphor for what the Kindergartens do to Earth.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The series really picks up once it starts dealing with its Myth Arc in "Lion 2: The Movie", seventeen episodes in.
    • "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem". The ending of which implies much more serious matters will occur. So much so that the creators apparently consider this as the show's "true" beginning.
    • "The Return" and "Jail Break" introduce Jasper, a completely psychotic Knight of Cerebus Smug Super soldier gem whose tactics and strength are absolutely ruthless. While she was eventually defeated, her arrival also introduces a Big Bad that the Gems will have to focus on fighting sooner or later in the future.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • After the reveal that all gem monsters are in fact, crystal gems trapped in a different form, Monster Buddies just got a whole extra layer of Tear Jerker. Mmm, bittersweet.
    • Amethyst's complaints in about Pearl and Garnet being "on [her] back all the time", like in "Tiger Millionaire", have a lot more weight after "On the Run" shows how Amethyst joined the Crystal Gems.
    • In "Coach Steven", Pearl breaks down in tears because she isn't strong enough "to do anything." In Season 2's "Sworn to the Sword", it was shown that Pearl constantly tried to protect Rose in battle, but was always defeated due to being weaker.
    • Also from "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl tells Connie and Steven that she got through the war by thinking about the life that she and Rose will have afterwards.
    Pearl: Now she's gone. But I'm still here.
    • In "Warp Tour" Peridot contemptuously crushes one of her damaged robonoids underfoot, establishing a distinct lack of empathy for her minions. Cut to "Keeping it Together" where we see what the Homeworld does to broken things (Specifically Gems) and this scene starts to come across in a different light. Particularly, if it's true that the Homeworld used those experiments as a form of punishment.
    • In "Keeping it Together" it's revealed that the Homeworld has been undertaking horrifying experiments involving fusion. Checking up on these experiments progress may have even been a part of Peridot's primary mission. Taking those experiments as being indicative of how the Homeworld views fusion lends a lot of context to Jasper's own initial contempt for fusion. And makes it all the more unsettling, that she would then embrace fusion for the sake of beating the Crystal Gems.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
  • He Really Can Act
    • Nicki Minaj is a surprisingly good voice actress.
    • Deedee Magno-Hall is pretty heartbreaking as Pearl in "Rose's Scabbard"
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • "Maaaayor Deeeewey, Maaaayor Deeeewey, Maaaayor Deeeewey..."
    • The mirror screaming in Steven's voice.
    "Nooooo! NoooooNOOOOOOooooo! NOOOOOOOOO!"
    • The mirror's laugh is incredibly creepy.
    • WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT
    • The garish shriek that the Cluster makes in "Keeping it Together". It sounds like several voices screaming in agony.
    • Jasper ranting YOU. YOU YOU YOU. psychotically when she sees Steven in "Chille Tid".
  • He's Just Hiding: It's not a question of if, but when exactly is Lapis Lazuli going to make a comeback?
    • As of "Chille Tid", it's now a question of when is she going to come back as herself?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Many people were shocked to see Pearl actually get stabbed and temporarily die onscreen in "Steven the Sword Fighter".
    • "Mirror Gem". Many people were really shocked at the appearance of Lapis Lazuli, especially considering the previous very faint implication that the main cast was the last of the Gems.
    • The appearance of Peridot, a Gem from Homeworld shown to be repairing Earth's connection to the Galaxy Warp in "Warp Tour".
    • The all-out fight between Amethyst and Pearl in 'On The Run'. Amethyst's tragic backstory took many by storm.
    • The half-hour special "The Return" and "Jailbreak" dropped several bombs on the fandom with the reveal of Garnet being a fusion, a fight scene with Peridot, another Homeworld Gem, and Opal getting a cameo.
    • "Keeping it Together", gracious. For one thing, Peridot reappears after being missing since the season 1 finale. Turns out, she was at the Kindergarten to check out some horrifying experiments: turns out the Crystal Gems who were captured in the war were shattered and melded together to create Eldritch Abominations.
    • Is "Chille Tid" about the Crystal Gems having a slumber party? Yes...but that's not all. Apparently, Steven can use his dreams to form mental links with other (Gems?)—an ability he uses to speak with Lapis, who is struggling to keep her and Jasper imprisoned in the ocean. The fans that were awaiting Lapis's return were...jarred, to say the least.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • In the episode "Ocean Gem", the water from all the world's oceans are magically taken to form a pillar reaching into outer-space. Although Steven does manage to fix this issue, it appears to have taken at least a day to do so; one can only imagine the effect that would have on the Earth's environment and economy.
    • The spaceship hand in the half-hour special "The Return" and "Jailbreak" crashing into the Crystal Gem Headquarters could have been this one if it weren't so cleaned up so easily.
  • Internet Backdraft: The Steven Universe/Uncle Grandpa crossover episode got this a lot when it was announced.
    • The decision to reduce the number of reruns in favor of more Teen Titans Go! reruns. Fortunately, though, the amount of backlash was large enough to make Cartoon Network reverse this.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : "Story for Steven", the episode showing how Greg and Rose first met is sometimes said to be too short. While what the episode does have is well-liked, numerous people feel that it doesn't delve deeply enough into Greg and Rose's relationship, and that it doesn't properly explain why Greg was so quick to give up his music career for her. This is lightened when it was confirmed this episode was intended to air before "The Message", which would have given the episode more of a punch as apposed to it's somewhat out-of-place slot in season 2.
    • Slightly mediated with the follow-up flashback episode "We Need to Talk", where Greg and Rose both acknowledge that they rushed into the relationship and needed to work on it harder.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: As you can tell from a few entries here, Pearl.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The show has garnered a sizeable one, thanks to the Les Yay between the Gems and Steven and Connie's fusion Stevonnie being interpreted as nonbinary by many fans.
    • All the gems are nonbinary as they technically have No Biological Sex and don't seem to identify with any human gender, so any pairing between two Gems is going to be somewhat LGBT. The Gems as a species (except Steven) don't seem to have a traditionally defined gender, even though they display appearances coded as female by humans.
  • Love to Hate: Jasper's actions in "The Return/Jailbreak" have made her the most loathed character in the show thus far. But that's exactly why she's so memorable, and fans can't wait for her inevitable reappearance.
  • Memetic Loser: Pearl's thirst for Rose is the subject of many jokes.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • This video splicing a Nicki Minaj song to Garnet and Amethyst's fusion into Sugilite.
    • Pearl's nose/Bird Mom/Pointy Mom.
    • Calling Garnet "Square Mom." Following 'Jail Break' she is also "Mom Squared".
    • Rose Quartz being portrayed as a goofy magnet for awkwardness, in a Like Mother Like Son relation with Steven.
    • Peridot is:
      • A lime-flavored (or alternatively, guacamole-flavored) Dorito.explanation  And in a variation of the previous, relating her with Mountain Dew (color scheme), an Xbox (vague color scheme; X on her chest), and combining all the previous, portray her as a stereotypical neckbeard or gamer girl. Memetic mutation indeed.
      • A rapper.
      • Canadian.
      • A Worm.
      • A helicopter/"Pericopter". spoilers 
      • Inspector Gadget.
    • Alternately, hanging pictures of Peridot on ceiling fans.
    • Calling Jasper:
      • An angry Cheeto. She's the "Big Buff Cheeto Puff".
      • A bara character (referred to as Bara Gem, Bara Mom, Bara Waifu, etc.)
    • Referring to Ruby as "The Red Macaroon". Also, her blank facial expression seen here hasn't gone unnoticed.
    • Referring to Ruby as Sports Crab.
    • Editing (read: vandalise) the Steven Universe wiki for it to call Peridot a Dorito, or in the case of Jasper, a "Big Buff Cheeto Puff", among others.
    • "If you defuse Garnet, the Crystal Gems is just Pearl standing over a bunch of child-sized munchkins."
    • The theory that Onion is either a Gem (possibly even Yellow Diamond) or Satan, which all started due to the fact that he has no ears.
    "ONION THEORY STILL REAL"
    "GOD DAMN IT"
    • Steven's weird face in Together Breakfast, mostly used to denote the use of a bad pun. Also, shopping it over Rose's face after Pearl said that Steven looked like her.
    • Ronaldo's explanation of, "Snake people or, sneople" being used as a template to snowclone other portmanteaus on that pattern. Crossed over a bit with a very similar meme known as snemes (snail memes) which developed independently on tumblr.
    • Amethyst's line of "Who wants to watch a cartoon about people crying?" coupled with images of S.U. characters crying quickly grew popular after "Reformed." It's also sometimes used to playfully mock Tearjerkers
    • "If every porkchop were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs!"
    • When the crewniverse released Peridot's model sheet, they included in the corner a reference of her smiling brightly... except that the uncolored lines used to denote her neck were quickly mistaken for legs, leading to the creation of a small runabout Peridot head sometimes known as "Legidot."
    • Pearl: Mr. Steal-Yo-Girl spoilers 
    • 'Pearl is so thirsty/Pearl is so salty'
  • Memetic Troll: Amethyst will gladly watch you suffering. "Joking Victim" practically makes her one in universe, as all she does in that episode is start the conflict and laugh while watching the chaos unfold with no attempt to help whatsoever.
  • Misblamed: There were rumors going around that the show's design change from the pilot episode was because of Executive Meddling and apparently low budgets. In reality, the change was done by the show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, and was created and finalized long before the pilot was leaked. In fact, the show's budget is much higher than the pilot's.
  • Moe:
    • Steven. He's not called the "ultimate little brother" for nothing.
    • Connie as well, her enthusiasm and dorky personality are endearing, to say the least.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Despite acting like a comically irritable nerd, Peridot starts looking pretty sweaty when it's revealed that her efforts to reactivate the Kindergarten would destroy life on Earth. Then she hops, skips and jumps over the horizon in "Keeping It Together" by forcibly fusing the remains of dead Crystal Gems into monstrous lumps of odd arms and legs without a care. Garnet barely shies away from calling her actions necrophilic rape.
    • Keeping It Together reveals that the entirety of Gem Homeworld's command chain seems to have crossed this pre-series. While they were already perceived to be a threat, having fought a large-scale war and colonized Earth with little regard to the people who already lived there, the depth of their cruelty and disregard for life hadn't been clearly shown until this episode.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Rose's voice, provided by the one and only Susan Egan. Taken a notch further in "We Need to Talk," where she sings.
    • The sound that the gem's weapons make when they're being summoned.
  • Narm: For some, a lot of the genuinely heartwarming moments can be ruined by the art style, which can border on Gag Lips at times.
  • Narm Charm: Some found Alexandrite—the combined form of the three gems—to look rather ridiculous. But the situation she first appears in—posing as Steven's mother while having dinner with Connie's parents—wouldn't be half as funny or awkward if she didn't. Plus, taking the gem's contrasting personalities into account, it's fitting that their combined form would be a complete mess.
  • One True Pairing:
    • Steven/Connie, after the events of "Bubble Buddies". This was only enforced after episodes like "Lion 2: the Movie", "An Indirect Kiss", and "Alone Together" showed them to have a lot of heartfelt chemistry together.
      • "Sworn to the Sword" also showcases their potential as a Battle Couple, with Connie as the Sword and Steven as the Shield.
    • Sapphire/Ruby has not only become almost universally accepted by the fandom, but was confirmed to be canon by the storyboard artist of "Jailbreak".
  • OT3: A large number of people ship the Cool Kids as Polyamory.
  • Painful Rhyme
    • Steven's song in the pilot.
    Cause we're good and evil never beats us
    We'll win the fight and then go out for pizzas
    • At one point in "Stronger Than You":
    This is who I am
    ...Then you need to think again.
  • Periphery Demographic: Though clearly a children's program, several factors (such as the creator being a well known former member of the Adventure Time crew, the flawed yet lovable characters, the impressive soundtrack, the surprisingly touching drama, and jokes that would fly way over most kids' understanding) have made it quite popular outside its target demographic.']
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Amethyst is silent for the first two minutes of "On the Run", and looks upset when Pearl talks about the Gem Homeworld. Considering the events in the episode, this makes a lot of sense. If you pay close attention when the conversation is about Homeworld Gems, Pearl mentions "and then there's gems like me and Garnet who stayed here to protect Earth". The absence of Amethyst's name is a big clue that something is wrong and it's also the same moment she makes an upset face.
    • Garnet's excitement about Steven and Connie fusing into Stevonnie makes a lot more sense in light of the events in Jailbreak.
    • Lapis' fairly surprised reaction to Steven's healing powers ("You have healing powers?") now carries more weight in "The Return", in which Jasper accuses her of knowing that Steven had Rose Quartz's powers, to which Lapis replies "It wasn't relevant to the mission!"
    • In general, season 1 is very rewarding with a rewatch, where the Gems' every other line suddenly gains a ton of depth and laced with foreshadowing, and nearly every joke, odd line, or character quirk becomes much more meaningful when you have the context.
  • Ron the Death Eater: While Jasper was hardly a kitten, there's a bit of a double standard where the fandom still makes her out to be the biggest monster on the show while Peridot, who we have seen do far worse on screen without a hint of remorse, gets off relatively light.
    • Pearl has many theories that she secretly hates Steven, or only likes him because he reminds her of Rose, despite the fact that besides her actions in "Rose's Scabbard", where she was caught up in her own grief, she's been nothing but motherly to him for the whole series. Even writers have said that if you hate Pearl you've missed the point.
    • Lars is a Jerkass, most definitely, but much of the fandom makes him out to be a malicious, abusive Complete Monster, as opposed to being a lonely kid with a mean streak.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • "Open Book" helps teach that it's trivial for friends to fight over things like fantasy books by having Connie not be mad at Steven despite him liking the ending of the "Spirit Morph Saga" even though she hated it. It delivers the message more when she says that it's just a book, showing that you shouldn't care about stuff like book series or TV shows more than your friends.
    • "Say Uncle" has the message that you shouldn't judge others just because they're different, you don't understand them, or you don't like their sense of humor or personality and that you shouldn't just blindly hate things. This message was especially needed after the behavior of a chunk of the SU fandom towards fans of My Little Pony and of Uncle Grandpa.
    • "Love Letters" provides two regarding love and relationships: 1) Love at First Sight doesn't exist. Real love takes time and work, and you have to know the person. And 2) If someone is interested in you and you don't feel the same way, you are in your own rights to reject them.
  • Starboarding:
    • Ronaldo starts to develop a crush on Sadie in "Horror Club".
    • Comes up in "Political Power", where it's revealed that Mayor Dewey is rather smitten with Pearl, referring to her as "the hot one" of the Gems.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Beach Party" was the first episode to focus on the fact that the Gems don't understand humans, or really even seem to empathize with them at all. While all the stuff with the Pizza family is entertaining, the episode sidesteps the deeper issue of how the Gems view humans, to be saved for future episodes.
    • Instead of following the Gems minus Steven on an underwater adventure, "Island Adventure" is wasted on a Wangst-filled teenage romance plot with Lars and Sadie.
    • "Open Book" sidelines Steven and Connie trying to make a new ending to a book series in favor of basically recycling the plot of "Rose's Room."
    • Ronaldo trying to determine whether the Gems are safe for Beach City could have been interesting as a more serious plot than "Rising Tides/Crashing Skies"
    • "Chille Tid" has this issue alongside It's Short, so It Sucks . Steven's ability to speak with Lapis mentally is used for all of three minutes, and in the end, we never learn where she and Jasper are nor if Garnet found anything important.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: A few in Say Uncle. Pizza Steve, one of the biggest Base Breakers in Uncle Grandpa, gets eaten by Amethyst. And despite the Take That, Audience! undertones of the crossover, it's worth noting that the Crystal Gems (arguably the stand ins for Uncle Grandpa's hatedom) beat up Uncle Grandpa before the end of the episode.
  • Ugly Cute: The Centipeetle may be an acid spewing mouth eyed bug monster, but it's interactions with Steven in "Monster Buddies" are downright adorable.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many of the things seen in Rose's room when it was glitching out, which was probably the point.
    • One that sticks out the most in "Jail Break" is Garnet's expression after she gets re-fused. Yikes!
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Ronaldo at times. He sees no problem with ignoring a person's personal liberties or feelings to validate his conspiracies. While this can be put down to being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and as such just unaware of how his actions affect someone he will still do so despite knowing how they feel about his actions.
    • Onion in "Onion Trade". Sure, he misses his father and he barely sees him. But to pass the time waiting for him, he steals, dupes Steven, is perfectly willing to crash a motorcycle for no good reason, and nearly destroyed the town. If anything, Onion came across as a psychopathic child.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Many viewers assumed Pearl was going to be male due to her haircut and flat chest (especially in the pilot episode, where her original design looked more androgynous than the version shown in the actual series). Even some of the episode synopses on Hulu refer to Pearl as male.
    • Both Ruby and Jasper are often considered male due to their masculine design and masculine personalities.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency: Not in a bad way, but an odd way. The voice cast is a offbeat gathering of teen stars, pop singers, and radio personalities. It's almost as if a bunch of old friends in the entertainment industry had a reunion. Nicki Minaj as Sugilite in particular surprised many, as her voice for Sugilite sounds almost exactly like the voice actress for Amethyst.
  • What an Idiot: During Onion's rampage, Pearl tells Steven basically what the viewers were thinking at the time: that he could have easily used the Replicator Wand to replicate Ranger Guy instead of giving the device to Onion.
    Steven: (facepalm) DANG IT!
    • Starting to happen frequently with Amethyst.
    • Sadie in "Island Adventure". Good intentions or not, hiding the warp pad because she thinks it's good for Lars wasn't the smoothest move
    • In "Marble Madness", Garnet specifically tells Steven that Peridot is an enemy they don't know with technology they don't understand, and tells him and the others that they must stay hidden. So naturally, Steven waltzes right up to the enemy to chat like they're old friends. While he admits afterwards that it was a poor plan, his main goal was to try and coax information out of Peridot, and he was able to do so to an extent.
    • In "Joy Ride" Steven and the Cool Kids found Peridot's escape pod. Steven wants to inform the Gems immediately but the Cool Kids think it's a great idea to play around with unknown, potentially dangerous technology. It almost gets them all seriously hurt.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A number of moments could qualify the show for this, but the most notable examples would probably be Steven almost aging himself to death or Pearl being stabbed through the chest and temporarily dying.
  • Win Back the Crowd: When Cartoon Network put the show on a three month hiatus, fans got worried that the show was going to be Screwed by the Network. Then the network revealed that not only did they add more episodes to the first season, they also renewed it for a big second season. The result was that Steven Universe would have a total of 104 episodesnote  for its first two seasons. Such news put the fans' minds at ease.
    • While not perfect, Say Uncle, the Uncle Grandpa crossover, was much better received than originally anticipated thanks to the number of fandom nods and in-jokes.
  • The Woobie:
    • Connie. She constantly moves from town to town because of her dad's job, and, as a result, has no friends to keep in touch with, something which drives her to tears when she thought nobody (but her parents) was going to miss her if she drowned in the ocean. Which makes Steven reaching out to her another one of the particularly poignant Heartwarming Moments.
    • Steven. He tries so hard, and it's impossible to not feel bad for him when he messes something up (especially since he's self-conscious about it). There's also the fact that he never got to know his mother. Additionally, one can feel for the fact that he constantly feels pressured to measure up to her. He also thinks that Gems might resent him because he is the reason Rose is no longer around.
    • Amethyst on occasion, especially in the episode "Tiger Millionaire". She doesn't act like it, but she clearly takes Pearl and Garnet's criticisms to heart. Even more so in "On The Run". She was a by-product of a horrible event on earth, and as a result, has a major case of self-loathing until Pearl reassures her that the event was not her fault and saw her as something good that came out of it.
    "I never asked for it to be this way. I never asked to be made!"
    • Definitely Lapis Lazuli, and very much of the destroyer-of-worlds variety. She was trapped in a mirror for who knows how long and wants to go home so badly that she tried to use the entire ocean as a tower to reach it, but ultimately can't due to her damaged gem. When she finally arrives home, she discovers that she's now a Fish Out of Temporal Water, and that her home is nothing like she remembers it. Soon after she gets taken prisoner by Jasper and Peridot, forced to obey Jasper, and coerced into a fusion dance. Rather than get shoved around anymore, she decides to take control of the fusion, and trap both herself and Jasper at the bottom of the ocean for eternity.
    • Given the reveal that accompanies Lapis' appearance, i.e. that the monsters the Gems are fighting are corrupted members of their own species who they're incapable of healing, the Crystal Gems could qualify. Later episodes also show that they're the last survivors of a massive gem war, and that they are acting as The Atoner for their entire species.
    • Pearl in "Space Race". She so desperately misses her home that she flies Steven up to space in a rickety rocket that is literally falling apart around her, but refuses to give up until Steven talks her down. Made worse in "Rose's Scabbard", where it's revealed that she stayed behind on Earth because of Rose, and Rose says that if they win, Pearl will never be able to go home. Pearl asks "Why would I want to go home when you're right here?" Of course, Rose eventually dies/gives up her physical form and now Pearl has neither her homeworld or the woman she so looked up to. Her complete and total breakdown cements it.
    • Greg. The dude lost his wife, doesn't have custody of his own son, his musical career never took off, and he seems to be a loser in general, living all alone in his van. In spite of this, there's not a mean bone in the guy's body, and his constant upbeat attitude makes him incredibly endearing.
    • Lars, of the jerkass variety, especially in Island Adventure where he breaks down crying because he thinks they're going to be stuck on the island forever. There's also Sadie in that episode who went so far as to hide the warp pad because she thought Lars needed a vacation, and later risked her life to save Lars after he yelled at her.
    • Rose Quartz. She knew she'd cease to be when Steven was born. And despite her obvious happiness with Greg, there's an underlying current of sadness to the whole thing.
    • The Centipeetle. Sure, it was already corrupted, but it's clearly not aggressive like most of the monsters they fight. It only attacked when it was scared of the Gems' weapons; and it was really warming up to Steven, even enough to perform its final sacrifice to save him. Watching the gems beat it up when it meant no harm, even though they're just protecting Steven, is extremely saddening to watch.
    • "The Test" basically cements all three Gems as this. They're still lost without Rose to guide them, and have some deep insecurities about whether they can raise Steven.